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HP's Omen 17 Packs Desktop-Class Graphics, Sexy Design

When HP revampled its line of Omen gaming machines last year, its laptops offered good looks but just middle-of-the road graphics. But with the latest Omen 17, HP has focused on performance, packing Nvidia's new desktop-level graphics chip into a sleek, 1.2-inch thick chassis and tagging it was a reasonable starting price of $1,599.

Available sometime in September, the Omen 17 is a surprisingly affordable way to get VR-ready. And for those who want to push the specs to the max, the Omen has you covered. You can select up to an Nvidia 1070 GPU, a 4K display with G-sync and an Intel Core i7 CPU.

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When I got chance to check out the Omen 17 at HP’s launch event in New York, I was really impressed by the laptop’s clean lines and overall restrained design. It was enough to make me look past the system’s red-and-black color scheme. something that almost every gaming PC maker tends to over use. 

I really appreciate how HP positioned the Omen 17’s ports so that everything you need to hook up a a VR headset is on the same side. HP also claims that the Omen 17 can last up to 7.5 hours on a charge, although we’re going to have to wait until we got one in for review to confirm that.

The one thing I wish I could have tested out a bit more is that system’s Bang and Olufsen tuned speakers, but since HP was hosting a Heroes of the Storm LAN event about 20 feet away, that wasn’t going to happen.

When I think about the Omen, the thing I keep coming back to is its price. While we still don’t know exactly what the Omen 17’s $1,599 starting config entails, if HP can produce a VR-ready system for that kind of cost, it’ll once again have a machine that can live up to the Omen name.

Sam is a former penguin trainer and archery instructor who dabbles in esports and has lived on three different continents. If you have some comments on new tech or the best noodle spots in NYC, drop a line @SamRutherford.