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Product Listing

HP Omen: HP's first stab at the gaming notebook market

By Salehuddin Bin Husin - 15 Mar 2015
Launch SRP: S$2299

The Benchmarks

Testing Setup

As per the standard procedure, we'll be using the usual array of test software to benchmark the performance of the HP Omen system. It'll be tested on PC Mark 8, a general all purpose benchmarking software, which will rate the HP Omen based on its main components (processor, storage, general performance). Once that's done, we'll be testing it with 3D Mark 2013, which tests the graphical capabilities of the machine. Of course, we'll still follow up with gaming tests, with benchmarks on Tomb Raider and Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor using each game's native benchmarking tools. Follow that, we'll be using Futuremark's Powermark to analyze its power consumption, battery life and mobility characteristics.

To summarize, here are our benchmarks:

  • PC Mark 8
  • 3D Mark 2013
  • Tomb Raider
  • Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
  • Powermark

Test Notebooks Compared
  HP Omen MSI GS60 2PE Ghost Pro Aftershock X17-V2 ASUS ROG G751JT Gigabyte P35X V3
  HP Omen MSI GS60 2PE Ghost Pro Aftershock X17-V2 ASUS ROG G751JT Gigabyte P35X V3
Processor and Chipset
  • Intel Core i7-4710HQ (2.5Ghz, 6MB cache)
  • Intel HM87
  • 4th Generation Intel Core i7-4700HQ 2.4GHz
  • Intel HM87 Chipset
  • Intel Core i7-4710MQ 2.5GHz
  • Intel HM87
  • Intel I7-4710HQ (2.5GHz)
  • Intel HM87
  • Intel i7-4710HQ (2.5GHz)
  • Intel HM87
Operating System
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 8.1
System Memory
  • 8GB DDR3L
  • 16GB DDR3L 1600MHz
  • 8GB DDR3L 1600MHz
  • 8GB DDR3L
  • 16GB DDR3L
Video & Display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M with 2GB GDDR5
  • 15.6 inch Full HD IPS touchscreen
  • 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080, Anti-glare
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M GDDR5 3GB
  • 17.3 Inch Full HD Matte LED (1920 x1080)
  • NVIDIA GeForce 860M GTX 2GB GDDR5
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
  • 17.3-inch Full HD Matte IPS
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
  • 15.6 inch WQHD+(2880 x 1620) LCD
Storage
  • 128GB SSD
  • 256GB SSD Super RAID + 1TB 7200rpm HDD
  • 128GB mSATA SSD + 1TB 7200rpm HDD
  • 8GB Hybrid HDD + 1TB HDD
  • 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Connectivity
  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Killer E2200 LAN
  • Wireless 802.11 ac
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • LAN
  • Intel AC 3160 Wireless
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Integrated 802.11 a/c
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Gigabit LAN
  • Integrated 802.11ac/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth V4.0
  • Gigabit LAN
Audio
  • 2 x internal speakers
  • Beats Audio
  • Sound by Dynaudio, Support 7.1 channel S/PDIF output, Exclusive Audio Boost technology, Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 2
  • High Definition Audio
  • Built in microphone
  • Built in two 2W speakers
  • SOUND BLASTER Cinema
  • Built-in speakers
  • Built-in subwoofer
  • MaxxAudio support
  • 2x 1.5 Watt speakers
  • 1x Woofer speaker
  • Dolby Digital Plus Home Theater
I/O Ports
  • 4 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x mini-DisplayPort
  • 1 x headphone jack
  • 1 x microphone jack
  • 1 x SD card reader
  • 3 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x Mini DisplayPort
  • 1 x headphone jack
  • 1 x microphone jack
  • 1 x LAN
  • 1 x SD card reader
  • 1 x Kensington Security Slot
  • 3 x USB 3.0 ports
  • 1 x USB 2.0 port
  • 1 x eSATA/USB3.0 combo
  • 1 x VGA port
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x headphone jack
  • 1 x microphone jack
  • 1 x RJ-45 LAN
  • 1 x SD card reader
  • 4 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x Thunderbolt
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x VGA port/Mini D-sub
  • 1 x Headphone jack
  • 1 x Microphone jack
  • 1 x S/PDIF output jack
  • 1 x Ethernet
  • 1 x SD card reader
  • 2 x USB(3.0)
  • 2 x USB(2.0)
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x mini DisplayPort
  • 1 x D-sub
  • 1 x Mic-in
  • 1 x Earphone-out (SPDIF)
  • 1 x Ethernet
  • 1 x SD Card Reader
  • 1 x DC-in Jack
Battery Type
  • 58Wh (4 Cells, Fixed)
  • 6-Cell Li-Polymer (4840mAh 52Wh)
  • 8 cells Smart Lithium-Ion, 76.96 Wh, removable
  • 88 Wh (8 Cells, fixed)
  • 75.81Wh (Li-Polymer, fixed)
Dimensions
  • 382.9 x 245.7 x 19.9 mm
  • 390 x 266 x 19.9mm
  • 413 x 277.5 x 17.5~44mm
  • 416 x 318 x 20 ~53 mm
  • 385 x 270 x 20.9 mm
Weight
  • 2.12 kg
  • 1.96kg
  • 3.2kg
  • 4.8 kg (with battery)
  • 2.3KG (with battery)
Optical Drive
  • 8 x DVD ± R/RW/4X +DL Super Multi Drive
  • Blu-ray writer
  • DVD Super Multi

As for our comparison choices, we chose the above specific machines either because of their class, size and specs. Clearly, the HP Omen notebooks specs classify it as a mid-range multimedia and gaming machine, a terrirotry we've tested fewer machines than the hardcore gaming notebooks. As such, we decided to stack appropriate machines to show off a range of results rather than just a couple of similar ones. Since there's pretty much no way a NVIDIA GeForce 860M can realistically compete with higher-end gaming notebooks equipped with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 900M series of GPUs, variety makes for a better match and understanding of how the Omen fares in the grand scheme of things. That's also why we scoured our vaults and brought back the MSI GS60 2PE Ghost Pro and the Aftershock X17-V2 which share somewhat similar hardware to the HP Omen.


PC Mark 8

Looking at the numbers gave us quite a surprise. Despite the HP Omen using a last generation graphics card, it still holds up remarkably well as the rest of its components are on par with current standards.  In fact, in the Work benchmark (which tests performance of programs one might be using at work, such as video chat and web browsing), the HP Omen outperforms its rivals. In fact, the ASUS ROG G751JT's score of 4428 compared to the HP Omen's score of 4604 had the HP Omen leading by a nearly 9% margin. No matter how you cut it, that's pretty significant lead.

The HP Omen begins to show performance being hampered when it comes to the more strenuous Apps suite though, as the pure horsepower of its rivals outpaces it by a notable margin. In the Adobe test, the HP Omen posted a paltry score of 4073, which is about an 18.2% drop in performance when compared to the Gigabyte P35X V3's score. This is due to Adobe being a design program, which benefits from the GPU's horsepower. Since the HP Omen is using a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, it stands to reason its performance will be weaker. Similarly, the MSI GS60 2PE Ghost Pro and the Aftershock X17-V2 are also using an older NVIDIA GeForce GTX 800M series graphics card and they too reflect results somewhat similar to the HP Omen. This shows that the HP Omen is actually performing well for its specs and there are no other hardware disparities to be concerned about. Should you need higher performance, you'll just need to invest in a high-end machine.

 

3D Mark 2013

Unlike its initial decent showing in PC Mark 8, the HP Omen's use of an older GPU proved to be its limitation in competing with higher-tier gaming notebooks. It was outperformed by more 12% by the ASUS ROG G751JT, in Cloud Gate. Still, Cloud Gate uses older DirectX routines, which new games no longer use (or use modified versions of it). As such, Fire Strike is a much more accurate presentation of how the HP Omen would perform on today's games.

The HP Omen's score of 3570 might seem decent when compared to the ASUS's 4655 but it's a whopping 30.3% margin. When compared to the Gigabyte P35X V3, the difference is even more obvious, with the Gigabyte machine performing more than twice as well as the HP Omen. Fortunately it doesn't fare badly when you put it up against similarly configured systems such as the MSI GS60 2PE Ghost Pro and the Aftershock X17-V2, once again suggesting that it has adequate muscle for gaming at decent graphical settings but probably not enough to handle games with maxed out graphical settings. So while the HP Omen isn't a powerhouse by today's standards, at the very least, it manages to keep its performance to accepted norms for its class - a highly portable mid-range multimedia gaming machine.

 

Tomb Raider

Despite Tomb Raider being the older game in our gaming bechmark, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M in the HP Omen still struggled to keep up with the pack. On both Normal and High, it posted FPS scores under 100. Yes, it's very playable, even on High (which is near enough to the magic 60 FPS figure that you won't be able to tell the difference) and we feel that's good enough for a machine with an older graphics card. It's pretty much accepted fact that there's no way the HP Omen can perform to the standards of the compared ASUS or Aorus machines but considering that the similarly configured Aftershock X17-V2 managed 62.3 FPS on high settings, the Omen is a tad below expectation. Still, the HP Omen manages to clock a decent 58.2 FPS, which is more than playable with a decent visual quality.

 

Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor

Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor is one of the most demanding games in recent memory. It is so demanding on higher resolutions on Ultra settings, that even SLI machines have trouble getting framerates past 100. Since this is a relatively new gaming benchmark added to our gaming notebook tests, we're unable to show you how the MSI GS60 2PE Ghost Pro and the Aftershock X17-V2 fare as we no longer have these machines in our lab. Going back to the results we can see HP Omen manages 36.4 FPS, which might seem like a letdown, but at least it is above the base playable threshold of 30 FPS.

 

Temperature

The HP Omen is one of the thinner gaming notebooks we've reviewed but that slim nature obviously comes with a few limitations. In the HP Omen's case, it's the temperature. Though the HP Omen is one of the hotter machines, the heat output is rather uniform, with it mainly distributed on the top half of the chassis. While 30 degrees Celsius isn't exactly cool, it's not going to burn your hands off either. HP's cooling could be stronger but at least it got the the heat distribution part right.

With the heavy lifting down, in the next page we'll be taking a look at the HP Omen's battery and power consumption performance.

7.0
  • Design 9.5
  • Features 7.5
  • Performance 7
  • Value 7
  • Mobility 7
The Good
Outstanding design
Slim dimensions & light weight
Excellent build quality
Sharp display with vibrant colors
The Bad
Outdated GeForce GTX 860M GPU
Short battery life
Ports only at the back of the machine
Limited onboard storage
No built-in Ethernet port (requires provided USB adapter)
Expensive
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