HP Pavilion dm4 review
Nice design, excellent battery life, and a surprising dose of power, all for a reasonable price
The dm4 is HP's latest mid-range addition to the Pavilion range. With a price of £553 exc VAT, it aims to blend power, portability and style without hurting your wallet, and our first impressions on taking it out of its box were positive.
There's no denying the visual appeal of the dm4, pretty much a direct physical scaling of the rest of HP's dm range. The design is thoughtful and has just enough flair to make you sit up and take notice: subtle etchings run across the chassis, and the inclusion of a dash of colour is tastefully done. The barely lilac finish differentiates the dm4 from the crowd without overdoing things.
At 14in, it's nice and petite too, the ideal compromise size for a traveller who wants things as usable as possible. Yet, despite the delicacy of the design, we're pleased to report that the chassis is made of tougher stuff. The base is solid as a rock, and although there's a little screen flex, the metal of the lid feels durable.
This robustness doesn't come without its drawbacks, however, since it costs the dm4 some of the portability you might expect from a laptop of this size. It weighs just shy of 2kg, which isn't unforgivably heavy, but it's a compromise worth bearing in mind.
The Pavilion dm4's keyboard is of a good quality. It looks neat and the keys are smooth and crisp to the touch. The Scrabble-tile design also means it won't harbour rogue toast crumbs or dust.
Regrettably, the touchpad isn't so hot. It's generally responsive, but the cursor is prone to lurching around when resting a finger on either of the buttons. Despite the whole touchpad being clickable, your clicks only register in the marked button zones, which can be frustrating.
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Dimensions||341 x 228 x 25mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core i5-430M|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,366|
|Resolution screen vertical||768|
|Resolution||1366 x 768|
|Graphics chipset||Intel HD Graphics|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Optical disc technology||DVD writer|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Integrated 3G adapter||no|
|PC Card slots||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||3|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|9-pin serial ports||0|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Memory Stick reader||yes|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||yes|
|Pointing device type||Multitouch touchpad|
|Speaker location||Front edge|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||7hr 45min|
|Overall application benchmark score||1.57|
|Office application benchmark score||1.54|
|2D graphics application benchmark score||1.54|
|Encoding application benchmark score||1.38|
|Multitasking application benchmark score||1.82|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||16fps|
|3D performance setting||Low|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit|
|OS family||Windows 7|