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HP HDX18-1005ea 18.4in Notebook review

Andy Vandervell




  • Recommended by TR

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HP HDX18-1005ea 18.4in Notebook
  • HP HDX18-1005ea 18.4in Notebook
  • HP HDX18-1005ea 18.4in Notebook
  • HP HDX18-1005ea 18.4in Notebook
  • HP HDX18-1005ea 18.4in Notebook
  • HP HDX18-1005ea 18.4in Notebook
  • HP HDX18-1005ea 18.4in Notebook
  • HP HDX18-1005ea 18.4in Notebook
  • HP HDX18-1005ea 18.4in Notebook
  • HP HDX18-1005ea 18.4in Notebook
  • HP HDX18-1005ea 18.4in Notebook
  • HP HDX18-1005ea 18.4in Notebook
  • HP HDX18-1005ea 18.4in Notebook


Our Score:


Earlier this year we looked at the HP HDX16-1005ea and went away very impressed. It was the first 16:9 aspect ratio notebook we'd seen from HP, but the company was able to distil all the things we expect in a multimedia notebook into one cohesive, classy and reasonably priced machine. Now we're looking at the HDX16's larger sibling, the HDX18 - an 18.4in machine with an identical focus on multimedia, albeit in a much larger frame.

Aside from its greater size you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between the HDX18 and the HDX16. It has the same basic design down to pretty much every detail and this is definitely no bad thing, since the HDX16 was a very good looking machine. All the visual elements, from the imprint design and "liquid metal" accents to the backlit HP logo and edge-to-edge screen cover, work seamlessly together to create one cohesive and sophisticated whole that will look the part in any modern home.

Looking inside the HDX18 continues to share the same basic layout and features; including the keyboard, which looks a bit weedy inside the 436mm wide chassis. Nonetheless, it offers an excellent experience. On the far right there's a full-size number pad and the layout doesn't feature any of the pitfalls some suffer, featuring a nice large Return key and right-Shift key. Keys have a nice, crisp and positive feel to them and though there is a little more flex than we'd really like around the Return key and number pad, it doesn't have a detrimental effect on typing.

Above the keyboard is an identical set of touch sensitive media controls that are backlit behind a frosted glass-like effect. These encompass all the usual things, such as playback controls, volume, an eject button for the integrated Blu-ray ROM/DVD+/-RW drive and a wireless radio switch, as well as a secondary slider where you can adjust treble and bass independently. This is a nice touch and is especially useful when listening to music, where you might want to adjust things to find the right sound for a particular genre.

This brings us neatly onto the subject of audio and it's an area where the HDX18 excels. With speakers from Altec Lansing and Dolby Home Theatre audio processing, the HDX18 delivers an impressive amount of detail in action scenes, with Dolby's Natural Bass and Sound Expander technology doing a particularly good job in acoustically complex action scenes. With Dolby Headphone also on-hand for virtual surround sound you can enjoy excellent audio when plugged in.

Overall, then, in terms of audio the HDX18 comes out very well, proving slightly better than the HDX16 and only really bested by the likes of the Toshiba Qosmio G50-115, whose lack of a Blu-ray drive means it only offers indirect competition.


February 3, 2009, 11:18 am

with the hp laptop touchpad drivers, did you find that after re awaking it from sleep mode the touchpad would jump wildly from side to side whenever you try and move it after a few seconds?

Andy Vandervell

February 3, 2009, 2:13 pm

No, never had that problem before.


February 3, 2009, 6:45 pm

Very very tempting for under a grand. Nice huge screen, Blu-ray drive, tons of ports. Plus the advent of Windows 7 means it might be safe to step back into the waters of the PC. Perhaps it just seems like less money because I've been browsing the space-time distorting prices of the Apple Store for the last month.


February 3, 2009, 7:46 pm

@ GoldenGuy: "because I've been browsing the space-time distorting prices of the Apple Store" lol.


February 4, 2009, 6:05 pm

I only play one online PC game these days (thanks to my Xbox 360) - which is Battlefield 2. Can anyone advise how well this laptop would cope with it?


February 4, 2009, 7:10 pm

@ Chris C - I can't say for sure, but my current laptop has an 8600M GT 256MB compared to the slightly faster 9600M GT 512MB in this notebook, although that may depend on whether it uses GDDR2 or GDDR3 memory (on this note I would like to see this spec added to the feature table as many nVidia mobile cards offer both versions and can make quite a bit of difference in the performance stakes - GPU-Z is a useful utility: http://www.techpowerup.com/gpu...

Back on topic, BF2 is quite a few years old now, so my laptop was able to cope quite well with it if I remember correctly, even at mostly high settings, but you will likely have to turn the resolution down a couple of notches. The only games my card struggles with is anything made in the last couple of years or so, which I just play on my desktop anyway. HTH ;)


February 6, 2009, 2:05 am

Please refrain from buying any HP Laptop. HP Products are technically flawed and HP never stands behind its products. Service is too poor and one shouldnot expect any replacement of parts..in most cases HP alleges that the laptop has been tampered with, screws missing, water damage or coffee/coke dropped inside Hardware parts(CPU). Tech. Support is run by liars and idiots stationed at Bangalore, INDIA. They are trained to take down wrong complaints. They never call back and never replace a product with manufacturing defects. SO PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM HP!! and warn all friends and family. HP is improving its profits and bottomline by giving poor post sales service and technically flawed products. Even a mail to Mark Hurd falls on deaf ears....Hope HP mends its ways before its too late.

Matthew Bunton

February 7, 2009, 5:29 am

@ Anjana whilst I appreciate that you have obviously suffered frustration with HP's service shouldn't you back up this rant with some form evidence rather than just accusations.


July 2, 2009, 12:41 pm

Yes, Anjana is wright because I recently had same experience with hp and support from Bangalore team. so I still don't know if my pavillion dv6500t support 800mhz fsb.

Archiebald McClumpherty

March 19, 2010, 1:41 am

I bought one of these last year and it came with the hated Vista and a whole load of useless HP software. Ditched that and spent a few months running Ubuntu, but gave up on that as the driver support wasn't quite up to scratch (particularly the wireless). Now running Windows 7 which would be ok except the fact I continually get the blue screen of death. Oh yes, and within a couple of months I had quite a few pixels on the screen fail on me. The casing isn't quite right as the plastic between the keyboard and the screen is buckled, which would indicate that it wasn't built quite right.

I use a HP laptop at work which seems to use a similar set of components, but that seems to work pretty well. Clearly this machine has been cobbled together and there's been no QA done on it to make sure it's been designed and built correctly.

Long and the short of it is that it's been a pain in the ass since I got it and wish I hadn't bought it. Will never buy an HP laptop again.

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