When HP approached me for a review of the HP Victus Gaming laptop, I thought “Wait, what happened to the HP Omen?” and immediately started searching for additional information. What I’ve found is that HP is covering gaming for both mainstream and budget-conscious markets. It was easy to see it once I started comparing specs and build.
The HP Victus I received is based on an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor. This CPU packs a punch, and it is the same one used in a previous HP Omen laptop model just the year before. Similarly, the AMD Radeon RX 6500M GPU (with 4 GB RAM) is the same one used on HP Omen laptops from that time.
Another difference is the display used, which on the HP Victus is a 1920 x 1080 144 Hz 45% NTSC IPS panel, compared to a higher frequency and higher colour gamut coverage on the HP Omen.
Still, knowing the basics are similar to a previous generation of their more mainstream offering, it was worth checking it out.
What I came to find is that the HP Victus is indeed a worthy gaming machine and while the savings are significant you still get a machine that can get you through some good gaming sessions.
To put it through gaming, I used it for some Diablo III gaming before the eagerly anticipated Diablo IV release. The HP Victus helped me take an old Demon Hunter character from L20 up to L70 in no time and didn’t complain. I even had a second external monitor (connected via USB-C) which I used to manage a Twitch stream, which worked just fine, even with game video quality set to high in almost all boxes.
Then Diablo IV came along, and I started playing it. The HP Victus had no problems going through the game with high video settings, but I’ve noticed some frame drops if I started Twitch streaming simultaneously.
The options were either to set the video settings to low or medium and remain streaming or keep the video settings to high and let go of Twitch. Since Twitch was also just an experiment (I really wanted to concentrate on the new game), I decided to keep video settings high, and I don’t regret it. Note that this is with the configuration I received for review, as there are options with other GPU configurations.
The HP Victus did a brilliant job with Diablo IV, a brand new and much more demanding game than its predecessor.
HP even packaged the Omen Gaming Hub software with the HP Victus. This software allows you to configure your laptop for maximum performance during gaming sessions by disabling some services, updating settings and making sure the machine is in optimal condition when games are running.
Another thing to note here is the availability of video drivers. When I first started Diablo IV the game wouldn't start, with a message box saying the video drivers needed to have a minimum version and the HP Victus was running an older version. Even though I installed the HP Support Assistant and looked for new drivers, none were available from HP, so I downloaded and installed the generic video drivers from AMD, which worked just fine and allowed me to start the game.
The 15.6 inches laptop has a large and comfortable backlit keyboard, which includes a numeric pad, something you won’t even find on more expensive laptops. The trackpad is large and easy to use, quite responsive.
With 16 GB DDR4-3200 MHz RAM (packaged as 2 x 8 GB) and a very capable 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD, the laptop feels pretty fast for normal operations – browsing, email handling – and some heavier tasks too, although depending on the games you play, I would see if a 1 TB SSD upgrade option is available.
In terms of I/O ports the HP Victus is well served. It comes with a USB Type-C port (the same one I used to connect my external monitor), plus two USB Type-A ports, one HDMI 2.1 port, a headphone/mic combo jack, AC charging pin and even an ethernet port (RJ45). You will also notice an SD card slot.
In addition to the ethernet port (RJ45), you have the option of using Wi-Fi 6 (Wi-Fi 6E is optional), which supports gigabit data rates and improves wireless connectivity for both 2.4 and 5 GHz environments if you have compatible access points.
Most of the time I used the HP Victus while plugged in but I experimented with it unplugged a few times, and the battery (three cells, 52.2 Wh Li-ion polymer) held well, including a long-ish two and half-hour gaming run. In any case, the 150 W AC adapter provides fast charging if needed (specs say 50% in 45 minutes).
There you have it. If you are looking for a laptop that performs exceptionally well for routine tasks and is a good gaming platform, then perhaps check the HP Victus.