One of the most popular mini laptops from HP is the Pavilion dm1-4010us which is an affordable solution for those who are on the look for a compact laptop that is capable of providing a decent overall performance. This version is an update of the model that came out in the beginning of last year so you get an 11-inch system that adopts a traditional rounded clamshell design. The most noticeable difference as far as the design is concerned would have to be the black plastics and silver accents, instead of the 2011 model which came with silver plastics and black accents.
As for the build quality, this is on par with other models from HP’s Pavilion lineup so essentially the quality is above average when it comes down to a budget laptop. We should note that HP has used plastics in the chassis which seem to be quite durable, as well as thick enough so that there aren’t any significant signs of flex while applying pressure.
It is important to mention that even though the plastic screen lid manages to provide a suitable protection for the display, the lid’s middle will bend inward if you apply a firm pressure. This lid is wearing a simple matte black paint job which makes the system look professional. The silver-painted hinges open up the screen, hinges which have enough tension for holding the dm1’s screen in place. Unlike the rest of the laptop, the hinges don’t seem to be as sturdy.
As far as the bottom of the HP Pavilion dm1-4010us is concerned, this too has a clean look and you won’t notice any screws in sight. If you get this model and you want to replace the HDD, upgrade the RAM or the wireless card, you’ll have to remove the battery of the mini laptop and after that push the battery release switch to the left while pulling forward on the notebook’s bottom. The whole bottom of the dm1 is going to come off and you will obtain access to the hard drive, fan & heatsink, wireless card and two RAM slots.
Regarding the port selection, this has remained just about the same as the older dm1 that came out in early 2011. In other words, expect to find HDMI and VGA ports, three USB 2.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks, a SDHC card slot and a Gigabit LAN.
The HP Pavilion dm1-4010us has an 11.6-inch LED glossy display that has a native resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels. This 720p resolution is suitable for editing photos, browsing the Internet and other similar activities. Due to the glossy coating, the contrast and color reproduction are quite good, but we can’t say the same things about the viewing angles, especially the vertical ones.
It is important to mention that this mini laptop comes with Beats Audio-branded stereo speakers sitting at the front which provide just about the same audio quality as the Altec Lansing speakers that can be found in the older dm1.
The laptop adopts a chiclet-style keyboard which has almost a full size and has the same configuration as the predecessor, except for the all-black color. The typing experience offered by this keyboard is very good as there is a suitable amount of space between the keys. These keys provide a quiet and cushioned click, plus you won’t notice any flex while pressing the buttons.
As for the touchpad, this would have to be a Synaptics unit which is sitting flush with the laptop’s palm rests. The level of sensitivity offered by this model is adequate and there’s only a minimal lag. What we do like about the touchpad of this model is that unlike previous versions it comes with separate left and right mouse buttons.
Under the hood of the HP Pavilion dm1-4010us is an AMD E-450 dual core processor clocked at 1.65 GHz which comes with an AMD Radeon HD 6320 Graphics with dual DX-11 SIMDs rated at 508 MHz. It has been configured with 4GB of DDR3 memory and a fast 320GB Hitachi Travelstar Z7K320 hard drive spinning at 7,200 rpm. Other features include 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN.
The laptop measures 11.45 x 8.45 x 0.9 – 1.25 inches (L x W x H) and weighs 3.53 pounds, featuring a 6-cell Li-ion battery that has a capacity of 55 Wh. According to HP, this battery is able to last for up to 9.5 hours thanks to the larger 55 Wh battery as opposed to the previous model that has a 51 Wh battery.
The dual core E-450 processor is working at 1.65 GHz while the Radeon HD 6320 works at 508 MHz. Compared to the older dm1 models, the speed increase is only minor, but even so using this recent model feels faster when compared to previous models. We should mention that this speedy feeling is mostly attributed to the faster hard drive which now rotates at 7,200 rpm, as opposed to the previous model that had a 5,400 rpm HDD.
Thanks to the fact that the HP Pavilion dm1-4010us is powered by a low-wattage APU from AMD, the outside case temperature will never get too high. Even after half an hour of benchmark tests, the notebook’s bottom won’t reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit, while in normal conditions the temperatures are even lower. What’s also great is that the system fan remains very quiet most of the times, with the exception of the moments when you’re playing games which are graphics-intense.
All things considered, if you are in the market for an 11-inch laptop that provides a decent battery life and has a compact size, this can be the one to get since it comes at an affordable price tag and offers both decent CPU and GPU performances, along with a fast hard drive and enough RAM for most applications. Let’s not forget about the speakers which benefit from the Beats Audio technology which those who like bass will appreciate. The only bad thing about this model would have to be the absence of a USB 3.0 port which in recent months has become a standard among laptops in all segments.