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HP Omen Review: Voodoo DNA brings grace and style to gaming laptops

Gordon Mah Ung | Dec. 11, 2014
This fast, stylish laptop carries Voodoo's legacy into a new generation of gaming laptops, HP's first since it dissolved the boutique builder several years ago.

The CPU also matters
To gauge CPU performance, I ran both units through a Handbrake encoding task, where a 30GB file is transcoded down to a file that can be played on an Android tablet. The Omen is slightly faster, along with its CPU, and both will easily eat any dual-core CPU in thread-heavy tasks. Do you need a quad-core CPU with Hyper-Threading in a gaming laptop? That's debatable, but I don't believe in the 100-percent gamer. With transcoding video practically a mainstream chore for people who obtain video from different sources, the extra cores and Hyper-Threading are worth it. 

A welcome return...
Overall HP's new gaming laptop is one worthy of the Omen name. It offers bags of style and reasonable gaming performance in a thin and fairly cool chassis. Decked out with the larger 4GB of GPU RAM, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage, it's even reasonably priced at $2,100 compared to other notebooks in its class.

If I were buying the Omen though, I'd probably opt for the build with 2GB of video card RAM, 8GB of DDR3/1600 and the 512GB SSD for $1,800, instead of this jam-packed version.

As someone who watched Voodoo PC grow from a fledgling PC company to a recognized player in the boutique market, I was sad to see it fade away, instead of flourishing like Alienware did after the Dell buyout. The HP Omen, however, gives me hope.


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