Renewed and announced a little later than the majority of competing offers, HP's Omen 15 range returns in early spring 2021. Accompanied by a GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card and an Intel Core i7-10750H processor, the ‘Omen 15 intends to stand out with high performance contained in a thin and relatively light chassis. A 2021 vintage that is worth the detour? Answer with this test.
Placed under the sign of the scarcity, even the shortage, some believe that the beginning of the year 2021 is clearly not a favorable period for the acquisition of computer equipment, in particular components such as graphics cards and processors. The laptop world is doing quite well, however, but strong demand leads to frequent shortages of stock for gaming laptops equipped with RTX series 30 GPUs. However, this does not prevent manufacturers from continuing their path, like HP, which takes the opportunity to upgrade its Omen 15. No variants with AMD CPU on the program, however, but two models that include RTX 3070 and i7-10750H processor, with the differences being a slower IPS panel ( 144 Hz against 300 Hz) and less bulky storage (512 GB against 1 TB) for the less expensive model.
Omen Laptop 15-ek1047nf datasheet
The PC was loaned by HP for this test.
A design without false note
HP has put a lot of effort into reviewing the design of its Omen laptops last year. Enjoying a much more sober aesthetic than before, the Omen 15 now shows a look and curves much less aggressive; In fact, we would almost confuse it with a classic ultrabook without its large air intakes, its RGB backlit keyboard and the Omen logo certifying us that we are indeed facing a gaming machine.
With its 2.45 kg and its 15.6-inch screen, the Omen 15 is a fairly good travel companion and can be easily carried everywhere, something which was already less the case with the MSI GE76 Raider with its panel of 17.3 inches and its almost 3 kg on the scale. Nevertheless, the Omen 15 remains average, the dimensions of its chassis are very correct (357 x 239 x 22.9 mm), but still a few cables away from being as thin and light as a Razer Blade Advanced for example. (15.6 for 2.01 kg).
The Omen is ultimately a fairly discreet device, we appreciate this updated design, even if HP ended up swapping the brushed aluminum of the cover with plastic. This undoubtedly results in a less heavy (and less expensive to produce) PC since the weight of the machine before the upgrade was more around 2.6 kg, but we have to do with a much less rigid cover. This is indeed quite flexible, the coating on the back of the screen moves with a simple press; this will probably not be disturbed as long as we are careful, but we must say that this flexibility of the material sounds a bit like a fragility.
Apart from that, aluminum is present for the wrist rest, a good point which however reveals a contrast between the materials and a small lack of consistency for a machine that wants to position itself on the “premium” segment. However, in our opinion, there is not too much to worry about: the finishes are generally very good and the choices made by HP to give birth to this machine are justified.
Keyboard and touchpad
Like other gaming laptops that have come into our hands recently, the Omen 15 has a standard keyboard that is not specially designed for gaming. The space is well occupied in width since there is only a strip of barely two centimeters on each side, however, we have already seen better on this point, as with the Asus TUF Gaming A15 for example. However, the space between the keys is generous enough to avoid typing errors; on the whole, the keyboard is pleasant to use in office automation, but will never replace a real gaming keyboard, the anti-ghosting (rollover on 26 keys) and the RGB lighting not sufficient to compensate for the chiclet type contactors.
Unfortunately, the backlighting is not configurable key by key, but on four zones only. A little nod to the players: it is possible to configure the lighting of the ZQSD keys, in addition to the left, central and right zones. The brightness of the lighting is more than sufficient to provide good visibility for nighttime gaming sessions, but we regret the absence of a shortcut key to managing the light intensity, and a little confusing setting within the Omen Gaming Hub, something we will talk about later. A regret that does not happen alone, the absence of double functions on the arrow keys, or the narrowness of the Ctrl key which can bother some users.
The touchpad on the other hand is quite generous, pleasant to the touch and built in a material that does not retain fingerprints. The two clicks are nevertheless a little soft and slow to activate, with a little frustration in use as to this reactivity and this feeling of imprecision. Nothing crippling, but we had to stress it.
The Omen 15 does a good job in terms of connectivity. Equipped with 2 USB 3.0 ports and a USB 3.1 Type-C with Thunderbolt 4 on its right edge, not to mention the Kensington notch (K-Lock), it also provides a third USB 3.0 port on its left edge.
Everything is completed with an SD card reader, an RJ 45 connector, a mini-jack combo output, and finally an HDMI 2.1 port. Wireless connectivity is based on the Wi-Fi 6 AX201 (2 × 2) standard and Bluetooth 5.0.
Audio and webcam section
Signed Bang & Olufsen and composed of two speakers, the audio solution that equips the Omen 15 benefits from a rendering clear enough for occasional multimedia use, but don't expect much more. Located on both sides of the chassis, closer to the listener, they lack the power and balance to satisfy, the sound also suffers from the noise emitted by the ventilation when it is running at full speed. In short, we would much prefer to connect a speaker, or even a pair of headphones like the GTW 270 Hybrid from EPOS, or better with a headset microphone.
The camera offers limited image quality and too low a definition to provide a good performance, as is too often the case. Note also that biometrics has no place here, fingerprint sensor and infrared for facial recognition are absent subscribers.
A welcome 300 Hz IPS panel
Advertised with a screen-to-body ratio of 80.95%, the Omen's screen benefits from relatively thin borders, or at least not wider than the majority. Only its lower border finally seems a little too generous, but that does not mar the feeling of immersion once in play.
Focusing a lot on responsiveness and fluidity with its refresh rate of 300 Hz and its support for G-Sync, the IPS panel signed AU Optronics does not however forget fidelity by offering convincing services under the impartial eye of our colorimetric probe.
The manufacturer's promises are kept; This one mentions in particular brightness of 300 nits and an sRGB coverage increased to 100%. In fact, we measured the light peak at 321 cd / m². If this figure is not very high, the brightness is nevertheless sufficient to enjoy the screen in bright conditions, but will indeed show its limits in certain situations. The color coverage perfectly covers the sRGB space, with a measurement of 99.5%; Adobe RGB coverage is displayed at 76.8%.
With the brightness slider placed at the maximum threshold, we obtain an attractive contrast for an IPS panel, of 1256: 1. The brightness of black is then 0.257 cd / m², and goes down to 0.113 cd / m² by halving the brightness, without the contrast ratio moving too much.
The colorimetric fidelity is there, but the panel of the Omen 15 is not irreproachable on this point. Basically, the color temperature is too high, and therefore too cold, with an average of 6815 K and an unbalanced RGB balance. The Gamma curve also lacks stability, something that only further calibration can effectively correct.
The precision is however there on the colors in sRGB, we indeed see there an average Delta E of 2.51, with a maximum value at 4.56 on certain shades of skin colors and pure white. Fairly light chromatic drifts and ultimately a screen that ideally combines precision and responsiveness.
A festival of preinstalled software
HP does not do things by halves when it comes to sealing partnerships, things that we see once again this year with the Omen 15. It includes the McAfee antivirus suite, but also Dropbox, ExpressVPN, and LastPass to finish. Of course, each of these services offers us a trial period before taking out the wallet.
There are also many HP signed software, the usefulness of which will depend on your needs. We can cite HP Smart, which requires a brand printer, HP QuickDrop to transfer documents between your HP devices or to a smartphone with the application of the same name, or even Omen Audio Control, minimalist but effective for quickly changing the audio settings.
Finally, Omen Gaming Hub is still in the game. It brings together many features related to video games, in particular with a launcher which acts as a games library, a gallery that offers a few dozen wallpapers, as well as “training” and “remote game” modes, two features which require to create an HP account, as well as a Mobalytics account for the first one. The last function fulfills a role similar to Steam Link, with an application to download on Android or iOS.
Finally, Omen Gaming Hub provides access to a menu more oriented towards practicality. This gives you a global view of the performance of the system, an intelligent or custom overclocking function, a network booster, a performance mode and a manually adjustable thermal control, and a switch. graphics allowing to choose between a hybrid operation or only on the dedicated graphics card. The Omen Gaming Hub requires additional software to configure the keyboard's RGB lighting if you don't want to settle for static lighting. Still in beta, Omen Light Studio does not bring any real added value here, except that it allows you to configure effects and colors on 4 zones. You can quickly access the lighting parameters using the “Omen” button,
For this upgrade, HP seems to be content to power its Omen 15 with a single processor, the i7-10750H, which the manufacturer already offered last year on this same range. No evolution on the CPU side, therefore, and even a more limited choice since at present HP has not announced any configuration incorporating an AMD processor.
With 6 cores and 12 threads clocked between 2.60 and 5.00 GHz, a unified cache of 12 MB and a thermal envelope of 45 W, this Intel processor is largely the road for gaming use but this offer leaves us a little bit hungry when it comes to looking at the performance/price ratio of this machine. Indeed, until the model 8-core chips Tiger Lake H35 11th generation Intel solutions remain below what AMD offers with chips 8 cores / 16 threads that show excellent performance even opposite i7-10875H and i7-10870H. To summarize, if the performance in single-core is relatively close between these different chips, the results in multi-core are logically in favor of the 8-core models.
We can see it in Cinebench R23, where our i7-10750H obtains a score of 1205 points in single-core, similar to that of the MSI GE76 Raider and its i7-10870H, but a multi-core score limited to 7,411 points here. We must therefore expect performance contained in the application, where the i7-10870H displays 9,378 points and where the Ryzen 7 5800H peaks at 12,797 points!
Naturally, the results of the PCMark 10 benchmark lead us to the same observation. With an overall score of 5,964 points, the Omen 15 shows good results in the different categories of this test, results to be qualified however since they are influenced by the entire configuration and not only by the processor.
Equipped with a 1 TB Toshiba XG6 NVMe SSD (reference KXG60ZNV1T02 Kioxa), the Omen 15 benefits from very decent performance in terms of storage, the speeds are however slightly below the best models on the market.
Which open with a max TDP of 100W (with Dynamic Boost 2.0), the 3070 teams that RTX PC this advantage in part of Max-Q technology 3 th generation. We thus find Resizable-BAR and Dynamic Boost 2.0, but the Whisper Mode 2.0 is not appropriate here.
However, it is possible to reduce in-game noise pollution by activating Whisper Mode within GeForce Experience, but without taking advantage of recent improvements to this feature which is based on artificial intelligence.
We started by evaluating the graphics part of this setup using 3D Mark and the Time Spy Extreme benchmark. The Omen 15 obtains an overall score of 4,151 points, with 4,341 points for the graphics part and 3,328 points for the CPU. The first graphic test takes a rate of 28 fps, against 25 fps for the second part of the benchmark.
The results are up about 5% compared to the RTX 3070 and its 95W TDP of the Asus TUF Gaming A15, but a much lower score on the processor side. Logically, the performances are 23% lower compared to the version with the TDP max of 125W which equips the MSI GE76 Raider. We find similar differences in Time Spy, with a score of 8,382 points (8,667 for the GPU, 7,068 for the CPU). The Time Spy stress test was carried out without concern, the frame rate stability is evaluated at 98.8%.
Ray tracing performance results are honorable. With an average of 23.28 fps recorded via the DirectX Raytracing benchmark and a score of 5,433 points on Port Royal, a value which shows that the effects of ray tracing are perfectly managed here.
Finally, the Night Raid test, allowing us to gauge the performance of the iGPU Intel UHD Graphics 630 displays a graphics score of 6,053 points, far from what we have seen on processors equipped with a graphics part. Iris Xe. By selecting the dedicated graphics card on this same test, we obtain a graphics score of 73,307 points.
As usual, we tried to appreciate the refresh rate of 300 Hz with Apex Legends. In Olympus, we keep an average of 168 fps by adjusting all graphics settings to maximum. By adjusting the graphics quality down, we reach an average of 207 fps. Ideal fluidity for a shooting game like this.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Rockstar Games' masterpiece runs very well here in Full HD. Via the benchmark tool integrated into the game, we see an average framerate of 64 fps in Ultra.
Benchmarks in games with Ray Tracing
Ray tracing adds indisputable added value to the games that offer it, as is the case with Control. We first launched the game without ray tracing, with the graphics settings pushed to maximum; in this condition, the title from Remedy Entertainment averages 89 fps. With ray tracing this time around, the framerate drops to 54 fps on average. We do much better by activating DLSS, with 90 fps.
Watch Dogs Legion
It is with Watch Dogs Legion that the activation of ray tracing begins to pose problems to our Omen 15. The game indeed runs at 52 fps on average in this situation, while it reaches 67 fps in ultra, without ray tracing. DLSS saves the day in performance mode, with 65 fps.
Heat dissipation and noise
The Omen 15 manages the heating relatively well, but it is necessary to adjust the ventilation slider to the maximum within the Omen Gaming Hub, something that we strongly recommend when it comes to launching games. or applications that place heavy demands on the CPU. For classic office use, the “Auto” mode is ideal.
In performance mode, with maximum ventilation, the Omen 15 obviously emits fairly strong noise pollution, which is ultimately a criticism that can be made against the vast majority of gaming laptops. However, hot air removal is particularly effective in this situation. During our gaming sessions, as well as during the various benchmarks that we carried out, the maximum temperature of the processor did not exceed 85 ° C. The same goes for the GPU with a temperature that rarely exceeds 65 ° C.
This cooling system is effective and avoids having to deal with thermal throttling which would restrict the frequencies. Despite everything, we must expect average temperatures and higher peaks if we want to avoid noise pollution.
Autonomy is often the Achilles heel of gaming laptops. Equipped with a battery made up of 6 cells with a total capacity of 70.9 Wh, our test model is no exception to the rule. The “Modern Office” benchmark of PC Mark 10, dedicated to autonomy, operated a full charge in just 4:43. Note that during this test, the brightness is adjusted to around 150 cd / m² while the PC uses its “hybrid” mode, which therefore uses the dedicated graphics card as integrated depending on the situation. With a performance index of 5,635 points, it remains average, and ultimately quite close to an Asus TUF Gaming A15 (6,589 points), which has a much better autonomy but also a more generous battery. This is ultimately what we can blame the Omen 15: to be satisfied with a battery of 70,
The 200W charger is one more thing to consider when it comes to taking the PC somewhere. With 270 g on the scale, it is however quite light, but still bulky. Fortunately, the charge is quite fast, the machine goes from 20 to 100% battery in less than 2 hours.
Price and availability of the Omen Laptop 15-ek1047nf
The HP Omen 15 is currently available in two versions. The model under test here, reference 15-ek1047nf, is sold for € 2,199. The second reference, the 15-ek1094nf and its 144 Hz panel, is sold at € 1,999.
Source: Gaming – Frandroid by www.frandroid.com.
The article has been translated based on the content of Gaming – Frandroid by www.frandroid.com.
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