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HP OMEN laptops are nearly always displayed at one’s local hardware shop — and for good reason. The OEM making them is about as renowned as it gets, has a staggeringly diverse product stack on offer and is known for making some truly well-rounded laptops, be they for gaming or other productivity-oriented tasks and workflows.
The OMEN line, in particular, is known for being HP’s best and most competitive. These laptops are not only well-rounded but also reasonably priced. This, in all fairness, is one of the biggest reasons why they’re as popular as they are.
Certain corners, however, had to have been cut — hence the many unique flaws which HP OMEN laptops come in tow with.
Some SKUs come with dreadful, “washed out” displays that are neither bright nor color-accurate enough. Others have wobbly hinges and awful keyboards, miniscule trackpads, and a kind of chassis flex that can make one shudder.
These issues, to be fair, exist with basically all OEMs and their entry-level and mid-tier offerings. It also depends on the particular SKU you’re interested in; whenever you’re buying a “budget-friendly” laptop — i.e. a model that won’t require you to sell a kidney so as to purchase it — you will have to accept certain sacrifices.
HP OMEN laptops are no different, sadly. They’re well-rounded and, in general, quite good, but their flaws and weaknesses are, for the most part, tremendously glaring. For some, they are dealbreakers, for others a negligible hindrance.
HP Omen Laptops — Trailing Behind
HP’s competitors have stepped up big time over the last few years, and that’s true in as many ways as one can imagine: their laptops now feature better displays and more robust chassis, they’re (at times) more pleasing on the eyes, they come with more comprehensive cooling assemblies, port selections, and so on and so forth.
The market has never been as competitive as it is right now and yet, for some odd reason, HP doesn’t seem to be in all that big of a hurry to innovate and “rub shoulders.” They’re mainly just re-using the exact same designs and chassis from before, with simple spec refreshes being the norm — nothing more, nothing less.
These laptops adhere to a very sleek, professional aesthetic, but other than that, there’s very little (if any) innovation to speak of. Companies like Lenovo, ASUS, and even Acer have seemingly leapfrogged HP and are trying their absolute hardest to create laptops that can wow the masses and, in turn, generate as much revenue and profit as possible.
HP, on the other hand, is seemingly content with its current position.
Its laptops could be better built. Their displays could be brighter, more color accurate, their hinges less wobbly, their trackpads less prone to malfunctioning, and their chassis more rigid. There’s a surprising amount of lid flex on even the best OMEN laptops which is definitely a point of concern.
Some models run way too hot and, as such, emit a surprising amount of fan noise — even for a gaming laptop. And, the thing is, OMEN laptops are sort of marketed as the perfect “middle ground.” A kind of laptop that is neither as nice as a Razer Blade nor as entry-level as an Acer Nitro. And, as such, it’s not exactly what one could deem cheap.
HP OMEN — Close to Being Great
Then again, most models come with an extra M.2 slot for additional storage. Their Wi-Fi cards can be replaced and upgraded, and, more often than not, so can their RAM. Most OMEN laptops also have a stellar port selection — plenty of I/O, both novel and “legacy.”
There’s a lot to like, but also a few truly perplexing design and build choices that leave us wanting. That being said, OMEN laptops tend to go on sale rather frequently and, if you can snag your model of choice at a discount, it may well be worth purchasing.
HP OMEN laptops aren’t as well-rounded as their biggest competitors, but they’re still capable performers with a few peculiar faults.
What About HP Victus?
The Victus line from HP is a fairly interesting one. These are the most affordable gaming laptops which HP has to offer and are, for the most part, pretty good given the asking price. Still, they share many of the same flaws and weaknesses as the OMEN ones and are, as such, definitely not worth purchasing at full price.
Their displays are often their biggest weakness, in addition to their subpar speakers and mediocre build quality. All in all, they’re a good option for the budget-minded, but one definitely needs to be aware of their pros and cons before making an investment.
Some of Lenovo’s LEGION laptops also tend to go on sale and are, for the most part, a much better option.
Conclusion — Are HP OMEN Laptops Worth It?
Despite their (at times plentiful) shortcomings, HP OMEN laptops are still a fairly good choice — one just needs to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses and also which particular corners HP tends to cut the most so as to keep the price down.
A word of caution: always read the spec sheet before making any kind of purchasing decision. Top-of-the-line OMEN laptops have gotten a fair bit better recently, but there’s still a host of dreadful SKUs out there, some of which ought to be avoided as if they were the plague. We’re talking dim displays with horrific response times and ~250 nits of maximum brightness, along with wobbly hinges, heaps of coil whine, and a questionable level of build quality.
And, as always, make sure to buy your laptop of choice from a retailer like Amazon or, say, BestBuy. Laptops are manufactured by the dozen and, sadly, gaming ones tend to get the short end of the stick as far as quality control is concerned — regardless of their price.
And so, if you’re interested in buying an HP OMEN, make sure to get it from a retailer with a very lenient return policy. That way, should its screen be dim or hinge a bit too wobbly for your liking (to say nothing of its performance, thermals, and fan noise), you’ll be able to return in and get your money back in record time.