Finding My Windows 7 Notebook: A Retail Odyssey

Posted: Oct 23 2009, 12:42pm CDT | by , Updated: Aug 11 2010, 5:01pm CDT, in News | Notebooks and PCs


/* Story Top Left 2010 300x250, created 7/15/10 */ google_ad_slot = "8340327155";
Buy HP Pavilion dm3 from Amazon Prime Day, Amazon Cyber Monday and Black Friday Now

My journey began Wednesday night, at the Fry's Windows 7 Midnight Release Party. I spent hours there, talking to other customers and browsing a wide selection of laptops and netbooks, looking for the one that would be mine. Unfortunately, none of the machines I saw at Fry's that night met my needs. I have very specific requirements for my notebook.

In a few days, I'll be off to the U.K. After that I have a long jaunt in southeast Asia planned, followed by a leisurely ramble around central Europe. Because I'm fortunate enough to write for the Internet for a living, I'll continue to work my full-time job during my travels. In order to do that though I'm going to need a notebook to work (and live) out of.

I already have an HP Mini netbook that I love dearly. Unfortunately, its 8.9" screen is just too damn small for me to work out of for months at a time. My fingers would cramp up on the keyboard, my eyes would tire from the strain, and my neck would develop a legion of painful cricks. Netbooks have a lot of uses, but none of them are comfortable for 8 hours of writing. Trust me on this; I've tried.

When I started shopping for a notebook, I knew there were a few things I definitely wanted. First off, I'd need a screen that was at least 12", to avoid eye strain and provide a pleasant movie-watching experience on many long plane trips. Second, I'd need a nice, roomy hard drive, at least 250 GB. Third, I wanted a solid dual core processor. I do a lot of image editing for and I need a machine that can multi-task well. Last, but certainly not least, I wanted something that was light and portable. Some airlines only allow 10 lbs of carry on, and a 7lb laptop+my bag will exceed that by quite a bit.

Fry's failed to have any notebooks that met my needs, so I went to Best Buy next. It was Windows 7 launch day, and the store was packed with people. I spent close to a half hour poring over all of Best Buy's notebook options before I saw the machine of my dreams. Once more, HP met my computing needs. This time with a Pavilion dm3.

The dm3 is HP's attempt at making a MacBook. It has an ultra-thin body that's less than an inch thick and it weighs only 4.2 lbs. At 13.1", the screen was large enough to meet my needs and then some. It has a dual core 1.6 GHz AMD CPU which, while not great, is more than enough for browsing, writing, and a little bit of photoshoppery. The selling point for me was the dedicated Nvidia graphics card, which means this sweet little brushed-aluminium beauty can even handle a fair bit of gaming.

My dm3 came loaded with Windows 7, 64 bit. It cost just $550, which was well within my budget for a laptop. I spent most of last night peeling unwanted programs off of it, and testing it with some HD video. So far, I'm pretty deeply in love. My Windows 7 shopping experience had a happy about yours? Photo by Angela Gruenenfelder.

You May Like


The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/5" rel="author">Robert Evans</a>
The excitement about new smartphones, tablets and anything mobile drive Robert to unearth the latest rumors and developments in this fast moving space. He adopted 4G as soon as it become available and knows where the mobile market is going.
Robert can be contacted directly at




Leave a Comment

Share this Story

Follow Us
Follow I4U News on Twitter
Follow I4U News on Facebook

You Also Like


Read the Latest from I4U News