The HP Omen 15 gaming laptop gets smaller, faster, and cooler

HP Omen 15

The Razer Blade isn’t the only gaming laptop getting the nip-tuck treatment this year. HP has just announced its own smaller redesign of the HP Omen 15, which features Intel Coffee Lake processors and Nvidia Max-Q graphics.

The new HP Omen 15 is a noticeably smaller machine than its predecessor, measuring 7.4% narrower in width while being 4.6% smaller in depth as well. Most of these space savings come thanks to the 15-inch gaming laptop’s slimmer screen bezels.

According to HP, the side bezel measures a mere 7.03mm while the top bezel is a little thicker at 12.79mm to accommodate putting the webcam in its proper place above the display. Compared to last year’s model those are 65% smaller side bezels and a 32% reduction on the top bezel.

Beyond an improved screen-to-body ratio, HP is offering a 144Hz 1080p display option on top of a 4K screen. Base configurations will come a Nvidia G-Sync panel rated for a Full HD resolution at 60Hz.

The 2017 HP Omen 15 (left) vs the 2018 HP Omen 15 (right)

Hot and cold

The HP Omen 15 has also been given a complete internal overhaul with 8th generation Intel quad- and hexa-core processors, plus some of the first Nvidia Max-Q graphics options to come to the brand’s gaming laptop lineup.

At the very bottom of the specification stack, this machine comes equipped with an Intel Core i5-8300H CPU, Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti graphics, 12 GB of DDR4-2666MHz memory, an 1TB HDD and 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD. From there, users can bump things up to an Intel Core i7-8750H, Nvidia GTX 1070 Max-Q and 32GB of RAM.

To help cool these high-end components, HP has completely redesigned its cooling system. The Omen 15 is now fitted with larger fans spinning on dynamic bearings, which are powered by a new three-phase motor. Furthermore, in the new airflow model, vents on the back and bottom of the laptop pull in cool air while these two large fans push out heat through the rear corners.

Lastly, HP rates the Omen 15 with a maximum battery life of 10 hours and 45 minutes during ‘mixed usage.’ Higher-end configs seem to cut the maximum run time to an impressive, but probably optimistic, 6 hours and 15 minutes.

OMEN 15 Laptop will be available starting on July 29 on HP’s retail site and other suppliers for $979 (about £710, AU$1,300) and up.

Cool head

HP also announced a bevy of new gaming-focus peripherals including keyboard, mouse and even mousepads – however, the stand out device for us was its new gaming headset that comes with its own built-in cooler.

The HP Mindframe Headset comes with a thermoelectric device designed to actively cool the inside of the earcups while pushing heat out. In person, the device seems to work a lot like a miniature anti-gridle, in that HP’s patented solution creates a cooled plate of metal though the company didn’t really divulge how it actually works.

If you’ve ever been annoyed with your ears getting sweaty while you wear a gaming headset, this could be the solution for you. However, in our brief hands-on time, the active cooling system does weigh down the gaming headset.

Coolness aside, the Mindframe headset supports DTS Headphone X10 and 7.1 virtual surround sound. Pricing has yet to be announced and HP says it will be available in the second half of the year.