Gaming may be a form of entertainment, but there are definitely some who take it very seriously. And for those who also take their gaming on-the-go to play in tournaments or competitions, a laptop is essential. But with so many options on the market, how do you know which ones are best suited for your style of play? The HP OMEN laptop line
is made with the serious gamer in mind. See which of the models are getting rave reviews from the community, and why you’ll want to use one during your next competition.
What makes a laptop good for gaming?
Laptops are known for their portability, but not always for their speed or power. Does that mean that laptops aren’t a good gaming choice? Not necessarily. In fact, today’s laptops have been improved to include both a slimmer design and more robust internal components. If you’re wondering what to look for in a gaming laptop, these minimum specs should help you narrow down the options:
- Intel® Core™ i5 or i7 processor
- 8GB or 16GB memory
- 256GB storage, preferably solid-state drive (SSD)
- Graphics card with a minimum of 4GB dedicated memory
- Slots and ports for accessories, including USB and headphone jack
- Backlit, full-sized keyboard
Additional considerations include a long-life battery and a screen that’s big enough to properly display your games, typically at least 15 inches.
Now that you know the specs that will help you game without lag or frustration, which HP laptops can fit the bill? The three models on our list are popular among gamers at all levels, and we’ve got a pick for every price point, too.
Best HP OMEN laptops for serious gamers
1. HP OMEN 15t Laptop
If you’re looking for the best gaming laptop for the money, the HP OMEN 15t laptop
with an i7 processor may be it. It comes in several configurations, but this version offers amazing speed and graphics for a very modest price. Offering perhaps the best value of the HP OMEN line, this computer also easily meets all the specs in the wish list above
Additional perks include the NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 20 Series graphics card, which shows you every detail of play without stutter in movement or blurry rendering. You’ll see it all on the 15-inch diagonal screen, which has a narrow bezel-edged display so that no screen space is wasted.
The responsive, backlit keyboard includes an additional rollover feature, so you can be quick with your gameplay and competitive in the field. Also, because overheating is a common concern for powerful laptops, HP® has added enhanced thermal options to keep the components cooler for longer.
Portability and upgrade options
This HP OMEN weighs just over 5 lbs, so you can take it wherever the game takes you. With a battery that gives you up to 10 hours and 45 minutes of video playback life or around 6 hours and 30 minutes of regular usage, you can get through a few rounds of competitive play without your charger. When it’s time to plug in, you’ll spend just 45 minutes getting your battery back to 50% charged with the included fast-charging feature.
When you need to upgrade your laptop, you’ll be happy to know you won’t have to struggle to do so. The single panel access makes it easy to switch up your HDD, SSD, and RAM in one go, giving you more options for extra years of play.
Consider the i5 version
While the i7 is recommended for the most competitive experience, the HP OMEN i5 version
is our pick for the best gaming laptop for under $1000. It offers the same brilliant display, keyboard, graphics, memory, and more, but with a slightly-slimmed down processor that puts a little money back into your pocket.
It’s just as lightweight and quiet, with plenty of power for other tasks, too. Try it for photo editing and graphic design projects, in addition to your favorite games.
2. HP OMEN 17-inch laptop
Could the HP OMEN 17-an188nr
be the best HP OMEN laptop? Quite possibly. This fully-loaded 17-inch masterpiece has all the makings of a winner. Powerful hardware and sharp looks combine to form a laptop you’ll be proud to show off at your next tournament.
Perks include the robust hexa-core 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor with up to 4.1 GHz of speed. The Intel Turbo Boost Technology gets you more for the money, and there are a full 6 cores to play around with, too. Pair it with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 dedicated graphics card and you’ll have quite the duo.
Those alone will fulfill your need for speed, but they are just the start of what this super-powered machine offers. It’s incredibly responsive thanks to the Dragon Red backlit keyboard with highlighted gaming keys and 26-key rollover, anti-ghosting technology. You’ll be able to customize your own macros, too, so every shortcut you can imagine is yours to deploy.
Today’s games are bigger than ever, so it's good to know that this HP OMEN has more than enough space for all your favorite titles. It boasts a 2TB SATA drive, plus a secondary 256GB SSD for extra storage and speed.
That gives you more than twice what the typical PC offers, so you don't have to switch out which games you keep on your device. And the memory matches this capacity, as well. You’ll enjoy 32GB of DDR4-2666 SDRAM in the form of two 16GB sticks that you can upgrade when you feel the need.
Portability and display
A laptop this impressive will weigh a bit more, but it’s still just slightly over 8 lbs and has a 4-hour battery life. For a machine that does so much, this will easily get you through that next big match.
The display has the enhanced design elements that the HP OMEN is known for, plus an awesome 4K upgrade. The 60 Hz refresh rate will have you feeling like you’re in the game, and if you use this laptop for VR
, you actually will be. While we think this laptop already has everything you’re looking for in a gaming PC, you can level up as tech changes without any hassle. The single panel access is available on this model, too.
3. HP OMEN X 2S laptop
Carrying around a laptop often means you don’t have the advantage of dual screens unless your destination has an external monitor to plug into. Now, there's a new option on the market for the gamer who wants to bring their best with two screens on one laptop.
The HP OMEN X 2S laptop
has two displays for an incredible advantage, making it an industry leader. Use the 17.3-inch diagonal 4K anti-glare main screen to play and then tap into the 6-inch keyboard-mounted Full High Definition (FHD) display to keep your eyes on other things.
You’ll be able to compete with those who have multiple monitors without the bulk or wires that come with connecting to extra displays. Whether you stream on Twitch
, Discord, or DLive, there’s a new way to play and watch what the community is doing.
While the display options are noteworthy, most gamers still need to know that their machine can handle intense gaming sessions. This HP OMEN can deliver with its hexa-core 9th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and advanced NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 dedicated graphics card. It’s ready to fuel your next mission, anywhere you go. It also has a 16GB SDRAM memory capacity and a 1TB SSD.
Ports and audio
If you like to use accessories
and state-of-the-art peripherals while playing, this laptop has you covered with enough slots and ports for all your favorite gear. You get a 3.1 Gen2 Type-C USB with Thunderbolt 3, 2 standard USB ports, and slots for HDMI, headphones, and a microphone.
This laptop also features an FHD camera with an integrated microphone, so you don't have to waste one of your ports hooking up an external webcam. While you'll probably use your headset to experience the best play, the Bang & Olufsen speakers offer a rich audio experience for anyone who wants to share the sound.
Portability and extra perks
This ultra-thin laptop has everything built-in, including advanced thermals within the case and RGB lighting on the full-sized keyboard. Like the other HP OMEN laptops, you can upgrade with ease via the single-panel access door. It’s built to last, so you can play for years and simply swap out for newer storage, memory, or graphics tech as it becomes available.
Weighing just over 5 lbs, you’ll feel good taking this laptop everywhere. You’ll be able to game for up to 4 hours on a single battery charge as well, whether you’re playing at home or on the road.
The best HP OMEN gaming accessories
Gameplay just isn't the same without some epic gear to make it more realistic. These HP OMEN extras are exactly what you need to take your gaming experience to the next level.
HP OMEN Mindframe headset
Comfort is as important as the sound quality of your gaming headset. Luckily, the HP OMEN Mindframe headset
gives you the best of both worlds. Since no one likes to sweat under their headphones, HP® has created new cooling tech with the FrostCap ear cup cooling feature. There’s a thermoelectric device inside each ear cup that cools down the speaker grille plates and pulls heat from your ears. Itchy, sweaty ears are now the last thing you have to think about while playing.
The cooling is nice, but the sound is delightful too. Enjoy 7.1 virtual surround sound, positional audio, and the most realistic 3D audio experience you can imagine. Paired with the vibrant FHD or 4K display from an HP OMEN laptop, this is the most immersive way to game.
HP OMEN Reactor mouse
A lightning-fast processor and graphics card are at the heart of any laptop, but you can only play as fast as your keyboard and mouse will allow. Using an optical switch mouse like the HP OMEN Reactor
will put you at an advantage, allowing you to customize the controls with a comfortable hand-grip.
Plus, the optical-mechanical switch tech lets you decide how you play, and the light beam detection with 0.2 ms click response time means that your hand will probably be moving before your brain knows what's happening next. Never lose a second with this ergonomic mouse that's just a click or two away from your next victory.
With tech changing so quickly these days, it’s reassuring to know that the HP OMEN line is looking ahead to the future of gaming. With some of the most innovative tech on the market, it’s easier than ever to lead the pack and take home wins with one of these three laptops.
About the Author: Linsey Knerl is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Linsey is a Midwest-based author, public speaker, and member of the ASJA. She has a passion for helping consumers and small business owners do more with their resources via the latest tech solutions.