HP HDX18-1010EA review
The HP HDX18-1010EA has a list of specifications that should endear it to movie fans. The 18.4in screen stretches across a native resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, and a Blu-ray reader and Altec Lansing speakers mean that HD movies can be enjoyed to their fullest.
But the HP wasn’t able to compete with Sony and Dell in the entertainment stakes. The screen is the main problem: when compared with the vivid and crisp RGB LED panels of those laptops, the HP’s 18.4in screen looked pale and dull.
The HDX18-1010EA can’t compete on design, either, with its gun-metal grey chassis looking outdated beside the glossy black of the Dell and elegant design of the Sony VAIO VGN-AW21XY/Q. Build quality isn’t bad, but the HP’s glossy plastic finish makes it feel a little cheaper than many of its rivals.
The keyboard and mouse don’t improve things. The former is spongy, lacking the positive action of the Sony’s Scrabble-tile effort, and the trackpad and buttons feel unresponsive.
Providing the system’s oomph is Intel’s 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo P8400 processor. It isn’t lightning-quick, but its score of 1.24 in our benchmarks is a decent result, and ensures enough power to cope with the most demanding software titles. Graphical grunt is provided by an Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT, enabling the HP to score a respectable 16fps in our medium-quality Crysis test. Again, though, more gaming potential can be had elsewhere.
HP is replacing this model soon with the HP HDX-1210EA, which comes with a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo P8600 CPU and GeForce GT130M graphics. We don’t predict a huge leap in performance, though.
Two 250GB hard disks offer plenty of storage, but there are few surprises elsewhere: draft-n wireless, a card reader and a reasonable selection of ports. Battery life follows suit with a light-use result of less than three hours and a heavy-use life of around an hour and a half, which mean the 4kg HP won’t be able to last long away from a desk.
The HDX18-1010EA is by no means a bad laptop. It’s powerful enough for applications and games, and reasonably comfortable. But it’s uninspiring in this company.
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Dimensions||432 x 289 x 47mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core 2 Duo P8400|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel PM45 Express|
|SODIMM sockets free||0|
|SODIMM sockets total||2|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,920|
|Resolution screen vertical||1,080|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Graphics chipset||Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT|
|Graphics card RAM||512MB|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Hard disk usable capacity||464GB|
|Internal disk interface||SATA/300|
|Hard disk||Seagate Momentus 5400.4|
|Optical disc technology||Blu-ray reader|
|Optical drive||Sony Optiarc BC-5500S|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Integrated 3G adapter||no|
|Wireless hardware on/off switch||no|
|Wireless key-combination switch||yes|
|PC Card slots||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||4|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|9-pin serial ports||0|
|Optical S/PDIF audio output ports||0|
|Electrical S/PDIF audio ports||0|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Memory Stick reader||yes|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||yes|
|Smart Media reader||no|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Audio chipset||HP HD Audio|
|Speaker location||Above keyboard, bottom|
|Hardware volume control?||no|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||172|
|Battery life, heavy use||85|
|Overall application benchmark score||1.39|
|Office application benchmark score||1.33|
|2D graphics application benchmark score||1.16|
|Encoding application benchmark score||1.11|
|Multitasking application benchmark score||1.25|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||16fps|
|3D performance setting||Medium|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows Vista Home Premium|
|OS family||Windows Vista|
|Recovery method||Recovery disk and partition|
|Software supplied||Microsoft Works 9|