When it comes to gaming, HP continues to walk the fine line between affordability and power with its Omen series. The newest entry, the Omen 15, is a refresh that fuses the power of an 8th Gen Intel processor with a yet-to-be-announced GPU in a relatively lightweight chassis. Available starting in July 2019, starting at $1,369, the Omen 15 is sure to make a splash with gamers looking for a mid-to-upper tier system.
HP Omen 15 Specs and Price
When it ships, the Omen 15 will feature a 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 128GB M.2 SSD with a 1TB 7,200-rpm hard drive and an undisclosed Nvidia GPU. The starting price is $1,369. In order to futureproof the laptop, HP included a single- access panel at the bottom, which lets enterprising DIYers swap out the hard drive, solid state drive and RAM when things start getting a little sluggish.
|Row 0 - Cell 0||HP Omen 15|
|Display||15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080|
|CPU||128GB SSD/1TB HDD|
|Storage||128GB SSD/1TB HDD|
|Size||14.2 x 10.4 x 1 inches|
HP is holding tight to that red-and-black aesthetic that’s come to define gaming laptops. Although the exterior is made entirely from plastic, it’s not an unattractive design, especially with its divergent textures. Split by a metallic-colored red X, you get four quadrants –– two reasonable carbon fiber facsimiles and two in faux brushed aluminum. It helps to give the system a more premium look.
Thankfully, it’s not all plastic. Opening the laptop reveals an aluminum interior deck with a full-sized backlit island-style keyboard. However, unlike its predecessor, the new Omen 15 offers four zones of customization instead of a monotone red.
At 5.3 pounds, the 14.2 x 10.4 x 1-inch notebook is slightly lighter than the Asus ROG GU501 (5.4 pounds, 15.1 x 10.3 x 0.7 inches), Acer Predator Helios 300 Special Edition (5.5 pounds, 15.4 x 10.5 x 1.1 inches) and the Dell G7 15 (6.3 pounds, 15.3 x 10.8 x 0.9 inches)
The Omen 15 ships with a 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 anti-glare display. Despite the anti-glare finish, colors seemed to pop and the screen was fairly bright. However, the display’s biggest draw is the refresh rate. The Omen 15 is the first in the world to have a display with a 240-Hertz refresh rate. That means that gamers will enjoy incredibly smooth graphics with just about any title.
In addition to the extra-high refresh rate, HP’s also shrank the bezels. The top bezel is 32 percent smaller than the previous model and the company managed to make the side bezels 65 percent slimmer. The thinner bezels nets the viewer a larger screen in a smaller space. Plus, the screen has a generous 178-degree viewing angle so you can share the view with friends. Still, I’m hoping that HP will offer a 4K iteration down the line for those of us that want to enjoy every last pixel.
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The biggest news about the Omen 15’s keyboard is the addition of customizable RGB backlighting instead of the tried-and-true blood-red glow. Now you get four zones of customization via the Omen Command Center, which also allows you to create macros and set network bandwidth prioritization.
A quick test session on the island-style keys was solid, with a fair amount of feedback and travel. But I’m eager to see actual measurements and spend at least an hour working on the system to get a more comprehensive conclusion.
When it launches, the Omen 15 will be a welcome update to a solid mid-level gaming laptop. For $1,369, you’ll get a system that can dole out a solid performance, depending on which GPU HP pairs with that Core i7 processor. In addition, the notebook will feature a display with a 240-Hz refresh rate -- a first for a gaming laptop. Depending on how it holds up during testing, the Omen 15 could become a heavy-hitter in the gaming laptop space.
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Sherri L. Smith has been cranking out product reviews for Laptopmag.com since 2011. In that time, she's reviewed more than her share of laptops, tablets, smartphones and everything in between. The resident gamer and audio junkie, Sherri was previously a managing editor for Black Web 2.0 and contributed to BET.Com and Popgadget.