HP Just Built A Gaming Laptop

HP Just Built a Gaming Laptop. Seriously.

Once upon a time, a tiny company called VoodooPC built some of the most incredible gaming computers around. Now, its owner HP is paying homage with the Omen — the first serious gaming laptop the company has ever made.

No, the Voodoo brand is not coming back, and the Omen doesn't offically have "VoodooDNA," despite the throwback logo prominently displayed on its screen. Available later today starting at $US1,500, the HP Omen is simply a potent gaming laptop gunning straight for the Razer Blade. In other words, it's not a giant brick: Like its Razer rival, the Omen is a sleek, matte black anodized aluminium machine under an inch thin, with a unibody chassis milled from a single block of metal.

Inside, you'll similarly find a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of memory, and midrange Nvidia Maxwell graphics on tap. While it's only GTX 860M graphics in the Omen instead of the GTX 870M in the Blade, HP claims the Omen's cooling solution makes a difference — not only keeping the laptop's surfaces cooler but giving that graphics chip a little more headroom. In order to get the airflow just right, HP says it had to raise the laptop's chromed hinge quite a bit — which also made room in back for its four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI socket, Mini DisplayPort, and headset jack.

HP Just Built a Gaming Laptop. Seriously.

The Omen is the teensiest bit heavier at 2.12kg and thicker at 19.9mm, but you get some extra bang for that buck: a larger 15.6-inch touchscreen, HP's extra-wide touchpad, speakers with Beats Audio, and a specially-tuned keyboard with six programmable keys and programmable RGB backlighting. What you won't find is a crazy high-res 3200 x 1800 display. Instead, HP goes with a more framerate-friendly 1080p panel with 70% colour gamut and wide viewing angles.

While you can't upgrade most components, HP will offer configs with 4GB of video memory, 16GB of RAM, as well as faster, higher-capacity PCI-Express solid state drives that allow the machine to boot in five seconds flat.

HP Just Built a Gaming Laptop. Seriously.

Clearly, we'll need to get our hands on the HP Omen to see how potent the laptop might be, but one important customer is already impressed. Rahul Sood, the outspoken founder of VoodooPC, told me he couldn't find anything he didn't like about the new laptop. "To be honest, when they brought it to me, I was looking to be disappointed, but I'm not. It's quite good," he said.

That's pretty high praise coming from the guy who saw the brand he built wither and die at HP, and who serves on the advisory board of Razer — which just so happens to build this laptop's prime competitor. Incidentally, Sood just left his latest job at Microsoft Ventures to create a new game-centric startup. We're eager to hear if his new company, Unikrn, will build some killer gaming hardware of its own.

Local pricing and availability for the HP Omen should be coming soon.


Comments

    oooooh, how much i wonder? Still got a little bit of my tax refund sitting in the bank, and im sick of lugging my desktop around to my mates places!

      $1500USD for the entry model.. so probably $2500-$3200 once you add Australia Tax and depending on the trim.

      Last edited 05/11/14 12:16 pm

    And yet they still insist on putting those shitty, non-gaming friendly keyboards into these things, not to mention all of that wasted space in front of the keyboard that exists only so the mouse touchpad can be there, which is awful if you're trying to play a game like Starcraft II or LoL or any kind of FPS.

    THIS is a much better design for a gaming focused laptop. If companies like HP, Asus ROG, Alienware and Razer are serious about targeting gamers with these things, they need to start designing them to actually be good to play, not just throw together some awesome hardware and call it a day. The keyboards and keyboard placement specifically should be more like that MSI GT80 Titan. It doesn't even necessarily need to have the mechanical keyboard...just the overall placement, and the design of the keyboard would be a great start (ie, none of this Apple-style flat, square keys with large spaces between them BS).

    Last edited 05/11/14 11:25 am

      Good to see MSi making quite a name for itself with their laptops. I actually sold my GE60 because my mobile gaming dwindled to nothing once I put a table in my room. My m-ITX gaming 'cube' runs an MSi GTX 760 ITX video card, so MSi are targeting some marketing holes. Yes I use a keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches. The SteelSeries keyboard on the MSi laptops are pretty decent, but the feedback/tactile feel of a mechanical switch is a lot better.

      *This comment was typed on a Leopold MX Brown keyboard with rubber o-rings, in an office environment, where the Dell rubbish flat keyboards are louder*

    I've owned a couple of HP's over the years and from my experience, the bloatware on these machines is T E R R I B L E. I've avoided HP's for years now because of it so I have to wonder if the performance of this PC is going to be crippled by a 50Gb print driver that no matter how hard you try, just wont uninstall.

    Beats Audio eh? Wonder what Apple will have to say about that?

      HP have had Beats Audio in their computers for years.

    I'd consider that over replacing a rMBP

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