Comment Preview • The HP Omen X Desktop is for gamers on the edge 1 Review • HP’s PC gaming flagship turns PC gaming on its side The hardware in Metro Exodus’ menu system is practically life size on this monitor. Lori Grunin/CNET Gaming monitor manufacturers love to throw around the term “immersive” when referring to their products — the bigger and curvier it is, the louder the proclamations get. Well, no monitor to date can hold an immersive candle to the HP Omen X Emperium 65. It swallows you whole. I’m lucky it let me out long enough to get this written.It’s also $5,000 (about £3,830 or AU$7,000). So the most frequent question we get is “How is it better than a good 65-inch TV, which costs half as much?” The answer, at least for most people, is it’s not. But for a tiny subset of PC gamers, it’s more fun than a battle royale of monkeys.The Emperium was first announced at CES 2018 as part of Nvidia’s BFGD (Big Format Gaming Display) initiative, but HP is the only manufacturer from the group to have actually shipped a monitor. It feels like a Frankenstein’s monster of features: There’s a 65-inch Nvidia Shield smart HDR TV-slash-monitor that supports Nvidia’s G-Sync adaptive refresh technology and integrates Google Assistant. (So if you value your privacy, you may think of it as a personal-data-collecting portal of doom.) 22 Photos Mentioned Above HP Omen X CNET may get a commission from retail offers. HP Omen X News • HP Omen X 2S gaming laptop sports a second screen HP’s Omen X Emperium 65 and more gaming goodies come to CES 2019 See it Share your voice HP Nvidia $3,199 Gaming Accessories Monitors Tags Despite wanting to throw myself across it and plead with HP to let me keep it a while longer, it’s hard to recommend it as an actual purchase. Partly because pieces of it are bound to obsolesce within the next couple of years and partly because you’re probably better off spending less and putting the money you save into better-performing hardware and more games, at least until gaming figures out where it’s heading — the cloud, your phone, next-gen consoles or someplace as-yet unimagined.And she’ll have fun, fun, funConnected to a PC, the Emperium’s a jumbo-sized equivalent of a great 27-inch HDR (technically, HDR10) monitor like the Acer Predator X27, with similar specs but really, really big. I hooked the Emperium to a Falcon Northwest desktop equipped with an overclocked (to 4.9GHz) Intel Core i9-9900K and dual Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti cards. That’s pretty much the configuration you need to really appreciate all aspects of the Emperium simultaneously — the 4K, HDR and G-Sync.I didn’t see any artifacts, no matter what frame rate I threw at it, whether I went far beyond its native 120Hz (or 144Hz overclocked) or well below it — because 4K at ultra-everything including ray tracing still drops to unplayable frame rates. In this respect, it was one of the best G-Sync monitors I’ve used.While a 27-inch HDR monitor looks great, at 65 inches it really wows. The size alone ramps up Resident Evil 2 from scary-if-you-play-in-the-dark to leave-the-lights-on terrifying.Each game handles HDR differently. And because you’re looking at computer-generated graphics and not the real world depicted in movies, you don’t have the frame of reference to tell you whether a game’s colors look “correct” or the control you need to fine tune them. You just go with what appeals most and make sure the shadows aren’t so dark that you can find the object you’re looking for and won’t get ambushed by a mutant or a zombie. The otherworldly glowing reds and eye-searing brights in Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice lend it that extra touch of surreality, so who cares if her face paint probably isn’t the correct shade of blue?The on-screen display. (Aside: Dear Google, can you please suggest “try searching for ‘how to make Google stop suggesting things'” instead? Thanks!) Lori Grunin/CNET I didn’t run a full suite of tests in the short time I had with the monitor, just enough to confirm that it hits the most important marks. In HDR mode it covers 97 percent of the P3 D6500 color gamut — that’s close to one of the best OLED TVs we’ve tested, which hits 98.4 percent (95 percent in SDR). It’s got a typical black level of 0.009 nits (minimum is 0.001). So it’s not OLED-level black, but it’s visibly impressive. It seems to overshoot peak brightness to roughly 1,100 nits and then gradually decline, outputting over 1,000 nits in 5 percent, 10 percent and 25 percent windows.The VA-IPS panel has 384-zone local dimming with no edge bleed that I could spot. It has typical off-axis viewing for the technology, so all but the most oblique angles look good.The soundbar that comes with the Emperium is an aesthetically pleasing, well-built and aurally balanced 2.1 system that fits snugly under the display and can be controlled by the Shield remote. But it connects to the monitor with a surprisingly low-end analog cable. It does have a DSP input.Enlarge ImageOne nice design touch is the automatic lighting strip and illuminated labels. Lori Grunin/CNET There’s a solid selection of connections on the Emperium:Four USB-A (two on each side)One DisplayPort 1.4Three HDMI 2.0 (1 ARC)SPDIFGigabit Ethernet802.11ac Wi-FiBluetoothYou should be able to connect peripherals, such as external storage or wired keyboard and mice via the USB ports, to use with the Shield — that’s what the menus imply. But I couldn’t get it to recognize any USB devices. Even if that’s just a bug, you can’t use the ports as a hub the way you can on a desktop monitor because there’s no upstream USB connection from the PC to the display.Nor did the monitor like our 5GHz network — it kept saying that the signal was weak and refusing to connect, even after I moved the monitor into the same room as the router. A keyboard, mouse and controller all connected through Bluetooth, but the controller especially tended to be too laggy, even for simply navigating Steam.Not ready for the futureIf you take the monitor capabilities out of the equation, the Emperium’s just a pretty good, overpriced Shield TV with the same annoying remote. All non-PC gaming, whether you’re using a console via HDMI or cloud via GeForce Now (GFN), is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate and generally delivers the frame rate to match that, so you don’t need the refresh-rate versatility of the Emperium. Nor do you need a TV this high-end to play games over GFN. In fact, the broad tonal range of the display ends up emphasizing the artifacts — color contouring, desaturation and blockiness — of the compressed stream delivered by cloud-based games. GFN and the Google universe, including Android apps, Play games, streaming and video, adds value to the package, but you can get a box for $180 and attach it to a $2,500 OLED TV for the same capabilities. The sound bar should probably be optional.The Emperium offers fast refresh, but only connected to a PC with an Nvidia graphics card over DisplayPort. The HDMI connection is fixed at 60Hz for 4K. There’s a 1080p/120Hz option in the menu that I didn’t try, but HD on a 65-inch monitor has a pixel pitch you could drive a truck through (you sit much closer while gaming than you would just watching movies) and while it’s nice, it certainly isn’t worth five grand. 60Hz over HDMI is fine for now because console output is fixed there, too. But we’re expecting new consoles from Sony and Microsoft within the next couple of years, and you can bet they’ll have HDMI 2.1 connections to support variable or adaptive refresh technologies.So the Emperium won’t be able to take advantage of one of the most significant technology improvements to come to consoles in a while. And any gamer who’s going to plonk down this much for a monitor probably has a couple of consoles in addition to a power desktop, especially in the age of exclusives.It’s usually unwise to buy the first generation of anything — I’m looking at you, 5G and foldable phones — and while this is a good and polished one, the Emperium 65 is definitely a first-gen product.
District leaders are somber about the surprise death of A.J. Cooper, a young political aspirant who was looking to run for the Ward 4 seat on the D.C. Council this spring.Cooper, the nephew of former D.C. Board of Education President Peggy Cooper Cafritz, was 34 when he died on Dec. 3. It has been reported that he died of a heart attack.Funeral arrangements have not been announced.A native Washingtonian, Cooper was the host of BET’s Teen Summit and served in the Marine Corps. He was a graduate of the University of Maryland and had worked as the policy director for the D.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.In 2012, he ran for the D.C. Council as an independent. In the past year, he founded Freedom Farms, an initiative to support urban farming by training low-income residents about growing food and agriculture.Soon after D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) was elected mayor on Nov. 4, Cooper announced his candidacy for her seat. D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (D) said that Cooper “was a positive force and touched the lives of many.”D.C. Council member-elect Elissa Silverman (I-At Large), whom Cooper supported in the Nov. 4 general election, tweeted that Cooper “was a great progressive ally, activist and friend.” D.C. Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) said that Cooper was “a joy to be around.”“This is another very difficult loss for our city,” Wells said.D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5) talked about Cooper on a more personal basis.“I lost a friend and the District of Columbia lost a young activist, social entrepreneur, and above all, a public servant,” McDuffie said. “I will always remember A.J. Cooper for his selfless service to his neighborhood, his community, the District of Columbia and our country. I will miss him deeply.”
Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. February 17, 2009 Register Now » 4 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Jennifer MolineEvery day there is more news about the stimulus bill. And now that it’s been argued back and forth and is likely to be voted in, what’s left for smaller companies? Because business groups had been complaining that a lot of business-aimed breaks were scaled back or cut completely.But at least small businesses that are in the red will get tax refunds, businesses that buy equipment, such as a computer, will be able to speed up its depreciation through the end of the year, and companies restructuring their debt will be able to delay tax payments on the transaction for five years and then spread the payments over another five years.bMighty talked to Chas Roy-Chowdhury, who is head of taxation for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants about tax issues affecting smaller businesses in light of the economic stimulus bill. The ACCA is the global body for professional accountants, which serves 122,000 members and 325,000 students in 170 countries worldwide and is headquartered in London.bMighty: What’s the status of the stimulus package?Chas Roy-Chowdhury: There is clearly some horse trading going on. The president is trying to get it done ASAP or yesterday. There is a lot of goodwill, but as for a time frame, I suspect it will be a couple of weeks before the I’s and T’s are crossed. President Obama is trying to find consensus among the parties.bMighty: What does the stimulus package have for small and midsize companies?Chas Roy-Chowdhury: Smaller companies really need cash — the sooner the better. With the stimulus package, they’ll have enhanced help with health care. There are measures to help small and midsize businesses buy cars with tax deductibles, and there are sales tax deductions for that too.The way that write-downs work currently is you can get a 50 percent write-down on capital expenditures. You can take the write-down for tax purposes. And there’s a 100 percent write-down. The stimulus package will extend these write-downs.All that is to be welcomed in the current climate.bMighty: What size companies do those parts of the stimulus package affect?Chas Roy-Chowdhury: The tax cuts mentioned are not specific to small and midsize companies, but the tax cuts will benefit them more.bMighty: If the stimulus package is voted in, when can companies expect to see any benefits?Chas Roy-Chowdhury: I think this will all go into effect this year.bMighty: Are there any downsides to taking advantage of the stimulus package?Chas Roy-Chowdhury: The main problem is if they can take advantage of the stimulus bill. Small and midsize businesses are going to need to be propped up. They’re going to have a problem with lending institutions being able to lend again. It’s not just the big boys in New York and Detroit who need bailing out. Where are smaller businesses going to get the cash or line of credit to buy things like these cars that they can get tax breaks on?The smaller companies end up not winning at all from the package. I’m not entirely sure in what way these benefits could fit into the stimulus package, but my ideas for the bill would be sales tax holidays, payroll holidays, and extending better lines of credit.What we’ve seen in the U.K. is that our equivalent of the IRS acts like a bank. They allow businesses to reschedule their tax obligations and give them a lighter touch. We also have rates of interest and income tax and corporate tax that are lower. The government could do that here, too.It’s a bizarre system where a bill goes to House and another goes to the Senate, whereas in the U.K., it goes through the House of Commons and then the House of Lords. In the U.S., it’s a system that lends itself to a lot of confrontation. It seems a bit clear as to what the bill will look like.At the end of the day, if there is going to be sufficient cash injection, a lot of the measures are going to be “spend to save,” and a lot of smaller businesses aren’t in the position to spend at all. They need a handout rather than a hand-up.bMighty: What are your hopes for the stimulus bill?Chas Roy-Chowdhury: I think the five-year loss will be in there, and that will be a big help for smaller businesses. There’s also going to be a small package of measures that will help small and midsize businesses, like construction projects for rebuilding the Santa Monica Pier. A lot of expenditure will help get people back to work.Search bMighty for other Q&A Stories.Jennifer Moline is associate editor of bMighty.com.
Traffic was held on the M6 motorway due to a multi-vehicle accident in Staffordshire this evening – with at least one person reported to be trapped. The southbound carriageway was closed for more than an hour due to the accident between Junction 13 (Stafford South) and Junction 12 (Gailey) following the accident. The collision, which took place at around 6.45pm, is reported to involve around five vehicles, with some sources suggesting there were more. Police, firefighters and Highways England were sent to the scene. A Highways England spokesman said: “All lanes are now open on the M6 southbound between J13 and J12 near Penkridge, following an earlier collision inv. 5 cars. Thank you to police and firefighters at scene. Long delays, back to J14, are now easing.” A Central Motorway Police Group spokesman said: “M6 south J13-12 has now re-opened, but there are several vehicles broken down in live lanes. People are ignoring the lane closure signals and putting lives in danger.” Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service are also at the scene of the accident – and report up to seven vehicles are involved. Read MoreLive: Delays and lane closure due to manhole repairs on A500 A spokeswoman said: “Already tonight we are dealing with a serious RTC involving 7 cars on M6 southbound between Junction 13 and 12.” Visit the feed below to see how the incident unfolded. Want to keep up to date with the latest traffic and travel news?Each day Stoke-on-Trent Live journalists bring you the latest news on the roads and railways across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire, South Cheshire and further afield to help keep you on the move. For the very latest updates on roads including the M6, A500, A50 and more, visit our dedicated traffic and travel news channel here. We also run a live news feed each weekday, which you can access on our website’s homepage from 7am to 9pm from Monday to Friday. And for more as-we-get-it updates on the roads across the region and beyond, join The Sentinel’s traffic and travel Facebook group here.19:53All lanes have now reopenedHighways England have now confirmed all lanes have reopened and delays are starting to ease.A spokesman said:All lanes are now open on the M6 southbound between J13 and J12 near Penkridge following an earlier collision inv. 5 cars. Thank you to Central Motorway Police Group + Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service at scene. Long delays, back to J14, are now easing. “19:34Person trappedHighways England say all lanes remain closed.A spokesman said:Traffic is still held on the M6 southbound between J13 and J12 near Penkridge due to a collision inv. 5 cars. Central Motorway Police Group and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service are at scene. Reports of a person ‘trapped’. Thank you for your patience.”19:15Police working to get lane clearPolice say they are working to get a lane clear at the scene of the accident.A Central Motorway Police Group spokesman said: We have come in to a multiple vehicle RTC M6 south J13-12. Officers are working to get a lane clear at the scene. Please be patient.” 19:11Slow traffic also reported on M6 northboundAn eyewitness who contacted StokeonTrent Live also told us traffic was slow on the northbound carriageway as people slowed to look at the accident.19:10Delays of 30 minutesThere are currently delays of more than 30 minutes due to the accident.19:09What we know:A considerable number of vehicles are invovled – Highways England report five, the fire service say seven and one eyewitness who contacted us said it could be as high as eight or nine.The accident took place on the southbound carriageway, around a mile past junction 13, shortly before 6.45pm.All traffic is currently being held and police, firefighters and Highways England are among those at the scene.19:06Affected stretch of carriagewayThe carriageway is shut between junctiuon 13 and junction 12 (Image: Inrix)19:06Close to junction 13The accident is reported to be close to junction 13, one witness told StokeonTrent Live