At this point, there's no shame in saying it: the floodgates have opened up for AMD's Fusion
. What began as a trickle -- as AMD
finally introduced a shipping version of the long-awaited Fusion platform -- has turned into a steady stream, and we're definitely excited to see APUs, as AMD calls the product, finally making an impact. AMD had played up the idea of an Accelerated Processing Unit for years, and now, it's clearly a reality. Lenovo's ThinkPad X120e, which we reviewed a few months ago
, instantly became one of our favorite ultraportables, and now HP has what appears to be a rival machine, of sorts.
The Pavilion dm1z is an 11.6" machine, that is a touch larger than the myriad 10" netbooks already on the market, and honestly, we're struggling with what to classify this machine as. Is is a netbook? Is it an ultraportable? In reality, it's probably a hybrid of the two. You're getting the portability and longevity of a netbook, but the power and price of a nicer ultraportable. Is this a class of machine that has a future? It's tough to tell at this point, but you could argue this class of machine wouldn't even exist without Fusion.
AMD's Fusion has put Intel's Atom in a real pinch. We've maintained that Atom was losing steam (or just too slow to innovate) over the past year or so, and now things are more glaring. AMD's Zacate E-350 Fusion processor has proved that a relatively inexpensive, power-conserving chip can indeed make netbooks powerful enough to handle 1080p multi-media, and some of the newer Atoms still struggle matching the performance levels of the new APU. Let's take a closer look at what powers the dm1z.
HP's 11.6" Pavilion dm1z Ultraportable
Specifications and Features (as tested)
- AMD E-350 Zacate @ 1.6GHz, dual-core Fusion
- 3GB of DDR3 RAM
- 11.6" LCD (1366x768); LED backlight, glossy
- AMD Radeon HD 6310M graphics
- 320GB (7200RPM) Hitachi Travelstar 7K500 Hard Drive
- 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
- No Optical Drive
- 1.3 megapixel webcam
- USB 2.0 x 3
- Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
- RJ-45 (Ethernet 10/100/1000)
- Headphone / Mic Input Jacks
- SD / MMC / SDHC Multimedia Card Reader
- VGA and HDMI Output
- Stereo Speakers
- 3.52 Pounds (with 6-cell battery installed)
- Removable 6-Cell 55WHr Li-ion Battery
- 11.42" x 8.43" x 0.80-1.20" (Dimensions)
- Windows 7 Home Professional (64-bit)
- Price (as tested): $479.99
- Price (starting): $449.99
- 1-Year Warrant
The dm1z starts at $449.99, and our test unit was configured at $479.99. We've seen plenty of ~$500 netbooks before, and there's no question that this particular machine outclasses some of the prior spec configurations we've seen from a pure value proposition standpoint. A 64-bit machine with 3GB of RAM, 1080p playback, a 320GB hard drive and an 11.6" panel is pretty impressive, but even more so when you consider that it starts at just $450. As always, however, real-world performance needs to live up to what you're led to expect from the specifications on paper. Join us in the pages ahead for our full review.