Delivering a striking metal design and fast Core i5 performance, the HP dm4 packs practically everything you could want in a thin-and-light notebook. This 4.4-pound machine (starting at $729; $904 as configured) also sports an excellent webcam, and instant-on mode for getting online in a hurry, and software that makes it easy to Hulu and other media. However, the dm4’s somewhat frustrating touchpad prevents it from getting an even higher rating.
The dm4 is about as thin (1.3 inches), light (4.4 pounds), and metallic as the 4.2-pound dm3, but with a few changes. While it still has a pale bronze aluminum lid and chassis and magnesium bottom, the surface is now mostly smooth, with the exception of some artful etchings that stretch across the lid and are mirrored on the palm rest (the dm3, in contrast, has a smooth lid and brushed palm rest). HP also saw to it that the touchpad and the indented area surrounding the keyboard all have gently rounded edges, a subtle, but nice, touch.
Aside from the champagne color and its etched design, the dm4 bears some resemblance to Apple’s MacBook Pro line, thanks to its black, island-style keyboard with integrated multimedia buttons, as well as its trackpad that integrates touch buttons. Not that the similarity is a bad thing: the dm4 is a beautiful machine.