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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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  • balancedthinking - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - link

    first of all, the mini 311 has only an N270

    the E-350 has more than twice the cpu power (cinebench etc.) and it was a hassle to work with an N270, an E-350 works almost like a normal laptop, office etc. quick and responsive. Multitasking, no problem.

    Thats a huge difference and it does so with higher battery life and a lower price.

    So what is so special about brazos? It beats hands down everything Intel/Nvidia have to offer right now in this mobile market space and that is a 1st for AMD.

    Better performance, geat battery life and great price. Ther is no point in buying an atom anymore.
    Reply
  • joe4324 - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - link

    This even looks just like my HP Mini 311, Infact I bet its the same Chassis at least. I love seeing this ultra-portable market advance but HP really turned me sour and I will steer clear of them forever at any price point.

    If this machine suffers from the same flaws my Mini 311 did please be warned!

    HP refused to service mine in anyway 72 days after warranty despite it basically falling apart. I paid $500 for my Mini 311. To keep yourself from falling into the same boat as me watch out for this:

    1) Fan if the fan makes *any* weird noise at all even once, And or it runs continuously have it serviced or at least file a request. My fan started to die in less than a year but I limped along just past my warranty date then it completely died. I can find no replacement for less than an $65...

    2) My speakers quit a couple weeks after the warranty, The audio jack works but not the speakers.

    3) Check the temp sensor in the Bios, Mine had a bad habit of turning back on, or continuing to run when I thought it was in standby and if I was not diligent it would have overheated inside of backpacks cases etc.

    I work in computer repair and I feel like I'm one of the best people to get stiffed with a dying computer as I have a lot of resources to fix it, but even then I feel like I am out almost $500 and HP showed zero signs of desire to help me out.

    Unless they make it right I'm going to continue advocating a different brand. I see HP Dv6000's come into my work everyday with similar problems. I think HP is the most repaired/Dead laptops we see. Sony/IBM being the best. This is just a observation.
    Reply
  • joe4324 - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - link

    I forgot to mention, in 15 months my batter life went from 4.5 hours to 20 minutes also... Reply
  • tammlam - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - link

    I bought one of these for my wife and everything was going well for the first 3 weeks until this past weekend. Turned it on and all we got was a bunch of distorted, horizontal lines. The screen periodically went dark as well. Once in a while, it clears up and the screen looks normal but this didn't last long. Now it is waiting to be picked up for repair and hopefully everything will work the way it should.

    Besides this glitch, it is a very nice notebook and I removed most of the preloaded programs. Got it down to 50 processes.
    Reply
  • AlohaMike - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - link

    Once again I am disappointed in HP. I keep WANTING to buy an HP and they keep forgetting to put a HOME and an END key on their netbooks. So I bought an Acer from Costco. Nothing fancy but I can type with it. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - link

    Fn+Left Arrow is Home, Fn+Right Arrow is End. They're there, they just aren't marked. Reply
  • silverblue - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - link

    ...a 2GHz Brazos. :) Unfortunately, I still think that whilst a faster CPU would help, the single-channel memory interface is choking it. Reply
  • swaaye - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - link

    That's a horribly slow subnote, not a netbook. Reply
  • swaaye - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - link

    That's a super slow subnotebook, not a netbook. You could've gotten something like this 2-3 years ago. Reply
  • mino - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - link

    You could have got something like this 4 yrs ago. For $2000+.

    Game. Set. Match.
    Reply

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