HP is well-known for its selection of business computers. HP makes everything from portable notebooks like the Envy 13 to powerful mobile workstations like the ZBook series, however, another type of notebooks have gained popularity recently. We are talking about the Omen gaming series that has been proven over the last few years as a reliable gaming solution.
Today we will take a look at the latest iteration of the series – the HP Omen 15 2018. Equipped with the new 8th gen Intel processors and up to a GTX 1070 Max-Q, the Omen 15 pumps some serious horsepower. Maybe the 144Hz display can set it apart from the competition or maybe it will win our hearts with its performance. Let’s find out.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/hp-omen-15-2018-15-dc0000/
HP Omen 15 2018 technical specifications table
What’s in the box?
Inside the box, you can find the notebook itself and its 200W power brick.
Design and construction
Like any other respectful gaming notebook, the HP Omen 15 catches the eye with its aggressive design. It has too big vents on the back and the majority of ports are located between them but we will talk about them in a minute. What leaves an impression, at first sight, is the back lid. It is made of brushed aluminum with patterned plastic pieces for decoration. The Omen logo is clearly standing out. The only thing that we mind is that the lid experiences a lot of flex when pressured, however, no ripples show on the display.
Opening the lid reveals the 15.6-inch 144Hz screen (more on that in the Display quality thread) and its extremely narrow bezels which makes it pleasant to look at. We get more of that brushed aluminum around the keyboard and at the palm rest area.
Speaking of the keyboard, we get a pretty basic one which isn’t bad by any means. The island-style keys are well spaced and have a clicky feedback. There are no macro keys, the only additional key is the Omen key above the Num Pad which launches the Omen Command center where you can customize your device and monitor its vitals. Our configuration has two levels of backlight – bright red all over or just on the WASD keys. Other configurations come with four lighting zones. The only thing that we are not fond of is the arrow keys which could have been larger.
The touchpad has a matte finish which makes gliding your fingers smooth. It’s accurate and responsive. There are two physical buttons too. The touchpad is rather small but then again who would game with a touchpad.
The back side of the notebook has two large vents to keep sufficient air flow to the fans. There are complimented by another Omen logo and a pattern. The back is also home to the two Bang&Olufsen speakers.
As far as dimensions go, the Omen 15 is just about average. It’s not too thick or too heavy for a gaming notebook, however, some competitors like the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RX show us that a gaming notebook can be quite portable too. Nonetheless, the HP Omen 15 gives the impression of a really compact notebook – maybe due to the narrow screen bezels.
|HP Omen 15 2018||14.17″ (360 mm)||10.35″ (263 mm)||1.02″ (26 mm)||5.6 lbs (2.52 kg)|
|MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RX||14.08″ (357 mm)||9.75″ (247.7 mm)||0.70″ (17.7 mm) (-31%)||4 lbs (1.80 kg) (-28%)|
HP Omen 15 2018 is packed with lots of ports the majority of which are located at the back of the notebook which leaves the left and right-hand sides clean. Let’s take a look at what it offers starting from left to right.
On the left-hand side, you get a single USB 3.0 port, a DTS Headphone:X combo jack, another 3.5 mm microphone jack, and a multifunctional card reader.
The back of the device is home to a lot of input and output ports. There you can find a USB Type-C port that supports Thunderbolt 3, a Mini DisplayPort, an HDMI 2.0, a USB 3.0 port (second for now), Ethernet port, and a security lock.
On the right-hand side, you can find another USB 3.0 port and the DC power connector with an indicating LED.
Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance
Opening the HP Omen 15 2018 requires removing two Philips 2.5×10 screws and another six Philips 2.5×4 screws.
Under the hood, you can see two big fans and the pipes between them. There is a lot of isolation and heat sinks too. The two RAM slots and the M.2 Wi-Fi card are covered by isolation tape.
For storage options, you get a single M.2 slot that supports PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4 SSDs and even 16GB Optane drives (PCIe 3.0 x2). You also have a SATA slot for 2.5-inch HDDs or SSDs.
Our unit came with a 70 Wh battery with a model number SR04XL.
HP Omen 15’s (2018) display features a Full HD IPS panel with a model number B156HAN08.2 (AUO82ED) manufactured by AUO. It’s 15.6 inches in diagonal (39.62 cm) with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. The screen ratio is 16:9 while the pixel density is 142 ppi and the pixel pitch is 0.18 х 0.18 mm. The display becomes Retina when viewed from a distance greater than 23.6 inches (60 cm) (from this distance the human eye can’t see the individual pixels).
The HP Omen 15 delivers comfortable viewing angles. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.
The maximum brightness we measured is high – 335 nits (cd/m2) in the center of the screen and 315 nits (cd/m2) average across the whole surface with a maximum deviation of 7%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen is 7430K average – slightly colder than the 6500K standard for sRGB. The average color temperature through the grey scale before profiling is 7200K. In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from uniformity perspective. In other words the leakage of light from the light source.
The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 72% Brightness (White level = 140 cd/m2, Black level = 0.11 cd/m2).
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is good – 1260:1 (1100:1 after profiling).
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction of the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.
Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.
Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.
The yellow dotted line shows HP Omen 15’s (2018) color gamut coverage.
Its display covers 95% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.
Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.
Below you can compare the scores HP Omen 15 2018 with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).
The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.
The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle and the surrounding light conditions.
Response time (Gaming capabilities)
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.
We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 9 ms. This panel is one of the fastest we have ever tested. It also has a refresh rate of 144Hz and G-Sync support for smooth gameplay.
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.
HP Omen 15’s (2018) display is not modulated for all brightness levels which makes the notebook suitable for prolonged use without causing unwanted effects.
Blue light emissions
Installing of our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.
You can see the levels of emitted blue light on the spectral power distribution (SPD) graph.
HP Omen 15 (2018) features a Full HD display that provides comfortable viewing angles, high maximum brightness, and good contrast ratio. It also has a wide color range and lacks PWM. In terms of response times, it’s one of the fastest on the market which is desired by gamers.
Buy our profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for HP Omen 15 (2018) configurations with 15.6″ AUO B156HAN08.2 (AUO82ED) (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS.
*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]
Read more about the profiles HERE.
In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.
Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.
Design and Gaming
This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.
THealth-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.
HP Omen 15’s (2018) Bang&Olufsen speakers deliver rich sound with crisp and clear low, mid, and high frequencies. The DTS Headphone:X enabled jack lets you experience emulated immersive 3D surround sound via headphones.
Drivers and Software
You can find all the necessary drivers at HP’s support page: https://support.hp.com/us-en/drivers/selfservice/omen-by-hp-15-dc0000-laptop-pc/20329817
HP Omen 15 comes with the OMEN Command Center which can be quick-launched via the OMEN key above the num pad. Inside the center, you can monitor your notebook’s vitals, use the Network Booster with which you can limit the bandwidth for certain apps and focus others, customize the RGB keyboard (if your model has it), and choose between two performance presets. You can also stream your games across other Omen devices.
Our unit was equipped with the larger 70 Wh battery that should provide good battery life. Unfortunately, we barely got more than three hours in our test. We are positive that this must be an unsolved problem in the sample unit that we have and it would be resolved in the final version. The model of the battery is SR04XL.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
We use F1 2017’s built-in benchmark on loop in order to simulate real-life gaming.
Our configuration of the HP Omen 15 came with a 256 GB PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4 SSD by Samsung with a model number MZVLW256HEHP-00H1 and an additional 2 TB Toshiba MQ04ABD200 HDD. We offer you benchmarks for the SSD.
|SSD model (240-256GB variants)||Max.Seq.Read (GB/s)||Max.Seq.Write (GB/s)||IOPS 4K Read||IOPS 4K Write||Latency Read (ms)||Latency Write (ms)|
|Samsung MZVLW256HEHP-00H1 (NVMe)||3.24||1.20||11796||24766||0.049||0.038|
|Intel SSD 760p / PEKKW256G8L (NVMe)||2.35||1.03||13340||24671||0.047||0.048|
|Samsung SM951 (NVMe)||2.24||1.29||11320||28450||0.057||0.034|
|Samsung PM951 MZVLV2560 (NVMe)||1.58||0.31||0.121||0.035|
|SK Hynix SC300 (NVMe)||3.19||0.91||11000||26180||0.060||0.053|
CrystalDiskMark – Max.Seq.Read/Write; AS SSD – IOPS 4K Read/Write, Latency Read/Write
The HP Omen 15 2018 is powered by the Intel Core i7-8750H. That’s the mainstream processor for gamers and users that demand high performance. Below you can check out how the notebook stacks against others equipped with this CPU. It’s optional to get the more modest Core i5-8300H too.
Results are from the Cinebench 15 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)
As for the GPU, you can opt for the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 or go as high as the GTX 1070 Max-Q. Our configuration is the top-end with the GTX 1070 Max-Q under the hood.
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q is more than capable of running every game you throw at it even when you crank up the graphics settings. It struggles a bit to keep around 60 fps on maxed settings but when you turn them down just a bit everything is fine. The tests were conducted using the GeForce driver version 388.98.
|Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5)||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||129 fps||59 fps||45 fps|
|Far Cry 5||Full HD, Normal (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||84 fps||78 fps||73 fps|
|Far Cry Primal||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||95 fps||81 fps||73 fps|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||121 fps||63 fps||59 fps|
|Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)||Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||73 fps||63 fps||41 fps|
Temperatures and comfort
We have a new way of torturing laptops, and for gaming machines, it comprises of 100% CPU load plus real gameplay test (Rise of the Tomb Raider).
Max CPU load
In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.
Average core temperature (base frequency + X); CPU temp.
|Core i7-8750H (45W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|HP Omen 15 2018||2.72 GHz (B+23.6%)@ 77°C||2.86 GHz (B+30%)@ 82°C||2.69 GHz (B+22.3%)@ 85°C|
|ASUS ROG GL504||3.29 GHz (B+50%) @ 95°C||3.12 GHz (B+42%) @ 95°C||2.56 GHz (B+16%) @ 80°C|
|Alienware 15 R4||2.86 GHz (B+30%) @ 93°C||2.32 GHz (B+5%) @ 74°C||2.31 GHz (B+5%) @ 66°C|
As you can see from the chart above, the HP Omen 15 manages to keep the core clock steady. The values you see are the average of all the six cores, however, a few of them reached above 3.0 GHz at times. We typically see one pattern in our stress tests – the frequency drops over time as well as the temperature. This is not the case with the HP Omen 15. Here the frequency remains fairly constant but the temperature gradually rises. Nonetheless, it doesn’t exceed 90 °C so everything is in the norm.
The test here is longer. The GPU is engaged at its max performance, trying to process as many frames per second as possible.
|GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min)||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)|
|HP Omen 15 2018||1268 MHz @ 81°C||1260 MHz @ 83°C|
The GTX 1070 Max-Q boost core clock starts from 1265 MHz. Under heavy load, the cooling system is capable to support it even after half an hour with just about average temperatures.
After continuous gaming sessions, the surface temperatures can become high. The hottest area can reach above 60°C, however, this area is in the center of the keyboard around the I, J, K, L keys. Nonetheless, the palm rest areas and W, A, S, D keys remain cool which makes gaming comfortable.
There is no doubt that one of the best features of the HP Omen 15 2018 is one of its display options that our configuration has. We are talking about the fast 144 Hz panel with NVIDIA G-Sync support. This panel is available even for lower-end configurations with a Core i5 and GTX 1050 although without the G-Sync functionality.
Apart from the high refresh rate, this panel also has a response time of just 9 ms making it one of the fastest we have tested and a bargain for gamers. Also with the lack of PWM and 95% sRGB coverage, the display is even suitable for color-accurate work and the ultra-narrow bezels make it pleasant to look at and give the notebook a compact feel.
As to performance, the HP Omen 15 handles benchmarks and games just as intended for its hardware.
One of the issues we had is the low battery life which we suppose it’s due to the fact we have a sample unit in our labs.
There isn’t much room for upgrades because all the slots are taken. However, the M.2 slot supports Optane drives too.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/hp-omen-15-2018-15-dc0000/
- 144 Hz screen (selected models) with narrow bezels
- 9 ms response time (AUO82ED)
- 95% sRGB coverage (AUO82ED)
- No PWM (AUO82ED)
- USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3 support
- Comfortable port positioning
- Poor battery life (sample unit)
- Gets rather hot after continuous gaming