3D Mark: 2,602
Battery eater: 2 hours 59 mins 26 seconds
As with many laptops around this price range, the HP Pavilion dm1-4027ea's performance really depends on what you're using it for. Day-to-day computing on this laptop, such as writing on a word processor or browsing the web, is accomplished with little fuss, although there is a faint lag when starting up programs. We found that a bit of patience is required when selecting options or launching applications, with pauses of a few seconds sometimes.
Even with 4GB of RAM, multitasking can slow down quite a bit, especially if you're browsing the internet while running a number of graphic-heavy programs at the same time, such as watching a movie or video editing.
The 320GB hard drive offers plenty of space but has a speed of just 5,400rpm (revolutions per minute). The faster a hard drive can spin, the faster the computer can open, move and edit files stored on the disk. With faster drives out there achieving 7,200rpm and even 10,000rpm, it does feel like the drive is a bit of a weak link.
The trade-off with a slower hard drive, however, is lower overall cost and a longer battery life.
Graphics performance was OK, but nothing spectacular, with a 3D Mark score of 2,602, which is on the low end even for laptops, and lower than the HP Pavilion dm1-3100sa's score. The Cinebench score of 1,433 using multiple cores was better, but still less than the HP Pavilion dm1-3100sa's score of 1,985.
Despite the lacklustre benchmarks, our real world tests were more positive. Media playback itself was good, with no stuttering on standard-definition movie files.
The 11.6-inch screen displayed colours well and animations in particular looked great. The 1366 x 768 resolution actually benefitted full HD movies files, since the 1080p source was nicely downscaled to run on the smaller resolution, resulting in a sharp image. High-definition movies also play very well, with just a hint of screen tear, but no noticeable stuttering.
Much has been made of the HP Pavilion dm1-4027ea's sound capabilities, with the inclusion of Beats Audio technology, exclusive to HP laptops. The built-in speakers sound great - definitely the best we've heard in a laptop from this price range. Audio is clear, with plenty of depth and none of the tinny qualities that often plague laptop speakers.
Battery life was a pretty standard three hours of intensive computing. That's not awful, but we've seen laptops - such as the Acer Timeline X - with much longer battery lives.