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HP updates the Pavilion HDX with Penryn

HP updates the Pavilion HDX

HP announced a CES revamp of its ubersize desktop replacement late last week. Now that Intel has unveiled its new line of laptop chips, we bring you more details and hands-on observations of this high-end laptop.

While some PC makers endeavor to make ever smaller and lighter machines, HP gets credit for going the other way, creating one of the largest laptops ever seen--the massive HDX. With a huge 20-inch display and weighing more than 15 pounds, the HDX is a glorious example of conspicuous consumption. Even better, unlike Dell's similar XPS M2010, HP continues to update the system regularly--the latest version (still just called the HDX) is the third model we've seen since last spring.

The new HDX debuting at CES offers 512 MB Nvidia GeForce 8800M GTS graphics and the latest Intel Penryn processors, and offers a choice of either HD DVD or Blu-ray drives--although the recent Warner/Blu-ray deal makes that less exciting than it was a week or so ago.

Getting a chance to run some benchmarks on a Penryn HDX with the Nvidia GeForce 8800 just before CES, we didn't really see more than a modest performance boost from the new parts--but as with any prerelease hardware, new drivers are often required to unlock the real potential, so it may be a few days or weeks before useful updates are available.

The HDX may be so big that it's a laptop in name only, but the original model from last year was a constant conversation piece around the CNET office. Look for the revamped HDX to be available online sometime in January, starting at $1,999.