HP Pavilion dm1z Review

18 User Reviews

3.8 out of 5 Stars

3.8 out of 5
9 Expert Reviews

4 out of 5 Stars

4 out of 5
Overall Rating

3.9 out of 5 Stars

3.9 out of 5
Conclusion

The 11.6-inch HP Pavilion dm1z is next step in netbook evolution. With the new AMD Fusion platform, this mini laptop delivers not only better CPU and graphic performance than a typical Atom netbook, it also delivers great battery life (around 6.5 hours) at a competitive price. With a starting price of $449.99, the HP Pavilion dm1z is a remarkable value. It's no wonder that it won several Editors Choice award from reputable tech websites.


HP Pavilion dm1z Review Summary

Design
Measuring 11.45 (L) x 8.45 (W) x 0.9 – 1.25 (H) inches, and weighing 3.4 pounds, the dm1z is about the same size and weight as the Asus Eee PC 1215N. With a glossy black lid that features HP’s new Grid Imprint design, it’s said to be one of the most attractive 11-inch mini laptops on the market. It does attract smudges and fingerprints though, and the only color available now is black. But knowing HP, other colors should be made available in the near future.

Keyboard and TouchPad
The Pavilion dm1z ships with a full size, chiclet-style keyboard, as opposed to the 93% one found in previous generations. The matte keys have a rubbery feel to them that makes them feel very comfortable under the fingertips, but also causes them to pick up some unattractive fingerprints.

The 3.2 x 2.0-inch touchpad is said to be quite cramped, and because mouse buttons are integrated into the touchpad, those who use two hands on a touchpad (i.e. rests one fingers or thumbs on a button while moving the cursor with the other) may find that the cursor jumps every now and then.

Performance
The Pavilion dm1z uses AMD’s new Fusion E-350 APU, which combines the Radeon HD 6310M GPU and the 1.6-GHz dual core CPU on one chip. In PCMark Vantage benchmark test, it scores an average of 2,354, which is higher than any dual-core Atom N550 netbook. In real life usage, Engadget noted that the dm1z felt much faster than any Atom netbook and closer to a ULV laptop like the ThinkPad Edge 11. Multitasking which includes running 1080p video in the background while surfing the web does not slow the system down.

In terms of graphic performance, the integrated AMD Radeon HD 6310 GPU provided performance between Intel’s integrated and Nvidia’s Ion graphics. 3DMark06 returns an average score of 2,268, which is much higher than any netbook with GMA 3150 integrated graphics, but slightly lower than the Eee PC 1215N that runs Nvidia ION2 discrete graphics. Having said that, the dm1z run just as smoothly as the ION2 netbook when it comes to HD movie playback and gaming. Playing local and streaming 1080p video is perfectly smooth, even when outputting to a 42-inch HDTV; while playing WoW with resolution 1024 x 768 returns 28fps of frame rates. The Pavilion dm1z is still not recommend for any kind of intense gaming though.

Battery Life
The dm1z lasted 6 hours and 37 minutes on the Laptop Magazine’s Battery Test which involve continuous web surfing via WiFi at 40 percent screen brightness. In another test done by Engadget which loops the same standard definition video with WiFi on and brightness set at 65 percent, the dm1z lasted for 5 hours and 40 minutes. The overall battery life of the dm1z is about an hour longer than the 1215N and ultraportable laptop average.



HP Pavilion dm1z Expert Reviews

Joanna Stern from Engadget says:
Given Rating:

Is this really happening? After years of waiting has AMD finally done it? Provided a netbook / ultraportable platform that melds really solid performance and graphics with solid battery life? Something that can kick Intel’s Atom to the curb, but doesn’t require a recharge every two and a half hours? The Pavilion dm1z certainly has all signs pointing to yes – the 11.6-inch system runs for over five hours on a charge while providing full HD playback and great multitasking prowess. Of course, the rest of the market hasn’t sat still for systems like the Fusion-powered dm1z, and there are plenty of other good affordable ultraportables out there — including the $550 Intel ULV-powered ThinkPad Edge 11 and $500 Ion 2-powered ASUS Eee PC 1215N — but at $450 the dm1z provides the best balance of performance, graphics, and battery life for the price, and to that end, AMD can finally pat itself on the back… even if it did take five years to get here.

Jerry Jackson from Notebook Review says:
Given Rating:

At the end of the day, it’s hard not to like the new HP Pavilion dm1z. HP and AMD resolved all of the main complaints that people had with the previous generation of AMD-based ultraportbales: Poor battery life, high temperatures, and only adequate performance.

The new AMD Fusion APU technology really delivers some impressive results in terms of HD video playback, gaming, and even adds some “snappiness” in a basic Windows environment. At the time of this writing (January 2011) consumers will have a hard time finding an Intel-based ultraportable notebook or netbook that delivers better real world performance and battery life across the board for the same price … and that’s saying a lot.

Several other companies announced other notebooks and netbook alternatives at CES 2011 that use the same AMD E-350 APU, so it’s hard to say if the HP Pavilion dm1 is the best of the bunch, but it certainly is better than any netbook we’ve reviewed to date.

Cisco Cheng from PC Mag says:
Given Rating:

The HP Pavilion dm1z is next step in netbook evolution, as its new AMD Fusion APU proved you can have great battery life without sacrificing speed.

Jason Cross from PC World says:
Given Rating:

My first impression of AMD’s new Fusion processors is quite positive. The one in this system is small, cool, and power-efficient enough to enable a $450 machine to offer surprisingly strong performance: The Pavilion dm1z, in its base configuration, is lightweight, attractive, and easy to work on, and it offers better CPU, graphics, and video performance than similarly priced Atom-based netbooks. The 3-star rating of the Pavilion dm1z might lead you to think it’s run-of-the-mill. It’s not–except when measured against more-expensive and more-capable laptops. What HP has built here isn’t an inexpensive, mediocre ultraportable laptop, but a killer netbook that chips away at compromises that netbook owners have had to put up with for too long.

Michael A. Prospero from Laptop Mag says:
Given Rating:

Now that the HP Pavilion dm1z has arrived, the budget notebook space has become a lot more competitive. With AMD’s new Fusion processor, HP has created a laptop that, for $479, provides a better balance of performance and endurance than the Nvidia Ion-powered Asus Eee PC 1215N. It also gives you more graphics oomph than Intel ULV notebooks and earlier AMD budget ultraportables. While you’ll squeeze out a few more frames in some games on Ion, the more powerful dual-core AMD processor in the dm1z lets you accomplish more than an Atom chip ever could. Not only that, but you get 6.5 hours of battery life in a very stylish package.

Bottom line: The HP Pavilion dm1z is a remarkable value.

HP Pavilion dm1z Video Reviews


HP Pavilion dm1z Specification

Weight (lbs)3.52
Display Size11.6
Resolution1366 x 768
Display TypeGlossy
CPU1.6GHz AMD E-350 Dual Core APU
RAM2 to 8GB D
Hard Drive250 to 750GB HDD
Graphic CardAMD Radeon HD 6310M
Battery6-cell
Max Battery Life9.5 hours
Webcamunknown
BluetoothYes
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium