The new gaming laptop from HP’s OMEN series have been updated and improved again. In the OMEN 17, newest components are guaranteeing maximum gaming fun. HP is now utilizing newest generation Intel processors, the newest Nvidia chips with the new Pascal-architecture, and a faster M.2 module. RAM-wise, you’ll be getting DDR4 modules. Displaying the content is handled by the 17,3” 4K display. If that’s not enough you can add external 4k monitors via DisplayPort. Even with a setup like that the combination of fast processor and top-of-the-line graphics guarantee good frame rates.
The new HP gaming-notebook comes with a 17,3” 4K display that, thanks to the matte finish, has almost no glare whatsoever. IPS technology meanwhile guarantees great viewing angles. The average brightness of the panel is a decent 305 cd/m2. In the center of the upper bezel you’ll find the HP Wide Vision HD-webcam alongside its digital Dual-Array microphone.
The new OMEN comes with a current-generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor. The base clock speed lies at a whopping 2,8 GHz with Turbo Boost upping that to up to 3,8 GHz depending on how much power is needed. The quad-core chip of course also supports Hyper-Threading, allowing it to perform 8 calculations at any one given time.
On the graphics side we have an Nvidia GeFore GTX1070 chip with 8 GB of dedicated DDR5 memory. This means that with the native resolution of Full-HD, you’ll be able to achieve great framerates. Even when connected to a 4K display, the GTX1070 can still deliver decent framerates. The Intel-HD-Graphics integrated into the CPU aren’t utilized at all by the computer.
The RAM consists of two 8GB DDR4 modules. Upgrading the RAM is only possible by swapping out the existing modules however. The oprtating system (Windows 10) comes installed on a 512 GB M.2 SSD module that, fresh out of the box, has 422 GB of storage space left. The module is connected to the system via PCI-Express (NVMe) meaning it achieves stunning read/write speeds. For writing, we measured over 3,274 MB/s (measured in Crystal Diskmark 5.2.0) with read-speeds topping out at around 1,571 MB/s – which is still very very fast.
To connect to the internet, 801.11 ac Wi-Fi and GBit-Lan (RJ-45 port) can be utilized.
The integrated 6-cell lithium-ion battery is good for around 2 hours of office work or surfing. When gaming, battery life shortens drastically.
This gaming-notebook comes with plenty of connectivity options. There is a total of three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and DisplayPort for connecting external displays, RJ-45 for you LAN cable, and an SD-Card slot. USB Type C however, is nowhere to be found.
On the left you’ll find two ports for your headset and a port to attach a Kensington Lock.
Keyboard and Trackpad
Being a 17” notebook, the keyboard of the HP is as large as you’d expect. To the right, you’ll find a numeric keypad that is located a little close to the rest of the keyboard. As with all other OMEN notebooks, there’s a red backlight that you can be turned on and off at any time. It also lights up the lettering on the keys, making typing in the dark easy.
The keys have relatively shallow travel and are practically noiseless. Gamers who like to use the arrow keys will have to get used to the slimmed-down up and down keys. The trackpad is big and supports multi-touch gestures.
To upgrade and expand the gaming-notebook it has a service door on the back that can be opened by simply undoing two screws. Upon entering, you’ll find the two Dimm-sockets loaded with the 8GB DDR4 modules. The rest of the case however cannot be opened, meaning expanding storage is not an option.
Thermal Management / Noise
In our stress-test, the plastic body of the OMEN reached temperatures of up to 40℃. The palm-rest area and the trackpad stay noticeably cooler though. On the back, things get a lot warmer. Out CAT S60 thermal-imaging camera showed a “hotspot” reaching around 46,6℃. The warm air is propelled out of the sides of the notebook where we measured temperatures of up to 53,6℃. The cooling system, while nearly inaudible during regular use, ramped up in volume by quite a bit when the system was under load.
The external power supply – that weighs in at 800g – also gets a lot warmer when the system is under load. During heavy usage, we measured temperatures of up to 44,3℃.
Pros & Cons
+ fast quad-core processor and high-end graphics
+ bright Full-HD display
+ superfast M.2 SSD/module
– cooling system noisy under load
– plastic body
– upgrading almost impossible
With the new OMEN 17,3” gaming laptop, HP has done almost everything right. The hardware leaves almost nothing to be desired. The newest Intel CPU together with the Nvidia GeFore 1070 are guaranteeing high framerates. The 17,3” display offers plenty of screen real estate. If that’s not enough you can of course add external 4K monitors. Even here, the Intel CPU and Nvidia graphics have enough oomph to achieve good framerates.
For the SSD, HP now uses a model with much higher data throughput and achieves transfer speeds of up to 3.200 MB/s. The display has also seen improvements and is now brighter at an average brightness of 305 cd/m2.
The only downsides are that the keys are getting a lot warmer under load (which might be nice in the winter), and a USB 3.1 port is nowhere to be found. It would be nice to be able to take off the entire bottom of the 17” notebook as well. But as we said, these are all but nitpicks, that only managed to take a few points of our review score.
The HP OMEN 17 gets a recommendation from our team. The hardware (Intel Core i7 & Nvidia GeFore 1070) should be more than enough to get you through the next couple of years with great frame rates in 4K display. The 16 GB of RAM it comes with should also be enough for quite some time. When it comes to the M.2 SSD with its 512 GB, you might need to move your games to an external drive or just uninstall the ones you’re not playing at the moment.
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