HP OMEN 16 (2023) review: Updated with new internals, minor design tweaks

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Late last year, we were taking a look at the HP OMEN 16 (AMD) gaming laptop. HP has recently updated the internals on its OMEN 16 gaming laptop lineup, as well as made some minor design tweaks for the better.

Estimated reading time: 13 minutes

Our HP OMEN 16 gaming laptop review looks at a configurable Intel-powered laptop with a 16.1-inch 240Hz QHD display and even better cooling technology than last year’s model. Read on for our full review and find out why it earned a Top Pick here at Techaeris!

Specifications

The HP OMEN 16 gaming laptop we reviewed has the following features and specifications (configurable when ordering):

ProcessorIntel® Core™ i7-13700HX (up to 5.0 GHz, 30 MB L3 cache, 16 cores, 24 threads)
GraphicsNVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 4080 Laptop GPU (12 GB)
Display16.1″ diagonal, QHD (2560 x 1440), 240 Hz, 3 ms response time, IPS, micro-edge, anti-glare, Low Blue Light, 300 nits
Screen-to-body ratio82.12%
Memory32 GB DDR5-4800 SDRAM (2 x 16 GB)
Storage2TB SK Hynix PC801 PCIe® NVMe™ TLC M.2 SSD
External I/O ports• 1x USB Type-A 5Gbps signaling rate (HP Sleep and Charge)​
• 1x USB Type-A 5Gbps signaling rate​
• 2x Thunderbolt™ 4 with USB Type-C® 40Gbps signaling rate (100W USB Power Delivery, DisplayPort™ 1.4, HP Sleep and Charge) ​
• 1x HDMI 2.1​
• 1x Gigabit Ethernet port
• 3.5mm headphone/mic combo jack
WebcamHP True Vision 1080p FHD camera with temporal noise reduction and integrated dual array digital microphones
AudioAudio by Bang & Olufsen with dual speakers and HP Audio Boost 2.0
KeyboardFull-size, per key RGB backlit, shadow black keyboard and 26-Key Rollover Anti-Ghosting Key technology
Pointing devicePrecision Touchpad Support
Wireless technologyIntel® Wi-Fi 6E AX211 (2×2) and Bluetooth® 5.3 wireless card
Primary battery6-cell, 83 Wh Li-ion polymer
Power supply240 W Smart AC power adapter
Security managementTrusted Platform Module (Firmware TPM) support
ColorShadow Black
AccessoriesHyperX Cloud II Core Wireless Gaming Headset
Operating systemWindows 11 Pro
Dimensions14.53 x 10.23 x 1.04 in
WeightStarting at 5.29 lbs

What’s in the box

  • HP OMEN 16 gaming laptop
  • 240W power adapter
  • User documentation
  • 1-year limited hardware warranty
What's included with the HP OMEN 16 (2023) gaming laptop
What’s included with the HP OMEN 16 (2023) gaming laptop.

Design

While some companies’ gaming laptops scream “GAMING,” the HP OMEN 16 gaming laptop is much more subdued — and that’s not a bad thing. Roughly 14 1/2 inches wide and 10 1/4 inches deep, the OMEN 16 is just over an inch thick.

The lid has the glossy OMEN wordmark printed across the middle. One change HP made this year was moving the lid hinges forward slightly instead of lining them up flush with the back of the laptop. Not only does this allow for larger back airflow vents, but also offers a bit more stability when the lid is opened. Opening the lid up, you’re greeted by the 6-row keyboard with full-height keys, without a number pad. The keys are thin and have a nice backlight to them, as well as a stylized font for each key legend. On the upper right, near the top are extra keys for launching the HP OMEN Gaming Hub and launching the calculator. The power key has been moved to the left of the Delete key on the top row. Above the keyboard sits a vent grille. Below the keyboard is the rather large, but slightly smaller than last year’s model, 4 7/8- by 3 1/8-inch touchpad. As far as branding, the Bang & Olufsen wordmark is printed just under the keyboard on the left while a sideways 16 is printed, barely visible in black, on the lower right side. The usual Intel and NVIDIA stickers, as well as a 240Hz Refresh Rate sticker, are also on the lower right.

The display is surrounded by two thin side bezels, roughly one-quarter inch thin, and a slightly thicker top bezel roughly 7/8-inch. Centered in the top bezel is the front-facing 1080p FHD webcam with its manual privacy shutter, as well as pinholes for the microphone array. The bottom bezel is quite a bit thicker, about 1 3/8 inches thick, and has the OMEN wordmark printed in the center.

The ports on the back of the HP OMEN 16 (2023) gaming laptop
The ports on the back of the HP OMEN 16 (2023) gaming laptop.

On the left edge of the laptop, you’ll find a pair of  Thunderbolt™ 4 with USB Type-C® 40Gbps signaling rate (100W USB Power Delivery, DisplayPort™ 1.4, HP Sleep and Charge) ​ports, a 3.5mm audio combo jack, and the larger airflow vent versus last year’s model. The right edge has another airflow vent and a single SuperSpeed USB-A port with HP Sleep and Charge functionality. The rest of the ports, alongside the power connection, are along the back of the HP OMEN 16 gaming laptop. These include another SuperSpeed USB Type-A port, a full-sized HDMI 2.1 port, and a gigabit Ethernet port. On either end of the back edge are even more airflow vents.

On the underside are two speaker grilles near the front, one on each side and angled slightly outwards. Over half the bottom has an open grille design showing the dual intake fans and providing ample airflow while the computer is in use. There are also two long strips running across the bottom of the laptop that acts as feet and elevates the laptop while it is sitting on a flat surface. The bottom panel is easily removed by unscrewing eight screws, allowing gamers easy access to the inside to add a second NVMe SSD or upgrade their RAM.

As mentioned, the HP OMEN 16 gaming laptop doesn’t look like one, but it is solidly built and I personally prefer the sleeker look of it to some other systems on the market.

Display

There are two display options for the HP OMEN 16. While both are 16.1-inch IPS displays with 300 nits of brightness, the FHD display has a 144Hz refresh rate and 7ms response time while the QHD model has a 240Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time. Our review unit came with the QHD version, and I’m glad it did as it is nice and crisp.

While HP doesn’t specify colour gamut coverage, the colours on the OMEN 16 were more than suitable, and gaming with the matte finish was near perfect with its 240Hz refresh rate. As you’ll see in the performance section, some games were able to hit 240 fps on their highest settings when played at a lower FHD resolution, while others do require some slightly lower graphics settings. Still, gaming was smooth and I didn’t notice any stuttering or ghosting with the IPS display and its 3ms response time.

The QHD display on the HP OMEN 16 (2023) gaming laptop
The QHD display on the HP OMEN 16 (2023) gaming laptop.

At only 300 nits maximum brightness, the HP OMEN 16 isn’t the brightest laptop out there but I had no issues seeing what was on screen and only had to use the max brightness when sitting in front of a window during the day. Most of the time, I was using it at around 75% brightness, depending on the ambient light where I happened to be.

Software

Windows 11 has been out for a while now and more systems are shipping with it. Our review unit shipped with Windows 11 Pro, although you can opt for Windows 11 Home as well. Windows 11 ran just fine on our system as configured. As far as I could tell from a previous review, there were no real hits in gaming performance either.

As far as other included software, aside from the usual Windows 11 additions, HP has included a few extras which will vary according to which configuration you pick up. The key app included is the OMEN Gaming Hub app. This app lets you further optimize your system including boosting your network, configuring the lighting on the OMEN 16, controlling the performance settings, syncing lighting with other HP products, using Oasis Live for private audio/video chats and streaming, and viewing gaming stats and allow you to adjust settings on a per-installed game basis.

Other standard HP apps including HP PC Hardware Diagnostics, HP Privacy Settings, HP QuickDrop, HP Smart, HP Support Assistant, and the HP System Event Utility also come installed on the system. These can be easily uninstalled if you don’t want them, but most are good to keep around in case you encounter issues with your system down the road.

Performance

The HP OMEN 16 comes in multiple configurations. As mentioned, our review unit is powered by an Intel® Core™ i7-13700HX (up to 5.0 GHz, 30 MB L3 cache, 16 cores, 24 threads) processor and NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 4080 Laptop GPU graphics card with 12GB of RAM. One thing I did notice, however, is my initial tests seemed a little low. What you’ll definitely want to do with one of these systems is open the HP OMEN app, select OMEN 16, click the Performance Control tab, and change it from Balanced to Performance. Doing so will net you a signification framerate boost depending on the game. Here are the average framerates for the games I tested on the indicated graphics quality settings at the gaming laptop’s default QHD (1440p) resolution and a lower FHD (1080p) setting:

Game Title2560×1440 (QHD)1920×1080 (FHD)
Dirt 5 (ultra high)112 fps136 fps
Forza Horizon 5 (extreme)165 fps203 fps
Gears Tactics (ultra)115 fps138 fps
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War (ultra)137 fps169 fps
Tomb Raider (ultimate)230 fps240 fps
Wolfenstein: Youngblood 
(Riverside – Mein Leben!)
170 fps172 fps
Wolfenstein: Youngblood 
(Lab X – Mein Leben!)
119 fps119 fps

Once you’re running the laptop in Performance mode, as you can see, the framerates are really solid across the board, even at the higher QHD and 4K settings.

When it comes to cooling, the HP OMEN 16 has the company’s OMEN Tempest Cooling Technology. With five-way airflow and three-sided venting, there is plenty of cooling while gaming or running more CPU/GPU-intensive programs. With the latest model, HP made a few minor changes including enlarging the airflow exhausts, reducing the fin length, and increasing the fin quantity. Altogether, these changes provide 29% airflow over the 2022 model. Even when playing for a couple of hours, albeit with the fans running full force and a bit loud, the laptop didn’t ever feel in danger of overheating. Nor was the underside too hot to the touch when I did lift it up. With the side, back, and bottom vents, as long as the laptop is on a solid flat surface and not a lap, you shouldn’t have any overheating issues. One thing with the enlarged side vents, however, is that if your mouse hand is close enough, you can definitely feel the warm air being pushed out of the laptop.

Bottom view of the HP OMEN 16 (2023) gaming laptop
Bottom view of the HP OMEN 16 (2023) gaming laptop.

For those interested in benchmarks, I also ran the system through some popular benchmark apps and got the following results on the 2TB SK Hynix PC801 PCIe Gen 4 nVME SSD installed on the HP OMEN 16:

CrystalDiskMark Seq Read (1M Q8T1)7,119 MB/s
CrystalDiskMark Seq Write (1M Q8T1)6,449 MB/s
AS SSD Seq Read5,237 MB/s
AS SSD Seq Write3,316 MB/s
AS SSD 4K Read16,620 iops
AS SSD 4K Write56,605 iops
ATTO Seq Read6,630 MB/s
ATTO Seq Write6,020 MB/s

As you can see, different apps do report a bit differently but the speed is pretty decent. While there are faster drives, coupled with the gaming benchmarks earlier in this section, the SK Hynix PC801 is a pretty solid drive for gaming.

As far as typing is concerned, the keyboard is a bit soft but very responsive and I was able to hit around 110 wpm (I usually average between 105-110 depending on the keyboard) consistently with it. As a result, this system doubled pretty nicely as a mobile workstation. The HP OMEN 16 also handled more CPU/GPU-intensive programs like Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, and Premiere with ease.

Sound Quality

On the audio front, the HP OMEN 16 gaming laptop has dual speaker audio by Bang & Olufsen. That being said, like most laptops these days, while the audio does get pretty loud, it still lacks the punch that comes with a good set of speakers or a gaming headset. Still, the audio quality is decent enough on the HP OMEN 16 that you’ll be fine in a pinch. I was fine with the onboard speakers while playing Diablo IV but I much preferred (and did better) with a gaming headset in Call of Duty: Warzone 2.

Camera

One of my complaints with the 2022 AMD model was that it only came with a 720p front camera. In this day and age, 1080p should be a minimum and HP has obliged in 2023. The 1080p FHD camera is great for video calls and if you’re planning on doing some streaming. In addition, the camera has a manual privacy shutter that you can easily slide over the cover to block access.

The FHD camera with manual privacy cover on the HP OMEN 16 (2023) gaming laptop
The FHD camera with manual privacy cover on the HP OMEN 16 (2023) gaming laptop.

Battery Life

Battery life on gaming laptops has always been lacking, at least for me. While the HP OMEN 16 gaming laptop didn’t provide all-day battery life, it was pretty reasonable while using it for purposes other than gaming. With the keyboard backlight off and the screen set to 50% brightness, I was able to get between 3 1/2 and 4 hours. This consisted of doing basic web stuff, word processing, watching a few YouTube videos, and some Spotify streaming.

While gaming, however, you’re lucky to get more than a couple of hours depending on the game you’re playing. That being said, you’re also going to take a serious performance hit while gaming without being plugged in.

Accessories

If you purchase a configuration with the NVIDIA RTX 4070 or 4080 graphics card, HP includes the HyperX Cloud II Core Wireless Gaming Headset. With the inclusion, the headset comes pre-paired out of the box with HP’s embedded module for intuitive audio pairing and ultra-low latency. As a result, you can get up and gaming sooner without having to fiddle around with pairing the headset first.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to review the Cloud II Core Wireless headset as I’ve got a few in the queue already. However, we’ve reviewed HyperX headsets in the past and they’re solid gaming headsets.

Price/Value

Our review unit topped out at around $2,889.99 based on the configuration. It’s currently the most expensive configuration available, at least until the Intel Core i9 options are available later this year. However, you can get one for as low as $1149.99 on the HP website, which still gives you a decently specced machine with an Intel Core i5 processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and an NVIDIA GeForce RTSX 4050 graphics card.

Wrap-up

Compared to last year’s configuration I reviewed with the AMD processor, the Intel HP OMEN 16 gaming laptop performed much better this year. The tweaks to the cooling system, latest components, and 16.1-inch 240Hz QHD display make for a solid gaming experience. While on the pricey side, you do definitely get what you pay for and the 2023 HP OMEN 16 gaming laptop should be a solid consideration if you’re in the market. As such, we’ve awarded it a Top Pick of 2023 Award here at Techaeris.

HP OMEN 16

$1149.99+

Design

9.5/10

Display

9.5/10

Software

9.0/10

Performance

9.5/10

Sound Quality

8.0/10

Camera

9.0/10

Battery Life

8.0/10

Price/Value

9.0/10

Nailed it

  • Sturdy, low-key, slim build
  • Excellent performance as tested
  • Larger 16.1-inch 240Hz QHD display
  • Plenty of ports including HDMI 2.1
  • OMEN Tempest Cooling works well
  • Configurable at purchase
  • Upgradeable
  • 1080p FHD webcam
  • Fairly priced for what you get

Needs work

  • Runs a bit loud in performance mode
  • Depending on setup, can feel the heat coming from right exhaust on mouse hand

Last Updated on November 27, 2023.

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