The first AMD Fusion notebooks are hitting retail, and HP's sleek looking dm1z is one of the first. This 11.6" better-than-a-netbook has a very attractive design though the bezel isn't its strongest point. In the $500 price range, it's definitely more stylish than most though. It runs on AMD's new APU (their term for a CPU plus GPU on a chip) that promises significantly better performance than the old AMD Neo CPU and better battery life. In fact the HP manages 5.5 hours of runtime on its 6 cell battery and doesn't get terribly hot (both improvements over the hot and hungry AMD Neo).
The AMD E350 has a dual core 1.6GHz CPU with 1 meg of level 2 cache and AMD Radeon HD 6310M graphics. Performance is indeed much better than Intel Atom netbooks, and stronger than the old AMD Neo. We wouldn't put it in the ultraportable class of laptops with serious performance though, nor would be plan on playing Left 4 Dead 2 via built-in HDMI to an HD TV since frame rates aren't killer.
It ranks under the better Intel Core 2 Duo ULV SU CPUs and definitely can't keep up with ULV Intel Core i5 and ULV Core i7 ultraportable laptops. We got a PCMark Vantage score of 2250 for our machine with 3 gigs of RAM. Graphics scores are seriously better than a netbook and are neck-and-neck with Intel HD graphics on ULV Core i5 and i7 machines. But the HP does better in real world 3D gaming and costs less than most Core i 11.6" notebooks.
The HP dm1z ships with 2 or 3 gigs of DDR3 RAM (ours has 3 gigs) and a 320 gig hard drive. It has both WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth. The glossy 1366 x 768 display is fairly bright and sharp, though viewing angles aren't good. The island style keyboard is excellent.
Here's our video review of the HP Pavilion dm1z. We do a 360 walkaround, check out performance and CPU utilization, test YouTube and Hulu playback and even shoot a few zombies in Left 4 Dead 2.
Our full review will come in a few days.
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview