(Pocket-lint) – HP recently paid over $400 million to acquire HyperX, so it’s clear the company is getting serious about gaming. Of course, HP’s own gaming brand – Omen – has been around since 2013 and the company has turned out some pretty nifty peripherals, laptops and devices under that banner.
The HP Omen Vector is a wireless gaming mouse with some seriously promising specs and features, including 180 hours battery life, an eSports-grade sensor, 1ms polling rate, fast-charging capabilities and more.
How does the Omen Vector Wireless Mouse stack up against the competition? We’ve been using it for gaming and working to find out.
Superb comfort and convenience
- Weight: 103g
- 6 programmable buttons
- Large and comfortable frame
- 16,000 DPI maximum sensitivity
- Ergonomic design for palm or claw grip
The first thing that struck us about the HP Omen Vector is the comfort of its frame. It’s a larger mouse than many others we’ve tried and despite being on the heavy side for a gaming mouse, it’s still comfortable to use for both gaming and working.
Sure, it doesn’t have the cut-down frame or the lightweight agility of a superlightweight honeycomb mouse, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t easy to zip about the desk.
The Omen mouse is also shaped in an ergonomic fashion. It’s very much for right-handed gamers with either palm or claw grip style, but it has a comfortable shape to it that keeps most of your hand and thumb off the desk for the most part.
The textured side grips function nicely, making it easy to hold onto and rapidly move – ideal when playing fast-paced shooters. The side thumb buttons are also large and easy to press too, which adds to that overall usability. We also thoroughly enjoy the diamond-shaped pattern of the mouse wheel.
That same mouse wheel is one of the things we most loathe about this mouse though: it’s insanely loud when you’re scrolling. To the point of general frustration during the working day. The tactile feedback from it is just too loud for fingers and ears to stand.
Behind the mouse wheel is a DPI button that can be reprogrammed for other functions. But as standard it switches between several custom DPI levels – that’s dots per inch, the measure of its sensitivity – which you can set in the Omen Gaming Hub. The mouse is rated at up to 16,000 DPI, so it’s highly responsive.
When you press that button, you also get a visual cue in the RGB lighting on the mouse wheel so you can see at a glance what DPI level you’ve selected. This is a nice touch when you can set eight different levels in the software and then easily see which one you’re using based on the colour the wheel flashes. It’s these little touches that make the mouse shine.
Underneath the mouse there’s a dock for the wireless dongle when you’re not using it. There’s also an extension adapter in the box, so you can keep the charging cable within reach or extend the wireless range if you need to. Though we found the connection and range to be perfectly good.
One other minor foible with this mouse is the charging setup. It charges with a USB-C connection, but that connection is fiddly, making it tricky to plug in. However, it’s a fast-charging setup, so you can get an hour of charge in just 30 seconds. Now that’s fairly nuts.
The Energizer bunny
- Up to 180 hours battery life, fast-charge capable
- 16.8 million colour RGB in two zones
A highlight of the HP Omen Vector Wireless Mouse is its epic battery life. HP makes bold claims that it can last as much as 180 hours before it needs charging.
We used the mouse throughout the day for work and into the night for gaming for what felt like forever before we had to charge it. So we’re happy to believe those bold claims. Naturally, this will depend on RGB lighting settings, but there are some intelligent battery-saving settings in the software.
When it does need charging you don’t have to wait long before it’s fully boosted either. This is an obviously fantastic highlight for a gaming mouse – as there’s no bigger chore than having to wait around for hours tapping your feet when you need the thing to play those games. As 30 seconds delivers an hour of use, we’re guestimating that less than 2 hours at the plug will take it from totally dead to fully charged.
Sadly there are just two RGB lighting zones – the logo and the mouse wheel. As such, the mouse isn’t particularly snazzy looking in that department. It just doesn’t draw the eye in. But that lacking in RGB is a bonus for great battery performance.
HP’s Omen Gaming Hub software gives you access to tweak various settings, such as DPI presets (100 to 16,000), lift-off distance, RGB lighting control, and polling rate (the frequency with which it’s talking to your computer).
The lift-off distance is offered as “low” and “high”, although there’s no detail as to exactly what that means. Besides, we found either option made minimal difference.
But the most interesting settings are in button programming. You can change the settings for every button on this mouse, even switching the DPI button to do something else if you want. You can record macros, change key presses or opt for media playback options instead. There’s plenty to choose from.
From what we can see, however, there’s no option to create a profile – so whatever you choose sticks. Profiles would allow you to have different settings for gaming vs working, so this would be very useful, but that’s one small niggles in an otherwise simple interface.
The HP Omen Vector Wireless Mouse surprised us with just how well it performs. In particular how long it lasts per charge.
It’s not the lightest or most aesthetically pleasing mouse ever, as there’s just the two RGB lighting zones, but that doesn’t detract from how comfortable and responsive it is to use.
Overall, the Omen Vector is a great all-around wireless package – as long as you can handle that excessively noisy mouse wheel and apparent lack of profiles within the software.
Corsair Sabre RGB Pro
An interesting alternative that’s wired only, but then it’s also more affordable. It boasts some serious specs that serious gamers will appreciate, including an 8,000Hz polling rate and Nvidia Reflex Latency Analyser compatibility.
SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless
A much snazzier alternative, with some nice RGB lighting and other highlights that include IP54 dust resistance and up to 200 hours battery life. It not only offers wired and wireless connections but Bluetooth as well.
Writing by Adrian Willings.