Taking a trip round the edges of the HDX-16 reveals an excellent selection of ports. In addition to the five-in-one memory card slot, there are not only four USB 2.0 ports and a single, four-pin Firewire, but also eSATA for more storage, HDMI and VGA for external screens, and an antenna connection for the integrated TV tuner. Add-in cards can be accommodated by the ExpressCard 54 slot. Networking options include Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11g Wi-Fi – Bluetooth is built in, too.
A slot on the left-hand side holds a mini remote control
An intriguing slot on the left side of the laptop is home to a custom-designed mini-remote, which works with both Vista Home Premium 64's Media Center and HP’s own MediaSmart software. There’s a second, more normal-sized remote for using at home, too. Quite why you need MediaSmart, which doesn’t include a TV guide and is nowhere near as intuitive to use as Media Center, isn’t clear, but it's there if you want to try it.
Inside, the machine comes with a 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo P8400 processor - not one of Intel's top performers, alas - and a healthy 4GB of main memory. It couples this with 512MB of dedicated graphics memory for use by the Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT graphics chip, though the GPU can also grab up an extra 1.5GB from the main memory bank.
The Nvidia chip should provide enough kick for some gaming, as well as for media playback, but even so, Windows Vista Home Premium - pre-installed here in its 64-bit form - didn’t feel snappy. Still, the use of the 64-bit Vista means that, for once, it can see all of that 4GB of memory.
Storage comprises a 320GB 5400rpm Fujitsu SATA hard drive and a Blu-Ray reader, which doubles as a multi-format dual-layer DVD rewriter and includes LightScribe for writing black and white disc labels, albeit rather slowly. Since the screen resolution matches that of top-of-the-line HD content, Blu-ray playback looks great and, thanks to that Nvidia GPU, was judder free.
Plenty of ports and a Blu-ray drive
The Freeview-friendly DVB-T TV tuner worked well too, picking up more than 70 channels. An aerial is supplied, but you’ll be a lot better off with a feed from a roof aerial - no big problem since a machine of this size is going to spend more time on a desk than on the move.
A shiny display? For me that's a completely no-go. No matter what else it has to offer. I wanna see my data, not myself.
Are there better options for the HDD? for £1000, i would expect something significantly better than a 5400 RPM HDD, which is woefully underpowered for this kind of rig, any probably why the reviewer said that vista didnt feel 'snappy'.
"These Futuremark simulations work the system harder than current games, and we saw frame rates in the region of 60f/s in World of Warcraft, for example."
World of Warcrack is over 4 YEARS old, it's not current and it's graphics engine is about advanced as Quake 2. Try something like CrysisWarhead for a current game or Stalker Clear sky and this thing will crawl very very badly. For that price I would expect much much better 3D support.
Well worth the grand...
...since SWMBO will actually let you have it in first place, unlike most other "oh, you bought *another* computer" notebooks around. A mere two hundred pounds is a moderate surcharge for this.
One might even be allowed to place it on the living room table...
...the black one, please
I was expecting something better...
That notebook looks exactly like HP's dv7 which comes with a 17" screen, blu-ray, HDMI, 4GB ram, 320GB HDD...sounds pretty much the same spec, and is a fair bit cheaper. Why release basically the same model for a higher price?