I have used primarily macs for the past 3-4 years, but yesterday I bought a PC. I got it mainly so I can travel with a smaller, less expensive laptop, but I was expecting to have to settle for a gutless netbook. What I found was a nice little dual-core mini notebook. Frankly, I’m amazed at what you can get for $499 these days, but maybe that’s because I am used to buying Apple laptops that cost 3 times as much. I am normally not a big fan of HP, but so far I am happy with the quality and feel of the 13″ HP dm3-1035us laptop. The brushed aluminum design and keyboard remind me somewhat of a 13″ macbook pro (although the HP doesn’t have backlit keys). It weighs just over 4 pounds and has a 5-6 hour battery. My only gripe is the track pad, which is small and a smudge magnet (I made a screen protector for it so it wouldn’t bug me). The HDMI port is also a plus. Overall it seems to be a good travel laptop that can handle just about anything you throw at it — including games.
3G Modem Easter Egg? Interestingly, while it’s not listed in the official specs, the dm3-1035 appears to have a 3G modem built in — or at least support for a 3G modem. There’s a SIM card slot hidden under the battery, and some are claiming that it works with a broadband AT&T SIM. Others claim that an additional module is needed to make it work, so this could be a manufacturing error that varies from model to model. HP hasn’t enabled the modem, but others have posted the utility that apparently makes it work. An interesting hardware Easter egg, to say the least!
Model dm3-1035us ($499 after $50 rebate at Office Depot):
Here are the specs:
- AMD Athlon Neo X2 1.6 GHz dual-core processor L335
- 13.3″ LED widescreen display with BrightView and 1366 x 768 resolution
- 4GB DDR2 SDRAM (expandable up to 8GB)
- 320GB Serial ATA hard drive (7200 rpm); Optical drive not included
- ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics; up to 1470MB graphics memory and 128MB display cache memory; AMD M780G with 64MB GDDR2 sideport memory.
- Built-in webcam with microphone
- Altec Lansing audio
- 4 high-speed USB 2.0 ports
- 5-in-1 media reader with support for Secure Digital, MultiMediaCard, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO and xD-Picture Card formats
- HDMI output
- Wireless LAN (802.11a/b/g/n)
- 10/100Base-T Ethernet LAN with RJ-45 connector
- Weight: 4.2 lbs. and measures 1.2″ thin
- 6-cell lithium-ion battery
- Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit OS preinstalled
- Software included: Microsoft Works; HP MediaSmart; Adobe Acrobat Reader; Cyberlink DVD Suite; 60-day trial version of Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student Edition.
- Rated battery life: 6 hours