HP Omen 15 Gaming Notebook Review, A Bit Of Mojo And Voodoo

Introduction and Specifications

HP acquired VoodooPC back in 2006, bringing the creative genius of owner Rahul Sood into its fold and ensuring that its gaming lineup of desktop PCs and Laptops would get a lot more style and attitude. Sood and HP eventually parted ways, but the ghost of VoodooPC, its DNA and swank logo stayed on, giving HP a unique gaming line.

The HP Omen 15 is the latest gaming laptop in this series and it has Voodoo personality from the moment you take it out of the box.

A Omen official

Before you dive into the nitty-gritty, let's give you a walk-around and demo of the Omen 15 in action...

HP Omen 15
Specifications & Features
 OS Windows 8.1 64-bit
15.6-inch IPS FHD 1920x1080 multi-touch display
Intel Core i7-4710HQ Quad-Core 2.5GHz (Turbo 3.5GHz)
 RAM 16GB 1600MHz DDR3
Intel 802.11 ac WLAN
USB-to-Ethernet adapter
Bluetooth 4.0
1080p HP TrueVision
4xUSB 3.0
Mini Display Port
HDMI v1.4b Port
Headphone/Mic jack
SD card reader
 Dimensions 15.07 x 9.74 x 0.78 (W x D x H Inches)
 Weight 4.68 pounds
 Battery 4-cell Li-Ion 58Wph
 Software HP Omen Control & Central Operations,  HP Connected Drive, HP    Recovery Manager, HP      Performance Advisor, McAfee Central, Microsoft Office Trial, Unigine Heaven and Valley
 Warranty 1 Year HP Total Care Limited Hardware Warranty
 Price $2099.99 as tested. As low as $1295 on Amazon

The HP Omen 15 is a semi-affordable gamer. It carries a base MSRP of $1,499.99 (though currently you can find it for less) and tops off with the model we tested, which rings in at $2099.99 and includes the best hardware available to the series. Although you’re locked into the Intel Core i7-4710HQ processor at any price point, you have some flexibility when it comes to the graphics card, memory and storage drive.

The 15.6-inch display is a nice choice, even with its more standard 1920x1080 resolution. Built with IPS technology and LED backlighting, the display is strong from a wide viewing angle. It also supports multi-touch, which is the same for all models of the Omen 15. With 304 nits of brightness, the Omen 15's panel also offers good contrast and saturation. It's not the brightest panel we've ever seen but it gets the job done nicely.

HP scratches the Core i7-4710HQ’s built-in Intel HD Graphics 4600 in favor of discrete graphics, which is a must for a gaming notebook. The base model has an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M with 2GB of graphics memory, which HP bumped in favor of the 4GB version of the GTX 860M for our test system. HP also opted for 16GB of DDR3 memory in the model we tested, over the standard 8GB option.

PCIe SSD storage is a good choice for a thin notebook like the HP Omen (which is comfortably under an inch thick), but it accounts for a sizeable chunk of the Omen’s price tag, particularly if you pass over the 128GB drive and go straight to 512GB for a $300 add.

03a Omen J

The Omen 15 doesn’t have an optical drive option, which isn’t unusual for slim gamers like the Omen, but it’s worth mentioning. Interestingly, it doesn’t have a built-in Ethernet port, either. That’s also typical for skinny ultrabooks, but it’s an important feature to some gamers. HP makes up for the missing port with a USB-to-Ethernet adapter, and there’s always the built-in 802.11 ac wireless connectivity to get you online. The Omen has Bluetooth 4 and USB 3.0 too, for additional connectivity.

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