HP Omen 15 - Full Review with Pros and Cons
The Omen series is HP’s premium gaming lineup which in case of laptops, sits above the Inspiron Gaming series. They offer premium services which are on-par with competing products like Lenovo’s Legion, ASUS’s TUF and Acer’s Predator lineup. The HP OMEN 15 is the latest offering in that series, replacing last year’s model. The design has been revamped considerably along with improved internals.
This year, there is only one option for choosing i.e., AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series CPUs for customers in India . The model reviewed here has the Ryzen 5 5800H CPU with Nvidia RTX 3070 graphics.
Build and Quality
The new model is almost identical with last years model. Gone is the gamery design with the overly tacky lid. The design is as minimal as it gets with iridescent Omen logo on an otherwise matte plain lid and inodised keyboard frame. On the inside too, the keyboard deck looks much cleaner with widely spaced keys, at the cost of a numpad. This model features 4-zone RGB backlighting. Overall, the aesthetics are as same as before and the machine looks well made.
Ports, I/O and Connectivity
The HP Omen 15 has a fairly standard I/O layout. On the left there is the DC power jack, RJ 45 ethernet, USB 3.1 Type A, HDMI 2.0a, combo audio and a SD card reader. On the right there is 2x USB 3.1 Type A, Mini Display-port and a USB Type-C port. No Thunderbolt 3 though, since it is not yet available for AMD based systems.
The HP Omen 15 comes with an Intel AX200(2×2) wireless module. It supports the latest WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5 standards.
Getting into the laptop is relatively easy. By just removing 11 screws from the bottom panel and popping it off, one gets access to the 2x SODIMM slots, one of which is empty and available for upgrade two M.2 Storage slots, one of which is occupied. The wireless module is also user serviceable.
Keyboard – The keyboard on the HP Omen 15 is same as last years model. There is no numpad, resulting in widely spaced keys and full size arrow keys. The SKU in review has 4-zone RGB backlighting with 26-key roll over anti-ghosting technology. The keys feel tactile and have a decent amount of travel to them.
Touchpad – The touchpad comes with Windows Precision drivers and is of a click-pad style, meaning you can click down anywhere. This time, due to the removed numpad, the touchpad is placed more centrally which makes for a symmetric look. The touchpad is large enough for a gaming laptop and has a plastic surface.
The display in the this year’s models is one of the best in the market. The 15.6″ 2160 x 1440 IPS panel has a refresh rate of only 165 Hz, which is great for Nvidia RTX 3070 which can easily push more than 100 frames in most modern AAA titles. This difference will be the most noticeable in competitive games where the difference in response times can be the deciding point. The colour accuracy has also improved this year . The display covers almost about 100% DCI-P3 of colour space. This means that the laptop is well-suited for colour-sensitive work like photo and video editing. Peak brightness is at a measly 300 nits. While this would have been okay for an entry-level gaming laptop, but for a mid-ranger this is unacceptable. There is a webcam on top of the display which is mediocre but does the job.
The Ryzen 7 5800H is a 8-core/16-thread processor. Ryzen 5000 is a gamechanger for AMD. Earlier offerings were usually cheaper but were not as powerful as Intel’s counterparts. The Ryzen 5 5800H is priced competitively to the intel’s lineup in multithreaded applications. It absolutely obliterates any intel processor at this price point which is usually priced higher. In single core applications, performance is comparable to i7 11800h which means that in games, it will perform similarly. The high multithreaded performance makes the laptop a viable option for professionals utilising CPU heavy tasks like video editing, compiling and encoding.
The GPU is a Nvidia Geforce RTX 3070 with 8 GB of GDDR6 VRAM. This is more than enough for games like Horizon Zero Dawn which has been shown to use more than 4GB of VRAM at 2160p. The graphics is powerful enough to run most games at 100+ FPS at high settings at 2160p.
The heat dissipation has been immensely improved. Since there are the new generation RTX cards which dissipate a lot of heat, there is lots of thermal headroom. There is also the a IR thermopile sensor which helps thermal management.
This particular configuration has a 1 TB TLC NVMe SSD with good read/write speeds. The laptop forgoes a 2.5 inch drive bay in favour of a larger battery and for keeping the overall build a bit thinner. There are 2 M.2 slots to upgrade the storage with another NVMe SSD.
The speakers on the HP Omen 15 come with Bang&Olufsen branding but are honestly, mediocre. The audio is not loud enough for listening to music and watching movies. The speakers are bottom firing which can make them sound a bit muffled depending on the surface the laptop is resting on. It is recommended to use headphones for gaming.
The Omen 15 has a 6-cell 70.9 Whr battery which is good for a gaming laptop. The battery can last up to 7 hours and 30 min on light tasks with Windows Battery Saver on. Gaming on the battery is still not recommended since the laptop will start power limit throttling and performance won’t be the best.