$399 HP Pavilion dm1 isn’t an Ultrabook

Updated on 09 September 2011 by


I have a feeling that I’ll be writing quite a few of these types of articles. The HP Dm1 is a superb laptop but it isn’t an Ultrabook.

For a starting price of $399 you get a lot for your money. Great graphics performance, good battery life and 1080p video hardware. The problem is that the CPU is relatively weak; actually as powerful as a dual-core netbook so when it comess to pushing the Dm1 like a desktop, it disappoints. Unpacking large zip files, batch processing images can be a slow process. Editing and rendering 720p videos even slower. Value for money is what it is.

In the latest incarnation of the Dm1, HP have chosen to offer a Core i3 version. Now that’s interesting. The price is, like the Lenovo x121e, a reasonable $599 which makes entry level Ultrabooks look expensive.

The problem comes when you look at responsiveness. In order to get anywhere near the Ultrabook level of boot, resume and application startup speed you need an SSD. The 128GB SSD option on the Dm1 adds $160 bringing the price up to $759.

The price is still good but what if you want the lighter weight of an Ultrabook or the Anti-theft features, Turbo overclocking, long standby and the Smart Connect features. Some of these might features may not appeal to everyone but if you want those options, along with Core i5 and Core i7 performance, you run out of options with standard laptops.

Read about all the Ultrabook features in our Ultrabook Features Guide

The low-cost ultraportables may overlap Ultrabooks but there’s no cheap solution if what you really need is actually an Ultrabook.

This article stimulated by Laptopmag:

2 Comments For This Post

  1. Toronisher says:

    it’s a damn fine overall piece of hardware Chippy, there’s a reason even the most stubborn reviewers have a soft spot for it.

    as far as the CPU goes, yes it’s technically only slightly more powerful than a dual core Atom. but it’s not a 1:1 comparison, because the AMD GPU is so much more powerful much of the work can be offloaded onto it leaving the already-more-powerful CPU even more power to work. that’s why when using Fusion based machines with even simple things you don’t get any of that notorious W7 UI lag, hiccups, “not responding” windows.

  2. chippy says:

    Indeed. I think its a fantastic bit of kit. Same as the Lenovo S205. Great value. But it’s not an Ultrabook and that’s the point here. CPU just doesn’t compare and opencl really doesn’t cover many scenarios. Try rendering a 720p video. Even with opencl and hardware decoding acceleration its 4x slower than an Ultrabook.

1 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. The Argument For Ultrabooks « Ultrabook News says:

    […] about a perfect balance of power, weight, style and price for the mainstream laptop user. While a HP DM1 might look great value, once you add in the Ultrabook features, you’re up to the cost of a low-end Ultrabook and if […]

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