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HP Omen 17 (2023) review: Snappy performance with minor flaws

The 2023 HP Omen 17 is a well-crafted and luxurious gaming laptop but average battery performance lets it down

The HP Omen 17 2023 model uses the same case as its predecessor but comes with the latest and greatest hardware.
The HP Omen 17 2023 model uses the same case as its predecessor but comes with the latest and greatest hardware. (HP)

Whether it is a good thing or not, the review of the HP Omen 17-ck2004TX can actually be told in just a few lines. The Omen 17 is a behemoth of a gaming laptop. It isn’t a desktop replacement and neither is it portable. It’s a well-crafted and luxurious gaming laptop that is meant to be kept on your desk and plugged in at all times. It won’t unnecessarily heat up, and neither will it lag during any gameplay thanks to the RTX 4080 graphics card. It’s aided by some good speakers, great viewing angles, and sufficient performance for video processing alongside gaming.

Yes, there you have it. That’s the HP Omen 17 review in a nutshell. But there’s much more than what meets the eye though. Let’s dive in.

Design: Not much has changed from before

The HP Omen 17 2023 model uses the same case as its predecessor but comes with the latest and greatest hardware. There’s a Core i9 chip along with an RTX 4080 GPU and a full-size keyboard (backlit and with RGB lighting).

It’s a plain, black design, with just an Omen logo on the lid (which changes colours depending on the light). It’s a discreet design but it may be boring for some. One thing you’ll notice when unboxing the Omen 17 is the ginormous 330 watts charger. It’s larger than any I’ve seen before. It does have one huge benefit: quickly charging the laptop. That isn’t necessary if you’re anyway going to be plugged in at all times.

The Omen 17 is by no means lightweight, and definitely not portable. The build quality is excellent with very little flex on the lid.

Plenty of ports

The Omen 17 comes with plenty of ports for all of your needs. On the left side, there is a Gigabit Ethernet port, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 (USB-A) port, a Mini DisplayPort, an HDMI 2.1 port, one Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C; Power Delivery, DisplayPort) port, an audio jack and an SD card slot.

The right-hand side is much simpler as it features two USB 3.2 Gen 1 (USB-A) ports and that’s it.

Great display

With the Omen 17, you get a 17.3-inch IPS display (with a 240Hz refresh rate). It comes with a QHD resolution of 2560x1440 pixels. It has a peak brightness of 300 nits, which is good enough for indoor usage.

While there are a lot of upsides - great viewing angles, good colour reproduction, and a snappy refresh rate - there is only one downside. While many of the competitors prefer a 16:10 aspect ratio, HP has stuck with the 16:9 aspect ratio.

While it may be a matte IPS panel, thanks to the 240Hz refresh rate, you get the frame rates from all the games you’re playing on this laptop.

Snappy performance with noisy fans

Thanks to the RTX 4080 GPU, 32GB of DDR5 RAM and an Intel i9-13900HX CPU, the laptop is able to handle every game that you throw at it. From Shadow of the Tomb Raider to GTA V, the laptop performed solidly. In fact, it’s only the newer games like GTA V that push the boundaries of the laptop.

While playing GTA V, I noticed that the fans got loud. They didn’t get loud enough to deter me from taking off my headphones, pausing my gameplay and leaving the laptop idle, but they were noticeably loud.

The laptop did a good job of dissipating the heat thanks to the design. I noticed the laptop getting hot, especially around the middle, but nothing that was uncomfortable. Of course, don’t go gaming and stress-testing the laptop with it on your lap.

While playing games like GTA V and Forza Horizon 5, I hardly noticed the frame rates dropping. This is a sign of a well-designed laptop.

Don’t run the laptop on its battery

Whether you’re gaming, browsing the web, or watching YouTube videos, keep the laptop plugged in. Just an hour of watching YouTube and the battery life goes from 100 to 50 percent.

HP has included an 83Wh battery. As with all gaming laptops, it’s practically unusable on battery power. Load up any game on battery power and you won’t even last 30 minutes before it shuts off.

Shallow keyboard

The keyboard may be large, but I didn’t find it great for typing. HP decided against a full-size keyboard as it has chosen to go without the number pad. The key travel is strictly average and you won’t be typing fast on this.

You get six macro keys on the left-hand side, and they can be assigned various functions. The trackpad may be large but its responsiveness isn’t up to the mark.

Verdict: Should you buy the Omen 17?

The Omen 17 falls short of being a true desktop replacement thanks to the noisy fans and the shallow keyboard.

Thanks to its wonderful display, top-of-the-line performance, and plenty of ports, this becomes a worthy arsenal for all those professional gamers out there. The HP Omen 17 starts at Rs. 2,69,990. For all that it offers, the pricing is pretty good.

Sahil Bhalla is a Delhi-based journalist. He tweets @IMSahilBhalla

Also read: Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 review: Gaming power meets portability

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