HP is taking its dedication to gaming to the extreme. The company just unveiled the latest take on its gamer-centric laptops, the Omen X by HP laptop. Available sometime in November, the new Omen starts at $1,199 and it is bigger, sleeker and a lot more powerful than its predecessors.
Focusing on enthusiast and esport market, the 17-inch Omen X is jam-packed with some seriously powerful specs, starting with its overclocked 7th-generation processor with up to 32GB of RAM. And instead of limiting the laptop to Nvidia's lower-end graphics cards, the Omen X is outfitted with an overclockable GeForce GTX 1080 GPU. Storage-wise, you'll have several choices including a single 1TB 7,200-rpm hard drive, a 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD, a 1TB PCIe SSDs with a 1TB HDD, or and a pair of 1TB PCIe NVMe SSDs in SLI configuration with a 1TB 7,200-rpm hard drive for good measure. HP is also offering two display options: a 1920 x 1080 panel with a 120Hz refresh rate or a 4K (3840 x 2160) screen.
To access every bit of power the Omen X has to offer, HP has preinstalled its new Omen Command Software to safely overclock the CPU and RAM. You can also prioritize network bandwidth so your games always have access to the fastest network, which will come in handy for first-person shooters and other titles that rely on twitch reflexes and smooth frame rates. Unlike most gaming laptop (and notebooks) in general, gamers looking to give their system a bit of oomph in the future can access a bottom panel on the Omen X and swap out the hard drives, SSDs and RAM.
HP is also finally ditching that one-note red backlit keyboard in favor of customizable RGB lighting. Even better, HP has also added mechanical switches so you'll get that satisfying click-clacking sounds as you're spamming moves. To deliver the best audio quality, the Omen X has HP's Audio Boost software to deliver great sound without overloading the pair of speakers. For headset users, there's DTS' Headphone: X, which gives the illusion of 7.1 surround sound.
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The Omen X gets more than an internal upgrade: the gaming laptop's exterior has gotten a much-needed makeover as well. Instead of the rather cheap-looking plastic sported by previous Omen laptops, HP is stepping up its game, outfitting the 17-inch system in aluminum. Weighing 10.9 pounds, it makes for a heavier footprint but accentuates the premium look that the company is going for.
On paper, the HP Omen X laptop seems like it's ready to go head-to-head with some of the leading competitors in the high-powered gaming laptop market. However, I'll reserve my judgment until I get my hands on the review unit.