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CNET First Look
HP Pavilion dm4HP's latest multimedia system, the Pavilion dm4, is a powerful, slick-looking package--but some competitors in the same price range offer more features for less.
>> I'm Dan Ackerman, and we are here taking a look at the HP Pavilion DM4. I'm not sure what the "M" stands for, but the 4 means this is a 14-inch laptop. And it's one of several multimedia-friendly 14-inch laptops we see lately. It's a really nice size, kind of fits the keyboard a little bit better than a bulkier 15-inch laptop. Makes it a little more portable. What we like about the DM4 is that out of the kind of 14-inch multimedia laptops we've seen lately, it's the best looking. And that's probably because it takes some of its design cues from the more expensive HP Envy line that came out last year. Most notably, it's got this extra large touchpad. Unlike the last couple of generations of HP Pavilion laptops, they also have kind of a brush middle lip. This one keeps the metallic feel but adds kind of these etched line patterns that are in the wriest rest and the back of the lid. That's an interesting kind of subtle understated look. You are, however, locked into it. There are not really any other options. We do like the large touchpad that came from the HP Envy, and instead of mouse buttons it's just got a left and right sort of area of the giant pad that's for the left and right, and of course you can use multitouch gestures, the two-finger scrolling being the most common of those. It works okay, not as good as it works on a Mac Book. We're really just effortless to take two fingers and swim up and down the page. You don't give up much in the way of performance going with the small 14-inch size. You got your choice of Core i5 or Core i7 processors. You can even for 1 or $200 adds a discrete ATI GPU, which means you can play some games on this. There's no Blu-ray option right now, which is surprising for such a configurable system. We'd like to see that at some point in the future. Now, you can deck out the DM4 with a faster CPU and the dedicated graphics and a big hard drive, and drive the price up above $1,000, or it can cost several hundred dollars less. However, there are some systems out there that combine the discrete graphics and a Blu-ray player for a little bit less than this. So strictly dollars to donuts, you could outfit a multimedia 14 to 15 theme for less than a DM4, but it's not going to look quite as nice. I'm Dan Ackerman, and this is the HP Pavilion DM4. ^M00:02:00 [ Music ]