HP Pavilion HDX9320 review

£1369
Price when reviewed

HP’s Pavilion HDX9320 makes a big visual statement. With an enormous 20.1in screen and a scale-busting weight of 7kg, this “laptop” is more desk than desktop replacement – no wonder HP’s nicknamed it the Dragon.

Still, there’s plenty inside the Pavilion to justify the size. Chief among these is a Blu-ray drive that plays HD movies at 1,680 x 1,050 – scaled down from Full HD (1,920 x 1,080), but not so much as to produce a noticeable drop in quality.

HP couples a powerful 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 with 4GB of RAM, which provided enough power for a score of 1.36 in our 2D benchmarks.

A GeForce 8800M GTS ensured the HP hit 36fps in our medium-quality Crysis benchmark without breaking a sweat. It isn’t quite as quick as the 8800M GTX chips in the Rock and Dell XPS M1730, but it’s fast enough to handle modern games respectably.

Further examination reveals the HP to be a fantastic portable entertainment centre. HDMI and S-Video outputs augment the usual VGA, and there are two 250GB hard disks. There’s also a DVB-T TV tuner.

The HP is a more divisive proposition ergonomically. Some will balk at the huge weight; others will enjoy the fact that it’s a powerful media-centric PC that can be moved easily from room to room. The size of it means there’s also enough space for a comfortable full-sized keyboard and a media centre remote.

The 20.1in panel is one of the best we’ve seen this month. It handles dark and light colours capably, and the double hinge means its position can be adjusted more flexibly than most.

This giant also offers surprisingly good battery life. The HDX9320 lasted just over three hours in our light-use test, and 1hr 43mins under heavy use.

It’s hard to find fault with the HP. There’s more than enough performance for demanding apps, a superb 20.1in screen, Blu-ray support and a fantastic range of media-friendly features – a worthy winner, despite its size.

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