HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To Offer

HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To Offer
15 min read
31 August 2020

The HP Omen 15 is one of the best Ryzen gaming laptops currently available, I’ll show you why it’s worth considering in this review. There’s some nice specs for a gaming laptop inside, including 8 core AMD Ryzen 7 4800H processor, Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti graphics, and 16gb of memory in dual channel with 144Hz screen. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferOverall build quality is decent with some caveats. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferThe lid is plastic, the interior is aluminium and the whole thing has a silver finish.HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To Offer The front edge felt a little sharp if you brush up against it, but I never noticed it during everyday use. There was quite a bit of flex to the lid when trying to move it, I first noticed it when I went to brush something off the screen. A lot of people seem to have concerns about this, but it doesn’t look like it’s that big of a deal. There’s also some keyboard flex when intentionally pushing down hard, but it felt sturdy enough during normal use.

No issues opening it up with one finger, and the screen goes the full 180 degrees back. I noticed some of the keyboard lighting leaks onto the plastic below the screen, it’s not really an issue but something I haven’t really seen before. My config weighed in at 4.6lb or 2.1kg, and with the 200w power brick and cables for charging we’re looking at 6lb or 2.7kg all up. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferIt’s not too large for a 15 inch gaming laptop, about average thickness and overall quite portable. The smaller footprint results in 6.5mm thin screen bezels on the sides, but with a thicker bottom chin.

Mine has a 15.6” 1080p 144Hz screen, unfortunately there’s no FreeSync, G-Sync, or option to disable optimus. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferI measured the screen's average grey-to-grey response time at just under 8ms.HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To Offer It’s somewhat similar when compared to other 144Hz panels, but at the same time nowhere near as bad as other Ryzen options like the ASUS TUF A15 or Dell G5 SE.

I’ve measured colour gamut with the Spyder 5, and got 96% of sRGB, 66% of NTSC, 72% of AdobeRGB and 71% of DCI-P3. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferAt 100% brightness we’re looking at 327 nits and a 710 to 1 contrast ratio, so overall some fair results for a gaming panel, bit lower on the contrast though. Backlight bleed wasn’t too bad in my unit, the glow patches weren’t bright enough to notice during normal use, but this will vary between laptops and panels. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferThere’s a 720p camera above the display in the middle, no Windows Hello support though.

My keyboard only has white backlighting which can either be turned on or off without any further adjustment, but there is also a 4 zone RGB option if you prefer.HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To Offer All keys and secondary key functions are illuminated, and although there’s no numpad we still get some extra keys to the right, so the arrows have plenty of space. I don’t personally use the numpad so it didn’t really bother me. No N-key rollover though, HP specifically notes 26-key rollover, which I guess is probably enough?

The power button is part of the keyboard, so you might want to change the default behaviour in Windows incase of an accidental press, which is to put it to sleep. There also appears to be small air ventilation holes up the back above the keyboard.

The precision touchpad clicks down anywhere and works fine without any issues, although it’s smooth, at the same time also feels a little textured and not quite as smooth as others. Although fingerprints aren’t as obvious as on a black finish, they do show, but they’re easy to clean off the smooth surface with a microfiber cloth.

On the left from the back there’s the power input, gigabit ethernet, USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A port, HDMI 2.0a output, 3.5mm audio combo jack, and full size SD card slot. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferOn the right from the front there’s a USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C port with DisplayPort 1.4 support, no Thunderbolt here and the laptop cannot be charged over Type-C, mini DisplayPort, air exhaust vent on this side, and two more USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports.

All three display outputs connect directly to the Nvidia graphics, bypassing the Radeon graphics, so good to go for VR. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferThe back is just air exhaust vents, and although there’s nothing on the front, not even an indentation to get your finger into, I had no issues opening the lid. The lid logo is a sort of reflective blueish purple diamond in the center with Omen text underneath. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferUnderneath the back half of the machine appears to be air intake vents, but if we look at the bottom panel some of the space is covered, regardless still far better intake compared to the TUF A15. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferGetting inside involved taking out 8 phillips head screws, and inside we’ve got the battery down the front, two M.2 storage slots with heatsink on either side of it, and two memory slots and WiFi 6 card above the battery. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferThe two speakers are towards the front on the left and right sides. I thought they sounded pretty average, there’s a little bass and they were clear enough at maximum volume, and the latencymon results were looking alright.

The Omen is powered by a 6-cell 71Wh battery, and I’ve tested it with the keyboard lighting off, background apps disabled and screen at 50% brightness. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferThe results were excellent when compared to other gaming laptops with larger batteries, lasting for more than 8 hours in the YouTube playback test and more than 2 hours while gaming. Interestingly the top four gaming laptops are all Ryzen based.

Let’s check out thermals next.

I’ve got a whole review covering this topic in depth, I’ll just summarise the important parts here.

The Omen Command Center software lets you select between different performance modesHP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To Offer which from lowest to highest are comfort, default and performance, and you have the option of enabling max fan speed with any of these modes, but there’s no further granular fan controls. You can also use the third party Ryzen controller software to further boost processor performance above stock levels.

Thermals were tested with a 21 degree Celsius ambient room temperature. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferIdle results down the bottom were good. Stress tests were done with Aida64 CPU stress test and Heaven GPU test at the same time, and gaming was tested with Watch Dogs 2. In the highest performance mode we’re not even hitting 90 degrees Celsius under these heavy loads, an excellent result, and we could get even cooler by boosting fan speed or using a cooling pad. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferThe clock speeds were still hitting 4 to above 4.1GHz depending on the test and without any modifications over all 8 cores, so again excellent results. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferThe 1660 Ti was able to run at its 80 watt limit regardless of the mode, so the different modes only really modify CPU power limit and fan speeds. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferDue to the high GPU power, we can still play GPU heavy games without performance loss in the lower modes though we can’t really get much of a quieter system, as you’ll hear soon. I also didn’t find Ryzen controller to boost performance in workloads where both the CPU and GPU are active. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferIt did however give us a boost in CPU only workloads, for instance in Cinebench we could boost multicore performance by almost 6% with this tool. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferWhen we compare the results with other laptops it’s doing extremely well, basically tied with the Eluktronics RP-15 and much better when compared to most others tested, only getting beaten by thicker and far more expensive options.

The keyboard area was never hot regardless of the workload being run, though it was possible to get some improvements depending on the specific mode and fan speed option in use.HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To Offer In particular the WASD keys are always cool as air must get pulled through the keyboard, and the wrist rest was fine too, so it always felt comfortable even after gaming for hours.

When idling the fan would occasionally ramp up a bit which is why I’ve recorded two levels. For some reason comfort mode basically maxes out the fans with the stress tests going, not sure if that’s a bug or if HP’s idea of comfort is how cool the machine feels without regards for your ears, but that’s why comfort mode ran cooler than the higher default mode. Max speed was on the louder side, but nothing that can’t be resolved by using headphones - same case with most gaming laptops.

Now let’s check out how the Omen 15 performs in games and compare it with some other laptops.

In Battlefield 5 I’ve got the Omen 15 highlighted in red.HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To Offer The average frame rate is similar to a lot of other 1660 Ti laptops I’ve tested, though a little behind some others but only by a couple frames. The 1% low seems to be a bit lower on the Ryzen based laptops in this game, the i7 options in the vapor 15 aka mag-15 and helios 300 for instance see a fair improvement in this regard.

These are the results from Far Cry 5 with ultra settings in the built in benchmark. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferThe average FPS is similar when compared to the other 1660 Ti based laptops that I’ve tested, however in this more processor heavy test the 1% low performance was better than the all alternatives with the exception of the undervolted Helios 300. The Helios was also a fair bit ahead in average FPS now, at least compared to the last game. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferShadow of the Tomb Raider was also tested with the games benchmark tool with the highest setting preset, and as a GPU heavy test it’s not surprising that we’ve got a few other 1660 Ti laptops performing similarly, 74 FPS was the highest result recorded from a 1660 Ti and the Omen 15 was able to hit this too.

I’ve also tested the Omen 15 in 20 games at all setting levels, you can check it if you want to see results in more games.

Now for the benchmarking tools.HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To Offer I’ve used Adobe Premiere to export one of my laptop review videos at 4K, and the Omen 15 was doing well for a Ryzen based laptop with 1660 Ti, better than the A15 in any case and almost the same as the RP-15 with 2060, but those Intel options have the edge here due to quicksync. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferI’ve also tested Premiere but with the Puget systems benchmark which also accounts for things like live playback rather than just export times. Higher score is better here, and with more than just raw exporting concerned the Omen 15 is now doing better than some of the Intel options with higher tier GPUs. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferIn Adobe Photoshop the Omen was on the lower side compared to most others tested, I’m not too sure why though as this is typically a CPU heavy test and as we’ve seen the processing power is certainly there.HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To Offer In DaVinci resolve it’s actually doing quite well, the best result from any 1660 Ti laptop that I’ve tested so far. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferI’ve also tested SPECviewperf which tests out various professional 3D workloads.HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To Offer I’ve used the OpenVR benchmark to test the HTC Vive Cosmos Elite, and the Omen was performing closely to the other 1660 Ti laptops tested, the CPU matters a bit less here from my testing as this is heavier on the GPU, but in any case it still offered playable performance in half life alyx, basically only the alpha 15 and below didn’t.

I’ve used Crystal Disk Mark to test the storage, and the 512gb NVMe M.2 SSD was doing well. HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To OfferThe SD card slot wasn’t too bad, at least the reads are better than the writes which is preferable as most people will probably dump footage rather than write to the card.HP Omen 15 Review - The Best Ryzen Has To Offer The card clicks in and sits most of the way into the laptop.

In the US the configuration with 8gb memory and 512gb storage is $1250 USD, but it was recently on sale for $200 less than this, so definitely worth keeping an eye for. For $100 more you can get double the storage and double the memory which I think is worth going for, 16gb of RAM is a great sweet spot in my opinion, but again this was just recently $200 off as well. With all of that in mind let’s conclude by summarising the good and bad aspects of the HP Omen 15 gaming laptop to help you decide if it’s worthwhile.

HP Omen 15 on BestBuy

All things considered, I think the Omen 15 is coming out ahead of the Eluktronics RP-15 I previously tested as my current favourite Ryzen based gaming laptop. The performance difference isn’t too large in many workloads and screens are similar with a slight edge in response time to the RP-15 it just depends what you’re using it for. The Omen has the edge in build quality, despite the more flexible lid.

Read also: hp omen vs lenovo legion

The gaming performance isn’t that different despite the RP-15 having a 2060, and battery life is much better with the Omen, so it really comes down to price difference and what your priorities are.

The thermal performance of the Omen in particular really puts others like the TUF A15 and Dell G5 SE to shame, this is how a Ryzen gaming laptop should be. I think there’s a lot of value on offer compared to alternatives, which is why it’s my current favourite Ryzen gaming laptop, but I do still have more of those coming to test before I do a big comparison. So basically to summarise, if you’re looking for a gaming laptop with AMD’s Ryzen processors, then the HP Omen 15 should be right up the top of the list, especially if you can pick it up on sale.

Let me know what you thought about HP’s Omen 15 gaming laptop down in the comments.

Joined: 3 years ago
In case you have found a mistake in the text, please send a message to the author by selecting the mistake and pressing Ctrl-Enter.
Comments (1)
  1. Den W.

    Finally the perfect ryzen gaming laptop with good battery life, good screen, good keyboard, good pricing, good everything. Every other ryzen gaming notebooks have atleast 1-2 defects which is a deal breaker. Finally a good work by hp!

    3 years ago · 0
You must be logged in to comment.

Sign In / Sign Up