HP Omen 15-ax250wm Notebook Review

     
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4.55

When thinking about a gaming laptop often ASUS’s Republic of Gamers series or MSI notebooks come to my mind. However, they are not the only options available. Also the electronics giant HP makes rigs for the gaming folk, precisely with their Omen family. One of their newer members, the 15-ax250wm, has hit the market and by the looks of it, this laptop could propel your games to smooth frame rates and good experience overall. But being too hasty in judging is never a good thing, so a closer look is warranted.

Graphics Card Ready for Some Serious Beating

Sometimes, the question about graphics card’s real performance surfaces if the model is not manufacturer’s flagship. Well, the graphics engine in this notebook, the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4GB GDDR5) certainly isn’t the pinnacle coming from GeForce’s factories. But there should be no fear, this card still rocks as far as 1080p gaming is concerned. Among the most heaviest of games is The Witcher 3, which this card runs at +30FPS even using ultra high in-game settings. As most games are more forgiving than Witcher you’ll get better frame rates on them.

The display stands at 15.6 diagonal, the size most commonly found in notebooks. The maximum resolution is 1920×1080 for which the graphics card is indeed sufficient. Manufacturer claims it’s IPS display, which always means worry-free viewing angles (almost 180 degree from side to side) and accurately displayed colors. Keep in mind this screen bears no touch support.

Performance Mostly in Check

Top performance does not end in the graphics section. HP has inserted Intel’s best processor, the Core i7-7700HQ, to command this computer. The popularity of this CPU is widespread, for the simple fact it’s effective in tight spots where heavyweight performance is required – multitasking, for example. There are four cores in the processor to help you with that, plus 2.8GHz clock speed and 3.8GHz turbo boost. Currently, the i7-7700HQ stands as one of the fastest processors you can buy.

The default storage drive in the HP Omen is 1TB 7200RPM SATA hard drive. Might be you already know it’s a double-edged sword. On one hand, you will get all the storage in the world. On the other hand, the performance will not be near a modern solid-state drive. However, this laptop has an empty M.2 slot, which happily accepts SSD should you want to install one. After that, and possibly even installing Windows on it, the notebook will operate considerably faster. The laptop’s RAM is a comfortable 12GB DDR4-2400 (4GB + 8GB), and could be upgraded to 16GB maximum.

Thoughts on Video

No USB-C, No Problem?

The curious thing about HP Omen 15-ax250wm is why they didn’t include USB-C port. Personally, I don’t mind; the regular USB can be used as well. However, for future, it would not hurt to have USB-C like competitors do. Anyway, you are getting two USB 3.1 and one USB 2.0 for your peripherals, and that should be a decent amount. There’s also HDMI-output found on the right hand side to keep an external monitor connected.

The networking interfaces include Gigabit Ethernet LAN port plus 802.11ac 2×2 WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 card – so both cable and wireless can be used. The notebook also comes with SD card slot on right, however optical drive is left out of this like in most laptops of today.

Battery Should Be Good

It is not unknown that gaming laptops usually suffer from bad battery life. It’s because the components are heavyweight, they also require a lot of energy. Well, the components are quite heavy in this notebook also, but despite this some sellers claim the battery life to be ~8 hours. I don’t believe that is true, but considering it’s a 4-cell 63.3Wh unit, around 5 hours should be achievable. That’s of course when not under gameplay; when gaming, the battery would last one or two hours. That is still slightly better than in many other gaming laptops.

A backlit keyboard (red) allows you to type easily in dark. It won’t be however possible to change the color from one to another.

Pros:
Not too high price - Many gaming laptops cost more than this. At the same time, the graphics performance GTX 1050 Ti brings is enough for all the gamers if you ask me.

Powerful processor - It's always great to have Core i7 in a laptop; makes it fly.

Battery life - The battery life should exceed that of most gaming laptops.

Cons:
Missing SSD - It would be a good idea to have solid-state drive in a gaming laptop. Such a drive would make the notebook boot faster, and perhaps more importantly, games to start faster.

In my opinion, HP Omen 15-ax250wm has all the basics covered for a gamer. Component-wise, Core i7 processor and 12GB RAM are a blessing, the terabyte hard drive decent (for best performance, upgrade to SSD). The screen should be sharp enough at 15 inches, and the dedicated GTX 1050 Ti well enough to keep pace even with heaviest of games. Indeed, if you can accept the exclusion of a solid-state drive, there are no complaints I can make of. Even battery life should be better than on average gaming laptops. As the price does not hurt a lot, this HP Omen would be a keeper for a gamer.

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