HP introduces VR-ready Omen desktops and laptops

HP is introducing a unified gaming portfolio under its Omen branding with a range of solutions at different price points. It's an effort to supercharge the OEM's involvement in PC gaming and "part of the company's strategy to reinvent personal systems," the company said.

Hopefully HP follows through with a long term commitment to PC gaming. That's been a weakness of HP, which never really capitalized on its acquisition of boutique builder Voodoo PC back in 2006. Years later, the Omen brand was supposed to bring Voodoo PC's DNA to the forefront of PC design, but even that has kind of faded into the shadows.

Perhaps that will change going forward with HP's renewed interest. The next wave of Omen by HP gaming PCs will feature four devices, including two laptops, a desktop, and a 32-inch Quad HD display.

The Omen laptops will come in 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch form factors, both in with Full HD 1080p or 4K IPS displays. They'll have Omen's distinct branding on the black mesh laptop lid and the keyboard deck, the latter of which is backlit with a red LED.

HP's laptops will feature processor options up to a Core i7 Skylake chip and up to Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M graphics. For RAM and storage, HP's laptop will be available with up to 16GB of RAM and up to a 512GB PCIe SSD or 2TB HDD for a single storage setup, and up to a 4TB HDD and 128GB SSHD for dual storage configurations.

The top end graphics option is a bit of a buzzkill for a pair of laptops with 4K display options, especially with mobile Pascal GPUs presumably somewhere around the bend. Nevertheless, it should suffice for 1080p gaming.

As for the desktop, HP is rebranding its Phoenix system to join the streamlined Omen family. These are a bit more interesting as select models will feature a Core i7-6700K processor coupled with up to a GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition or AMD Radeon R9 390X graphics card.

Desktops will also feature up to 32GB or RAM, along with up to a 512GB SSD and up to 3TB of HDD storage. HP's pitching this one hard as a VR-ready desktop, noting that it has ample storage options to "hold a massive amount of large format VR games and content."

Finally, the 32-inch Quad HD monitor promises wide viewing angles and accurate color reproduction with 100 percent coverage of the sRGB color space. It also supports AMD's FreeSync technology.

The 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch Omen laptops will be available June 10 starting at $900 and $980, respectively. After that, HP will launch its desktop configuratins and monitor to retail in August with prices to be announced later.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).