HP is changing the game up. The company has totally revamped the Omen 15, and I’ve got to say, it’s an absolute head-turner. But as pretty as the new redesign is, gamers should be more excited about the internals, which boast either AMD or Intel H-series processors and Nvidia graphics. The notebook starts at $999, which should be music to the ears of budget-conscious gamers searching for an entry-level or mid-tier gaming system.
Available starting in June, the laptop could very well make its way onto our best cheap gaming laptops page. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. Time to take a quick tour of this intriguing new laptop.
HP Omen 15 design and ports
The new Omen 15 is like night and day from previous iterations. Instead of the black plastic lid with two patterns, you have a smooth plastic lid available in Mica Silver or Shadow Black. And that large Voodoo logo? Gone the way of the dodos, replaced by a lovely turquoise blue diamond with the Omen logo subtle imprinted underneath.
Opening the laptop shows off more of that premium aluminum finish and I really like the 015 imprint on the bottom-right corner. It definitely reminds me of the print found of the new Alienware laptops –– it’s a mix of sporty futuristic that I’m digging. Overall, it’s a mature, sophisticated take on a gaming laptop that should allow it to travel from the boardroom to the LAN party seamlessly.
For ports, you get a USB Type-C port, two USB Type-A ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, Ethernet, a DisplayPort, headset jack and a power jack.
The 14.1 x 9.4 x 0.9-inch Omen 15 is a bit of a heavyweight at 5.4 pounds. It’s heavier than competing systems such as the Alienware m15 (4.8 pounds, 14.3 x 10.8 x 0.7-0.8-inches) and Razer Blade 15 (4.6 pounds, 14 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches).
HP Omen 15 display
Long live tiny bezels and high-refresh panels! HP is giving gamers both with the 15.6-inch display the Omen 15 ships with. The 1920 x 1080-pixel, anti-glare screen boasts a 144Hz refresh rate, which means silky smooth rendering when you're gaming. In my experience, the higher the refresh rate, the more accurate shots are in first-person shooters because you’re cutting down on the lag.
HP shrunk the bezels on three sides of the display, giving viewers more visual real estate. I’m a little concerned about the 300 nits of brightness as it is a little dimmer than other systems on the market, but I’ll reserve my judgment for when we get our hands on the Omen 15.
HP Omen 15 keyboard
It’s not per-key lighting, but I’ll take it for now. The island-style keyboard has four-zone lighting RGB lighting. The WASD keys are outlined to help gamers find them easier. The lighting can be customized via Omen Command Center, HP’s preinstalled software. The utility can also be used to tweak performance.
HP Omen 15 pricing and configurations
HP is offering several configurations of the Omen 15. The $999 base model has 2.5-GHz Intel Core i5-10300H processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2SSD and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 with 4GB of VRAM. If you’re an AMD fan, you can get that price and a 3-GHz AMD Ryzen 5-4600H CPU.
The next step up costs $1,099 and bumps you up to a RTX 2060 GPU with 6GB of VRAM while keeping the Core i5 CPU. The $1,299 model gives you a 2.9-GHz AMD Ryzen 7-4800H CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with 6GB of VRAM.
HP has given the Omen 15 a much-needed design makeover that gives the laptop a premium look capable of easily switching from work to play. That’s great, but what’s really exciting is that, for under $1,000, you get a gaming laptop with mid-level performance without costing an exorbitant amount of money.
I’m eager to see how the display, performance and battery life stack up to rival systems, as the sub-$1,000 gaming laptop arena is a highly competitive space.