|Name||Ultraportable laptop: HP Pavilion dm1-3216AU|
|At a glance:||Unattractive but solid enough build,Lowest performance in the roundup,Great battery life|
|Summary:||A cheap way to get long battery life - otherwise, avoid.|
HP has been on a winning streak for the last couple of years, with the company’s laptops taking several of our coveted PC World Platinum awards. That made it all the more disappointing that the Pavilion dm1 is the poorest performer in our 2011 ultraportable laptops roundup.
Aesthetically, the dm1 is comprised of cheap-looking silvery plastic and an awkwardly designed, though functional, hinge. One upside is the well-designed and comfortable keyboard, which makes good use of every bit of available width.
The dm1 runs on an AMD Fusion E-350 APU, now overtaken by the E-450 which you’ll find in Sony’s VAIO Y (VPCYB36KG/B) and MSI’s U270. The E-350 just can’t compete, giving the lowest scores across all of our CPU and GPU tests, with two exceptions: in the all-around PCMark 7 it came second-worst by an significant margin to the Sony VAIO Y, and in Cinebench 11’s GPU test, it was third-worst to the Samsung NP350 and Lenovo X121e.
The low processing power does grant the advantage of long battery life, with the dm1 achieving the second-longest run time in our roundup of an impressive 4 hours, 53 minutes. That’s 16% higher than its closest competitor, and 26% better than the average of all machines tested.
Why buy the HP Pavilion dm1? On a strict budget, it’s going to be a decent web browser with good long battery life. If you can stretch to an extra $100 and don’t mind a 40-minute cut in battery life, go for the Sony VAIO Y instead for better looks and performance.