In a price category as crowded as the sub-$400 monitor realm, it can be difficult to decide between screens that only differ in subtle ways. It’s easy to find a 25 or 27-inch screen that offers fast refresh, FreeSync or G-Sync, DCI-P3 color and HDR. But if you want something unique, the HP Omen 25i offers features we haven’t seen before.
Game Remaster mode is certainly unique. We’ve never seen a monitor that catered to low-res games before, but there are plenty of enthusiasts who play legacy console and arcade titles on their modern PCs. It’s easy to accept some softness when the game maxes out at 1024 x 768, which never looks good on a high-res screen. But HP has managed to solve this problem neatly. With extra color saturation and an adaptive sharpness filter, Game Remaster is a great way to breathe new life into old games.
The Dynamic Crosshair is also very useful. Though reticle designers are not unique to HP, the adaptive portion of the aiming point is a new element. Ensuring that the crosshair is always visible as content shifts in contrast makes the player more accurate. It certainly helped up our game.
The Omen 25i certainly doesn’t skimp on color accuracy. It does not need adjustment, and in most of our tests, it measured better than most monitors do after calibration. And its picture modes provide the ideal image for SDR and HDR content. If you want perfectly accurate SDR color, choose Standard. If you want a bump in saturation, choose Native. For legacy games, reach for Game Remaster.
We also noted the Omen 25i’s superlative HDR quality. With a zone-dimming edge backlight, it delivers nearly 10,000:1 contrast for HDR games, and with almost 90% coverage of the DCI-P3 gamut, it delivers the extra color too.
With 165 Hz, it does give away a little speed and smoothness to 240 Hz monitors in this price tier. But it goes beyond those screens with better color and better HDR. With a $350 MSRP, it seems hard to beat. HP has created a truly unique product that stands out in the budget gaming monitor genre.