HP Omen X 35 review

It’s huge, heavy and attractive – but is it worth the vast price?

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Our Verdict

The HP Omen X 35 looks more eye-catching than any rival, and it has a solid set of features that includes Nvidia G-Sync and a 3,440 x 1,440 resolution. Image quality is great, too, with consistently good benchmark results throughout our tests. It’s a little too expensive, though, and rivals offer similarly good image quality alongside some better features – and often for lower prices.

For

  • Very good image quality
  • High-end design
  • Solid features

Against

  • Rivals have more features
  • A bit too expensive

The HP Omen X 35 pairs its massive, curved design with the sort of extravagant branding that we’ve come to expect from HP’s high-end gaming range.

HP’s Omen devices haven’t always delivered in the past, though, with high prices and little appeal beyond the aesthetics – so we’re interested to see how this screen handles an increasingly crowded marketplace.

The HP Omen X 35 does get off to a good start, however. Its 1800R curve is commonplace, and it works well by providing an increasingly immersive viewing angle. The 3,440 x 1,440 resolution is great, too – it’s the current sweet-spot for providing plenty of detail without working graphics cards too hard.

Price and availability

There’s no avoiding the high price, though. The Omen X will set you back around £882 or $799 – or more than AU$1,500. That’s several times more expensive than conventional 16:9 gaming screens.

Both of the HP’s keenest rivals offer competitive prices, although they do vary depending on which side of the Atlantic you’re on. The AOC Agon AG352UCG6 is a 35in screen with a 1440p resolution, and it’ll set you back £735 in the UK but $870 in the US.

The BenQ EX3501R is another 35in panel and is the most affordable out of the three we’ve mentioned here. In the UK it’s just £625, while in America it’ll cost you $799.

Design and features

The HP Omen X 35 looks more outlandish than most of the other monitors on the market. Instead of using the thin, nondescript legs that rivals rely on, the Omen sits on an eye-catching metal square.

The square base panel looks different, and it’s arguably easier to use than if it had wide, spindly legs – as it makes it easier to position the vast HP on an average desk.

The square base sits beneath a slim, rectangular stand that has a headphone hook and a cable-routing loop, and the screen’s height can be adjusted by sliding the panel up and down the stand. The screen can tilt forwards and backwards, too.

The HP Omen X 35 certainly looks more arresting than some of its rivals. The more affordable BenQ EX3501R is just as large, but its metal stand and base are plain. The AOC Agon AG352UCG6 is darker, with black metal used throughout, but it’s still not as eye-catching as the HP Omen. However, be aware that the AOC does have a swivelling stand, so it is a little more versatile.

The HP Omen X 35's keen sense of style continues to the screen itself. Three of the bezels are slim – the fourth is wider because the logo – and the panel has ambient lighting that replicates the colour profile of on-screen content. This feature is designed to make the screen easier to view in dark rooms, and the lighting can also be tuned to a particular colour, or disabled entirely.

The HP Omen X 35 has excellent build quality throughout, but it is extremely heavy. It tips the scales at 26 pounds – the AOC is a little lighter, while the BenQ undercuts both at 23 pounds. The HP is also nearly 33 inches wide and 16 inches tall, so it’s hardly subtle either.

Get beyond the aesthetics and the HP Omen X 35 serves up a solid specification. At the rear you’ve got HDMI 1.4 and DisplayPort 1.2, which provide ample bandwidth for the screen’s 3,440 x 1,440 resolution. The Omen also has three USB 3.0 connectors and a headphone jack.

The ports face outwards, but they’re awkward to access as they’re positioned between the stand and the screen. It’s especially tricky if you want to frequently use the USB ports – it would have been nice to have one, at least, on the side of the screen. There’s no handle, either, and no speakers.

These are admittedly minor flaws, but they’re all worth considering if you want to spend this much money. It’s also worth remembering that the cheaper BenQ has USB-C and HDR – neither of which comes included on the HP.

On the inside you get 100Hz Nvidia G-Sync. That’s a solid figure, but the AOC panel has G-Sync that tops out at 120Hz, while the BenQ makes do with 100Hz AMD FreeSync.

The HP Omen X 35’s 100Hz peak does mean gaming is smooth on this screen, but the AOC is better in this regard. And, no matter which panel you pick, be aware of the graphical grunt required: to run games at 100fps and beyond on a 3,440 x 1,440 screen, you’ll need a GTX 1080 Ti or equivalent.

The HP’s panel uses VA technology, which is the same kind of hardware as the AOC and BenQ panels. That’s unsurprising, as VA screens generally deliver great contrast. All three of the screens we’ve mentioned here also have a 4ms response time.

The Omen is controlled by a smart, snappy on-screen display. It’s controlled by three shallow buttons on the right-hand side of the monitor. The menus are intuitive and always fast, with options displayed sensibly.

Spec Sheet

Screen size: 35-inch
Native resolution: 3,440 x 1,440
Aspect ratio: 21:9
Refresh rate: 100Hz
Pixel density: 82ppi
Response time: 4ms
Viewing angle: 178°/178°
Brightness: 300cd/m2
Contrast ratio: 2,500:1
Ports: 1 x HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2, 3 x USB 3.0, 1 x audio
Built-in speakers: n/a
Dimensions: 32.7 x 12.9 x 16.2 inches (833 x 329 x 412mm; WxDxH)
Weight: 26.4 pounds (12kg)
Warranty: 2yrs

Performance

The HP Omen X 35 delivered consistently good image quality, but it just falls short of true greatness.

Take the factory brightness level of 279cd/m2. It’s good, and easily high enough to handle gaming in normal situations and beneath bright lights. However, it doesn’t match the HP’s quoted 300cd/m2 figure, and the screen’s black level of 0.16cd/m2 isn’t as good as some other screens we’ve seen.

Those two numbers combine for a contrast ratio of 1,738:1. That, again, is an excellent figure – but it’s unable to match HP’s spec sheet.

Nevertheless, that impressive contrast still allows this screen to serve up superb vibrancy at every point of the colour spectrum, as well as subtle changes in colours across the board. That’s important when it comes to making games look punchy and accurate, no matter the colours they’re producing.

The HP Omen X 35 has a good average Delta E of 1.82 – below the important figure of 2 where the human eye can’t tell the difference. The color temperature of 6,418K is great, too, with barely any deviation from the ideal figure of 6,500K. Both figures ensure that the HP delivers great color accuracy, and the panel’s sRGB gamut coverage level of 98.7% is excellent. In short: colors in games and movies will look accurate, and there won’t be any games that the Omen won’t be able to handle.

Uniformity was only average, though. The panel’s backlight varied by 13% on the left-hand edge and 15% on the right-hand side. This is a common issue with widescreen monitors, and those figures won’t cause problems unless you’re doing work that’s extremely color- and contrast-sensitive.

Our final test, input lag, is important for gaming. In this test the HP Omen X 35 returned an average response speed of 14.2ms. Anything below 20ms is ideal for gaming, and even for competitive play, so there are no issues here.

As usual, don’t bother with the genre-specific screen modes included on the HP Omen X 35. The Omen has different options for RTS, racing and FPS games, but they improved contrast while ruining colour accuracy. Contrast is already excellent, so that’s not a trade-off we’d consider.

Verdict

The  HP Omen X 35  has a lot of tempting attributes. The design is excellent, and it has crammed in a high-quality panel with a huge resolution and 100Hz Nvidia G-Sync.

Its benchmark results are impressive, and even when it misses the mark it’s never by much: the poorer uniformity won’t impact day-to-day use, and the game-specific modes are easily avoided.

The HP Omen X 35 easily has enough quality to make games and films look fantastic. It’ll look good on your desk while doing it, too.

However, some of those benchmark results could have been a little better, and rivals do offer superior specs: the AOC has improved G-Sync, while BenQ’s cheaper screen has FreeSync, HDR and more ports.

The price is a little high, too. In most countries the HP will be a little more expensive than the AOC and BenQ panels, and it doesn’t justify the extra expense other than with its solid looks and eye-catching branding.

Overall, the HP Omen X 35 is a superb monitor, with good screen quality and a solid set of features. It’s certainly worth buying if you’re searching for a good-looking gaming screen that can back up its design with bright, accurate images. It’s expensive, though, and your money will go further elsewhere if you’re willing to give up the high-end looks and Omen brand.