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HP Omen 16 Gaming Laptop Review

The Omen line has been on the core of HP’s gaming laptop computer household for a while now. It packs excessive efficiency {hardware} in a kind issue that you simply would not thoughts carrying round in public. Not way back, we reviewed the corporate’s latest entry into the gaming laptop computer market, the HP Victus, and whereas it was an honest laptop computer total, it did have some hassle spots that HP ought to iron out within the subsequent iteration.

If you go to HP’s website, the Omen and Victus appear to share the identical market area and can be found in the identical configurations. To somebody new to HP’s product line, it could possibly be complicated why there are a number of fashions for what seems like the identical laptop computer specs. So let’s have a look at if we will differentiate them, and the way this technology of the tried and true Omen stacks up…

Features and Design

The HP Omen 16 is predominantly plastic with what seems to be brushed metallic across the edges. It comes with a matte black end all through that appears good, however can be an enormous fingerprint and dirt magnet. Despite wiping it down typically, it is going to be almost unimaginable to maintain it trying contemporary.

In phrases of dimensions, the laptop computer measures 14.53″ vast x 9.65″ deep x 0.89″ tall. The base configuration weighs in at 5.1 lbs and including upgraded {hardware} will enhance {that a} bit. I’m an enormous fan of the clear strains and chiseled corners. Almost reminds you of a enterprise laptop computer. HP has given it a pleasant aesthetic with out being too sharp to the contact.

Build high quality feels fairly good as properly. Although not as strong as all-metal laptops, the Omen feels strong and properly put collectively. It takes a superb quantity of typing drive to get the keyboard to warp, so I do not count on anybody to run into any points with that.

Likewise, you must apply a good bit of torsion to get the physique to deform. I traveled round with the system in a backpack and suitcase and had no points. This is to be anticipated for a thicker laptop computer that begins above 5 kilos. The weight is not too unhealthy for a gaming laptop computer, however in case you’re in search of one thing extraordinarily transportable, this won’t be the one for you.

The keyboard and trackpad are what I might name acceptable. Nothing excellent, however they get the job performed. This laptop computer is not making an attempt to be tremendous skinny, which permits the keys to have an inexpensive quantity of journey, although the actuation is a bit mushy for my part. I would favor a bit extra click on on the backside.

Layout right here is customary and there is sufficient area that we do not see any odd key combos. In the higher proper nook, we discover hotkeys to open the HP Omen Gaming Hub, the Windows calculator, and taking a screenshot. It can be nice if these have been re-programmable. The HP software program was a bit of buggy, so if that is potential, I wasn’t in a position to determine it out. To be choosy, it would not have harm to place some devoted media keys on the suitable aspect within the hole above the arrows. No sense in conserving that space empty when keyboard actual property is normally so tight.

The trackpad is about as giant because it’s bodily potential on this dimension laptop computer. Pointer precision and mouse click on have been high quality and multi-finger gesture recognition was common. It had no drawback with 2-finger scrolling up and down, however typically struggled on 3-finger tab switching.

The coating on the trackpad felt a bit of off to my contact. When shifting, it appears virtually too clean at occasions such that my finger would often slide throughout with out totally registering. At different occasions, my finger would get caught after which bump or skip throughout. Overall, I’d give it and eight out of 10.

Moving round to the perimeters, the port choice and connectivity is very nice. On the left, we have now the enter energy jack from the 200W charger, a hinged RJ45 jack, a USB 3.0 Type A port, mini Display-Port, HDMI, USB 3.0 Type C, a headset jack, and an SD card slot.

The energy brick and connector dimension are outstanding contemplating its 200W ranking. On the suitable edge, we discover two extra USB 3.0 Type A ports for a complete of three. There’s additionally a cooling vent to exhaust sizzling air. Not very a lot I can nitpick on right here. Nice job HP.

Cooling Design and Thermals

The backside mesh grill reveals HP additionally did their homework on the thermal design. With the raised rubber toes and recessed honeycomb, the cooling followers will all the time have entry to contemporary air and cannot be unintentionally lined.

Every atmosphere and configuration can be completely different, however our check thermal outcomes have been as follows. The GPU maxed out at 49C when working on battery and 66C when plugged in. The CPU reached 56C on battery and 79C when plugged in by itself.

With each GPU and CPU pinned at 100% for a very long time, the best temperatures I noticed have been 56C and 61C respectively on battery, and 77C and 89C when plugged in. Fan noise was fairly affordable. Most of the sound after they ramp up comes from the air blowing by means of the fins, not the precise followers spinning. This provides the laptop computer a low “whooshing” sound slightly than a high-pitched whine. I by no means discovered the laptop computer backside or typing floor to be uncomfortably sizzling even after lengthy durations of excessive utilization. The airflow blows out away from the person, so that you by no means really feel the warmth, similar to a correct thermal design ought to do.

To keep cool whereas on battery and to protect run time, the Omen does some fairly aggressive throttling. The GPU efficiency jumped about 3.3x and the CPU frequency almost doubled when switching from battery to wall energy.

It’s a pleasant option to prolong your gaming session, however some individuals won’t need their system robotically throttled. Despite turning off a number of efficiency limiters in Windows, the Nvidia Control Panel, and the Omen Gaming Hub, I wasn’t in a position to get efficiency on battery wherever near wall energy efficiency. It’d be nice if there was some simple place to show this function on and off.

The built-in webcam high quality is barely above common for laptops. A bit of grainy in low-light as anticipated, but it surely’ll get you by for video chats. HP has opted for a white “digital camera on” standing LED as an alternative of the safer built-in bodily privateness defend. The Omen has two mics: one on both aspect of the webcam for stereo recording.

Audio playback comes courtesy of twin audio system mounted beneath the perimeters of the keyboard. They level outwards from the laptop computer and bounce off regardless of the laptop computer is resting on to achieve the listener. This provides them a really vast soundstage on the expense of readability. There is not a lot room inside to suit giant drivers, so bass is sort of non-existent. The mid-range is fairly correct and clear at decrease volumes, though it will get muddy as you crank it up.

The prime finish additionally begins to get harsh when doing this. The Omen will get lots loud for a single listener, however not sufficient to fairly fill a complete room. It would have been nice if the amplifier went one other up 20% or so.

Display Performance

On to the show. We utilized Portrait Displays’ Calman shade calibration software program and the X-Rite i1Display Pro to check display efficiency. Overall brightness was slightly subpar with a measured peak of 323 nits. It’s sufficient brightness for many indoor use in common lighting, nonetheless the Omen will battle close to shiny home windows or open air.

Compared with different laptops in the marketplace that simply attain 400 or 500 nits, it is nothing to jot down house about. The Omen spec sheet does say 300 nits, so HP is not making an attempt to cover something right here and it does exceed that at the very least.

Let’s transfer to paint accuracy. The pre-cal outcomes weren’t horrible, particularly for a gaming laptop computer. I measured common deltaE outcomes of three.3 for grayscale and 4.27 for colours. Values under 1.0 are thought of “shade correct” and are almost imperceptible to the human eye, a end result between 1-3 are solely barely noticeable in case you look intently, outcomes from 4-10 are noticeable at a look, and something above 10 means there’s one thing significantly mistaken along with your display.

That enormous pump within the blues is unquestionably noticeable and I might count on it to pressure and make your eyes harm after utilizing the display for a very long time. I’m undecided if I simply obtained a nasty panel. If this was certainly the anticipated end result, HP ought to positively look into decreasing the blues on the manufacturing facility.

Grayscale Accuracy Before Calibration – Portrait Displays Calman Software

Color Accuracy Before Calibration – Portrait Displays Calman Software

After going by means of the usual Calman laptop monitor calibration workflow, accuracy improved lots. The blue tint went away which made the show look extra pure. With a shade accuracy deltaE of 1.9, you possibly can most likely get away with some occasional content material creation for Instagram or YouTube. I would not advocate it for something color-sensitive although. For people who personal this laptop computer and wish the calibration profile, we have connected it right here.

Grayscale Accuracy After Calibration – Portrait Displays Calman Software

Grayscale Accuracy After Calibration – Portrait Displays Calman Software

Performance

Battery life was strong on the HP Omen 16 due to its 6 cell, 83Wh battery. This is sort of 20% bigger than the Victus’ 4 cell, 70Wh unit. Most gaming laptops on this class are between 70-80Wh, so the Omen has the sting right here. Exact run time values will rely closely on display brightness and workload. Our measurements have been all taken at 50% brightness. We achieved 10.75 hours of idle runtime, 6 hours of video playback, and 78 minutes of gaming on medium settings. Very respectable numbers for a gaming laptop computer.

The Omen 16 comes customary with Intel’s AX201 Wi-Fi 6 modem and can be configured with the newer AX210 Wi-Fi 6E modem. My unit’s AX201 was in a position to obtain file switch speeds of 820Mbps in the identical room, 350Mbps within the subsequent room, and 255Mbps two rooms away. This is generally an indicator of the modem’s efficiency slightly than the Omen, though there’s a slight little bit of tuning that comes from antenna placement.

Accessing the internals wasn’t too tough after eradicating the screws across the backside. From right here we see the upgradable RAM and SSD in addition to a spare M.2 slot. HP does an excellent job with serving to customers restore their laptops. They label the screw varieties and have an in depth teardown and upgrade instructional video. This is excellent and we want extra distributors would do that.

Our assessment unit got here arrived with a Core i7-11800H CPU, RTX 3050 Ti GPU, 16GB of DDR4, a 512GB SSD + 32GB Optane, and a 1080p 60Hz IPS show. We will not be reviewing the efficiency of this precise configuration since we have already reviewed each the CPU and GPU on devoted articles with a ton of element. But, lengthy story brief, this CPU performs fairly properly and is an enormous enchancment over earlier generations. The GPU was much less of a favourite, falling brief in lots of areas on account of its restricted 4GB of video reminiscence.

Booting into Windows, HP is infamous for a number of the worst bloatware amongst main distributors. The Omen isn’t any exception. There are 15 completely different HP branded apps that come preinstalled in addition to free trials for McAfee and a VPN. It’s comical how a lot junk HP piles onto their techniques. Of all of the bloat, the fixed McAfee popups are the worst. Thankfully, it solely takes a couple of minutes to disable or uninstall it. We’ll give HP the good thing about the doubt that they are utilizing the kickbacks from these installs to assist offset the price of their techniques.

Value and Configurations

When it involves ordering the HP Omen, there are tons of choices. The two platforms are the Omen 16T (Intel) and Omen 16Z (AMD). The 16T comes with the i5-11400H or i7-11800H as CPU choices and the GTX 1650, RTX 3050 Ti, or RTX 3060 as GPU choices. The 16Z might be configured with a Ryzen 5 5600H, Ryzen 7 5800H, or a Ryzen 9 5900HX on the CPU aspect and a GTX 1650, RTX 3050 Ti, RTX 3070, or RX 6600M GPU. Both chassis help between 8GB to 32GB of RAM and 1080p IPS shows.

One little bit of configuration that I discovered complicated was upgrading the display to 144Hz. It’s a $30 base improve for the AMD platform, however a $100 improve for the Intel platform. Even extra complicated, the entry Intel configuration with a GTX 1650 would not permit 144Hz, so you must spend a further $250 to improve the CPU to an i7 and GPU to an RTX 3050 Ti. Things do not get higher on the AMD variant both. The 144Hz show is not even obtainable on the 3050 Ti bundle. You should improve to the $440+ 6600M, or $680+ RTX 3070 tier to permit that mixture. Although the Omen 16T and 16Z each begin round $1,050, the most cost effective configuration with a 144Hz show is $1,400.

This all looks like an arbitrary determination to drive customers into spending extra for a function that ought to already be suitable. Another minor quirk is that the Intel model helps twin M.2 SSDs, whereas the AMD model solely claims to permit a single drive.

Through all of this, you might be questioning what the distinction between the HP Victus and Omen are.

The HP Omen line has been the corporate’s core gaming model for a very long time, whereas the Victus is a more recent addition and continues to be constructing a reputation for itself. When we reviewed the Victus, we discovered it to have barely decrease construct high quality, barely louder followers, and a smaller battery. Given all of this, you’d count on it to be barely cheaper than the identify model Omen, proper?

Get prepared for this, the identical precise configuration (i7-11800H, 16GB RAM, RTX 3060, 144Hz show, 512GB SSD) is $500 extra when shopping for it as an Omen in comparison with a Victus. Maybe HP’s pricing software is simply bugged, however this appears insane. I can perceive possibly $100 to $200 further, however $1,650 vs $1,150? That’s virtually 50% costlier for actually the identical parts.

Sticking with this pattern configuration and looking out on the broader market, the HP Omen 16 is at present not priced very properly. Acer’s Predator is $1,300 and the MSI Creator 15 comes with a 4K show and is $1,450. Even HP’s own Omen 17 can be obtainable for $1,450. The $1,650 asking worth for the Omen 16 simply is not in the identical ballpark.

Bottom line, the Omen 16 is a superb laptop computer with strong construct high quality and aesthetics, but it surely’s not priced competitively, at the very least as of penning this assessment. I loved reviewing it, and will see myself utilizing it as my private laptop computer. If HP can work out the configuration and pricing mannequin, I feel they’d have a winner.

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