Heat and Noise
The low-wattage AMD E-450 APU barely raised the outside case temperature of the HP Pavilion dm1 when we measured the temperatures under stress. After 30 minutes of benchmark tests, the bottom of the notebook barely came close to the 90 degrees Fahrenheit range. Under normal conditions at or near idle, the same spots were even cooler that what is shown below. The system fan is generally very quiet and cannot be heard above typical background noise in a quiet office or classroom, but the fan does get loud enough to hear if you stress the laptop with some graphics-intense games.
Just like the earlier models in the dm1 series, the HP website claims that the new HP Pavilion dm1-4010us delivers “up to 9.5 hours of battery life” from the included 6-cell battery. It’s also worth mentioning that this version of the dm1 uses a slightly higher capacity 55Wh battery compared to the 51Wh battery in the dm1 from earlier this year.
In our tests with the screen brightness set to 70%, wireless active while refreshing a website on regular 60-second intervals, and Windows 7 set to the Balanced profile, the HP Pavilion dm1-4010us continued running for 6 hours and 47 minutes. I have little doubt that you can extend the battery life past the 7-hour mark if you lower the screen brightness and aren’t actively loading pages every 60 seconds. By comparison, much more expensive Ultrabooks like the ASUS Zenbook UX31E and Toshiba Portege Z835 actually deliver less battery life than this little laptop.
Battery life test results (higher scores mean better battery life):
If you’re in the market for an 11-inch laptop that can fit on an airline tray table with room to spare, offers good battery life and delivers reasonably impressive performance, then the HP Pavilion dm1-4010us is the notebook for you.
The dual-core E-450 processor and Radeon graphics deliver excellent multimedia performance and modest gaming capabilities in a small package. The lack of USB 3.0 is the only strong negative and although we didn’t see much improvement from Beats Audio in the new dm1z compared to the Altec Lansing speakers in the old dm1z, I’m sure some fans of Dr. Dre will be happy to have it.
There are other notebooks on the market that offer better performance, better battery life, or are even thinner and lighter than the dm1, but you’ll have trouble finding those notebooks on sale for less than the price of the dm1. We found this model of the dm1 selling for as little at $465 and that’s a fair price for a solid ultraportable. Bottom line: HP continues to offer a very attractive netbook in the form of the Pavilion dm1 (dm1z).
- Compact netbook alternative with good performance
- Nice keyboard and touchpad
- Reasonable gaming capabilities
- Good battery life
- Modest update to previous dm1
- No USB 3.0
- Beats Audio might not make much difference