With the mainstream HP Omen laptops, such as the Omen 15 (2017) and Omen 17 (2017), it’s time for the high-end enthusiast Omen X. While the Omen 17 is a great deal, in our opinion, the Omen X takes things up a notch and focuses on features that only hardcore gamers and enthusiasts will appreciate – overclocking the CPU, GPU and RAM, improved cooling design with plenty of heat pipes and cooling fans (instead of an optical drive) and fully-customizable mechanical keyboard with macro keys and RGB illumination.
Surely, the notebook isn’t designed to take on the ASUS ROG Zephyrus or Acer’s Predator Triton 700 but instead invades the territory of the beefy Alienware 17 R4, Acer Predator 17 X and the Lenovo Legion Y920. However, we find the Omen X a different breed due to its highly-customizable “nature”, the inclusion of a really good mechanical keyboard and a bit more… let’s say conservative design approach, which in our opinion is much better than the usual flashy gaming design. Still, the machine offers just about everything you’d expect from a high-end gaming laptop also found in its rivals – a factory overclocked Intel Core i7-7820HK CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (or 1070), 32GB of DDR4-2400 memory (unlocked for overclocking here), two M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD slots, one 2.5-inch HDD slot and two screen option – 4K UHD IPS or Full HD IPS with 120 Hz refresh rate. Either way, you can enjoy the buttery-smooth gaming experience thanks to the built-in G-Sync feature. Find out more in the thorough review below.
DISCLOSURE: We received an early engineering sample from HP and thus the unit we used for the review isn’t suitable for a full review so we decided that we will publish only a potion of the full review. We will update it once we get our hands on a retail unit.
The notebook isn’t on sale yet but when it is, you can find the availalbe configurations here: http://amzn.to/2yb5hLl
The box in which the Omen X came, had only the usual user manuals, AC adapter and power cord. We don’t know for sure whether the full retail package will come with more accessories.
Design and construction
The notebook is anything but portable. Tipping the scale at 4.35 kg and measuring at approximately 40 mm at its thickest point including the silicone feet, the device is comparable to the Alienware 17 R4 and the Acer Predator 17 X – differences are negligible, although the Alienware 17 R4 is considerably thinner. Anyway, we are glad to report that HP has used aluminum in most areas and was able to compensate the added weight and thickness with rigidity. We hope the cooling performance is just as good.
From a visual standpoint, the Omen X retains the design signature of its more affordable siblings – the Omen 15 and Omen 17. The lid is made of anodized aluminum and patterned metal sheets with Omen’s illuminated logo in the middle and two LED strips forming an “X”. This time around, however, all LED-illuminated ornaments are customizable thanks to the RGB lighting. Anyway, pressing the middle of the screen results in bending but interestingly, no ripples appear on the LCD screen. So in practice, this shouldn’t be an issue. Opening the lid reveals a familiar piston hinge design – they can be found in the ultra-thin HP Spectre 13. This means that the hinges feel quite similar as well – smooth linear travel, allow opening the device with one hand and stable positioning of the screen. We also found the whole lid to be quite resistant to torsion. And as for the bottom – it’s entirely made of plastic and it’s covered in rectangular-shaped grills along with two big vents on the sides for additional airflow – whether they are for cool air intake or dispersing the heat.
One of the most exciting things about the Omen X, however, is the expanded I/O. The notebook offers way beyond the bare minimum of connectivity and it’s also well-distributed along the sides. On the left, you can find just one USB 3.0 connector, the 3.5 mm audio jack and another 3.5 mm port for an external microphone. The right side accommodates the SD card reader and another USB 3.0 connector. The DC charging port is right next to the right grill, which might be awkward in some cases. In any case, the Omen X keeps the big guns on its back – RJ-45 for LAN, not one but two USB-C 3.1 connectors supporting Thunderbolt 3, one mini DisplayPort, another USB 3.0 port and a full-sized HDMI 2.0A connector supporting external displays with HDR. The latter will most probably be deciding factor for you if you already own an HDR-capable monitor. Moreover, it’s hard to miss the customizable RGB LED strip at the back and the huge grills for dispersing the heat on each side.
Moving onto the interior, we find a stable brushed aluminum sheet that doesn’t give in under pressure at all. Unfortunately, though, as all black and brushed finishes, this one is a fingerprint magnet as well. Anyhow, the most impressive feature we have here is the RGB-illuminated keyboard. Through the Omen Command Center, you can pick any color or any effect you’d like. There’s also a column of six macro keys positioned on the left, a full set of Fn shortcuts including an Omen-branded key that brings up the Omen Command Center app and full-sized isolated arrow keys. Regarding the feel of the keys – it’s nothing short of some full-sized desktop keyboards. We are pleased with relatively long key travel and satisfying audible and tactile feedback thanks to the tactile bump. With all being said, we think highly of the keyboard not only for gaming but for typing as well. And as for the touchpad, well it’s pretty much the same as the one on this year’s Omen 17, which means, of course, comfortable mouse keys, responsiveness, smooth gliding surface and accurate.
If you are able to overlook the weight and overall size of the notebook, the Omen X offers some neat features like mechanical keyboard, plenty of I/O, relatively easy upgradeability and rigidness.
The Omen X comes with exactly the same panel as its slightly smaller 17-inch sibling – the HP Omen 17 (2017). They both share the AUO B173HAN01.4 (AUO149D) Full HD (1920×1080) IPS panel with 120Hz refresh rate and support for G-Sync. So we already know what to expect from the panel – excellent image quality, buttery-smooth gaming experience and some small issues that need to be corrected using pre-calibrated profiles.
Anyway, as all 17.3-inch Full HD panels, this one offers 127 ppi pixel density, 0.1995 x 0.1995 mm pixel pitch. The screen can be considered as “Retina” when viewed from a distance equal or greater than 69 cm.
The display offers excellent viewing angles.
Our equipment detected a maximum brightness of 330 cd/m2 in the middle of the screen and 333 cd/m2 as average across the surface with just 5% deviation. The color temperature is close to the optimal but will still make colors appear slightly colder or blue-ish – 7040K. As we go along the grayscale, we observe similar average color temperature of about 6970K and you can also see how values change at 140 cd/m2 (71% brightness).
The maximum dE2000 color deviation is 1.4 at 73% brightness, which is an excellent result since values above 4.0 are unwanted, especially when color-sensitive work is involved. The contrast ratio seems to be a bit lower than expected – 840:1 before calibration and 780:1 after calibration.
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction of the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.
Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.
Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.
As expected, the display covers 92% of the sRGB color gamut making it ideal for gaming and multimedia.
Below you will see practically the same image but with the color circles representing the reference colors and the white circles being the result. You can see main and additional colors with 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% saturation inside the sRGB gamut pre and post calibration.
The “Design and Gaming” profile is created at 140 cd/m2 brightness, D65 (6500K) white point and optimal gamma in sRGB mode.
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.
The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.
The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle and the surrounding light conditions.
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and reverse.
We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 23 ms.
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.
And here’s the one thing in common between the ZenBook UX360 panel and this one – both use PWM but only below 100 cd/m2 (30% brightness). This means that in the most common brightness range, your eyes won’t experience any issues with screen flickering. But keep in mind that we strongly recommend keeping the brightness level above 30% at any time since the frequency of the emitted light is extremely low and “aggressive”.
Of course, our equipment once againd didn’t detect any PWM across all brightness levels. This means that even users with sensitive eyes shouldn’t have any problems after long gaming sessions.
Blue light emissions
Installing of our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.
You can see the levels of emitted blue light on the spectral power distribution (SPD) graph.
Although there were slight deviations from the results taken from the previously tested AUO B173HAN01.4 (AUO149D) panel, the viewing experience is excellent due to the wide sRGB color gamut coverage, decent contrast, high maximum brightness and the absence of PWM. The high refresh rate (120Hz) combined with NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology makes the gaming experience even better.
Buy our display profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package is meant for HP Omen X configurations with 17.3″ AUO B173HAN01.4 (AUO149D) (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS screen and the laptop can be found at Amazon: http://amzn.to/2h5QqdH
*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]
Read more about the profiles HERE.
The current specs sheet refers to this particular model – configurations may differ depending on your region.
|Processor||Intel Core i7-7820HK (4-core, 2.90 – 3.90 GHz, 8MB cache)|
|RAM||32GB (2x 16384MB) – DDR4, 2400MHz|
|Graphics card||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB GDDR5X)|
|HDD/SSD||512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD|
|Display||17.3-inch Full HD (1920×1080) IPS, matte|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1|
|Battery||unknown for now|
|Thickness||40 mm (1.57″)|
|Weight||4.35 kg (9.60 lbs)|
CPU – Intel Core i7-7820HK
The Core i7-7820HK is part of Intel’s latest generation Kaby Lake processors sporting an improved 14nm+ manufacturing process allowing for slightly higher clock speeds and better efficiency, although the performance per clock hasn’t changed since this is practically the same microarchitecture as the one used for the previous Skylake chips.
Anyway, the Core i7-7820HK offers higher operating frequency than its Core i7-6820HK predecessor – 2.9 – 3.9 GHz (for four active cores the Turbo Boost frequency drops to 3.5 GHz or 3.7 GHz for two active cores) vs 2.7 – 3.6 GHz but keeps most of the features like Hyper-Threading, (4/8 core/thread design), 8MB LL cache, a dual-channel DDR4-2400 or DDR3L-1600 memory controller and a TDP of 45W including the iGPU. Speaking of which, the processor integrates an Intel HD Graphics 630 chip clocked at 350 – 1150 MHz.
The most noticeable feature of this processor is the unlocked multiplier for easy overclocking and usually OEMs provide the needed software for doing so. In the end, the processor’s maximum frequency can be increased depending on the notebook’s cooling system.
You can browse through our top CPUs ranking: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-cpu-ranking/
Here you will find other useful information and every notebook we’ve tested with this processor: http://laptopmedia.com/processor/intel-core-i7-7820hk/
GPU – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB GDDR5X)
The GeForce GTX 1080 is the top-shelf GPU from NVIDIA’s Pascal generation (except for the Titan X Pascal, of course) built upon 16nm TSMC process, which is a huge leap over the last generation (Maxwell), which featured a 28nm node. Anyway, the new architecture allows better thermals, efficiency and considerably higher clock speeds than its direct predecessor the GTX 980. Also, for the first time, NVIDIA has made the difference between the desktop and the mobile variants of the Pascal GPUs mostly unnoticeable in real-life use, although there’s a slight difference according to synthetic benchmarks.
CUDA cores (2560), ROPs (64) and TMUs (213) are identical to the desktop variant of the GTX 1080 since they are based on the same GP108 chip including the memory controller, which is the highlight of the new graphics card because it features the next generation of GDDR5X memory developed by Micron allowing higher memory bandwidth on a 256-bit interface clocked at 10 000 MHz. However, there’s a small difference in the base clock speeds – 1566 – 1733 MHz for the laptop version and 1607 – 1733 MHz for the desktop variant. Both frequencies can be altered depending on the manufacturer and the cooling system’s performance.
The GPU’s power consumption is rumored to be around 165W making it suitable only for large 17 or 15-inch machines with high-performance cooling system. In addition, the graphics card delivers new and exciting features like DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0b, HDR, Simultaneous Multi-Projection, refined H.265 video encoding, etc.
You can browse through our top GPUs ranking: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/
Here you will find other useful information and every notebook with this GPU that we’ve tested: http://laptopmedia.com/video-card/nvidia-geforce-gtx-1080-8gb-gddr5x/
Estimated performance and overclocking
One of the main features that HP is bragging about the Omen X is overclocking and overall performance. Unfortunately, we can’t really say anything about overclocking at this point but we sure expect some significant performance gains over the stock clock speeds of the CPU and GPU. We are also pleased to see that memory is overclockable as well. We will make sure to check out these features once the final units arrive.
In the meantime, we can have a pretty accurate guess on how the system will perform with the Core i7-7820HK and the GTX 1080. We’ve already reviewed a laptop with this setup – the Acer Predator 17 X (GX-792). So we are pretty sure that results from synthetic benchmarks and gaming tests won’t be much different from the ones listed in the Predator 17 X review.
It’s too early to draw any conclusions about the new Omen X since we weren’t able to perform our full sets of tests like battery life, performance and cooling capabilities. However, we are can be sure about the blazingly fast performance of the setup as a whole, the excellent viewing experience and the good build quality.
The performance of the system without overclocking should be really close to the already tested Core i7-7820HK + GTX 1080 systems on the market while the 120Hz IPS panel with G-Sync support should deliver immersive gaming experience even on the go. Build quality is also its strong suit while the chassis adds neat mechanical keyboard, cool customizable RGB LEDs around the chassis (including the keyboard) and a wide variety of connectivity options including not one but two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports. Our main complaint at this point is the hefty chassis – it’s pretty damn thick and heavy even for a 17-inch laptop. Nevertheless, we can let that one slip by if the cooling system performs well.
The notebook isn’t on sale yet but when it is, you can find the availalbe configurations here: http://amzn.to/2yb5hLl