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

Things continue to look good when you inspect the contents of the HDX 16. Powering it all is an Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 that runs at 2.26GHz and this is backed by a generous 4GB of 800MHz DDR2 RAM. This might not be the DDR3 RAM we’ve seen in some machines of late, but the performance difference is pretty minimal and unlike many notebooks this is matched with a 64-bit install of Windows Vista Home Premium, so none of that RAM goes to waste.

For storage there’s a 320GB hard drive and though this isn’t massive, especially for a notebook that has a Digital TV Tuner, it’s not small either and demanding users can always fall back on readily available and cheap external storage. There’s also a Blu-ray drive, though only a reader not a writer, so you’ll have to rely on DVDs for backing up to disc. And, if you do this a lot, you’ll be glad for the LightScribe disc labelling support.

Powering the graphics is a 512MB nVidia 9600M GT. This is a relatively capable chip that’ll deal with some games, though don’t expect them to be playable at the 1,920 x 1,080 native resolution – not at decent settings, at least.

Since this is a Centrino 2 notebook Intel Draft-N Wi-Fi is a given, while Gigabit Ethernet and Bluetooth are also included. Keeping in mind all this and the presence of a Full HD screen, the HDX 16 unsurprisingly continues to impress with its connectivity.

There are four USB ports in total, one of which moonlights as an eSATA port for faster connection to external hard drives. HDMI is obviously available, as is VGA to complete the video connectivity. If you have any FireWire capable items, such as a camcorder, there’s a four-pin FireWire port available and the 54mm ExpressCard slot can be used for the supplied remote or any ExpressCard devices you might need to use.

Housed on the front of the machine, where they can be easily accessed, are a memory card reader and the audio connections. Card support includes SD, SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick, MS PRO and xD formats, so whatever your camera uses it can take it, while audio connections include dual headphone outputs and a microphone input – these together can also be used for surround sound.

Like many consumer notebooks these days there’s even a fingerprint reader – useful if you don’t like remembering passwords – while for the video chatters out there, there’s a very capable 1.3 megapixel webcam.

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