Budget gamers now have two more laptops in mind, With the arrival of the HP Omen 16 and Victus 15 laptops.
The Victus, in particular, is for novice gamers who don’t need to play every game at Ultra settings at 300 frames per second. Despite its low price, the Victus is a neat laptop with some decent components under the hood. Those who need more power can turn to the Omen 16, an update to one of last year’s top picks.
The Omen and Victus haven’t changed much this year, but a few minor improvements along with upgraded interiors should at least put it on your radar.
Omen 16 and Victus 15 release date and price
The Omen 16 will be available sometime this summer, starting at $1,199. Its cheaper brother, the Victus 15, will also go on sale in the 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 lower(ish) price
The Omen 16 is a pretty straightforward gaming laptop. It’s an aluminum clamshell laptop with a clean design, inoffensive branding, and four-zone RGB keys. The Intel-powered models come in a fresh ceramic white color, while the AMD options are a tame Mica silver. Those wanting the most portable option should look elsewhere; the Omen 16 weighs 5.3 pounds and is 0.9 inches thick.
There is a good selection of ports to choose between, including two Thunderbolt 4 ports (or standard USB-C on AMD models), three USB Type-A inputs, an HDMI 2.1, an SD card slot, an RJ-45 Ethernet jack, and a headphone/mic jack.
HP spent a lot of time chatting to me about the cooling improvements it made to this year’s model. The company added a fifth heat pipe and a fourth outflow vent, resulting in 3% lower GPU and 14% SSD temperatures. This should give you some peace of mind during lengthy gaming sessions.
Speaking of which, the Omen comes with options from each of the major chipmakers; on the CPU front, you can choose between an AMD Ryzen 9 6800H or Intel Core i7-12700H CPUs while the GPU is left to Nvidia or AMD in the form of up to an RTX 3070 Ti or Radeon RX 6650M GPU. Whichever CPU/GPU combo you pick 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 a 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 either 144Hz or 60Hz.
Victus 15: Gaming on a budget
The Victus 15 looks like a nice budget gaming laptop, though I’m not convinced a 15-inch version was necessary when there is already a Victus 16 (assuming the larger model sticks around).
In any case, this new version has a similarly understated design with a handsome V-shaped logo centered on the lid. Again, HP touts improvements to the thermals (7% better airflow), promising the Victus will stay cool under a heavy workload. The Victus is inspired by the Omen design, and it’s clear that restraint is the thread here. While it might not be as premium, one advantage the Victus has over the Omen—at least, in my eyes—is the gorgeous “Performance Blue” color option, which joins Mica Silver and Ceramic White.
Turning to the specs, the Victus 15 is powered by either Intel Core i5-12500H or AMD Radeon RX 6500M CPUs and up to 16GB of DDR4 RAM. You’ll be playing at 1080p rather than 4K on the RTX 3050 Ti or Radeon RX 6500M, but most titles will run well above 60 frames per second.