Attractive looks, power full processor, battery life is excellent, big touch pad,
There are lots of other better multimedia centric laptops, app dock is full of crap advertisements.
The Whiz Kid Speaks:
HP Pavilion dm4 is powered by 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 M520 processor. The internal memory is 4 GB DDR2 RAM at 800 MHz. For storing data, there is 320 GB, 7200 rpm hard drive. Chipset type is Intel HM55. Integrated graphics is Intel Media Accelerator HD. The screen is 14 inches big (diagonally) and has resolution of 1,366×768 pixels. The notebook comes with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OS.
HP Pavilion dm4’s look is similar to the HP dm13, a 13 inch notebook. Both have metallic exteriors. There is a slight difference though, dm3 has a brushed metal look where as dm4 comes with angular lines on the wrist rest and the lid.
We have reviewed quite a lot of HP laptops in the past and we have liked the stylish look of its multimedia centric notebooks. This too looks stylish and the feature set is also good. The design might make you think that this is a high end laptop but it is really a down to earth computer. Our review model costs $979; if you are looking for alternatives, there is the Lenovo IdeaPad Y460 which comes at $1,050. It has the same specs but comes with an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 graphic card as well. HP system can be customized for a graphic card but it will take the price up by $200. On the bright side, dm4 has a 7,200 rpm hard drive where as Lenovo’s hard disk has 5,400 rpm speed. If you are looking for best value for money deal, check out the 15-inch Samsung R580 which comes at a price of $829 and has both Blu-ray drive and graphic card. However, if looks matter a lot to you, stick with the dm4 as it is the sexiest amongst the three.
HP Pavilion dm4’s keyboard is the same as that seen on other HP notebooks. The buttons have a topped layout and the keys are adequately spaced away from each other. The keyboard layout is similar to dm3 but a bigger chassis here gives more room for the buttons. We instantly noticed that the dm4 had standard sized arrow buttons. Above the keyboard, you won’t find any separate media control buttons; instead you will have to use the Fn keys.
HP Pavilion dm4’s touch pad looks quite similar to the ones seen on step-up Envy line up. It is bigger than standard size and is made up of matte black surface. This is much better than traditional Pavilion’s mirrored and sticky pads. For the mouse buttons, you have rocker bar, just like a MacBook. We welcome the bigger size of the touchpad but the multitouch gestures are not easy to use. We struggled even with the basic two finger scrolling gesture. You have to align your finger in a perfect specific position on the plane. We saw this multitouch gesture problem on HP Envy 13 laptops too. Just like most Dell and Asus notebooks, HP Pavilion dm4 comes with a software dock on the top of the display. It contains links for software and services but the user experience is ruined by tons of advertisement there.
HP Pavilion dm4’s 14.1 inch screen gives a resolution of 1,366×768 pixels which is standard for this size of laptops. The screen is bright and colors look vibrant but be wary of the glossy surface; it reflects lots of light. You can put in a graphic card in this laptop for another $100 or $200 but there is no Blu-ray drive option. On the other side, you can get mobile broadband on this computer for $125. Services are offered by AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint.
You can choose from a wide range of processor options for this computer. They range from Core i5 to Core i7. Our review model had 2.4GHz Intel Corei5 M520 processor, which will meet all the requirements of a typical user. We multitasked on this computer and still it didn’t show any drastic slowdown problems.
If you are a gamer, there is not much to cheer about on the HP Pavilion dm4. You’d be crazy to play games through the integrated graphics card. You can put in a graphic card if you want to play games but since our review model didn’t come with one, we didn’t test this unit for gaming.
HP Pavilion dm4 lived for four hours and 22 minutes in our battery drain tests. Our tests are quite challenging and you can get more from this battery through moderate use. But still this battery life is pretty good considering most of the recent laptops in our labs have had horrible battery times.
HP gives a one year warranty for this product and it covers parts and labor. A three year upgrade option costs another $529. It includes on site service along with additional options for upgrade for ‘accidental damage’. You can visit the HP website for online knowledge base and driver downloads. Finally, there is a 24-7 phone support.
HP Pavilion dm4 is an attractive looking and powerful machine but we find it hard to recommend a multimedia centric laptop which has no Blu-ray drive option.