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Review: HP Omen X 35" Gaming Display

HP's reborn Omen line of high end gaming branded desktops, monitors, and laptops are a bold attempt to capture some of those sweet gaming dollars.

We’ve had an Omen X cube desktop build for awhile now, and we’ve been pairing it with the sweet curved HP Envy 34C widescreen monitor. It works great, but we jumped at the opportunity to check out the Omen X 35 G-Sync display - 35 inches of frame-matching, black polished, gaming goodness.

We put it through its paces alongside its desktop brother, and the two made quite a team.

You can pick up an HP Omen X display here for $1,300.

Game On

This being a gaming line, HP paid special attention to the design. Like the Omen cube case, this is not your typical office display. It’s all black; only a splash of red from the Omen logo on the backside breaks up the matte finish.

I actually really like the straightforward design. Almost everything I own is black, so this would fit right in with my personal preference, though I can understand why some might appreciate a little more color.

The back of the monitor has a very pleasing diamond texture, framed by triangular lines that point inward. You’re probably not going to be staring at the back of your display all that often, but it’s clear HP put a great deal of effort into making this monitor look good. I especially like the remarkably thin bezel around the screen. Classy stuff.

Too often it’s hard to find the ports on gaming monitors and it feels like you're going in blind. Thankfully that’s not the case here. The single HDMI and Displayport are easily accessible on the back of the display, along with the three USB ports for your devices, the power input, and the headphone jack on the left side.

The base is a black metal diamond, plastered with a black Omen logo. It looks modern and aggressive.

It has a very satisfying heft to it, and between that and the beefy metal stand, I have no concern that this display is going to go anywhere I don’t want it to. Using metal for the stand definitely adds a premium feel, and there’s even a place for headsets on the back of the stand, pretty handy if you always want your headset accessible.

The sliding mechanism on the stand also feels super nice. It moves smoothly for vertical adjustment, with none of the play that is sometimes experienced on displays with similar design.

In short, it’s fancy. The 2,500:1 contrast ratio means deeper blacks and colors that pop. The 35 inch curved screen uses UWQHD (3440x1440) 21:9 resolution, meaning about 35% more real estate than your typical 16:9 QHD display.

The same cannot be said of the attachment to the display itself however. There is a bit of a wobble; anytime you touch the display (which admittedly, is not very often) there’s a wiggle that seems uncharacteristically flimsy. It’s annoying, but certainly not a dealbreaker. Once it’s in place there’s no movement, so it’s a minor issue.

You can also swivel the display upwards if you prefer viewing at an angle, and like the vertical movement, it feels smooth and solid.

There’s a small, red light beneath the Omen text logo on the front of the panel. It’s easy to miss, but adds a subtle accent of color that looks cool.

From a design perspective the Omen is at the top of the game. With the exception of the wobbliness, this display looks and feels stellar. Of course opinion will vary on aesthetics, but I’d be more than happy to bring this display into my setup.

Curvaceous

So how about that display?

In short, it’s fancy. The 2,500:1 contrast ratio means deeper blacks and colors that pop. The 35 inch curved screen uses UWQHD (3440x1440)  21:9 resolution, meaning about 35% more real estate than your typical 16:9 QHD display.

The 100 Hz refresh rate is a little unusual. It’s somewhat surprising HP didn’t push it up to 144 Hz, especially given the premium price tag, but 100 Hz is still a noticeable improvement over the standard 60.

The Omen X 35 has a 4 ms response time. Though the vast majority of people won’t be able to tell the difference between 4 and 1, lower response time is always appreciated, especially in monitors in this price range.

We played a few hours of Doom on the X 35 and our Omen build because we wanted to beat it again, and figured why not kill two demons with one shotgun blast.

The AMVA+ panel performed admirably. The 1800R curvature of the screen adds a bit of cinematic intensity, and the colors were crisp, with deep blacks that added to the immersion of exploding hellions.

Good times.

The Omen X 35 also has G-Sync, meaning your GPU and CPU SYNC up (see what they did there?) in order to decrease screen tearing and deliver a smoother gaming experience. If you have an Nvidia GPU, this can make a substantial difference.

A Good Omen

So the question is, is the Omen X 35" worth it?

If you’re a hardcore gamer and you don’t mind the hefty $1,300 price tag, and especially if you’re already using an Omen desktop, the Omen X 35 could be an excellent fit. The design and performance is stellar, though it should be noted you can get higher refresh rates in monitors that are cheaper.

I really love the design of the X 35, and I wish I could take it home with me. At the end of the day, that’s a pretty ringing endorsement.

It will be interesting to see if HP can keep carving out a place in the high end gaming PC market with the Omen line.

Looks like they aren’t just for offices anymore.