HP Pavilion dm3-1020EA review

An impressively portable laptop with a stylish design and stunning 13.3" screen

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

Although this laptop is not the fastest in the world, the build quality, fantastic screen and good mobility will suit those looking for a machine to use on the go

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification


  • Excellent screen
  • Strong battery life
  • Good build quality


  • No ODD
  • Performance could be better
  • 3D performance

HP's Pavilion range comprises the majority of its consumer laptops and combines high-end designs with stunning usability and features. Its Pavilion dm3-1020EA is a compact and smartly designed portable that makes a stylish and capable travel partner.

At just 1.9kg, it is light and portable and its smooth, curved edges and sleek design let it slip easily into your hand luggage.

Its fantastic 276-minute battery life makes it perfect for people who work on the commute, allowing nearly five hours of mobile use.

A high-quality look throughout the entire chassis is provided by a combination of black plastics and brushed aluminium. These resilient materials also make it tough and able to withstand the rigours of daily use.

This level of quality continues across the user interface. The spacious keyboard delivers fantastic usability via the popular isolated-style design. All keys are firmly attached and move smoothly and accurately. The shiny metallic touchpad and mouse buttons are equally usable.

HP build

Where the dm3-1020EA really stands out is its bright and vibrant 13.3-inch LED screen. Image quality is stunning, with impressive sharpness and an excellent display of colour and contrast. Its glossy Super-TFT coating is more reflective than we would like, but this is a minor flaw.

Graphics performance isn't very good, but this is common with compact laptops such as this. Nevertheless, the integrated ATi graphics card provides ample power for watching movies, playing the most basic games and even photo and video editing.

Home and office abilities are less capable. Despite being a dual-core chip, performance is bettered by most other laptops at this price point. You can run most office applications and browse the internet with ease, but don't expect to multi-task with any degree of speed with this machine.

Average connectivity

Network connectivity is also less capable than we would have liked – or expected – from such a portable device. 802.11g Wi-Fi and 10/100 Ethernet provide average wireless and fixed connection speeds.

It should also be noted that, due to the slim chassis, there is no integrated optical disc drive (ODD) for CD or DVD access. An external USB drive is provided for use at home, but you won't be able to pop a disc into the side of this laptop for entertainment on the move.

Despite some very minor flaws, the Pavilion dm3-1020EA is nevertheless a stunningly designed, highly usable and eminently portable machine.

While its lack of an integrated ODD is unfortunate, this is still a great mobile device and one that is very easy to recommend.

Follow TechRadar Reviews on Twitter: http://twitter.com/techradarreview

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity320 GB
Processor ManufacturerAMD
Graphics Controller ManufacturerATI
Graphics Controller ModelMobility Radeon HD 3200
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Solid State Drive CapacityNo
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyPavilion dm3-1000
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor ModelL335
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameHP
Processor Speed1.60 GHz
Processor TypeAthlon Neo X2
Screen Size33.8 cm (13.3")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory4 GB
Cache512 KB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR, WEEE
Optical Media SupportedDVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Labeling TechnologyLightScribe
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 958 MB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyBrightView
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports4
Height31.8 mm
Width326 mm
Depth230 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR2 SDRAM
Product Seriesdm3-1000
Product NamePavilion dm3-1020ea Entertainment Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LinePavilion
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberVJ388EA#ABU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.hp.com/uk
Marketing Information

The mobility you want, at a price you can afford. The thin, lightweight HP Pavilion dm3-1020ea Entertainment Notebook is packed with power inside a bold aluminium chassis, while the HD LED panel is energy efficient and mercury-free.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Pavilion dm3-1020ea Entertainment Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year