HP Pavilion dm1-3010AU AMD Fusion netbook
HP Pavilion dm1-3010AU review: A good looking AMD Fusion netbook with excellent battery life
- Nice design
- Excellent battery life
- Comfortable keyboard
- Noisy fan
- Awkward touchpad buttons
- Our test model had a busted Windows key
HP's Pavilion dm1 has good graphics performance and battery life for a netbook, thanks to AMD's Fusion APU. It's a well designed unit with good looks and we found it very comfortable to use. However, it does have a loud fan and one of the keys on our test model was loose straight out of the box.
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
HP's Pavilion dm1 (dm1-3010AU) is an 11.6in, 1.5kg netbook that runs AMD's Fusion platform. It's not a typical netbook though, and not quite a full-blown laptop either — it offers better CPU and graphics performance than an Intel Atom-based netbook, and it's slightly bigger and has better connectivity, but it's not as powerful as a cheap 15.6in laptop. You can use the Pavilion dm1 for basic office work, social networking, as well as for watching videos on your TV.
Specifications and performance
The Pavilion dm1 runs the AMD Fusion E-350 APU (accelerated processing unit), which has two cores, a frequency of 1.6GHz and built-in AMD Radeon HD 6310M graphics. It's an efficient chip that supplies decent performance and very good battery life. The rest of the configuration is comprised of 2GB of DDR3 SDRAM and a 320GB, 5400rpm hard drive. It's significantly more powerful than a netbook based on Intel's best Atom CPU, such as Acer's Aspire One Happy, for example, and this was shown in our tests.
It recorded 2min 43sec in our Blender 3D rendering test and 3min 21sec in our iTunes MP3 encoding tests. These results are slower than what the MSI U270 Fusion-based netbook achieved with the same APU; compared to the Dell M102z, which also uses the same Fusion APU, the HP was faster in Blender, but slower in iTunes. It wasn't as fast as the Sony YB Series in the Blender 3D test. However, all of these results are comparable and what they show is that the dm1-3010AU (and indeed all AMD Fusion E-350-based netbooks) isn't designed to run taxing tasks; it's fine for office work, social networking and other Web tasks, and even for watching videos on a big-screen.
In fact, the Fusion APU excels when it comes to video, thanks to its integrated AMD Radeon HD 6310M graphics adapter. It recorded a score of 2268 in 3DMark06, which is approximately what we were expecting. While it doesn't have enough power to run games (unless they are Flash-based or not dependant on fast graphics processing), it does have enough power to process high-definition video. If you plug the Pavilion into a TV using HDMI, then you can turn it into a makeshift media centre. You might have to fiddle around with the screen settings when you plug it in to a TV, and this will depend on the capabilities of your TV.
The Pavilion dm1 ships with a 6-cell, 55 Watt-hour battery that gives it a long life away from an outlet. In our rundown test, in which we disable power management, enable Wi-Fi, maximise screen brightness and loop an Xvid-encoded video, the HP lasted 4hr 31min. This is on par with the Dell Inspiron M102z, which recorded 4hr 32min in the same test, and much better than the MSI U270 Sony VAIO YB Series.
Design and build quality
Physically, the Pavilion dm1 is thin at the front (20mm) and thick at the back (35mm) and it looks stylish. Its battery sits on the spine and the screen's hinges reside on the ends of the spine. These allow the screen to open up and travel behind the battery, which leaves a lot of empty space between the keyboard and screen. The screen can actually be tilted all the way back. It has a native resolution of 1366x768 and its glossy. It's susceptible to reflections and its vertical viewing angles are narrow, but these problems can be found on most netbooks on the Australian market. It does have good contrast and brightness for viewing photos and browsing Web pages.
The Pavilion dm1 feels reasonably well built for a sub-$700 laptop — you don't get a lot of movement or creaking in its chassis or on the bezel around the screen, and its keyboard feels solid and comfortable to type on. In fact, despite being a small laptop, it's a joy to type on. Its keys are isolated and they have a soft, yet responsive feel to them. The Shift keys are large and there aren't any keys in awkward positions. The only thing you have to get used to is the reversed role of the functions keys: pressing F5, for example, will launch a new Web browser tab or window rather than refresh the Web browser screen and the other F keys will perform their assigned function (such as volume or brightness) without you having to press the Fn key. This can be reversed in the BIOS.
There was one drawback with the keyboard on our test model: the Windows key was busted, even though it was a brand new unit. Pressing the Windows key made it pop off and we couldn't get it to sit right after that. It may be an isolated problem with our unit, but in any case, it shouldn't have happened.
We have a love and hate relationship with the touchpad. It has a soft texture, and it's large (50x84mm) and responsive. However, the left- and right-click buttons reside underneath the pad itself and they can be hard to press. Furthermore, if you ever need to hold down a button and drag your finger across the touchpad at the same time, you might need to use two hands otherwise the click may not work properly. There is a little button at the top-left corner of the touchpad that can be double-tapped in order to disable the touchpad. This is useful if you find that the touchpad gets in the way when you type — it only got in the way once while typing this review and a cluster of words were overwritten before we realised what happened (Ed - no big loss).
Around the edges, the Pavilion dm1 has a standard allotment of ports for a Fusion-based netbook: HDMI, USB 2.0 (three of them), VGA, headphone and microphone ports. You also get a Gigabit Ethernet port, but this is hidden behind a little cover. This cover can be a little tough to open unless you have long and strong fingernails, but once it's open you realise why HP went to the trouble covering the Ethernet port — it just looks odd and it sits on an angle compared to the other ports. Rounding out the Pavilion's features list are 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a webcam. It doesn't have USB 3.0, which is something that is present on other Fusion-based laptops we've seen, such as the MSI U270 and the Dell Inspiron M102z.
One thing we absolutely love is the design of the Pavilion's status lights. They are small and located out of the way. Furthermore, they aren't super-bright. This means that the lights on the unit won't be bothersome when you use the laptop at night. The placement of the hard drive light on the side of the chassis rather than at the top is quite ingenious.
When using the Pavilion dm1 on your lap for a long period of time, you won't feel much heat at all — unless you block the vent on the left side through which the powerful fan extracts warm air. This fan is audible at all times, and it gets very loud when the processor is running at its full capacity. Many people commented on how loud it was during our tests. Using the laptop on a desk, you can also feel the fan vibrating through the chassis.
Like most recent HP notebooks, the first time you boot it up you have to go through HP's 'the computer is personal again' set-up routine. This asks you to register the computer (for technical support purposes), enable updates and maintenance and activate Norton Security.
Some extra software that comes with the HP is Fences Pro, which allows you to organise the shortcuts on your desktop into groups (which are little boxes on the screen) so that they are easier to find. It's a non-essential piece of software that we'd recommend uninstalling.
You also get a pre-Windows operating environment called QuickWeb, which only takes 9sec to boot. It allows you to use a Web browser, instant messaging, Skype, email, calendar, music player and photo viewer software. This interface is based on Splashtop, but its music and photo viewer is a little reminiscent of HP's Touchsmart interface.
It's hard not to like the HP Pavilion dm1 (dm1-3010AU). It's small, light, comfortable to use and it has a nice design. Its performance is swift for everyday tasks and its battery life is excellent. There are a few negatives — the touchpad buttons, for example, the fan noise and the loose key that was present on our test model. We would also like to see it offered with 4GB of RAM for the price. But for the most part it's an excellent choice if you want a good looking, highly mobile laptop for basic work that costs under $700.
Become a fan of PC World Australia on Facebook
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Join the PC World newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Surface Pro 4
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 4 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 5 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
Latest News Articles
- Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro finally adds 4K video support for local files
- Samsung unveils Bixby voice assistant for upcoming Galaxy S8
- Sony's virtual reality suit is why people go to SXSW
- Samsung's UHD Monitor covers 99.5 per cent of Adobe colour spectrum
- HP settles cases with inkjet cartridge vendors
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTDatabase DeveloperQLD
- FTOracle eBusiness Functional Consultant. (Procurement)NSW
- CCApplication PackagerNSW
- FTProduct Manager / Business Analyst Clinical Solutions (Lorenzo)QLD
- CCSenior BANSW
- FTSAP Logistics ConsultantNSW
- FTSenior C# Analyst Programmer, Product & MarketsNSW
- FTInfrastructure ArchitectVIC
- TPSystems Analyst - WHS ImplementationNSW
- CCProject Manager Retail Supply Chain OptimisationQLD
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW
- FTTechnical Solutions ArchitectWA
- TPBI & Report Developer (SQL Developer)QLD
- CCDigital Business Analyst AgileQLD
- FTSolution Designer/ Technical LeadSA
- CCChange AnalystQLD
- FTEDRMS Officers roles - APS3/APS4/AP6ACT
- CCIT SharePoint SpecialistNSW
- CCProject AdministratorNSW
- FTSenior Business Analysis - FinanceQLD
- TPAO6 IT Procurement OfficerQLD
- FTMonitoring Tools Support l NimSoft , SMARTS, ehealth, TivoliNSW
- TP.NET DeveloperWA
- FTSenior / Lead AEM DeveloperNSW