HP has announced a big update for its Omen line of gaming PCs ahead of E3 next week. The refreshed lineup includes new 15- and 17-inch Omen laptops, an external GPU dock, a completely overhauled Omen desktop, a second iteration of its Omen X Compact backpack PC for VR gaming.
The Omen 15 and 17 laptops replace their understated faux carbon-fiber chassis with an edgier design that HP describes as “fighter jet and spacecraft-inspired”. They definitely have more ‘gamer’ flair with their hard edges, four red LEDs and the blood-red Voodoo logo on the lid.
Their keyboards have been tuned for gaming in both the layout, with highlighted WASD keys, full sized arrow keys and independent macro keys on the 17-inch model, as well as the ability to better accept input from simultaneous unrelated keypresses with 26-key rollover and anti-ghosting.
In terms of specs, both the Omen 15 and 17 will feature 7th generation Intel Core i7 processors. The base 15-inch model starts at $999 with an AMD Radeon RX 550 GPU and can be configured with up to an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. HP says the latter configuration has been designed following Nvidia’s Max-Q principles which will supposedly let that GTX 1060 achieve peak graphics performance, within a small profile while keeping a lid on thermals and noise. Meanwhile, the larger Omen 17 starts at $1,099 with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 and can be configured with up to a GTX 1070.
Display options come in 4K or 120Hz 1080p options with NVIDIA G-Sync. If users opt for the Radeon GPU, they can get a 60Hz 1080P panel with AMD FreeSync too.
Both laptops have a single-access bottom panel that lifts off the underside of the chassis and gives users access to the HDD, SSD, and RAM so they can expand and upgrade down the line. In terms of ports, HP offers 3 USB Type-A and one USB Type-C with optional Thunderbolt 3 as expected. There is also an SD Card Reader, HDMI 2.0 port, mini DisplayPort, and RJ-45 for Ethernet.
Both laptops will be available starting June 28 at HP.com and Best Buy.
HP is also getting into the external GPU game with its own enclosure, powered by a 500-watt PSU and capable of holding a single graphics card as well as a hard drive. It also includes several additional ports, including four USB 3.0 and a single USB-C, and connects to a laptop over Thunderbolt 3.
Graphics cards options include Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 or 1070, or AMD’s Radeon RX 580, while storage options include up to 1TB hard drives and a 256GB SSD.
Besides the latest Omen range, the Accelerator is certified to work with the company’s Spectre 13, Spectre x360 13, Spectre x360 15, EliteBook x360 1030 G2, and Envy 27 All-in-One and Envy Curved All-in-One. In theory, other laptops that support external graphics over Thunderbolt 3 should work too but there’s no guarantee from HP. The device is priced at $299.99 and won’t ship until August.
The Omen Desktop is also getting a more gamer-inspired redesign, tool free expansion and two hot swappable hard drive slots on the front. It offers twice the number of fans compared to last year's version, a 15 percent larger case, and more than 50 percent greater air flow.
The Omen Desktop starts at $899 featuring a GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card and a choice between AMD Ryzen and Intel Core options. This machine is meant to be a really scalable option for gamers who don't feel like building their own machine, and as such there are plenty of configuration options available. A fully souped up model can cost up to $3,000, packing dual GTX 1080 Tis or dual Radeon RX 580s.
Ports include two USB 3.0 Type A and two USB 3.0 Type C in the front, as well as four USB 3.0 Type A and two USB 2.0 Type A, plus HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2, and three audio outputs in the back.
In addition to a traditional gaming desktop, HP also refreshed the Omen X Compact Desktop, which is meant to be used as a backpack PC for VR gaming. This time around, however, the Omen X Compact Desktop can be used both for VR gaming and regular computing thanks to its docking station.
HP improved on last year’s model with better heat distribution, noise levels and including more ports.
Specs include a Core i7 processor, an 8GB GTX 1080 GPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a 1TB PCIe SSD, and the included dock for $2,499. The backpack accessory alone is $599 and it comes with two pairs of 73Whr batteries, which together with the desktop’s own battery can give you two hours of untethered VR gaming. The backpack has padded, adjustable straps, an angled base positioned to move the heat from the machine away from your body, and a lower support structure to distribute weight evenly.
In terms of ports the Omen X Compact has four USB Type-A ports, one Thunderbolt port, one HDMI port, one mini Display port, an audio combo jack, and one 12V Vive power-out port. In addition the dock also holds five USB Type-A ports, one USB Type-C port, an Ethernet port, an HDMI port, and a Display port.
HP is also launching a 25-inch display with AMD’s FreeSync, 1080p resolution, and two USB 3.0 ports for $279.99. A more expensive 27-inch model with a QHD display, those same two USB ports, and Nvidia’s G-Sync wills et you back $799.99. HP says response time is as low as 1 millisecond on both. The 27-inch model goes on sale this week, and the 25-inch variant will be available at the end of the month.
Lastly, HP is also launching a gaming mouse, a mechanical keyboard and a headset. The’ll all be available starting June 8. The Omen keyboard has Cherry MX Red switches, backlighting, and N-key Rollover for anti-ghosting. The Omen Mouse 600 has adjustable weights and mechanical switches rated for up to 50 million clicks, and the new Omen Headset 800 features thicker earcups versus last year’s model, boosted acoustic performance and a custom-tuned audio profile for clear speech.
The keyboard will retail for $130, the mouse for $60, and the headset for $80.