Gaming laptops have become more and more popular these days, because they allow you to play games on the go. Some of the big names in gaming laptops that you’ve probably heard of are by Razer and Alienware (which is by Dell) but I bet you wouldn’t have guessed that HP is making gaming machines as well.

HP’s OMEN lineup is specifically tailored for gamers and I haven’t used a lot of gaming laptops but I’m liking where HP is going with the Omen 17 laptop I tested out.

I’ve been using the HP OMEN Laptop PC – 17-w018ca (W8X26UA) for a few weeks now and I wouldn’t call it the absolute best laptop out there but it is definitely great for gaming.

Design & Hardware

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The OMEN 17 is a massive laptop, it’s more a of desktop replacement laptop than a portable one. That being said, you can still carry the OMEN 17, it just won’t be as light as say the Asus ZenBook 3 or Dell XPS 13.

The OMEN 17 (right) next to the Dell XPS 13 (left)
The OMEN 17 (right) next to the Dell XPS 13 (left)

Since you’re paying so much for the OMEN 17, I wish that HP had used some more premium materials in the build of the laptop. The whole thing is made out of plastic and the screen has a bit of wobble bends a little bit.

The OMEN 17 that I tested is being powered by a 6th Gen Intel Core i7 Processor (6700HQ) with Intel HD Graphics 530 and up to 3.5 GHz. You’ll also find a 128GB SSD and a 2TB HDD with 16GB of RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M discrete graphics card which is capable of playing most games on medium to high quality settings.

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The model I tested only had a 17.3-inch Full HD display with a resolution of 1920×1080 but the OMEN 17 can be optioned with a 4K display. The screen still looks great, especially videos but having a 4K display would have made it even better.

The OMEN 17 has a black and red colour scheme, everything from the OMEN logo on the lid to the red and black keyboard along red backlighting. It looks good, if you’re into that sort of colour scheme.

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The keyboard is comfortable to type and play game on but the trackpad can sometime be a bit wonky and unresponsive. The OMEN 17 does have a HD webcam but I wouldn’t use it for anything more than Skype calls for as a facecam for streaming to Twitch.

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As for ports, you’ll find 2 USB 3.0 ports, 1 USB 2.0 port, 1 HDMI, a headphone jack and a multi-format SD card reader. There’s also a DVD drive.

There is also Bang & Olufsen speakers which made everything sound great when watching videos or playing games.

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The OMEN 17 has a 62 WHr battery and since this is a gaming laptop, it doesn’t last that long on battery, I was able to get a few hours but I mostly kept the OMEN 17 plugged in.

The laptop weighs about 6.28 lbs (or 2.85 kg), so it’s not the lightest gaming laptop around.

The current configuration of the OMEN 17 that I tested isn’t sold any more but a similar one will set you back around $2,100 from BestBuy.ca.

Software (& Gaming Performance)

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Since the OMEN 17 is a gaming laptop, you’ll obviously want to play some PC games on. The laptop can handle games such as Euro Truck Simulator 2 and The Sims 4 on medium to high settings. It may not be as powerful as proper gaming desktop, but the OMEN 17 will definitely suffice for those wanting to get their gaming fix. If you want to play games on ultra settings, then you’ll want to look elsewhere.

The OMEN 17 is running Windows 10, which Microsoft says it the best version of Windows yet. Which I do agree with Microsoft, they have made major improvements to their OS. Windows 10 takes the best of Windows 7 and 8.

Even though the OMEN 17 is running Windows 10 Home, it should be noted that you shouldn’t be using it for super heavy tasks, that’s where a more beefier Windows laptop or desktop will come in handy.

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Just like in Windows 8, Windows 10 can be used with devices with and without touchscreens. And unlike Android, there are lots of Windows 10 apps that work well on a tablet. Sure, there might not be as many apps as on Android or iOS but there are alternatives and you can easily install apps that are not on the Windows store.

I was able to easily multi-task on the OMEN 17 and it easily kept up. In Windows 10, there’s even a tablet mode which will bring up the “Modern/Metro UI” that was introduced in Windows 8. 

Most of the other apps you’ll find pre-installed on the OMEN 17 are standard with any Windows 10 PC.

Final Thoughts

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With the OMEN 17, HP has shown that they are capable of making a somewhat powerful gaming laptop that can play most modern games with ease.

If the build quality of the OMEN 17 was much more premium, than it would have made the laptop even better. HP has shown that they can make premium devices, with their Spectre lineup.

If you’re looking for a good gaming laptop without the super high cost of others, then look no further than the OMEN 17.

Pros

  • Unique design
  • Great gaming performance
  • Fast storage
  • Nice display

Cons

  • Plastic build
  • Okay touchpad

8.5 out of 10

 

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