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Battery Life

The big news with Brazos, and by extension the HP dm1z, is the substantially improved battery life over Nile. While performance is nowhere near a strict win over that platform (Atom on the other hand...), power efficiency absolutely is. Take a look at this.

While portable gamers are probably still going to want to hang with Alienware's M11x, Brazos basically tells Intel's dual-core Atom to pound sand. The dm1z doesn't hit the battery life HP advertises (9.5 hours is pretty optimistic, probably only possible with wireless and Bluetooth disabled and the screen at the lowest brightness), but it still pulls more than seven hours of useful running time with a reasonable screen brightness and runs roughshod over Nile.

Heat and Noise

Unfortunately, where things get a little dicey (at least with the HP dm1z) is noise. First, the good news: heat output.

The internal components run at fairly reasonable temperatures, if a little on the high side, but fortunately those temperatures don't translate into an uncomfortable user experience. Quite the opposite in fact: the dm1z can happily be used on your lap without scalding you.

 

At idle the HP dm1z remains nice and frosty, and under sustained load the outside temperatures don't increase enough to make using the dm1z uncomfortable. But remember what I said about noise?

Part of the reason the dm1z is able to stay so comfortable is because the fan is almost constantly running. It's fairly low and not too obtrusive, but I have an AMD-based 15.6" Sony notebook on hand for review that runs quieter than the dm1z does at both idle and load. That may not be entirely fair because the 15.6" machine has more breathing room in the larger chassis, but it's nonetheless an issue. The fan in the dm1z doesn't spin up that much under heavy load, which would be more appreciated if HP was able to tune it to run just a little quieter at idle. This isn't make-or-break noise, but it's worth bringing up.

Update: Several of our readers pointed out that the HP dm1z has a utility called CoolSense as part of the HP Support Tools. It's supposed to allow some customization fan speeds to allow users to configure their laptop to prefer lower temperatures/higher noise, or lower noise/higher temperatures. As a matter of course we disable most of the manufacturer utilities to allow for optimal battery life results, so the above remarks reflect using the laptop without CoolSense enabled. Unfortunately, the dm1z has already been returned, so we are unable to run updated results. Anecdotally, noise is much better with CoolSense enabled.

Almost There For Mobile Gaming Another Mediocre Netbook Screen
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  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    "only thing that hurts about using [it]" is separate from "only major dents [i.e. in the build quality/design]". I took out the last only for you, though. :) Reply
  • mgl888 - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    x120e is out.
    Any thoughts?
    I'm considering cancelling my dm1z order and getting a thinkpad instead
    Reply
  • The Crying Man - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    I read somewhere that the only reason you'd get the x120e is for the matte screen, nipple mouse, and overall look since it runs warmer and has a slightly lower battery life compared to the dm1z. Reply
  • nitrousoxide - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    Whenever there is an article about Fusion APUs and praising how great it is, Intel fanboys begin to compare it to CULV, and Apple fanboys stand out to say netbook is out of the game and iPad saves the world. Reply
  • swaaye - Thursday, February 24, 2011 - link

    What do you compare it to? You make it sound like it shouldn't be compared to the competition. And, perhaps this hasn't occurred to you yet, but everyone has different preferences. Reply
  • Wieland - Friday, February 25, 2011 - link

    I find passive aggressive comments like nitrousoxide's just as annoying as the comparisons he mentions, but the issue is that the CULV laptops and iPads aren't the competition of this laptop at all. The cheapest CULV laptops are still quite a bit more expensive than the dm1z, and models with similar fit and finish are around twice the price. The iPad is completely different in form and function.

    It's apparent from nitrousoxide's comment that he understands that people have different preferences. The question is why does everyone feel the need to shout their personal preferences to the world.

    "Happiness is never grand."
    Reply
  • CutControl - Saturday, May 14, 2011 - link

    There's a new f.12 bios that tweaks fan to be much less of an issue! Reply
  • blueboy11 - Sunday, November 06, 2011 - link

    This netbook is the ideal area where it needs to be before Llano makes it debut. Seeing that I only use a computer nowadays for viewing podcast videos in Google Reader along with a little of Youtube, and connect the HDMI on my 32 inch tv, this would be ideal for me. I rarely use my DVD-RW drive, and ironically use more USB sticks for temporary storage, although I could use a 1TB external drive as well for music, videos, etc. I'm not saying this is the netbook king by any means, but a step ahead in the right direction for people who don't need all the flashy features that a laptop offers nowadays. Just my 2 cents on the subject at hand. Thanks for the review Anand, cause this netbook I'll be getting in the nearby future for sure. Reply

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