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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  • 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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