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HP Pavilion dm4-1050ea review

A powerful and well-built ultraportable laptop with an unfortunate usability flaw

HP Pavilion dm4-1050ea
The 14-inch screen has a nice crisp, HD resolution

Our Verdict

A capable machine in a great size, but that trackpad really lets it down for us.


  • Slim and light
  • Strong battery life
  • Great Core i5 performance
  • Sharp and colourful screen
  • Decent features


  • Terrible touchpad
  • Slightly plasticky keyboard
  • Lack of graphical power
  • Hard drive could fill up fast
  • At the upper end of ultraportable weight

HP has just refreshed its entire laptop range, with the Pavilion series receiving several updates and a new model in the Pavilion dm4-1050ea. At £649 including VAT, this is a mid-range laptop that packs a satisfying amount of power and some great features into a dependably solid ultraportable frame, although it's not quite perfect.

An attractive brushed aluminium chassis mimics that of the HP Pavilion dm3, and it gives the Pavilion dm4 a premium appearance.

A subtle lined pattern decorates the palm rests and the lid, while the bottom corner of the Pavilion dm4's lid features HP's logo, which glows when the laptop is powered on – a pointless feature, but a nice touch regardless.

Thankfully the Pavilion dm4 feels just as solid as it looks. This is a laptop you'd happily throw in a bag and carry around all day, without worrying about it getting beat up. We only noticed some slight flex around the DVD drive, certainly nothing too concerning.

HP pavilion dm4-1050ea

The brushed aluminium surface is also scratch resistant and can withstand a few knocks, which is perfect for regular commuters.

Even better is the weight. The Pavilion dm4 just squeezes into the ultraportable category, as it weighs a shade under 2kg.

HP pavilion dm4-1050ea

We're seeing an increase in the number of ultraportable laptops lately as components shrink in size, and you no longer have to spend thousands on a powerful machine that weighs a little less than a pregnant hippo.

While the Pavilion dm4 clearly isn't as light as a netbook, and there are other laptops at this price point that weigh considerably less – the Asus UL20A, for instance, which costs £499 and comes in at 1.6kg – this machine can definitely be carried around in a rucksack without wrecking your shoulders.

The Pavilion dm4 is also refreshingly compact, with a 14-inch screen and a thickness of just 32mm when closed. We found it would fit with minimal hassle in any reasonably sized satchel or bag.