The Good The HP Pavilion dm4-3090se Beats Edition is a sharp-looking black 14-inch laptop with a hybrid hard drive, a high-res matte display, a very cool red-backlit keyboard, and a subwoofer.
The Bad Starting at only $150 less than the all-metal HP Envy, the dm4 has a plastic body parts of which feel cheap in comparison. With thin, lightweight laptops popping up everywhere, it's a bit hefty, and the touch pad can be finicky.
The Bottom Line The only real knock against this chic-looking 14-inch multimedia laptop is its plastic body; other than that, this is a great midrange laptop with a unique, eye-catching design.
|HP Pavilion dm4-3090se Beats Edition||Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (15-inch, 2017)||Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (13-inch, 2016)||Lenovo ThinkPad X230||Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display (13-inch, 2015)|
|Price||$900 MSRP||£2,699 Apple||£900 MSRP||£900 MSRP||£900 MSRP|
HP Pavilion dm4-3090se Beats Edition
For a high-end midsize Windows laptop, HP's Envy line (starting at $1,049) is probably the first place you should look. Fortunately, a lot of what made those Envy laptops so good has trickled down to HP's more affordable systems, and today many of them have, for example, Beats Audio and backlit keyboards.
The Pavilion dm4 is an excellent example of this. Our fixed-configuration system, the 3090se Beats Edition model, looks almost as high-end as an Envy, but costs only $899. The body is a sharp-looking matte black, including the wrist rest, the touch pad, and even the keyboard. Offsetting this are red accents (the signature color of Beats Audio), including a unique red keyboard backlight.
The hybrid hard drive, which takes a 500GB drive and adds 20GB of solid-state drive (SSD) storage for programs (on HP's Web site, that's been upgraded to 32GB), is a nice extra, but keep in mind that the Beats Edition of the HP Envy 14 is only $150 more. For that, you get the same 6GB of RAM and Intel Core i5 CPU, but a bigger 740GB hard drive and discrete AMD graphics. But more importantly, you get the Envy's superior metal chassis. The dm4 Beats Edition looks great, but is mostly plastic.