AMD’s Ryzen 4000 series processors have earned a name for offering an abundance of performance for gamers and creators. Compared to their Intel counterparts, the 4000 series chips have shown significant gains in raw performance at similar or lower prices. As is the norm, every OEM comes up with Intel and AMD versions of their gaming as well as premium laptops. HP did the same too with its 2020 OMEN series, i.e. by having Intel 10th Gen and Ryzen 4000 series versions.
A few months ago, we looked at the HP OMEN 15 Intel edition and were left fairly impressed. At Rs 1,20,999, the Intel version offered all the bells and whistles one needs for casual gaming or light video editing. For those who wanted a similar package for a lot less, the AMD Edition of the OMEN 15 starts at Rs 75,990 for the version with Ryzen 5. HP waters down a lot of the features from the Intel variant to achieve a low price. Is it worth it?
To find out, I swapped my daily laptop for the OMEN 15 with the Ryzen 7 4800H processor, costing Rs 85,990, for a few weeks. During my review period, I kept updating the laptop to the latest driver updates from Windows and Nvidia.
Design & Build
If you have read our OMEN 15 Intel version review, there’s hardly anything new to talk about. For those who haven’t, look at the product shots, and read on. The OMEN 15 AMD edition looks like most entry-level gaming laptops from 2020, i.e. simple clamshell design with plain surfaces and practical design elements. Unlike the Asus TUF and ROG laptops, HP’s OMEN lineup goes for a sophisticated look. The all-plastic chassis has a soft-touch finish, all of which imparts a stealthy look. Apart from the gradient OMEN logo, there are no hints of this being a gaming laptop, at least on the exterior.
Open the lid and it is the same story inside. The OMEN 15 AMD has the same full-sized QWERTY keyboard (with Numpad) with a large trackpad and ample palm rests. The keyboard carries the OMEN font which looks appealing to my eyes. Sadly, the RGB backlighting gives way for the white backlighting, probably to save on costs.
The speakers sit between the display lid and the keyboard – this is a sensible place to put speakers on a laptop in my opinion. The “O15” embossing on the deck hints at the gaming credentials but doesn’t scream of the same. The display itself is surrounded by narrow bezels with a webcam sitting on the top position.
The OMEN 15 AMD tips the scales at 2.37Kg, which is decent for an entry-level gaming laptop. The weight is also justified by the plethora of I/O ports on this laptop. There’s a Type-C port, a DisplayPort, three USB-A ports, an RJ45 Ethernet port, an HDMI port, and a 3.5mm headphone/microphone port.
Similar to the Intel variant, the AMD Edition also carries the same 15.6-inch display with a picture resolution of 1920 x 1080. The display has a rated brightness of 250 nits with a 45 percent color gamut. This is an average display by all means, at least on paper. In the real world, this display works most of the time.
The colors look good enough on a daily basis and while they don’t make for a color-accurate display, you can play games without having major issues. The lack of a high refresh rate panel is a bummer but at this price, no other laptop offers the same. Most customers buying this laptop for video or photo editing will need a good quality external display to do so.
The OMEN 15 AMD edition is rocking the latest Ryzen 7 4800H processor, which is one of the most capable processors on paper at this price range. My unit of the OMEN 15 gets this processor and it comes with 8GB RAM along with 512GB of PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage. As standard, the OMEN 15 gets an Nvidia GTX 1650Ti graphics card. There’s Windows 10 onboard as the operating system looking after the daily activities.
The performance from the Ryzen 7 chip helps the OMEN 15 to host some of the recent games with absolute ease. I threw 14 hours of F1 2020 at the laptop and it managed with absolute ease. The game ran at Ultra High settings consistently at 60 fps without any major drops in frames or glitches.
Mafia Definitive Edition ran at 60 fps too, mostly, in High settings and the performance remained consistent even in densely populated parts of its world. However, during rains at night in the game world, I saw a dip in frame rates to 40 fps at times. Project Cars 2 and Forza Horizon 4 ran in the highest settings at a consistent 60 fps. Thermal performance is good and I always saw a consistent temperature of 90 degrees maximum after an hour of gaming.
If you are interested in benchmark scores, here you go. The OMEN 15 AMD managed to score 4,174 points on Cinebench R20. In the PCMark Essentials test, the laptop scores 9,735 points. These are good scores for a laptop of its class. Clearly, the Ryzen 7 4800H is a bargain for all heavy-duty workloads you may expect from a gaming laptop.
It all seems good so far for the OMEN 15 AMD edition. Sadly, the age-old AMD bugs and glitches accompany this laptop. For every 5 days on an average the laptop worked flawlessly, a Windows update created an issue on the sixth day. At times, a few of them affected the battery life whereas others affected the gameplay experiences with unexplainable lags or jitters.
The occasional driver issues did not create problems while I used the OMEN 15 AMD as my work laptop. For basic typing and web browsing, the OMEN 15 AMD has more than enough power to host the tasks. Multitasking may be limited in Chrome due to the limited 8GB of RAM but for most of my tasks, the laptop flew along. The keyboard is comfortable to work on as it has sufficient key travel. Moreover, the widely spaced keys avoid mistyping to a larger extent. The trackpad is precise and it works as intended.
HP pre-loads the OMEN 15 AMD with its OMEN Command Center that offers a portal to keep an eye on all system statistics. You can change the fan modes as well as network allocation from the application. There’s a dedicated key for opening the Command Center, alongside the calculator button. After opening it once, I forgot about its existence.
Sadly, the OMEN 15 AMD does not impress with its audio performance – an issue common to all entry-level gaming laptops. The speakers are loud enough for a brief YouTube session in a closed small room. The audio quality is tinny and is barely enjoyable while gaming.
The OMEN 15 AMD relies on a 51WHr Li-ion battery and it barely manages to last as much as a conventional notebook. With my workloads that mostly involve typing, attending video meetings, and browsing webpages, the laptop could last 4 hours on an average. Gaming performance on the battery is laggy and if you absolutely need to game, you can get at most 1.5 hours. HP bundles a fast charger with the laptop.
Should you buy the HP Omen 15 AMD?
The two reasons you will consider the OMEN 15 AMD edition are: (a) to harness the power of the Ryzen 7 4000 series chip, and, (b) playing the latest titles in good graphics. The OMEN 15 AMD delivers in these areas with flying colors. The powerful Ryzen 7 alone drives the performance of this laptop above its Intel-powered counterparts. Moreover, it’s built by HP, which means there are minimal to negligible reliability issues.
Given that this is an entry-level gaming laptop, I am alright with the average display performance. Additionally, the lower price also forces me to contend with the occasional AMD drivers related issues and bugs. At its price, you have the option of going for the Asus TUF A15 and HP’s own Pavillion Gaming 16. Compared to these two, the HP OMEN 15 AMD fared better overall, at least in my opinion. For all those looking for a highly capable creator and gaming-friendly laptop, this is one of the best options to consider for less than Rs 90,000.