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HP DM4 Beats Audio from the front
Both devices have a 14-inch display, although the Spectre offers a slightly higher resolution at 1,600x900px full HD screen, compared to the DM4's slightly lower-res 1,366x768 display.
On the surface, the two devices were similarly specced. Both had an Intel Core-i5 processor, although the Spectre's is an Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) version. The Spectre also comes with, and can support, slightly less RAM, shipping with 4GB as standard in comparison to the DM4's 6GB RAM.
However, in the ultrabook's favour, the Spectre had a 128GB SSD. In contrast, the DM4 had a traditional 500GB hard disk drive, which should have resulted in faster boot time.
I say 'should' as the boot time for both was abysmally slow, taking literally minutes every single time either of them went to sleep.
I'm putting this down to some sort of software glitch on both machines that is the result of the pounding given to review units. If I'd had more time, or inclination, I would have formatted both, put on a fresh copy of Windows — the pair both shipped with Windows 7 Home Premium — and started from there. However, it occurred to me that, over time, this is exactly how PCs become: slower, less responsive husks of their purchase-day glory.
Image credit: Ben Woods