Omen 16 Gaming Laptop Review (2023, i7, 4080) – “Louder” Next Gen Speeds Bring Next Gen Pricing

    Product: Omen 16 Gaming Laptop (2023, i7, 4080)
    Intended Use: Gaming
    Manufacturer: Omen
    MSRP: 2739.99

The last two years of PC gaming have left quite a few shake-ups in its wake by way of a slew of terrible ports, higher VRAM requirements, and sharply rising prices in the GPU market.

Recommended specs are not quite what they used to be, and with shiny new Unreal Engine 5 titles on the horizon, it’s clear that gaming laptops have some catching up to do to keep up with performance demands already straining the desktop arena.

Thankfully, the 2023 HP Omen 16 provides a marked improvement over its predecessor – owing most of its significant performance uplift to Nvidia’s excellent RTX 4080 mobile GPU. It’s a powerhouse, sure, but that’s to be expected for a laptop with a premium MSRP of $2739.99.

If you’re in the market for an RTX 4080 laptop, you’ll have a lot of options to choose from – and they all offer outstanding performance. So the real question then is – what does HP offer here that makes it a more appealing choice than its competitors?

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Style / Feel / Build / Hardware

Specs-wise, the HP Omen 16 offers the latest Intel 13th gen I7-13700HX (16 core) processor, 32GB of DDR5 (4800MHZ) RAM, an excellent 2TB NVME SSD, and of course, the aforementioned RTX 4080 maxing out at 145w. It does all this with a 16”, 240hz, 1440p display which I weighed in at a comfortable 5.5lb. The size and weight are nothing groundbreaking, but more importantly, it’s not unusually heavy or thick considering the serious tech it’s packing – which I think is a big plus.

Additionally, the 280W charger is surprisingly slim and is hardly the big brick you might find with other laptops. Overall I was impressed with the laptop’s portability in relation to its hardware. If you are looking for something super slim and portable, you’ll probably want a smaller form factor laptop that packs an RTX 4070 or 4060 instead, though be prepared to sacrifice significant performance.

In terms of its build quality, the laptop is all plastic but has a nice feel. I get the sense that this was a necessary sacrifice to make in order to keep down its weight, which is a compromise I welcome wholeheartedly. It is entirely black, minimally designed, with a low profile look. The only markings on the body come from the Omen logo, which is featured in low contrast on the middle of the front exterior. I don’t like flashy laptops and prefer a minimal look, so this suits me just fine. In my opinion, there is nothing particularly eye-catching about it, so if you want a laptop to look like you spent almost three grand on it, the Omen 16 won’t do that for you.

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The keyboard felt good to use, and the trackpad has a nice tactile click. Notably, the keyboard features a complete suite of customization options in terms of RGB lighting and effects made possible by the “Omen Gaming Hub” software, which is preinstalled on the laptop. You can have your lights breathe in and out, change colors, or dance around the keyboard; the options are fairly comprehensive, and if this is the sort of thing you like, I think you’ll love it here.

I was able to individually single out keys and sections off the keyboard to display whatever color I want. Some stand-out effects that I noticed were the options to have keys act as an audio visualizer and for you to upload an image to have the keyboard mimic. On top of that, HP allows integration with your mouse and other RGB lights in your room so your keyboard can sync up with other lights. I wasn’t able to try it out in conjunction with RGB room lighting because the Omen software seemed only to support lights by Twinkly and Phillips – which I did not have.

In terms of USB connectivity, there are two USB4 type C ports, which in addition to providing up to a whopping 40gbps (or 4GB/s) performance, are also capable of transferring a Display Port signal and can charge the laptop. The two Thunderbolt 4 ports are a welcome feature that happens to be missing in some of the competition. There are also two USB (5Gbps or 500MB/s) Type-A ports. On the laptop’s left side is a 3.5mm audio jack, which is always neat to see. As a creator, however, I’m disappointed by the lack of an SD Card reader – but if you’re getting this laptop purely for gaming, this will be a non-issue.

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The laptop fans are mighty, and they sure have to be to keep up with how hot the RTX 4080 can run. The fans themselves vent nicely from multiple directions, not just from the back but from the left and side, too. Yes, this laptop will get hot to the touch, but it manages to contain that heat away from the keyboard, maintaining a comfortable user experience throughout. I gamed for hours on it and did not notice the keyboard get hot, which is a big plus. Although not absolutely necessary, I always recommend getting a cooling pad to at least raise the laptop so there’s more space to vent beneath the laptop when running high-performance tasks, as the laptop intakes from the bottom.

The fans get very loud when running the laptop in max performance mode via the Omen Gaming Hub app. In fact, they get so loud that it was actually difficult to hear the dialogue in some games, even with the speakers maxed out. This wasn’t an issue in every game, but I noticed this problem most when I was playing The Last of Us Part 1 and sometimes found it difficult to hear character banter.

When running the laptop on balanced power mode, the fans run much quieter; however, you won’t be running the GPU at max power and, as a result, won’t be getting as much performance out of your machine. I’d generally recommend always being on performance mode when gaming to ensure you get the most FPS, though, if you’re running an older title or something that isn’t very demanding, it’s nice to have the option to opt for a lower power mode to get a quieter experience.

Although the fan noise is disappointing in performance mode, I’m not surprised, considering something has to stop the RTX 4080 from melting. You’re probably better off wearing headphones so you don’t have to hear those noisy fans.

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One of the 2023 Omen 16’s most interesting selling features is that it comes with a pair of wireless HyperX Cloud IIs and a wireless receiver for the laptop’s internals. This means you’ll be able to use the included HyperX Cloud II headset without worrying about carrying around (and inevitably losing) the usual USB dongle. Because of this integration, the headset connects instantly and without hassle to the laptop when turned on.

A nice, slightly gimmicky feature to have, considering plugging in a USB dongle isn’t much of a hassle. Coming in at $120, the HyperX Cloud II is a relatively popular and comfortable mid-range gaming headset, and it’s certainly a welcome addition to the overall package. Though, if you’re like me and have a better pair of headphones that you prefer using, it doesn’t add all that much value to what the Omen 16 offers.

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Continuing with more audio-related specs, the Omen 16 offers an impressive-sounding set of laptop speakers designed by Bang & Olufsen. Granted, they are nothing that will replace a nice set of external speakers; the internal speakers have a full, well-rounded sound that could fill up a small room. It’s a shame the fans are so loud you’re better off using headphones when gaming. Despite that, they are otherwise fantastic for watching movies, listening to music, and browsing the internet. If speaker quality concerns you, I believe you’ll be impressed by what HP offers here.

The monitor, which can fully articulate backward, checks all the right boxes I look for in a gaming monitor. It has a very high refresh rate (240hz), fast 3ms response time, Nvidia G-Sync, and is in the optimal resolution for how well the hardware performs (1440p). The Omen 16 can handle 1440p very well in modern titles, often with the help of AI upscaling like DLSS or AMD’s FSR, an AI-powered technique that interpolates “fake” frames between real frames to double frame rates. 4K, however, is still not really viable in a laptop, even with the power of the RTX 4080.

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The brightness isn’t crazy at 300 nits but is more than enough to be used indoors – which is where you’ll probably be using this laptop anyway. Notably, it is not an HDR monitor, but that’s not something that bothers me too much.

Let’s be real; if you’re buying a gaming laptop to do anything besides browsing the internet or watching movies, you’ll want to plug it in. Having said that, if you’re looking for a laptop with good battery life – this is not it. Even on the balanced power setting and with Windows’ built-in “battery saver” feature that decreased screen brightness, I couldn’t even reach two hours unplugged.

To make matters worse, all I was doing was writing this review, answering emails, and watching the occasional YouTube video. With this kind of performance, this certainly isn’t the kind of laptop you’ll be bringing with you on a plane to browse the internet and watch movies on for the duration of the flight. But in its defense, it’s a high-performing gaming laptop that isn’t built to be particularly portable or be used when it isn’t plugged in. I rarely use my laptop unplugged, and I’m certainly not going to be using it unplugged when doing demanding tasks like gaming.

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Performance / Hands-On Use / Features / User Experience / Analysis / Etc.

To test performance, I ran a few benchmarks on particularly demanding titles in 1440p resolution, like The Last of Us Part 1, Star Wars Jedi Survivor, Hogwarts Legacy, Spiderman Miles Morales, and Cyberpunk 2077.

Here are some results:


  • GPU OpenCL score of 15,3807
  • CPU Single-Core score of 2,459
  • CPU Multi-Core score of 13,650

Game results are listed below:

  • 3D Mark Time Spy: 16,754
  • Hogwarts Legacy: 120+fps max settings (no ray tracing) on DLSS set to Quality + Frame Gen. 80-90fps with ray tracing turned on with the same settings
  • Star Wars Jedi Survivor: A fluctuating 45fps average on High with AMD’s FSR2 (DLSS was not offered in Jedi Survivor) set to Balanced.
  • The Last of Us Part 1: 80-100fps max settings with DLSS set to Quality.
  • Spiderman Miles Morales: 100-140fps max settings with ray tracing and DLSS set to Quality + Frame Gen.
  • Cyberpunk 2077: 80-120fps on Ray Tracing Ultra with DLSS set to Balanced + Frame Gen.

All-in-all, these are pretty astonishing results that were impossible from a laptop a year ago. Three of the five games I tested featured Nvidia’s Frame Generation feature. This feature, which isn’t available on 30-series powered laptops, worked as advertised in all the games offered at no perceivable cost to visual fidelity. The only noticeable difference was that it boosted my in-game latency – but not to a degree where the games felt sluggish. Overall it’s a great feature that will surely increase the laptop’s longevity so long as new games start putting frame generation into their settings.

At 1440p resolution, you’re asking a lot out of your machine, and thankfully the RTX 4080 can keep up with this resolution very well with the oft-needed help of AI upscaling techniques like DLSS or FSR2. Even with DLSS set to Performance, everything looks great at 1440p, mainly because the 16-inch screen at QHD has a very high pixel density of 183 (higher than a 32in 4K monitor). The only game that I struggled with was Star Wars Jedi Survivor, which, to no fault of the laptop, is still an un-optimized mess several months after launch. Fortunately, the game is still playable with a “stuttery” 45-60fps on High settings…which should be an achievement in and of itself.

Impressively, I was able to play Cyberpunk 2077’s cutting-edge new path-tracing Overdrive mode with a mostly playable 60+ framerate using DLSS on Ultra Performance and Frame Generation turned on. DLSS set to Ultra Performance looks like a blurry mess, though, so I think you’re probably better off just playing it on the lower Ray Tracing Ultra mode instead. Even still, it’s wild to see a laptop being able to run a mode reserved more for the absolute best desktop cards on the market, like the RTX 4090.

One important feature to note with the RTX 4080 is its 12gbs of VRAM, which is much higher than the 8gbs offered in the RTX 4060 and RTX 4070. This is crucial, considering the issues we’ve seen recently in several titles like The Last of Us Part 1 and Star Wars Jedi Survivor, where 8 GB VRAM cards were getting maxed out and suffered huge performance drops. I noticed that many of the games I tested were using over 8GB of VRAM at 1440p when maxed out. 12GB of VRAM is becoming the new standard, and I think the fact that you get it here is a big plus in terms of future-proofing this laptop for the next several years.

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Another selling point worth mentioning about the RTX 4080 is that it is significantly more powerful than its downgraded model, the RTX 4070. Although I haven’t been able to test out the laptop RTX 4070 personally, online benchmarks seem to put the performance improvement between the two models at 50%. In my opinion, this makes a laptop sporting the RTX 4080 far more worth it in terms of price-to-performance than the RTX 4070.

As for normal RAM, you won’t have to worry about that here because the Omen 16 comes with quite a lot of it at 32 GB. You’ll have more than enough for gaming and just enough to do some demanding video editing and content creation. However, the 4800mhz DDR5 RAM is the bare minimum speed you can get out of DDR5 RAM; yes, it’s faster than DDR4, but not by all that much. This isn’t something you should be concerned with when it comes to gaming performance because, at the end of the day, the amount of RAM is infinitely more important than the clock speeds.

The 16-core, 13th gen i7 processor performed very well in Geekbenches Single Core and Multi-Core tests. For a desktop comparison, it seems to perform similarly to last-gen’s desktop variant i7-12700k. It pairs very nicely with the RTX 4080 for gaming needs and will serve you well for years to come. I am disappointed that you do not get the better i9, 13900HX, in a laptop in this price range, but I’ll talk more about this soon.

Lastly, I want to talk about SSD performance. This is a big win here because not only does it come with a very competitively sized 2TB NVME SSD, but it’s also a very fast one. In Crystal Disk Mark, the SK Hynix PC801 internal SSD was rated at nearly 7000MB/s read speeds and 6000 MB/s write speeds – these are great results and put it in the upper echelon of Gen4 SSDs currently on the market. As a result, game load times are excellent, which adds a nice cherry on top to an already premium gaming experience.

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So, who is this laptop for, and should you buy it? Well, if you’re in the high-end laptop market, you’re probably looking to play the latest games with the highest possible graphical fidelity – not just get marginally better frames in League of Legends or Overwatch. I’m happy to say that the Omen 16 represents a reasonably sizable leap forward in gaming performance compared with what we’ve seen in the past. With the RTX 4080, we’re finally seeing laptops catch up to the heights achieved by Nvidia’s excellent 30-series desktop cards.

You are roughly getting a desktop equivalent machine of an i7-12700K paired with an RTX 3080. However, if you’re playing one of the few games currently on the market with DLSS3, you’ll likely be getting much better performance than what a desktop RTX 3080 provides – something that is still mind-blowing to me to see within a laptop.

That’s all well and good, but here’s the kicker in my opinion – the Omen 16 does notably sacrifice the higher-end i9 Intel processor that content creators would appreciate for more gamer-centric presentation features like a highly customizable RGB keyboard, HyperX Cloud II integration, a 240hz display, and a speedy SSD. You will find other laptops on the market featuring the i9-13900HX (24-core) processor for around the same price or even cheaper than the Omen 16.

Most notably, at the time of writing this review, I saw the Legion 7i Pro featuring an i9-13900HX, 32GB of faster DDR5 RAM, an RTX 4080, and a brighter 240HZ display, going on sale for $2300 (standard MSRP around $2,750). At the sale price – that’s a steal right now. On paper, that laptop is more appealing to me for the price as someone who plays both games and works full-time as a content creator.

While the i7-13700hx is still a fantastic processor, I’m always going to want the best specs over fancy presentation features at this price range. If you’re just getting the laptop for gaming, you probably won’t benefit as much from the better processor. Instead, you might appreciate some of the additional gamer-centric features of the Omen 16. Overall, it comes down to what you’re looking to do with this laptop and whether those extra features justify those sacrifices.

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I’ve very much enjoyed my time with the Omen 16. In addition to its top-of-the-line specs, it is wrapped with some unique selling features: a free pair of HyperX Cloud IIs with built-in wireless integration, the well-designed and user-friendly Omen Gaming Hub, and more. It has the right amount of horsepower to provide a comfortable gaming experience for years to come and, to top it off, a comfortable user experience through and through.

It is only weighed down by lackluster battery life, loud fans on performance mode, and the fact that it sits in the same market and price range as other laptops, which offer some marginally better specs. Nonetheless, the Omen 16 is an excellent choice for gamers, but if content creation is a big part of your agenda as well, I’d opt for a machine with an i9 if it’s in the same price range…

Noisy Pixel is giving the 2023 HP Omen 16 an A-


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Mark DiMattei

Designer/Producer - Art is my Thunder Stone to your soon to be Raichu. Former video game nerd with a love for all things images and visual creativity. Currently waiting for Halo Infinite. Instagram: @markd_arts