The HP HDX: a laptop in name only

The HP Pavilion HDX is more like a semi-portable home theater system, than just a laptop.

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman
2 min read

Weighing an amazing 15.5 pounds and sporting a desktop-sized 20-inch LCD, the HP Pavilion HDX is truly a laptop in name only. This semi-portable home theater system has a Media Center remote that docks right next to the full-size keyboard, an HDMI output, and an optional HD DVD drive.

We first got a glimpse of the massive HP Pavilion HDX system back at CES 2007 and have been eagerly waiting for a review unit ever since. Some system highlights include:

  • 20.1" WSXGA+ Ultra BrightView wide-screen display
  • Four Altec Lansing speakers plus a built-in HP Triple Bass Reflex subwoofer
  • Digital/Analog Hybrid TV Tuner
  • HD DVD drive and HDMI port
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2600 XT
  • An eSATA port for hooking up external backup drives

  • The HDX meets the specs for Intel's revamped Santa Rosa platform, so it has a Centrino Duo sticker. Our preproduction unit also had a top-of-the-line T7700 Core 2 Duo CPU, 3GB of RAM, and dual 100GB hard drives.


    Taking the HDX for a test drive, we loved the removable remote control and the touch-sensitive capacitive media controls. The trickiest part was the giant hinge connecting the screen to the rest of the system. The hinge is attached to the middle of the lid, allowing you to angle the display slightly. When closing the lid, you have to make sure the rear of the screen is pushed all the way back against the hinge, or it'll hit up against the body of the system and potentially crack something. Opening the screen is equally tricky--if you lift from the top of the lid, as is common with laptops, the bottom of the screen will suddenly swing out when it has enough clearance, whacking against the bottom of the chassis. A little practice had us opening and closing the lid with ease, but those first few times were white-knuckle experiences.


    The HDX probably won't ship until at least July, and it starts at $2,999. Fully loaded, it'll run closer to $4,500. If this oversized design looks slightly familiar, that's because you're probably thinking of the lap-busting Dell M2010, released around this time last year.

    Check out the HDX in our First Look video