The design language of gaming laptops continues to steer away from space-age style chassis with burgeoning thickness, with manufacturers working hard to offer a more refined aesthetic, as is the case here with the HP Omen 16 (2023). Underneath its stylish hood, though, lies enough substance to make for a solid midrange portable PC.
The configuration I have in for this review packs an AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS processor, as well as an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU, making this a capable mid-range laptop on paper. Add to this a 1TB SSD, 16GB of 5,600MHz DDR5 RAM, and a 16-inch 165Hz 1080p display, and it looks all the more like this could be a decent option for those searching for a gaming laptop for around $1,500.
- Solid performance for the price
- Great connectivity for a slim laptop
- Seven hours of general use battery life
- Can get loud and hot under load
- Overly plain aesthetic
There is a fine line between nondescript and understated when it comes to the aesthetics of a gaming laptop, and the Omen 16 (2023) treads it carefully. Compared to many other competitors with sharper corners and more daring looks, HP’s midranger opts for an all-black chassis that’s only broken up by a triangular speaker grille above the keyboard and the small Omen logos scattered on top and bottom casing.
Combined with this, the Omen 16 (2023) also offers a sleek chassis, with a total thickness of 23.9mm, although its 2.36kg weight feels bulky compared to other laptops I’ve tested. It is quite heavy, but is in the ballpark for a laptop of comparable specs.
Despite its pretty slender thickness, the Omen 16 (2023) offers an excellent port selection and connectivity. On the left-hand side, you’ll find an Ethernet port, alongside a 5Gbps USB Type-A, and a headphone/microphone combo jack.
The right-hand side is home to a 5Gbps USB Type-C, as well as two more Type-As, an HDMI 2.1 port, and a DC-in for power. This offers some of the best connectivity I’ve seen on a gaming laptop at this price, and provides you with plenty of options for connecting everything from additional displays to a gaming mouse.
With that heavier weight, it’s perhaps little surprise to learn that the Omen 16 (2023) also provides some solid build quality, too. The plastics used in its construction feel solid, although its top casing can act as quite the magnet for grease and fingerprints. This is just something you’ll have to be wary of if you’re intending on carrying the Omen 16 (2023) without a sleeve or bag.
Compared to some of the odder squished-up layouts that are available on similar-sized laptop keyboards, the Omen 16 (2023)’s more conventional TKL layout feels refreshing to use. Even if it foregoes a number pad, it’s nice to have proper spacing between keys. The keys themselves offer reasonable tactility, but feel a tad soft and spongy compared to the likes of the Razer Blade 16 (2023).
By comparison, the trackpad here offers reasonable real estate for your fingers, although its tracking can feel a little skittish and the buttons themselves aren’t the most tactile. For the most part, it’s fine, but not as good as other trackpads out there.
As well as offering quite a nondescript design, the same may well be said about the Omen 16 (2023)’s feature set. The display on offer here is a 16-inch 1920×1080 screen, complete with an uprated 165Hz refresh rate for smoother motion. This is an upgrade compared to the base model’s 144Hz option, intriguingly. Pairing this with the laptop’s 8GB RTX 4060 GPU also reveals it to be a good combo for 1080p gaming.
It may not be the most exciting combination in the world, but the Full HD resolution paired with an RTX 4060 inside the Omen 16 (2023) offers the benefit of modern fixtures and fixings combined with a responsive experience.
What’s more, its 165Hz refresh rate also provides some decent motion, too. The fact this is an IPS screen also aids colors in looking accurate and viewing angles to be solid. This is also backed up its quoted 100% of the sRGB color space, meaning it provides excellent color accuracy in games and everyday use.
Inside, the Omen 16 (2023) features some decent power to boot, complete with one of the latest processors, the Ryzen 7 7840HS. This provides 8 cores and 16 threads, alongside a boost clock of 5.10GHz. It’s a snappy processor for the FHD gaming workloads you’ll be throwing at it, as well as for more everyday tasks, too. The HS suffix also puts it in the mid-range of AMD’s laptop processors, being designed for higher power laptops, but cutting down on the power consumption compared to more powerful chips.
As a chip from the Ryzen 7000 lineup, it also supports the latest generation of RAM, with 16GB of DDR5-5600 RAM, providing you with especially speedy RAM in a reasonable capacity. You also get a 1TB NVMe PCIe Gen 4 SSD which offers the benefit of both a decent capacity and amazing speeds, to store your games on. Everything feels especially snappy, it must be said.
Briefly returning to the point of connectivity, the Omen 16 (2023) also features Wi-Fi 6E for snappy network performance, as well as support for Bluetooth 5.3 out the box.
Of course, the most important part of a gaming laptop is how well it performs in a variety of games. I’ve put the Omen 16 (2023) through its paces in a selection of titles, as well as through some synthetic benchmarking suites, and I’m pleased to report it’s a solid performer for the price.
The combination of the RTX 4060 and the Ryzen 7 7840HS provide some good frame rates in a variety of titles that are more than playable. The likes of Cyberpunk 2077 make for an especially demanding title, and even without the fun of DLSS, it posted a respectable average frame rate.
As for its thermal performance, the Omen 16 (2023) can get pretty toasty and noisy under load when its fans spin up. This became evident in virtually all the benchmark tests I ran, and when playing games for fun. For more general tasks, it’s as quiet as a mouse, and is comfortable to use. With this in mind though, for the best results, I’d stick to using the Omen 16 (2023) on a desk, as opposed to on your lap, simply due to the heat it can emit.
Its battery life, though, is pretty solid. The Omen 16 (2023) comes with an 83Whr battery, which HP says will last for 8 hours on a charge. In running the PC Mark 10 Modern Office Benchmark, it largely lived up to HP’s claims, with a run time of 7 hours and 16 minutes. However, its gaming performance on battery power is a little disappointing, with the Omen 16 (2023) posting a result of just over two hours. This means it is only suitable for use when plugged into the mains for its intended purpose.
HP’s new Omen 16 (2023) is perhaps a bit of an odd customer. There’s no doubt it provides a solid gaming experience for the price, and that its internal core of its Ryzen 7 7840HS and RTX 4060 make it a handy performer for anyone wanting good results at 1080p.
Alongside this, it offers a decent keyboard and excellent port selection, as well as a good display and battery life for office duties. Part of me, however, longs for something with a touch more performance and flair.
Check out our guide to the best HP gaming laptops, for alternatives to the HP Omen 16 (2023) if you’re after something a little different.
The HP Omen (2023) offers a solid, no frills option for those looking for a 1080p gaming laptop that doesn’t break the bank. It packs a surprising amount of connectivity and great battery life for everyday tasks, but does get noticeably loud and hot under load and isn’t the most exciting options around.