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(Pocket-lint) - Considering HP is one of the world’s largest notebook manufacturers, it isn’t a brand you’d immediately think of choosing a new machine.

They tend to sell into corporate circles and that until recently, their consumer machines haven’t had as much exposure as other brands.

The HP Compaq nx9420 is aimed at the corporate market and is considered a desktop replacement but with a specification that includes the latest dual-core chip as well as decent graphics, we feel the consumer will like what’s on offer here too.

With a 17-inch Super-TFT screen, this is a fairly large machine but with an overall weight of 3.4kg, you may well want to carry it around on the odd occasion. The high has a high-resolution (1680 x 1050 pixels WSXGA+) ideal for clearly seeing the details when editing media but it does mean you’ll need to pump word files up, to have text at a size you can read with ease.

Graphics are the ATi Mobility Radeon X1600, which is shortly to be replaced the X1700, which offers 10% more performance, but unless you’re thinking of playing the latest games on this machine, this shouldn’t be a concern.

Considering the size of the screen, HP has designed a compact machine with an impressive build quality. The plastic is tough and the overall feel is solid and robust. We used it for a few days and were surprised with how firm it felt. The keyboard is a great size and really comfortable to use.

When it comes to getting the job done there is more than enough power to be found here. Using Intel’s Core 2 Duo T7400 (2.16GHz) processor, you’ll find this machine really delivers. The 1024MB of DDR2 memory means the system won’t slow down even when running multiple applications. With 120GB of storage space, you’re never likely to run out of space

With a nod to business users, there is a SecureCard slot on the left-hand side, which adds an extra level of security. You can configure the machine so that it will only work when the card is inserted, so if need to walk away from the machine for any reason, take the card with you and it will effectively lock the notebook down.

On the right-hand side you’ll find a DVD rewriter, Gigabit Ethernet and two USB2.0 ports, as well as headphone and microphone jacks. There are also two USB2.0 ports on the left-hand side along with S-video and VGA-out ports.

In daily use, we found this a great machine to use. It may not be ideal for mobile life but with a battery life averaging around the five hours mark, you won’t need to take the mains adapter with you.

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The HP Compaq nx9420 may be a business machine but we found it a great machine for anyone to use.

If you need to balance work with having a machine for the family too, this may well be the perfect choice.

Writing by Mike Browne. Originally published on 18 December 2006.