HP Omen 15-5110NR

HP Returns to the Gaming Laptop Market With Old Omen Name

HP Omen 15 Gaming Laptop
HP Omen 15. ©HP Inc.

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The Bottom Line

Jul 20 2015 - HP marks their entry back into the gaming laptop arena with the Omen 15 that offers a solid gaming performance in a relatively thin and light profile. It even packs in a touchscreen which many other gaming systems do not have. The system is marred by a number of design choices such as an unusual keyboard and trackpad layout that might require getting used to and ports that are out of the way that make them somewhat more difficult to use.

Pros

  • Very Light
  • Solid State Drive
  • Touchscreen

Cons

  • Keyboard and Trackpad Layout Can Cause Issues
  • Port Locations Make Them More Difficult to Use
  • Fairly Expensive

Description

  • Intel Core i7-4720HQ Quad Core Mobile Processor
  • 8GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
  • 256GB Solid State Drive
  • 15.6" WUXGA (1920x1080) Multitouch Display with 720p Webcam
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 2GB GDDR5 Memory
  • 802.11ac Wireless, Bluetooth
  • Four USB 3.0, MiniDisplayPort, HDMI, SD Card Slot
  • 15.07" x 9.67" x .78" @ 4.68 lbs.
  • Windows 8.1

Review - HP Omen 15-5110nr

Jul 20 2015 - Long ago, HP used to produce some gaming specific laptops after it purchased Voodoo PC. Now after having discontinued the Omen name, HP has recycled it with their new thin gaming laptop. The Omen 15 measures just under and inch thick and weighs over four and a half pounds. This is one of the lightest 15-inch gaming laptops available. The shape is very wedge like that tapers from the back to the front but also angled edges on the bottom sides which I will mention again later.

The unique aspect is the chrome hinge that offers a slight tinge of blue color to the edges that certainly gives it a very different appearance.

Powering the HP Omen 15-5110NR is the Intel Core i7-4720HQ quad core mobile processor. This is a very fast processor that allows the Omen 15 to handle just about any type of computing task.

Whether it is PC gaming or desktop video editing, it should not have any trouble at all. The processor is matched up with 8GB of DDR3 memory which provides a smooth overall experience with Windows but those using it for more demanding applications beyond gaming might want to consider upgrading.

Unlike most of the gaming laptops that still rely on hard drives to provide a huge amount of storage space, the HP Omen uses a 256GB solid state drive. This provides it with much faster performance when loading up windows or games. The downside is that the storage space is smaller than many other laptops. In fact, many systems in this price range and size are starting to offer both an SSD and a hard drive to address the problem. There are four USB 3.0 ports for use with high speed external hard drives if you need additional space. The location of the ports can be both good and bad. They are all located on the back because of those angled sides which means that the cables are out of sight but it also difficult to reach. Like many newer laptops, there is no optical drive meaning you will need to use an external drive if you need to playback or record CDs or DVDs.

One major difference between the HP Omen 15 and most of the other gaming laptops is that the display features a touchscreen panel.

This may be useful for applications outside of gaming but the feature tends to just result in additional power draw than functionality. The 15.6-inch panel uses the 1920x1080 resolution that most gaming laptops use as it balances resolution and frame rates. Brightness and color are good but reflections are more of a problem from the glossy coatings required for the touchscreen. The graphics are handled by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M processor that offers smooth frame rates in most games with moderate to high detail levels.

The keyboard design for the HP Omen is very different from just about any other 15-inch laptop on the market.

First, it does not offer a numeric keyboard. This is not necessarily bad as it provides additional space for larger keys. Instead though, HP has included a number of macro keys on the left hand side of the keyboard. This means that the keyboard is shifted more to the right which may though off some users. It features a adjustable color backlight for the keyboard that can be adjusted to a wide range of color with multiple zones. The trackpad for the Omen 15 is gigantic and dwarfs just about any other gaming laptop. It uses integrated buttons which is not surprising given the size. It does fine with single touch gestures but has some issues with multitouch due to the sheer size. Expect to brush it at awkward times as well.

HP has equipped the Omen 15 with a 58WHr battery pack which they do not give an estimate in terms of its running time. In digital video playback tests, the system is able to run for just over four hours before going into standby mode. This is a bit better than some of the other 15-inch thin gaming laptops but still not the longest running by far which is held by the Apple MacBook Pro 15 that runs for twice as long on a larger battery.

Pricing for the HP Omen 15-5110nr is roughly $1500 which is not too high but it is slightly more than many competiting systems. The closest system in terms of features would be the Lenovo Y50-70 as it also features a multitouch display. It may use a solid state hybrid drive instead of an SSD so performance is a bit less but it offers more storage. It also is hundreds less which many people would be willing to take even if the Y70-50 weighs more. The other similar option is the MSI GS70 Ghost with a nearly identical price. It is slighltly thinner and lighter than the Omen 15 but it has the advanateg of combining an SSD and hard drive to get around the issue with the storage space. It does not feature a touchscreen and has somewhat less battery life than the Omen.

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