In 2009 Intel released its new Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 processors, with the Core i3 providing impressive levels of power at a budget price, and the Core i7 proving to be the most powerful home-use processor you could buy.

An Intel Core i5 processor is the brains of the Pavilion dm4, and performance sits right between the Core i3 and the Core i7. We found the Pavilion dm4 provided the same level of power as the Asus K52JC, which costs £730 inc. VAT, and the Medion Akoya, costing £589 inc. VAT.

Office tasks are despatched with ease, and you can comfortably multi-task with a variety of intensive applications. We witnessed very little slowdown even with several programs such as Microsoft Office and Photoshop Elements open at once.

HP pavilion dm4-1050ea

Unfortunately, the Pavilion dm4 only features the integrated graphics provided by the processor. The lack of a dedicated graphics card means that multimedia performance is limited, so you won't be able to play any of the latest games or run video editing suites.

That said, the new Core processors compare favourably with other processors when it comes to integrated graphics. Older games and simple web-based games run fine on the Pavilion dm4, and you can even watch HD video.

Battery life exceeded our expectations, with the Pavilion dm4 lasting 335 minutes between charges. This is well above average for a Core i5 laptop, most of which manage just under four hours.

The only notable exception we've seen lately is the Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG, which survived for 661 minutes.