Heat and Noise
We were impressed - even when we heavily exerted the dm4, it barely showed it in its temperature readings. The hottest point was on the upper portion of the bottom, where it reached 99 degrees Fahrenheit. However, overall the readings averaged 85.5 degrees on the front and 89.4 degrees on the bottom. The highest reading is certainly not a cause for alarm. Not only that, but the notebook proved to be very lap-friendly. The dm4 has HP's "CoolSense" technology as well, which automatically adjusts the cooling to help prevent overheating. The dm4 has several heat escapes on the bottom and an exhaust vent on the left side. You can hardly hear the fans turning inside, even when exerted. It stayed extremely quiet no matter what we did with it.
The HP Pavilion dm4 Beats Edition lasted 6 hours and 46 minutes of continuous web surfing during our standard battery life test. For our battery life test, we set Windows 7 on the "Balanced" power profile, turn the screen brightness down to 70 percent, turn Wi-Fi on and refresh a text-heavy web page every 60 seconds (we disabled the keyboard backlight for this test). While 6.75 hours isn't exceptional, it's still a very decent result for a 6-cell battery. It's also the norm for the Intel dual-core CPU/Intel HD graphics combo, which is the hardware you'll see in a lot of the mid-range notebooks with this form factor. You'd most likely be able to surpass the seven hour mark if you turned the screen brightness down even more. HP also offers an "oversized" 9-cell high-capacity Li-ion battery for even better battery life.
Battery life test results (higher scores mean better battery life):
If you're in the market for a 14-inch multimedia notebook, we urge you to consider the HP Pavilion dm4 Beats Edition. Marketed by HP as the ultimate audio noteook, it really was able to deliver exceptional audio quality - even using typical tiny earbuds. The dm4 isn't just about the audio, though ... our review unit was also able to deliver good performance at this price point. It can definitely compete against all of the other mid-range 14-inch multimedia notebooks in that regard without breaking your wallet.
The dm4 Beats Edition has a great design, too. The red and black Beats logo is displayed across the cover, as well as on the screen bezel and next to the speakers. The keyboard is also covered in that deep red color - which will make the keyboard hard to see in low light situations if you don't configure the dm4 with keyboard backlighting.
Some things you'll want to be aware of (besides the low visibility of the standard keyboard) is that it has a low-contrast display and that its surface shows finger prints and other grime easily. You'll want to keep a microfiber cloth for cleaning handy.
Other great features of the dm4 include its ability to stay cool and comfortable even when pushed to its limits, its decent battery life (almost seven hours), and its comfortable keyboard and equally as nice touchpad.
Software & Support
* Ratings averaged to produce final score
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