HP is among the largest manufacturers of regular PCs, but has also opened its eyes on everything gaming related, and the sales figures are growing. They launched the Omen series a year ago to put up a fight with other manufacturers of gaming computers, including Alienware, ROG and Predator from Dell, Asus and Acer respectively. The first computers were not impressive, but now there is a new generation with updated hardware.
HP Omen 17 with the surname W203no is a 16-inch computer with the seventh generation i7 processor and – like the others – a Geforce graphics processor from Nvidia. However, it is “only” a GTX 1070 processor, i.e. the second best, which costs a lot less than CTX 1080. The amount of memory and storage options is also “sensible” rather than excessive. 16 GB RAM and a 512 GB SSD. There is no physical optical driver. The screen is also “only” Full HD, albeit both bright and nice.
Although the large, metallic red symbol (omen) adorns the lid, Omen 17 is not as nice and cool to look at and touch like the Predator 17X and the MSi G573. The surface is in greyish-black plastic with a fabric-like structure. The keyboard is back lit, but only in red, and it’s pretty much impossible to read the keys without the back light on. The keys have a slightly rubbery, wiggly feel to them. It doesn’t feel outright cheap – but it also doesn’t feel expensive enough. On the other hand, the sound comes from B&O. In other words, B&O’s technicians have tuned it – not that the speaker units are from Struer.
With “only” the second best graphics processor on the motherboard, Omen 17 is not the fastest in the test. But it’s not far behind. A 3DMark Time Spy score of 4,800 is only slightly below the fastest GTX 1080 computers. And in 3DMark 13, the difference is even less.
This means that you must turn up the graphics settings pretty high in the latest games before the game begins to stutter and the upload speed decreases. And that’s just with the latest titles, such as Dishonoured 2 and Battlefield 1. For games you’ve played for a year or longer, the GTX 1070 card is more than enough.
It’s just one hard drive in Omen 17, but on the other hand it is outrageously fast: 1.6 GB a second is extremely fast. The battery life is just as good (or just as bad) as the rest of the segment: an hour and 14 minutes.
HP Omen 17 is not as super cool to look at and touch compared with the competition. But it’s also about the inner values. In this department you get the a lot of value for your money. If you can settle for the second best Nvidia graphics card, which is still far faster than last year’s top model, and “only” has an extremely fast 512 GB SSD to store your games on, Omen 17 is an outstanding buy.
HP is still the new boy of the class, and the level of quality in Omen is not as thorough compared to the others in this category. However, Omen comes at a far cheaper price.