HP's making it very clear this week that spin-off or no spin-off, it's sticking to its PC roots until further notice. On the heels of some brand-new all-in-ones comes the refreshed Pavilion dm1 — the original, you may remember, made quite an impression as the first AMD Fusion laptop. Internally, the dm1 is getting some fresh AMD and Intel processors, but the bigger changes come to its exterior and with some new "Premier Experience" software that HP's promising will "improve on the Microsoft Windows experience." (Spoiler: it's not webOS.) Hit the break for the full details on the new 11.6-inch not-quite-an-ultrabook.
The biggest changes to the dm1 lie in its lid and touchpad. The lid, which was once covered in a glossy plastic, is now blanketed in a soft-touch coating instead. It uses HP's Imprint technology, meaning that very soft material hasn't just been painted on; rather, an actual rubber film with a diamond pattern has been applied to the cover. Under that lid is the same chiclet keyboard, but that consistently-frustrating single button touchpad has been swapped for a pad with two dedicated mouse buttons. Yes, this is reason to celebrate!
The 11.6-inch screen is still glossy and is still only available with a 1366 x 768 resolution, but you will notice the addition of the Beats Audio logo on the bottom-left bezel. Yes, HP's added the oh-so-popular music technology, though you only reap the benefits when you plug in a set of speakers to the audio-out jack. You've probably already realized that the dm1 is no ultrabook, but it's definitely not to be classified as a mainstream laptop either; it weighs 3.52 pounds and measures about an inch thick.
However, the bigger improvements are supposedly on the software side. HP's Premier Experience promises faster boot-up and shutdown times -- even with a standard hard drive it's promising a 25 percent improvement on boot up. (HP didn't have exact numbers, but stated that the very first boot of the system should take under four minutes -- down from seven.) Additionally, it's streamlined the CoolSense software, which makes it easy to turn on and off the fan settings. Lastly, it's made changes to the core of Windows, including reorganizing the start menu applications into new folder groupings and a Launch Box area addition.
On the inside, the dm1 sticks to similar architecture. The AMD version will be available on September 21st for $400 and will have AMD's newest 1.3GHz Fusion E-300 and 1.65GHz E-450 dual-core processor options with integrated AMD Radeon HD graphics. The Intel version will be available on October 30th and start at $600 — HP isn't specifying what processor will be in that entry-level unit, but there will be a Core i3 ULV CPU configuration. According to the press release, both units promise seven hours of battery life, though we're skeptical on that given the original's four hours of juice -- and while the new AMD Fusion CPUs are faster, they're actually slightly less power efficient than the original. Regardless, the dm1 still seems to pack a perfect amount of power for a sub-$500 ultraportable, but you'll have to peruse the gallery to decide if you'll snatch up one of these or save for a fancy ultrabook.