H-P Laptop: More to Lug, More to Love

The HP Pavilion HDX9000 is an all-in-one computer entertainment solution but not very portable.
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Editor's Note: Gary Krakow is an award-winning journalist whose columns help feed his personal passion for playing with gadgets of all types, shapes and sizes. Today we bring you part two of Gary's high-end holiday buying guide. Stay tuned to this space for more and click here for part one.

The extremely large

Hewlett-Packard

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Pavilion HDX9000 Entertainment Notebook PC barely makes it as a laptop -- unless you're an NFL linebacker with a giant lap.

This somewhat portable computer measures 18.7 by 13.4 by 2.3 inches and weighs in at a whopping 15.5 pounds. It runs on

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Windows Vista operating system. The 20.1-inch, WSXGA, high-definition, 1680 by 1050 pixels, widescreen display is permanently attached to the keyboard/computer enclosure.

This Laptop Needs a Big Lap

var config = new Array(); config<BRACKET>"videoId"</BRACKET> = 1322221314; config<BRACKET>"playerTag"</BRACKET> = "TSCM Embedded Video Player"; config<BRACKET>"autoStart"</BRACKET> = false; config<BRACKET>"preloadBackColor"</BRACKET> = "#FFFFFF"; config<BRACKET>"useOverlayMenu"</BRACKET> = "false"; config<BRACKET>"width"</BRACKET> = 265; config<BRACKET>"height"</BRACKET> = 255; config<BRACKET>"playerId"</BRACKET> = 1243645856; createExperience(config, 8);

My test unit came with

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2.4GHz Core2 Duo CPU, which is toward the bottom of the speed chart of available processors for this unit. There's a 240GB SATA hard drive inside. There are other options -- up to and including 500 GB of storage. This device came with 2GB of RAM. It can hold a maximum of 4GB! The built-in CD/DVD ROM drive also handles new high-definition HD-DVDs.

There's an integrated HP HDTV Hybrid TV Tuner inside to receive over-the-air, high definition broadcasts and a remote control for all the multimedia functions that sits parked next to the left of the keyboard. As for audio, the HDX sports four Altec Lansing speakers along with what HP calls their triple bass reflex subwoofer.

As you can see, this is no ordinary laptop; it's a complete, integrated computer entertainment center. It also sports a price tag to match. Base configurations start at just under $2,500. My test unit retails for $3,300. Completely maxed out with options like a true HD-capable screen (1920 by 1200 pixels) don't expect much change from your $5,000.

I can't begin to express just how large and heavy this unit is when you try to carry it from one place to another. My suggestion is to find a good place for it and leave it there. Your back (but not your chiropractor) will thank you.

As for performance, this laptop is a desktop replacement computer in laptop clothing. It runs Vista very well. Audio and video capabilities are spectacular. I did not run my usual test to time battery life, because I can't believe many people would run the HDX on anything but AC power.

What I like best is that when you're done you can close it and hide the screen. You can't easily do that with the flat-screen LCD monitor in your living room or den. You can also move the whole thing from room to room if you need to.

Overall, HP's HDX9000 is an expensive, all-in-one computer entertainment solution -- but one that's well thought out and very well executed. Recommended.

With 34 years experience as a journalist -- the last 27 with NBC -- Gary Krakow has seen all the best and worst technology that's come along. Gary joined MSNBC.com before it actually went online in July 1996. He produced and anchored the first live Webcast of a presidential election in November 1996. With a background as a gadget freak, audiophile and ham radio operator, Krakow started writing reviews for both Audio and Stereophile Magazines in the 80s. Once at MSNBC.com, Krakow started writing a column to help feed his personal passion for playing with gadgets of all types, shapes and sizes. Within a short time, that column became a major force in many electronics industries -- audio, video, photography, GPS and cell phones. Readership soared, and manufacturers told him they had actual proof that a positive review in his column sold thousands of their products. Many electronics manufacturers have used quotes from his reviews in their sales literature as well as on their Web sites. There have also been a few awards too, including Emmys in the 70s, 80s and 90s.