Gaming laptops have a moment, and HP wants to play a more significant role. What better way to participate than by offering a powerful gaming installation at a reasonable price? Here is the HP Omen 17, a $1,629 gaming laptop with an RTX 2070 GPU, and a 17.3-inch 1080p screen with a refresh rate of 144 Hz. Today we are here to discuss the same in our HP Omen 17 Review.
The new Omen 17 is in many ways an improvement over its predecessor: the laptop has been redesigned with a leaner, more refined chassis; the RTX graphics offer a severe performance improvement; and the 1080p, 144-Hz screen becomes reasonably clear. So despite the short battery life of the Omen 17 and the mostly plastic chassis, it is one of the best gaming laptops for this price.
HP Omen 17 Review – Design
HP has adopted the color of the Omen 17, giving us a more advanced design. A slim, chrome-silver badge replaces the bright red logo of the previous Omen 17, and the flashy red X in the middle of the lid has disappeared. Although I miss the carbon fiber fabric, the contrasting solid black material and the brushed metal triangle pattern on the cover of the new version look just as good.
Even the back of the new Omen 17 has been cleared. HP has removed the keys from their red font and replaced them with a traditional white type. The same applies to the Omen branding under the keyboard and the Voodoo tribal mask under the screen. The only bit of red that is left on the Omen 2017 is an illuminated on/off button.
HP may have opted for a modest black-gray color scheme with the new version of Omen 17, but the gaming laptop retains the aggressive design of its predecessors. Oblique vents on the sides and rear make the Omen 17 look like a sports car.
A pair of hinges toward the center of the deck raise the Omen’s display, leaving gaps left and right under the screen. I don’t mind the resulting floating screen effect, but the location of the hinges made the screen wobble when I adjusted the angle of the screen. While I was nitpicking, I wanted the plastic cover and the base of the laptop to be metal, just like the deck.
I have no complaints about the selection of ports on the Omen 17. On the right side of the laptop, there are an RJ45 (Ethernet) port, an HDMI input, a Mini DisplayPort, two regular USB 3.0 ports, a Thunderbolt 3 port, and a discreet headset/microphone connections. On the left, you will find a third Type-A USB 3.0 port and a full SD card slot.
Keyboard and TouchPad
I expected that the Omen 17 keyboard would travel deeper, given the large chassis of the laptop. Fortunately, the typing experience is saved by spicy, responsive tests. I also like the size of the keys and key travel and that the Omen 17 has an entirely numeric keypad. Gamers will appreciate the 26-key rollover of the keyboard, which ensures that every keystroke is registered, even if several keys are pressed at the same time.
The HP Omen 17 keyboard has four backlit zones. Three of the zones are equally distributed on the keyboard, while the fourth is for the WASD keys. HP’s Command Center software made it quite easy for me to change those colors easily. The lighting looks nice, but we expect per-key light for this price for those beautiful dynamic effects.
The matt finish on the 4 x 2.2-inch touchpad of the Omen 17 offered a bit too much resistance to my taste, but that didn’t stop me from using Windows 10 pinch-to-zoom and two-finger scrolling gestures. I also really like the left and right, clickable discrete buttons of The Omen 17.
HP Omen 17 Review – Display
The 17.3-inch, 1080p screen gets a lot of bright and lively, and gamers will also appreciate the 144-Hz refresh rate of the panel when playing fast games. When I played Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the screen kept track of my hectic gameplay as I sprinted to a group of Orcs, my mithril blade swung like a madman while their bodies hit the ground.
The screen was sharp enough for me to see the war paint over the heads of enemies and the old patterns on the handle of my sword. The blue hues of my flaming sword and the dark hues in my cape were not boring, but they were not on the matte screen either.
The Omen 17 screen covers 104% of the sRGB color gamut, making it less colorful than the panels on the Avon’s (111%), Lenovo Legion Y740 (122%), Dell G7 15 (114%) and the regular gaming category average (133%). The HP makes up for its comparatively underwhelming colors with excellent brightness. The panel had an average of 368 nits, making it brighter than the panels on the Avon (277 nits), Lenovo Legion Y740 (247 nits), the Dell G7 15 (303 nits) and the category average (279 nits).
HP Omen 17 Review – Audio
The double speakers on the side of the Omen 17 are not the loudest, but the vocals of Jay-Z sounded clear when I played”No Church in the Wild.” There was even a fair amount of handle in that pulsating bass line. The automatically tuned voice of Kanye West pierced the thick, synthesized drumming, and the speakers were clear enough to remove the strange animal sounds towards the end of the song. I wish I didn’t have to bring the volume up to 40% to listen comfortably in a quiet office.
Graphics and Gaming
The power behind the Omen 17 is an Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2070 GPU with 6 GB VRAM. This is a fully developed GPU that explains the powerful gaming performance of the Omen 17 (and a chunkier chassis). I enjoyed paving my way through hordes of Orcs in Middle-earth: Shadow of War with a buttery smooth 97 frames per second, even with the game on Ultra settings.
On the Omen 17, you can search through caves with 63 fps with Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The Avon tied the HP Omen 17 on this benchmark, while the Lenovo Legion Y740 (64 fps) eliminated them both. The Dell G7 15 (49 fps) and the mainstream gaming category average (44 fps) are far behind these heavyweights.
On the Hitman benchmark, the HP Omen 17 set a pace of 106 fps, which corresponds to the Legion Y740 but the Digital Storm Avon (108 fps) and G7 15 (117 fps) cannot keep up. However, it crushes the average gaming laptop average (80 fps).
The Omen 17 played Metro: Last Light with 75 fps, slightly less than the Avon (80 fps), but before the Legion Y740 (74 fps), G7 15 (60 fps), and the category average (50 fps). As expected, the Omen 17 put it out of 11 in the Stream VR benchmark so that you won’t have any problems playing the latest virtual reality games.
HP Omen 17 Review – Performance
Equipped with Intel’s latest Core i7-9750H CPU and 16 GB RAM, the HP Omen 17 is not only for gamers but also for makers and power users who use demanding programs and apps. The proof is in the pudding: the Omen 17 leafed through my typical daily workload when I used it as my work PC for a day. I jumped quickly from page to page, to look up and realize that 25 Chrome tabs were active in the background all the time. The Omen 17 mocked me when I tried to make it with 15 more tabs, 4 of which played 1080p video on YouTube and Twitch.
That rapid performance was quantified in our benchmark tests. The Omen 17 scored 23,803 on the Geekbench 4.3 overall performance test, which surpasses the Avon’s (23,784, Core i7-9750H), Lenovo Legion Y740 (22,287, Core i7-8750H) and the category average (20,664), but comes in second place Dell G7 15 (Core 179750H, 23,885).
Our Omen 17 was equipped with a 256 GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD and a secondary, 1 TB SATA drive that runs at 7,200 rpm. That fast SSD transferred 4.97 GB of multimedia files in just 8 seconds at a speed of 636 megabytes per second. This puts it at the top of the package, ahead of the Avon (434 MBps), Lenovo Legion Y740 (363 MBps), Dell G7 15 (127 MBps), and the mainstream category average (404 MBps).
The heat levels we clocked on HP Omen 17 were unremarkable. After we played a full-screen 15-minute full-HD video, the Omen 17 touchpad hit 81 degrees Fahrenheit, while the center of the keyboard reached a 94-degree peak. Only the lower panel reached our comfort threshold of 95 degrees, at 97 degrees. As expected, the HP Omen 17 was much warmer when we played Middle-earth: Shadow of War on Max settings for 15 minutes. While the touchpad maintained a moderate 86 degrees, the keyboard (105 degrees) and the bottom (124 degrees) were pretty toasty. The figures may seem disturbing, but the Omen 17 did not feel warm.
The Omen 17 was turned off after 2 hours and 14 minutes during our battery test, with continuous surfing over Wi-Fi with 150 nits screen brightness. That is a short duration, even for a gaming laptop. Digital Storm Avon’s (2:14) and the Dell’s G7 15 (3:12) lasted about an hour-long, and also, the fleeting Lenovo Legion Y740 (2:30) shot the Omen out. The average gaming laptop is, on average, 3 hours, and 56 minutes.
Price and Configuration Options
The HP Omen 17 starts at $1,299 for a model with a 17.3-inch, 1080p screen with a screen refresh rate of 60 Hz, as well as a Core i7-9750H CPU, 16 GB RAM, a 512 GB NVMe SSD and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU (6 GB VRAM). Walmart has a configuration for only $1,219 with all the same specifications, except for 8 GB RAM. You can upgrade to our $1,629 review unit, which has a 144 Hz display. It comes with a Core i7-9750H CPU, 16 GB RAM, a 256 GB NVMe SSD plus a 1 TB 7200-rpm HDD, and a GeForce RTX 2070 GPU (8 GB VRAM).
For $2,629, you can opt for the best version, which includes a Core i9-9880H CPU, 32 GB RAM, a 1 TB NVMe SSD, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card (8 GB VRAM).
HP Omen 17 Review – Conclusion
HP’s Omen laptops are getting better and better. This latest 17-inch model impresses with a clear 1080p, 144-Hz screen, powerful RTX 2070 graphics card, and a comfortable RGB keyboard. But that also applies to many other gaming laptops. What sets the Omen 17 apart is the competitive price. With $1,629, the Omen 17 is one of the best value for money. Of course, a few shortcuts have been made: the laptop is usually made of plastic, and the battery only lasts a few hours.
If you need a better battery life, we recommend the Digital Storm Avon, which delivers comparable performance along with the longer battery life in a lightweight chassis. For this price, you can also opt for the Dell G7 15, a 15.6-inch gaming laptop with a stylish design and excellent performance. If the price is not a problem, check out the $3,200 Razer Blade Pro 17, or be careful with the wind and surrender to the ridiculous Alienware Area-51m.
All in all, the HP Omen 17 is an excellent gaming laptop that offers a lot of power and a bright 17.3-inch display for a relatively affordable price.
HP's Omen 17 is a capable gaming laptop that delivers an enormous amount of performance at a relatively affordable price.
- Strong gaming and CPU performance
- Bright 144-Hz display
- Decent keyboard
- Competitively priced
- Thick plastic chassis
- Subpar battery life
- No per-key lighting