As a powerful mid-ranger, the new HP Omen 16 is a great choice for people looking to game on a budget. However, the laptop suffers from a variety of hardware and software quirks that may rub some people the wrong way.
Highly effective cooling
Thick display bezels
Limited storage space
Poor battery life
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HP Omen 16: Two-minute review
Shopping for laptops can be difficult. You have to ask yourself so many questions just so you have an idea of what you're looking for. Do you want the best laptop out there or do you want something more run-of-the-mill for work? Or maybe you prefer a gaming rig? If you find yourself agonizing over the right laptop, allow me to introduce the HP Omen 16.
It's a slim, lightweight laptop able to fit snuggly in almost any bag. You can lug it around and hardly know it's there. I used it as my main computer for everyday work for a few weeks. Typing on the keyboard was quite pleasant since the keys have a nice, springy feel to them and the deep travel distance made it easy on my hands. The touchpad itself sports a smooth, responsive, enjoyably clicky feel. And its large size makes it great for productivity.
My review unit had an AMD Ryzen 7-7840HS processor paired up with a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 graphics card. Although it comes equipped with a low-end model from the GeForce 40 series, the performance of the Omen 16 was still phenomenal. Its matte Shadow Black color is a real head-turner, I have to say. The deep black is a great backdrop for the RGB lights and the stunning Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixel) resolution display.
Speaking of the screen, there's a problem with it that I find baffling. The bottom of the screen has a huge, 1.5-inch bezel taking up a large amount of space. The laptop's display is 16 inches and that bezel cuts in way too much for my liking. Also, the colors look muted on this - not sure why this is the case. I think it could be because the anti-coating on the glass is getting in the way, or maybe the Omen 16 doesn't properly offer all of the DCI-P3 color gamut. You can bump up the brightness and saturation via the on-device Omen app, but it can only do so much.
But despite all the complaints I have, I would argue that the Omen 16 has a place among our list of the best gaming laptops. If you look at the ranking, the Omen 16 takes some of the best parts of those entries for itself. It's great at being a work/gaming laptop hybrid. If you need an all-rounder, this might just be the best computer out there.
Despite my recommendation, it does have questionable design choices that may make or break it for some people out there. Don't get me wrong: I liked it a lot, but certain things do frustrate me.
HP Omen 16: Price & availability
- How much does it cost? Prices start at $1,269.99
- When is it available? Available now
- Where can you get it? Dell's website/Best Buy
With prices starting at $1,270, the HP Omen 16 is a well-priced gaming laptop especially if you plan on using it for other workloads. Gaming hardware can be handy in helping professional video editors in their work or developers render projects. It's able to handle intense visual workloads with aplomb. However, if you have to do color-sensitive work, this computer isn't the best choice. As stated earlier, colors can look dull on the screen.
Low-end models come with a GeForce RTX 4050 while the high-end configurations come with the more powerful GeForce RTX 4070. Sure, the high model capping out with a GeForce RTX 4070 GPU may disappoint some. But considering the price point, I think it's a fair tradeoff.
- Price score: 4 / 5
HP M16: Specs
|Component||Base model||Mid-range model||Review unit||Top configuration|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 5-7640HS||AMD Ryzen 7-7840HS||AMD Ryzen 9-7940HS||AMD Ryzen 9-7940HS|
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070|
|RAM||16GB DDR5 Memory||16GB DDR5 Memory||16GB DDR5 Memory||32GB DDR5 Memory|
|Storage||512GB SSD||512GB SSD||512GB SSD||2TB SSD|
|Screen||16.1-inch 1920x1080 144Hz 250 nits||16.1-inch 1920x1080 165Hz 300 nits||16.1-inch 1920x1080 165Hz 300 nits||16.1-inch 1920x1080 240Hz 300 nits|
|Ports||2 Thunderbolt 4, 2 USB-A, 1 RJ-45, 1 headphone jack, 1 HDMI 2.1||2 Thunderbolt 4, 2 USB-A, 1 RJ-45, 1 headphone jack, 1 HDMI 2.1||2 Thunderbolt 4, 2 USB-A, 1 RJ-45, 1 headphone jack, 1 HDMI 2.1||2 Thunderbolt 4, 2 USB-A, 1 RJ-45, 1 headphone jack, 1 HDMI 2.1|
|Wireless||Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3||Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3||Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3||Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3|
|Weight||5.4 lbs||5.4 lbs||5.4 lbs||5.4 lbs|
|Dimensions||0.93 x 14.53 x 10.21 inches (about 24 x 370 x 260mm)||0.93 x 14.53 x 10.21 inches (about 24 x 370 x 260mm)||0.93 x 14.53 x 10.21 inches (about 24 x 370 x 260mm)||0.93 x 14.53 x 10.21 inches (about 24 x 370 x 260mm)|
HP Omen 16: Design
- Comfortable keyboard
- Robust ventilation
- Little storage space
HP made some interesting design choices with the Omen 16. Most of them are great, some not so much.
It features a 75 percent keyboard meaning it's your standard tenkeyless layout with directional and navigation keys on the side. As stated earlier, typing on it felt pretty nice thanks to its springy feel. Structure-wise, the laptop as a whole is quite solid so it can survive a bit of rough handling. I should mention the keys are quiet. They lack the clicky or tactile feel of a traditional gaming keyboard.
One of the areas the Omen 16 impressed was its cooling system. Heat sinks are located on the sides, rear, and underneath the laptop. What's more the Omen 16 stands on slightly raised feet ensuring good airflow. During the majority of my time using the Omen 16, it never once got hot. It did get a little warm a few times, but that was because it was charging. No matter how hard I pushed the machine, it never got uncomfortably hot which is wonderful. I've typed on gaming laptops that got so hot I had to stop. It was awful. I'm very happy to not have had that experience with the Omen 16.
Additionally, I enjoy the array of ports present on the laptop. Each model comes with two USB-C ports, two USB-As, a headphone jack, an HDMI port, and an ethernet input. All these are situated on the sides and back of the Omen 16, which I appreciated; I didn't have to deal with the cables becoming intertwined with each other.
What I am not a fan of is the storage space. 512GB for three of the four primary configurations just doesn't cut it nowadays, especially when you realize how some AAA games take up over 100GB of storage space. With so many big games coming out every year, players need more. I need more. 1TB would've been more appropriate for everything above the entry-level model.
- Design score: 3.5 / 5
HP Omen 16: Performance
- Great performance
- High refresh rate
- Easy on the eyes
Here's how the HP Omen 16 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
3DMark: Night Raid: 58,705; Fire Strike: 26,797; Time Spy: 11,141; Port Royal: 7,003
GeekBench 5: 1,993 (single-core); 11,377 (multi-core)
Geekbench 6: 12,097 (multi-core)
Total War: Warhammer III (1080p, Ultra): 91 fps; (1080p, Low): 205 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p, Ultra): 82 fps; (1080p, Low): 128 fps
Dirt 5 (1080p, Ultra): 103 fps; (1080p, Low): 189 fps
PCMark 10 Battery Life: 2 hours
If you look at our benchmark results across several tests, you can see Omen 16 is pulling some big numbers, but are they good? Yes. In fact, they're very good. To put it all into perspective, let's take a look at a similarly sized gaming laptop — the Alienware M16. If you compare the benchmarks, you'll notice HP's device outperforms in several areas. It was able to achieve higher framerates than the Alienware in every listed game at 1080p Ultra resolution. The Omen 16 did better than a computer that already had very high scores.
This power is thanks to the internal Ryzen 9 processor, GeForce RTX 4070 graphics card, and 16 GB of RAM. This hardware combination results in a 165Hz refresh rate which is a perfect number for competitive play. If you're someone who enjoys climbing the leaderboards on your favorite game, you should be smiling from ear to ear looking at that number.
During my testing period, I played several rounds of the Mortal Kombat 1. Fighting games necessitate having a high frame rate. You need to be able to see your opponent's attack coming, so you can adequately respond with your own combo. To have a high FPS (frames per second), you need a high refresh rate to allow smooth, lifelike animations. Because the visuals were so clear and stable, I was able to keep up my corner combos with Reptile. I knew exactly when to throw out a punch or force ball keeping my opponent pinned to the wall. This is all due to that stellar refresh rate.
Additionally, the powerful hardware greatly increases the immersion. Mortal Kombat 1 features amazing-looking stages and I was able to truly enjoy every bit of detail NetherRealm Studios (the game's developer) put into the title. The Flesh Pits looked absolutely horrifying on the screen seeing all the body parts strung from the ceiling on chains. Conversely, stages like Sindel's Palace look beautiful with the light leaking through giving the area an ethereal look.
Things could be better, admittedly. The screen peaks at Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels). That is a perfectly good resolution, don't get me wrong. Games will look great, but it won't be winning any awards either.
Outside of gaming, the HP Omen 16 runs well as a day-to-day computer. I should note the screen is Eyesafe Certified which is great for someone like me who spends hours in front of a screen. This tech lowers the amount of blue light your eyes receive to lessen fatigue. Also, the laptop comes with a 1080p webcam — great for streamers or people who want to look good in Zoom calls.
- Performance score: 4.5 / 5
HP Omen 16: Battery life
- Doesn't last long while gaming
- Doesn't last long while working
I strongly recommend keeping the charger close at hand, because the Omen 16's battery doesn't last very long. The short battery life is, without a doubt, the laptop's biggest flaw.
As part of testing, I played Final Fantasy 14 with its in-game settings maxed out and performance further boosted via the Omen Gaming Hub app. It lasted about an hour and a half before it completely died on me. That amount of time shocked me because the game is a decade old. I didn't think a 10-year title would draw so much power that the battery drains completely in less time than it takes to kill a raid boss. I figured since the game is pretty old at this point it wouldn't be a huge burden. I guess I was wrong.
When it comes to less intense workloads, the Omen 16 does last a lot longer but not by much. It lasted about three and a half hours, nearly four before I had to run off and grab the charger. This is with Battery Saver as well as Eco Mode turned on. On average, it lasts about two hours. The machine performs well, but it has low stamina.
- Battery score: 1 / 5
Should you buy the HP Omen 16?
|Price||With a starting price of $1260, HP Omen 16 is a steal considering the performance.||4 / 5|
|Design||The Omen 16 is a solidly built laptop that stays cool no matter what although certain aspects like the large bezels hinder usability.||3.5/ 5|
|Performance||The HP Omen 16 has awesome performance coming in the form of velvety smooth gameplay,a high refresh rate, even if the resolution isn't the best.||4.5 / 5|
|Battery||Battery life can barely reach an hour and a half while gaming with a slight increase under lighter workloads.||1 / 5|
|Average rating||The HP Omen 16 boasts affordable, awesome performance, but some design aspects plus the battery will disappoint some people.||3.5 / 5|
Buy it if...
You want an affordable gaming laptop
The Omen 16 offers great performance at a mid-range level price.
You want a well-performing laptop
Although it may not have the greatest hardware, the Omen 16 can still churn out high-quality gaming.
Don't buy it if...
You want a long battery life
The HP Omen 16 struggles to last longer than an hour and a half while gaming - poor even for a gaming laptop.
You want a lot of storage
For modern games, 512 GB of stock storage just isn't enough.
HP Omen 16: Also consider
|Acer Nitro 5||Razer Blade 14|
|Price:||$999 / £1,099||$2,399.99 / £2,149 / AU$3,199|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-12500H||AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS|
|GPU||Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti||Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060|
|RAM||16GB DDR4||16GB DDR5|
|Display||15.6-inch IPS, FHD, 144Hz||14-inch, QHD+ (2560x1600), 240Hz, 3ms, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut|
|Storage||512 PCIe SSD||1TB SSD|
|Ports||3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 1 x Thunderbolt 4, 1 x power port, 1 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x SD Card Reader, 1 x Combo Jack, 1 x Kensington Slot||2x USB Type-C, 2x USB Type-A, Kensington port, HDMI port, audio jack|
|Wireless||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2||Qualcomm Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2|
|Camera||720p||1080p IR FHD webcam|
|Weight||5.51lbs (2.5kg)||4.05 lbs (1.84kg)|
|Dimensions||14.19 x 10.67 x 1.06 ins (360.4 x 271.0 x 26.9 mm)||12.23 x 8.97 x 0.70 inches (310.7 x 228 x 17.99mm)|
If you're curious about other options for the HP Omen 16. there are a couple you should consider...
Acer Nitro 5
If you're looking for an even cheaper gaming laptop, look no further than the Acer Nitro 5. It delivers solid performance and a great-looking HD screen, all for less than $1000.
Read the full review Acer Nitro 5
Razer Blade 14
The Razer Blade 14 boasts some serious muscle in its lightweight frame, although it is pricey. Like the rest of Razer's PC gaming hardware, this is a premium product for the serious gamer.
Read the full review Razer Blade 14
How I tested the HP Omen 16
- Tested the laptop over the course of two and a half weeks
- Used it for both work and gaming
- Ran it through several stress tests
I tested the HP Omen 16 for about two and a half weeks in various use cases. Half of the time was spent using the Omen 16 for everyday things like responding to emails, writing, and watching videos. I wanted to see how the laptop performs on a light workload.
Besides that, I spent several hours gaming on, trying out recent and older titles. Final Fantasy 14 was one of those titles. I wanted to see how well the Omen 16 boosted the performance of a 10-year-old game. As stated earlier, I tried out Mortal Kombat 1 plus Monster Hunter Rise. I wanted to the high refresh rate in action. Those titles are games where smooth character animations matter immensely.
Of course, the team at TechRadar ran the Omen 16 through several benchmark tests to see how it performs while firing on all cylinders, too.
Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.