For your money, the HP Omen 15-dc0045nr is a potent gaming laptop among entry-level gaming laptops. It features some high-end features that enable it to handle every-day productivity tasks and gaming with flair. We loved the excellent performance, solid display, and host of features that make this laptop great for HD gaming. As a result, we recommend it as our Editor’s Choice for entry-level gaming laptops list.
- Attractive gamer design
- Great overall and graphics performance
- Solid display -144Hz 1080p
- Comfortable keyboard
- Decent Audio
- Great starting price
- Fast, six-core processor
- Chunky plastic chassis
- Slow SSD option
- Below-average battery life
Many consumers often associate HP with the Spectre and Envy line up. But HP came up with the Omen Series as well, a gaming series that follows closely the footsteps of gaming brands like MSI, Alienware, and Republic of gamers. Since their inception in 2014, the Omen laptops have been a great source of gaming laptops with thin bezel displays, powerful graphics, remarkable design, and affordable prices.
The HP Omen 15-dc0045nr we review today is HP’s new olive branch to gamers. It packs some compelling features that make it a good value high-performance mainstream laptop and gaming rig. Inside it flaunts the new beefy 8th Gen Core i7-8750H 6-Core processor, 32 GB DDR4 memory, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics, 144Hz refresh rate screen, and a 1080p display. Overall, it’s an impressive package that doesn’t mess around and can handle a fair share of demanding titles. Let’s break it down.
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HP Omen 15-dc0045nr Specs
|Display||15.6-inch FHD IPS anti-glare|
|Processor||8th Gen i7-8750H processor|
|RAM||32GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM|
|Storage||512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD|
|Graphics Card||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8 GB GDDR5|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
|Dimensions||10.35 x 14.17 x 1.02 inches|
Design and Features
The design of the HP Omen 15-dc0045nr isn’t the flashiest or the spiffiest around. It doesn’t have many features to make it stand out in a crowd of other gaming laptops with spectacular features. But nonetheless, it’s an attractive all-around gaming laptop. The design more or less breaks away from the tradition of chunky and heavy gaming laptops, taking up a leaner and meaner form factor. Compared to its predecessor, it brags of better thermal-dynamics and of course smaller footprint. And against other gaming-themed gaming laptops, it gives off a restrained vibe because it lacks an outrageous out-of-the-world gaming theme.
Optics and haptics remain the same. The top case is made of nicely brushed aluminum while the bottom and the display lid made of textured plastic. The lid’s black matte look gives the laptop a sleek look and makes the embossed red Omen logo pop out. Underneath the laptop, the surface is ridged such that it reduces the likelihood of slipping off your lap or off your desk. Overall, the build quality is superb as the case is sturdy and the general structural rigidity of the device is solid. In terms of dimensions, as we mentioned above, the laptop has a smaller footprint, a significant reduction from the predecessor.
At 10.35 x 14.17 x 1.02 inches and 5 pounds, it’s a fairly slim laptop and a concession that’s entirely worth the sacrifice if you prefer thin powerful laptops. Compared to the Acer Predator Helios 300 (14.23 x 10.01 x 0.9 inches), and the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin-068 (14.08 x 9.75 x 0.69 inches and 4.14 pounds), our unit loses the fitness contest. The pricier and more power oozing Lenovo Legion Y740 is also much slimmer at 0.88 by 14.2 by 10.5 inches and 4.8 pounds.
There are at least three configurations of the HP Omen 15 available. There is the mid-range option that comes with a GeForce GTX 1050Ti, the more powerful GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q option and the GTX 1070 Max-Q option. One thing that these three iterations have in common is that the display in all of them is always Full HD (1920 x 1080) with an IPS panel. That translates to good viewing angles and great 1080p video gameplay. The display is also a matte 15.6-inches with 283.4 cd/m2 brightness which is considerably lower considering our 300cd/m2 average.
Moving on, the display also has a 144Hz refresh rate which again is great for gaming. Few other laptops can make such a claim at this price point. It creates butter smooth viewing in fast-paced scenes, especially in gaming. This is a great feature to have considering the display is the most common area manufacturers skimp on in efforts to hammer down the cost. It mostly comes in handy in first-person shooter games where it enables smoother-on-screen performance.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ports available on the HP Omen, certainly enough to help you connect all your favorite devices. Unlike most laptops, most of the ports have been relocated to the rear of the device instead of the left or the right section. First, we noticed the lack of a Thunderbolt 3 port. But HP instead included a USB Type-C.
The rear section is home to an RF45 Ethernet connector, a single USB-A 3.1 Gen1, a single HDMI, Mini-DisplayPort, a single USB-C 3.1 Gen1, and a Kensington lock slot. The HDMI and Mini-DisplayPort should allow you to connect to an external monitor, better yet a dual-monitor setup if you so wish. The left side packs a single USB-A 3.1 Gen1, a headphone jack, a microphone jack, and a card reader slot. A card reader slot is essential for media enthusiasts and should provide a great fast way of transferring data to this device and back.
Meanwhile, the right section is home to a single USB-A 3.1 Gen1 port and power jack. Other connectivity options available are the 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2. Just in case you need to upgrade to a wireless mouse, check out our Best mouse under 20 dollars guide for some budget options.
Before I get into the performance section, I just want to prove a point. I’ve always talked about the processor in length in this performance section and at times it feels like cliché. But the point I always try to drive home is which type of processor a system has and how strong it is. It helps knowing more detail of the processor your system comes with. I would like to point out that the 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H processor this system shelves is among the best high-end processors in the industry.
More than half of the best gaming laptops 2019 come with the same processor. The MSI GS75 Stealth, Lenovo Legion Y740 (17-inch), Lenovo Legion Y740 (15-inch), Asus ROG Zephyrus S and Alienware 51m among many others are great examples of gaming laptops with the i7-8750H processor. So that says a lot about where to put the HP Omen 15 while also giving you a rough idea of what to expect in terms of performance (we consider it an upper mid-range device).
Impressive core performance
HP opted for this processor because it has enough muscle to power everyday workloads, applications and gaming. The processor comes with 6 cores and 12 threads up from 4 cores and 8 threads from its i7-7700HQ predecessor. The i7-8750H gets to highs of 4.1GHz on a single core, up from the 3.8GHz on the 7700HQ. It maintains the same 4.1GHz on two cores and drops slightly lower to 4.0GHz on four cores. Finally, the speeds drop to 3.9GHz on six cores which by most standards is a massive leap in clock speed compared to the 3.4GHz the7700HQ scores.
|Single Core||Four Cores||Six Cores|
On real-world performance, the i7-8750H has enough muscle to power through most tasks. You can run applications, programming/engineering software, VR, content editing, and streaming. It is capable of powering through 30 Google Chrome tabs, three 1080p YouTube videos while running a AAA game in the background. The two extra cores make this processor a heavy multitasker and a great option for premium productivity. Navigating Windows is smooth, most apps open nearly instantly and browsing the web is a snap. Generally, the HP Omen is able to handle most workloads and everyday use with ease.
Memory and storage
Multitasking is powered by a 32 DDR4 memory which is the highest configuration available. 8GB is in most cases considered the standard amount of memory needed for casual home and office productivity. For gaming, the extra 8GB is a great addition to enable handle the extra tasks and graphics-intensive gameplay. So, 16GB is really the sweet spot for gaming machines and 32GB the most ideal for intensive gaming. It should be capable of handling Office productivity, web browsing, media streaming, photo editing, and some gaming without breaking a sweat.
As far as storage goes, Dell did an awesome job including SSD storage. While 512GB SSD is great for fast retrieval of data, it would also make sense to also include a 1TB mechanical hard drive storage. The 1TB HDD is a decent amount for data hogs who want to back up their data, multimedia, games, and music. With that done, the extra 512GB is just buffer storage for when you need to retrieve data faster. It is relatively faster than traditional hard drive storage (the HDD runs at 5400RPM) and also enables loading software, programs, applications, and boot-ups be much faster.
The combination of a hexacore Intel Core i7-8750H processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU is well balanced. If anything, it’s potent enough resulting in an efficient gaming laptop that can power enough pixels to take advantage of the high-refresh-rate display. Also, it does that without generating excessive amounts of noise as we see in some gaming laptops.
In real life gaming, you should be able to play pretty much any AAA titles, stream live on twitch, use discord while maintaining a 120-144 fps at the highest graphics. It plays Battlefield, Overwatch, Rocket League, RB6 Siege, and Fortnite on ultra settings without breaking a sweat. One caveat though, is that it generates a lot of heat. So we recommend getting yourself a fan cooler to keep those temperatures down. Generally, the temperatures will range from 70 to 80 degrees Celsius which is safe for gaming.
Keyboard and Trackpad
As we earlier hinted, HP did include a pretty decent keyboard on this unit. The individual keys are evenly spaced and the palm rest made of soft plastic. It’s nothing close to the classy Lenovo ThinkPad carbon fiber finish, but it’s certainly close by. The keys are also smooth to the touch and offer a satisfying click sound when typing. Thankfully, the click isn’t loud enough to cause disruption of your neighboring mates at work or in the library. Although the keys offer lower travel (1.4 mm) than we’d like (we prefer 1.5 mm to 2.0mm), they’re still comfortable to type on.
Just like the keyboard, the touchpad is built for a satisfying experience. The 4.0 x 2.1-inch touchpad is smooth and comes with two buttons. It uses Windows 10 gestures to make two-finger scrolling and three-finger tab switching working swiftly and responsively.
Out Final Take
The HP Omen 15 packs a good balance of style and performance. It offers a great design, solid display, great speakers, plenty of ports and a comfortable keyboard. With all these HP managed to convince they have what it takes to bring to the table a gaming laptop just as good as MSI or Asus. What really caught our eye though is the formidable processor and the beefy GPU. The two make a lethal team and will play most triple-A titles with aplomb. Also, the hardware should easily deliver top-notch 1080 gaming experience.
Apart from the dull display that kills the laptop’s appeal and lack of a Thunderbolt 3 port, the HP Omen 15-dc0045nr is a gorgeous laptop and an impeccable gaming performer. Most of the wrinkles it comes with can be solved by simply choosing a better alternative configuration. Otherwise, it is a great laptop that can double up as a productivity machine and a gaming rig. It makes it to our top list of entry-level budget gaming laptops for this year.
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