Review

New Gaming Laptop, HP Omen 15 Review

hp omen 1As a reader of laptopreviews.com, you have already seen our reviews on laptop of various classes, from premium laptops to cheap and efficient one. So I thought, it might be the time we should focus on something different. And that’s why we are reviewing a gaming laptop this time.

With Omen 15, finally HP is back in the game. And as 2014 is over now, it is safe to say that the HP Omen is the best looking laptop of the year. With a strong and ultralight chassis, a 1080p IPS touch screen, and extremely beautiful lid design, this 15.6 inch beauty is a piece of work. But don’t let the shiny outlook fool you. Having a Core i7 CPU, a top class SSD and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M graphics The Omen really is a monster inside. So, if you are looking for a desktop replacement or a gaming laptop, this laptop should be in your consideration.

With a base price of $1499, beside the MSI GS60, HP Omen is the most efficient gaming laptop so far.

Pros

  • Awesome design
  • Decent build quality
  • Strong gaming performance
  • Good overall performance
  • Fast boot time
  • Good file transfer speed
  • Full HD IPS touch screen
  • Full HD webcam
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Customizable keyboard backlit
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  • Odd keyboard layout
  • Moderate speakers
  • Rough and sharp edges
  • Glossy screen
  • Relatively inadequate GPU
  • High power consumption

hp omen sideSpecification

  • Brand: HP
  • Series: Omen
  • Model: 15-5001na
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-4710HQ
  • Chipset: Intel HM87
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
  • Memory: 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3
  • SSD: 256GB PCIe SSD
  • HDD: none
  • Optical Drive: none
  • Display Type: IPS FHD Capacitive Touch Screen
  • Screen Size: 15.6 inch
  • Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (16:9)
  • Audio: BeatsAudio, Dual Front Facing Speakers
  • Keyboard: Island style keyboard with rainbow backlit
  • Navigation: 5.5 x 2.5 inch touchpad
  • Webcam: TrueVision Full HD camera with 30 FPS
  • Video Ports: HDMI and Mini DisplayPort
  • Audio Ports: Combo Headphone/Mic Jack
  • USB: 4x USB 3.0
  • Media Ports: 2-1 card reader
  • Wi-Fi: Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 7260
  • Bluetooth: 4.0
  • Ethernet: none
  • Width: 15.07 inch / 38.29 cm
  • Depth: 9.67 inch / 24.65 cm
  • Height: 0.78 inch / 1.98 cm
  • Weight: 4.67 pounds / 2.12 kg
  • Battery: 4 cell, 58Wh
  • Battery Life: 4:30 Hours
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1 64 bit
  • Warranty: 1 year Limited
  • Base Price: $1499 at Amazon

Build and Design

HP was never really famous for the design. But with the new Omen, HP has done the unexpected. In a time of Alienware and Razer, the design of Omen is something unique and also beautiful at the same time.

The Omen has a full aluminum chassis with anodized black finished outlook. The lid is wider than the body, and to keep up with wide lid, the edges of the base are tapered. Though tapered edges left no space for the connectivity ports on the side, it gave the illusion of being even thinner than the laptop actually is.

hp omen lidOn the lid, there is a pattern consisting small triangles along with chrome lettering brand name. On the other hand, the whole bottom side of the Omen is a big large vent to inhale the air. However, The exhaust vents are along the rear edge, which means you won’t have to suffer the hot air of the side vent, blowing directly on your hand when using a mouse.

hp omen bottomKeyboard

The Omen has not many drawbacks. But even if it has only one, it lies in the keyboard. Though the custom backlit is cool, the island style of the keyboard is a disappointment. Also the layout is kind of unusual. There is a row of shortcut keys on the left side and because of that, all other keys had to be shifted to the right. So there is a chance you will mistake “A” button with Capslock key eventually.

hp omen keyboardBesides these flaws, the responsiveness and built quality of the keys are good and strong.

hp omen keyboard backlitTouchpad

While we were not much pleased with the keyboard, the touchpad of the HP Omen is top class. To be exact, the Omen has 5.5 x 2.5 inch synaptic touchpad. Clearly, it is far wider and spacious than regular sized pad. The responsiveness of the pad also quite fast and speedy. Moreover, the touchpad supports all kinds of multitouch gestures of windows 8.1.

Connectivity

As we already mentioned, the sides of the HP Omen are tapered. Hence it was not possible to add connectivity ports on the side of the laptop. So instead of conventional style, they compiled all the ports on the rear.hp omen port 3

hp omen port 2However, there is only a 2-1 card reader on the right side of the laptop.

hp omen port 1On the other hand, there are four USB 3.0 ports, a mini Displayport, an HDMI port, audio and power jacks on the rear side between the exhaust vents.

Display

Though gamers don’t really crave for touchscreens, but it is always good to have one. With all the hype surrounding 4K screens, 1080p screens don’t really get much appreciation nowadays. But it is still awesome. Now, if you are wondering, the HP Omen comes with a 1080p full HD IPS touchscreen.
The screen is bright and clear (270 nits). The colors are rich and the touch is responsive. The viewing angle is also great, thanks to the IPS panel.

hp omen screen 1So far the only flaw I have found is the glossy screen. But considering the rest aspects, you will be able to live with that.

hp omen screen 3Audio

The internal speakers of the Omen are mounted on the top. To be honest, they are kind of bass heavy and relatively quiet. On an audio test I was able to get a maximum of 80 decibels. It is not so loud, as the category average is 87 decibels. However, the sound card of the Omen is good, so if you want premium sound, you will have to use external speakers or a headphone.

Performance

Unlike the extreme outlook, the specs of the Omen is not really what we call, “top class”. It has a 2.5 GHz Intel Core i7 4710HQ processor, 256 GB SSD, and 8 GB of DDR3 memory. As for the graphics, HP Omen comes with the Geforce GTX 860M, which is in fact, a mediocre graphics card for gaming.

hp omen cpuWith 6 MB of cache and 3.5 GHz of maximum turbo frequency, the i7 4710HQ is more than enough for a gaming laptop. While the 860M is far from the fastest GPU on the market. It is a good card for playing last Gen games based on unreal and frostbite engine 3. However, for the next Gen games like Assassin’s Creed Unity or Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, this card is barely adequate.

hp omen gpuThe Omen is also has an Intel HD Graphics 4600 GPU for those time, when you just want to watch movies or enjoy musics, instead of hunting knights in the Assassin’s Creed.

hp omen tempBattery

Gaming and battery life don’t really rhyme. But with the help of Haswell processor the Omen managed to get a decent battery life for a gaming laptop. While playing battlefield 4, I was able to get roughly 2 hours from it. But when I was surfing the internet and watching music videos, I got like four and half hour from it. Overall, it’s not bad run time for a 0.78 inch thick 2 Kg laptop.

Customization

The base price of the Omen is $1499, and for that, you will get the i7 processor, 8 GB of ram, a 128 GB SSD and the NVIDIA Geforce GTX 860M GPU with 2GB VRAM. However, for an additional $200 you will be able to get 16 GB memory. Also, if you need more storage, you can get a 512 SSD for an extra $300. Moreover, if you are not happy with your 2GB VRAM, you can get the 4GB VRAM version of 860M GPU for an extra $100.

Wrap Up

After all, The Omen 15 may not be the most powerful gaming laptop on the market, but it is a decent one. The design, portability and thermals of the Omen are top notch. Moreover, the 1080p touchscreen makes Windows 8.1 and touch supported games like Plants vs. Zombies and Civilization V much more enjoyable.

Anyway, in the end, the main reasons I think, for buying this gaming laptop would be the style and portability. Most gaming laptops currently on the market are either bulky crap or much expensive power hungry monsters. While you can take the Omen 15 literally anywhere, to the airport, to the library even to the work. Overall, it is a good gaming laptop of 2014 and of course, one of the best laptops of HP. So, if you are in need of a portable gaming device, the HP Omen 15 can be the perfect laptop for you.hp omen 2

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