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As you might imagine given the very similar specification, the HDX18 performs more or less identically to the HDX16 and the Acer Aspire 6935G in all of our tests. All told, though the HDX18 is no powerhouse, it's more than powerful enough to deal with all the things most users will throw at it. Moreover, having a 64-bit OS and 4GB RAM means any memory intensive programs won't suffer.
In gaming, meanwhile, the HDX18 is a capable performer, even if it lacks the graphical grunt to play some of the more demanding titles - you can forget about Crysis for certain. In Trackmania Nations Forever, however, we managed to get a playable 31.1 frames per second (fps) at 1,920 x 1,080 with detail set to high. Adding 4 samples of anti-aliasing brought this down to 23.8fps, while at medium settings with 4x anti-aliasing the HDX18 produced a smooth 37.7fps.
And, while battery life isn't a major concern in a machine such as this, the HDX18 didn't perform too badly lasting just over two and a half hours in the Productivity segment, two hours and 48 minutes in the Reader test and one hour and 48 minutes in DVD test.
In reality, though, the HDX18 is bound to spend most of its life sitting on a desk and plugged in and for this it's very well suited. It's got just the right balance of components and features, ensuring it can do everything you're likely to want without slowing to a crawl, while also keeping the price down to an acceptable level.
If you're after a desktop replacement with all the trimmings but don't want to pay the earth, the HP HDX18-1005ea should definitely be on your list. It has all the features a multimedia machine should have, looks the part and makes for an excellent day-to-day family PC.