Fortnite and fortunes: Gaming a good Omen for HP
WHEN you're playing in a tournament where the final prize pool is millions, your gaming device would want to be good. Very good.
For most of us, a mobile phone, Xbox or PlayStation is more than enough to play games, but when micro seconds can determine whether you win or lose thousands of dollars each week, having a great gaming laptop is almost an essential.
For those parents lamenting the number of hours their teens are 'investing' in Fortnite, consider this. The gaming industry is expected to be worth more than $180 billion by 2021.
By 2023, the gaming laptop market is expected to be worth a staggering $29 billion.
For HP alone, gaming has become a billion-dollar business for the PC market alone with its Pavilion and Omen ranges. HP treats its high performance Omen brand as a sporting brand.
In this arena, PC performance has to be lightning fast, the graphics super smooth while the keyboard responsiveness and durability is critical.
HP South Pacific product evangelist Paul Burman says much of the innovation in the gaming market is being driven by gamers themselves.
While 4K displays are becoming the standard for consumers, for gamers, resolution takes a back seat to superfast frame rates of 144 frames a second.
The keyboards are also a big focus of attention - not surprising when you consider a gamer may be doing 200 to 300 presses a minute.
The 17 inch Omen laptop we checked out to play everything from shoot'em-ups to car racing, offered super crisp displays with little lag.
Omen by HP 17 features a 1920 by 1080p anti-glare display with full HD at 144Hz. It has NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5 dedicated graphics rounded out with Bang & Olufsen dual speakers.
Driving all of that is an 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processors with up to six cores to allow for intensive gaming, streaming video and multitasking.
It offers a full size backlit keyboard with numeric keypad which allows for up to 26 keys to be hit at the same time.
As a package, it worked well to create a superbly realist gaming experience - especially with a set of headphones on.
But all that gear means, this is no lightweight laptop - it weighs about 3kg - meaning you'd want a decent backpack to haul it anywhere.
For those wanting something more compact, the Omen 15 has been shrunk by about 20% from the previous model, while all the ports have been moved to the back to allow cleaner cable management.
On the 17 inch model, there were two microphone inputs to allow for a headset, microphone combo for those who not only play games but broadcast to gaming communities at the same time.
For gaming professionals, broadcasting to the masses who spend more times watching how to get good in a game than playing it, has become a day job. Seriously.
HP says it has deliberately stripped out bloatware from its devices and added its own gaming orientated Omen Command Centre, which optimises settings for intensive gaming.
Omen Game Stream allows you to play games remotely via your Omen on other devices, such as a Microsoft Surface Go or other Windows 10 devices.
That's a particularly appealing option for those of us in regional areas who suffer from slower internet connections where the latency between overseas servers can create frustration.
HP is also rolling out big improvements in the accessories market, including via its Omen Sequencer keyboard which uses optical technology to provide a 0.2 millisecond response time and the ability to hit 100% of the keyboard at the same time.
So if you want to climb the ladder of League of Legends, Player Unknown Battlegrounds or higher end car racing games, save up your pennies.
If you're just playing Fortnite, the HP Pavilion range or your Xbox is more than adequate.
Omen by HP pricing and availability in Australia
• HP Pavilion Gaming 15 Laptop is available via hp.com.au. Select models are available from JB Hi-Fi, starting from $1,799.
• OMEN 15 Laptop is available via hp.com.au. Select models are available from JB Hi-Fi, starting from $1,999.
• OMEN 17 Laptop is available via hp.com.au. Select models are available from JB Hi-Fi, starting from $1,999.
• OMEN by Mindframe Headset will be available in October 2018 via hp.com.au from $249.95.
• OMEN by HP Sequencer Keyboard will be available in August 2018 via hp.com.au from $279.95.
• OMEN by HP Reactor Mouse is available now via hp.com.au from $129.95.
• OMEN X by HP Transceptor Backpack is available now via hp.com.au from $299.95
• OMEN by HP Mouse 400 is available now via hp.com.au from $49.95.
• OMEN by HP Mouse Pad 200 is available now via hp.com.au from $29.95.
• OMEN by Hard Mouse Pad 200 is available now via hp.com.au from $39.95