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HP Pavilion dm4-1050ea review

A powerful and well-built ultraportable laptop with an unfortunate usability flaw

Our Verdict

A capable machine in a great size, but that trackpad really lets it down for us.

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Slim and light
  • Strong battery life
  • Great Core i5 performance
  • Sharp and colourful screen
  • Decent features

Against

  • Terrible touchpad
  • Slightly plasticky keyboard
  • Lack of graphical power
  • Hard drive could fill up fast
  • At the upper end of ultraportable weight

HP has just refreshed its entire laptop range, with the Pavilion series receiving several updates and a new model in the Pavilion dm4-1050ea. At £649 including VAT, this is a mid-range laptop that packs a satisfying amount of power and some great features into a dependably solid ultraportable frame, although it's not quite perfect.

An attractive brushed aluminium chassis mimics that of the HP Pavilion dm3, and it gives the Pavilion dm4 a premium appearance.

A subtle lined pattern decorates the palm rests and the lid, while the bottom corner of the Pavilion dm4's lid features HP's logo, which glows when the laptop is powered on – a pointless feature, but a nice touch regardless.

Thankfully the Pavilion dm4 feels just as solid as it looks. This is a laptop you'd happily throw in a bag and carry around all day, without worrying about it getting beat up. We only noticed some slight flex around the DVD drive, certainly nothing too concerning.

HP pavilion dm4 1050ea

The brushed aluminium surface is also scratch resistant and can withstand a few knocks, which is perfect for regular commuters.

Even better is the weight. The Pavilion dm4 just squeezes into the ultraportable category, as it weighs a shade under 2kg.

HP pavilion dm4 1050ea

We're seeing an increase in the number of ultraportable laptops lately as components shrink in size, and you no longer have to spend thousands on a powerful machine that weighs a little less than a pregnant hippo.

While the Pavilion dm4 clearly isn't as light as a netbook, and there are other laptops at this price point that weigh considerably less – the Asus UL20A, for instance, which costs £499 and comes in at 1.6kg – this machine can definitely be carried around in a rucksack without wrecking your shoulders.

The Pavilion dm4 is also refreshingly compact, with a 14-inch screen and a thickness of just 32mm when closed. We found it would fit with minimal hassle in any reasonably sized satchel or bag.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity320 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD Graphics
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Finger Print ReaderYes
Solid State Drive CapacityNo
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyPavilion dm4-1000
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor Modeli5-430M
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameHP
Processor Speed2.26 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size35.6 cm (14")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory3 GB
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, EPEAT, ENERGY STAR, REACH
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM55 Express
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Optical Media SupportedDVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 1.24 GB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyBrightView
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Height32.2 mm
Width340.8 mm
Depth228 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Seriesdm4-1000
ManufacturerHewlett-Packard
Product Modeldm4-1050ea
Product NamePavilion dm4-1050ea Entertainment Notebook
Pointing Device TypeClickPad
Product LinePavilion
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberWQ063EA#ABU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.hp.com/uk
Marketing Information

With its lightweight but durable metal chassis plus thin and light design, the HP Pavilion dm4 is perfect for road warriors who travel in style. Enjoy powerful performance, energy-saving features, wireless connectivity and a 35.56 cm (14") HD screen.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Pavilion dm4-1050ea Entertainment Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Limited Warranty1 Year