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HP Omen 17, a beast of gaming in which almost everything are correct

Laptops dedicated to the gaming segment have benefited from the new batch of dedicated graphics from NVIDIA, and HP has been one of those who have harnessed that power by integrating it into their equipment. The HP Omen 17 is a clear example of that ambition.

The large format notebook stands out precisely because it has an entire NVIDIA GTX 1070 inside, a graph that certainly gives a new dimension to the graphics capabilities of this notebook. We have been able to analyze it (and enjoy it) for a few days, and these are our conclusions.

A design that does not seek minimalism

We’re not going to fool ourselves: a 17-inch notebook – 17.3, to be exact – is not small. It is never going to be, and that is also true of the Omen 17, which does not hide the fact that here the important thing is not to be more or less bulky , but to offer some benefits that fulfill in the field for which it was designed.

That makes outwardly we find a team that as we say is great and also does not resort to any trick to hide that volume : the frames that surround the screen are giants, especially in the lower and outer, and that makes The keyboard also appears to be small in view of the entire surface that is on the outside. In fact, although the keyboard (with numeric keypad included) and the touchpad are generous, there is plenty of space around it.

That surface, like the front shell, has a dark finish that stands out by a pattern of gray and black diagonals that without being especially aggressive if it equips the team with a certain exterior personality. So does the Omen family logo, which stands out clearly on the front of the team with a very lively red color. This is the only representative sample that we find a gaming team, otherwise, it might seem that we are facing a large format notebook “normal”.

The thickness of the equipment also leaves no doubts about the intentions of HP with this format: those 33 mm make us to a team “fat” and also has a high weight that amounts to 3.25 kg. If we are strict to them we would have to add the 808 grams of a power supply that is equally large and heavy: nothing to do with sources of Ultrabooks and convertibles in which are also sought contained dimensions.

There are elements of design that do of course make clear that this is a laptop prepared for gamers: the first is the aforementioned logo, but it is the red backlit keyboard that stands out most, something that joins the typography of each letter, Very different – as is usual – to that of conventional equipment, much more “formal” in this sense.

HP Omen 17

Image Source: Google Image

The materials, though, are plastic all over the laptop, except in the frames surrounding the screen. At the bottom, we find a small expansion bay to access the two memory slots, and if we want to access more components, we will have to open the entire lower deck.

In terms of connections we find a curious situation: most of them are on the right side , something that can represent a problem for the right users that can be found with more cables or connected peripherals than they would like. On the left side, we have a USB 3.0 port and headphone and microphone connectors, with a prominent ventilation grid.

On the right side, we find the SD card reader, Mini Display Port connector, 2 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI port, RJ-45 connector and power connector. There are no ports on the front or rear, where we find two other generous ventilation grids designed to keep the temperature under control inside this equipment.

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Some specifications worthy of a laptop for gamers

There are many advantages to having such a bulky chassis, and here HP has been able to include a series of high-power components that would normally only be found on desktop computers.

There are two that make it clear that the HP Omen 17 does not walk with little girls. The Intel Core processor i7-6700HQ guarantee ample power in all the tasks that the team let up, but if there is a star that is the dedicated graphics card, all NVIDIA GeForce 1070 GTX with 8GB of GDDR5 video memory that Of course give a lot of room to enjoy games to the highest quality in this team.

CHARACTERISTICS HP OMEN 17
Processor Intel Core i7-6700HQ at 2.6 GHz
RAM 16GB DDR4-2133
Storage 256 GB SSD PCIe M.2 NVMe + 1 TB Hard drive 7,200 rpm
Screen IPS 17.3 inches with G-Sync support
Resolution 1,920 x 1,080 (127 dpi)
Graphic card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5)
Connection Ports 1 HDMI, 1 headset, 1 microphone, 3 USB 3.1 Gen 1, 1 DisplayPort 3.0, 1 Mini DisplayPort, 1 RJ-45, SD card reader
Omens Shoes Intel RealSense Front with Windows Hello support
Connectivity Wifi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2 and LAN GbE
Battery 95 Wh, 8300 mAh
Dimensions 416 x 279 x 33 mm
Weight 3.35 kg
OS Windows 10 Home 64
Price $1999

There are however some curious decisions, such as integrating a 1080p panel, something that certainly helps in battery consumption but may disappoint some users who also seek to work at higher resolution with this diagonal. The screen density of 127 dpi is decent, but to solve this “limitation” HP also offers a version with 4K panel that logically increases the price of the notebook.

The quality of the image on this IPS screen is really remarkable, with good contrast, but the most striking feature is the support of NVIDIA G-Sync technology, allowing games to be enjoyed in perfect sync and take advantage of the frequency of Refresh 75 Hz of this screen to improve the game experience thanks to the work done with the manufacturer’s dedicated graphics.

Also highlighting those 16 GB of memory that give room for maneuver for current and future games, as well as that Gigabit Ethernet connector that is vital to get the most out of online games. Bang & Olufsen’s stereo speakers perform very decently, and the integration of the Intel RealSense camera that allows identification through iris recognition is also welcome. Its operation with Windows Hello technology is, of course, fantastic.

Some users may miss the traditional DVD player that was part of this computer in previous iterations. HP has decided not to integrate it in this case, but we can always connect an external one. The storage section is very well covered by both the high performance 256GB SSD and the 1TB hard drive.

Where there are disappointments is in the section of the connection ports, where the absence of USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports is important, but it is even more the fact of not having some USB-C port that gives access to the advantages of the Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.

HP Omen 17

Image Source: Google Image

Performance: Nothing that sets it apart from a powerful desktop PC

The performance tests of the Omen 17 do not disappoint, of course: that hardware configuration behaves in an exceptional way, and the GTX 1070 is a guarantee in a team dedicated to games.

We have been able to verify this in the first place in the synthetic tests: both the general purpose (PCMark 8 Home and Creative) and those dedicated to evaluate the graphics power (3DMark) the behavior has been precisely what can be expected of these components. In fact, there are no differences with the performance of a desktop computer in this area.

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We have also evaluated the behavior in a couple of tests that allow us to analyze the performance of the storage unit, which although it is remarkably high does not reach the maximum levels expected, especially in the case of an M.2 NVMe unit that we expected in readings That would reach 2,000 MB / s quietly. The performance of GeekBench 4 is fantastic, another fact that confirms that good general behavior of the hardware.

These synthetic tests were completed with tests on various video games, which ran at 1080p (the maximum resolution of this screen) and were set to high detail level. In Dirt Rally, the frame rate exceeds 130 fps without problems, while Rise of the Tomb Raider also achieves exceptional rates ranging from 100 to 110 fps.

These rates can fall logically if we connect the laptop to an external monitor with a higher resolution, of course, but of course make it clear that we have plenty of power to enjoy a fantastic gaming experience that among other things is rewarded on that screen by The G-Sync support.

The GTX 1070 sets the bar for full throttle at higher resolutions, so those interested in the 4K model could take advantage of it with no problems in that mode and even for some games in 4K as well. Another area in which we can take advantage of this power is the virtual reality: although we have not been able to test this scenario, both the graphic and the other components invite to it.

The sonority of the equipment is very well controlled, and there help the generous ventilation grilles and the cooling system of a equipment that activates those fans when it is subjected to much load – for example, in those games and benchmarks – and that emits a snort Modest and, of course, bearable. Here HP has done a good job at controlling that section.

What does suffer is the autonomy of the team, which logically in games will be significantly reduced. The 95Wh battery is decent for a “normal” computer, but with these features hardware consumption (even with the 1080p display) is triggered. We have achieved an average of about 4 hours of battery life in a conventional use (web browsing, some music and video), which logically can be shortened (more than half, we fear) if we use the laptop without power to play.

HP Omen 17

Image Source: Google Image

Enjoying and playing with the HP Omen 17

A team of these characteristics is clearly oriented to those who want to take their game sessions to everywhere without giving up that great graphic power, and the fact is that in that section the Omen 17 does not disappoint in most sections.

Yes there are buts, of course: the construction and the design are little remarkable, but is that in addition the keyboard and the touchpad are also not the best we have seen. With this room for maneuver we would have appreciated a slightly more spacious keyboard, especially in details such as the cursor keys dedicated to an unfair space for a gaming team.

The touchpad also does not fulfill too much joy, and although the sensitivity and the touch are adequate, it is not its construction and response to some actions like the pressure for the left or right click in the corners. That is where you detect certain “cheap” finishes that demerit a computer that with that price and that configuration should take care of these and other details.

The sound, with a generous grid for the stereo speakers (developed with the collaboration of Bang & Olufsen), is also adequate, but again with that room for maneuver due to the thickness and size of the equipment perhaps could have been more spectacular. In games and video content behaves well, but if we raise the volume too much we will notice some distortion of the bass. The utility included to customize the behavior of these speakers can help fine-tune that sound quality, of course.

One of the highlights we have, as we said at the beginning, on the webcam with RealSense support. Logging in to the screen, without the need to enter passwords, is really comfortable, and although sometimes the process fails because they are not located at the proper distance or angle, the behavior of this component invites you to take advantage of it constantly.

In the matter of software, we are with a Windows 10 Home 64 bits to which HP has added some own tools and others external. Bloatware makes its appearance with solutions like Netflix, Candy Crush, McAfee LiveSafe, or Dropbox. Without being a particularly annoying set of applications, we do return to that demand that the computer arrive totally “clean” at the hands of users, who especially in this range probably know very well whether they will need to download an antivirus or clients As mentioned above.

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