Technology giant HP recently launched the latest iteration of its in-house gaming and high-performance focused brand, Omen. The company launched new models of gaming laptops from its Omen and Pavilion lineups as per the announcement. As noted previously, the company provides ample options to its users in terms of the processor, and different configurations. It is worth noting that HP initially launched both the lineups back in June on the global stage. These new models come with a number of important changes and firsts for HP. First up, the HP Omen 15 features a new, redesigned chassis along with a new Omen logo. Beyond this, Pavilion 16 is the first HP-branded gaming laptop with a 16-inch screen. Also Read - HP Omen 15 with Ryzen 7, Pavillion Gaming 16 laptop and accessories launched in India
HP also provides the option to choose between the latest Intel and AMD processors. This choice is significant considering all the good things that we have heard about the latest AMD Ryzen 4000 series. Talking about the latest HP Omen 15, the company claims that it is the “smallest 15-inch gaming laptop” out there. For some context, this is the third generation of the Omen series laptops after the inaugural one back in 2018. Also Read - HP OMEN X 2S dual-screen gaming laptop launched in India: Price, Specifications
Watch: HP Omen 15 2020 Review
Days before the launch, we got to test drive the HP Omen 15 2020 laptop. Considering HP is one of the many gaming laptop makers in the market, you may be confused about your choice. How does the latest offering from HP stack up against the options from Asus, Dell, Lenovo, Xiaomi, and more? Find answers to all your doubts and questions regarding the device in our HP Omen 15 2020 review here. Also Read - HP OMEN X 2S with dual-screen and 9th gen Intel processor launched: Price, Features
HP Omen 15 2020 specifications, variants and pricing
Before we get started, let’s talk about the specifications, hardware options, and the pricing of the HP Omen 15 2020. The laptop features a 15.6-inch display with a hinge that can lay flat with a 180-degree articulation. Buyers get the option to select between the AMOLED panel with 4K UDH resolution and an IPS panel. The IPS panel comes with FHD resolution and up to 300Hz refresh rate. HP provides the option to select up to 10th generation Intel i7 H-series processors with 6-cores. In addition, we can also opt for up to AMD Ryzen 7 H-series processors to power the machine.
Moving to the GPU, we get the option to select up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super along with Max-Q design. The company claims that it comes with “OMEN Tempest Cooling technology” with an “IR thermopile sensor” and large vents. HP Omen 15 is “the first gaming laptop to apply an IR thermopile sensor”. Moving to the storage, HP offers up to 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD with up to 32GB DDR4 RAM. Other features include a dedicated SD card reader, 720p webcam, trackpad, 4-key zone RBG backlit keyboard with the full-size layout.
Omen 15 also sports Wi-Fi 6, with up to 70.9Wh battery. Focusing on the ports, we get a USB Type-C port with USB 3.1 gen 1 protocol support, a Mini Display port, three USB Type-A ports with 3.1 protocol support, an HDMI port, a 3.5mm audio jack, an RJ 45 port, and SD card reader slot. The company is offering the device in two color options including Mica Silver and Shadow Black. Omen 15 with Intel ships starts at Rs 79,999 while the AMD version is priced at Rs 75,999. Interested buyers can make the purchase on the HP store on the HP India website.
Functional, minimal design on Omen 15
The company claims that the HP Omen 15 2020 features a “minimalist design” with a focus on content immersion. HP also claims that the device provides a “low-profile luxury style” along with an “aluminum-finished palm rest”. Moving outside the realm of claims, the Omen 15 2020 features a cleaner, somewhat muted design. As noted above, the device features a redesigned chassis along with the new HP Omen “diamond” logo on the top. Looking at the display, we get a “3-sided micro-edge display” to offer thin bezels for a modern look.
The plain look on the top and around the keyboard area makes the device ideal for a professional setting. We also get aluminum finish around the keyboard and the bottom of the chassis to offer a rigid, high-quality build. The company has also added an air intake grill on to the top of the keyboard near the hinge area. Yes, this grill is not a speaker grill. Beyond this, we also get a laser-etched “015” on the right side of the palm rest along with the text “Designed and Engineered by HP”.
We have already talked about the plethora of ports on both sides of the port. In addition, HP has also added vents on the right, left, and backside of the Omen 15. We can also see plenty of air vents at the bottom of the laptop for airflow. The device weighs about 2.36kg making things slightly heavy. Omen 15 keyboard features per-key back-lighting along with four different lighting areas.
It is also worth noting that the track-pad is shifted to the left side instead of a center alignment of the device. The hinge doesn’t feel particularly tight as the screen wobbles with air from fan or movement. Overall, Omen 15 does not feature a flashy all-out gamer aesthetic. Instead, it comes with a low-key, mean look.
Performance of HP Omen 15 2020
Our HP Omen 15 2020 review unit features the model number “ek0019tx”. It sports 10th generation Intel Core i7-10750H processor with 6 cores, 2.6GHz base clock, and up to 5GHz boost clock. HP has also added 16GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650Ti GPU with 4GB GDDR6 video memory. It runs on a 52.5Wh battery and uses a 150W AC power adapter.
For the display, we get an IPS panel with FHD resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, and 300 nits brightness. Beyond this, the rest of the specifications are identical to what we have seen above. HP has priced this model at Rs 1,20,999 pushing it into a serious spending territory. In short, the device performed admirably without any issues. The highlight of this section is likely the redesigned chassis which managed to comfortably cool down the CPU and GPU. Now, let’s look at the details.
We did not face any issue while performing our regular, day-to-day tasks. The work includes an exhaustive amount of web-browsing, light photo editing, music, writing, watching videos on YouTube, and some Netflix. There was no stutter, lag, or freezing in all the above-mentioned tasks. The laptop easily handled the 22-25 tabs at any given time with image edition on Adobe Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, and video encoding.
Now, let’s talk about the core of the laptop, how it performs while gaming. As part of the review, we tested Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Far Cry New Dawn, and GTA V. We did not change the system settings regarding the performance during testing to ensure out-of-the-box experience. Users can use the “OMEN Command Center” to toggle the system fan speed in the “Thermal Control” section. One can find this in the “Performance Control” tab after clicking on the “OMEN 15” item on the app sidebar. Here, the system is set to “AUTO” by default.
Omen 15 2020 offers decent performance for anyone looking to play AAA titles on their machine. The best part is the impressive amount of thermal head-room due to the redesigned laptop chassis. The temperatures did reach up to 90-degrees Celsius but quickly went back to around 70 to 85-degrees Celsius. Obviously, the average temperatures fluctuated depending on the game and the graphics quality. Regardless, the CPU did not thermal throttle during long gaming sessions.
In addition, the laptop did not get toasty or even moderately hot around the keyboard or palm rest area. The fans did get loud while gaming so it is advisable to use a good pair of earphones or headphones to drown out the noise.
Numbers about frames while gaming
Talking about the frame rates, we got about 56-60 frames at High graphics quality in Far Cry New Dawn. GTA V offers anywhere between 90 to 115 frames depending on the scene at Normal quality. Moving to Shadow of the Tomb Raider, we got an average of 56fps at High graphics settings. We got anywhere from 80 to 144fps in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus at Low graphics. Moving to synthetic benchmarks, we got 1230 in single-core benchmark and 6311 on multi-core benchmark on Geekbench 5.
HP Omen 15 2020 also scored 45,692 on the OpenCL benchmark on Geekbench, 2820 on Cinebench R20, and 1,298 on the Cinebench R15 CPU test. PCMark 10 benchmark resulted in a 4813 score, 26,986 in Sky Diver test, and 9,078 in Fire Strike test in 3DMark. Overall, the device performed well throughout regardless of the situation.
Display, speakers, and webcam
The laptop sports a decent display but it is nothing great for content creation. 144Hz IPS panel is aimed at gamers and if you want to do color accurate work then you should look at the 4K option. In addition, the 300nits peak brightness is fine for indoors but not enough for outdoors, under direct sunlight work. Moving to the speakers, the audio quality is fine but we would suggest a good pair of wired earphones or headphones for gaming. This is because the audio can easily get lost in a noisy environment. Last but not the least, the webcam is terrible, especially in less than ideal conditions. So, it is better if you use your smartphone to make video calls in the new normal.
Keyboard, trackpad, and software experience on Omen 15
Unlike most laptops in the market, HP opted for a full-sized keyboard layout along with the number pad area. This means that the size of the keys is relatively smaller than other laptops in the same segment. During daily usage, it took some time to get used to the layout on a laptop form factor but the experience is decent. The keys come with 1.5mm travel offering comfortable typing experience. One can also control the 4-zone RGB using the “OMEN Command Center”. It is worth noting that the software only offers static options without any dynamic effects.
Beyond the keyboard, the trackpad comes with support for Windows precision drivers with decent size. OMEN Command Center, the preloaded app comes with a new “Coaching” feature for gamers. Currently, this feature is only available for “League of Legends” but we hope to see it in other games. In addition, HP has also added the “Remote Play” feature through the “OMEN Command Center” app on Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Beyond this, we also get the ability to switch graphics in the app along with a network booster option.
Omen 15 2020 offers a borderline fine battery backup which is in line with other gaming laptops. Regular non-gaming related light work offered us about 4 hours of backup at 75 percent brightness. However, gaming pushed down the backup to just 1.5 hours and lower depending on the games. Charging the device from 0 to 100 took about 1.5 hours. The 150W AC adapter is thankfully somewhat compact and portable.
Verdict: Should you buy the HP Omen 15 2020
HP Omen 15 2020 is a surprisingly impressive device with highlights in the cooling department and the overall performance. The device lineup offers options between AMD and Intel which is commendable. In addition, the low-key design and functional approach result in a good package. However, for the price of Rs 1,20,999, we hoped for a better GPU than the included Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650Ti in our unit. If you are looking for gaming then we would suggest you look at other variants in the HP Omen 15 2020 lineup. However, if you are limited by budget then look at the rivals from Asus and Dell before opting for this model.