The HP Pavilion dm1-4027ea is a strange beast of a laptop indeed. On the one hand it can feel rather lacklustre and underpowered when doing unexceptional tasks. Windows 7 Home Premium can feel sluggish at times, and with a number of windows left open on the desktop, things can get pretty slow.
In this regard, the HP Pavilion dm1-4027ea can't compete with a higher-end, more powerful laptop, or even a tablet that's less powerful but has an operating system and apps that use the limited resources well enough to ensure a smooth user experience.
However, there's no denying that when it comes to media playback - an important consideration due to HP's labelling of the Pavilion dm1-4027ea as an entertainment-focused machine - this laptop actually performs very well. Movie content - both standard and high-definition - plays very well, and the built-in speakers provide audio that is well above average for a laptop.
The lack of an optical drive does limit its media playback options quite a bit, however, but if your media collection has gone fully digital, then this won't be such a problem.
The small size and light weight is also a big factor, and this is certainly a more portable laptop than most.
If you're after a light media-playing laptop then this is a good choice. For anything more demanding, look elsewhere.
Media playback is a big winner with the HP Pavilion dm1-4027ea. A lovely screen coupled with enough graphical power to run movies smoothly (bar the odd screen tear) makes this laptop a pleasure to watch movies on.
The battery life will just about make it through an entire film.
Better still is the audio quality of the built-in speakers, which really does sound great, and saves you the extra expense of buying separate laptop speakers such as the Logitech Laptop Speaker Z305.
The small size of the laptop is also a boon, making it easy to carry around wherever you go, with a slim and attractive design.
Even with the smaller keyboard, typing is comfortable.
Outside of media playback, performance is pretty mediocre, with relatively impressive stats on paper not making a great impact in use.
The biggest culprit here is the 4GB of DDR3 RAM, which should give the HP Pavilion dm1-4027ea some punch, but actually still leaves the laptop struggling when there is too much going on at once.
If you want a light laptop for watching movies on, the HP Pavilion dm1-4027ea does what you want it to do. However, if you want to use it to work on, editing digital photos or anything more strenuous, then you're going to be disappointed.