We finally have a version in hand, code name ap-000nf, offered for the rather plump sum of 2800 euros. The opportunity to check if HP manages to rise to the level of Asus and Dell in the segment of very high-end gaming laptops.
No doubt, the HP Omen X Laptop comes from the gaming galaxy. The housing of this 17.3 inch laptop is characterized by aggressive lines, a successful metallic finish and above all a space characteristic of mastodons cut for 3D: 3.64 cm high and 4.4 kg. Added to this is the presence of red, black, the emblematic logo of the range and neon colors on the back of the screen. In short, we are on familiar ground.
A quick tour of the connectors teaches us that HP has not forgotten anyone and above all had the good idea to place a part of it at the back, among which the wired network socket, the HDMI and mini DisplayPort video outputs or even the three USB sockets including two Type-C (Thunderbolt 3 compatible). On the sides of the device are two USB 3.0 sockets (one on each side), an SD card reader and the usual analog audio sockets.
Everything in the keyboard!
We deploy the screen and immediately the star of the machine, the famous mechanical keyboard, much praised by HP, appears with its shortcut keys dedicated to video games on the left side. Before we even start the machine, we run our fingers over the piano and the soft melody of “click-click” peculiar to mechanical keys is heard.
They fall well under the fingers and offer good typing sensations as long as we like this kind of keyboard. This is not frankly our case, let’s be honest, we prefer to touch it chiclet both to play and to work.
HP however succeeds in proposing a model which convinces us. If we were to make a parallel, it combines the sensations and the noise of a keyboard of a Dell Alienware with the resistance of the mechanical. In games, once you get used to it, it’s a treat. In PUBG, cHowever, this did not allow us to better fragment … or even increase our number of actions per minute in a good old man. StarCraft II in multi. Pity.
Of course, as soon as the machine is switched on, the entire backlighting of the keys takes action, illuminating the internal plate with a thousand lights. All colors and areas are customizable viaOmen Command Center. It is also through this that we keep an eye on the machine’s thermal probes or that we can play on the processor frequency. Yes, you read correctly.
A processor that timidly overclocks
Transition all found to evoke the mechanics at work at the heart of the large case. As the Omen X 17 was designed last year, there is no six-core Intel processor under the hood. The device, however, has a solid seventh generation Intel Core i7, the 7820HK, one of the most powerful of its generation, paired with 16 GB of DDR4 (expandable).
In addition to its operating frequency of up to 3.9 GHz in Turbo mode (2.9 GHz basic) and more than enough to run all programs, this Intel chip can overclock. So you can try to make it climb the towers using the Omen Command Center and its integrated review. Do not expect to break records, you will win 100 to 200 MHz at best but little more.
And if you are too greedy, the machine punishes you immediately … with a crash. Quite simply. Besides, in this case, do not panic, HP has everything planned: the software takes care of resetting everything flat on restart and you can try your luck again.
High-end machine requires, the Omen X must have a graphic part to the height. No GeForce GTX 1080 here, but a GTX 1070 which – despite its two years of existence – still holds water when it comes to running the games of the moment on the 17.3 inch screen.
You can even have a bit of a heavy hand on the graphics options of some AAA without it passing you under the bar of the fateful 60 frames per second (ips). As proof, the scores scored in our reference games, Tom Clancy’s: The Division and Rise of the Tomb Raider which are displayed at 80 to 105 fps with our home settings, in Full HD. On older titles, we reach stratospheric figures between 206 and 321 fps.
Finally, to ensure maximum responsiveness to the Omen X 17 with a launch of Windows 10 and games in a few seconds, HP places an M.2 SSD module of 256 GB PCIe (Samsung brand) on the motherboard . According to the very good score obtained by the latter in PC Mark 8 (more than 5000 points), its services are up to par. And if you do not have enough, know that it is possible to add an SSD, still in M.2 format, on the motherboard.
Photos, films and other documents will make a place for themselves on the now classic 1 TB hard drive present in most current configurations. Note that it is also easily accessible once the rear of the machine is unscrewed and can therefore be swapped against a model with a higher capacity.
Consumption, noise and heating
The platform of the Omen X 17 swallows 234 watts when all the components are mobilized, against 26 watts (all the same) when surfing the Internet. This is enough to explain the imposing size of the AC adapter and its weight of 1.2 kg.
As the photo above shows, HP has tried to personalize this adapter a little while many manufacturers are content to provide a nice block of plastic, uninteresting.
With such consumption, is it worth pointing out that playing on drums is impossible? Similarly, enjoying a film or surfing the Internet without food is only considered for 4 short hours, reducing the brightness of the screen.
In the intensive phases of the game, the ventilation of the device is a joy. However, she has the good tone of not making strident noises or excessive blowing to keep the components at the right temperature. Armed with our benchmark sound level meter, we measured a maximum noise of 45.7 dB during intense stress versus 31.2 dB when watching a movie. In absolute terms, this is not excessive for a gaming machine, but our eardrums still winced in the long run.
It heats up mercury side! Especially below the device where we noted spikes at 50.5 ° C. Also note that the fan located on the right side of the device causes the expulsion of a continuous stream of hot air which may well interfere with players using their external mouse on this side.
The 120 Hz screen is not quite level
A well-finished case, a nice mechanical keyboard and a hardware platform up to par, it remains to sift through the screen to find out if the Omen X Laptop is full.
On a purely gaming level, the matt coating, the refresh rate of the panel at 120 Hz and the G-Sync technology are very good arguments to seduce the players that we are. Despite everything, our review probe is formal, on the technical side, it is not satisfactory enough.
The average maximum brightness measured by us is 321 cd / m2. It is higher than that of its competitor Asus, the Chimera G703, for example, but remains, after all, too low for our taste. The contrast ratio, for its part, disappoints since it fails to reach 1000: 1. For a machine of this price, we expected much better, it is obvious.