HP Omen X 17 Gaming Laptop Review
HP are one of the titans of the laptop market, having produced hundreds of different models to suit every pocket and requirement. This lineage and experience shines through in the HP Omen X 17.
With any significant purchase you always want to that first impression to be a good one, and the Omen X doesn't disappoint. The packaging is attention grabbing on the outside and very robust as our review sample demonstrated given its previous courier/reviewer experiences. Inside the boxes are minimalist in their design but feel very nice to the touch and given the impression that you're in safe hands. The power brick only enhances this with its rubberised coating and solid build quality. You're given plenty of cable too, something that isn't always true. The Omen X itself looks feels spectacular even when it is off. There is a solidity to the build quality that inspires confidence and the brushed finish looks and feels classy. There isn't a single wobble or creak from any part of it. As we said in our close up look the hinges and screen are absolutely solid and there isn't any deflection, even if you go against the rules and lift it one handed from a corner.
On the subject of the screen, it's one of the very best we've ever seen. Our review sample came with the 17 inch 1080P 120Hz G-Sync IPS model and was spectacular to behold. Colours were vibrant but accurate, the brightness was uniform across the screen and even the viewing angles were good. With 120Hz and G-Sync working in tandem you can play simple titles at blazing frame rates and even the more intensive ones remain rock solid with no tearing or ghosting at all in any of our tests. So often manufacturers employ a 4K screen which at this size is just unnecessary, but the 1080P one in our Omen X is so crystal clear and sharp that it was a joy to use. No peering at tiny indistinct fonts. No blacks pushed into grey or blown highlights. Fantastic.
This usability is enhanced by the keyboard and trackpad setup. The keyboard deserves special praise as it dispenses with the usual style that you find on laptops of scissor switch chiclets, cramped layouts and half-height F-keys. Instead the Omen X has a keyboard which feels like a regular keyboard to type on, everything falling under your fingers readily if, like me, you're a touch typer at heart. The trackpad is fast and accurate, responding well to taps without giving any false ones when you just intended to move the pointer. The decision to slightly separate the cursor keys makes it just as comfortable using left handed with cursors as it is right handed with WASD.
All this usability is nothing without the performance to back it up, and HP have been judicious in their choice of components to provide maximum performance at an affordable price point. Sometimes, as you always get with someone elses selection of parts, a manufacturer can aim for a price point but still want headline features so you end up with 4K screens that haven't enough GPU to utilise them, or wheezy CPUs with monstrous GPUs and vice versa. The speedy M.2 NVMe drive in the Omen X pushes everything along well and the Core i7-7820HK has more than enough horsepower to keep things ticking over. Combining this with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and the excellent GTX 1070 all works harmoniously to give a laptop that can crunch numbers as easily as it can game at stratospheric frame rates, without any part left twiddling its thumbs for the rest to catch up, nor leaving you with something so powerful that you have to be 5 minutes from the nearest plug socket at all times.
Lastly the Omen X isn't just a treat for the eyes when you're focussed upon the screen, but looks great just sitting there. The RGB lighting on the keyboard is excellent with a heavy font allowing the maximum light to come through the keyboard, whilst the Omen logo and power button as well as the Omen X on the lid of the laptop are all customisable, letting you put your personal stamp on it. Sound is provided by Bang & Olufsen and certainly seems to live up to that billing being loud and clear in every scenario. This is a laptop that is just as happy watching quiet movies as it is bringing you the sounds of death and destruction wrought by your gameplay.
The combination of component choice, build quality and feature set of the HP Omen X 17, coupled to a very attractive price for such a capable laptop, makes it an easy winner of our OC3D Enthusiast Award. Everything just works simply and ergonomically whilst performing at a very high level. It not only is lacking in weak spots but has a certain, if you'll pardon the expression, X factor to it that makes it a delight to use and should be at the top of anyone's shortlist for their next gaming weapon. At £2300 it's a steal.