Well it is time again to upgrade to the latest and greatest. New generation of Intel processors, Nvidia/AMD GPU’s, and ram (DDR4) just came out and it is the perfect time to upgrade. Usually when I upgrade I do not get the latest and greatest but buy the generation that is being replaced. The reason for this is because from my experience the hardware can be purchased at a discount from the manufacturers and are still considered “high performance”, as long as you buy the top end hardware (Intel I7’s and mid to higher end GPUs) , if you buy the bottom end hardware, you probably will need to replace it within 1-2 years (especially if you buy something with an integrated graphics card and decide to game later). In terms of Intel I7s, the new generation is only about 5-10% faster than the generation it replaces.
The requirements for my main rig are relatively simple, 1080P screen, backlit keyboard, Intel I7 quad core (cannot be the U mobile processors which are dual core example: I7 6700U), 8gb of ram, SSD of some type
My old CyberpowerPC Fangbook III purchased Feb of 2015 worked out very well and fit most of this criteria. The big annoyance for me was the keyboard which I never really got used to, but besides that it was a perfect machine for development/ part time gaming on the road/on a flight.
It finally came down to upgrading to the latest and greatest before the newest latest and greatest are released (currently there are no quad core 7th generation I7 mobile processors).
I scrolled through online and found the HP Omen, which has a quad core I7 6700HQ, 8GB DDR4 ram, GTX 960M 4GB and a 128GB SSD OS drive with a 1TB spinning data drive.
I ordered it on Friday and it arrived today (Monday). Overall I am very surprised at how long HP has come from designing boring office computers to designing something like this Omen. I have to say, whoever thought of the name “Omen” must have not been really thinking .. it doesn’t bother me, but I could see some very religious people not buying this computer because it is called the “Omen” haha … almost like naming a car the Gremlin, I would not name a computer an Omen.
Starting up the computer, the backlit keyboard really caught my eye, I am not sure if it is because my Fangbook’s backlit keyboard is dimming, but this keyboard really lit up. It booted into Windows 10 and I set it up for the first time. Keyboard wise, it is way ahead of the Fangbook. The keyboard almost feels mechanical and very precise. All the keys are in the right place unlike the Fangbook, and I could type just like I could on a regular desktop PC. The trackpad isn’t the best, it is a step above Asus’s normal trackpads, but it is nowhere near Apple’s Macbook like quality.
I am downloading League of Legends and Steam to try to benchmark the machine. Also downloading GTA 5 from Rockstar online, that is the downside of not having a DVD drive, everything now has to be downloaded which is a pain when you buy a new computer. GTA 5 is over 60GB , which is just plain nuts, thank god for 100mbps internet speeds.
In terms of build quality, this thing reminds me a lot of my old Dell 702X. The same plastic shrouding around the keybord and almost the same exact screen quality. The Omen also has Bang & Olufsen speakers which supposedly is a label of quality. But overall, the sound quality was tinny compared to my old Fangbook (which has a built in subwoofer on the bottom)
Overall I would recommend this laptop based on my initial impressions so far. Build quality seems top notch, the screen is light years ahead of the Fangbook it replaced and ergonomically it feels just right for a 15.6″ laptop. I will update this post once the games are done downloading and hopefully get some good benchmarks up.
Update: Finally downloaded League of Legends and it runs perfect, about 250fps at high settings 1080P and the screen is absolutely gorgeous compared to the old Fangbook. I can see details I did not see on the Fangbook’s panel. Also I opened the machine to upgrade the 1tb spinning harddrive to a old Dell Liteon SSD I had, the process for opening the laptop is unnature and hair raising at times (lots of cracking sound as you pry open the bottom of the laptop). The process sounds easy, you take the screws off the bottom, but like the Asus X202E, you will need to pry the bottom off which is very scary if it is your first time doing anything like this. I recommend using pry tools or a credit card as anything harder will leave scratches on your computer. I used a credit card and while my credit card was destroyed at the end of the process, my laptop was unscratched. Do not force it open as you risk cracking the laptop or even worse bending the USB/Network port.