The laptop industry was already notorious for moving at a glacial pace between product announcements and availability, mostly due to being disingenuous about how close it is to actually releasing anything while growing increasingly more reactionary by the day. Yet the COVID-19 pandemic pushed that behavior to the absolute extreme this year.

Do announcements even mean anything anymore?

center_facingNote that HP is far from the worst offender in this respect, but even so, it helps illustrate how ridiculously long waiting for new laptop configurations has gotten over the years. Because even this above-average example of the 2020 Omen laptop refresh involved nearly four months of idling before the entry-level part of the range actually hit the store shelves.

Good luck with the top end of the spectrum, you’ll probably be able to buy one of the premium configurations by Christmas, if you’re lucky. There’s simply not enough demand driving meaningful innovation in the segment on an annual basis, at least not to a degree at which consistent, season-long failures at following up on a promise of a product would guarantee you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.

So, configurations get last-second changes, manufacturing is always a step behind and if there’s one model no reseller in your state happens to stock, you can be sure it will be the one you identified as the best based fit for your needs and budget. Still, the new Omen laptops are pretty cool, so check them out if you happen to be on the lookout for something valuing both performance and portability.