- Fairly sturdy construction and refreshing design
- Good input devices (improved keyboard and much better touchpad)
- Excellent IPS panel with G-Sync and 120Hz refresh rate
- The screen doesn’t use PWM across all brightness levels
- Stable and effective cooling solution
- Expanded I/O including Thunderbolt support
- Hefty chassis
- Short battery life due to lowered battery capacity compared to the previous model
- The lid is a little flexible due to the single-hinge design
The previous Omen 17 generation was somehow decent but not good enough to go against the competition in most aspects. Now, HP comes in strong with completely overhauled Omen 15 and Omen 17 gaming laptops that address most of the issues we had before the update, although we had fewer complaints about the 17-inch version. Anyway, HP manages to surprise with cool new design, better choice of materials, much better keyboard, usable touchpad and immersive 120Hz IPS display. The good news is that the price hasn’t changed all that much making the upgrade worthwhile and probably makes the Omen 17 the best value notebook in this price range.
Most of the hardware from the previous generation is here to stay – Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 GPU, up to 32GB of DDR$-2400 memory and M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD for storage. What’s new here is the expanded I/O – now the notebook has a USB-C 3.1 supporting Thunderbolt and a mini DisplayPort – and, of course, a new IPS panel that not only looks great but delivers buttery smooth gaming experience thanks to the fast 120Hz refresh rate and the support for G-Sync. So where’s the catch? Continue reading to find out more.
We got the notebook in a big black box containing only the charging brick and a power cord. Probably the final package will include a bunch of user manuals as well but nothing out of the ordinary.
Design and construction
The new chassis has nothing to do with the old one, except the fact that both generations mainly feature plastic. However, we found the new one to be more solid and feels better in general. In return to the added rigidness, though, the weight has gone up significantly tipping the scale at 3.8 kg compared to the 3.25 kg for the previous generation.
Now the new alteration isn’t more portable than the competition but it’s still lighter than the Acer’s Predator 17.
Now let’s talk about the design itself. The lid sets tone for a completely different design concept incorporating black plastic imitating brushed aluminum and two rectangular plates that look like carbon fiber finish. It feels rigid to some extent – pushing the back of the lid doesn’t cause big ripples to appear on the LCD screen but torsion is possible mainly due to the single-hinge design.
Speaking of which, it provides smooth linear travel and opening the lid with one hand is possible. However, we noticed that the decorative grills on the sides of the hinge obstruct the lid when lifting it up but we are pretty sure this is just a design flaw in the pre-production sample we got for this review. As for the bottom piece, it fits the overall appearance of the laptop with plastic, rectangular patterned elements and a big vent opening for air intake.
Interestingly, compared to the previous generation, the new HP Omen 17 is just a tad thicker measuring at 34 mm – just 1 mm higher than before. But the I/O has expanded as well with very good port distribution – mini DisplayPort, HDMI, RJ-45, USB 3.0, USB-C 3.1 (Gen 2 with Thunderbolt support), SD card reader and two 3.5 mm audio jacks on the left while the right side gives you two USB 3.0 connectors, the optical drive and the DC charging port.
This means that most of the cables will be sticking out the right side and will not get in the way when using an external mouse, unless you are a left-handed person, of course.
The interior has gone through major changes as well and they are mostly good. The material used for the base is now brushed aluminum with virtually no flex even when pressed hard – no bending in the middle of the keyboard, no flexing on the wrist rest area. Speaking of the keyboard, it now has six macro keys on the left, full-sized isolated arrow keys and highlighted WAS keys with white LEDs while the rest of the keys use red backlight.
Keys appear to be slightly shallow to our taste but work well with the clicky feedback. It’s definitely a win our books, especially compared to the poorly executed keyboard design on the previous generation. That’s exactly the keyboard we would like to see on gaming laptops. But the good news doesn’t stop there. The touchpad is also completely re-designed – no wobbling, no more stiff mouse clicks, no more bad gliding surface. The new design offers responsive and accurate trackpad with dedicated mouse buttons, which feel nice but we would have appreciated if they were slightly bigger in size – this way the will be easier to reach and operate with.
All in all, the new HP Omen 17 addresses all the issues we had with the previous design – better stability and rigidness, more gaming-centric keyboard and usable touchpad, expanded I/O and the bonus is a fresh new design that looks pretty nice in our opinion. Our only criticism is the added weight and the single hinge design.
Disassembly, maintenance and upgrade options
Although the laptop doesn’t have a dedicated service cover, the whole bottom comes off easily and gives access to all of the internals. Just remove all the screws around the bottom piece.
Storage upgrades – 2.5-inch HDD/SSD, M.2 SSD
AS expected, the motherboard offers the standard 2.5-inch drive slot, which is taken by a 1TB HGST HDD while the M.2 SSD slot is occupied by a Samsung PM961 PCIe NVMe SSD.
|M.2 slot||256GB Samsung PM961 M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD (2280)||Upgrade options|
|2.5-inch HDD/SSD||HGST 1TB HDD||Upgrade options|
The motherboard holds two RAM bays each supporting up to 16GB of DDR4-2400 chips. Our unit came with both taken by 16GB DDR4-2400 Samsung chips accounting for a total of 32GB RAM.
|Slot 1||16GB Samsung DDR4-2400||Upgrade options|
|Slot 2||16GB Samsung DDR4-2400||Upgrade options|
The Wi-Fi module is located next to the battery and it’s an Intel 7265NGW.
The battery is located under the wrist rest area and for some reason it has a lower capacity than the previous generation – 86Wh.
The cooling system appears to be massive and incorporates two big heat pipes and a smaller one used for the CPU heatsink. Both cooling fans are set apart and disperse the heat from the grills at the back. Our stress tests confirm the effectiveness of the cooling design.
The current Omen 17 features a brand new AUO B173HAN01.4 (AUO149D) IPS panel with Full HD (1920×1080) resolution, supports G-Sync and has a high refresh rate of 120Hz making it an excellent choice for gaming. The pixel density is 127 ppi while the pixel pitch is 0.1995 x 0.1995 mm. The screen can be considered as “Retina” when viewed from a distance equal or greater than 69 cm.
Viewing anglex are excellent.
The maximum recorded brightness is 342 cd/m2 in the middle and 333 cd/m2 as average across the surface with just 6% deviation. The color temperature is 8000K so colors will appear colder/blue-ish than they should. Below you will also see how the screen’s color temperature changes at 140 cd/m2 (73% brightness).
The maximum dE2000 color deviation is 1.6 which is a really good result because values above 4.0 are usually unwanted especially when color-sensitive work is involved. The contrast ratio before calibration is good – 990:1 and after calibration is 930:1.
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.
The display covers 92% of the sRGB color gamut making it suitable for multimedia and gaming.
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.
Gaming capabilities (Response time)
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 = 21 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.
We didn’t detect flickering across all brightness levels so the screen should be safe to use (in this regard) for extended periods of time.
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 (SDP) graph.
The new HP Omen 17 offers a significant upgrade in the screen department over the last generation – now the screen is more gaming-centric as it offers G-Sync but it’s combined with a 120 Hz refresh rate making up for a buttery smooth gaming experience. The screen also has properties suitable for multimedia consumption as well – it’s bright, has high contrast ratio and offers wide sRGB coverage. Most importantly, there’s no PWM across all brightness levels so users with sensitive eyes shouldn’t worry.
The overall quality of the loudspeakers is fine but we noticed slight distortions in the low frequencies.
The current specs sheet refers to this particular model – configurations may differ depending on your region.
|CPU||Intel Core i7-7700HQ (4-core, 2.80 – 3.80 GHz, 6MB cache)|
|RAM||8GB (1x 8096MB) – DDR4, 2400MHz|
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5)|
|HDD/SSD||1TB HDD + 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD|
|Display||17.3-inch – 1920×1080 (Full HD) IPS, matte|
|Connectivity||LAN 10/100/1000 Mbps, Wi-Fi 802.11ac (2×2), Bluetooth 4.0|
|Thickness||34 mm (1.33″)|
|Weight||3.25 kg (8.38 lbs)|
We used the already installed Windows 10 (64-bit) for the writing of this review but if you wish to perform a clean install of the OS without all the bloatware, we suggest downloading all of the latest drivers from HP’s official support page.
The battery life on this thing is expected to be bad due to the powerful hardware, the lack of NVIDIA Optimus support (blame G-Sync for that) and the power-hungry Full HD IPS panel with 120Hz refresh rate. It’s only natural that the rather big 86 Wh battery just can’t keep up with the hardware even when it comes to simple tasks like web browsing and video playback. Interestingly, the previous version of the Omen 17 offered a bigger 95Wh unit.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
Pretty subpar battery performance – 244 minutes (4 hours and 4 minutes).
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
Slightly lower result here – 220 minutes (3 hours and 40 minutes).
We recently started using F1 2015’s built-in benchmark on loop in order to simulate real-life gaming.
Of course, the laptop isn’t made for gaming away from the plug but it’s good to know that it can last a little over an hour under heavy workload – 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes).
CPU – Intel Core i7-7700HQ
The Core i7-7700HQ is Kaby Lake’s top-shelf direct successor of the Skylake Core i7-6700HQ offering slightly higher clock speeds on the almost identical architecture and TDP. While Intel markets Kaby Lake’s architecture as “14nm+”, the Core i7-7700HQ is still on the same 14nm node with the only significant update being in the iGPU department. That’s why the slightly altered clock speeds (2.8 – 3.8 GHz vs 2.6 – 3.5 GHz) bring not more than 10% increase in performance compared to the Core i7-6700HQ. We still have the supported Hyper-Threading technology with 4/8 – core/thread design, the same 45W TDP and 6MB cache.
However, the Kaby Lake generation boasts an updated video engine for the iGPU, although, its performance is just about the same. Branded as Intel HD Graphics 630, the GPU offers slightly higher clock speeds (350 – 1100 MHz vs 350 – 1050 MHz) compared to the Intel HD Graphics 530 and support for H265/HEVC Main10 profile at 10-bit color depth and the VP9 codec for full hardware acceleration. In addition, the HDCP 2.2 is also supported allowing Netflix’s 4K video streaming.
|HP Omen 17 (2017)||8,12|
|HP Omen 17 (GTX 1070)||8,11|
|ASUS ROG Strix GL702VS||8,15|
|ASUS ROG G752VS||7,32|
|Acer Predator 17 (G9-793)||7,49|
Results are from the Cinebench 11 test (higher the score, the better)
|HP Omen 17 (2017) Intel Core i7-7700HQ (4-cores, 2.8 – 3.8 GHz)||8.12|
|HP Omen 17 (GTX 1070) Intel Core i7-7700HQ (4-cores, 2.8 – 3.8 GHz)||8.11||-0.12%|
|ASUS ROG Strix GL702VS Intel Core i7-7700HQ (4-cores, 2.8 – 3.8 GHz)||8.15||+0.37%|
|ASUS ROG G752VS Intel Core i7-6700HQ (4-cores, 2.6 – 3.5 GHz)||7.32||-9.85%|
|Acer Predator 17 (G9-793) Intel Core i7-6700HQ (4-cores, 2.6 – 3.5 GHz)||7.49||-7.76%|
Fritz is a chess benchmark that tests the computing capabilities of the CPU with various chess moves. The Intel Core i7-6700HQ managed to get 13.445 million moves per second. For comparison, one of the most powerful computers, Deep(er) Blue, was able to squeeze out 200 million moves per second. In 1997 Deep(er) Blue even beat the famous Garry Kasparov with 3.5 to 2.5.
GPU – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5)
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 is the second fastest mobile GPU after the GTX 1080. It’s part of NVIDIA’s Pascal generation of GPUs and unlike previous releases, the company finally closes the gap between mobile and desktop graphics processors and that’s why there’s no “M” in the branding of Pascal GPUs. All thanks to the 16nm TSMC manufacturing process of the GPU, which allows better thermals and overall performance in a smaller form factor. That’s a big technology jump compared to the 28nm Maxwell generation.
Compared to its desktop counterpart, the GTX 1070 doesn’t differ too much. They share an identical number of ROPs (64) and identical memory – 8GB GDDR5 with 256-bit bus clocked at 8000 MHz. However, there’s a minor difference in clock speeds – the laptop GPU ticks at 1443 MHz and can go up to 1645 MHz while the desktop variant is running at 1506 MHz – 1683 MHz. To compensate to some extent, the laptop 1070 carries more CUDA cores (2048 vs 1920) and slightly more TMUs (170 vs 120).
Due to its performance, thermals and power consumption, which is believed to be 10W more than the GTX 980M, the GPU is suitable for large 17-inch laptops with the appropriate cooling solution.
|HP Omen 17 (2017)||76.987|
|HP Omen 17 (GTX 1070)||104.192|
|ASUS ROG Strix GL702VS||109.109|
|ASUS ROG G752VS||100.753|
|Acer Predator 17 (G9-793)||84.191|
Results are from the 3DMark Cloud Gate (G) test (higher the score, the better)
|HP Omen 17 (2017) NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5)||76987|
|HP Omen 17 (GTX 1070) NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5)||104192||+35.34%|
|ASUS ROG Strix GL702VS NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5)||109109||+41.72%|
|ASUS ROG G752VS NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5)||100753||+30.87%|
|Acer Predator 17 (G9-793) NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5)||84191||+9.36%|
|Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||130 fps||75 fps||57 fps|
|Far Cry Primal||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||93 fps||88 fps||81 fps|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||126 fps||72 fps||50 fps|
|Tom Clancy’s The Division||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||146 fps||65 fps||20 fps|
The stress tests that we perform do not represent real-life due to the extreme nature of the methods but it’s still a good way to determine the overall stability and effectiveness of the cooling system.
The first hour of the test that includes 100% CPU load started off great. The temperatures were pretty low while the Core i7-7700HQ utilized its maximum clock speeds at 3.4 GHz with four active cores. From that minute on, we knew there were some significant changes in the cooling system compared to the previous generation, although it was pretty decent.
Then, we turned on the GPU stress test as well. Naturally, the CPU’s temperatures rose to around 88 °C while maintaining clock speeds within the 2.8 – 3.4 GHz range. What surprised us, though, was the exceptionally low GPU temperatures – 70 °C while running at little above 1600 MHz at first before settling at 1544 MHz. That’s some really impressive cooling performance right there.
We also measured the surface temperatures and they seemed to be within normal range. The center of the keyboard and the upper part of the interior were a bit warmer than they should but that’s after an extended extreme stress test. These temperatures won’t occur during normal use or gaming. Interestingly enough, the GPU and ran 8 °C cooler than the Acer Predator 17 (with GTX 1070) but surface temperatures were higher than the latter. In fact, compared to the similarly priced ASUS ROG GL702VS, the HP Omen 17 did way better when it comes to cooling.
The newly presented HP Omen 17 from this year rights all wrongs of the previous generation. It now has sturdier construction – the chassis is heftier than before but we really appreciate the added rigidity – catchy design, expanded I/O and much-improved input devices. The keyboard is still a bit on the shallow side but the added macros, enlarged arrow keys and the highlighted WASD keys will appeal to most gamers. More importantly, though, the touchpad is now usable!
Although the new version sports the same hardware – Core i7-7700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070, up to 32GB of DDR4-2400 memory, M.2 PCIe NVMe-enabled SSD slot and a standard 2.5-inch drive bay – there’s a significant improvement when it comes to cooling. The new cooling design keeps the hardware pretty chill even under heavy workload and doesn’t allow the surface around the keyboard to heat up easily – the wrist rest area and the spot around the WASD keys remain cool.
What’s probably the main key selling point here, however, is the excellent IPS panel supporting G-Sync and refresh rates up to 120 Hz. Even at this price range, the HP Omen 17 rivals the Alienware 17 R4 while beating the direct competitor the ASUS ROG Strix GL702VS in many aspects.
Finally, HP has made an excellent gaming laptop that’s worth considering and virtually has no serious drawbacks, except the usual ones that are intrinsic to almost all gaming notebooks – short battery life and heavy construction.