HP Omen X Emperium 65: Subjective Testing
The Omen X Emperium has a standard refresh rate of 120Hz, but it can be overclocked to 144Hz via the OSD. Combine that spec with G-SYNC, HDR1000 support, the 4K (3840x2160) resolution, and massive 65-inch size makes for an epic gaming experience.
Gaming on such a big display without witnessing abrasive and immersion-hindering screen tearing is an absolute joy. You'll need to stick with a DisplayPort connection (luckily a cable is included in the box) to support those 144Hz refresh rates and we experienced lag-free gaming sessions in everything we threw at it (from Fortnite to Rise of the Tomb Raider to Battlefield V). Input lag is a common issue with HDTVs and PC gaming, but that is not a concern at all with the Omen X Emperium 65 -- the panel offers a true 120Hz refresh rate, without any interpolation, post processing, or trickery, so input lag is in-line with some of the best gaming monitors, regardless of size.
But while the Omen X Emperium is definitely capable of 144Hz, not many systems short of a gaming rig with a couple of GeForce RTX cards using NVLink will be able to deliver full-on 4K gaming at 144 fps or higher with today’s AAA titles. Then again, if you can afford to drop $5,000 on an Omen X Emperium, may two GeForce RTX 2080 Tiss isn’t exactly a financial stretch…
In case you were wondering, response times for the Omen X Emperium are nothing to write home about. Even though this is a 65-inch panel costing thousands of dollars, the response time is listed at a relatively poor 14ms. This is the result of HP going with an MVA panel instead of IPS. Although we can appreciate the better color contrast afforded by an MVA panel, you miss out on the faster response times and viewing angles afforded with an IPS panel.
If you're feeling lucky -- and don't mind taking your chances with artifacts in the process -- you can choose to enable the overdrive feature which will boost gray-to-gray performance to 4ms.
We'll have to forewarn you though; you'll probably want invest in a good wireless keyboard and mouse to use with this display if you're going to be gaming. I initially started off using the Omen X Emperium with an HP Omen X gaming rig and a wired mouse/keyboard. However, sitting that close to the towering display was hard on my eyes. I quickly, however, transitioned to using a wireless keyboard and mouse so that I could enjoy the display (and save my eyeballs in the process) from a more comfortable distance.
It should be noted that through the SHIELD TV interface (or from within Windows 10), you can natively access the GeForce Now game streaming service. While this is a nice added bonus, considering that you'll have a high-powered gaming rig hooked up directly to the Omen X Emperium 65, we doubt that many users would accept the drop-off in image quality and resolution to stream over the internet. Such functionality would be more sensible for someone with a garden variety Smart TV.
Using the Omen X Emperium 65 as a TV
Even though HP doesn’t call this beast a TV, many people will use it as one. One of the reasons why HP is reticent to calling the Omen X Emperium a TV is because it doesn’t include a built-in tuner. That means that you won’t be able to hook up directly to cable/satellite without a box or even an antenna to pull in free digital over-the-air (OTA) channels. However, with its built-in SHIELD TV, you can still use it just like a TV with streaming services from Sling TV, Netflix, DirecTV Now, Hulu, HBO Go, etc.
As a TV, it does just fine. It’s not exactly mind-blowing, however, especially considering the price point. When sitting directly in front of the television, colors look vibrant, but there is a noticeable drop-off in color reproduction and brightness as you move off-axis. Again, our biggest complaints with the TV viewing experience comes from the remote and not the TV itself -- accessing the SHIELD TV functions is cumbersome and detracts from the user experience.