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Last year HP introduced a new lineup of affordable gaming laptops called Victus. The HP Victus 16 was the first device in the series and I found it to be just decent nothing much.
Now in 2022, the company has refreshed the Victus series with the 15-inch lineup the Victus 15. It comes with the latest 12-gen Intel CPUs and can be configured with up to an i7 processor and RTX 3050ti graphics.
But since Victus is all about affordability I got myself the base variant which has an intel core i5 12458 CPU GTX 1650 graphics 8GB of DDR 4 RAM and 512 gigs of NVME SSD storage.
This particular unit retails at around 74,000 rupees here in India and 800$ in the US. However you can find it on deals from time to time for less than 650$ and some 95,000 rupees.
For that price, I think the HP Victus 15 is a good gaming or office laptop on a budget.
With the powerful 8-core Intel 12gen i5 CPU it had no problem handling my daily workloads including opening up to 15 chrome tabs, editing documents on MS Office, light editing on photoshop, and listening to music on Spotify all at the same time.
But of course, this laptop is not just meant for your typical everyday work. It’s a gaming machine with decent GTX 1650 graphics to support it so I tested its capabilities against a handful of AAA titles and it performed comparatively better than last year’s Ryzen victor 16, especially in CPU-intensive games.
This is to be expected from 12-gen Alder Lake processors because what matters the most when it comes to a CPU’s gaming performance is its single-core performance and this is where the 12-gen CPUs shine the brightest.
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For instance, just take a look at the Cinebench R23 scores of the HP Victus from last year and this year’s model while the multi-core scores are nearly similar to the i5 12450H wins by a significant margin in single-core performance.
So with games like CS GO, I was able to get 143 FPS on average at high settings whereas last year’s Victus was averaging at around 90 FPS plus.
What I appreciate this time is that HP has included a 144 Hz screen even on the base variant of this laptop so I haven’t faced any screen tiering issues I had with the 60 Hz screen on the Victus 16.
Likewise, another game that makes full use of this high refresh rate is Valorant. So here I got around 138 FPS on average at the highest settings.
On some GPU-heavy games, control is playable at medium graphic settings at around 41 FPS on average. Also, you can play cyberpunk at medium settings where I graphed 35 FPS on average GTA 5 on the other hand yields a slightly better result with 55 FPS on average at medium settings.
Fan & Thermals
All in all, you can expect a good if not great gaming experience from the Victus 15. But the area where this laptop has made an impression on me is its thermal performance.
The fan noise gets a bit loud at its maximum speed but I think it is well worth it given the comfortable gaming experience on the Victus 15. And the best part is that the keyboard itself stays relatively cool.
I noticed the laptop getting warm near the backspace key and above the keyboard deck, but it’s nothing alarming since the maximum surface temperature I recorded was around 47 degrees Celsius which is considerable in this summary days of September.
Also, I was surprised to see how good of an SSD HP has used here it’s a PCIe gen 4 SSD with impressive read and writes performance and it can easily be replaced too.
Besides performance, I also found the battery life on the Victus 15 to be slightly better than its predecessor compared to the three hours of backup on the victor 16, I was able to get around 4 to 4.5 hours of runtime on my normal usage.
HP has however made no significant design changes with the Victus 15. It still looks basic and feels almost the same as last year’s model. The only thing that disappoints me as far as the design goes is that HP has not addressed the flimsy screen hinge issue in this year’s Victus lineup as well.
On top of this despite having a matte finish the lid catches dust and fingerprints way too easily, so I had to carry around a piece of fabric with me all the time to wipe it clean.
It’s bulky as well at around 2.3 kg so you will definitely feel the heft while carrying it in the back. Regardless the whole chassis feels fairly solid with no flex in the keyboard until you press it very hard the air intake vent is in the rear and the laptop exhausts hot air through the grill at the back.
Similarly, all the necessary IO ports are located on the sides of the laptop here on the left you will find the power connector a 3.5 mm audio jack a USB type port and a full-sized SD Card slot and the right edge has the HDMI port, USB type A, USB type C, and Ethernet ports.
Anyway, words rather average on this HP Victus is its screen. The 15.6 inch IPS LCD panel on this thing only covers 45% NTSC, 48% AdobeRGB, and 47% P3 color gamuts.
That means if you are a graphics designer and you are searching for an affordable gaming or content creation hybrid machine, you will have to look elsewhere.
Besides colors, its brightness levels are just about average as well at just 243 Nits. Even when I would be sitting inside the office I found myself cranking up the brightness to 60% to 70% quite often.
So it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to enjoy this machine outside in a café while sipping your coffee and to be honest I haven’t enjoyed watching content on this laptop not only because of the average display but also because of the very mediocre speakers.
HP advertises saying that it has a dual speaker system tuned by Bang & Olufsen but the base is almost non-existent here and the audio gets slightly muddy in the mids as well.
Keyboard & Trackpad
Now talking about the keyboard it has a full-sized one with a dedicated Numpad and the keys here are fairly comfortable to type on with a good travel distance.
Unfortunately, you won’t find any RGB lighting here but the white backlighting is enough to light up the keys at night or in dimly lit conditions.
Also, its trackpad serves you well for all your daily tasks it’s an off-center trackpad still uh there’s enough space for your wrist to rest on either side while gliding into the screen, and even though this thing is plastic made it feels fairly smooth and multi-finger gestures work perfectly fine here as well.
Finally, its webcam performs as one would expect from a laptop’s built-in camera it’s a 720p sensor so videos turn out to be a bit grainy and it performs terribly in exposure management.
So wrapping up this review, if you’re in the market looking for an entry-level gaming laptop then the Victus 15 could offer a good value. It can easily run popular AAA titles in medium to low settings and the laptop also has good thermals to keep the temperatures under control.
But I think at an MSRP of 800$ it’s a little overpriced so wait for the deals to come by before buying it. If you’re looking to buy a gaming laptop in the 800$ to 900$ price packet you will often find 11 gen Horizon 5000 series laptops with a higher TGP 3050 or 3050 TI graphics which will perform much better than the victor’s 15 in almost all the games.
So only buy the Victus 15 if it’s around the 600$ to 650$ dollar price range, for instance, the Victus 15 with 3050 graphics and i5-12500H was available a couple of weeks ago for just 700$ and at that price, it makes a lot of sense.
So guys that were all for our full review of the latest HP Victus 15.