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

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The HP Omen 15 runs Windows 8.1 and comes with a complement of HP software, as well as the usual trialware. PC makers in general have a bad rep for installing unnecessary, sometimes intrusive apps, but I wouldn’t say that the "freebies" on the Omen rise to the level of bloat. Some of the installed programs are actually pretty handy.

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If you've been a fan of boutique PC builders, you'll recognize the logo on the Omen's Desktop from VoodooPC days.

HP Omen Control handles you key customizations and the Omen’s slick lighting system. You can control the brightness of the LEDs and choose whether the speakers are “animated.” When animated, the speaker lights pulse to the beat of the music you’re playing. You can choose from tons of different colors for several sections of the keyboard, the power button, and the P keys. Or, you can give everything the same color and call it good.

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Omen Control’s Key Assignments page gives you a map of your P keys and lets you assign keys and macros to them. The P keys also support Shift+P, Function+P, etc, so you can have more than one action tied to each of the six P keys. And Omen Control lets you create multiple profiles so you can change what each P key does depending on the game you’re playing at the moment.

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HP also tosses in its Performance Advisor, Recovery Manager and HP Support Assistant tools, which are useful for finding your notebook’s serial number, updating drivers, system recovery, and the like. Trial versions of McAfee Central and Microsoft Office 365 are some of the bigger names among the freebies.

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