Hewlett-Packard is offering a good deal on a well-received ultraportable that is less than half the price of Apple's least expensive MacBook Air.
Why the mention of Apple's MacBook Air? Apple's 2.3-pound laptop is the standard by which all other ultraportables are judged. Like it or not, that's the way things are.
But let's get to the topic at hand. The HP Pavilion dm1z can be had for as little as $399 direct from HP after entering a coupon code. That's a pretty good deal for a laptop that is a cut above an Intel-based Netbook and offers fairly solid build quality for its price class. (See
The dm1z, like the
There are other goodies that compare favorably to the Air, though. A roomy 320GB hard disk drive (7200RPM), 3GB of memory, more ports, and the option for built-in 3G from Verizon, AT&T or Sprint.
But the comparison with the MBA falters a bit in some crucial areas. The dm1z is not constructed from aluminum like the Air and aesthetically doesn't offer the elegance of the MBA.
Inside, the dm1z taps Advanced Micro Devices' latest dual-core E-350 processor (1.6GHz, 1MB L2 Cache with AMD Radeon HD 6310M graphics). These new--replete with a solid graphics processor--handily beat Intel's Netbook-class Atom processors but are not necessarily faster than the silicon used in the MacBook Air. The Air pairs Intel's Core 2 Duo processor with an Nvidia chipset that also delivers good graphics performance for an ultraportable.
With the $999 MacBook Air, in addition to the specs mentioned above, you get a 64GB solid-state drive and 2GB of memory.
Battery life between the two seems comparable. Of course, that depends on what you're doing with the devices, but both exceed five hours, according to most reviews.
No, it's not a MacBook Air. But then again you're saving $600 (you could essentially buy two dm1z laptops for the price of one MBA) for a respectable 11-inch class ultraportable--while the coupons last.