These days is not a question of whether you can play AAA games on a laptop, but what sort of machine you’ll need to do make it happen. Ultimately, it all comes down to getting the right specification. But what does that look like?
It looks a lot like the HP Omen X, a 17.3-inch gaming laptop that combines the power of a desktop-class processor (a beefy 2.9GHz 7th generation Intel® Core™ i7-7820HK) with high-performance discrete graphics (either an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 or GTX 1080).
This is a portable that flies in the face of the current trend for making laptops thinner, lighter and longer-lasting. Albeit nowhere near as as ridiculous as the monstrous Acer Predator 21 X, the Omen X is a clamshell still deserves to be called ‘whopping’. It weighs 4.85 kg, encased in a plastic chassis that’s a beefy 3.64 cm thick.
Carrying one is like lugging around four Dell XPS 13 machines. Four!
Still the bulk of the HP Omen X laptop incorporates everything you could possibly need for gaming on the go. It boasts a superb 17.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080 pixel) WLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, 16GB of memory, plus a roomy storage combo that brings together a 1TB HDD and a 256GB SSD. If that wasn’t good enough, HP has also made the Omen X upgradeable.
Expandable and upgradeable
“The Omen X’s expandability is particularly intriguing,” said Engadget in its hands on. “You only need to remove ten tiny Philips screws to pop open the bottom of its case, which allows you to upgrade the RAM, storage and other components. You can even set up RAID 0 to boost your disk performance.”
Performance is the key word here. So the Omen X has been built with a pair of Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports (enabling 40Gbps data transfer), a trio of standard USB 3.1 connections and an HDR-friendly HDMI 2.0 slot and a Mini DisplayPort. DTS Headphone:X can deliver simulated surround sound through your favourite headset, while the mechanical RGB LED backlit keyboard (with customisable key maps) delivers precision control and responsiveness.
HP makes no bones about aiming the Omen X laptop at high-end gamers and esports teams. Both demand the best performance they can squeeze out of a PC, which is why there’s also scope for custom tuning this rig using the built-in OMEN Command Center Software.
Go-anywhere Battlefront 2-ready
“One of the biggest things HP emphasized about the Omen X laptop,” wrote Arstechnica, “is its overclocking abilities. The Omen X laptop can be configured how you’d like and you can choose to get it with Intel’s 7th gen Core i7-7820HK CPU, which is factory unlocked for overclocking.”
HP says that the Omen X’s design and component choices are based on a study of how competitive gamers play at the highest levels. So this is a laptop that’s esports-ready, VR-ready and go-anywhere Battlefront 2-ready. It’s a laptop engineered for high performance, so don’t be too taken aback by the high price tag. The GTX 1070 version of the HP Omen X laptop (£2,499) and the GTX 1080 model (£2,899) are available now.