The Beats edition of the Pavilion dm4 definitely wants you to know it's Beats branded. Coming in matte black, it has a big red Beats logo on the lid and red keyboard labels, of which the "b" key is once again the Beats logo. When pressed with the Fn key, it turns the Beats audio processing on and off, and considering the size of the laptop, you'll want to leave it on. The sound isn't bad for the price you'll be paying, with the front firing speakers angled slightly downwards, the best sound to be had when there's a flat surface underneath.
- USB 3.0: 2
- USB 2.0: 1
- Optical: DVD±RW
- Video: VGA, HDMI
- Ethernet: Gigabit
- Wireless: 2.4GHz 802.11n
The screen is clearly where the company has attempted to save costs — a standard 1366x768 TN model with low colour vibrancy, made by AUO. It'll do the job, to be sure — but we've been spoiled by the price point and quality of IPS tablets.
Odd for a consumer laptop is a fingerprint scanner, integrating with HP's SimplePass password keeping software. Everything else is pretty much standard — HP's usually good keyboard is in play, backlit in a somewhat malevolent red. The touchpad is Synaptics powered, and pleasantly eschews a clickpad in favour of two physical buttons.
HP's port labels are not only on the bottom of the laptop, making them useless, but are coloured in an exceptionally hard to read red. Mostly, you can get by without them, but since HP colours its USB 3.0 ports black, like USB 2.0, it'll take a little longer than usual to discern which is which.
The two USB 3.0 ports in question are on the left, whereas a single USB 2.0 is on the right. VGA and HDMI are included for video, and gigabit Ethernet, a headset jack, a DVD±RW drive, 2.4GHz 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0 complete the connectivity options.
Your hard earned cash will get you a Core i5 3210M @ 2.5GHz, 4GB RAM, a 640GB mechanical hard drive and AMD Radeon HD 7570M, making the dm4 quite a capable little machine.
Handbrake encoding (in seconds)
HP dm4 3114TX (Core i5 3210M, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7570M)
Asus K55V (Intel Core i5 3210M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, Nvidia GeForce 610M)
Acer Aspire V3-571G (Core i5 2450M, 8GB RAM, 750GB HDD, GeForce GT 630M)
Toshiba Satellite C850/02D (Core i5 2450M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7610M)
Sony Vaio E SVE14A15FGB (Core i5 2450M, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7670M)
HP Envy 6 1010TU (Core i5 2467M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 4GB SSD cache)
Dell Inspiron 13z 5323 (Core i3 2367M, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD)
Dell Inspiron 14z 5423 (Core i3 2367M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 8GB SSD cache)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
When matched up against other laptops in the sub-AU$1000 category, the dm4's hardware of choice generally keeps it near the top of the pack.
|Batman: Arkham Asylum|
|1366x768, 0x AA, Detail level: Very low, PhysX off.|
|1366x768, DirectX 9, 0x AA, Quality: Low, PhysX: Off.|
|The Witcher 2|
|1366x768, low spec.|
|1366x768, low detail|
Despite the high number in its name, the Radeon HD 7570M doesn't have very good gaming chops. For some reason, Skyrim, usually a more forgiving game than Metro 2033, reached unplayable levels. While we usually have to refer to the average frame rate score in Metro (as the minimum score always drops to unplayable levels, regardless of the power of your graphics card), in the light of the Skyrim result, we're tempted to call Metro a bust here, as well.
Battery life (time)
- Heavy battery test
- Light battery test
- 6h 11m
- HP dm4 3114TX (Core i5 3210M, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7570M)
- 5h 10m
- HP Envy 6 1010TU (Core i5 2467M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 4GB SSD cache)
- 5h 0m
- Sony Vaio E SVE14A15FGB (Core i5 2450M, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7670M)
- 4h 9m
- Acer Aspire V3-571G (Core i5 2450M, 8GB RAM, 750GB HDD, GeForce GT 630M)
- 4h 7m
- Dell Inspiron 13z 5323 (Core i3 2367M, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD)
- 4h 3m
- Asus K55V (Intel Core i5 3210M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, Nvidia GeForce 610M)
- 3h 49m
- Dell Inspiron 14z 5423 (Core i3 2367M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 8GB SSD cache)
- 3h 32m
- Toshiba Satellite C850/02D (Core i5 2450M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7610M)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
HP continues to prove, as a general rule, that it has the best battery life on Windows laptops.
HP's Pavilion dm4 Beats Edition manages to bring good performance and battery life into the sub-AU$1000 range. The main sacrifice is the vibrancy of the screen, but at this price, it's a small nitpick and nothing more.