AMD Fusion/ Brazos/ Zephyr etc. my thoughts on HP Pavilion DM1z

Discussion in 'Technology' started by knowname, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. Got my DM1z, Fusion powered 11.6" 'mini notebook' in the mail a few days ago, finally, after ordering it on early January :(. Well anyway better late than never! I don't know, I've never had an Atom based netbook, this is my first motebook of any kind! But the excitement has overcome me :) here are my impressions.

    First off I've been spending a LONG time the last few days lurking around so I blame them for any misinformation! VERY intelligent enthusiasts with links to all the Fusion based reviews you should need! If you have one of these puppies I'd hunt up the proper thread and camp there for a while, you'll find tips, tweaks, anything you'll ever need!

    The HP Pavilion DM1z is (technically) an ultra-portable notebook (HP doesn't like to call it a netbook) based around AMD's new 1st generation Fusion chipset, I believe the specific name is Zephyr. You can call this a netbook though since it's priced to compete with the Intel Atom. *ahem* actually the DM1z is priced to compete with the Atom, the other ones I'm not so sure... So this notebook comes in under 500 bucks and weighs a measly 3.5 pounds, the battery life is pretty much (as this is my first, I have nothing to compare it to :/) phenominal too at 6 hours plus! Stock, straight out of the box and so far, I've only gotten about 4-5 hours, but... still that's up there! The performance in this baby rounds out the package and is PHENOMINAL! In typical daily tasks I hadn't seen ANYTHING this thing can't do, and it NEVER gets hot! It may not tackle Crysis yet, but it can handle Steam (the gaming engine) games with aplomb and probably anything OTHER than Crysis, even SC2, easily! This is based on the BASE system, no big ram upgrade, no ssd's either. In fact if you buy it, try to buy it stock, it's VERY easy to upgrade. One more feature I'd like to mention before I get to my pros and cons, there is a sim slot hidden behind the battery. I'd not tried it yet, but I hear it accepts AT&T and Sprint cards for G3 connections. it has a 50mm mini pcie slot for upgrades... unfortunately that looks to be too small for the 70mm msata SSD Intel sells... but.

    So there ARE notebooks with more battery life, there ARE cheaper solutions. A fusion notebook up against even a Turion II x2 notebook still falls short! Intel Arrandale CULV and SURELY Sandy Bridge whoops ALL over it! It's not the best for EVERYONE, but the complete package will NO be let down. Is it the king for the day kind of thing we're used to with AMD/ Intel? Most likely not, it's toughest competition is ITSELF or defunct Ion based machines. Nothing will provide a more well rounded product until AMD releases it's next generation of products in a year or so. Zephyr isn't overclockable either so I doubt they'll upgrade it in the coming months. Kind of a shame really... as the cpu portion (strange in itself, there should be no cpu/ gpu portion in this thing) is OBVIOUSLY clogging up the pathways for the gpu... but you nerds know all that (and if you don't check some reviews via my link) so I'll go on.

    So that's basicaly it for Zephyr! I want to touch on the Fusion based competition and WHY you must get the DM1z now! I'd been angry at myself because I didn't get on the netbook train when it first started. Now big companies have discovered that ppl would be perfectly happy paying 600 dollars for that ebook that was 400 bucks before. Why give it away than? PROFIT! Now I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that lol. But obviously the same thing is happening here (aah the beauty of Democracy in effect). Anything Fusion based is 100 or 200 dollars more... and there's really no difference! Believe me, you want the fiirst! pick up a DM1z, buy your upgrades at Newegg... DAMN THE MAN!

    OKOK now I get to my actual complaints. First off you hear complaints about the fan. It's a bit loud... and it just barely drones out the mechanical HD :( their both 'a bit' loud. Most likely you have earphones? even non-ambient noise-filtered earphones would drown this out. It's really not that bad. Still, it's annoying.

    2nd there is no mic socket. There IS a built in mic (I think) and I'm sure it's good, but I'd just like to use the headset I HAVE ya know?? is it so hard to put a mic socket or what?? The Altec Lansing speakers are EXCELANT (so I hear) but still anything with a sub would be better, and the sound itself is rather weak. Luckily I have that 3D usb soundcard that came with my headset :) otherwise I'd be pissed.

    BTW there's only three usb ports! And most external optical drives (you don't get one) use up two ports. plus one cuz NO trackpad can be used in fps games! so there!! You NEED a port peplicator... BADLY. I'm sure this is the case for any mini notebook though... I hear the HP optical drive is one usb only though... all drives may only need one usb connected to read, I'm not sure if I have that right.

    The screen is very glossy (reflective) and the angles are crap! Don't let the fanboys tell you otherwise, this isn't the Radiance screens HP puts on the Envy series. It's a VERY bright screen, certainly doable (I'd compare it to my smartphone...), but not something you'd like to live with... why? what with the 'doable' and 'live with' connotations now?? o.0 I <3 this notebook though :p lol It's perfectly readable insides (straight on) and if you crank the brightness (hotkey controls) outside/ in glarey rooms.

    Basically, out of the box only the basic things worked, say 720p and lower. I tried a 1080p h264 mp3 (??? bitrate) and it didn't work till I tweaked it. With the proper drivers/ driver updates (Adobe and AMD have already pretty much perfected everything 1080p) I'm sure you can get everything working without a hickup... except maybe 3D...
  2. Zephyr? You mean Zacate?

    AMD E-350 Zacate = 40nm, Dual 1.6GHz CPU, 500MHz GPU, 18W
    AMD C-50 Ontario = 40nm, Dual 1.0GHz CPU, 280MHz GPU, 9W
    Intel Atom D525 = 45nm, Dual 1.83GHz CPU, 400MHz GPU, 13W
    Intel Atom N550 = 45nm, Dual 1.5GHz CPU, 200MHz GPU, 8.5W

    This is how I define a netbook:

    5-9W processor (e.g. Atom N450, Atom N550, AMD C-50)
    10" screen
    1GB RAM
    Windows 7 Starter

    Notebooks have higher-watt processors, larger screens, more RAM, and Win Premium.

    That's a Fusion netbook.
  3. Sounds pretty good to me. Like always, the battery life could be better though. I know larger screens are often the main power draw for low power systems like this one, but it's not really a large screen...

    I don't know why someone would want a netbook anymore to be honest, these mini-notebooks will only get better and cheaper. Netbooks are dead in the water.

    What you've said about the screen is disappointing. I know this is usually the case with cheap systems, but I just don't understand the glossy screen thing personally. My TV has a semi-gloss finish and personally I don't see why more manufacturers don't go with this. It reflects, but not sharp reflections, so they aren't distracting and the colours are right on par with the high end glossy LCD's and IMO better than plasmas.
  4. Just whack on a giant matte screen protector and Job's a good 'un
  5. oh yes, Zacate, my bad. This being my first notebook I'm punching myself for waiting so long! Not even proper 'netbooks' have much better than this kind of battery life. But at half a grand it's a very interesting centerpiece to say the least :).