Omen is HP's high-end gaming brand, and its latest laptop continues the tradition of pushing the boundaries on performance -- this time for an emerging category of gamers.
The company has just announced the Omen X, a new notebook (and mobile companion to the Omen X desktop) that HP says is designed for esports athletes, gamers who compete in tournaments in one of the fastest-growing new entertainment segments. Like traditional athletes who have to rely on their gear to help maximize their performance, competitive gamers can't afford any glitches that can impact a match. HP is an official partner of the Overwatch World Cup, a major esports tournament hosted by game developer Blizzard, so it would behoove it to have a laptop that can withstand the rigors of competing in that event.
The new Omen isn't unique in offering some of the most powerful components that can be stuffed into the laptop form factor, though it's the first Omen that promotes the overclocking of its components.. Like other gaming notebook, it includes seventh-generation Intel Core i7 processors (though notably not the just-released 8th-generation Kaby Lake CPUs) that are unlocked for overclocking, along with factory-overclocked graphics cards, and "command center" software that gives users the ability to fine-tune system tweaking.
Given its manufacturing size, HP may have an advantage in its thermal design, which allows for maximum performance without overheating, though we'll need to see real-world testing to know how well its integrated vapor chamber works. More unique is a panel that lets users more easily upgrade components like RAM and storage. Most laptops make such swaps near impossible, so the Omen X can extend its lifespan by allowing gamers to upgrade memory or add faster or larger capacity SSDs and hard drives
The Omen X also includes a 17-inch screen that's available either in 4K resolution or 1080p resolution with a 120Hz refresh rate. It features a mechanical keyboard with individually backlit RGB keys and dedicated macro keys to give gamers the ability to customize their playing surface. There are eight lighting zones across the Omen X's chassis so you can color its appearance however you'd like.
One other thing the new Omen X laptop has in common with other portable gaming systems is a high price tag. When it begins shipping in November, it will feature a starting price of $2,299, and expect that amount to escalate as you pile on the options.