The line begins today by announcing four products: two laptops, a tower and a monitor. For the most part, these first products started towards the higher end of the market.
The Omen series leads to two laptops called simply Omen. They’re identical black notebooks with red highlights—sorry, “red dragon” lights, according to HP—around each key and on the lid. The HP logo appears only on the inside; Instead, the back of the laptops displays a strange red diamond that looks like a mysterious game…or tribal…or something like that.
There’s actually a bit of history here: PC gamers might recognize the diamond as a reflection of the old VoodooPC logo. HP acquired VoodooPC in 2006 and has since gotten rid of its name. Now it looks like HP is trying to bring back the brand, not in name but in spirit. This is not a good slogan objectively, but HP clearly hopes that players will continue to have some recognition and respect for the machines they decorate.
The two Omen portable devices are differentiated in terms of size and specifications. The smaller model has a 15.6-inch screen and starts with an Intel Core i3 processor; The larger model has a 17.3-inch screen and starts with an i5 processor. Both can be configured with up to an i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, a GeForce GTX 965M GPU, and a 4K display.
Pricing starts at $899.99 for the smaller model and $979.99 for the larger model. Both will be available starting July 10. (Oh, and in case you were wondering: yes, the Omen name was introduced on another gaming laptop—and a mouse and for some reason on a backpack—a couple of years ago. Today marks Omen’s expansion into a larger brand that aims to include all future HP gaming products.)
Omen Desktop will follow in August. HP hasn’t announced full specs or pricing yet, but you can expect something at least a bit pricey and possibly a lot more expensive.
The tower will use the smaller microATX form factor and offer options like Nvidia’s Founders Edition graphics cards and water cooling. During a briefing, HP talked extensively about designing the Omen Desktop to be a good machine for VR gaming, so even the basic specs of the device are supposed to be powerful enough to have a good experience.
Of course, since it’s a gaming machine, the Omen Desktop will also have glowing LEDs. These, unfortunately, will not be visible while you are in virtual reality.
Omen Desktop will be released sometime in August. So does the first screen of the Omen line, which is called the HP 32 Display. It’s a 32-inch Quad HD display that promises a 5ms response time and 75Hz refresh rate. It’s certified with AMD FreeSync to reduce stuttering. There is no pricing on it yet.
HP’s plan is to continue building its Omen line and name, making all of its gaming products under the Omen brand going forward. Doing so means having to compete with DIY builders and many other established and respected toy brands. I actually squandered this opportunity once when I basically got rid of VoodooPC; But we’re looking at a completely different HP today that’s focused heavily on consumer hardware. For now, at least, it’s promising that this time will be different.