HP Omen 16 Intel review: no-nonsense gaming machine

The HP Omen 16 offers a solid mid-range gaming laptop with Intel Core i7-12700H processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU. But should gamers invest in it? Find out in our review.

HP has had a good year when it comes to laptops. Their latest launches this year, such as the HP Pavilion Plus and the HP Specter x360 2022 edition, have received positive feedback. Even the first HP Omen laptop of the year, the HP Omen 16 AMD Edition, got a great review from us (which you should definitely check out if you’re not a fan of Intel). However, a positive lineup so far also means that expectations are high and the pressure is high to deliver the HP Omen 16 Intel edition.

Being a gaming laptop, first appearances can be deceiving and that is certainly the case with the HP Omen 16. The out-of-the-box look is quite generic, which is consistent with all Omen laptops in the past, but none. build trust. It lacked the flair of ASUS ROG, MSI or Acer Nitro laptops. Still, I was cautiously optimistic.

It’s when you look at the specs that you get really intrigued by this slot machine. It’s not a top-end gaming laptop. But for a mid-range option, it has some impressive features. It comes with the 12th generation Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, a 1920×1080 display with 144Hz refresh rate and a large 83 Whr battery. And all for the price of Rs. 149,999. It’s a good deal, at least on paper.

As we always say, the real life experience is the most important. And with that, I dove into the Omen 16 and this is what I discovered after using it for about two weeks. Let’s get to the brass tacks.

HP Omen 16 Design

On top, the laptop has a minimalist design. It has a soft plastic construction with a reflective Omen logo in the middle. The laptop is only available in a single matte black color and has no design, engraving or fancy LED lights on top. While I wasn’t a big fan of it, the minimalist design has its own appeal.

Opening the lid reveals a spacious deck, complete with a full keyboard that lights up in an RGB color palette. It was an obvious welcome addition, as many other laptops in this price range don’t offer the same. The screen is supported with two hinges that keep it almost in the air. While it looks good, the screen does tend to wobble a bit, which can be slightly annoying. The sides have thin bezels but the chin is quite prominent but this doesn’t really affect the experience due to the large screen size.

When you come to the ports, there is no shortage of it. Being a gaming laptop, it offers more ports than you might need. It has three USB Type-A ports, one Thunderbolt USB Type-C port, one MiniDisplayPort 1.4, an HDMI 2.1 port, an RJ-45 LAN port, an SD memory card reader and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Interestingly, Legion 5i, which is priced in the same range, does not come with an SD card slot, which can be an important requirement for those who use it for creative work.

HP Omen 16 Display

The HP Omen 16 gains about 0.5 inches over its predecessor and is now 16.1 inches tall and comes with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and a refresh rate of 144 Hz. It’s an IPS display, but with a brightness of 300 nits, it feels very vibrant and the colors seem dynamic. Whether you’re gaming or just watching videos, you’ll appreciate the finer details. The viewing angles are quite good due to the anti-glare effect and even the wider angles provide a sharp viewing experience.

HP Omen 16 Performance

This was the part that intrigued me the most. The HP Omen 16 features an Intel Core i7-12700H processor, which is a good fit for a mid-range gaming laptop. I spent most of my time playing Spider-Man Remastered, Saints Row 2022 and Valorant and performance was never an issue. And part of the reason is the GPU it comes with. The laptop has an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM and it’s a pretty smooth sailing experience.

However, be aware of the graphics card and processor limits. They aren’t high-end specs and if you decide to play Crysis Remastered or Cyberpunk 2077 you should run them on low to medium settings, especially if you don’t want frame drops. I was able to play Spider-Man on medium graphics, but when I played it on the highest settings at 1080p, the frame rates dropped a bit and the game felt sluggish. Likewise, playing Valorant at 1920×1080 made it difficult to get consistent 60 FPS. But again, unless the shadows of the leaves and houses are important to you, medium settings won’t significantly affect your overall experience.

For everyday use, the HP Omen 16 was a joy to use. It came with Windows 11 out of the box and everything from productivity tasks to general use is a smooth affair. Since my job involves a lot of typing, I have to give it to the keyboard. The keys are spacious and large, the travel is considerable and the feedback makes working a lot of fun.

One minor issue I encountered was that the arrow keys felt small and stuck compared to all the other keys. This was annoying even while gaming, especially since I prefer arrows over WASD. Even after two full weeks I couldn’t get used to it.

The trackpad was large, supported multi-touch, and had a palm rejection feature, which meant there was no chance of an accidental touch in case I rested my hand on the trackpad.

Finally, the Bang & Olufsen speakers on the HP Omen 16 were decent. The sound quality was out of the world, but it did the job. I would still recommend investing in a nice pair of headphones while gaming because the sound is not very loud. It works fine for casual video watching on YouTube or social media.

Battery Life HP Omen 16

It might be a bit strange to say that the best part of a gaming laptop is the battery performance, but for HP Omen 16, it’s true. The laptop is supported by an 83 Wh Li-ion battery and lasts quite a long time. During my regular office work, which included opening multiple tabs in Google Chrome, watching videos on YouTube (very rarely), and switching between multiple apps, the battery life lasted between 7.5 hours and 9 hours. This may differ based on your usage.

During continuous gaming, I was able to get up to 3-4 hours of playtime on the device, which is above average. The laptop comes with a 230W AC adapter that takes it from 0-100 in just over 2.5 hours.

HP Omen 16 verdict

When it comes to performance and battery life, it’s hard to pinpoint a flaw in the device. The HP Omen 16 is a no-nonsense gaming unit and pretends to be nothing else. Yes, I had a few minor issues with the design, the location of the arrow keys, the small gap between the lid and the deck in the middle and the lack of probably a higher quality display (2K would be really nice), but the is important to recognize that it is not a general purpose laptop but a gaming device.

And HP has put in all the right components to make it a highly efficient slot machine. If you’re someone who likes gaming but isn’t super competitive and doesn’t mind the look of the laptop, then this one will give you a lot to be happy about. The laptop costs more than Rs. 1 lakh, but that’s because Intel machines are more expensive due to higher performance efficiency and superior driver support. So, if you can afford it and value performance, go for it.

However, if you value the look and flashy features of your device, you have a few options. The Acer Nitro 5, ROG Strix G17, and MSI Gaming Katana GF66 are a few options to play around with.

product name

HP Omen 16 Intel Edition

Pros

  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • Choice of ports

cons

  • Design
  • Build quality
  • arrow keys

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