Omen by HP 17-inch gaming laptop review – how long is battery life?

Omen by HP 17-inch gaming laptop review
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Experience a sleek, ultra-thin design engineered with gaming performance at the forefront With an advanced thermal cooling solution and single-panel access to internals for easy upgradeability. Crisp gameplay is crucial if you want to play at your best With a high resolution and blazing-fast refresh rate, on-screen visuals are swift and smooth, while a micro-edge bezel display delivers edge-to-edge immersion. HP Omen 17 (2020) produces a really sound, smooth, and fun gaming experience. We’ve got to the stage that we know what to expect of a laptop toting a new Intel processor, and a 20-series Nvidia graphics card; we just know they’ll crunch through games and play them all at pretty high levels of fidelity and smoothness. Find details in Omen by HP 17-inch gaming laptop review.

Pros & Cons: Omen by HP 17-inch gaming laptop

PROS

  • Powerful eight-core AMD processor
  • Well-built
  • Runs cool while gaming
  • Productive keyboard
  • Long battery life
  • Pleasant speakers

CONS

  • Pricey for a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
  • White-only keyboard backlighting
  • Supports just one storage drive

Specifications – Omen by HP 17-inch gaming laptop

  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-10750 (six-core, 5GHz boost)
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070
  • RAM: 16GB RAM
  • Screen: 17.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) 144 Hz IPS anti-glare WLED-backlit
  • Storage: 512GB SSD & 1TB HDD
  • Optical drive: No
  • Ports: 1 x Thunderbolt USB-C (DisplayPort™ 1.4, HP Sleep and Charge); 3 x USB-A Type-A; 1 x HDMI 2.0a; 1 x headphone/microphone combo; 1 x SDcard reader; 1 x Ethernet
  • Camera: HP Wide Vision HD Camera with integrated dual array digital microphone
  • Weight: from 7.12lbs (3.23 kg)
  • Size: 15.94 x 11.22 x 1.18 inches (40.4 x 28.5 x 3 cm; W x D x H)

Price and availability

HP start selling the Omen 17 laptops from $1,100 list price in the US (with a 1660Ti graphics card), from £1,400 in the UK (with an RTX 2060 graphics card), and from $2,700 in Australia (with an RTX 2060 card). They are readily available in at least a couple of different configurations depending on where you are, too. Though if you’re looking at a 17-inch gaming laptop in the year 2020, you’ll probably want to aim for a ray-tracing capable machine. 

Who is this for – Omen by HP 17-inch gaming laptop review?

If you like

You want a portable gaming machine
If the 30-series mobile graphics cards were not on the horizon (see below) we’d have no trouble recommending this to anyone who wants a quality machine.

You’re after a high-performing, big-screen gaming laptop
At its core, the HP Omen 17 (2020) is a really fine laptop. It powers through games with ease and provides a really enjoyable experience through its large, quality IPS screen.

You want an unfussy powerhouse from a reliable and established brand
The HP Omen 17 goes about its business efficiently and without much fuss. It’s solidly built with a stylish, if sometimes unexciting, design.

Don’t buy it if…

If you’re looking for a home/office laptop that can also do gaming as a bonus
Make no bones about it, the Omen 17 is a gaming machine first and everything else comes second. This will make for a great home or work machine too (if treated much like a desktop) but only after you’ve paid for its gaming prowess and components.

You want the very latest in gaming tech
It won’t be long until there are gaming laptops powered by the new 30-series Nvidia graphics cards, so if you really want your tech to be reflective of the current trends and specs, then you’re better off waiting.

If you’re after a thin and light gaming laptop
The Omen 17 is a chonk, and if you want the lightest and thinnest laptops going, you’re better off sticking to something like the Razer Blade lineup.

Omen by HP 17-inch gaming laptop review

Build

Painted over that build is a really slick brushed metal effect. We’d definitely class this as stylish, and certainly more interesting than plain metal finishing. Mirroring the Omen’s diamond symbol, the ‘front’ of the laptop’s chassis (back of the screen) has the brushed metal effect split into four quadrants with the direction of the brushes going in contrasting directions, which is a nice and simple, but still effective, design touch.

Design

Being a big 17-incher, it does weigh a fair bit and takes up a fair whack of desk space. Starting at a weight of 7.12lbs (3.23 kg), it’s not tremendously heavy, but combined with its size it is a little unwieldy and awkward, to say the least. This very much accentuates its position as a gaming laptop that’s largely going to be treated as a desktop. 

Draped over the large chassis is an angular design that is cool and relatively understated. It doesn’t look too ‘gamer-y’ on the whole, but does shout a little louder when you open it. The middle hinges holding the screen create triangular voids which frame a bit more of an ‘aggressive overall’ look that we quite like, but might not be to everyone’s taste.

Screen

The Omen 15’s 144Hz anti-glare screen is plenty bright and colorful—HP rates it for 300 nits and 72 percent coverage of the NTSC gamut. It also offers wide viewing angles so the picture never washes out. The panel lacks support for frame-rate-smoothing technologies such as G-Sync or FreeSync, but these are rarely seen outside of much more expensive gaming notebooks.

Display

The HP Omen features a Full HD display with a 144Hz refresh rate. HP previously said there would also be a 300Hz configuration and a separate 4K option, but they are absent from HP’s online store at the time of review. 

For the majority of people though, the 1080p and 144Hz combo (reviewed here) is the perfect combination, offering superb visuals at an affordable price. The presence of Nvidia G-Sync also helps to prevent screen tearing when gaming

Ports

The Omen 15 also does well in connectivity by offering four USB ports (three Type-A and one Type-C, all version 3.2 Gen 1 supporting 5Gbps signaling rates), HDMI 2.0a and mini DisplayPort video outputs, an Ethernet jack, a full-size SD card reader, and an audio combo (headphone/microphone) jack. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5 come courtesy of its Intel AX200 wireless card.

Keyboard

As laptop screen bezels have shrunk—the Omen 15’s screen is about as wide as the laptop itself—so has the available width for keyboards. Rather than cram in a number pad, HP included a desktop-like cluster of navigation keys and—gasp!—full-size arrow keys in a most productive use of the space. 

Storage

This Omen unit also includes 16GB of dual-channel DDR4-3200 memory, a 512GB solid-state drive with Windows 10 Home, and a one-year warranty. Dell’s G5 15 SE commands roughly the same price ($1,309) with a 6GB Radeon RX 5600M (the AMD equivalent of the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti), though the configuration I saw on Dell’s site doubled the solid-state storage to 1TB.

Speaking of storage, the Omen 15’s support for just one internal drive is a downside considering the size of today’s games; you might find yourself shuffling games on and off or resorting to external storage.

Battery

On the battery life front, the HP Omen is decent but not great. This is something typical of gaming laptops, where full day battery life is usually not a feature nor a priority. In a video playback test the HP lasted for 5 hours and 22 minutes, and in a work benchmark the HP ran for 4 hours and 11 minutes. When gaming with the screen at full brightness, the Omen ran out of juice after 2 hours and 11 minutes. You’ve got enough power here to handle gaming on your commute, but cutting it close.

Omen by HP 17-inch gaming laptop performance review

There’s no denying the capability of an RTX 2070 graphics card and the level of enjoyment it can, and does, provide. Thus, somewhat unsurprisingly, we can confirm that the experience of gaming on the Omen 17 is a very pleasant one, as it reliably and consistently handles any games thrown at it. 

In simple terms, the HP Omen 17 is a very capable laptop. Its configuration means it is easily able to crunch through any tasks thrown at it, and it can handle the day’s most demanding games to very high levels. 

There might have to be some slight graphics settings tinkering on really demanding games elsewhere in your library – we’re looking at you Red Dead Redemption – but the combination of the 16GB of RAM, 10th-generation Intel processor, the SSD, and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card means you are very well set. 

Any machine that can provide a near-60 frames per second experience in Metro Exodus on the ‘RTX’ level of settings, for example, is doing pretty well in our books. It also makes easy work of current online FPS games like Apex Legends, as well as exquisite cinematic games like Control, both of which were smooth and enjoyable to play, with the vibrant screen doing a brilliant job of displaying the games’ world, characters, action, and detail. 

The SSD is also large enough to hold a couple of games for swifter loading times, with the 1TB hard drive as a solid backup. 

The IPS screen does a fantastic job, and sports a 144Hz refresh rate which is ideal for fast-paced games like Apex Legends, as there’s no stuttering or tearing when traversing the landscape speedily, or reacting fast to encounters with nemies.

Due to the big size of the Omen 17, using it as a day to day laptop is very pleasant. The larger screen means this is a laptop with a roomier desktop and workspace, the touchpad is very solid – there’s no give or bounce like in other gaming laptops which is nice, and the built-in keyboard is very satisfying to use. And there’s no doubt that the larger design also means that there’s more room for features that enhance the performance of the laptop. For example, while the macro keys are clearly aimed at gaming use, programming them for shortcuts for work or home use is exceptionally handy too.

Complementing the visuals, the speakers from Bang & Olufsen sound better than most laptop speakers, but they still cannot compete with a top gaming headset or set of speakers.

The Omen 17 is one of those machines which we knew would perform well as a gaming laptop, and as a work device, even before we took it out of the box. 

The components are all of a high grade and combine to make swift work of any task or game, and the screen is large and vibrant. This is a fine gaming laptop, and very worthy of consideration. Given the range of builds available it should be included in the deliberation of anyone looking for a 17.3-inch portable gaming powerhouse.

During the Geekbench 5.0 synthetic overall performance test, the Omen 15 attained 7,978, crushing the 3,636 mainstream gaming average. The Dell G5 15, which also has a 4800H CPU, got 7,715. Meanwhile, the Nitro 5 (Ryzen 5 4600H CPU) and Strix G15 (Intel Core i7-10750H CPU) scored 5,262 and 5,168, respectively.

The Omen 15 transcoded a 4K video to 1080p in 6 minutes and 1 second, disintegrating the 20:19 category average. The G5 15 took 6:43 while the Nitro 5 clocked in at 9:11. The Strix G15 achieved a time of 10:28.

On the File Transfer Test, the Omen 15 obtained a transfer rate of 968 megabytes per second, sidling past the 423.6MBps average. The G5 15 (512GB SSD) got 392 MBps while the Nitro 5 (256GB SSD) produced 202 MBps. The Strix G15 reached only 65 MBps. 

Here’s how the HP Omen 17 (2020) performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
3D Mark: Firestrike: 17,338; Timespy: 7,673; Port Royal: 4,628
Cinebench: 2,820
Geekbench 5: 1,251 (single-core); 6,385 (multi-core)
PC Mark 10 Home: 6558
PC Mark battery life: 1hrs 40mins
Metro Exodus (all at 1080p): RTX: 58fps; Ultra: 57pts; High: 74fps; Normal: 96fps; Low: 163fps  
Total War: Three Kingdoms (all at 1080p): Ultra: 65fps; High: 92fps; Medium: 138fps; Low: 216fps
Crystal Disk Mark: SSD: 3058 mb/s read, 2903 mb/s write: HDD: 163mb/s read, 156 mb/s write
Battery Life 1080p (TechRadar HD movie test): 2 hours 45 minutes

HP Omen 15 battery life

The Omen 15 lasted 6 hours 13 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery test, which consists of continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits. That’s actually pretty good for a gaming laptop and helped it outlast the Strix G15 (5:11), but not the 8:47 mainstream gaming laptop average. However, thanks to AMD, we’re seeing previously unheard-of times for gaming laptops, including the G5 15’s 7:14 and the Nitro 5’s incredible 11:09. 

HP Omen 15 webcam

The HP Omen 15’s 720p webcam scores big points on color accuracy as it captured my red and purple locs as well as my periwinkle blue t-shirt. And while there was plenty of visual noise, you can still see finer details in the astronaut on my shirt. 

HP Omen 15 heat 

Like most gaming laptops, the Omen 15 can get hot when in the heat of battle. After running our gaming test for 15 minutes, we check the laptop’s temperature in key locations. The touchpad and center of the keyboard measured 73 and 91 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. But the notebook’s undercarriage was a hot 109 degrees, which is above our 95-comfort threshold.

We let the laptop cool down and then ran a 15 minute fullscreen video and measured again. The touchpad, middle and bottom registered temperatures of 76, 84 and 98 degrees, respectively.

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