HP renews commitment to gaming with refreshed Omen PCs

HP has released some interesting Omen products over the years, though it always felt like the company could do more with the brand, which is a throwback to its Voodoo PC acquisition from over a decade ago. Perhaps things are changing, as HP just announced a refreshed lineup of Omen products, including an external graphics docking station (shown above). We hope this is the beginning of more to come.

Let's start with the docking station, or "Omen by HP Accelerator," as HP calls it. The Accelerator will come pre-configured with either an AMD or Nvidia graphics card and a 2.5-inch 1TB hard drive or 256GB solid state drive, along with a 500W power supply. Alternately buyers will be able to purchase a near-empty box with just the PSU.

The Accelerator connects over USB-C Thunderbolt 3 and offers single cable docking and charging. Overall connectivity includes four USB 3.0 ports and a single USB 3.1 port, plus a GbE LAN port.

Look for this one to be available in August starting at $300.

One the somewhat more unique Omen products is the Omen X. It's a small form factor desktop PC, though a bit different from the usual SFF systems we're used to seeing. This one comes with a docking station so that users can connect a range of accessories when needed, such as external peripherals and VR headsets.

HP actually unveiled the Omen X last year as a concept product. Now it is the real deal and it brings with it an overclocked GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card paired with Core i7 processor options for 4K game play.

The svelte desktop also boasts DTS Headphone:X support for simulated surround sound when using headphones. And for VR gamers, the Omen X can slip into a backpack accessory and keep the good times rolling with hot-swappable batteries, four of which are included with Omen X.

HP says the Omen X will be available in July starting at $2,500. The optional backpack accessory will another $600 to the cost. 

HP also announced a bigger desktop under its Omen brand, one that will allow for up to two GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards in SLI or dual Radeon RX 580 GPUs in Crossfire.

On the CPU side, users will be able to select Core i5 and Core i7 processor options from Intel's Kaby Lake lineup, or Ryzen CPUs if going with an AMD setup.

To keep storage from being a bottleneck, the Omen desktop will come with PCIe SSD options. Users will also be able to select SATA-based SSDs. Either way, they can be paired with a traditional HDD for bulk storage chores.

HP is shying away from overclocking with its pre-built desktop. Just the opposite, these systems will ship with HP's Omen Command Center utility to overclock the CPU.

Omen desktops are available today starting at $900.

HP also announced new Omen laptop models available with 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch displays. These will be available with a wide range of options, including up to an AMD Radeon RX 550 GPU or Nvidia GeForce GTX 106i0 with Max Q design on the 15.6-inch model, and up to a Radeon RX 580 or GeForce GTX 1070 on the 17.3-inch laptop.

Both will be configurable with Intel's latest generation Core i7 processor options, a dragon-red backlit display with red accented WASD keys, and upgradeable storage (HDD and SSD) and RAM.

These VR-ready laptops will be available with different panel options, including a 4K display, 1080p display with a 120Hz refresh rate and G-Sync support, or a 1080p panel with a 60Hz refresh rate and FreeSync support.

The Omen 15 and Omen 17 will be available to purchase on June 28 starting at $1,000 and $1,100, respectively.

Finally, HP announced two Omen display, a 25-inch model and a 27-inch model. The Omen 25 sports a 1080p panel with FreeSync support. It also has a 144Hz refresh rate and allows overclocking.

The larger 27-inch model bumps the resolution up to 2560x1440 with a 165Hz refresh rate, and like the 25-inch model, it can be overclocked. It also features G-Sync support.

Both monitors appear to be using TN panels—HP indicates a TN panel outright for the 27-inch model but doesn't mention the panel type for the 25-inch version. However, the price leads us to believe that it's using a TN panel as well.

HP will sell the Omen 27 first on June 8 for $800, followed the Omen 25 on June 26 for $280.