HP pavilion dm4-1050ea

The HP Pavilion dm4 is a mid-range laptop that just squeezes into the ultraportable category, weighing a shade under 2kg. HP has packed a lot of features and a Core i5 processor into the compact chassis, and finished it off with a premium metallic design.

We liked

The HP Pavilion dm4 is a solidly built laptop, which can easily withstand some punishment on the road. The slim and light chassis is great for regular commutes, while the 335 minutes of battery life mean you can leave the charger at home.

A sharp and colourful 14-inch display is in place, great for browsing your photo collection or lengthy work sessions. HP has been generous with its features too, including plenty of ports on the Pavilion dm4 and a fingerprint scanner for added security.

Performance is also strong, with plenty of power for multitasking. We witnessed little slowdown even when several memory-intensive applications were open at once.

We disliked

Although the Core i5 processor is a strong performer, the lack of a dedicated graphics card means multimedia performance is limited. The Pavilion dm4 is capable of basic tasks such as photo editing and playing simple games, but video editing and other complex tasks are beyond this laptop's capabilities.

More serious is the flawed touchpad, which features infuriating integrated buttons. Resting your thumb on the buttons makes the cursor go crazy, as does clicking them at times, leading to incorrect menu selections.

Verdict

The HP Pavilion dm4 is very nearly a solid all-rounder, and a laptop that we'd heartily recommend. Unfortunately, that ropey touchpad regularly ruined our mood, and conjured forth a stream of expletives.

Still, there's plenty to like, from the slim and light form to the excellent Core i5 performance, and few other flaws. If you can try out the Pavilion dm4 in a store then we'd recommend you do so, to see if you can tolerate the touchpad.

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