HP Pavilion HDX9313TX
The dragon returns in full force
- Huge screen, high-end performance
- Some multitasking performance issues, not very mobile
If you’re looking at $5000-plus high-end notebooks, then the HDX9313TX should certainly be considered. This laptop is maxed-out in most respects and it caters to those who need serious grunt. As an entertainment and gaming notebook, it will definitely do the job.
Price$ 5,499.00 (AUD)
HP has refreshed its HDX range with the release of the HDX9313TX. Not much has changed in terms of design since we reviewed the Pavilion HDX9004TX, but some tweaking under the hood has improved performance. However, the 9313TX has many high-end components but no fine tuning. This impacts on performance and causes the overall user experience to suffer.
The laptop's nickname — the Dragon — refers to the design of the chassis, but it seems more descriptive of its size. The notebook is a beast, on par with the HDX9004TX and easily surpassing the size of its main competitor, the Alienware Area-51 m15x-R1. This seems necessary in order to fit its plethora of hardware components and its back pain–inducing 20.1in LCD screen. At 7kg, it certainly won't be competing with the Macbook Air for the mobility crown.
Don't expect to use it like a typical notebook — its sheer size will easily cause it to topple from your lap. Still, at least it won't burn your lap: two exhaust holes on the back of the notebook provide cooling, rather than heat dissipating through its bottom or keyboard.
The notebook boasts a 20.1in Ultra Brightview Widescreen Display. Although this is touted to be "high definition", its resolution maxes out at 1680x1050. This pales when compared to the 1920x1200 offered by the Area-51 m15x-R1, although the monitor's missing pixels aren't going to ruin the Blu-Ray experience. The notebook has an HDMI port to enable full HD resolution on a plasma or LCD screen. Unfortunately, it has no audio passthrough, so you'll have to connect digital audio and video separately.
The 9313TX's screen sits atop a dual-hinge support, allowing it to be adjusted to angles not possible for a conventional notebook. Horizontal viewing angles are excellent, but changing your vertical adjustment angle quickly washes out most colour. HP's use of a gloss panel accentuates colours, but also means that the notebook becomes almost unusable in any situation involving anything above dim light. We tried to play games and movies in a well-lit office, and glare made it impractical.
This is unfortunate, given the bevy of entertainment features available. A digital/analog TV tuner allows easy access to live television through HP's own Quickplay program or Windows Media Centre. Integrated Altec Lansing speakers provide the notebook's sound; there are four speakers in the screen panel and a Triple Bass Reflex subwoofer on the underside of the chassis. The maximum volume won't shatter your ears, but the bass was surprisingly good.
Touch-sensitive keys above the keyboard give the user access to the notebook's QuickPlay functions, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and volume and equaliser settings. There's even a 'cinema' button that fades the buttons' backlights to minimise distraction when playing a game or watching a movie in a dark room. The buttons work well, but we're a little confused as to why HP chose to place the fingerprint scanner above the keyboard, rather than in a more practical position.
The touchpad's textured design uses the same material as the rest of the chassis. Unfortunately, it is somewhat resistive in normal use and takes some getting used to.
Under the hood, the 9313TX is driven by an Intel Core 2 Extreme X9000 CPU running at 2.8GHz, with an NVIDIA GeForce 8800M GTS in charge of the notebook's graphics. Media capabilities are enhanced by the laptop's Blu-Ray player. The notebook has 640GB of storage thanks to two 320GB hard drives, which spin at 5400rpm. This may sound great for BitTorrent junkies everywhere, but the slow drives impact on the notebook's performance.
Performance isn't lacking in the 9313TX, but because of the mismatched components it fell a little short of expectations. Our WorldBench 6 tests yielded a result of 83, improving somewhat on the Pavilion HDX9004TX but overshadowed by the 106 achieved by the Alienware Area-51 m15x-R1. The m15x also came out in front in 3DMark06 tests, scoring 9127 as opposed to the 9313TX's 8038. On the other hand, our iTunes encoding test — converting 53min of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3s — shaved two seconds off the m15x's time, managing it in 62sec.
The Dragon certainly isn't a slouch, but its performance when multitasking and compressing files aren't all they could be. Fortunately, this doesn't seem to impact gaming performance — we played Alone in the Dark and G.R.I.D. at an average of 40-50 frames per second — but those programs that rely heavily on hard drive speeds, such as video editing and compression, are likely to suffer.
Given the notebook's massive 180 Watt power supply, we expected this behemoth to be bereft of staying-power in terms of its battery. Nevertheless, the 9313TX impressed us. Its nine-cell Li-Ion battery lasted 1hr42min in our worst-case DVD rundown test. This is a huge increase on the Pavilion HDX9004TX, which lasted a measly 60mins, and is miles ahead of the m15x's 59mins. Though the notebook's size isn't ideal for mobile working conditions, the 9313TX should have enough juice for those situations where you find yourself without power and need to finish editing that HD documentary on Paris Hilton's dog.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Asus ROG teases the world's first AMD Ryzen laptop
- Lenovo's Flex 5 catches up to other convertibles, adding Kaby Lake and USB-C
- Lenovo's Legion Y920 gets serious with mechanical keys and one-touch overclocking
- Google's Chromebooks are getting a night mode to help you sleep better
- Surface Laptop vs. Surface Pro 4: We compare prices, features and more
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Huawei P10 smartphone review
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- Moto G5 smartphone: full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- CCSolution Designer with PEGA experience- TelcoVIC
- FTBI and Report DeveloperQLD
- FTSenior DBANSW
- FTLooking for Software TestersACT
- FTBI Developer (SQL Server Reporting Services)SA
- FTManaging Architect - Satellite spaceVIC
- FTApplication Support SpecialistQLD
- FTBusiness Intelligence Analyst - Microsoft BI Stack - NewcastleNSW
- FTProject Control Analyst - PMONSW
- TPAndroid DeveloperNSW
- FTTechnical WriterVIC
- FTQueue ManagerACT
- CCTechnical WriterVIC
- CCFront End DeveloperQLD
- FTJunior - Mid Level Application Support ConsultantQLD
- FTSenior Business Analyst l GROUP LIFE INSURANCE l SydneyQLD
- FTIT Command Centre Support EngineerVIC
- TPBusiness Analyst - ImprovementQLD
- FTBusiness Process ConsultantNSW
- FTSystem Engineer - VMWare, UCS, NetAppVIC
- FTTest Manager / Test LeadQLD
- TPTechnical ConsultantACT
- FTCustomer Service OperatorVIC
- CCProcess Improvement Manager (Black Belt)NSW