HP gaming laptop Buyers’ guide

The HP Victus gaming laptop line is HP’s latest range and aims to provide a cheaper alternative to their HP Omen range. The main sacrifice made to get these laptops down to a cheaper price is build quality, with the lid of the Victus 16 in particular being very wobbly and bendable, although not enough to be a nuisance when gaming so in our opinion. The overall build is very plasticy and it’s far from the most robust feeling laptop around. Still, this is an acceptable trade-off in our opinion – just make sure you treat it with care!

Having said this, the keyboard on the laptop is surprisingly good, feeling quite tactile and clicky for a membrane keyboard, although it does have a lot of flex due to the aforementioned build quality. The touchpad is decent enough though. The speakers on the high-end version we have picked here are also respectable for a gaming laptop, though cheaper versions of the HP Victus 16 reportedly come with lower-quality ones.

In terms of the core components then, the AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor performs well, and has the added advantage of extending the laptop’s battery life to levels above what the Intel versions can manage: expect at least 7 hours during general usage (web browsing, word processing, and the odd YouTube video) with the most advanced display option, which is decent if not amazing. The 1080p displays reportedly can last up to 10-11 hours, which is very impressive.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card has a max TGP of 95W during gaming, which isn’t the most powerful out there, but you can still expect it to follow closely behind other RTX 3060 laptops such as the HP Omen 15z in terms of FPS performance. At the end of the day, a few lost FPS is worth the savings you get with the Victus in our opinion.

Color replication on the display is actually surprisingly good, hitting around 99% sRGB, making it suitable for color work in this space. Peak brightness is nice and high, contrast ratio is decent and from a subjective perspective images on it look great in 1440p. Be aware though that cheaper display versions of the same machine have pretty poor performance in all these areas. HP claim the laptop is capable of 3ms response time on the QHD version, and though we haven’t tested it, you can expect the real response time to be around 4-6ms, which is still very good for this price and for competitive gaming. The 165Hz refresh rate is also great for gaming at this price and resolution.

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