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HomeTechnologyHP Victus 15 review: A mediocre gaming laptop at an affordable price

HP Victus 15 review: A mediocre gaming laptop at an affordable price

At first glance

Expert Review


    PROMOTE PRICE Good keyboard and touchpad

Respectable processor performance

  • can handle most at 30 FPS game
  • shortcoming

      Universal Design

    • Disappointing build quality

      unattractive 144Hz display

    • 60 FPS is often out of reachHP Victus designHP Victus designOur Verdict

      The HP Victus 15 isn’t powerful enough to deliver 60 FPS in many games, but it’s hard to beat for the price.

      Budget gaming laptops are in a bind. The lack of new entry-level discrete graphics cards from AMD, Nvidia or Intel (which has repeatedly delayed their new Arc graphics offerings) has led to stagnation. Price is often the most important feature of a budget gaming laptop, and that’s where the HP Victus 15 excels. This laptop offers solid processor performance at an affordable price. The build quality leaves little to be desired, however, and the display is dimmer than we’d like. That said, if you’re really strapped for cash, the HP Victus 15 might be worth considering.

      HP Victus 15 Specifications and Features

    • The Victus 15 I received is an entry-level model – currently only available at Best Buy. It’s powered by an Intel Core i5-12450H processor, the entry-level chip in Intel’s line of higher TDP mobile hardware. The processor has eight cores, half of which are performance cores. It’s paired with Nvidia’s aging GTX 1650 discrete graphics card.

    • CPU: Intel Core i5-12450H
    • Memory: 8GB DDR4-3200
    • Graphics/GPU: Nvidia GTX 1650
    • Display: 1920×1080 144Hz IPS LCD

      Storage: 512GB SSD

      Webcam: 720p

    • Connectivity: 1x USB-C with DisplayPort 1.4, 2x USB-A, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x 3.5mm combo audio

    • Network: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, Gigabit Ethernet
    • Biometrics: None
    • Battery Capacity: 80 Wh
    • Dimensions: 14.09 x 10.04 x 0.93 inches
    • Weight: 5.06

    • MSRP: $799.99 (currently $549.99)

      The Victus 15 is available in several more robust variants through retailers and the HP website. These offer up to an Intel Core i7-12700H processor and up to Nvidia RTX 3050 graphics, along with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. However, most preconfigured models lean towards entry-level gaming.

      HP Victus design Design and Build Quality

        HP Victus designHP Victus design

        IDG/Matthew Smith

      HP Victus is a barebones budget Gaming laptop, therefore, it keeps the design as simple as possible. It uses basic dark gray plastic on the inside and out (white and blue are also available via HP.com, oddly enough, for an extra $5). Most materials do not have a unique feel, texture or pattern. The only exception is the display bezel, which is black and has a grippy texture.

      You won’t find any visible HP branding on a laptop, which I find puzzling. HP has used the Omen sub-brand it acquired when it acquired Voodoo in 2006 for many of its gaming devices. The company also owns HyperX. Using another unknown sub-brand with its own logo further detracts from the look of the laptop.

      This is a solid laptop that weighs just over 5 pounds and is nearly an inch thick, but those numbers look worse on paper than they actually feel . The Victus 15 is really big, but not bigger than dozens of other mid-range 15-inch laptops, such as the Acer Nitro and Asus TUF series. It’s too big for easy use on a plane, and can feel cramped on a small hotel table, but it’s still portable enough to travel across town or take classes.

      Unfortunately, the weight of the laptop doesn’t translate to build quality. Lifting the laptop from one side can cause the chassis to bend. Grab it from the corners and you’ll hear the inner parts hitting the outer panels. The display cover also allows for noticeable flex when the laptop is opened or closed. Having said that, I don’t recall any budget gaming laptops that didn’t have the same problem. HP Victus PCMark Keyboard and touchpad

      HP Victus displayHP Victus display

      IDG / Matthew Smith

      Large keyboard with numeric keypad in HP package Victus 15. Its edge-to-edge design maximizes the laptop’s interior space. This means that although the keypad is pushed to the left, most of the keys are large. Even the keys of the numpad are quite large, albeit slightly narrower. Some of the right keys, such as Shift and Backspace, are a bit small.

      The keyboard feels solid in everyday use. Due to the laptop’s deep chassis, the keys travel longer, and the large layout provides room to stretch. The numpad does mean the keyboard is slightly offset from the touchpad, but that’s annoying. It encourages the user to bend over or lean slightly to the left.

      Keyboard backlighting is standard. Good to see, since backlighting is still a bit of a luxury in budget laptops. However, the backlight only offers one brightness level, so don’t expect any customization. What you see is what you get.

      The touchpad couldn’t be more ordinary. It’s big, but not huge, and has a simple but responsive surface that feels similar to the surrounding plastic. There’s plenty of room to use multi-touch gestures, and in my experience, they work well. It’s not a premium experience, to be sure, but it’s decent for an entry-level Windows laptop.

      Importantly, the HP Victus 15 is free from defects or problems that could disrupt everyday use. The keyboard and touchpad are unremarkable, but fine, and rival some more expensive gaming laptops like the Acer Predator Helios 300 or Asus TUF Dash 15.

      HP Victus display Display, Audio

      HP Victus displayHP Victus PCMarkHP Victus displayHP Victus keyboard

      IDG/Matthew Smith

      HP offers several display options for the Victus 15, all available in 1080p resolution. The barebones model I tested promised a maximum brightness of 250 nits and a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz.

      The image quality is not very good. The 1080p resolution looks sharp on a 15.6-inch monitor, but the monitor’s color accuracy and gamut leave a lot to be desired. The Victus 15 I tested couldn’t handle the full sRGB color gamut, let alone DCI-P3 or AdobeRGB. Color accuracy is also poor. The contrast ratio is 1050:1, which is good, but no exception.

      As mentioned above, the maximum brightness is 250 nits and the measured value is 253 nits. This is a low level of brightness that can easily be overwhelmed by bright overhead lighting or sunlit windows. You need some level of light control to view comfortably.

      The 144Hz panel can provide a smooth gaming experience, but gamers don’t get too excited: it’s more of a marketing ploy than a huge advantage . The 144Hz panel used here doesn’t work with Nvidia G-Sync, so frame cadence may be an issue. Its motion isn’t particularly crisp either, though better than a 60Hz panel.

      Audio is provided by a pair of Bang & Olufsen branded upward facing speakers. They offer decent audio and reasonably clear audio at low to medium volumes. However, the bass is lacking, and the sound becomes muddy at higher volumes. Headphones or earphones would be much better, but the built-in speakers are at your disposal.

      HP Victus PCMarkWebcam, Microphone , Biometrics HP Victus design

      HP Victus 15 uses a 720p webcam with dual array microphones. It performed as good (or as bad) as expected. Video quality is blurry and audio quality is hollow. However, the Victus 15 doesn’t perform any worse than other laptops with similar webcam and microphone arrangements, and most midrange gaming laptops don’t offer upgrades in these areas.

      No biometrics. At this price, that’s to be expected.

      HP Victus PCMarkConnectivity

      The HP Victus 15 is thick, but that doesn’t mean it has a lot of connectivity. Instead, the Victus 15 sticks with a rather slim port selection.

      This includes two USB-A ports and one USB-C port. The USB-C port has a DisplayPort alternate mode for connecting an external monitor, but unfortunately the lack of USB power delivery means the USB-C power brick cannot charge the laptop. You must use the included 200W power adapter. The HDMI 2.1 port provides the laptop’s only dedicated video output.

      Stable network connection, supporting Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2. It’s nice to see Wi-Fi 6E (and some upgraded models of the Victus 15 have it), but its absence can easily be excused at this price. Wi-Fi 6E routers are still expensive, so it’s questionable whether gamers considering the Victus 15 own a Wi-Fi 6E router.


      HP Victus 15 with Intel Core i5-12450H processor with a total of eight cores in performance cores per night and efficient cores. The performance core supports hyperthreading (12 threads in total). It’s paired with Nvidia’s GTX 1650 graphics card, 8GB of DDR4 3200MHz RAM, and a 512GB PCIe solid-state drive.

      HP Victus PCMark

      IDG / Matthew Smith

      PCMark The 10-round score was 5,551, a respectable score. That’s the fourth-lowest of the laptops used for the comparison, but it also trails the Acer Nitro 5 and Asus Vivobook X16 OLED, both of which have tested MSRPs above $1,000. The Victus 15 weighs more than it does here.

      HP Victus Tomb Raider

      IDG / Matthew Smith

      The Victus 15 looked less impressive in Cinebench R15, as its limited core count puts the laptop at a major disadvantage compared to other Intel 12th Gen Core laptops as well as AMD’s top-of-the-line hardware. Still, that score is a long way from bad and impressive for a budget laptop. Older budget laptops with Intel 11th Gen Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 3000/4000 series processors lag behind the Core i5-12450H.

      HP Victus Tomb Raider

      IDG / Matthew Smith

      Handbrake steering as Victus 15 scores better than AMD Ryzen 5900HX and Core i7-11800H in older laptops. The benchmark has proven to favor Intel’s 12th-gen Core, as it appears to be making good use of many cores, which gives the Victus 15 the win here.

      Now, let’s dig into the graphics of the laptop.

      HP Victus designHP Victus Cinebench

      IDG / Matthew Smith

      3DMark Time Spy results in 3 ,39 2, which is to be expected. Unlike the new Core i5-12450H, the GTX 1650 is the tried and true GPU that has been used in entry-level laptops over the past few years. It’s far less powerful than the latest RTX 3050 hardware.

      HP Victus design

      IDG / Matthew Smith

      Shadow of the Tomb Raider

      is a great judge of how a gaming laptop performs in cross-platform games released across generations of PlayStation 4/Xbox One consoles. At 1080p and its highest settings, it hits an average of 43 frames per second, which is good enough for an enjoyable gaming experience, but not quite close to the 60 frames per second that most PC gamers prefer. People who want a smoother experience need to reject details.

      HP Victus design

      HP Victus display

      IDG/Matthew Smith

      Subway Exodus is more demanding, especially at the Extreme setting PC World used for this test, and it hurts the Victus 15’s performance. The laptop hits only 14 frames per second at 1080p and extreme detail, which is unplayable. This isn’t a surprising result, however, as even the RTX 3050 Ti struggled in this benchmark.

      The gaming performance of the HP Victus 15 highlights the limitations of budget gaming laptops sold in 2022. Nvidia, which continues to dominate the discrete GPU market in Windows laptops, has indeed managed not to release an entry-level discrete option for the RTX 30 or 20 series, leaving the GTX 1650/1660 to keep going. and try to do it. If you want a high level of graphical fidelity, 60 FPS games are out of the question, even in games that are a few years old.

      However, given this reality, the Victus 15 performed as well as expected. Gamers can buy this laptop knowing that it can play any PC game available today (except those that force ray tracing), although those who want to play at 60 FPS will have to stick with most new games Medium or low settings.

      Battery Life

      The HP I reviewed The Victus 15 has a 52-watt-hour battery. Shoppers should note that higher-end configurations list a larger 70-watt-hour battery. Of course, this will give better results than an entry-level machine.

      HP Victus designHP Victus design

      IDG/Matthew Smith

      Battery life is approximately four and a half hours. That might not sound like much, but it’s not – but it’s not bad for a budget gaming laptop, as some models perform worse. The HP Victus 15 requires frequent top-ups and isn’t a great companion for frequent travelers, but students who just need a laptop to complete lectures should be fine.


      HP Victus 15 No A great gaming laptop. It’s unattractive, flimsy, and doesn’t display well. And, most importantly, gaming performance is just adequate. Most games can be played at 30 FPS, but reaching 60 FPS usually requires a significant reduction in visual fidelity.

      Price savings. The Victus 15 I reviewed had an MSRP of $799, which is already a bargain, and it’s down to $549.99 right now. This is definitely the lowest price for a laptop with a discrete graphics card. And, despite its flaws, the Victus 15 offers a great keyboard, a comfortable touchpad, and solid processor performance.

      This makes the HP Victus 15 an easy recommendation for budget PC gaming. It’s not ideal, but it’s a deal at this price. Remember, it’s value, not functionality, that gives the Victus 15 an edge — an edge that gets dulled once competitors lower their own prices to compete. HP Victus design



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