HP Pavilion dm1 (4108AU)

The dm1 is attempting to occupy a price point, and hold on to it to the best of its ability. If you don't want the bulk of a 15.6-inch budget machine yet can't afford an ultrabook, don't stoop down to the netbook level: get this instead.


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CNET Editor

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.


HP's 11.6-inch Pavilion dm1 isn't a netbook, which is great; but it isn't an ultrabook either.

The AMD-powered laptop is an exercise in "just enough", offering a quite decent experience. It's not really a production machine — you don't want to be doing any heavy graphics, audio or video work on it — but by and large it's perfectly fine for web browsing and consumption tasks. Even 1080p Flash video works fine in YouTube, so long as you play it full screen.

The keyboard and touch pad show that HP mastered the small form factor a long time ago, thanks to its professional netbook experience. The 1366x768 screen isn't great though; a washed out affair with limited vertical viewing angles. HP has also managed to cram in Beats Audio into yet another of its devices, but don't expect miracles — rather just passable sound for the size of the laptop.

It's fully featured, though; three USB 2.0 ports, HDMI and VGA out, an SD card reader, headphone and microphone jacks, gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11n meaning you should stay well connected.

Application performance

Our review unit (the 4108AU) came with an AMD E-450 1.65GHz CPU paired with a Radeon HD 6320. It easily trounces any netbook, but is by no measures a gaming machine. While it ran our gaming benchmarks, the scores were low enough to be discarded.

It also featured a 320GB hard drive and 2GB RAM. HP makes another version of the dm1, sub-model 4100, which includes a 500GB hard drive and 4GB RAM; however, at the time of writing, it seems to only be listed on its own website, rather than being sold anywhere.

The end user can upgrade their own RAM as a spare slot is free; however, getting the base off is a pain, requiring finger nails to pull the bottom panel down and away from the battery — there's no easy access slot.

Choose a benchmark: Handbrake | iTunes | Photoshop | Multimedia

Handbrake encoding test (in seconds)

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)


To get a handle on performance, we've included both a netbook and ultrabooks in our comparison. The Gigabyte S1080, despite being a tablet is a netbook analog, featuring an Atom processor. The MacBook Air 11 and ZenBook UX21, meanwhile, are indicative of what performance an ultrabook can gain you. For the most part, ponying up the extra cash for an ultrabook is highly worth it if you intend to do more than just word processing, web browsing and video watching on your machine.

Battery life

Battery life (time)

  • Heavy battery test
  • Light battery test

(Longer bars indicate better performance)


The dm1 at least does well on battery, approaching the same sort of battery life you'd expect from a 13-inch ultrabook.

Conclusion

The dm1 is attempting to occupy a price point, and hold on to it to the best of its ability. If you don't want the bulk of a 15.6-inch budget machine yet can't afford an ultrabook, don't stoop down to the netbook level: get this instead.

See more on how we test PCs here.



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JIGGLYPIP
1
Rating
 

"HINGES BREAK ON THIS MACHINE - NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE"

JIGGLYPIP posted a review   
Australia

Don't purchase a dm1. Hinge system faulty. Had to attempt repair myself 5 wks into using the unit, as screws fell out and disappeared. I could not send unit back for repair as needed for university. (I have a shoulder injury and cannot take written note, hence reason for purchase) HP wouldnt even send out replacement screws to effect repair myself. Now hinge system broken completely and I have apparently made my warranty ineffective by attempting a repair. Customer Care only glorified telephonists, most unhelpful. DO NOT PURCHASE, THIS IS A POORLY MANUFACTURED MACHINE.

ClaireL Facebook
1
Rating
 

"HP-WORST MISTAKE OF MY LIFE"

ClaireL posted a review   

The Good:still waiting

The Bad:everything

nooo!! don't even think of getting this computer!! I have had this laptop less than a year and have so many problems with it! in the last 2 weeks (conveniently during my exams) this computer broke down numerous times causing me to lose all my work. This first time it was the hard-drive which was replaced. The second time it was a faulty chip in the hard drive. The third time it was build-up of electrical static or something. And now something else is wrong with but in conclusion they are giving me a refund. PLEASE DON'T PUT YOURSELF THROUGH THIS-IT IS TORTURE!! also every time something goes wrong it takes them 2 weeks to fix and get back to you, or you can get the parts sent to you and put in by an external it person costing money but saving time-conclusion: DON'T BUY THIS COMPUTER WORST MISTAKE OF MY LIFE!!!

 

HarshenR posted a comment   

I upgraded mine to 8gb RAM and 128gb SSD on Ubuntu 12.10 x64.

 

sydsider posted a reply   
Australia

And how is it? Did the 8gb make much of a difference?

 

HarshenR posted a comment   

I upgraded mine to 8gb RAM and 128gb SSD on Ubuntu 12.10 x64.

purplebubbles
2
Rating
 

"Worst experience!"

purplebubbles posted a review   

The Good:Light and easy to carry

The Bad:Flickering of display and bottom of right hinge snapped off

I have been using pavilion dm1 for 8 months. Honestly, I had a really bad experience. From the fourth day there was lines flickering through the display. Sometimes one corner flickered and sometimes the whole display flickered and it was hard to read or do anything. I have sent it to get repaired twice as I still faced the same problem after repairing for the first time. After the second time the flickering stopped but the bottom of the notebook was not fixed properly so a part of it snapped off and the display is unable to stay in its usual position. At the moment I am using sticky tapes :P I am waiting for a refund.

loopwhole.
8
Rating
 

"Great little unit."

loopwhole. posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Small lighweight compact it does what it says it will do

The Bad:Don't expect an ultrabook its in its own league

I have travelled with the Pavilion dm1 all around the world. Its a great compact unit that I would reccomend for students, sales people and travelling professionals. The pavilion dm1 is in a league of its own. Don't get caught in the trap of comparing this with an ultra book. You WILL be let down if your expectation is a cheap ultra book. It is what it is. I believe its a bargin and performs great.

AdamB9 Facebook
9
Rating
 

"Ideal Computer for Students"

AdamB9 posted a review   

The Good:light weight, great battery life, Evernote, excellent storage space

The Bad:keyboard can be a little uncomfortable at times, touchpad not the best

Perfect computer for uni students. I brought one from JB Hi Fi last week ($398) and very impressed. Sound quality is excellent, battery life is around 10 hours, so ideal for typing notes in lectures and tutorials. If you sit on Facebook during class thos will reduce battery life but not by much. I also love the Evernote program, so much better than Microsoft Word. Very light and easily carried around in a sleeve or backpack. Handy desktop application where you can store up to 8 programs and access them by clicking the HP Launch Manager. Nice bright colours and internet browsing is excellent. This is what you want if your sick of your slow netbook, and can't afford a high end laptop. Tablets with 3G are still way too expensive and unreliable so this will suit me fine

 

Sarah_S posted a comment   
Australia

Hi

I have a HP Pavilion DM1-4018au and I can't seem to find out if it supports dual channel memory.

I want to upgrade the RAM and don't know whether to get 2x2GB or 1x4GB.

Thanks

 

KawasakiNathan posted a reply   
Australia

If you havent got an answer by now i hope this helps.

The review does say there is an extra slot for an extra memory stick on top of the current one. Definitely go for the 2x2GB.

If you want your dm1 to have lightning fast start up time and data transfer, you should also consider replacing your hard drive with a solid state drive.

Good luck! :)

 

fornax posted a reply   
Australia

just bought an HP dm1-4108au today and pilfered a 1x2gb memory sim from my hitherto (4gb ram) hp-g62(intel i3-370M). great computer but i just didn't need that 15.6" bulk and weight.

most of us just doing non graphically intensive work such as wordprocessing, browsing etc can get by on the cpu power offered by the class of processor such as the amd E-450 or the new intel n2800.

Anyway, i installed that 2gb module into the hp-dm1 so i now have a 2x2gb = 4gb configuration. all good and working.

on board video processing power is pretty robust anyway, as good as that of the on board video on my i3 system going by the windows experience index, albeit re the cpu's, the amd E-450(3.9) is run down by the intel i3-370m(6.6).

Like i say though unless you're really crunching the numbers, power can take a back seat to economy and convenience.

happy tinkering

 

ChristopherM2 posted a comment   

Nice to know that they can get that kind of size down to an affordable level because lets face it, no one's interested in buying an ultrabook for its power.




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User Reviews / Comments  HP Pavilion dm1 (4108AU)

  • JIGGLYPIP

    JIGGLYPIP

    Rating1

    "Don't purchase a dm1. Hinge system faulty. Had to attempt repair myself 5 wks into using the unit, as screws fell out and disappeared. I could not send unit back for repair as needed for univers..."

  • ClaireL

    ClaireL

    Rating1

    "nooo!! don't even think of getting this computer!! I have had this laptop less than a year and have so many problems with it! in the last 2 weeks (conveniently during my exams) this computer broke ..."

  • HarshenR

    HarshenR

    "I upgraded mine to 8gb RAM and 128gb SSD on Ubuntu 12.10 x64."

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