Gaming still remains a domain where Windows devices rule the roost. All active gamers dream of owning a heavy duty Windows device like the latest Alienware Rig to help them go for the kill when it comes to serious gaming. Now, HP hopes to make a serious dent in the gaming segment with its Omen series laptops, available in 15 and 17 inch versions. Though a late entrant in the segment, HP might just be able to give the older players good competition.
HP Omen 17
The HP Omen is one large gaming rig. It is not as sexy as the Alienware and seems to have a more human design than what we are used to. But that does not mean it lacks oomph in any way. The black and red colour combination, the backlit keyboards, the techno textured finish on the body add its own kind of style to the device. The laptop comes with a well spaced out keyboard and large trackpad. The Omen, as well as Bang & Olufsen branding, are very visible up front. So is the speaker strip right under the screen. The hinges are metallic. Though it does look a bit out of place with the rest of the design, it is not that bad either.
Specs: 17.3-inch WLED UWVA IPS (1920x1080p) screen | Intel Core i7-7700HQ (3.6 GHz, upto 4.2 GHz & 8 MB cache) processor | NVIDIA 1070 GeForce GTX graphic card | 8GB RAM | Dual Storage of 1TB Hard Disk and 256GB SSD | 95.8WHr battery | Bang & Olufsen Audio with Dual Speakers and Audio Boost | Windows 10
What is good?
The best thing about the Omen, at least in my books, is the display. While it is not the 4K option available in other markets, it takes the device to another level altogether. You might struggle getting the display settings adjusted for some older games, but you will enjoy this new screen. Thankfully, the audio quality is good enough to rise to the standards set by the display, and this is a rarity even in 2017.
Now, let’s come to performance as that is the game changer for any gaming laptop. The Omen series is powered by Intel Core i7 processors and the review unit that I had proved that it can’t get better, or more powerful, than this. I tried a wide variety of games that I could get my hands on – some from Steam and some like Call of Duty already in the device – and the experience was really good. The NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX graphics is really up to task .
The keyboard has a good amount of travel and gives you a feeling of confidence. However, Omen does not have a different colour combination for the gaming keys which I would think a lot of gamers would be used to. The device comes with an Omen branded mouse with customisable keys. But you can manage without it too if needed. You might also want to get the branded mouse pad despite its really steep price. Talking of accessories, if you want to complete the list get the Omen headphones with Mic and volume controls. They are very comfortable on the head and offer clear inputs, crucial when you are on the prowl with a gun albeit a virtual one.
I have for some time had the opinion that Windows 10 devices are good only if they have the specs of a gym instructor. This device is one such and you can experience the real power of the platform on a laptop like this. So if you are stuck up on Windows as a platform, then maybe a device like this might be what you need to replace your desktop – no, you can’t use this like a regular laptop, not when it weighs nearly 3.5 kg. You will enjoy working on the Omen because it has a perfect keyboard, the power you need to get tasks completed and that is not that easy when it comes to affordable devices.
What is not that good?
Like traditional gaming laptops, the Omen heats up quite a bit. It fumes and frets from the sides like a raging bull. So playing a game with this one on your lap in the Delhi heat might not be a great idea. I would suggest you keep this safely on a table to exploit its power to the fullest.
The Omen is a very heavy laptop and even the power adapter is very big. So this might not be the best option if you want to take it around for gaming, or any other purpose.
The 17-inch model costs almost double that of the 15-inch one and this does not make any sense to me despite the change in specs. I can only say the price difference has been kept so wide to push up sales of the 15-inch model.
Should you buy?
If you are looking for a good gaming laptop, then this must be in your shortlist. Since gamers are very choosy, the final pick will depend on what your gut tell you, but when it comes to experience and performance, you should not really bother much about what the Omen can do. Can this take on the Alienware? Yes. But can it win? That the gamers will tell you better.