As someone who has used a mix of desktops and laptops over the last 10 years, I've always gone to bat for desktops as the better overall experience. This could be for comfort, cooling options, overall power or just general longevity (which usually leads to value for money. The HP Omen 16 may have just changed my stance.
While gaming laptops have often been looked down upon for their premium price for subpar returns, HP seems to have finally cracked the code with the latest Omen lineup. I'm going to be taking a look at the HP Omen 16 (model 16-b1001na) and give you my thoughts after just over a month with the machine.
Let's start with the specs. The HP Omen 16 that I'm looking at has the following;
- Intel® Core™ i7-12700H (up to 4.7 GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, 24 MB L3 cache, 14 cores, 20 threads
- NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3070 Ti (8 GB
- 16 GB DDR5-4800 MHz RAM (2 x 8 GB)
- 1 TB PCIe® NVMe™ TLC M.2 SSD
- 40.9 cm (16.1 "), QHD (2560 x 1440), 165 Hz, 3 ms response time, 300 nits, 100% sRGB
When it comes to ports, has two SuperSpeed USB Type-A and another with HP Sleep & Charge built in for three ports total.
There is also a HDMI 2.1, 3.5mm jack (headphone/mic combo), 1 mini DisplayPort, an RJ-45 (ethernet) and finally a single Thunderbolt 4 USB Type-C.
With a current RRP of £1,889, there's plenty of power and mobility there to justify the cost.
Working with the HP Omen 16 has been a joy. When needed, there have been no performance issues when hooking up a second monitor even when it's only 1080p.
Super quick boot times (even with the preinstalled junkware programs) and a smoothness that is genuinely hard to describe. It doesn't matter whether I'm using this laptop for basic tasks or putting it to the test with strenuous long work days, it always keeps up and, more importantly, keeps cool.
What I found with my previous laptop, which was also deemed to be 'high performance for gaming' would reach temperatures of 85 degrees plus with just a few browser tabs open.
Battery life has been spectacular and this feels like the only real time to mention that because no laptop battery holds up when gaming (let's be honest here).
At 2.3kgs, it does feel a little heavier than it looks but the sleet shadow black design does a fantastic job of making the HP Omen 16 seem slimmer than it really is. The backlit RGB keyboard is a nice bonus but truthfully, I turned it off fairly early on as I found it quite distracting when in long writing sessions.
Overall, if this laptop was only meant to be a workstation of sorts, it would still excel and provide incredible performance for an albeit inflated cost. But now, for the good stuff.
When it comes to gaming, the HP Omen 16 is by far and away the best machine, laptop or desktop I've had the pleasure of using. Whether you're cranking up the graphical output on the luxury QHD 165Hz display or playing it safe for those crucial extra frames, this laptop has your back.
In no single game did I ever experience the slightest of performance issues when running on the highest settings. The HP Omen 16 knows how to put its best foot forward and has all the tech to back it up.
More importantly, the cooling system, named Tempest, can extend your play sessions for hours thanks to its efficiency. I'm so scarred by previous gaming laptops automatically turning fans up to full speed when a game is opened, to hear the Omen not even seem like it's trying that hard two hours into a Warzone session is miraculous.
That doesn't mean that the system doesn't get hot, because it does, but the way the Omen manages this temperature increase is very smart. I have used a USB cooling mat with my last few laptops but it doesn't feel nearly as necessary with the Omen as it has with other brands.
Sound is also a feature that I've often never taken into consideration with previous products because I'm more accustomed to using a headset. However, the Bang & Olufsen audio system has made it preferable for me to play without a headset where possible.
The HP Omen 16 is a product of insane quality in just about every way. It's not a product that I would recommend if your intent is to use it for admin work, but if you're a gamer looking for a premium product and aren't looking to stick to a minimal budget, there may be no better option.
I've never felt so content with a gaming laptop and had no desire to upgrade to a full desktop workstation. The Omen range from HP is certainly a brand you can trust having pushed through some rocky times on the hardware front in the past.