HP Omen X Emperium 65 hands-on review

Who needs a TV? HP’s Omen X Emperium is a 65-inch monitor for your living room

HP’s Omen X Emperium takes top-tier gaming monitors to new heights.
HP’s Omen X Emperium takes top-tier gaming monitors to new heights.
HP’s Omen X Emperium takes top-tier gaming monitors to new heights.

Highs

  • It’s massive
  • Nvidia Shield built-in
  • 4K, HDR, high refresh rate
  • Certified for G-Sync Ultimate
  • Quantum dot display looks terrific

Lows

  • Insanely expensive
  • PCs aren't ready for the living room

Console gaming certainly has its benefits. One of them is the relaxation of playing from your couch. But what if you could bring your PC and high-performance gaming monitor to your living room? That’s the temptation behind Nvidia’s new BFGD (Big Format Gaming Display).

The first in this lineup of oversized displays is the HP Omen X Emperium 65, a monitor befitting its epic name. At CES 2019, we basked in the glory of its gaming madness.

The gamer’s television

The HP Omen X Emperium 65 is a TV. Okay, it doesn’t have a TV tuner. But come on. it’s a massive screen that’s meant to sit in your living room. At 65 inches, it commands the attention of the room like any other large TV would. But this one isn’t built watching football or the morning news. It’s made for PC gaming.

Hauling your gaming rig and peripherals into the living room does come with its own hurdles. Not many people have a desk set up by their sofa, as we saw in the demo room where we tried out the Omen X Emperium. Still, if you find a way to make it work alongside the HP Omen X Emperium 65, you won’t want to move back to your gaming den.

The cabinet, frame, and stand of the display are subtle enough to fit a living room without giving up its gaming heritage. A thin line of red light illuminates the back of the cabinet, providing the wall behind with a slight glow. It looks amazing, with a sense of spectacle that rivals high-end televisions.

Size matters. So does speed

65 inches isn’t the largest television you can find, but games look fantastic on it. And that’s the point. You’ll find features here that just don’t exist on a standard television. The 120Hz refresh rate can be overclocked to 144Hz, ensuring you can push framerates beyond what a standard 60Hz TV can do. You also get ultra-low latency, which most televisions still struggle with. The same goes with G-Sync, the adaptive sync tech that prevents screen tearing. It’s the goodness of gaming monitor tech brought to the TV.

It goes beyond G-Sync, though. The monitor is part of Nvidia’s G-Sync Ultimate line, which is the company’s rebranding of G-Sync HDR. That means 1000 nits of peak brightness (and 750 typical) and the incredible vivid quality that comes with true HDR. Battlefield V has never looked so good, especially if your system is running an RTX 2080 Ti.

We won’t know for sure until we test it ourselves, but Nvidia claims the monitor has a 95 percent DCI-P3 color gamut. You can thank the quantum dot technology used in the LCD for those amazing colors. It’s a visual feast all around.

While the Omen X Emperium doesn’t include a traditional TV tuner, that doesn’t you’ll have trouble watching movies and television shows. The Nvidia Shield is built right in, meaning you have access to Netflix, YouTube, and whatever other apps you view content on. It’s part of what makes a BFGD, and it it means the monitor can do more than play games for a PC. You can also VESA mount it — and that includes the soundbar beneath the display. After all, it does have to sit in your living room.

HP Omen X Emperium 65 hands-on
Dan Baker/Digital Trends

For ports, you get one DisplayPort 1.4, three HDMI 2.0 (both support HDCP), and two USB 3.0 ports.

A risky but tempting investment

The HP Omen X Emperium 65 isn’t just a concept. The display goes on sale in February. Acer and Asus have similar 65-inch BFGDs of their own, though the Omen is the first you’ll be able to buy.

Well, if you have $5,000 ready to burn.

That’s not just a lot of money for a gaming monitor. It’s a lot of money for a TV. You can pick up a solid 65-inch 4K HDR television for half as much. That will be the right choice for most people, making the HP Omen X Emperium a niche display.

This monitor paints a promising picture for the future for PC gaming, one that can break away from your desk and invade your living room. We hope this is just the first of many BFGD displays.

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