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HP OMEN 17 Review (2017): Mid-Level Gaming Laptop

OMEN 17 2017 Review:

Black Metal and Red

I’ve been wanting to check out more gaming technology for the past two years, and I’m excited to talk to you about the HP OMEN 17, what I think is going to be a major player, if not already, in the South African gaming gear space.

The OMEN by HP brand has only been around in South Africa for roughly over a year, but in that short time, it’s managed to create quite a strong brand personality. Speaking to both casual and professional gamers alike! Though, in this iteration; The OMEN 17 Gaming Laptop is certainly built for gamers trying to be more than casual. I dare say, gamers looking for the next Razer brand that isn’t Razer.

…gamers looking for the next Razer brand that isn’t Razer. 

The OMEN 17 is a stunningly good looking piece of hardware, combining ease of use and some smooth good looks. I’ve found the keyboard easy to adapt to, being a Mac user, and almost “quicker” than my other office HP laptop. It comes complete with a wide array of ports and enough air-vents to make your local starship breath heavy! It is rather heavy though at 2.57Kg, though not as heavy as most top-level gaming laptops you could get today, which, would normally be a problem for any mobile gamer, though, it’s sturdy build makes it comfortable.

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OMEN 17 Laptop Features:

The Keyboard and Ports:

I consider myself a writer, although an amateur, so when I work on new laptops the first thing I find is how effective I am at typing on the keyboard. In this case, I cannot express enough how comfortable and ergonomic the keyboard on this OMEN 17 is! (I’m writing this on it as we speak!).

It’s easy and smooth, fast and comfortable. It feels that the designers have considered both the worker and the gamer in their design, housing the important keys within reach, rather than all over the place like a traditional office laptop. I’d even go as far as to say, this OMEN 17 keyboard feels better than my Mac book Air 2015.

OMEN 17 keyboard feels better than my Mac book Air 2015. 

Unlike other HP laptops, I’ve found the OMEN 17 track pad to be responsive and enough to function effectively during work. Something that has normally been a let down on other models. Though, when it comes to gaming, I always advise a decent gaming mouse. 

Having ports on a laptop of tower build PC never bugged me until Apple stopped putting them on their laptops. Now it’s something you’ve got to check and in the case of the OMEN 17, they have more than enough, built within the scope of the screen while not really going too far overboard.

HP OMEN 17 Ports include: 

  • 1 HDMI Port
  • 1 Headphone Jack Port
  • 1 Microphone Port
  • 1 USB 2 Port
  • 2 USB 3 Ports
  • 1 Thunderbolt 3 port (though on the 17 this may not function)
  • 1 SD Card slot (For you editors)

Gaming Keyboard and Comfort: 

I’ve run a few games on the OMEN 17 during its time with me, and it’s really smooth, and its keyboard continues to impress. Its keys and ergonomics make for an easy to use and utilize experience when playing CS;GO or DOTA 2, more so for DOTA 2 with me, those hotkeys are important!

Though, saying that, I did find, of all things, its height, a problem. It’s rather raised over the desk, adding a bit of pain to my forearms after a few hours of gameplay, though, this is a minor and maybe just a Brett issue.

Overall though, I find the OMEN 17 extremely comfortable, and while this is my first OMEN to review, it is far superior to other HP office laptops and Mac’s I’ve used in terms of speed, though, maybe not on par with the Gigabyte Gaming Laptop.

Display and Audio:

The HP OMEN 15 2017 comes with a 43.9 cm (17.3″) diagonal FHD IPS UWVA anti-glare WLED-backlit (1920 x 1080) an hostsNVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050 Ti (4 GB GDDR5 dedicated).

While the size of the display can normally be a bit overwhelming for a mobile gaming set-up, this display feels like it seamlessly integrates into your space without feeling awkward. I think it got a lot to do with the spaceship design, it’s so appealing that it feels appropriate.

…giving my neighbor’s kids an education in good music!

The interesting part of the built-in speakers of the OMEN 17 is their direction: both speakers are placed on the left and right of the display directed at the gamer. While, headsets are always going to feel more appropriate when gaming, I had no problem jamming to The Hellcats and While She Sleeps and giving my neighbour’s kids an education in good music!

Pricing and Investment:

Awesome will Cost you: 

While I’m in-love with the OMEN brand and it’s the latest selection of gaming gear, I do feel a put-off for a lot of customers will be the price of the HP OMEN 17 2017 model; according to the HP Store South Africa, setting you back R19 999.

Comparing the 17 to the 15, a saving of about R10000 roughly, it’s not a bad price for a mid-level gaming laptop, though, I’m worried that it may be a little underwhelming in comparison to it’s bigger brother or the vastly powerful OMENX.

I would naturally invest in an OMEN though because of its brand and look. Though, most PC gamers would rather look toward a more commonly used gaming laptops brands like GIGABYTE or RAZER. (Could find reliable South African prices for Razer). Which have become the mainstay in local gaming laptops, I’d like to take a risk on this brand.

HP OMEN 17 Gaming Laptop Specs:


Processor (CPU) Intel® Core™ i7-7700HQ (2.8 GHz, up to 3.8 GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, 6 MB cache, 4 cores)
Memory 16 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM (2 x 8 GB)
Storage 2 TB 5400 rpm SATA; 128 GB M.2 SSD
Display Size 43.9 cm (17.3″) diagonal FHD IPS UWVA anti-glare WLED-backlit (1920 x 1080)
Operating System Windows 10 Home 64
Ports 1 HDMI; 1 headphone-out; 1 microphone-in; 1 USB 2.0; 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1; 1 RJ-45
Graphics Card NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050 Ti (4 GB GDDR5 dedicated)
Colour Shadow mesh cover, twinkle black base; Shadow mesh pattern

*These specs are based on what is offered on the HP Store in South Africa, and should be considered what is available locally.

Would I Buy The OMEN 17 2017?

Yes, if I had that kind of money to invest in a gaming laptop, I would love to add the OMEN 15 to my gaming life. Though, I do need to stress that if I had to invest into an R20 000 OMEN gaming system, I would rather purchase a desktop gaming system or the more advanced OMEN 15 (Neither of which I’ve reviewed yet, but they must be better though right), only because I game less on the go and more at home at my desk in my dungeon.

Though, I want to know what you think, are you excited about the OMEN brand in South Africa? Or do you think your money would be invested else where? Do you remember Red Dragon and if so, tell me so I don’t feel bad about investing in a mouse! Let me know in the comments below! (Share it if this review added some value to you though)

Until next time, here’s a video review from Dave 2D I found on YouTube if you’re too lazy to read, which speaks to a lot of my points: 

What do you think?

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Written by Brett Magill


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