HP Omen 15 for 2018 is a smaller, snazzier mainstream gaming laptop – CNET

Compared to last year’s model (left), the Omen 15 looks notably smaller.

HP

HP gives its mainstream Omen 15 laptop — the one for people who like gaming but can’t afford the more craveworthy gear — a slimmed-down design by adopting the newest gaming-laptop trend,  thinner display bezels and Nvidia Max-Q. Of course, it also receives the essential 2018 updates for its class, including:

a bump up to a GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q as the top graphics option, plus G-Sync compatibility on models with the 1060 and 1070
new quad- or hexacore options with Core i5-8300H or i7-8750H processors
a maximum of 32GB 2,666Hz memory, up from 16GB
an option for Intel Optane storage acceleration
new 144Hz 1080p and 60Hz 4K display configuration choices
updated Command Center software with HP’s Game Stream built in
a 1Gb Wi-Fi option

The design has changed a bit, too, such as some of the connectors moving to the back and beefed-up thermals to support the hotter-running processors. You can also more easily access storage and memory for upgrades via a single panel that opens with a Phillips-head screwdriver. 

The updated model will ship at the end of July starting at $980 (directly converted, about £740 and AU$1,300).

The Mindframe headset has cooling technology for when you turn into a hothead.

HP

More interesting than the laptop, perhaps, is the new Mindframe headset, designed for those of us with sweaty heads. It incorporates a device in the earcups that conducts heat outward.

It also incorporates a suspension headband for a more comfortable fit, a mic that flips up to mute with a volume control on the earcup and RGB lighting. The headset supports DTS Headphone:X and 7.1 virtual surround as well, and has a USB 2.0 connector.

We won’t see the Mindframe until the second half of the year, though, and we don’t have pricing.

The Omen Sequencer Keyboard

HP

HP doesn’t have a lot of gaming keyboard options — the Omen Keyboard 1100 seems to be the only one — and this one goes a bit upscale from that. Plus, it has a much better name: Omen Sequencer. 

It incorporates Blue optomechanical switches that HP claims are faster than traditional mechanical switches (a 0.2ms response time, per the company). In one of the touches that makes the mainstream Omen accessories more like their steroidal Omen X counterparts, HP seems to be adding RGB lighting here and there (rather than fixed colors) in its line.

The keyboard also incorporates one of my favorite features, a volume roller.

We can expect to see it in July for $180 (directly converted, about £135 and AU$240).

The Omen Reactor Mouse

HP

HP has also updated its mice with the Omen Reactor Mouse — also better named than the the HP Mouse 600 and its ilk. Like the keyboard it uses optomechanical switches and a high 16,000 dpi sensor. It also boasts programmable RGB LEDs and you can adjust the height of the palm rest.

It will ship in July for $80 (directly converted, roughly £60 and