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Budget laptops Reviews
15,670 Reviews

HP Pavilion dm3-1035tx review

From around £500

Manufacturer: HP

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The HP Pavilion dm3-1035TX is a 13-inch thin and light laptop part of HP's 'Thinspiration' range. It weighs under 2kg, sports the looks and style of a premium laptop, and performs admirably well.

The HP Pavilion dm3-1035TX is a 13-inch thin and light laptop part of HP's 'Thinspiration' range. It weighs under 2kg, sports the looks and style of a premium laptop, and performs admirably well.

The first thing you notice of the HP Pavilion dm3-1035tx is its rich design. Its screen lid is of fingerprint-resistant brushed aluminum that feels elegant and premium when touched. This effect extends to the Pavilion dm3's palmrest and the area surrounding its keyboard; it even has a metal chassis all along its edge.

The HP Pavilion dm3-1035tx is less than an inch thick, with its lid closed, and has very good build quality -closely comparable to the Dell Vostro V13. The notebook weighs 1.8kg (considerably lesser than some of our mainstream laptop recommendations) and is comfortable to lug around. Placement of input-output ports is well thought out on the Pavilion dm3. Its onboard Altec Lansing speakers are placed under the front lip, and there's a Wi-Fi on-off toggle button on its right edge.

The HP Pavilion dm3-1035tx's 13.3-inch LED-backlit screen is capable of supporting a maximum screen resolution of 1366x768 pixels, with a 16:9 aspect ratio (ideal for watching HD content). The screen is glossy in nature, evenly lit, and has good brightness and contrast levels. Watching movies and reading text went smoothly on the Pavilion dm3's 13-inch screen.

The 1.3Mp webcam (and microphone) grooved into its top screen bezel is good for video chats. The Pavilion dm3 sports an isolated, chiclet-styled keyboard similar to the one we saw on the Acer Aspire Timeline 3810T or the Sony VAIO CW laptops - which is equally good. Typing on the keyboard is very comfortable as all the keys are well-spaced and provide no flex whatsoever. The HP Pavilion dm3-1035tx's touchpad is underwhelming, however, and takes some getting used to. It's reflective, very smooth, and provides poor tactile feedback. The touchpad has a nifty on-off toggle button above it for those spurts of uninterrupted typing. Its twin mouse buttons are no problem, however - they're nice and solid.

No problems whatsoever with the HP Pavilion dm3-1035tx's internal hardware, despite being a thin and light notebook. An Intel Core 2 Duo SP9300 2.26GHz processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and an Nvidia GeForce G105M graphics card are pretty decent building blocks for any self-respecting mainstream laptop - on the Pavilion dm3, it exceeds expectations. With respect to recently reviewed thin and light laptops from the likes of MSI, Dell, and Acer, the HP Pavilion dm3 is easily the most potent.

The Pavilion dm3 doesn't integrate a DVD writer in its chassis but comes with a sleek external USB DVD writer. The HP Pavilion dm3-1035tx has four USB ports, a multicard reader, audio ports, and VGA-out splashed along its chassis' edge. Apart from these, it also bundles in an HDMI port, Wi-Fi 802.11n wireless connectivity, and Bluetooth 2.1 - but disappointingly no Gigabit ethernet, which is surprising. The HP Pavilion dm3-1035tx comes with 32-bit Windows 7 Home Premium operating system.

The HP Pavilion dm3-1035tx is one of the fastest thin and light notebooks we've seen. It posted a WorldBench 6 score of over 100--a feat achieved by very few laptops - and had very good PC Mark 05 and PC Mark Vantage numbers. Its Nvidia GeForce G105M graphics card is not really meant for gaming but at low-settings (and low expectations) you can just about manage to play 2-3 year old games. Both 720p and 1080p high-def videos played smoothly, without any stutter on the Pavilion dm3 - multitasking isn't an issue as well.

Although it's not really an entertainment-tuned laptop, the HP Pavilion dm3-1035tx manages to pull off a rather good audio-visual experience - courtesy of its LED-backlit widescreen and better-than-average onboard speakers. The included six-cell battery lasted 1 hour 43 minutes in our battery tests, at high performance preset and full-screen brightness; expect just over 3 hours of surfing the web over Wi-Fi on a single charge at power-safe mode.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>


HP Pavilion dm3-1035tx Expert Verdict »

Intel Core 2 Duo SP9300 2.26GHz
4GB DDR3 Ram
13.3inch LED glossy, 1366x768 res display
500GB (5400rpm) hard drive
Nvidia GeForce G105M graphics
802.11 b/g/n
Multicard Reader
Windows 7
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

The HP Pavilion dm3-1035tx from a budget-conscious buyer's radar. Sure it has a clunky touchpad, but if you want a thin, stylish, good looking laptop, with very good performance and you can't afford a full-fledged multimedia laptop, the ultraportable HP Pavilion dm3 is a worthy contender for your money. (Buy an external mouse to get past the touchpad.)

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