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Introducing the HP dm1z

HP's been on board AMD's ultraportable bandwagon since the chipmaker first shipped the underwhelming Congo platform, and HP continued to produce reasonably compelling not-quite-netbooks with the Athlon/Turion II Neo-equipped Nile platform. But now that AMD has made a concerted effort to dethrone Intel's Atom with Brazos, HP has been able to produce a true netbook competitor. We have the shiny new dm1z equipped with the AMD E-350 in our hands: is this the netbook we've been waiting for?

HP has refreshed their dm1 line with AMD's Fusion APUs, but what else does their shiny new netbook bring to the table?

HP dm1z Specifications
Processor AMD E-350
(2x1.6GHz, 40nm, 1MB L2, 18W)
Chipset AMD Hudson FCH
Memory 1x2GB DDR3-1333, 1x1GB DDR3-1333 (Max 2x4GB)
Graphics AMD Radeon HD 6310 IGP
(80 Stream Processors, 500MHz core clock)
Display 11.6" LED Glossy 16:9 1366x768
(AU Optronics B116XW03 Panel)
Hard Drive(s) 320GB 7200 RPM
(Western Digital Scorpio Black)
Optical Drive -
Networking Realtek PCIe Gigabit Ethernet
Realtek RT5390 802.11b/g/n
Ralink Motorola BC8 Bluetooth 3.0+HS
Audio IDT 92HD81B1X HD Audio
Stereo speakers
Headphone+mic jack
Battery 6-Cell, 10.8V, 55Wh battery
Front Side Altec Lansing speakers
Left Side AC adapter
Kensington lock
Exhaust vent
Indicator lights
HDMI
USB 2.0
Right Side SD/MMC reader
Headphone+mic jack
2x USB 2.0
D-SUB
Ethernet jack
Back Side -
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Dimensions 11.42" x 8.43" x 0.8"-1.2" (WxDxH)
Weight 3.52 lbs
Extras 1.3MP webcam
Flash reader (MMC, SD/Mini SD, MS/Duo/Pro/Pro Duo)
Altec Lansing speakers
Warranty 1-year limited warranty
Pricing Starting at $449
Priced as configured: $449 (at time of writing)

The most interesting thing about the HP dm1z, right off the bat, is that it's the first netbook we've reviewed to feature AMD's Fusion APU, and HP equips the dm1z standard with the most powerful one in the lineup. The AMD E-350 comes with dual 1.6GHz Bobcat cores, 1MB of L2 cache (no L3), along with a Radeon HD 6310 GPU integrated into the processor die. The HD 6310 is more or less an on-die Radeon HD 5450, with 80 DirectX 11-class stream processors in AMD's VLIW5 configuration and clocked at 500MHz.

The E-350 features a single 64-bit DDR3 memory channel capable of supporting up to two DIMMs for a total of 8GB of RAM. The whole shebang has a TDP rated at 18 watts, which may seem like a lot until you remember the IGP is built into the processor instead of the Northbridge, and instead of having a Northbridge+Southbridge combo as is traditional for AMD, the E-350 requires only the Hudson FCH, a tiny chip that includes just enough SATA, USB, and PCI Express connectivity to get by. Besides, TDP isn't the same thing as actual power requirements—18W looks to be close to the maximum the APU can draw.

Given the small form factor of the dm1z and its intended market, HP is actually fairly generous in its stock configuration. At the time of writing, HP offers a "free upgrade" from the base 2GB of DDR3 and 250GB 7200RPM hard drive to 3GB of DDR3 and a 320GB 7200RPM hard drive; this is the configuration you're most likely to see in retail. The Western Digital Scorpio Black is pretty fast for a mechanical drive, too, so it's nice to see HP step up and offer this 7200RPM drive as standard. Connectivity is handled by Realtek Gigabit and 802.11b/g/n wireless networking along with a Bluetooth 3.0-capable Ralink chipset. About the only complaint we really have on this front is the lack of a separate microphone jack, but that's relatively small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.

The Swankiest Netbook You Ever Did See
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  • nitrousoxide - Monday, February 21, 2011 - link

    So first swap the HDD for a value SSD, then do a clean install :) Reply
  • Penti - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - link

    Impossible to do without a retail copy of Windows. Or Volume licensed image. You'll have to go trough the trouble cleaning it up yourself if you want to run a legit copy of Windows. Reply
  • shtldr - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    I have an ACER laptop with Win 7 Home Premium x64 OEM and I was able to swap out the drive for an SSD, then re-install the system (from a retail DVD I also own) using the key from the laptop chassis.
    The only pain was - I had to dial some MS phone number and dial in some numbers using the phone's keypad, then hear and write some numbers back to the activation window.
    After doing this, the clean install of Windows reported it was genuine.
    Reply
  • nitrousoxide - Monday, February 21, 2011 - link

    I've seen aother review from engadget with 'only' 6 hours heavy web browsing, wi-fi enabled. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, February 21, 2011 - link

    Yes. We test with WiFi, not off of wired Ethernet. We repeatedly load four tabs in IE8 (AnandTech's old home page, MSN.com, Yahoo.com, and my Facebook page). All are saved versions stored on the AT web server, so they always appear the same, complete with Flash advertisements. IE8 is set to clear Temp files on exit, so the pages actually reload over WiFi each cycle of the test. Outside of video playback in YouTube, this is about as stressful as Internet surfing gets in my experience. Reply
  • Stuka87 - Monday, February 21, 2011 - link

    A net book that I can actually tell people "Yes you can get this model, and it wont be horrible!"

    This is actually a machine I would consider for myself if I didn't already have a MacBook and a Precision M4500. I just can't justify a third mobile machine when the MacBook handles the mobile side well, and the Precision handles the heavy work.
    Reply
  • screamlordbyron - Monday, February 21, 2011 - link

    I've had one of these puppies for three weeks now. I've got to say that calling the dm1z a netbook does it s disservice. It certainly is not mobile gaming rig, but for business productivity, it is a fantastic subnote.

    I use it for word processing, excel, web research, light graphics editing, remote desktop, etc. No stutters, good battery life, good (albeit not excellent) screen, decent track pad, excellent keyboard.

    For anyone but a gamer or graphic artist, who wants a small, light, affordable subnote, this thing is the bomb! :)
    Reply
  • Computer Bottleneck - Monday, February 21, 2011 - link

    Are Tablets here to stay or are they merely a stepping stone ARM is using to get into Desktop/Laptop?

    The Mac Book Air video on the Apple website points to the better ergonomics of a keyboard and Apple's glass trackpad when using a LCD screen oriented in the vertical position.
    Reply
  • Computer Bottleneck - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - link

    My mistake here. I meant this comment to be in response to ganeshts's opening comment. Reply
  • erkerb - Monday, February 21, 2011 - link

    Well, i jumped on the Netbook wagon about 3 years ago, and i am ready for an upgrade. AMD might be late, but remember being late is better then not showing to the fight at all.. Also there is still a demanding market out-there that i do not think AMD would be hurt that much. It'd be nice to see a USB 3.0, but at this price level and platform, it seems like a luxury addition. I would rather see more USB ports though.. I hope Anandtech will also give a shot to Lenovo Thinkpad X120e soon. Reply

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