$399 HP Pavilion dm1 Hands-on: Who Needs An Ultrabook?

HP is looking to spin off its PC biz, but in the meantime the company continues to churn out laptops that deliver more quality for your buck than the competition. The redesigned Pavilion dm1 is the perfect example. At a time that other vendors are readying pricey Ultrabooks, this 11-inch notebook combines portability with a new soft-touch finish, Beats Audio, and HP Premier Experience, which is designed to make it easier to access programs. Starting price? A very nice $399.

Get all the details and check out our hands-on video and gallery below.

The dm1 will weigh 3.5 pounds, a shade heavier than the dm1z we reviewed earlier this year. However, the new dm1 is slicker. The lid sports HP’s Soft-touch Imprint finish, which has a design printed into the rubber so it won’t wear off with use. During our hands-on time with the machine we really liked the look and feel of this finish. Like with HP’s newest netbooks, the battery is better integrated into the design. The notebook will still have an island-style keyboard, but the mouse buttons are no longer part of the touchpad. Huzzah!

HP’s Premier Experience includes the Launch Box, icons grouped together in the taskbar that function as shortcuts to applications. HP also grouped applications in the Start menu into folders that describe their function. For example, Skype and the webcam utility are now in a folder called “Communication and Chat.” Additionally, HP tweaked the settings so that the dm1 shuts down approximately 29 percent faster and resumes from sleep about 25 percent faster. 

The AMD version of the dm1 will be available on September 21st and will start at $399 with an E300 APU; the Intel-powered Core i3 version will be available on October 30th and will start at $599—but it will also include an external optical drive. However, regardless of the configuration, the dm1 with the soft-touch finish will not be available until later this fall.

Other software on the dm1 includes HP’s CoolSense, which uses a built-in accelerometer to automatically adjust the fan and performance if the notebook is in your lap or on a desk. There’s also Blio eReader, Cyberlink YouCam, HP Games powered by WildTangent, HP MovieStore powered by RoxioNow, HP MusicStore powered by Rhapsody, and QuickWeb’s instant-on environment that lets you surf the web and chat on Skype.

Processor:  1.65-GHz AMD dual-core E-450 APU/ E-300 APU/ Intel Core i3 ULV

RAM/Expandable to: 4GB/8GB

Display size/resolution: 11.6 inches/1366 x 768

Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 6320/ Intel HD

Hard drive size/speed: 320GB, 7,200-rpm (options will include up to 640GB as well as SSDs)

Webcam: HP TrueVision HD Webcam

Ports: Three USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, headphone, mic

Size: 11.5 x 8.5 x 0.83 – 1.26 inches

Weight: 3.52 pounds

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  1. PL Says:

    I just ordered one should be arriving on the 21st

    E450, 2gb ram, 500gb. woohoo.. wait no more… gonna throw in another 4gb ram.

  2. razorous Says:

    Just missing one thing, I hope it had USB 3.0

  3. JimC Says:

    I already own a dm1 with AMD E-350 processor. I love it. The new model looks sexier, though.

  4. Osama Sidat Says:

    I just hope it comes to Canada soon, and has all the pros that the dm1z has… Putting off my purchase until the new version arrives and is reviewed…

  5. Lalaca Says:

    Is the screen still gloss finish?

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