HP’s Omen 16 is a mid-range gaming laptop powerful enough to play any game at 60fps, or more, at an affordable price.
At $3,399, the Omen 16 is slightly more expensive than similarly spec’d rivals – but it’s still a fair price for 144Hz gaming.
This is a laptop that isn’t trying to compete with the best. It’s an “affordable” device with a 1920×1080, 144Hz display. It’s great for gaming at high frame rates but you won’t be able to achieve the graphical fidelity of laptops boasting 2K or 4K displays.
The 1.5-hour battery life (while gaming) competes with more expensive laptops and is very good for a laptop at this price-range and the device has a good selection of ports. There’s a lot to like here, just don’t expect the Omen 16 to stand-out or bring anything new to the table.
- Good battery for its price range
- Great selection of ports
- Affordable 144Hz gaming option
- Omen Tempest Cooling system
- Keyboard feels cramped
- Slightly more expensive than similar devices
The Omen 16 we were given to review costs $3,399. The laptop has an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H processor, 32GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, and an Nvidia RTX 3070 graphics card. The display is an FHD (1920×1080) 144Hz screen with a maximum brightness of 300 nits.
When compared to similar gaming laptops, the Omen 16 is on the pricier side. The Intel NUC X15 has the same processor and graphics card as the Omen 16, but has a better 240Hz FHD display and is cheaper at $3,279.
And the MSI Katana GF66 with the same graphics card, a better 240Hz screen and a faster Intel Core i7-12700H processor is only $170 more expensive at $3,571.
Often gaming laptops look like something that’s come out of a spaceship, they’re intentionally flashy and over-the-top. In this regard, the Omen 16 is rather bland. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, I liked how inconspicuous it looks, it doesn’t yell “gaming laptop,” and wouldn’t look out of place in an office.
At 16.1-inches, it’s a large laptop with a plain black exterior. The only part that stands out is the oil-slick, diamond-shaped logo on the lid. Other than that, there isn’t anything that makes the Omen 16 unique.
For a laptop this big I was expecting a more spaced out keyboard. And while I liked its numpad, it felt cramped. Often I would accidentally hit multiple keys when typing and I had to scrunch my hand up when using WASD for gaming.
It has RGB backlighting, which looks great. It can be customised and controlled via the Omen Gaming Hub software.
The trackpad is large and responsive, it works just as it should, I had no issues with it.
There’s a generous amount of ports here, there’s 3x USB-A ports (two on the right, one on the left) 1x USB-C (Thunderbolt 4), 1x HDMI, 1x Mini display, an ethernet port, a headphone jack and an SD card reader on the left. I appreciated the Ethernet port and the SD card reader which are ports not usually found on gaming laptops.
The display is a 144Hz, FHD (1920×1080) screen with a maximum brightness of 300 nits. It’s not an edge-to-edge display and the large bezel at the bottom of the screen looks dated. It’s a long way off the best display I’ve seen on a laptop, but it does the job.
There are laptops in the same category as the Omen 16 that have better screens. The 240Hz Intel NUC X15 and MSI Katana GF66, allow you to achieve even higher frame rates for similar prices as the Omen 16. But for most games you’ll be hard pressed to reach frames that high, 144Hz is a happy medium.
If your main focus is graphical fidelity then you may be disappointed in this display. It can’t achieve the stunning visuals that 2K or 4K screens can. Most of the time, these high-resolution laptops cost significantly more though.
The Intel Core i7-11800H processor, 32GB of RAM and the Nvidia RTX 3070 graphics card comfortably handled anything I threw at it.
Playing The Witcher 3 with all settings on ultra achieved an average of 80fps, similarly playing Deus Ex: Mankind Divided on maximum settings achieved a comfortable 90fps on average.
A standout here was the Omen Tempest Cooling system. There’s three vents on the side of the device that allows for 5-way airflow. It stayed very cool when playing graphically intensive games and never got too hot to have on my lap, which is something I’ve often found is a problem with gaming laptops.
The Bang & Olufsen speakers are okay. They’re laptop speakers, they aren’t going to compete with a good gaming headset but they’re fine for watching a YouTube video.
There’s also a 720p webcam, it’s fine.
The Omen Gaming Hub is a very capable software designed to enhance your gaming experience. It has a dedicated key on the upper right of the keyboard and comes with a large variety of functions. You can create virtual rooms to communicate with your friends, it acts as a launcher for games on any library whether it be Epic Games or Steam and it makes overclocking and undervolting simple and user-friendly.
The most useful feature was the performance control section in which you can adjust the performance of the laptop by selecting from three optimised modes. Comfort which reduces noise and temperature, Default for everyday tasks, and Performance for intensive tasks like gaming.
Changing between them made a noticeable difference – it meant I didn’t have to have the fan whirring at maximum capacity while doing work, and it helped to conserve battery when I needed it.
The Omen Gaming Hub also provides challenges where you can win games and exclusive items. Annoyingly this isn’t available in New Zealand.
The 83-Wh battery in the Omen 16 is very good.
At moderate usage (surfing the web and social media) it allowed for just under 8 hours of usage.
Under full load (gaming at full brightness) it lasted about 1.5 hours. This is roughly the average for gaming laptops and is impressive for a gaming laptop at this price.
If you’re looking for a gaming laptop that will allow for high frame rates, the HP Omen 16 will do the job. It’s capable, quiet, and comes with an impressive battery for a laptop at this price.
Nothing stands out here though. The 144Hz FHD screen is average, the design is a bit boring and it’s slightly overpriced at $3,399.
The trackpad works well and there’s a good amount of ports with the Ethernet and SD card reader being standouts. But, I didn’t love the keyboard, it felt cramped, and often my hand got uncomfortable using it while gaming.
If you’re looking for the very best graphics for gaming you’d be better off looking at a laptop with a 2K or 4K display, but if you want to play games above 60fps, with reasonable battery life, the Omen 16 will do the job.