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HP Omen 15 gaming laptop review: Good, but not the best
HP or Hewlett-Packard is a well-known brand in the computer world; the company is known for offering high-value for laptops to premium high-end laptops. The HP Omen 15 is the latest gaming laptop from the company, which retails in India for Rs 1,19,316.
- Narrow-bezel display design
- High-refresh rate display
- Subpar GPU performance
HP's omen series is known for offering gaming laptops and desktops with striking design and best-in-class specifications. How does the HP Omen 15 stand against the other gaming laptops available in India? Is this the next gaming laptop that you should consider? Let's find out.
- Processor - 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H
- Graphics - Nvidia GTX 1070 Max-Q 8 GB GDDR5 video memory
- Memory - 16 GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM (1 x 16 GB)
- OS - Windows 10 64-bit Home Edition
- Storage - 1 TB 7200 rpm SATA + 128 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
- Display - 15.6-inch diagonal FHD 144 Hz IPS anti-glare micro-edge WLED-backlit (1920 x 1080)
- I/O - 1 USB 3.1 Type-C (HP Sleep and Charge, Data up to 5Gb/s); 3 USB 3.1 Gen 1 (HP Sleep and Charge); 1 Mini DisplayPort; One Headphone-Out / Microphone-In Combo Jack; One RJ-45 - NIC; One HDMI v2.0
- Audio - Bang & Olufsen, dual speakers
- Keyboard - Full-size 4-zone lighting backlit keyboard with numeric keypad and NKRO
- Weight - 2.25 KG
The HP Omen 15 is one of the best-looking premium laptops that I have seen. The Omen has a gamer-centric design, which does awaken the gaming vibe. The entire laptops use red and black color tone, which does differentiate the Omen from other laptops.
The I/O offered on the Omen is almost perfect with a USB type C port, a full-sized HDMI Port, an SD card slot, multiple USB 3.0 ports, mini display port and a lot more. This is a perfect device for those, who still use a lot of USB peripherals on a daily basis.
Being a gaming laptop with Nvidia's 1070 GPU, the computer is reasonably light in weight at 2.25 KG, which makes the device easy to carry. The top panel of the laptop has a carbon fiber-like pattern, which is reminiscent of the high-end sports car.
The HP Omen 15 has a 15.6-inch IPS display with anti-glare coating offering a staggering 144 Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time. Having a high-resolution display with a higher refresh rate and lower response time will help gamers, especially those who play FPS games.
The laptop also comes with a minimal bezel design, and the HP Omen 15 is one of the most compact gaming laptops with a massive 15.6-inch display. Due to the thin bezel design, the HP Omen 15 looks and feels like a 14-inch laptop.
Keypad and trackpad
The laptop has a highly tactile QWERTY keyboard with a dedicated number keypad, which is LED backlit (four zones). Though the entire keyboard is not customizable, it still offers a bit of customization via HP Command center.
The HP Omen has an average trackpad, and gaming on this device using the trackpad is next to impossible (like every other laptop). In my testing period, I used the Logitech MX Master 2S mouse, which made me a better gamer on this device.
The built-in speakers on the HP Omen 15 are on par with some of the laptops that I have reviewed before. However, I did feel that the built-in speakers are not that loud and using an external speaker or a headphone will be a better option on this device, especially while gaming.
One major concern I have with the HP Omen 15 is the battery. The battery takes almost 5 to 6 hours to charge from 0 to 100%, and the laptop can offer up to 3 to 4 hours of backup for the regular usage.
Whenever I connected the charger (150W SmartPower Adapter) to the laptop, the device showed me a popup to connect a higher-capacity SmartAC power adapter. When I contacted HP engineers regarding the issue, they told me to ignore the warning. In terms of battery life or charging time, the HP Omen 15 is not the best in the market (at least not in my case). In fact, most of the gaming laptops that I have used recently takes less than half the time compared to the HP Omen 15 to charge from 0 to 100%.
Design and features are essential for a laptop. However, the more important thing for a gaming laptop is performance. I played a few games and ran a few benchmarks tools to gauge the performance of the device, and here are the results. Do note that we ran these benchmarks with a power adapter connected to the laptop.
On Geekbench CPU benchmark, the laptop scores 4623 points on the single core and 13538 point on multi-core performance, which is similar to other laptops with the Intel Core i7-8750H CPU. On GPU front, the device scores 137148 points.
On Cinebench 20 (CPU performance benchmark) the device scores 1645 points and is in the 9th position on the list of laptops with similar specifications.
We ran CrystalDiskMark for both SSD and HDD offered on the laptops, and here are the results. On SSD, we noticed a maximum read and write speed of 1145 MB/s and 150.9 MB/s, whereas the HDD scores 92.88 MB/s read speed and 64.49 MB/s read speed.
Do note that, the write speed on the M.2 SSD is slightly lower than the read-speed. As the laptop comes with 128 GB of SSD and 1 TB of HDD, it is challenging to install any games on the SSD, as the OS itself will occupy half of the storage.
Unigine Heaven GPU Benchmark
On Unigine Heaven GPU Benchmark, the laptop scores 1932 points with an average FPS of 76.7. The GPU benchmark platform is based on DirectX 11, and extreme tessellation turned on.
On PC Mark 10, the device scores 3971 points. If we look at the other scores on the PCMark 10, the laptop scores 6171 points for essential and 5460 points for productivity.
Fire Strike 3DMark
On Fire Strike (1080p), the device scores 8086 points with an average FPS of 38.56. On the physical test, the laptop scores 35.17 FPS, lastly, the laptop scores a combined score of 3007 points with an average FPS of 13.99.
Time Spy 3D Mark
On Time Spy 3D Mark, the HP Omen 15 scores 3649 points with a graphics score of 3556 and CPU score of 4920.
Keeping the synthetic benchmarks aside, I played some of the most demanding games with High or ultra-settings on the laptop and here are the results.
I played GTA V daily, and I usually noticed an average FPS of 45 to 55 with High-setting. Reducing the graphics quality to medium did improve the performance with FPS ranging between 60 to 70 FPS.
On Crysis 3, I noticed an average FPS of 60 to 65 with high-graphics settings. In the demanding scenes, the FPS did fall well below the 55 FPS mark.
Division 2 is one of the latest titles that I have played on the HP Omen, which can run around 45 to 50 fps with high-graphics settings.
On Hellblade, I noticed an average FPS of 50 at all the time with high graphics settings. Do note that, toning down the graphics will improve the FPS by reducing the graphics quality of the game.
The HP Omen 15 is one of the most compact gaming laptops with a full-sized 15.6-inch display, offering higher 144Hz refresh rate. However, do note that none of the modern games can take advantage of the 144Hz display with high-graphics settings.
The HP Omen 15 is definitely a neatly designed gaming laptop, but the performance is not on par with the other laptops with similar specifications. In fact, the benchmarks and gaming performance of the HP Omen 15 are similar to the Dell G3, which costs almost half that of the HP Omen 15.
Go for the HP Omen 15, if you are looking for a gaming laptop, which has gaming traits in design and aesthetics. However, if you are looking for a high-performance gaming laptop, then the HP Omen 15 is not the best laptop available (especially with a price tag of more than 1.5 lakhs) in India.