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HP Omen gaming gear at CES 2019 includes $5K Emperium 65 BFGD monitor

The 65-inch G-Sync HDR monitor announced at last year's CES is finally a real product with a name -- and a hefty price tag. Plus, the 240Hz display comes to laptops.

The Emperium 65 comes with a custom sound bar designed to fit beneath it.
Sarah Tew/CNET

After a year of waiting, the first Nvidia-partner Big Format Gaming Displays are ready for prime time. HP gave us a tour around its version, the Omen X Emperium 65, slated for February for $5,000.

But as with many Nvidia products, the price seems a little hard to swallow for some. $5,000 may seem a lot compared to a good 65-inch 4K HDR TV (the Vizio P-Series Quantum is only about $1,500, for example), but the BFGD piles on more capabilities essential for gaming. In fact, the HP goes beyond the initial BFGD spec as laid out by Nvidia. 

In addition to a built-in Nvidia Shield streaming/gaming system, which lets you play Android and PC games via GeForce Now, the Emperium comes with a gaming-optimized sound bar designed to obviate the need for a separate subwoofer and to minimize vibration transferring to the display. 

It also offers a 144Hz refresh rate -- better than the 120Hz available on TVs like the Vizio mentioned above -- which is essential to minimize motion artifacts in games, and 4 millisecond gray-to-gray pixel response. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

You can only get that via DisplayPort, however, along with Nividia's G-Sync adaptive frame rate technology, which means your current (or future) console can't use it. Via HDMI, you're limited to 60Hz. So, essentially, you've got to have a computer sitting in your living room to take full advantage.

As expected, the monitor supports a peak brightness of 1,000 nits in HDR mode (750 nits typical) -- it's DisplayHDR 1000 certified -- and the "greater than 300 zones" of full-array local dimming is officially 384. It uses a Quantum Dot Advanced MVA panel, basically IPS, which delivers color gamut coverage of 95 percent DCI-P3.

For $5,000, though, you'd think it would incorporate the latest version of HDMI, 2.1, which is better for gaming. The same goes for the connectivity, 802.11ac wireless (aka Wi-Fi 5) rather than 802.11ax (aka Wi-Fi 6) and Gigabit Ethernet rather than 10Gb for better cloud gaming. While adoption is in the very early stages for all of those, if you're plunking down that much money you'd kind of like it to be future-ready. 

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Other Omen news includes an Omen 15 refresh with updated mobile processor and Nvidia graphics technology options, coming in February (starting at $1,370), plus another update in July with options for a 240Hz 1080p screen and 802.11ax or Gigabit Wi-Fi.

HP also revamped its Omen Obelisk Desktop, giving it a design and feature set to appeal to a more hardcore gamer then previously. It's shipping in March starting at $2,250. International prices weren't available.

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