HP Omen 17 Review: A Value-Priced Mobile Gaming Beast
HP Omen 17: Powerful Gaming Laptop Specs At A Praiseworthy Price
For the longest time, replicating a desktop-class gaming experience on a laptop meant spending a hefty premium on a comparable mobile configuration, and to some extent, that still holds true today. The situation is much improved, however, as the cost of entry into PC gaming territory in general has continuously fallen on the hardware side, for both desktops and laptops. Simply put, the bang-for-buck proposition on a gaming PC has never been higher than it is right now.
HP's newest model Omen 17 gaming laptop highlights this. It also accentuates the shrinking divide between desktops and laptops, in terms of how far you can stretch your dollar. Not to be overlooked, this is especially intriguing because the Omen lineup is HP's enthusiast gaming brand, having evolved from the company's acquisition of VoodooPC over a decade ago. Crazy how time flies.
The Omen 17 is also an ode to gamers who, like this editor, still prefer a bigger, more powerful, more capable laptop. It rocks a 17.3-inch display, making it bigger and heavier than a typical 15.6-inch model, but is also easier on the eyes (something you'll come to appreciate as you age). HP offers the Omen 17 in both 4K and 1080p trim (60Hz, 144Hz, and 240Hz options), with the model reviewed here toting a 1080p/144Hz display. Each display option also optionally supports NVIDIA's G-Sync technology.
As configured, the Omen 17 that HP sent us pairs a -6-core Intel Core i7-9750H processor with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 GPU. This a meaty combination. In addition, the GPU inside this laptop is the full-fat standard version of the GeForce RTX 2070, and not the Max-Q design model. That means the full graphics performance of the RTX 2070 is on tap.
|Processor||9th generation Intel Core i7-9750H 6-core/12-thread (2.6GHz to 4.5GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
||17.3-inch 1080p (1920x1080), 144 Hz, G-Sync, WLED-backlit
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 8GB GDDR6|
||16GB DDR4-2666 MHz (2x8GB)|
||256GB M.2 NVMe SSD + 1TB Seagate Barracuda Pro HDD|
|Ethernet||Integrated Gigabit LAN
|Wireless Connectivity||Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 (802.11ax) + Bluetooth 5.0|
||Power connector, GbE LAN, HDMI 2.0, mini DisplayPort, 2x USB 3.1 Type-A, USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), 3.5mm headphone, 3.5mm microphone
|Ports (Right)||MicroSD card reader, USB 3.1 Type-A
|Cameras||HP Wide Vision HD webcam (720p, 88-degree wide-angle field of view)
||Windows 10 Home 64-bit
|Dimensions||15.94 x 11.61 x 1.06 inches
|Price||$1,629.98 As Tested|
HP also outfitted this configuration with 16GB (2x8GB) of DDR4-2666 RAM and a storage config consisting of a 256GB M.2 NVMe solid state drive and 1TB hard drive (7200 RPM). Combined with the 6-core/12-thread CPU and burly GPU this laptop wields, there's really no weak spot, in terms of performance. The only thing we'd like to see is a bigger SSD for primary storage chores. To that end, HP offers more capacious storage options for those who want it.
This latest refresh comes with an Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 option as well. This is the exact same hardware as the Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 laptop module we recently reviewed, which we found to be exceptionally fast with excellent wireless range, minus Killer's software tweaks. A Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) router (like the ASUS ROG GT-AX1000 or Netgear Nighthawk AX8) is needed to take full advantage of the latest wireless standard, but it's also backwards compatible, so you don't need to toss your Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) router into the trash bin.
What's remarkable here is the price for all of this hardware. HP offers this SKU on Amazon for $1,629.98. It seems to be a popular setup, because at the time of this writing, they're going in and out of stock. Configuring the same setup on HP's website comes in a little bit higher, unfortunately, though if you shop around, you can find this combination of parts for around the same price—it's $1,679.99 on B&H Photo, for example.
Whether you're customizing an Omen 17 on HP's website or shopping elsewhere, even more powerful component options are available. If you want to go all out, you could outfit this laptop with a Core i9-9880H processor, GeForce RTX 2080 GPU, 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. That pushes the price north of two grand, however, which many people would find crosses the point of diminishing returns. Still, the options are there for those who are interested (and have the necessary funds).
Hardware options aside, let's have a look at the design and overall build quality of the new HP Omen 17 gaming laptop...