HP joins the black and red clan with Omen gaming PCs

— 9:43 AM on May 26, 2016

HP has been more or less absent from the gaming scene for a bit—until now. The company is announcing the Omen branding as a new portfolio of gaming products. All four items announced today wear the black-and-red color scheme typical of gamer-oriented hardware, and downplay the HP branding to prominently display an almost-indescribable Omen diamond logo.

Back in 2006—possibly following in Dell's footsteps—HP purchased Canadian boutique PC vendor VoodooPC, whose flagship product was the Omen gaming desktop. A few other products arose from that purchase, but after 2009's Firebird desktop, HP stopped releasing products with the VoodooPC name. Today's announcements don't actually carry the VoodooPC name, but nonetheless carry the company's DNA.

The new HP Omen laptops come in 15.6" and 17.3" form factors, and pack "Dragon Red" backlit keyboards. CPUs on offer include Intel Skylake chips up to quad-core Core i7s, while graphics horsepower is provided by GeForce cards up to the GTX 965M. Users can stuff in up to 16GB of RAM, and dual storage options include HDDs up to 4TB and PCIe SSDs up to 512GB. There are no 1366x768 screens in sight, thankfully. Both models have a 1080p display as standard, and HP offers 4K IPS screens as options. The battery supports HP's fast charging technology and is mounted at the front of the laptops, something which the company says should help with thermal management.

The Omen desktop is serious-looking gaming machine, built with a tool-less design and brushed metal exterior, and displaying—of course—customizable RGB LEDs that HP says "react to performance levels." CPU choices include models up to the Core i7-6700K, while graphics cards options range as far as the GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition and the Radeon R9 390X. HP says users can have their machines liquid-cooled, and specific models will be unlocked for overclocking. The company says it won't offer support or warranty services for overclocked configurations, though.

As a companion piece to the Omen desktop, HP is also offering an Omen-branded monitor. HP didn't provide a lot of specifics, but the display has a 32" diagonal and a resolution of 2560x1440. HP claims the display can reproduce 100% of the sRGB colorspace, which seems to imply the panel isn't a TN model. The monitor's gaming cred is sealed with support for AMD's FreeSync technology.

HP says the Omen laptops will be the first to market and should be available July 10. Prices start at $899.99 for the 15.6" model and $979.99 for the 17.3" version. Meanwhile, the desktop and monitor won't come around until August, but you can sign up to be notified when they are available at HP's web store.

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