HP Victus 16 review

HP Victus 16 review

HP Victus is a replacement for HP’s not-so-sporty-sounding Pavilion gaming brand – sitting a tier down from the top-end Omen range. So, as a ‘budget’ gaming laptop, how does the HP Victus 16 fare when compared to some serious competitors from MSI, Acer and Asus?

Key specs of the HP Victus 16

16-inch, matte, 144Hz, 1920 x 1080, IPS, display; 1.9-4.6GHz Intel Core i7-11800H CPU; 16GB RAM; 512GB HDD; Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics; 70Wh battery; 2.5KG. SKU: 16-d0175TX. Full specs here.

Design and Handling

If you didn’t know, at first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking that the HP Victus 16 was a premium laptop with its sophisticated dark lines and glossy logo that catches the light. However, opening it up provided us with a reality check thanks to its weak hinge which can’t stop the screen from significantly wobbling when slightly knocked.

HP Victus 16 lid
The glossy black logo can really catch the light.

Inside the HP Victus 16 there’s a white-backlit keyboard. It’s comfortable to type upon for extended periods and good for gaming. There’s a full-sized number pad while the arrow keys are just large enough to not suffer the annoying squished effect we see elsewhere. The trackpad is smooth and accurate and the buttons actuate accurately with a satisfying click. It also turns off automatically when you plug in a mouse.

HP Victus 16 front
It’s generally… pretty good.

The matte, 16-inch screen has a Full HD resolution and a 144Hz refresh rate for smooth gaming. Pixel response time is decent and there’s little ghosting. Only pro CS:GO-like gamers will feel limited. It displays a crisp Windows Desktop but its not the brightest screen we’ve seen. We also noted that viewing angles aren’t the best – you don’t have to move your head much to experience colour change. Colour performance is reasonable but you wouldn’t call it vibrant. Contrast is mediocre with detail getting lost in shadows and highlights alike. It’s a bit meh.

We had high hopes for the dual B&O speakers (with HP audio boost) but were shocked at how quiet they are. While fidelity is reasonable the volume is just too low. It’s like they’ve been artificially limited.

Ultimately, the HP Victus 16 is usable but it feels like the company has gone out of its way to make a second-tier laptop rather than doing the best it could for the budget.

Performance

Inside, there’s an octa-core, 11th Gen, 1.9-4.6GHz Intel Core i7-11800H processor. It’s flanked by 16GB RAM and a 512GB hard drive. These combined to score a decent 6664 in the general PCMark 10 test. It also scored 1988 and 8516 in the Cinebench rendering tests (R15 and R23 respectively) which is above average. It’s a decent 2D performer.

The HP Victus 16’s 3D performance comes via Nvidia’s impressive RTX 3060 GPU. It scored 7796 in 3DMark Time Spy which is an average of 46.5fps. In Fire Strike Extreme it scored 9050 (average 41fps) and it managed 4385 (20.3fps) in the difficult Port Royal ray-tracing test. Ultimately, it will easily play every current game thrown at its 1080p screen – struggling only with things like the colossal texture pack used in Far Cry 6.

HP Victus Omen Gaming Hub
It always makes an audible whoosh – even in Quiet Mode – but the louder whoosh when under constant load in Performance Mode is constant and not overly distracting.

Connectivity

HP Victus 16 left
On the left is an SD card reader, 3.5mm audio jack, USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port (with DP 1.4), USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, HDMI 2.1 port and a Gigabit Ethernet port.
On the right
On the right are two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports.

Inside is Wi-Fi 6 and BlueTooth 5. Ultimately, the HP Victus 16 has an impressive connectivity complement.

Portability

We fear a little for the wobbly hinge and twistability of the lid but the rest of the laptop is generally sound and should survive life on the road. At 2.5KG it’s about average weight for a gaming laptop this size and the 610g is big but far from the biggest we’ve seen. The 70Wh battery ran our PCMark 10 test for 5hrs 20mins which, again, is modest.

HP Victus 16 underneath
Sharp lines mask some second-rate design choices.

Should I buy the HP Victus 16?

All of the above paints a picture of a second-tier laptop with some impressive performance and some decent features but with some noticeable flaws. However, the $1848 price tag makes those flaws much easier to overlook – it’s one of the best-value laptops on the market. Furthermore, in a market that’s blighted by supply chain issues, you might not be able to get your first choice. So, while we’re reluctant to recommend a laptop that’s disappointed us, it’s still a very good budget gaming laptop.

HP Victus 16 results
  • 2D Performance
  • 3D Performance
  • Ergonomics
  • Stability
  • Portability
  • Value
4

Summary

It has some annoying flaws, but the impressive price-to-performance ratio helps make it attractive.

Leave a Reply