HP Pavilion dm1z Fusion Ultralight Notebook Review

Article Index

Summary & Conclusion

Performance Summary: In our  testing, the Pavilion dm1z performed well. Its performance level was a notch above Atom and Neo CPUs from months past, but couldn't quite match the admittedly more expensive ThinkPad X120e in spots, which comes equipped with more memory as well. The performance that AMD has been able to squeeze out of the Fusion platform is notable, and the E-350 Zacate APU is a real workhorse of a mobile chip. In our Futuremark and Gaming benchmarks, the dm1z wasn't an exceptionally strong performer, but the APU was still powerful enough to play back 720p and 1080p video without stuttering. Everyday usage was above-average for a machine of this price point, though intense multi-tasking did bring about a bit of lag.

This is the second major E-350 laptop that we've had the ability to review in the early months of 2011. The ThinkPad X120e was somewhat better specified, but also cost a good amount more. The dm1z offers a great balance between power and price. For a "netbook" sized machine, it offers ultraportable-level performance. This truly is the next generation of the netbook. For the bulk of the past year, we bemoaned the fact that even the newest Atom CPUs felt like such minor improvements over the original Atom lineup. But AMD's Fusion truly takes great strides in performance improvements all around. We can finally recommend a netbook without also having to mention how much performance you'll have to give up.

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The design of the Pavilion dm1z is truly great. The keyboard is outstanding, and the trackpad is definitely top-class. The screen, while glossy, is easy to look at, and the 11.6" screen gives ample real estate while still maintaining a very portable form factor. This is easily one of the most well-built sub-$500 ultralight machines that we've seen, We do wish performance in general tasks was a touch snappier, but we're honestly asking for a lot given the reasonable $449.99 starting price.

If we had to nitpick, there's the issue of having no internal optical drive. That doesn't bother us too much, but it may bother some. Also, the 3D gaming performance falls a bit flat in spots. Despite hitting a 3.8 Windows 7 Experience score (same as the ThinkPad X120e), the graphical performance just wasn't quite as good. That's likely due to the dm1z having only 3GB of RAM compared to Lenovo's 4GB. But then again, you probably aren't looking at an ultralight notebook or netbook to game on. Overall, however, there's a lot to like about the HP dm1z. If you have held off for a "serious" netbook, you've found it. The small price premium over those bargain-basement $300 netbooks is worth it in our estimation, and we think HP has a home run with this one.

  • Outstanding build quality
  • AMD Fusion platform
  • Great performance
  • Best-in-class trackpad
  • Amazing keyboard

  • Fans Always Spinning
  • No USB 3.0
  • Glossy display
  • Lackluster gaming performance


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