Design and Extras
The DM3 comes packed with the bare minimum, but then for its price this is to be expected. It is packed well and will definitely avoid any problems that could arise in delivery. You get some basic documentation, the DM3, the AC adapter, and nothing else.
What the DM3 lacks in extras it makes up for in bloatware. Seriously HP come on, the DM3 had more “extra” software loaded onto it than anything we have previously laid hands on. If other consumers are anything like me they will never touch half of this software over the full life of the DM3. So we set to promptly uninstalling the bloatware. A full hour and a half later we has uninstalled 32 games and 16 misc programs aimed at everything from selling you more software to media players, music players, and TV over the internet software. If we had any initial feedback for HP it would be to eliminate or reduce this garbage. The resulting OS speedup after removing all of this “extra” software was remarkable.
Worst of all HP has crippled the usually speedy 7200 rpm drive by sending it out with no less than 4 partitions, OS, System, Recovery, and HP_Tools. All of this adds up to a big complicated mess of drivers, software, and bloatware.
What the DM3 lacks in the software department really shines through in the design department, offering a nice streamlined and slim form factor complimented by a brushed aluminum lid and palm rest. The sides of the DM3 are a polished metal/chrome similar to the touchpad which finishes off the look. HP offers the DM3 with what is known as a “color matching” keyboard which in this case is black. I have no idea what they were color matching except perhaps the bezel around the screen. The keyboard is chicklet style looking a lot like the one found on the Macbook Air. There is no flex in the keyboard tray and the keys offer excellent feedback. It is quite easy to touch type on the DM3.
HP includes small touches on the keyboard that make a big difference to your overall computing experience such as:
- On/Off button for the touchpad
- Highlighted LED indicators for the Caps Lock, Speaker Mute, and Num Lock
- A row of function keys that are actually useful
The power button is a sliding switch located on the right side of the laptop and is accented by a white LED. Next to the power on is the wireless button which has a deep blue LED. In terms of expansion ports there are 4 USB (two to a side), HDMI, Mic and speaker outs, VGA, multi-card reader, and an Ethernet input.