HP Omen 16 Review
The HP Omen 16 performs well on the gaming front thanks to the AMD Octa-core Ryzen 7 5800H Processor, AMD Radeon RX 6600M (8GB) GPU, 32GB RAM, and 1TB SSD storage.
- 1440p screen with solid color
- Good performance for 1080p gaming
- Excellent AMD processor
- Middling build quality
- Underwhelming keyboard and trackpad
The HP Omen 16 was officially relaunched last year and methinks it’s the final nail in the coffin for the colorful lighting and red stripes on gaming laptops as we’ve always known them. HP’s second generation of gaming laptops is less of a revival and more of a redesign ad refinement.
As a follow-up to last year’s Omen 16, which was a favorite for midrange gamers, the new Omen 16 seems to focus less on introducing newer features and more on enhancing its thermal system and improving its gaming creed. It debuts in Intel and AMD configurations, but the black color option is exclusive to AMD, while the white color belongs to Intel.
The HP Omen 16 is a rare laptop, and surprising in that it’s among the few laptops we’ve seen recently to rely on AMD for both its processor and graphics cards. That’s unusual because, in a graphics market dominated by Intel’s RTX 30-Series cards, HP has opted to run full-fledged on AMD silicon. With a price of just over one grand, a good performance from the Radeon RX 6600M would seriously compete with GeForce RTX 3070-powered portables like the Alienware m15 R7.
About the HP Omen 16
The HP Omen 16, as the “Omen” branding implies, is part of HP’s gaming laptop lineup. The model in this review is effectively the current flagship, delivering class-leading quality, a bright screen, and a performance you will find in a few other laptops, and a stylish design front and back.
Here are the full specs on the unit in this review:
- Model: HP Omen 16
- Processor: Intel Core i7-11800H
- Graphic Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
- Display: 16.1” QHD (2560 x 1440) 165Hz display with 3 ms response time
- Memory: 32 GB DDR4-3200 MHz RAM
- Storage: 1 TB PCIe® 4×4 NVMe™ TLC M.2 SSD
- Ports: 1 x Thunderbolt 4 USB Type-C, 3 x SuperSpeed USB Type-A, 1 x miniDisplayPort 1.4, 1 x 3.5mm headphone jack, 1 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x SD media card reader, 1 x Ethernet
- Dimensions: 36.9 x 24.8 x 2.25 cm
- Weight: 2.32 kg
The HP Omen 16 is an impressive gaming laptop. It sports a pleasant, low-key design, with a 4-zone RGB keyboard backlight that can provide color when you need it. The keyboard is cut from an aluminum plate that gives it a premium feel for a slim and light laptop, even if the Omen isn’t the slimmest and lightest, we’ve seen, so far.
The Omen 16’s keyboard is comfortable, and the touchpad is responsive, despite being made of plastic. For gaming, it performs well at 1080p, and AMD’s upscaling tech lets you upscale that to even 1440p in titles that support it.
Connectivity is decent, with a USB Type-A port, Ethernet, and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the left side. On the right side, there’s another pair of USB-A ports; the rear has two USB-C, an HDMI output, and a power jack.
Overall, we feel like the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro packs a punch more than the HP Omen 16, but not a significant one. As ever, when buying a gaming laptop, your choice should be based on what’s available on a sale at that moment and the type of games you’re going to play.
What we Like
Solid 1080p gaming performance
The biggest improvement on the new Omen 16 must be its internals. We had issues with thermal control on the original Omen, and with the new model, HP did a complete redesign of the thermal architecture. While the noises are still present in the 2022 model, they are not overly annoying but still noticeable.
Still, HP took the opportunity to remedy that thermal issue by adding a fourth thermal heat vent, fourth thermal radiator, and fifth thermal heat pipe to the laptop for efficient heat regulation, making the system faster and quieter.
Used for gaming, the HP Omen 16 is a perfect choice for 1080p gaming even with new titles. Our review unit arrives with an AMD Radeon RX 6600M GPU, which isn’t as loaded as the rival Nvidia RTX 3060. The major difference is that Intel’s GPU can handle ray-tracing much better and supports Nvidia’s fabulous DLSS upscaling feature.
Nonetheless, the performance is impressive. Playing Control gives you a glimpse of what to expect of his machine in real-world gaming. Played at 1080p resolution, high settings, Control averages 50-60 fps, and if you max out the settings to 1440p, it drops to mid-30s or low-40s, at medium settings.
Do you really need the 1440p screen? Many games will run fluently at the display’s native resolution – and at 60fps, making the 1440p screen handy. However, at this budget, we currently prefer the rival RTX 3060 GPU as it offers better ray-tracing – although, at this level of GPU, you’ll be better off without ray-tracing.
Another aspect has to be the lack of DLSS (an Nvidia technology), which lets you render games at a lower resolution and upscale them to the display’s native resolution for excellent results. AMD has its own version, Fidelity FX Super Resolution, but it isn’t quite as powerful as Intel’s technology.
For a fairly thin laptop, we’re impressed by HP’s management of heat too. However, the choice to use an aluminum keyboard plate results in notable heating of the small grille above the keyboard after a while.
High-quality, high-resolution screen
- 32GB RAM | 1TB SSD
- Equipped With The Most Powerful and Fast AMD Ryzen 7 H Series Octa-core Ryzen 7 5800H...
- 16.1 inch diagonal FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS 144Hz Display, Dedicated AMD Radeon RX 6600M...
Another highlight of the HP Omen 16 is the large diagonal and high-resolution screen, that provides for immersive, crisp gaming. HP uses a 16.1in diagonal and 2560 x 1440 resolution which means games look crisp and more immersive than on regular 15.6-inch panels with 1080p resolutions. The screen is one area where the Omen comfortably triumphs both the Dell G15 and HP’s own Victus 16 gaming laptops. With a 165Hz refresh rate, the motion is smooth, too.
The screen has a Delta E score f 1.37 and a color temperature of 6367K, which are both fantastic and cover 94.6% of the sRGB color gamut. With this specification, this is a panel that will comfortably and accurately display almost every shade demanded by games. The peak brightness of 346 nits is bright enough for indoor and outdoor use, and the 1277:1 contrast ratio helps the panel deliver vibrant colors and excellent depth in darker scenes.
That said, the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro gets a better screen, overall: its 16:10 aspect ratio and 2560 x 1600 resolution mean that you get more vertical space, and it’s brighter with fairly better color performance. And, if you’re a pro-Esports player, you might want to look for a 240Hz or 360Hz screen instead.
Great design and Features
While HP’s omen isn’t the most beautiful gaming laptop we’ve seen, it still looks stylish and is full of features. It’s made from matte-black aluminum and plastic, and sports a. discreet styling. On the lid, there’s a small, iridescent logo and the speakers have a chic, geometric pattern. On looks, the Omen 16 is just as slick and subtle as the Lenovo, and more mature that the plain Dell and the affordable Victus.
It comes with very practical features, too. The full-sized USB 3.2 Gen 1 port and one of those can charge devices when the laptop isn’t on, and there’s a faster USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, an HDMI 2.1 connection, a mini-DisplayPort connector, and an SD card reader.
What We Don’t Like
Mediocre build quality
While the Omen 16 looks stylish, the build quality leaves a lot to be desired. The screen flexes and the underside rattles, unlike the Lenovo and Dell which feel sturdy. If you’ll be taking it on the road daily, you’d better invest in a protective sleeve.
The keyboard and touchpad are underwhelming, too. The buttons are fast and comfortable, meaning they’re fine for typing and mainstream gaming, but I find them too soft compared to the best gaming keyboards we’ve reviewed before. The Dell G15 offers a more notably robust experience. Again, the keyboard doesn’t have a number pad, and the power button is – rather annoyingly – installed above the Backspace key. Also, while the keyboard does have four-zone RGB LED backlighting, the lights look fairly washed out.
Elsewhere, the plastic trackpad is rough as compared to the glass you’ll find on most other laptops, and its clicking motion is unsatisfying. I find it a bit resistant at the top of the pad and mushy on the bottom edge. As ever, I just recommend that gamers connect a USB gaming mouse and keyboard instead.
AMD Graphics can’t match Nvidia
The AMD Radeon RX 6600M GPU used here is decent, but the competing Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU is faster. This AMD Radeon RX 6600M graphics core uses the same RDNA 2 architecture as AMD’s mid-range desktop card, meaning it delivers solid gaming performance at the Omen’s 2560 x 1440 resolution.
That means you have enough muscle to play Esports titles like Rainbow Six Siege at over 196fps on the 165Hz panel used on this laptop. On its own, the Omen 16 has enough power to play any mainstream game at the screen’s native resolution. But when you compare it with Nvidia’s RTX 3060, the AMD trails. Take for instance, the HP Victus 16 which uses a low-end RTX 3060 and delivers 1080p frame rates of 79fps in Horizon and 63fps in Borderlands – while the Omen 16 only manages 60fps and 48fps, respectively.
All of this doesn’t make the Radeon core the worst GPU, but you’ll certainly get faster performance and a greater number of features from the RTX 3060. As for battery life, the Omen 16 will only play most titles for around 90 minutes, pretty typical with most gaming laptops.
Should you buy the HP Omen 16
The HP Omen 16, without a doubt, performs well on the gaming front thanks to the AMD Octa-core Ryzen 7 5800H Processor, AMD Radeon RX 6600M (8GB) GPU, 32GB RAM, and 1TB SSD storage.
And even though these components can strain the thermal department, the laptop does surprisingly well to manage the temperatures. Occasionally, the keyboard does feel a bit warm, but the Omen 16 never feels too hot to be considered a major problem.
Like every other gaming laptop, the HP Omen 16 is quite underwhelming when it comes to audio quality as well. While it delivers some punch with its volume, the dual speaker setup by Bang & Olufsen lacks some oomph when it comes to producing high-quality sound.
Overall, the HP Omen 16 checks most boxes when it comes to providing the ultimate gaming experience, packing all the necessary tools, with the display and inner hardware components for gamers to enjoy. A few grippes hold it from becoming the best gaming laptop at 1440p. It’s well-specced for 1080p, although you might want to consider the step-up Lenovo Legion 5 Pro with an Nvidia RTX 3070 graphics card.
Last update on 2023-03-20 at 16:11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API