A Closer Look At The HP Pavilion Dm4 Beats Edition
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Today we have a look at the Beats Edition of the HP Pavilion dm4 that as you probably have guessed is a multimedia-oriented laptop that adopts an attractive slim form factor. Without any doubt the first thing you’ll notice is the Beats Audio theme of the system since the display cover wears the familiar red logo which has been designed in order to look as an earbud. In addition, the keys of the keyboard have been covered in red, while the rest of the notebook wears a deep black finish.
We consider this design to be attractive but those matte surfaces catch a lot of fingerprints and dust as well which is why we recommend keeping a microfiber cloth next to you. The HP Pavilion dm4 Beats Edition measures 13.30 x 8.85 x 0.96 – 1.27 inches and tips the scales at 4.33 pounds. In some of the places of the laptop, the build quality is not that great while in others is good. We appreciate that the surfaces are soft to touch and feature a scratch-resistant sealant so you shouldn’t worry about scratches.
There are many configurations available for this model so we’ll give you just one example of how you can configure yours. It can get a dual core, second generation Intel Core i5-2450M processor that runs at 2.50 GHz (up to 3.10 GHz with Intel’s Turbo Boost). It comes with the integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics solution, while in the memory area it packs 6GB of DDR3 memory running at 1,333 MHz. For storage you get a 500GB SATA HDD spinning at 5,400 rpm. Other goodies include Bluetooth 3.0, a 720p webcam, 802.11n Wi-Fi (Intel Centrino Wireless), an 8x DVD SuperMulti optical drive and a six-cell lithium-ion battery. HP has fitted the laptop with a 14.0-inch HD+ antiglare display that has a native resolution of 1,600 x 900 pixels.
The front of the HP Pavilion dm4 Beats Edition holds the 6-in-1 memory card reader and the speakers, while at the back you won’t find anything except for the hinges. On the left spine of the laptop sit the lock slot, activity lights, exhaust vents, VGA port, Ethernet port, 2x USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI port. On the right side is the A/C power, USB 2.0 port, headphone out/mic in and the aforementioned 8x DVD SuperMulti optical drive.
The screen that we mentioned earlier is also available with a lower resolution – 1,366 x 768 pixels, which is $100 cheaper. With the higher resolution version the clarity is quite nice while the LED backlighting is clear and bright. The bad news is that the contrast ratio is quite disappointing which means that the colors are a bit washed out. Another downside would have to be that the viewing angles are quite limited.
The main marketing point of this laptop would have to be that it can provide a higher audio quality from the headphones in comparison to other laptops, according to the manufacturer. We have to agree with HP on this one as the quality is considerably better than what you will find on the vast majority of laptops.
Let’s move on with the review and talk about the keyboard which adopts a chiclet-style, full-size layout, while the keys are square and flat, with enough space between one another. By pressing the F5 key you can turn on or off the backlight of the keys, but remember that if you keep it on all of the time it will drain the battery. We like that the keys are sensitive and soft so the typing experience is very comfortable. The keys have a decent throw and you won’t be bothered by the noise.
Sitting below this comfy keyboard is a Synaptics touchpad that is as standard at it gets. It wears a matte finish on its surface so the usability is quite good. The size of this touchpad is decent, while below it you’ll find two dedicated left and right mouse buttons.
If you are interested in heat and noise you should know that this HP Pavilion dm4 Beats Edition remains cool and quiet most of the times. The hottest area would have to be on the upper portion where the temperature can reach up to almost 100 degrees Fahrenheit, while the average temperature is of about 85 degrees for the front and approximately 89 degrees on the bottom. It is worth mentioning that the laptop benefits from the company’s CoolSense technology which can automatically adjust the cooling in order to prevent any overheating that might occur. The good news is that the fans are very silent and you probably won’t hear them regardless of what you are doing with the laptop.
If you want more graphics power from this model, HP is offering a dedicated AMD video card in the form of a Radeon HD 7470M that has 1GB of GDDR5 memory which will be a lot better when it comes down to gaming and it also offers support for DirectX 11, unlike the aforementioned integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics chip. The dual core Intel CPU does a good job while multi-tasking so the overall performance of the laptop is more than decent.
As far as the battery is concerned, the one that the HP Pavilion dm4 Beats Edition has can survive for almost 7 hours if you test it by doing web surfing in Windows 7 with the Balanced profile activated. This might not be an impressive result but for a 6-cell battery is more than decent and it is a normal result for a laptop that packs a dual core Sandy Bridge-based Intel Core processor and the integrated HD 3000 graphics solution. For more money you can get the laptop with a bigger 9-cell Li-ion high-capacity battery which will last considerably longer.
All things considered, the strongest points of this laptop would have to be the great audio quality, the attractive design and also a solid level of performance offered given the price tag. On the flip side, the display is on the average side, while the keyboard is hard to see in the dark if the backlight is not turned on, mostly because the letters have a red finish.