Review: Test: Pavilion dm1-2010sf

Our score: 3/5
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November 5, 2010 10:57 AM
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Published: November 4, 2010 11:00 PM
By Alexandre Botella
Translated by: Jack Sims
The HP Pavilion dm1-2010sf is the size of a netbook, the weight of a netbook and claims the battery life of a netbook. According to the manufacturer however, it's an ultra portable laptop because of the power of the components inside. This model should therefore outperform models such as those in the Asus Eee PC series.

Design and build: a comfortable keyboard, but the touchpad coating needs a 2nd look.

The laptop hood and interior are covered with a champagne finish. The plastic around the screen is glossy black however and particularly sensitive to finger marks. You'll need to keep your mitts off, if you want it to retain its elegance!


HP Pavilion dv6-3086sf keyboard


The keyboard offers supple, comfortable and relatively quiet keying. Users who touch type won't be perturbed: all the keys are in the right places. Apart from the fact that they're backlit, the only other remark to be made is that there's a little play on the keys, which contrasts with the rest of the device's excellent finish.

The touchpad takes up more than a quarter of the available surface under the keyboard. Although there's no problem with precision, the glide is another story. Your finger sticks HP Pavilion dm1-2010sf webcamslightly when you run it over the surface. And this feels rather strange on the end of your finger.

It looks as if HP has used the same webcam as on the dm1-1010ef. It gives mediocre results. It lacks fluidity and clarity. Contrast is poor and the colours lack brightness.

In terms of connectivity, there are 3 USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI, a VGA, a 5-in-1 memory card reader, an RJ45 (Gigabit Ethernet), a headphones and a mic socket. Bluetooth is also included, as is Wi-Fi n. As they couldn't fit a DVD player in the dm1, HP has supplied an external DVD rewriter that you can plug into a USB socket.
 
Dvd dm1

There's a panel under the PC for access to the RAM, the hard drives and the Wi-Fi card. No direct access to the fan however, which means it'll be impractical to clean.

Dm1 2010sf temp Fluke ti25 distrame%281%29
     HP Pavilion dm1-2010sf temperature readings when you push the components hard.
         Readings taken using a Fluke Ti25 (Distrame) camera

Without really being quiet, the fan is not too erratic. The heat is well managed. During demanding processing (photo retouching, video editing), the fan accelerates and the computer becomes more audible but keeps the temperature down. In fact, the temperature hardly varies, even when the components are pushed to the limit.

Dm1 pad HP Pavilion dv6-3086sf
Touchpad 2 USB 2.0 ports, headphones/mic socket, VGA out , RJ45, card reader
 
HP Pavilion dv6-3086sf HP Pavilion dv6-3086sf touchpad
Access to RAM, hard drive and wi-fi card Charger, USB port and HDMI out
 


Processing: office docs at best

The AMD Athlon II Neo K125 processor outdoes models such as the Intel N550 (evaluated in the Eee PC 1015PEM test) when it comes to office documents. It's a single core however and is quickly overtaken by the Intel CPU when we come to applications that sollicit more than one operation at the same time (3D modelling, video encoding and so on). Best not to have too many applications running at the same time.

HD 1080p playback is quite laborious, with or without assitance from the graphics chipset. For best quality then, limit yourself to 720p videos.

3D gaming: a few old titles no more

As with gaming on netbooks, gaming on the dm1-2010sf is only for enthusiasts. Recent games are completely out of reach.

Audio: not bad!

The speakers are well placed and mean you can listen without headphones. Don't increase volume too much however, otherwise you'll get plenty of crackling from the chassis. The headphones out is clean and we recommend it, as long as you're not using overly sensitive headphones.

Easy to carry around but low battery life

At 3h02 video playback (screen at 100 cd/m², headphones plugged in and Wi-Fi deactivated), the dm1-s2010sf and its 6-cell battery is certainly not a record breaker. In fact battery life is less than half as long as the record holder, the MSI Wind U115. You should however be able to watch a couple of films back to back before it switches itself off.

Its reduced dimensions and weight (1.5 kg) mean you can easily carry it around in a rucksack or bag, or even, a big handbag!
3/5 HP Pavilion dm1-2010sf DigitalVersus 2010-11-05 00:00:00

Pros

  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Panel for access to RAM, hard drive and the Wifi card
  • HD-Ready screen (1366 x 768)

Cons

  • Glossy poor quality screen
  • Single core CPU
  • Poor webcam

Conclusion

In terms of performance, HP would have been better advised to leave the dm1-2010sf in the netbook category rather than with the ultra-portables. It will handle internet browsing and office doc work ok, but for anything more you'll need a more robust configuration.

OUR SCORE 3/5
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