Review of HP Omen 15’s blend of gaming performance and productivity features... Read more
Test of OMEN by HP 2019 15-inch Gaming Laptop, 15-dc1060nr, Shadow Black
- Minimalist, not overly flashy design
- Abundant and versatile input/output ports
- Effective cooling and ventilation system
- Decent gaming performance
- Successful productivity functionality
- Lightweight and portable
- Comprehensive control center for customization
- Poor keyboard installed, subpar for typing
- Visible screen wobbling can be disturbing
- Limited control on low-end models
- Fan noise can be disruptive
- Plastic-molded construction feels cheap
- Middling sound quality
- Not particularly color accurate display
“After putting the HP Omen 15 through its paces, my verdict is that this laptop offers a reasonably decent blend of gaming and productivity capabilities at a mid-range price. I appreciate the understated design and array of input/output ports, while the keyboard and control center left me wanting more. Performance-wise, it adequately handles popular games, but don’t expect it to rival high-end gaming PCs. The fan noise and plasticky build are a bit disappointing, though not deal-breakers. For those seeking a laptop that doesn’t scream “gamer” and can transition seamlessly from work to play, the HP Omen 15 may well be worth considering.”
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|Screen Size||15.6 Inches|
|CPU Model||Intel Core i7|
|Ram Memory Installed Size||16 GB|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
|Graphics Card Description||Dedicated|
|Graphics Coprocessor||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070|
|CPU Speed||4.5 GHz|
|Hard Disk Description||SSD|
Intro to the HP Omen 15: A Gamer’s Honest Review
If you’re a gamer seeking a budget-friendly laptop that offers that coveted PC gaming experience without putting a dent in your savings, chances are, you’ve stumbled upon the HP Omen 15. Marketed as a mid-range budget gaming laptop, the Omen 15 promises solid performance without a hefty price tag. But the big question is, does it actually deliver?
Being a dedicated gamer myself, I don’t shy away from analyzing everything a gaming laptop has to offer: right from the unboxing, the design, potential upgrades, all the way to the gaming and productivity performance. So, I decided to scrutinize the i5 variant of the HP Omen 15 equipped with a GTX 1650.
Initial Impressions: Is the Budget Truly Reflected in Quality?
Released late in Malaysia in December, I first used the HP Omen 15 during our Valerian tournament live stream. Today, several months and countless gaming hours later, I am ready to share an unbiased and thorough review of the Omen 15 indicating whether or not it lives up to its hype.
A Glimpse Into the Past: Reviewing the Late December Release in Malaysia
I fondly remember the day the HP Omen 15 arrived at my doorstep. I was intrigued by its minimalistic design that didn’t scream “gamer” like many counterparts do. With its 60Hz refresh rate and 1080p panel, I knew from the start that I was dealing with a bare-bones version of a gaming laptop. However, as history has taught me, some gems mark their presence in the budget segment—let’s find out if the Omen 15 is one of those diamonds in the rough.
In the next sections, I’m going to delve deeper into the details, providing a comprehensive overview of aspects like build quality, user interface, performance, and more. As we move on, don’t forget to keep in mind the goal here: identifying whether the Omen 15 truly offers value for money, or is it just another “you get what you pay for” deal.
A Closer Look at the Design & Build Quality
- Omen 15 sports a minimalist, subtly branded gamer design
- Offers versatile input/output ports for gaming and creation
- Design improvements recommended due to plastic hinge
Stepping into the realm of the HP Omen 15’s design and build quality, we kick things off with an examination of its exterior aesthetics.
Aesthetics for the Minimalist Gamer: Omen’s Simple Yet Effective Design
At first glance, the Omen 15 doesn’t scream “Gamer Laptop!” It opts for a more toned-down approach which I personally appreciate. The minimalist look, void of flashy designs, screams matured elegance while maintaining its gaming roots, giving the best of both worlds. Little features like the red-glowing keyboard gave it that subtle but essential, gamer flair.
Subtle Branding and Placement: A Fresh Take on Gaming Laptop Design
Building upon its nuances, the branding on the HP Omen 15 is rather subtle. The O15 logo on the right is placed in such a way that it’s only visible at specific angles. The stickers from Nvidia and i5 are minimalistic, yet effective. I particularly liked the gradient diamond Omen logo at the back; it’s a small touch, but one that echoes class. Although it’s subjective as some may not fancy it, I found it aesthetically pleasing.
Experiencing the Versatile Input and Output Ports: Plenty for Every Gamer
Convenience and functionality are the name of the game when it comes to I/O ports on the Omen 15. USB ports? Check. HDMI output? Yep. An SD card slot for the creators? OH, yes! A mini display port, a thunderbolt port for an external GPU and a uniquely designed Ethernet Lan cable input? It has them all and then some. These features make the Omen 15 versatile, fitting into the gaming world with ease while also catering to creators and professionals out there.One thing to note:
Despite all the strengths, one can argue HP could improve the Omen 15’s design. The plastic feel of the hinge and the overall flexibility of the laptop might not bode well in the long term. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s a deal-breaker, but it’s definitely something prospective buyers must be aware of.
Examining the User Interface: Functional, Yes! Fantastic? Maybe Not
- Omen 15 keyboard: great for gaming, poor for typing
- Speakers offer satisfactory sound quality
- Cooling system noisy but effectively keeps laptop cool
As a seasoned tech enthusiast with a plethora of gaming laptops under my belt, I had certain expectations diving into the User Interface of the HP Omen 15. I’m not going to sugarcoat this: it was a mixed bag of emotions. Shall we embark on the ride?
A Love-Hate Relationship with the Keyboard: Great for Gaming, Not So Great for Typing
The keyboard is one of those features you’d expect to be uniformly impressive across a gaming laptop spectrum, but HP threw me off with the Omen 15. It’s user-friendly for serious gaming sessions , no doubt about that. However, typing – an equally important aspect of laptop usability for me – was less enchanting . The shallow key travel was a letdown, leading to numerous typing errors. Quite frustrating when you’re in the middle of an intensive work project!
Speakers That Might Surprise You: Clear Audio, Forgettable Placement
The speaker placement on the HP Omen 15 struck me as odd: nestled at the bottom right and bottom left of the laptop instead of the more familiar location above the keyboard. However, the sound quality was satisfactory – clear and loud enough for optimal gaming audio. Don’t expect thumping bass though, it was almost non-existent.
Cooling System & Fans: Necessary Evil or Just Annoyingly Noisy?
The cooling system and fans, although efficient thanks to their size and generous fin area, were by far the noisiest I’ve encountered. The noise level could ramp up to 56 decibels at full blast, an uncomfortable reality during intense gaming sessions. It’s a necessary compromise for the overall stellar thermal performance— the laptop remains cool to the touch even after gaming marathons— but it’s something to think about if you share your gaming space with others.
Overall, the user interface of HP Omen 15 was serviceable, aiding in my gaming and productivity equally. However, a few design choices like the blaring fans and unimpressive keyboard kept it from being ‘fantastic’. As they say, there’s always room for improvement!
Delving into HP’s Omen Control Center: Are We in Control?
- HP’s Omen Control Center offers complete RGB customization
- Performance control is limited in lower-end models
Ever tried running the command center of a starship? Probably not, but using HP’s Omen Control Center had me feeling like a futuristic navigator of the cyber world. Let me walk you through the experience.
Lighting Customization: An RGB Dream or a Nightmare?
Here’s the good news: the lighting control has you covered if you’re into full RGB customization. You could literally set the mood of your gaming experience by changing the keyboard backlight to match your game theme or your room decor. However, remember that this feature seems more appealing to gamers who’re into aesthetics. On the flip side, those who are not so much into the RGB fad might find this feature just an unnecessary cosmetic addition.
Performance Control: A Tale of Unreached Potential
The performance control is where things become a little dicey. At the first glance, this function promises to elevate your gaming experience to another level. You get to monitor your laptop’s performance in real-time, which in theory is a good idea. But, here’s the catch: if you’re using the lower-end model, your control options get limited.
With the Omen 15 baseline model, I wasn’t able to tweak as much as I’d have liked. Unlike the i7, i9, and 2070 models where one can adjust from base mode to performance mode, the base model seems pretty basic. All you can control is fan speed. You want to talk about undervolting or adjusting more performance variables? Sorry friend, this model doesn’t give you that liberty.
As a user, it was disappointing not to get the same level of control as the higher-end models. The control center, while aesthetically appealing and user-friendly, seemed somewhat under-delivering for me personally in terms of reaching its full potential.
In conclusion , the HP Omen Control Center is a mixed bag. While they’ve hit a home run in some areas, like the lighting customization, the performance control section needs more work. Specifically, similar controls need to be extended to the lower-end models as well, making them feel less like they’ve received the short end of the stick.
Putting the Omen to the Test: Gaming and Productivity Rolled into One
- Omen 15 delivers satisfactory, not spectacular, gaming performance
- Offers decent productivity and everyday use capabilities
- Balance between work and play achieved
Now, let’s delve into the part you’ve all been waiting for: how does the Omen 15 fare when it comes to gaming and productivity?
Gaming on the Omen 15
Pushing the laptop through its paces, I loaded up some of the most popular games today – Valorant, Call of Duty Warzone, Apex Legends, and Fortnite. Immediately, it’s crucial to note that while the performance was satisfactory, it wasn’t out-of-this-world. It felt very much like gaming on a previous-generation console such as the PS4- comfortable but not breathtakingly spectacular.
Expect variable frame rates across different games. For instance, in Warzone, using the optimal settings recommended for the 1650, frame rates varied between around 60 to 70 fps, sometimes even dropping to 47 fps during high-intensity battles. Then there was the issue of screen tearing, which was more noticeable than I had initially expected.
Productivity and Everyday Use
Putting gaming aside, I also evaluated the HP Omen 15 from a productivity and everyday use perspective. To my surprise, using it for typical work tasks was quite pleasant. Since the design isn’t overly “loud” in its gaming aesthetic, the laptop didn’t feel out of place in a work setting. The laptop’s weight and compact size make it fairly portable, and with the ability to turn off all the gaming-centric lights quickly, you can be in “work mode” just like that.
Switching on the webcam, I found that it is above average for this laptop, offering 720p recording. That’s a win for all those Zoom calls and virtual conferences. Let’s not forget battery life. While it was far from great, eking out only about three to four hours, it still managed to be passable for the productivity side of things.Disclaimer:
While the gaming performance won’t blow your mind, if your primary agenda is to find a balance between work and play, the Omen 15 accomplishes that, and does so without looking out of place in either setting.
Wrapping Up: Is the Omen 15 your Perfect Hybrid?
- HP Omen 15 has appealing and lightweight design
- Build quality and fan noise need improvements
- Good balance between work and gaming purposes
We’re finally at the part where I give you my overall impression of the HP Omen 15. Keeping it balanced and bearing in mind both the highs and lows, let’s try to answer one vital question: Can the HP Omen 15 be your go-to hybrid for both gaming and everyday tasks?
Pros and Cons at a Glance
First off, no product is perfect, and that holds true for the HP Omen 15 as well. In terms of its build, it nails the aesthetics, delivering a minimalistic yet appealing look. It keeps the gamer vibe alive without screaming it in our faces. Plus, it manages to remain pretty lightweight, making it quite portable.
On the flip side, the build quality could use some improvements . Despite its visually appealing facade, there are some areas (like an overly wobbly hinge) that could do with some tweaking to prevent potential long-term damage.
Cooling System Performance
The advanced dual-fan cooling system does a commendable job at regulating the laptop’s temperature. Still, this effectiveness does come with an unpleasant auditory cost – an annoyingly loud fan sound which can become a little intrusive during intense gaming sessions.
Display and User Interface
Moving on to its user interface, the keyboard’s shallow key travel leaves quite a bit to be desired , making typo-ridden typing sessions a potential issue. However, the actual gaming experience on the keyboard is acceptable and quite satisfactory.
In terms of display, this Omen 15 model has a decent quality for its price tag. Just remember, this is the 60Hz version. So, for gaming, you might encounter some downsides including color accuracy and potential screen tearing.
The Gaming Control Hub
The HP Omen Control Center, unfortunately, could offer more versatility. With the lower-end models, your control options are limited, which might feel like you’re getting the short end of the stick compared to the higher-end models.
Given its price point, the HP Omen 15 does provide a reasonable value. It’s an average, everyday laptop that can also handle gaming – a hybrid, if you will. If you’re searching for a brilliant gaming device or an exclusive work laptop, this unit may not be your first choice. But if you’re seeking a balance between work and play, the HP Omen 15 could be your perfect compromise.
Remember, this review is based on the i5 model with GTX 1650, your experience could vary with different configurations.
Outro: Final Thoughts & Takeaways from my Omen 15 Experience
After having spent a considerable amount of time with the HP Omen 15, I have come away with some intense thoughts, both of admiration and critique.
My Overall Impression
Diving straight to the point, the Omen 15 undeniably puts up a sturdy fight in the mid-range budget gaming laptop arena. Its design, while on the more simplistic side, helps it to stand out among typical gaming machines. For those who want a gaming laptop that doesn’t scream “gamer” — this surely hits the mark. The commendable range of input ports is also an excellent addition.
Gaming and User Experience
The gaming experience in itself was satisfactory for most part. It handles trending games adequately, placing it on par with last-gen consoles. Yet, it isn’t without its flaws — the occasional screen tearing and frame drops might unsettle avid gamers. The keyboard could use some work, specifically with respect to key travel for comfortable typing.
Handling Productivity Tasks
Productivity-wise, the Omen 15 genuinely surprised me. It handled daily tasks with aplomb and served as a reliable device for my Zoom calls. The ability to switch between productivity and gaming modes easily, adds to its overall appeal for those looking for a hybrid device. Nevertheless, the 3-4 hours of battery life leaves room for improvement.
A Fair Balance
- The Omen 15, in my view, maintains a fair balance between affordability, gaming prowess and productivity performance.
- However, that’s not to ignore the few bumps along the way — the loud fan sound and the oddly bendy hinge certainly need attention.
- Moreover, I felt that the lower-end versions missing some control features in the Omen Gaming Hub was a tad disappointing.
The Final Verdict
All said and done, when you consider the price, you really are receiving a decent gaming laptop that can double up as a daily driver. It isn’t the perfect gaming machine but surely holds its own for the price. For someone looking for a device able to cater to both everyday tasks and gaming, the HP Omen 15 comes close to being an ideal choice.
So, that’s my experience with the Omen 15. What is your opinion on this device? Feel free to share your thoughts!
Should you buy the OMEN by HP 2019 15-inch Gaming Laptop, 15-dc1060nr, Shadow Black?
Buy it if…
You need a gaming laptop that doubles as a work laptop
The HP Omen 15 has aesthetic design that doesn’t scream gamer and can be used in a professional setting. It also has a good webcam for video conferencing making it ideal for work too.
You’re on a budget
The HP Omen 15 is a mid-range gaming laptop that provides satisfactory gaming experience without breaking the bank. It has a reasonable range of input/output ports making it versatile for different gaming and work needs.
You’re into minimalist designs
Aside from its gaming capability, the HP Omen 15 has a sleek, minimalist design which makes it blend effortlessly in a variety of settings.
Don’t buy it if…
You’re a fan of solid builds
Despite the nice aesthetics, the build quality of the Omen 15 can be a bit plastic feel and the screen wobble might be off-putting for some.
Your primary need is typing
The HP Omen 15’s keyboard has a shallow key travel and might not be the most comfortable for extensive typing.
You prefer quieter devices
The cooling system of the HP Omen 15 is quite loud which could get quite uncomfortable and annoying especially during intense gaming sessions.
- Does the HP Omen 15 have a flashy gaming laptop design?
No, the HP Omen 15 is more subtly designed and doesn’t scream gaming laptop. Its minimalistic look is more versatile for different users.
- Is the keyboard on the HP Omen 15 comfortable to type on?
The keyboard might not be the best for typing experiences due to a more shallow key travel, but it’s perfectly fine for gaming.
- How loud is the fan noise on the HP Omen 15?
The fan noise can go up to 56 decibels when at maximum, which is quite loud and can be considered a bit disruptive.
- How customizable is the lighting on the HP Omen 15?
With the HP Omen Control Centre, you can customize your keyboard lighting quite extensively according to your likings.
- How does the HP Omen 15 perform in gaming?
The performance is comparable to a previous generation console like the PS4, which means it’s decent but won’t offer insane performance in FPS and graphics.
- Is the HP Omen 15 suitable for productivity tasks?
Yes, the HP Omen 15 can switch between work and game modes effectively. The design and features support productivity tasks, such as webcam for calls and a decent battery life.
- What types of ports are available on the HP Omen 15?
The HP Omen 15 comes with a range of ports: two USB-A’s, a mini display port, a thunderbolt, an ethernet LAN cable input, another USB input, HDMI output, headphone jack and an SD card slot.
- What could be the long-term issue with the HP Omen 15?
The laptop’s bendy screen and overall plastic feel might potentially cause some concerns regarding long-term durability.
- Does the HP Omen 15 have comparable alternatives?
Yes, there are other laptops within the same range that could offer similar or better gaming performance, for instance, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3.