HP welcomes new desktops to its Omen gaming family

Just in time for the Electronic Entertainment Expo next week, HP has announced a refresh of its Omen gaming lineup. Included in the announcement are a pack of potent laptops and desktops, as well as an external graphics dock and some fancy monitors. We'll be taking a look at the laptops in just a moment, but first let's have a glance at these new desktops.

First up is the Omen X by HP Compact Desktop. This machine is the descendant of the VR backpack PC concept that the company was showing around last year. HP says it has refined the machine using feedback from game and VR developers to create a powerful desktop that can optionally go portable.

You can use the Compact Desktop as a regular small-form-factor desktop, or you can pick up the extra backpack accessory kit and wear it on your back as a mobile VR PC. The backpack kit packs dual hot-swappable batteries and includess a docking station that affords extra connectivity and charging functionality. HP is vague on the PC's battery life in this mode, but it does refer to the ability to enjoy "extended" VR sessions. The machine's VR experience could be pretty solid, too, as there are configuration options for up to a GeForce GTX 1080 and "unlocked Core i7" CPUs from the Kaby Lake family.

If you're a more traditional type of gerbil, HP is also offering up the Omen by HP Desktop. This appears to be a fairly standard tower PC, and indeed HP talks up the machine's upgradeability. HP says that the machine is "overbuilt and over-engineered." That's a welcome change from OEM "gaming" PCs of old, as is the Omen Desktop claim that it uses industry-standard parts.

The company offers some serious gaming hardware in this tower. You can base your Omen Desktop around your choice of Intel Kaby Lake Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs, or AMD Ryzen CPUs. Then, pair that with dual Radeon RX 580s in Crossfire mode, or a pair of GeForce GTX 1080 Ti cards in SLI. HP says it will offer PCIe SSD and liquid-cooling options, and that the version of the Omen Command Center software on this machine will include overclocking controls.

If you enjoy the styling of HP's Voodoo-descended gaming line, you can pick up the Omen X Compact Desktop next month starting at $2500, although the backpack accessory will be an extra $600. Meanwhile, the Omen Desktop becomes available today at HP's site starting at just $900.

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