HP Pavilion dm4 review

Price when reviewed

The dm4 is HP’s latest mid-range addition to the Pavilion range. With a price of £553 exc VAT, it aims to blend power, portability and style without hurting your wallet, and our first impressions on taking it out of its box were positive.

There’s no denying the visual appeal of the dm4, pretty much a direct physical scaling of the rest of HP’s dm range. The design is thoughtful and has just enough flair to make you sit up and take notice: subtle etchings run across the chassis, and the inclusion of a dash of colour is tastefully done. The barely lilac finish differentiates the dm4 from the crowd without overdoing things.

At 14in, it’s nice and petite too, the ideal compromise size for a traveller who wants things as usable as possible. Yet, despite the delicacy of the design, we’re pleased to report that the chassis is made of tougher stuff. The base is solid as a rock, and although there’s a little screen flex, the metal of the lid feels durable.

HP Pavilion dm4

This robustness doesn’t come without its drawbacks, however, since it costs the dm4 some of the portability you might expect from a laptop of this size. It weighs just shy of 2kg, which isn’t unforgivably heavy, but it’s a compromise worth bearing in mind.

The Pavilion dm4’s keyboard is of a good quality. It looks neat and the keys are smooth and crisp to the touch. The Scrabble-tile design also means it won’t harbour rogue toast crumbs or dust.

Regrettably, the touchpad isn’t so hot. It’s generally responsive, but the cursor is prone to lurching around when resting a finger on either of the buttons. Despite the whole touchpad being clickable, your clicks only register in the marked button zones, which can be frustrating.


Warranty1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions341 x 228 x 25mm (WDH)
Travelling weight2.5kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core i5-430M
RAM capacity3.00GB
Memory typeDDR3

Screen and video

Screen size14.0in
Resolution screen horizontal1,366
Resolution screen vertical768
Resolution1366 x 768
Graphics chipsetIntel HD Graphics
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs1
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0


Optical disc technologyDVD writer
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0


Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapterno
Bluetooth supportyes

Other Features

ExpressCard34 slots0
ExpressCard54 slots0
PC Card slots0
USB ports (downstream)3
FireWire ports0
eSATA ports1
PS/2 mouse portno
9-pin serial ports0
Parallel ports0
SD card readeryes
Memory Stick readeryes
MMC (multimedia card) readeryes
xD-card readeryes
Pointing device typeMultitouch touchpad
Speaker locationFront edge
Integrated webcam?yes
Fingerprint readeryes

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use7hr 45min
Overall application benchmark score1.57
Office application benchmark score1.54
2D graphics application benchmark score1.54
Encoding application benchmark score1.38
Multitasking application benchmark score1.82
3D performance (crysis) low settings16fps
3D performance settingLow

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
OS familyWindows 7

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