HP already has a killer notebook line with its Omen brand, so you might we wondering why they’d suddenly announced another series of gaming laptops. Well, the Victus by HP line (of which the HP Victus 16 is from) is supposed to provide ‘entry-level gamers the accessibility to a top-notch gaming experience.’ HP’s words from their press release, not mine.
Yup, that means exactly what you think it means. Budget gaming laptop.
So, let’s see if the HP Victus 16 can really do what HP says it can.
What is the HP Victus 16?
The HP Victus 16 is a 16.1-inch gaming notebook with a 16.1-inch FHD display (144hz refresh rate), an AMD Ryzen 7 6800H, 16GB DDR5 RAM, a 512GB SSD and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050.
It comes with 3 USB Type-A ports, 1 USB Type-C port, 1 HDMI 2.1 port, an Ethernet port, an audio jack and a microSD card reader. Audio’s handled by dual speakers by B&O.
The HP Victus 16 weighs 2.46KG and costs a promotional SG$1,599 right now, with it reverting back to its MSRP of SG$1,899 soon.
The first thing that I noticed about the HP Victus 16 that it’s a pretty hefty machine, in both size and weight.
That 16.1-inch display is kind of a rarity for laptops, with most being either 14, 15 or 17-inches. 16-inches? That’s not that common. I guess if you’re a stickler that thinks 17-inches is too big and 15-inches too small, this would probably fit your boat.
The chassis looks fine (if rather boxy) and I do like the subtle touches HP’s made at rear of the machine. The angled backend looks nice, and the huge V logo adorning the back of the display looks mucho primero! Me likey!
Built quality is good, and the laptop does look like a premium model (thanks in part to the huge V logo). The material (some kind of matte plastic) seems to be resistant to finger oils too, and I only noticed smudges after repeated touches on both the keyboard and the rest of the machine. Another plus point!
What I don’t like is the arrangement of the keys on the keyboard.
Nightmarish is the first word that comes to mind. HP’s designers really need to take a better look at their competition (might I suggest the recently reviewed Acer Predator Triton 300 SE that I reviewed?) and see how to arrange and size their keyboard keys.
Turn your attention to the power button and look how its situated right above the Backspace key, one of the most used keys on a keyboard. The only place worse it could be is if it swapped position with the DELETE key.
I mean, come on! Whoever took a look at that keyboard and thought it was a good idea for the power button to be there? As Phua Chu Kang used to say ‘Use your brain la.’.
The space bar is a bit on the tiny side too and could do with a little lengthening. Why not just make the 0 on the numpad a regular size so the space bar can be extended? Who needs a big 0 anyways? The space bar will see much more regular use.
Thankfully, the keyboard isn’t a total disaster.
The Backspace key is lengthy and that’s a good thing, for obvious reasons. The backlight is decently bright as well, though I’m surprised that there’s no RGB functionality. The keyboard’s travel pretty good too; there’s some depression to the keys and they’re definitely not mushy.
The trackpad’s not as good sadly.
I’ve mentioned multiple times on how I prefer segmented trackpads (as in individual buttons for left and right click) so a solid chunk of plastic isn’t enticing to me at all. To it’s credit, it is responsive but individual buttons would’ve gone a long way to win me over.
Finally, we get to the ports on the machine.
3 USB Type-A ports, 1 USB Type-C. 1 HDMI 2.1 port. 1 audio jack. 1 LAN port. 1 microSD card reader.
A decent amount of ports all things considered.
I use a wired mouse (or sometimes one with a dongle) so that’s one port gone. I charge my phone with the other USB Type-A port and an external drive via USB Type-C and what’s that left me with?
Yup. A free port!
Finally, somebody gets it that we gamers need a ton of USB ports! That free port can be used for a number of things! Camera? Controller? Stream deck? The possibilities!
The HP Victus 16 also does good by having an SD card reader.
Despite that, I’m wondering why there’s still a ton of wasted real estate on the right side of the machine though.
The whole right side only has two USB Type-A ports, with room for more!
Surely, another port or two can be squeezed in? Having more ports never hurt anybody!
Ok, now that we’ve gone over the external parts, here’s the lowdown on how the hardware performs.
First off, PCmark 10 scores!
Rather impressive for an entry level machine. It’s photo and video editing scores could certainly be better but overall, it’s not bad.
Content creators beware though; you’re better off investing in a beefier notebook because the sad fact is the HP Victus 16 is an entry level gaming machine primarily.
To that end, here’s how the machine does with 3Dmark.
To be frank…the scores are rather disappointing but not surprising.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 is literally the bottom of the barrel. There is no lower tier GeForce RTX 3000 series card. That plainly shows with the scores.
All the features that NVIDIA hypes up for their RTX line (Ray Tracing primarily) is technically available on the card but they perform so badly that you might as well don’t have access to them.
It’s really disappointing that HP stuffed the lowest end NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3000 series GPU in the machine, because a 3050Ti or even a 3060 would’ve been a much more enticing choice with barely an increase in cost.
This image from Techpowerup shows the GPU prices in the US from July 2022.
There’s negligible difference in prices (only about SG$111) between the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 and 3060, though there’s about 1.5x increase in performance. Isn’t that worth the extra cost?
Don’t believe me?
Compare the scores of the HP Victus 16 with the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE (which packs an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060) and you’ll agree that if somebody can afford the HP Victus 16 at its asking price, they sure as hell can afford to top up some extra cash for a better GPU. This is a gaming machine after all.
Anyways, let’s move on to gaming performance.
Brace yourselves…it’s going to get bumpy.
First off, Three Kingdoms.
On the flat out, balls blazing everything on Ultra Custom setting, the game averages a measly 33.3 FPS average. Not that the FPS isn’t locked at 33.3, it’s the average. That means it can vary wildly from higher than that to much, much lower.
Needless to say, it’s not going to be an enjoyable experience.
You’d have to dumb down the settings to the lower qualities to get a decent framerate (above 60FPS). I understand the HP Victus 16 is entry level, but this is still ridiculous considering that Three Kingdoms is a few years old.
Here’s Shadow of the Tomb Raider now.
Here at least, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 in the HP Victus 16 doesn’t bring shame to itself.
If you ignore the Custom setting, the rest of the settings all have average framerates above 30FPS. That’s pretty good considering how demanding Shadow of the Tomb Raider can get with all sorts of effects turned up.
Forget about playing on Low, the Medium and High settings are good enough for a decent looking experience.
Now let’s take a look at Final Fantasy XV.
First off, forget about playing in 4K.
I know the result would be devastating, but I just couldn’t resist running the benchmark! Well, now we know. The game would be a slideshow on 4K with everything on the highest setting.
Set the resolution lower to 1080p though…and that’s when the magic happens.
The High preset actually gives the machine a Standard score, which is impressive…for a puny card like the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 that is.
If that’s not good enough, Standard Quality setting gives an even better experience, at the cost of some visual effects. Worth it if you value FPS over graphics fidelity.
The Bottom Line.
The HP Victus 16 is exactly what HP says it is; an entry level gaming notebook.
That translates to budget gaming machine to everybody else.
Due to its NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050, it’s hobbled right out of the gate. Even gaming on 1080p on Medium is already straining the machine for some games.
For an entry level experience, it’s passable I suppose. The RAM is fast, the SSD spacious enough and the CPU’s decent.
Its SG$1,599 price is a bit palatable considering what it packs but if (or rather, when) it reverts back to its SG$1,899 MSRP it’s much less so.
At that price, you can easily get laptops with better GPUs (at least one with a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti) if you shop around or wait for sales.
For gamers who are desperate and need a gaming laptop, the HP Victus 16 should fit the bill but know that it’s going to be a no-frills experience.
Entry level machine that’s hampered by its GPU. For gamers on a strict budget only.
- Looks premium.
- Decent hardware (apart from GPU).
- Keyboard is good for typing.
- Lots of USB ports.
- Power key position on keyboard.
- GPU is underwhelming.
- MSRP is expensive.
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