03/2020 by HOLGER DASSLER - Back to overview

The HP OMEN Encoder is a versatile mechanical gaming keyboard which offers comprehensive configuration options in its OMEN Command Center software. This solidly built keyboard is available in two different versions: with CHERRY MX BROWN or CHERRY MX RED switches, for either linear or tactile switching characteristics. In this blog article we will shed light on the special features of the OMEN Encoder that improve your every day gaming sessions.

Specification at a glance:

  • Keyboard Layout: Standard
  • Switch Type: CHERRY MX Brown, Red
  • Backlight: White LEDs (WASD keys), red LEDs (other keys)
  • Response Rate: <1ms
  • Matrix: N-Key-Rollover
  • Software: OMEN Command Center
  • Palm Rest: -
  • Dimensions: 445 mm x 145.5 mm x 38 mm
  •  Weight: 900 grams

HP OMEN Encoder in detail

The HP OMEN Encoder is a full-size keyboard in standard layout including a separate numeric keypad. That’s why its dimensions of 445 x 115.5 x 38 millimeters are somewhat larger than that of compact tenkeyless designs. Then again, the keyboard also offers a lot of extra functionality and even though HP built the OMEN Encoder with very robust materials, the keyboard is still comparatively light with a weight of around 900 grams. Rubber coating on the front bottom edge and the feet give it a secure grip, even on smooth surfaces.

The keyboard is connected to the PC via a 1.80-meter USB cable, whose fabric coating increases its durability and effectively prevents it from accidental snagging or breaking.

Accurate input thanks to concave keycaps and LED illumination

Because the keyboard is primarily targeted towards the gaming sector, the HP OMEN Encoder guarantees the highest possible input accuracy. However, the CHERRY MX switches also offer frequent typists a perfect basis for productive work. While the majority of the keys are black and have red LED backlighting, the WASD keys are red and feature white LEDs. This ensures excellent readability and creates a sophisticated visual effect. Concave keycaps give the fingers a good grip, prevent accidental slipping and improve typing accuracy.

The two-stage adjustable feet are a supplementary ergonomic feature, allowing the keyboard's tilt angle to be adjusted to suit the user's personal preferences.

Reliably execute all key combinations

In contrast to many cheap keyboards, the HP OMEN Encoder doesn't work with a basic connection matrix of columns and rows, but the current gaming flagship features anti-ghosting and N-key rollover instead. The keyboard registers and processes every single keystroke and allows the simultaneous activation of any number of keys and combinations without restrictions. As a result, even complex actions in fast action games pose no problem.

Responsive, accurate CHERRY MX switches

Both versions of the HP OMEN Encoder that are currently available are based on accurate, heavy-duty CHERRY MX switches that have a remarkable lifespan of more than 50 million keystrokes. To meet different user preferences, both linear CHERRY MX RED and tactile CHERRY MX BROWN switches are available. The latter have a tactile actuation point, but unlike MX BLUE switches, they do not have an audible click. The pre-travel of the switches is identical (2.0 millimeters) but while the CHERRY MX BROWN switches require an actuation force of 55 centinewton, the MX RED switches are slightly smoother at 45 centinewton.

Macro programming and customizable lighting effects

Although the keyboard is plug&play compatible, installing the OMEN Command Center is recommended. This software provides many additional features, such as the possibility to adjust lighting settings like brightness or the dynamic LED effects, which make the HP OMEN Encoder a real eye-catcher.

The tidy, graphical user interface also allows to activate or deactivate the static lighting for each individual key. This is especially useful for highlighting only those keys which are used most frequently in a particular game. It is also possible to program macros with the OMEN Command Center.


The HP OMEN Encoder is a versatile keyboard that scores points for its robust workmanship as well as its comprehensive software package for useful, individual customization. Practical features such as the color-coded WASD keys and the single key LEDs which can be controlled separately via the HP Command Center help players to keep a better overview in hectic battles. A macro programming option, N-key rollover, anti-ghosting, and a clever two-step function for adjusting the keyboard's tilt angle complete the package. Furthermore, the CHERRY MX switches used meet the high-end performance of the HP OMEN Encoder: there is a choice between MX BROWN and MX RED, each of which meets different preferences in terms of switching characteristics and both of which offer maximum precision and responsiveness.