HP updates the dm1 ultraportable notebook: New models start at $400

HP is launching a new version of the Pavilion dm1 thin, light, and inexpensive laptop. The new model will be available September 21st for $399 and up and it will include new processor options and a few small but important design changes.

Earlier notebooks in this line shipped with the AMD E-350 processor, while HP will now be offering a range of options including AMD E-300, AMD E-450, and Intel Core i3 processors.

When I reviewed the HP Pavilion dm1z notebook earlier this year I was impressed with the value offered by this $449 laptop. The computer had decent performance and the battery provided about 5 hours of run time. My one big complaint was that the trackpad was frustrating to use since the left and right buttons were integrated into the touch area.

The new HP Pavilon dm1 does away with the single-button touchpad and replaces it with a trackpad that looks more like the ones you’ll find on the most recent HP Mini netbooks. There are two buttons below the touch area and they seem pretty responsive. The touchpad itself sits flush with the palm rest, but it has a textured surface so you can easily detect the edges without looking down at your hands.

You can also disable the touchpad by double-tapping on the upper-left corner.

The TouchPad isn’t the only area that’s been changed. HP has also replaced the single headset jack with separate jacks for a mic and headphones. And the 55Whr battery no longer sticks out of the back of the computer. Instead it sits flush with the back and bottom of the laptop case — but it’s still removable.

The bottom panel of the notebook is also still removable. You don’t need a screwdriver to open up the computer and replace the RAM, hard drive, or wireless card. Just remove the battery, slide the battery lock switch again and push back on the cover to slide it off and access the two RAM slots and other hardware components.

From a cosmetic standpoint, HP has replaced the shiny, glossy lid on the older model with a lid that seems to be a little more fingerprint-resistant. There’s a textured pattern imprinted in a resin on the lid which looks pretty nice. It also feels nice — HP calls the style “soft touch,” and when you rub your fingers across the lid it does feel more like soft rubber than plastic.

HP will offer the new dm1 with three different processor options. For $399.99 you can pick up a model with a 1.3 GHz AMD E-300 processor. There’s also a version with a 1.65 GHz AMD E-450 processor that will sell for $425 and up. HP is also adding a model with an Intel Core i3 ULV processor. That version will ship on October 30th for $599.99 and up.

While the base model is actually a little slower than the HP Pavilion dm1z I reviewed in April, the company says it will ship with 4GB of memory and offer up to 10 hours of battery life — as will the model with the faster E-450 processor.

HP will also offer a high priced solid state disk option as an alternative to a 7200RPM hard drive, and because SSDs use less power than HDDs the company estimates you should get up to 11.5 hours of battery life with an SSD.

The HP dm1 measures 11.5″ x 8.5″ x 1.3″ and weighs 3.5 pounds.

  • Anonymous

    Buy the AMD version if you want computing power.

    Buy the Intel version if you want computing power plus a portable heater.

    • Hobo

      So you’re saying they have the same processing power?

      • Anonymous

        Not even close, “Someone” ‘s summary is correct.  Though it should be noted that the Intel Core i-series are mid to high end processors.  While the AMD Fusion is meant for low end like the Intel ATOM series.  So not a fair comparison, though both have very different advantages and different disadvantages.

        Versus Intel ATOM, the AMD Zacate does pull ahead in CPU as well as have a very large graphical lead.  Only their even lower end Ontario chips start falling below ATOM CPU performance but still retain a large graphical lead.

        Though this does mean they still tend to use more power and run a little hotter than ATOM’s.  So ATOM’s have a run time advantage and the new Cedar Trail update may pull ahead for the 10″ and smaller range applications with their even lower TDP.  While AMD Zacate should still have the advantage in the 11.6″ and larger range.

        Intel GMA’s are just rather low performers throughout Intels product range, but the upcoming Ivy Bridge update should add DX11 support and boost performance to something equivalent to entry level graphic cards for more acceptable performance.  However, Intel will rely heavily on its CPU advantage for the foreseeable future.

        While the upcoming Cedar Trail GMA can potentially triple the ATOM line GPU performance but that’s still multiple times less powerful than the AMD GPU’s.  But they may be good enough as they finally add full HD video support and support for features like HDMI out that have been sorely lacking in Intel ATOM systems up till now.

    • Someone

      Umm, you have those slightly reversed.

      AMD has a weaker processor and MUCH better graphics.  They also have higher TDPs and hence heat.  Not slamming AMD, they’re wonderful products that are great for this market.

      Intel processors have more CPU grunt, and ok (at best) graphics, and lower TDPs because they’re just made on a more advanced process, with a different performance focus.

      I don’t love Intel’s priorities in the mobile space, I’d prefer better graphics even at a expense of CPU performance, hence my props for AMD.  However you have to give the devil his due, and Intel does make cooler, more powerful CPUs.  And even an undervolted Core i3 is a LOT more powerful as a processor than anything in the Brazos line up.

  • Blah

    What’s the screen resolution on this?  1366×768?

    • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

      Yup.

  • aftermath

    That’s a fantastic hands-on video overview.

    • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

      Thanks. It’d be even better if I could figure out how to turn off the auto-focus on this camera. One step at a time, I guess. I only recently switched from standard def to HD video. :)

  • Kristen

    The current dm1z is upgradable to 8gb RAM. Is that the case with the new dm1’s as well?

    • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

      I think so, but I’m not 100% certain. Note that there’s only one memory slot, so you’ll need a single 8GB SODIMM.

  • Kenny

    I’m looking for a machine with a similar form factor, but that can fit a cardbus card (I want to use this for wireless troubleshooting with a Cisco Spectrum expert cardbus card)… can you recommend anything reasonably modern?