Verizon has been working with notebook manufacturers to provide notebooks with integrated with data. Now that Verizon has launched their 4G LTE network, notebooks with integrated LTE data are arriving in stores. We’ve got the first Verizon LTE notebook, the HP Pavilion dm1-3010nr, and we’ve compiled our full review below!
Before we talk about the actual hardware, let’s go over the specs. Powering the HP Pavilion is a 1.6GHz AMD E-350 dual-core processor with VISION technology, with 2GB of RAM, which can be upgraded to a generous 8GB. For the display, there’s a fantastic 11.6-inch “HD BrightView” LED display, sporting a 1366 x 768 resolution. For storing your files, the notebook ships with a 320GB, 7200rpm hard drive.
In terms of connectivity, the Pavilion dm1 supports Verizon’s demonically-fast 4G LTE network, and it can fall back on their 3G network if needed. It also connects to Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth devices, if you roll that way. Powering all of this is a 6-cell Lithium-Ion battery, and HP rates the Pavilion dm1 for up to 9.5 hours of usage.
Ports and Slots
HP outfitted the Pavilion dm1 with a decent amount of I/O. On the left side of the notebook, there’s one USB 2.0 port, an HDMI port, indicator lights for power and activity, a large vent for heat dissipation, and a port for the 65W AC adapter.
On the opposite side, there’s an SD/MMC slot, a headphone jack, two more USB 2.0 ports, a VGA port, and finally, hidden behind a clever, but impossible to close plastic door, an Ethernet port for those who prefer fast and solid connectivity.
The HP Pavilion dm1 is definitely a good-looking notebook. We wouldn’t say it’s head-turning, drool-worthy gorgeous, but just good-looking. Since it’s built by HP (obviously), it looks like every other HP notebook out there, just in a smaller form factor.
The lid of the notebook is embossed with a subtle, elegant pattern, along with the HP logo. Unfortunately, it’s a fingerprint magnet, and it also happens to be incredibly difficult to wipe off all the fingerprints.
Flipping open the lid reveals the 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768 resolution, LED display. The display is quite fantastic, and we don’t have many complaints after using the display for the last few weeks. Viewing angles on the display were decent, but not as great, say, an IPS display.
HP went with a chiclet-style keyboard here, and it’s pretty fantastic. It’s also a pretty standard layout, without any funky or weird keys anywhere. The keyboard itself is quite large, travel and and feedback is fantastic, and we were typing away at full speed right away. The trackpad, on the other hand, is a complete disaster. It’s a relatively small trackpad made out of plastic, with two buttons and a trackpad on/off button. The trackpad would randomly select things, whether it be text, or items. It was incredibly annoying, especially when working with documents.
Performance on the Pavilion was…a mixed bag. With standard usage (a few Chrome tabs, TweetDeck, and few IM chats), performance wasn’t a problem. When you start throwing more applciations into the mix, you’ll definitely feel the need to add more RAM.
On the retail packaging, HP/Verizon tout the notebook as an “Entertainment PC”. YouTube worked well for 360p/480p, and even 720p, but once you flipped the switch on 1080p, the computer struggled to keep up with the video. Interestingly, when we streamed an episode of “24” in SD quality from Netfix, it was a complete disaster. The video was completely unwatchable. It was choppy (not a connection problem, we were using Verizon’s LTE network), even without any other applications or tasks running.
One thing we noticed immediately about the Pavilion dm1 was how loud the fan is. Even when performing basic tasks, like browsing to Google, the fan was noticeable running in the back, and once we fired up something that uses Flash, the fana spun loudly in full force.
The Pavilion ships with Windows 7 Home Premium, with quite a bit of bloatware – some (pretty cool) HP software, and a fewc shortcuts. Here’s the full list: Blio (eReader), eBay, HP Download Store, HP Music, HP Navigator, HP Fences, HP Support Assistant, My Verizon, Norton Internet Security, and Play HP Games. We prefer our computers with a clean install of the OS, but that’s not difficult to fix.
So the selling feature here is definitely the 4G LTE integration. Speeds haven’t slowed down since we first reviewed it – 11Mbps down, 7Mbps up. We were able to stream 720p videos without needing to wait for buffering. Fast, fast, fast – just the way we like it.
HP is claiming 9.5 hours of battery life with the included 6-cell battery. We weren’t able to get 9.5 hours, but battery life was pretty darn close to HP’s claim. We were able to use the notebook, connected to LTE, doing everyday tasks (couple Chrome tabs, TweetDeck, IM conversations, a few YouTube videos) for an entire day without needing to plug in. We could definitely see ourselves taking the notebook out for an entire workday without needing to bring the power adapter along for the ride, which is fantastic.
Final thoughts on the HP Pavilion dm1? Well, if you’re always on the go, and you’re looking with a notebook with blistering fast data built in, the Pavilion dm1 is definitely the way to go. Just remember to bring a mouse with you, because that trackpad will drive you absolutely insane.