I reviewed the HP Omen X gaming desktop, and found it pretty intriguing. It wasn’t perfect, but we appreciated how HP tried new things like the diagonal cube case, added enthusiast features like the hot swappable bays, and made it easy to upgrade. So when they asked us to review their Omen gaming laptop, we thought: why not? This video is sponsored by HP, but guess what that means? Yep, we’re giving away this gaming laptop. AND ITS OPEN WORLD WIDE. *SMUG*
Unlike the desktop version, this isn’t their very first omen gaming laptop. That title belongs to the 2014 version. With a starting MSRP of $1499, you could get an Intel i7, a 15.6” 1080p IPS touch screen, and a GTX 860M graphics card.
This time around, the biggest change in the new 2017 HP Omen is the price: it has a starting MSRP of $899 USD and that includes an Intel i7 7700HQ, an Nvidia GTX 1050 graphics card, and a matte anti glare IPS display. On the high end of the spectrum, you can get a fully loaded model with a GTX 1070 graphics card, 4K IPS display, and 512GB NVMe SSD for $1849. Not bad, especially since it goes on sale for cheaper than that quite often.
The second biggest change is the physical design. The outer shell has a soft touch rubber finish with a carbon fiber design on it that looks and feels very nice. It also hides finger prints very well, but it will show the oils from your skin so try not to eat cheetos while touching the outside.
The hinge isn’t the fanciest one we’ve ever seen, but it’s actually so stiff that you need to use two hands to open the lid. I don’t really count that as a downside, since hinges only get looser over time. I’d rather it be too stiff now than too loose later. * CREEPY STARE?*
Everything sits on two large rubber strips, and there’s plenty of space for airflow underneath. Air is drawn in from the bottom and expelled through the back. It’s a nice thing to see, since many laptops have exhausts on the sides that shoot hot air right onto fragile rubber cables or directly onto your hand if you’re using a mouse. The shape of the curved edges also make the laptop very easy to pick up.
Finally, the entire bottom panel opens up with 10 screws to reveal two SODIMM RAM slots, an M.2 connector, and a 2.5in hard drive slot. It also hides the 61.6Wh (watt hour) battery in the 15” model, while the 17” model hides a 95.8Wh battery. On the sides you’ll find three USB 3 ports, an hdmi output, a 4-pole headset port, ethernet port, and an sd card reader. For a gaming laptop, I generally prefer separate microphone and headphone jacks but at least these adapters are pretty common.
The carbon fiber theme continues onto the inside, but it’s a smooth finish here without the soft touch rubber. It’s actually pretty smart, since soft touch finishes on the palm rest are usually the first thing to wear out. And once it wears out.. There’s no fixing that.
The keyboard itself is gorgeous – the keys are brightly lit and have a soft glow all around them without any LED’s shining directly into your eyes. The downside is that it only comes in red. The track pad is also very responsive with multitouch gestures being recognized easily and palm rejection blocking out unwanted movements while typing.
Right above the keyboard are the speakers. HP has a track record of collaborating with big brands, but it doesn’t seem to make too much of a difference here. There’s very little distortion, even when at max volume, but it’s also not the loudest laptop we’ve tested. We found the pre-installed bang and olufsen software made a noticeable difference, but it still left us wanting more mids and bass.
And finally, we move onto the screen. Both the 15 and 17-inch models come in two versions – 1080p and 4K. Both displays are IPS, and the version we have here is the 15” 1080p version. With our Sypder4Elite calibrator, we measured an sRGB accuracy of 65%. It’s a bit low, but it IS still miles ahead of TN panel displays.
Looking at other review online, it seems that the 4K display has much better color accuracy. We definitely recommend spending the extra $100 and making the upgrade. Even if you game downscaled at 1080p, the richer colours will be worth it. Unfortunately, there’s no adaptive frame rate technology like freesync or g-sync available.
Okay, enough with the physical tour. So how does the Omen handle as an actual gaming laptop? Very well, actually. Although the latest version features an i7-7700HQ and GTX 1050, it’s unfortunately not available in Canada yet so we did our testing on the previous model which featured an Intel i7 6700HQ and GTX 960M graphics card. If you’re looking for a specific game’s performance, then we recommend checking out notebookcheck.net’s review on the graphics card you’re interested in, since performance across all mobile GPU’s are more or less the same.
While our test unit isn’t the latest model, it was still able to play any game including brand new triple A titles with a minimum of 30fps at 1080p. On average, the latest GTX 1050 gives framerates around 40% higher than the GTX 960M, so as a gamer you’re good to go even with the base model.
Even after a 3-hour long gaming session, the wrist pad and keyboard never became uncomfortably hot. Our CPU hit a maximum of 87 degrees, while our graphics card hit 72. Neither chip throttled either, which is a great sign.
And that brings us to our conclusion. As HP’s second attempt at launching an Omen gaming laptop, I think the best way to describe it is safe. It comes in at a great price point and does all the gaming you need without any major flaws. And now, you get a chance to win this very laptop!
All you need to do to enter is click here and follow the instructions. I hope you were paying attention during the video, since we’re asking some pretty challenging questions! Or someone’s just gonna post all the answers in the comments. Either way, you have until **LIKE 1 WEEK AFTER LAUNCH?** to enter, so good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor.
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