The HP HDX 16 that we’re looking at today is a not exactly something standard. Unlike most notebooks that offer either 15.x or 17.x inch screens, the HDX 16, as the name suggests, offers a 16″ screen. Obviously that makes it a bit bigger than your 15.x” notebook to carry around and a bit smaller [...]
The HP HDX 16 that we’re looking at today is a not exactly something standard. Unlike most notebooks that offer either 15.x or 17.x inch screens, the HDX 16, as the name suggests, offers a 16″ screen. Obviously that makes it a bit bigger than your 15.x” notebook to carry around and a bit smaller than your 17.x” notebook used as a desktop replacement. Where does this leave the HDX 16? Lets find out.
The packaging on the HDX 16 is pretty much ordinary- a black colored box that houses the notebook and all the extras that come with it such as the charger and the quick-start guides. No CD/DVDs were included in our package because recovery of your notebook can be done through a separate partition of about 12GB on your hard drive. You can easily create recovery CD/DVDs through an application already installed on the notebook which is something I suggest you do right away because I’ve seen hard drives failing out of the blue- not in HP notebooks though ;)
Included in the package are two remote controls- a mini remote that can slide into the notebook’s Express Card slot or a full featured remote with a keypad that works with the Microsoft Media Center application. Also included is what I thought an external heavy-duty Wi-Fi antenna for you to catch your neighbor’s unprotected signal which actually turned out to be an antenna for TV signal. An RF Coaxial cable is also present in case you want to connect the Tuner to a wall.
Specifications-wise, the HDX 16 packs quite a punch with Blu-ray drive, 4GB system RAM and an nVidia 9600GT with 512MB powering up the full HD 1920×1080 display. The only thing I was left wondering about was as the P8400 CPU that has a clock rating of 2.26GHz. While not a slow CPU by any standard, its not one you’d expect in a notebook with everything else that so high-end. A better option might have been the T series CPU that has a larger cache along with a clock rating of 2.66GHz or higher.
The HDX 16 is by no means an ultra portable. It measures 14.9 x 10.0 x 1.7 inches and weighs over 3.0kg which means its big and heavy and isnt primarily meant to be carried around with you. Its more of desktop replacement that could be carried with you if need be. The large screen allows HP to have reasonable space for adding a full sized notebook keyboard along with a slightly cramped numeric pad- good enough for casual data entry. Below the numeric keypad lies the finger print sensor- something found in almost all higher end notebooks. I found the keys nice and soft to type on. They didn’t produce much noise either which is a good thing.
Above the keyboard you have a row of touch keys that light up when the notebook is powered on. These buttons include media keys and volume controls that also allow you to adjust the bass/treble. A MediaSmart key is also present that cycles between your movies, music, pictures etc. The Trackpad, which can be disabled with a button right above it is smooth and easy to work with .
The left side of the notebook features a wealth of ports such as the VGA and HDMI outputs, the Network, eSATA, USB and Firewire ports as well as the Express Card slot and the Docking station connector. the right side houses the Bluray drive, two more USB ports, the TV antenna and the power connector. The memory card reader and audio jacks are present on the front and a bit recessed so you don’t see them right away.
The HDX 16 with its full HD resolution, a Bluray drive and Altec Lansing powered stereo speakers along with a dedicated sub-woofer spells a multimedia monster from every angle and the notebook certainly doesn’t disappoint in this area. The screen is gorgeous with its 1920×1080 resolution- some people might find that a bit hard on the eyes but I’m used to my Sony VAIO Z series which as a 1600×900 resolution on a 13.3″ screen so I was right at home with the HP. One thing that you need to be careful about is glare- the glossy screen can certainly be a bit hard to use if you are sitting behind a windows, especially with the brightness turned down a bit.
The audio system on the HDX is also the best I’ve heard in a notebook. While I wont place it up there with a decent desktop speaker system by Logitech or Creative, it still manages to pack quite a punch and listening to your music on the HDX 16 doesn’t make you want to run out and grab your earbuds, like I do with most other notebooks.
With a kick ass screen and sound system, you can certainly imagine how good full HD Blu-Ray movies look like on the HDX 16. Lets find out how well the notebook performs with our benchmarks.