HP Omen is one of the big players when it comes to hardware and sponsorship within the esports industry.
From huge teams like Cloud9 and Immortals up to entire competitions such as the Overwatch League, HP Omen’s investment in esports is growing all the time.
Across Europe alone, HP Omen sponsors 17 different teams, because the company believes in the growth of the industry.
The private HP OMEN booth at Gamescom 2018 had all of the company’s latest technology
‘We will continue to invest,’ an HP Omen rep told me. ‘Esports is a growing field and we think it invites people to play, so it will expand the gaming market.’
And as more people start to play, that’s where the hardware comes in. HP essentially has three brands: Omen is for gaming, Pavilion is for the more casual player, while Omen X is the powerhouse.
Omen X will be the brand of interest for esports pros and streamers. They’re described by the company as ‘overspecced, overperformance’ machines. There’s even a 17-inch monster laptop in this line.
Of course, they come at a higher price point, but they’re close to the top of the line in terms of hardware.
But it goes right down to the other end of the gaming spectrum too. Pavilion machines are described as ‘PCs you can game on’ rather than being specifically designed for gaming.
Going even further, HP Omen is looking to mobile.
Using its Game Stream technology which has made its way onto laptops this year, you will soon be able to play games from your PC at home via your mobile phone.
The Omen Stream for Android devices will let you harness the power of your PC via your phone
The mobile Omen Stream should be releasing later this year, and it’s for gaming on the move. They admit that the performance will be based on the connection you’re on, but also say they’re looking to the future as well.
‘Starting next year there will be a lot of 5g networks developed across Europe, which we believe will be 30 times faster than 4g, so the technology will eventually catch up.’
I went hands on with the device at Gamescom, and on the Wi-Fi in the private HP booth, only the minutest amount of latency was noticeable when playing Forza on a mobile handset.
For the more traditional gamer, we have the Omen Mindframe headset. It’s got cooling technology inside the headphones, which will be particularly useful for people who play for extended periods, namely esports pros and streamers.
Then you have the Omen Obelisk, their take on the build-it-yourself computer market. ‘We wanted to create something which has full scalability up to 2080, has industry standard components, easy access components, no screws,’ said the HP rep. ‘A more aggressive price point so we can compete with other brands on the DIY market.’
HP Omen’s gaming focused PCs are for the performance hungry players out in the world
You’ve also got monitors. HP Omen provides the PCs and monitors for the Overwatch League, and it’s only on the very rare occasion that matches encounter technical faults, so they must be doing something right.
I also got to try out the new TV-sized HP Omen display at Gamescom. I played a quick demo of Battlefield on the 4K, 120Hz, HDR screen, and it was certainly very impressive. You just have to be prepared for a pretty high price point.
Finally you have the laptops. The one they’re most proud of is the new HP Omen 15, which I’ve had the chance to go hands on with for a couple of weeks.
It’s a good 15-20% smaller than last year’s edition of the Omen 15, while actually being more powerful. Although it’s smaller, it’s still on the fairly large end of the scale when it comes to laptops. A ‘snug fit’ would be the best way to describe the way it fills a 15.6-inch laptop bag. It’s also pretty heavy too, and while it’s not cumbersome to carry around, you’ll definitely notice if it’s been on your shoulder for a while.
This year’s version of the HP Omen 15 is smaller than last year’s but packs more of a punch
But in terms of performance, it’s up there with the best at its price point. It runs top esports such as League of Legends, Overwatch, and CS:GO like a dream, and I was even surprised by how well it runs PUBG – a game which is sometimes known for its poor performance even on good hardware.
It has a nice IPS display, but the one I used only has a 1920×1080 resolution, so there was some room for improvement. The backlit keyboard is good for gaming and typing too, and the trackpad is fine for everyday use.
It’s worth noting that the laptop does get quite hot, particularly just above the keyboard, despite the large air vents, and the power pack actually becomes painful to the touch if it’s been in use for a while.
As for the aesthetic, it’s all a matter of taste. The aggressive looking air vents, the big cross and the logo on the lid, and the black and red colour scheme broadcast to the world that it’s definitely a gaming machine. That might be a bonus to some, but a detriment to others.
Overall though, if pure performance is what you’re looking for, the HP Omen 15 is a great shout for a gaming laptop.
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Os textos, informações e opiniões publicados neste espaço são de total responsabilidade do(a) autor(a). Logo, não correspondem, necessariamente, ao ponto de vista do E-Sports Plus.