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  • Soon Kai Hong

HP Victus 16 (2022) Review: Still A Great & Affordable Gaming Laptop

It’s been a year since the HP Victus 16 was first released and just like what HP intended, it aims to be a more affordable option as compared to their Omen series but without sacrificing too much. And HP pretty much achieved that with reasonable success. So this year, we have it with updated internals on both the AMD and Intel versions. AMD Ryzen 6000 series and Intel 12th-Gen. We have the former here and to cut to the chase, this is still very much a great affordable gaming laptop but definitely do pick the right one. Without further ado, let’s talk about this.

Right off the bat, if you’re familiar with the design of the Victus 16 that was first launched last year, this is the exact same chassis that you’re getting here. Which in our opinion, is a good thing for the most part, but it does also mean that some of the quibbles from last year haven't yet been addressed, since it’s literally the same.

Now for those who aren’t familiar with it, well, the design itself is pretty conservative for the most part and definitely more towards the minimalistic side of things. On the lid you just get a distinct V which is actually mirror polished and the same Victus naming on the bottom edge and that’s it. Really clean, really simple, which is certainly the way that the industry is going towards and we’re all for it.

One great thing about the Victus 16 in our opinion is this blue colorway. This is very likely directly taken from their Dragonfly series and we love it. It’s nice to see something that’s not black for once but yet, refreshing and not too eye-catching per se. If you’re choosing between the two colors, definitely go for this.

By all accounts however, this isn’t a thin or light gaming laptop. There are reasons for the affordable price after all. The chassis is pretty thick and it’ll come in around 2.4kg so definitely something to take note.

Now lift up the lid and you’ll be greeted by a good enough display in all regards. It’s a 16.1-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 running at 144Hz. Has a max brightness of about 350 nits and does have 100% sRGB coverage. It’s going to be great for content consumption and thanks to the 144Hz refresh rate, it really does shine the best for gaming. Though if you would like to do some professional work, it does at least have 100% sRGB coverage so that’s not too bad.

The only thing we wished could’ve been implemented was a 16:10 aspect ratio instead of the standard 16:9. Not only would you be able to get a larger display in the same exact chassis, but the slightly larger usable display area would’ve been great for productivity as well. Instead, there’s just a thick chin right below, which is just perhaps, a little bit of a waste. Oh and perhaps another thing, it still does wobble quite a bit if you accidentally bump the table, though surprisingly, just typing away on it and it wouldn’t move an inch. Not really an issue per se, but this was something people have noticed and it is still here for sure.

As for the webcam, it is just 720p, so you do get what you get. Still, you do have it and your voice does come off pretty clean so it’s definitely usable. As for the speakers, you get a dual speaker audio system with the help of Bang & Olufsen and they do sound pretty great. Really nothing much else to say about it. You get what you get.

But now if we talk about the keyboard, this is honestly probably one of the best things about this laptop. You get a full-sized keyboard, including a full-sized numpad which is quite uncommon nowadays and the keys themselves feel really great to type on. If you’re someone who likes a much more tactile keyboard, this will deliver. Each press is just a little more crisp and the actuation force just feels right. It performed great for typing and really great for gaming.

The trackpad on the other hand, isn’t that great. It tracks well and everything, no qualms about that but the clicks really don’t inspire. It just feels a little too mushy and just doesn't feel great. Compared to the keyboard, it is definitely the weaker of the two.

Ports wise, there’s just two Type-A USB 3 ports on the right side while the rest are on the left. There’s the standard barrel plug connector, RJ45 ethernet, HDMI 2.1, another Type-A USB 3 port, a Type-C port., a full-sized SD Card Reader and the 3.5mm combo jack.

But now let’s talk about specs because this is probably the most important bit. For the Victus 16, there will be the option for Intel or AMD and we have the latter here. For our model, it is sporting the AMD Ryzen 7 6800H, GeForce RTX 3050 with a 75W TGP, 16GB of DDR5 RAM and 512GB of PCIe Gen4 SSD storage.

As usual, we ran both creative workloads and gaming and with the help of the Omen Gaming Hub, access to the various profiles available. So with that said, let’s dive into the performance!

In Cinebench R23, the Ryzen 7 was able to score 10,210 and 1,458 for Multi-Core and Single-Core respectively on the default profiles, while changing it to Performance will yield very similar results and turning on the Max Fan will achieve a score of 11,852 and 1,467 respectively. For DaVinci Resolve, rendering performance was basically real-time with our 4K 10 minute project no matter the profile. Which isn’t really surprising considering the fact that the default profile and performance profile only differ slightly in the maximum drawn wattage for the Ryzen 7 at 30 watts and 35 watts respectively. On that note, thanks to the conservative power allocation, temperatures are well under control averaging around 75 degrees celsius for the most part.

Gaming at 1080p High Settings, the Ryzen 7 and RTX 3050 combo certainly performs great as per expected for a gaming laptop of this class. It’s going to serve you well especially for the most popular of titles and even some of the latest AAA ones. Honestly, it’s a really good platform for games like Dota 2, Valorant and more not just because it’s more than powerful enough to power those games, but temperatures are well under control in the low 80 degree celsius and the standard 16:9 aspect ratio might actually be preferable.

Battery life on the other hand isn’t great. With that 70 watt hour battery, you’ll get roughly 5 hours of general usage at most and that’s about it.

With everything said and done, this is a really well-balanced laptop especially considering that it is meant to be an entry-level and affordable gaming laptop. HP has definitely prioritized the right things when it comes to the Victus line and it really does offer good value especially when compared to their higher-end Omen offerings.

But there are a few SKUs available and we’ll say to choose carefully for sure. For our model, this will cost 1,899 SGD, which isn’t too bad a price per se. But if you were to opt for the Intel Core i7 model with the RTX 3060 instead, that’ll only set you back 2,299 SGD. For just 300 SGD more, you will be getting much better gaming performance, no doubts about that. If you’re able to fork out just that bit more, it’ll be well worth it.

But even so, for this model, it still has been a great experience and for the Victus 16 as a whole, it is a really great affordable gaming laptop that strikes a really nice balance. It’s arguably one of the best in this segment. Definitely something worth considering.

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