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HP HDX16-1005EA 16in Blu-ray Notebook review

Andy Vandervell

By

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

9

One of the more obvious trends of 2008 has been the move towards 16:9 aspect ratio screens on notebooks. Though this has been sold as a "feature", providing a more film friendly aspect for watching DVDs and Blu-ray discs, it's just as much a cost cutting exercise, since it allows LCD manufacturers get more screens from a single panel of glass. Cynicism aside, however, it's a trend we heartily approve of since there wasn't a great deal of logic in having 16:10 screens anyway and a 16:9 display is intrinsically better suited to multimedia viewing - it's not just marketing guff.

All this said we've yet to come across a 16:9 effort that quite delivered on all fronts. Acer has probably come closest, with the Aspire 6935G offering a particularly good value option, but it's sometimes hard to escape the feeling that Acer has thrown in all the features it could think of without as much thought as to how they fitted together. HP has done things differently, with the HDX Premium Series that, like Acer's Aspire Blue range, consists of 16in and 18.4in models called the HDX 16 and HDX 18 respectively. As has been the case with HP in recent years, they deliver a pleasingly cohesive design and plenty of quality features. Indeed, the HDX 16 we're looking at today is the best example of a 16:9 "multimedia" notebook we've yet seen.

Starting with its appearance, HP's love for artistic "imprint" designs makes a welcome return. Finished in a subtle midnight blue, the lid is adorned with a cacophony of vary-coloured swirls that, combined with HP's smart backlit logo, immediately lend the HDX 16 the premium look and feel that's intended. This is continued on the inside, too; the swirls sweeping around and across the smooth faux-chrome (or "liquid metal" as HP likes to call it) touchpad.

This contrasts nicely with the silver accenting and keyboard, while the edge-to-edge screen cover that we first saw on the Pavilion dv5-1011ea makes a welcome return. This helps create a seamless glossy black bezel, a feature also seen on the new Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro and an effect that's every bit as attractive as when we first saw it.

Within this bezel, of course, sits the 16in screen and this has two important features. First, it has a Full HD, 1,920 x 1,080 resolution; secondly, it has a dual-lamp backlight. The former is obviously a massive attraction, since it's the perfect resolution for watching high definition material and there's a Blu-ray drive on hand to take advantage of this. On the latter, the dual-lamp backlight helps boost brightness and, more importantly, colour production - making colours richer and more vibrant.

Suffice to say the finished product is very impressive. Given the high pixel per inch count the screen is incredibly sharp, producing detailed video, photos and easily read text. Colour production is also very good; colours are vibrant without being overblown and gradations smooth and free of obvious banding. Viewing angles are pretty good, though in brighter light the glossy screen does hamper things somewhat. All told, though, video and other media is well handled and the high resolution screen is ideal for more boring productivity tasks, too.

Lee Marshall

January 5, 2009, 1:08 pm

I don't quite see how you can give this HP a 10 for value. You reviewed it at 𨀝.99 but the latest price is 𨂇? Also the Sony FW21M which is also available for under 𨀼 (also at John Lewis for 𨂇) also has a Blu-Ray writer, a faster processor and a larger hard drive.

DrDread

January 5, 2009, 2:04 pm

I am in love with this notebook.

Andy Vandervell

January 5, 2009, 2:37 pm

𨀝.99 is the price as reviewed, it's just not in our shopping database. Check out Laskys and you'll see it.

Anthony Armstrong

January 5, 2009, 2:45 pm

Comet are selling this laptop online for 𧿗. If you buy it via the Top Cashback website you can save a further 4%, taking the price down to 𧾷.04.

Amir

January 5, 2009, 3:02 pm

Acer 6935G, for 𧴜+ more you can get a 2.53Ghz 6mb Cache C2D and a 7200 rpm HDD. Worth it?

obelisk

January 5, 2009, 8:03 pm

This really seems the best of the bunch and after weeks of research it's time to commit. But hang on ... HP's website offers a newer version: HP HDX X16-1101EA Premium Notebook PC (FV720EA) and apparently no one is selling this yet. Worth waiting for?



Amir

January 5, 2009, 8:42 pm

@obelisk





i have seen your model, still does not compare price/performance or featurewise against the acer 6935g LX.ATQ0X.038 which is the BESt 16" laptop available right now!

Ed

January 5, 2009, 9:17 pm

@Amir





You're just talking stats. There's so much more to what makes a good laptop than just how big the hard drive is or how fast the processor is.

Amir

January 5, 2009, 9:40 pm

@Ed





Completely agree, however you cant really compare laptops on style/screen size or multimedia controls (etc...) as they are subjective, so comparing "stats" is the only Sure way of comparison (as the Acer 6935g is also 16" and shares many of the same features as the HP-HDX).





With all due respect, I refuse to rely purely on reviews and IF the Acer 6935G reviewed was the LX.ATQ0X.038 model, this HP-HDX review would probably be much different.





Obelisk, I have been searching for a laptop too so I am only trying to help. What are your thoughts on the LX.ATQ0X.038?

obelisk

January 5, 2009, 9:48 pm

practicalites such as the key pad are a swing decision maker, but I'm afraid the Acer's 'Cine Dash' is an eyesore too far.





Having checked it appears the HDX 16-1101EA version has a Blu ray writer.

Amir

January 5, 2009, 9:57 pm

@ obelisk





i would have also much prefered a numeric keypad over cinedash, but the sheer performance of the acer won me over.





i can see why a blu ray writer may be good for copying large files and playing things though blu ray player, but if you had the option, would you want that?

redfield

January 5, 2009, 10:17 pm

also the Acer only has HD ready resolution - the full HD spec on this model looks really appealing





i can't seem to find a reasonably priced small laptop anywhere with vertical resolution greater than 800 pixels - which is rubbish!

redfield

January 5, 2009, 10:23 pm

sorry - my mistake. the configuration LX.ATQ0X.038 is full HD





i stand by my comments about vertical resolution though!

Wilfried

January 5, 2009, 10:25 pm

It sure look and sound like a real gem. I have been using Vaios, Dell and Acer laptops in the past and recently bought myself the HP Pavilion DV2899ae. From my six months experience on HP laptop so far, I can tell you that I would never go back to any of the three aforementioned brands, the specs and usability has converted me to an HP fan. The HDX series sure looks good and I would recommend HP to anyone looking for a decent spec, affordable, solid laptop.

smodd

January 6, 2009, 4:32 am

Looks great MiniHTPC but i will not consider blue-ray burner cause the price of the blankmedia...i relay in HP products outstanding quality and realibility...

Craigb46

January 6, 2009, 5:45 am

@ Andy/Ed





I see Comet have this laptop for 𧿗.99 exclusive web offer.





However, in the specifications it shows as having no lightscribe technology and no fingerprint reader?





I'm looking to purchase this laptop today, 6th Jan, as a result of reading your review. Do you think thier specifications have been entered wrongly and the laptop does infact come with these two features... or will thier be varying builds of the same laptop?





Thanks in advance.

Moggy58

January 6, 2009, 12:35 pm

Take a look here http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc... for the full HDX range and specs.

Dave 11

January 6, 2009, 9:35 pm

Craig





Did you manage to find out the answer to your question.





Are Comet selling a downgrade version, I really want this model and their price is the best but want all the features.





Thanks

BigB@dJ@y

January 7, 2009, 12:16 am

Comet are selling the same version as the review.





Check out this link as one of the pics shows the spec on the side of the box (including a finger print reader!





http://forums.overclockers.co....

Craigb46

January 7, 2009, 5:17 am

Dave





The Comet specifications are infact wrong. I phoned them earlier and they got back to me by email confirming that the lightscribe technology and fingerprint reader are included.





However, Comet do not have the laptop currently in stock and do not even have a stock due-in date for thier warehouse (they told me to keep checking the site but it could take upto 6 weeks to return).





I then phone Laskys (twice) to ask them if they could price-match the laptop from Comet. The best the could offer is to reduce thier price from 𨀝.99 to 𧿺.99. I then went to place my order but, alas, they too don't have it in stock and have no due date either.





The only other retailer i have found that comes close is Play.com and they have said that they cannot price match or drop thier price.





If anyone finds this laptop anywhere for under 𧿻 please post here asap.





Cheers

Dave 11

January 7, 2009, 3:10 pm

Thanks BigB@dJ@y and Craig for info.





I will have a look later and if anywhere else has this model, I have also considered the 18" version, any thoughts?

simonm

January 7, 2009, 5:59 pm

@Dave/Craig





The specs on HP's UK website for the HDX16-1005EA (someone has posted the link above) do not list LightScribe. I ordered from Comet on Monday and it arrived this morning. The unit I received looks at a quick glance to be identical to the review model, except the LightScribe logo is not silk-screened on the drive housing, and the LightScribe sticker below the keyboard is absent.





So was the unit TR reviewed actually the standard UK spec...?





(Not that I intend to lose much sleep over this!)





Rgds

simonm

January 7, 2009, 6:21 pm

I think LightScribe may have been quietly dropped from the specs. Compare and contrast these two versions of HP's flyer for this model!





<http://www.westcoastpavilion.c...





<http://h20195.www2.hp.com/PDF/...

Dave 11

January 7, 2009, 8:31 pm

Thanks Simonm very useful, I phoned Comet too and they had no idea when they would have more in stock and of course if a model is selling well after good reviews, the price may also jump when it is in stock.


I am back considering the Acer Aspire 6935G which at Comet is 𨀊, would welcome your thoughts and advice.





Dave

HokkaHokka

January 10, 2009, 12:14 am

I ordered and mine was meant to be delivered on Wednesday.


Didn't get it then and was told it should arrive Thursday...


They eventually informed me (on Thursday) that it appeared to be out of stock.


Didn't stop them taking payment!!! Good ol' Comet!


I've now got two options...either wait and see if it comes back in stock, or just cancel.


I think I may give it a couple of weeks and in the meantime see if anywhere else starts to offer it at a similar price.


I have noticed a couple of other websites (including Play) saying that they are out of stock as well (within the last 24 hours or so)

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