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

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell


Our Score


Review Price free/subscription

Just as important as audio in a multimedia notebook is the visual performance and the 18.4in screen on the HDX18 doesn't disappoint, either. Sporting the essential Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, it offers pin sharp visuals and text production and plenty of space for productivity when more boring tasks are the order of the day. And, when you want to watch a Blu-ray film or DVD, it delivers smooth motion, good detail and well defined colours. Black levels aren't astonishing, but are still more than adequate, while we found the 18.4in acreage a good size for comfortable viewing of films - a point further enhanced by reasonably good viewing angles that should ensure a minimum of neck craning. Our only caveat would be the predictably reflective glossy screen, which makes keeping ambient light to a minimum necessary.

Also included as part of the multimedia bundle is an integrated TV tuner and HP has included not one, but two remote controls to deal with it and all the other multimedia features. One is an ExpressCard style remote that's useful when taking your machine out and about, while the other is a larger full function remote complete with a number pad and other TV centric controls. Both are very good, with logical layouts and responsive buttons, while the 360 dial on the ExpressCard remote is particularly handy when navigating Media Center's menus.

Connectivity, meanwhile, is just as thorough as the rest of the feature set. You get four USB ports in all, one of which is a combined eSATA and USB port, there's an HDMI output (as you would expect), as well dual-headphone outputs and a microphone input. One slight annoyance is how the IR receiver is hidden beneath the trim at the front, which can make line of sight awkward when standing up, but otherwise there's little to complain about.

On the inside the HDX18-1005ea features largely the same components seen in the HDX16 with the same model designation. Processing is handled by an Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 running at 2.26GHz, there's 4GB of 800MHz DDR2 RAM and all the basics, such as Gigabit Ethernet, Draft-N Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, are present and correct. Graphics are handled by an nVidia 9600M GT with 512MB of dedicated memory, which is enough to handle some light gaming duties if you turn the effects down and perhaps the resolution, and there's the added bonus of 64-bit Windows Vista Home Premium, so all that system memory doesn't go to waste.

Indeed, the only real difference is the hard drive configuration, where you get two 250GB 5,400rpm drives instead of a single 320GB one. Also available in the HDX18 range is the HDX18-1103ea, which boasts a 2.0GHz quad-core Q9000 and two 320GB drives, though this configuration comes in at just under £1,500 so is significantly more expensive than the model we're looking at today version. Moreover, unless you're doing a lot of video processing, you'll probably find the higher clocked CPU in the HDX18-1005ea will make it faster in most tasks, so it's worth thinking about what you need if you're tempted by the idea of a quad-core processor.

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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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