Gamers on a budget now have two more laptops to consider, with the arrival of the HP Omen 16 and Victus 15 laptops.
The Victus, in particular, is aimed at entry-level gamers who don’t need to play every game on Ultra settings at 300fps. Despite its low price, the Victus is a nice looking laptop with some decent components under the hood. Those in need of more power can turn to the Omen 16, a refresh of one of last year’s best value picks.
The Omen and Victus haven’t changed much this year, but a few minor upgrades combined with upgraded internals should, at the very least, put them on your radar.
Release date and price of Omen 16 and Victus 15
The Omen 16 will be available this summer for a starting price of $1,199. Its cheaper sibling, the Victus 15, also goes on sale this summer and will cost $799 for the base model. Both systems will be available at Best Buy and HP.com.
Omen 16: Powerful specs at a (rather) lower price
The Omen 16 is a fairly straightforward gaming laptop. It’s an aluminum clamshell laptop with a clean design, innocuous branding, and four-zone RGB keys. Intel-powered models are available in a new Ceramic White color, while the AMD options are tame Mica money. Those wanting the most portable option should look elsewhere; the Omen 16 weighs 5.3 pounds and is 0.9 inches thick.
There’s a good selection of ports to choose from, including two Thunderbolt 4 ports (or standard USB-C on AMD models), three USB Type-A inputs, HDMI 2.1, SD card slot, Ethernet jack RJ-45, and a headphone/mic jack.
HP spent a lot of time talking with me about the cooling improvements to this year’s model. The company added a fifth heat pipe and a fourth exit vent, which resulted in a 3% drop in GPU temperatures and a 14% drop in SSD temperatures. This should give you some peace of mind during long gaming sessions.
Speaking of which, the Omen comes with options from each of the major chipmakers; On the CPU side, you can choose between an AMD Ryzen 9 6800H or Intel Core i7-12700H processor while the GPU is left to Nvidia or AMD in the form of an RTX 3070 Ti or Radeon RX 6650M GPU. Whichever CPU/GPU combo you choose, it can be paired with up to 32GB of DDR5-4800 RAM and up to a 2x 1TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD.
The 16.1-inch 1440p resolution IPS display has a 165Hz refresh rate at 16:9 aspect ratio. HP says it goes up to 300 nits, the bare minimum in this price range. There are also two 1080p options at 144Hz or 60Hz.
Victus 15: gaming on a budget
The Victus 15 looks like a good budget gaming laptop, although I’m not convinced a 15 inch version was needed when a Victus 16 already exists (assuming the larger model sticks around).
In any case, this new version has an equally sober design with a beautiful V-shaped logo centered on the lid. Again, HP is touting the thermal improvements (7% improved airflow), promising that the Victus will stay cool under heavy workload. The Victus takes inspiration from the Omen design, and it’s clear that restraint is the common thread here. While it might not be quite as premium, one of the advantages of the Victus over the Omen – at least in my eyes – is the gorgeous “Performance Blue” color option, which joins Mica Silver and Ceramic White.
As for specs, the Victus 15 is powered by Intel Core i5-12500H or AMD Radeon RX 6500M processors and up to 16GB of DDR4 RAM. You’ll be gaming at 1080p rather than 4K on the RTX 3050 Ti or Radeon RX 6500M, but most titles will run well above 60fps.