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HP Omen 15 Gaming Laptop Review

HP’s Omen lineup is fast becoming a premium name in the gaming laptop space, And they sent through one for us a spin. How does the HP Omen 15 stand up against its competition?

DESIGN

With its black finish and red detailing around the keys, the HP Omen 15 is one of the better looking gaming laptops out there at the moment. Even with the faux carbon effect and the red logo on the lid, it manages to remain tasteful. I particularly like the textured lid, which makes the laptop easy to carry around, offering a good amount of grip. You still might want to get a carry case though, especially if you plan to game on the go a lot. While it’s certainly easy enough to carry around with just your hands, it’s not exactly the most light or slim if you’re taking it with you everywhere you go. It’s safe to say, HP aren’t reinventing the wheel with the Omen 15’s design, but that’s fine. From its casing to the comfortable, tactile backlit keyboard (so cool) and well built touchpad, this is a well designed gaming laptop. Stylish, cool and mostly simple, you won’t be embarrassed to bring the Omen 15 at a LAN party or gaming get together.

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GAMING PERFORMANCE

This is where it gets interesting, with the HP Omen 15 delivering mostly impressive results. Thanks to its Quad-Core Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX965M GDDR5 (4GB) graphics card, it deals very well with the majority of older titles and some of the newest releases too. At the 1080p resolution it ran Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Mad Max, The Witcher 3, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain on high settings between 30-60 frames per second. Some of the games even managed to stay within those frames at ultra settings. Very respectable for most gaming PCs let alone a gaming laptop. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and NBA 2K17 were the only titles that the Omen 15 struggled to run smoothly at 1080p and high settings. I had to drop both games down to low settings at that resolution or 720p and medium to high settings to get it running at 30-60 frames per second.

Don’t worry, I also tested out a few games at the laptops 4K resolution and the results were mixed. Again, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and NBA 2K17 struggled, but Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain performed surprisingly well. With high settings on, even though it struggled at times, it mostly ran 30 frames per second. Dropping it down to medium settings made it run at around 30-45 frames per second, hugely playable, unless you’re a PC master race elitist. I must add though, while the games looked good in 4K, due to the matte finish of the screen not everything looked super sharp and colours didn’t pop as much as I’d envisioned. Something you might want to be aware of if the 4K resolution is a big selling point for you. Still, it’s 4K gaming on the go, which is an impressive feat indeed.

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BATTERY LIFE

HP say the Omen 15 has a battery life of up to 10 hours, but having tested it thoroughly with several games played off a full charge, that figure falls more around the 6-8 hours mark. Not too shabby, even if it does miss that magical 10 hours mark. I did game a lot though! Perhaps if you mix up your game playing with some movie watching and browsing that 10 hour figure is correct, but given it’s primarily a gaming laptop I don’t think I was being too harsh with my tests. Elsewhere, I must mention how cool the Omen 15 stayed despite a couple of non-stop gaming sessions. With it sat on my lap as I gamed away while sat with family (Mr Social, that’s me) it never got too hot or uncomfortable. HP has stated the Omen 15 is capable of standing the most heated gaming session, and I can tell you they’re 100% correct. Usually my lap is left burning when I’ve tested out other similar laptops, but that was not the case here. Well done HP. Well done. That’s not a heat and my lap being cooked well done either. I’m serious!

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SUMMARY

At £1200, the HP Omen 15 sits at the top end, expensive table of gaming laptops, but earns its place there. Sure it might struggle with full on 4K gaming, but at 1080p it’ll deal with the majority of old and new releases on the highest settings very well. It’s also jam packed with all the connections you’ll need. If you’re serious about gaming on the go and want a machine that’s portable without skimping on the power, HP’s 15 inch beast should be your next purchase.

Full Specs:

Battery life Information
Up to 10 hours
Bluetooth Enabled Information
Yes
Camera (front-facing) Information
Full HD webcam
Camera (rear-facing) Information
No
CD/DVD/Blu-ray Drive Information
No
Dimensions
H2.5 x W38 x D25cm
Graphics card Information
NVIDIA GeForce GTX965M GDDR5 (4GB)
Graphics card type Information
Dedicated
Hard drive Information
1TB + 256GB SSD
Keyboard
Back-lit Full-size Island-style keyboard
Memory (RAM) Information
16GB
Memory Card Slots Information
2-in-1 card reader
Model name / number
15-ax011na
NFC enabled Information
No
Operating system Information
Windows 10 (64 bit)
Ports Information
1x HDMI, 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 1x headphone/microphone combo
Processor Information
Quad-Core Intel Core i7-6700HQ
Processor speed Information
2.6GHz to 3.5GHz with Turbo Boost
Screen Resolution Information
3840 x 2160 pixels (4K)
Screen size Information
15.6″
Screen Type
4K Ultra-HD In-Plne Switching
Sound
Bang & Olufsen HP Audio Boost speakers
Touch Screen
No
Voice Recognition Information
Yes – Cortana
Weight
2.2kg
Wireless Display Information
Yes
Wireless networking
Wi-Fi- 802.11 AC/a/b/g/n

This is a paid promotional piece – HP sent a loan laptop to review

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