We compared the HP Omen versus the Alienware M15/M17 in terms of Gaming Performance, Display Quality, Battery runtime, Keyboard / Trackpad and Heating. Below you will find the results in our Ranking and an oversight over the different features of each Laptop (Hardware). Below our Ranking you will find an in-depth analysis of each Gaming Laptop.
- Best Gaming Performance
- Great Design and Configurability
- Nice Design
- Good Gaming Performance
- Fast SSD storage
- A bit Loud while Gaming (work intensive apps)
- Bloatware pre-installed
- Best Gaming Performance
- Great Design and Configurability
- A bit Loud while Gaming (work intensive apps)
- Nice Design
- Good Gaming Performance
- Fast SSD storage
- Bloatware pre-installed
Ranking First: Alienware M15 / M17
- Best Gaming Performance
- Great Design and Configurability
- A bit Loud while Gaming (work intensive apps)
Dell, or how its gaming brand Alienware is called, significantly slims down its devices without losing sight of the actual target group. On the contrary: Even in the new Alienware m15, which has become significantly more compact and lighter in comparison to its predecessors, brisk hardware works inside, which reaches up to the Intel Core i7-8750H or even the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q. How the so far most compact Alienware device beats the strong competition can be found out in this Hardwareluxx article on the following pages.
The Dell XPS 13 certainly belongs to the slimmest and lightest office devices of its kind and has thus enjoyed great popularity in the past years and months. The US-American computer manufacturer now wants to follow up on these successes in the gaming sector and has therefore made its Alienware devices significantly slimmer and lighter without greatly impairing the performance.
On the contrary: In the new Alienware m15, really quick hardware is at work, which reaches up to the Intel Core i7-8750H on Coffee Lake H basis with six CPU cores or the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 in the Max-Q variant.
Although the device doesn’t come close to the dimensions of the popular XPS 13, it is comparatively light and compact with a weight of just 4,76 lbs and a size that is more like the 14 inch format. It is the most compact gaming notebook of the house so far, with which Dell and Alienware try to catch up with their competitors, who have strong devices like the Gigabyte Aero 15 v8, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin, the Razer Blade 15 or the Schenker Technologies XMG Neo 15 in their back pockets.
Somewhat unusual for the provider is the Alienware m15’s color scheme, as the device is available once in a rather unobtrusive silver on the screen lid and once in a more gaudy red, which should also include the demanding workaholic in the target group.
The battery also speaks for that, because, similar to Gigabyte, Alienware installs a 90 Wh strong energy dispenser upon request, which should provide runtimes of up to 17 hours and thus easily last for an entire workday.
Under the hood there is always an Intel Core i7-8750H, which can access up to 32 GB of DDR4 memory. 3D acceleration is provided by either an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB of GDDR5 video memory or an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 with 8 GB of GDDR5 video memory in the economical Max-Q edition, depending on the model.
There are many different memory configurations, including up to two M.S-SSDs with PCI Express connectivity, or a configuration of fast SSD and HDD or even SSHD. Intel’s Optane can also be configured.
The display measures 15.6 inches in its diagonal and operates at a fast 144 Hz or slower 60 Hz at a native resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, depending on the budget. An upgrade to a high-resolution UHD display is also possible. Modern connections such as Thunderbolt 3 or Killer network chips and of course a gamer keyboard with RGB backlighting and macro keys should not be missing either.
Alienware almost supplied us with the top model for our test. Our test device is powered by an Intel Core i7-8750H and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q and can access a 32 GB DDR4 RAM as well as two fast M.2 SSDs with 512 GB each. The display is the Full-HD variant with 144 Hz. Alienware has sent us the red color combination.
The entire hardware is contained in a 363 x 275 x 21 mm housing, which is based on a stable mix of magnesium and plastic. The top case is made of magnesium, whereas plastic is used for the palm rest and the display.
All in all, the Alienware m15 is thus extremely stable, the chassis doesn’t yield at any point even under strong pressure, there are no sharp edges and the gap dimensions are also excellently worked out. Only the two display hinges could be more torsionally stiff, the display already wobbles in case of slight vibrations, but can be opened with only one hand without problems.
Overall, the Alienware m15 is larger than the competition in terms of both the footprint and the overall height. The Gigabyte Aero 15 v8, the Razer Blade 15, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M and the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin are thinner than the 21.0 mm of the Alienware model with about 17.8 to 19.9 mm.
Only the Schenker XMG Neo 15 takes up a bit more space. In terms of weight, the Alienware m15 is however a good midrange model with around 4,76 lbs: The competition is heavier here with up to 5.4 lbs. There aren’t really big differences, though.
Optically, the Alienware m15 is rather plain, especially in view of the US-American Producers’ previous gaming machines. The 15 incher is kept in black throughout, only the display lid has a little color change. Dell either relies on “Epic Silver” or “Nebula Red”.
Especially the latter is quite unusual, but the red isn’t quite as gaudy and bulky. The gaming bolide is kept extremely plain in the top case area, though. The RGB lighting of the keyboard is set to monochrome ex works, but can be configured differently in four different zones.
The Alienware logo on the display lid is naturally illuminated during operation and even informs about the battery performance when turned off. If the eyes of the alien glow red, the power dispenser is almost empty, if it changes to orange or green, it is almost fully charged.
The Alienware logo is also available in the center above the keyboard and serves as an on/off button here. Directly underneath, a honeycomb structure provides better cooling for the hardware underneath, but also serves the acoustics of the integrated speakers.
Alienware presents its buyers with three options for the display: Either they opt for a high-resolution UHD panel or for a Full-HD display with 60 or fast 144 Hz. Alienware has decided on the 144 Hz variant for our test. Our test device relies on an AUO80ED panel from AU Optronics.
This is very high-contrast and very well lit, but not very bright with a maximum brightness of only 289 cd/m² and thus can only be recommended for outdoor use to a limited extent. But between the brightest and darkest value there are only 27 cd/m², the homogeneity reaches almost 91%. The contrast ratio of 1.103:1 is very good.
Whilst many gaming notebooks have to struggle with a slight to strong blue cast on the display, the Alienware m15’s IPS panel almost achieves best rates. While the optimal color temperatures are around 6.500 K, our test device almost manages a precision landing on the optimal value with an average of 6.504 K. It’s only 6.582 K in the peak. Thus, the panel is very well calibrated and is also suitable for the demanding workaholic who wants to edit his pictures and videos on the go.
Otherwise, the panel is extremely responsive with 144 Hz, but you have to do without G-Sync support. For this, Alienware relies on NVIDIA’s Optimus technology, which automatically switches to the economical CPU graphics when the fast dedicated solution isn’t used. The native resolution of our device is Full HD and thus 1,920 x 1,080 pixels.
Keyboard / Trackpad and Ports
The until then quite good first impression of the Alienware m15 in the keyboard and mouse replacement must leave something to be desired. Alienware relies on a standard layout with its own number pad, but the chiclet keys only have a very short stroke and are somewhat smooth-running. The pressure point is right for that. The RGB lighting can be configured via the in-house Alienware Command Center.
Not only the color can be determined here, but also the lighting effect. However, this doesn’t apply to each button individually, but to a total of four different zones. The Alienware logo on the back of the screen cover can also be individually illuminated during operation.
The intensity of the illumination is good and even, the lettering is generously dimensioned and still very easy to read even on smaller keys. Furthermore, there are four separate macro keys directly above the number pad, which should also please number lovers, whose function can be programmed via software. Of course, numerous additional functions such as screen brightness, volume or video output can be selected via the FN key.
The touchpad is moved slightly to the left, but is comparatively small with 106 x 65 mm. The gliding characteristics are quite good, but precision and reliability don’t come close to the competition with a glass touchpad. It decreases considerably especially towards the corners and edges.
In addition, the clickpad is very smooth-running. There are no dedicated keys for left and right mouse clicks. The ambitious gamer should, however, connect a real gaming rodent to the notebook anyway. It’s a pity that the tochpad can’t be turned off via a simple key configuration or even via its own slide control.
The Alienware m15 has everything that the gamer’s heart, but also the demanding workaholic, needs on the connection side. The placement of the ports is well thought-out, as especially large and clunky interfaces are located directly behind the display, which makes the cabling on the desk and on the road especially easy.
Here, the Alienware m15 offers HDMI 2.0 and a Mini DisplayPort output, but also the connection for the external 180W power supply. Directly next to the USB type C interface, which works according to the Thunderbolt 3 protocol and thus supports especially high data transfer rates of up to 40 GBit/s, there is also the proprietary connection for the in-house graphics amplifier, an external graphics box that accommodates current desktop graphics cards and theoretically accelerates the 3D performance even further. Thanks to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, this is not necessary at first, but perhaps not entirely wrong with a view to the future.
On the left side of the device, the Alienware m15 offers a USB 3.1 interface according to type A, as well as a Gigabit Ethernet interface with killer functionality, whereby the notebook’s network game data is processed with priority.
There is also a 3.5 mm jack plug for connecting a headset, which can function as input and output. Here, two separate sockets would have been the more practical solution. All interfaces are each located in the center, and there are some air inlets for cooling in the front and rear area. A Kensington lock is also integrated at the very rear as an anti-theft protection.
In opposition, the test device only offers two more USB 3.1 interfaces, which are output as type A. They are also centrally placed and surrounded by some air inlets.
Although an Intel Core i7-8750H, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q and two fast M.2 SSDs perform their services inside our Alienware m15, which partly demand a lot from the cooling and are anything but easy to handle, it shows itself to be extremely reserved. The Alienware m15 only has a few air inlets and outlets for cooling behind the display lid and on both side panels, as well as on the case bottom.
Inside, the graphic card and processor are each kept at temperature by their own cooling system, consisting of up to 8 mm thick copper heatpipes and their own radial fan with only 0.2 mm thin rotor blades, of which there are 90 each.
The Alienware m15 is powered by a 60 Wh battery on the road. However, those who accept a surcharge of just $20 in the top model will get a larger power source, which almost comes close to the gigabyte Aero 15, which is clearly the top in this discipline, with about 90 Wh. However, our test sample has to bear with the smaller 60 Wh battery. Dell promises up to 13.4 or even 17 hours runtime.
If the 15 incher does have to go to the mains after all, an external power supply with an output power of 180 W takes care of the power supply. Dell supplies a weaker 150 W power supply in the smaller model variants with GeForce GTX 1060.
An Intel Core i7-8750H is at the heart of all model variants. With it, Intel had inherited the direct Kaby Lake predecessors in April and thus also introduced six computing cores in the notebook, which above all improved the multi-core performance. Thanks to SMT support, up to twelve threads can be processed at the same time.
In order not to further increase the TDP class in comparison to the previous generation, Intel has corrected the clock rates partly significantly downwards. Whilst the Intel Core i7-7700HQ as a direct predecessor still had a base and turbo clock of 2.8 to 3.8 GHz, the new Core i7-8750H has to make do with a base clock of 2.2 GHz. However, in order to also further accelerate the single-threaded performance, it can reach speeds of up to 4.1 GHz in turbo and thus increases slightly.
Otherwise, the Coffee Lake H CPU offers a 9 MB L3 cache and a 1.5 MB buffer in the second row. The data and instruction cache amounts to 32 KB each. Like most current processors of the Chipreis, the CPU is manufactured using the 14-nm process. The TDP is still specified as 45 W, as long as the manufacturers do not restrict the cTDP downwards, which has not been the case so far, at least not in the gaming notebook sector.
Even the memory is not spared, because while some competitors like to use only a single or with 2.133 MHz only a very slowly clocked memory module, Alienware connects two 2.666 MHz fast modules in the m15 to the memory controller of the Coffee Lake H CPU in fast dual channel mode, which benefits the memory bandwidth. It reaches up to 29.34 GB/s in our tests and thus ranks among the fastest models. It also has a generous 32 GB of RAM.
On the mass storage side, our test device is equipped with two M.2 plug-in card SSDs, each offering 512 GB memory. They bring it to an average read speed of well over 3.0 GB/s, but the performance breaks down considerably during writing and only reaches about 450 MB/s in our tests.
This is still more than fast enough for everyday use, but it is comparatively slow for a PCI Express SSD. However, the Alienware m15 is also available with a slower HDD and thus with more memory, but also with an SSHD, which combines fast flash memory with conventional magnetic memory. There are numerous different configurations, which can be selected as desired via the online shop.
Our Alienware m15 achieves a very good 35,034 MIPS in the compression test of 7-Zip, which is a bit above the comparison devices with Coffee Lake H. The same applies to both Cinebench benchmarks, which the device finishes with proud 12.96 and 1,177 points in the multi-core preset. In the single-core preset, it still scores 168 and 1.93 points, respectively. So there is no throttling.
As a true gaming notebook, which may be the Alienware m15, a dedicated graphics card can’t be missing, of course. The gaming bolide is available here either with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 in the Max-Q version. Our test device is equipped with the latter.
Just like the desktop offshoot, which has already been converted to the new Turing architecture in contrast to the notebook, it is based on the 7.2 billion transistor GP104 GPU, which is manufactured at TSMC in the 16nm FinFET process like most current Pascal graphics chips and is technically almost identical to its desktop counterpart.
Whilst the GeForce GTX 1070 provides 1,920 shader units in the desktop, the notebook provides 2,048. In return, the clock rates turn out a good bit lower. Instead of 1.506 and at least 1.683 MHz in base and boost, the notebook variant only reaches clock rates of 1.443 and 1.645 MHz, respectively.
The more efficient and economical Max-Q variant, as we find it here, proves to be a bit more defensive in favor of waste heat and power consumption and is content with speeds of 1.215, respectively at least 1.379 MHz. In previous tests, the Max-Q version was about 10 to 15% slower, but a good 20% faster in comparison to a regular GeForce GTX 1060.
Even under absolute full load, which we are used to simulate with Prime95 and Furmark, our test device achieves the minimum NVIDIA specifications for boosting. However, it can easily exceed 1.400 MHz in gaming mode.
The Max-Q version of the GeForce GTX 1070 can also fall back on an 8 GB GDDR5 video memory, which is connected to the GPU via a 256 bit wide interface and starts working with a clock rate of 2.002 MHz. This enables the 3D accelerator to achieve a memory bandwidth of up to 256 GB/s.
All of our benchmark games are thus playable without any problems, which is also due to the gamer-friendly resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels of our Alienware m15, as there is also a high-resolution UHD panel available for an additional charge. Then the hardware would reach its performance limits much faster. Games such as “Grand Theft Auto 5” or “Wolfenstein 2” run across the screen in Full HD with over 80 to 140 frames per second, which is roughly on par with comparable devices and well above the comparable devices with GeForce GTX 1060.
In “Call of Duty: WWII” and “Assassin’s Creed: Origins” it’s also well above the magic 60 FPS mark, which means that the titles are very playable despite the highest quality settings.
Thus, you don’t have to worry about current and upcoming graphic hits with the Alienware m15. However, if you want to play in QHD or even UHD, you should wait for the gaming update, which will probably be released at the beginning of the new year. Then Alienware wants to offer a corresponding refresh.
The Windows 10 installation on our test device is quite clean for Alienware and Dell. Along with a yearly license for McAfee LiveSafe, a tool for simple driver updates is included, as well as of course all important tools for the GPU, the killer network chips or the Realtek audio chip and the Thunderbolt device software. A highlight is clearly the Alienware Command Center, which serves as a hub for all important device settings.
Not only can the RGB backlight of the keyboard or the Alienware logo on the display lid be controlled via it, but also some important system parameters, up to own overclocking profiles, can be read out and configured. Here you’ll find temperature information and information about the voltage as well as the current clock rate for CPU and GPU. Of course the load is also read out.
Depending on the temperature and load, the cooling system with its two axial fans can be individually controlled or set in prefabricated thermal profiles. The Alienware m15 is set to balanced ex works, which lets the fans turn off completely in idle.
Furthermore, the Alienware Command Center can be used to set the power management, configure the audio profile of the Realtek chip and create quick start shortcuts for favourite games.
Due to the somewhat heated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q and the Intel Core i7-8750H with its six CPU cores and the compact case, the Alienware m15 gets very warm in our test, both inside and on the surface.
Already in normal office use, an average of 29.5 to 30.4°C is reached on the surface, whereby the bottom gets a bit warmer as usual. We determined the warmest spot with 36.5°C in the second quadrant below the base unit and thus exactly where the CPU and GPU heat pipes meet.
If you force the cooling to its performance limits in the worst case scenario, which we simulate as usual with Furmark and Prime95, significantly higher values are achieved. Then the average temperatures are 31.6 and 33.9 °C. In the peak, up to 47.6 °C are reached, which means that intensive work on the lap is not recommended.
Under the hood it is even considerably hotter. The Intel Core i7-8750H stays only just below the magic 100 °C mark with 99 °C and even the frugal Max-Q version of the Pascal graphics reaches comparatively warm rates of 83 °C. The high temperatures don’t have a negative impact on the performance, on the contrary:
The Alienware m15 can always call up the highest performance during our extreme tests. The Coffee Lake H CPU starts at least with 2.8 GHz, the GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q at least with 1.328 MHz. Both are roughly on the minimum specifications of the respective manufacturer.
However, the Alienware m15 is only partly a quiet kick. It’s pleasing that the fans completely stop running in idle mode until a certain temperature level is reached and thus cool the device passively and thus completely silently. The fans don’t start even when surfing or performing light tasks.
However, if the hardware is put under load, the 15 incher can’t avoid active cooling and turns up considerably. During our worst case scenario, we determined a noise level of up to 51.4 dB(A), which means that our test sample is anything but quiet and partly significantly louder than many a competing device. After all: If you only play, the sound level is minimally lower with about 50.6 dB(A).
The Alienware m15 is powered by NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q stationary via a 180W external power supply. With a fully charged battery, it then approves itself with about 18.9 to 168.6 W, depending on the power state. In the peak it can even be up to 175.6 W, which is completely within the performance specifications.
However, a 60 Wh battery must be sufficient for traveling. It is sufficient for about four hours or 236 minutes in office mode, but the battery life drops well below one and a half hours in gaming mode. The screen then already turns black after about 85 minutes. Stamina looks different.
However, the Alienware m15 is also available with a more powerful 90 Wh battery for an additional charge. In our test sample that would be just $20 more, a quite small surcharge that should be worth it, as we think. The power supply is fully operational again after just over an hour. The Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 with a 94 Wh battery and similar hardware equipment offers significantly higher runtimes.
With the Alienware m15, the US-Americans catch up with the competition, which offers extremely compact and at the same time very noble gaming notebooks with the Gigabyte Aero 15 v8, the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin or the Razer Blade 15 and the ASUS ROG Zephyrus GM501, which are also suitable as everyday work machines on the go.
With a weight of 4.76 lbs, the 15 incher sorts itself into the midfield, but the footprint and overall height turn out somewhat larger in part. Nevertheless, the device is still very compact. The color scheme and look is almost untypical for an Alienware gaming device, but the red on the display lid doesn’t apply too much, on the contrary: The Alienware m15 becomes a real eye-catcher.
Thanks to the use of magnesium and high quality plastic, there aren’t any problems with the workmanship or stability. Only the two display hinges could be more stable. Even if it gets very hot inside, especially under load, and the graphic card and processor could reach temperatures of up to 83 and 99°C, our test device can always call up its full performance because there is no throttling.
The Intel Core i7-8750H and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 in the Max-Q edition are more than fast enough to conjure up the latest games on the display in the highest graphics settings without any jerkiness, which makes the Alienware M15 / M17 perfect for gaming and therefore the first Rank vs the HP Omen.
Ranking Second: HP Omen
- Nice Design
- Good Gaming Performance
- Fast SSD storage
- Bloatware pre-installed
The OMEN 15-dc1211ng is the entry into the mobile gaming world of OMEN. The concept is convincing: chic design, flawless workmanship, a good display and a fast SSD meet a performance which remains quiet and cool even under heavy load. Thunderbolt 3, SD card reader and LAN port? All included. An HDD can be retrofitted and the many bloatware can be uninstalled. If you’re looking for more performance, you’d better go for the GTX 1660 Ti variant.
At the beginning of your mobile gaming career, you might want to start with the current test device HP Omen for under $900, for which you get an Intel® Core™ i7-9750H processor, a GeForce GTX 1650 and 16 GB RAM as well as an SSD with 512 GB memory.
At first glance the OMEN 15 makes a pretty good impression. The design looks well thought-out and not too playful, and the workmanship also looks clean. Although only a 60 Hz display is built in, this should be completely sufficient for the GTX 1650’s performance reserves. OMEN sensibly places the connections on both sides and the rear. Even a LAN port and an SD card reader are included, which might make the device interesting for content creators, streamers and co. But let’s start with the technical data at the beginning.
Scope of Delivery
In addition to the device itself, the OMEN 15 package contains a 150 Watt power supply unit and a three-pole power cable. In addition, OMEN also includes a fancy short manual which explains everything clearly and with pictures. Unfortunately, the individual parts and also the warranty labels are packed with foil.
The design is very well done. Although it quickly becomes clear that it is a gaming notebook, OMEN still does without excessive RGB blinking and overflowing edges. With the OMEN logo and lettering, the American manufacturer only sets slight color accents apart from the red-lit power button. As in almost all gaming notebooks the keyboard has RGB lighting.
The upper side is characterized by an X-shaped structure. The opposite areas each have a carbon and a brushed aluminum surface. The edges highlight OMEN with four red stripes, and there is also a shiny OMEN logo on the top side. Brushed aluminium is used on the inside.
The display frames are nice and narrow. Because the webcam sits above the display, this frame is a bit wider than on the sides. The touchpad has also been accentuated with a chrome frame.
For under $900 you won’t get a full aluminium body in the beginner’s class, but the OMEN 15 still makes a high-quality impression due to its surface structures. The gap dimensions are clean, there are no sharp edges and the notebook is stable because the inside is made of brushed aluminum.
Granted: The display can be easily bent because the top side is made of plastic. However, the plastic doesn’t look as cheap as it has often been the case with gaming notebooks in this price segment and above. Overall, the workmanship and also the unobtrusive design are flawless.
Keyboard and Trackpad
The keys of the keyboard do not have a white border and therefore look particularly plain. The illumination is only faintly visible under the keys in normal room lighting, but this underlines the gaming notebook’s reserved character. Unfortunately there are only two states of illumination: on and off.
The layout is largely normal, there are full arrow keys and fortunately no special keys. The exception is an OMEN key with which you open the OMEN Command Center. The space bar is also pulled down a bit further than the other keys.
The typing feel of the keyboard is good. It’s not a mechanical keyboard, but the feedback is precise and even longer texts should be manageable with the keyboard. The trackpad is okay, but most of you should use a suitable mouse for a gaming notebook anyway. For those who want to stay in the OMEN universe, the OMEN Reactor is a recommendation. After all, OMEN uses two full-fledged buttons with a short stroke on the trackpad.
The RGB lighting is divided into four zones. The buttons can therefore not be controlled individually.
The OMEN 15 uses a stereo loudspeaker system certified by Bang & Olufsen. The lows shine with absence, as in almost all notebooks, but the sound is passable at medium volume. The speakers can get quite loud at full volume, but the sound image then suffers considerably from the sharp highs.
The OMEN 15 has many of the newest Interfaces. On the left side at the rear end there are the two jack connectors for microphone and headset and a USB 3.2 type A port. The SD card reader is easily accessible at the front of the side. On the right side there is another USB 3.2 type A port and the power connection.
OMEN sensibly places the remaining connections on the back. These include the video connections in the form of HDMI, Thunderbolt 3 (USB-Type-C) and Mini DisplayPort. Furthermore you’ll find a LAN (RJ45) as well as another USB 3.2 Type A port. The device for the Kensington lock is also located on the back.
Altogether, all important connections are available and placed in a user-friendly way. The only exception is the power connection, which I would rather see on the back.
The OMEN 15 features a 15.6″ IPS display with FHD resolution (1920×1080 pixels). It comes to a dot density of 141 PPI. The panel is from BOE. It is the model BOE080D. The display has a 16:9 format and a refresh rate of 60 Hz. The OMEN 15 notebooks with more powerful equipment have a counterpart with a 144 Hz refresh rate.
The illumination of the display is good and it shines with 270 cd/m² above average brightness. The middle area is brightest and the luminance is about 10% lower towards the lower corners. The display is not calibrated ex factory. After calibration with our Spyder5Elite, the display gets considerably warmer, which reduces the maximum brightness by 40 cd/m² on average. The display is not quite as bright at 230 cd/m², but it is still acceptable.
The display is matt. So you can work on the notebook in any environment without having to pay attention to light sources behind you. The viewing angles are stable and the IPS panel displays colours vividly but still naturally. The colour coverage is 94% sRGB, 69% NTSC and 72% AdobeRGB. As the diagram shows, it is thus in the absolute midfield of gaming notebooks, as many use the same or similar panels.
If you’re looking for a higher color coverage, you’ll have to spend considerably more money with the Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED or the MSI GT76 Titan. A higher color coverage is always desirable, but more relevant for media professionals. You can download the color profile here.
Windows 10 Home 64 Bit is installed on the OMEN 15 ex works. In addition, there are various other more or less useful software: among them Candy Crush Friends & Saga, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Netflix, Spotify and Xing. OMEN could not resist installing the superfluous McAfee virus protection as well. Of course only as a test version, which is annoying with popups. Dropbox does that too, by the way.
It comes with lots of OMEN and HP software in the form of the OMEN Command Center, Energy Star, HP Audio Switch, HP Connection Optimizer, HP Documentation, HP JumpStarts, HP Smart etc. After all, almost everything can be uninstalled.
The OMEN Command Center can be accessed with the special key next to the delete key. With the app you can monitor CPU, GPU and memory usage, you can adjust the lighting and also activate an energy-saving comfort mode. If you own an OMEN account, you can also use the software to access the game library or use the Game Stream service. The software is well structured, tidy and fast. However, you have no animations to choose from when lighting up the keyboard.
The SSD has 475 GB of free space, of which 440 GB are available. If you want to install many programs and games on your notebook, you can retrofit an HDD so that the storage space does not become a bottleneck.
The OMEN 15 in the tested version has a Core i7-9750H, 16 GB RAM and a GTX 1650. The graphics card represents the entry into the current world of dedicated gaming GPUs from NVidia and is accordingly powerful. This means in plain language that gaming is only possible in Full-HD resolution with reduced details. Depending on the graphics engine and age of the games, the possible detail level varies from medium to maximum.
CPU-heavy or older games, such as Far Cry 5 (Ø 54 FPS) run very well with maximum details, while Ghost Recon Wildlands is only playable to a limited extent on the ULTRA preset with an average of 29 FPS. Here you are much better advised with the third highest detail level “High” with an average of 52 FPS.
The same goes for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey or The Division 2, depending on your own pain threshold, there are sometimes more and sometimes less details for a smooth gaming experience. Competitive online shooters like Apex Legends, Overwatch or Fortnite run smoothly even with higher details.
The GTX 1660 Ti and GTX 1070 achieve about 60% to 70% more FPS in games than the GTX 1650. The RTX 2060 is even a bit faster and supports raytracing effects (DXR) in games.
In Cinebench R20 the OMEN 15 places itself in the lower midfield with over 2,000 points. In the Photoshop benchmark it lands in last place, but in view of the entry-level graphics card, the rates are quite good.
The notebook has a Samsung PM981 MZ-VLB512HAJQ NVMe SSD with 512 GB memory. The SSD reaches a decent value in the AS SSD benchmark with just over 4,000 points. In comparison, the EVO 970 Plus from Samsung comes up to 6,255 points. You should hardly notice the difference in everyday life. The SSD also delivers good rates in the copy benchmark.
In comparison to more powerful gaming notebooks, entry-level gaming notebooks have the advantage that the battery life usually turns out significantly longer. This also applies to the OMEN 15, which lasts comparatively long with just under three hours. Many more powerful gaming notebooks only reach about two hours here.
By the way, the maximum brightness is regulated down to 200 cd/m² in battery mode. This mode is only suitable for moderate work.
Any Gaming Laptop can’t be played on a gaming notebook in battery mode anyway, as the performance is reduced to a minimum and the battery doesn’t supply enough voltage for the required performance.
Heating / Noise
As an entry-level gaming notebook with moderate performance and a normal form factor, the emissions chapter is usually not an obstacle. As with all gaming notebooks with HWiNFO64 in idle, we examined the temperature behavior in the system stability test of AIDA64 and when gaming The Witcher 3 in UHD at medium detail level.
The CPU and GPU temperatures are a good 51°C and 43°C in idle mode. In the stress test the average temperatures rise to 78°C (CPU) and 73°C (GPU). There are quite low temperatures for the stress test, so it’s not surprising that the cores aren’t throttled. The six-core can therefore maintain the clock frequency permanently. The OMEN 15 doesn’t become annoyingly loud with the tested equipment in the stress test either. The fans are audible, but quite quiet for a gaming notebook.
The OMEN 15 also behaves exemplary in gaming. Although The Witcher 3 with medium details puts the notebook to a good test and doesn’t reach more than 30 FPS, the temperature and also the noise level stays on a very good level. The processor reaches an average temperature of 71°C and the GTX 1650 gets 68°C warm on average.
Thus, the components stay quite cool and the case doesn’t get unpleasantly warm, either. It only gets a bit warmer above the keyboard, but can still be touched without any problems. This also applies to the bottom.
To open the bottom side, you have to loosen the eight screws. The plate is hooked into the middle of the underside and it takes some strength and courage to remove it completely. You don’t need a plastic card for this, though, and it’s best to start by removing it from the front corners.
The interior appears tidy. SSD, battery and WiFi module are directly accessible. Above the two RAM bars there is only a protective foil which you can fold up. Since the tested OMEN 15 does not have a 2.5″ HDD installed ex works, there is only a placeholder here.
But the connection is there. If the 512 GB of the M.2 SSD is not enough for you, you can add an HDD. If you want to upgrade the other components as well, you have to replace the existing one with better hardware.
Wow, the OMEN 15 really surprised me – and I’m not just saying this now because I’ve had the opportunity to test some OMEN notebooks. Simple and chic design, narrow display frames, flawless workmanship, a good keyboard and a fast SSD form the basic framework for a very successful gaming notebook for beginners.
The IPS display with 60 Hz is only average in the gaming notebook sector, but doesn’t do anything wrong with it. A 144 Hz display would certainly be desirable, but the GTX 1650 would only provide enough performance to really benefit from very old titles or when gaming with minimal details. If you are on the move in current titles in medium to maximum details, you wouldn’t notice anything at around 30 to 55 FPS.
All those who want to be on the move with higher frame rates or more details in FHD and generally want to play a lot with the notebook, I recommend the variant with RTX 2060 or GTX 1660 Ti. With it you get about 60-100% more performance and you only have to invest an additional 25-30% in percentage terms. On top of that there is a 144 Hz display. In my eyes an investment that pays off with the longer possible service life of the notebook.
Of course, the heat and noise behaviour is unclear with the more powerful hardware. Here the OMEN 15 delivers outstanding performance with the tested hardware. It neither gets particularly warm nor loud. Those who want to retrofit a 2.5″ HDD: This is possible without any problems with the notebook.
Moreover, all important connections and an SD card reader are on board, which makes the device interesting for all those who want to edit videos or pictures from time to time. Really annoying are only the many pre-installed programs and the test version of McAfee.
All in all the HP Omen ranks second vs the Alienware M15 / M17, but has the way better price, which means: If you dont need to have the literally best gaming Laptop and like to save a buck, the HP Omen is the perfect beginner Gaming Laptop, which makes it our ‘Best Price’ Laptop.