Hp Victus Gaming Laptop Review

The new HP Victus line of gaming laptops enters the market as a more budget friendly alternative to the renown Omen line. With many configurations available for under $1,000, it’s sure to be on the list of many prospective buyers. Let’s check it out and see how it stacks up.

We received an HP Victus equipped with an Intel Core i5-11400H CPU, RTX 3050 Ti laptop GPU (4 GB), 8 GB DDR4 (dua X 4 GB), 256 GB NVMe M.dua SSD and 70 Watt-Hour battery. This configuration will set you back around $930 depending on sale prices. All Victus laptops currently share the same 16-inch chassis and they mostly differ in internal configuration. The display is a 16.1″ IPS FHD panel that comes in a 60Hz or 144Hz options (a mere $20 upgrade for the faster refresh rate).

Design and Features

The laptop comes with a plastic, matte gray finish. It’s a basic design all around with the only major accent being an inset glossy “V” on the rear of the 16.1 inch display. The laptop measures 14.5 x 10.dua x 0.93 inches and weighs in at 5.4lbs. This puts it on the heavier side of laptops in its class since many competitors come in closer to 5lbs. Below the screen hinge, we can see the rear exhaust ports for the two internal cooling fans.

The left edge of the Victus houses most of the I/O. Starting from the top we have the charging port, a fold-out RJ45 jack, an HDMI port, a USB tiga.0 Type A port, a USB tiga.0 Type C port, a headset combo jack, and an SD card reader.

Except for the power jack, this is a fine assortment. I especially like those dedicated Ethernet ports and wish more laptops kept them. Back to the power though, I really wish this was a USB-C port instead. It’s nearly 2022 and bulky proprietary laptop charging bricks need to go.

Continuing our tour around the laptop, we find a mostly empty right edge aside for two USB 3.0 ports. The screen measures 0.tiga” which is a bit thicker than other laptops in this price range, but isn’t something I’d worry about too much. I do appreciate the slight recess around the edge of the screen to give a nice grip when opening the laptop.

The matte gray finish continues over the rest of the laptop as well. Screen bezels are nice and narrow around three of the edges. The bulk of the circuitry is housed at the bottom of the display. This has become fairly standard and the bottom bezel on the Victus measures slightly over an inch. At the top of the keyboard, just below the hinge, is a wide strip of mesh that covers the stereo speakers. I like the subtle “V” pattern here. It’s much less pronounced on the actual unit compared to the picture.

I was reasonably impressed with the Bang and Olufsen speakers on the Victus. They get loud and have good stereo imaging, but as with all built-in laptop audio systems, they are almost completely lacking in bass. The EQ is tuned to slightly lower the highs which helps them sound less tinny, but this also causes them to get quite muddy in the low to mid range. The webcam on top is only 720p and becomes grainy in low light. I’d say it’s fine for most web calls during the day, but quality noticeably drops at night. It’s crazy how modern phones can pack their outstanding cameras in such a small form factor, but laptop webcams haven’t advanced much in a decade.

The Hardware

Let’s talk some more about mechanical design. The trackpad is nice and large, but feels rather flimsy. The top edge is attached to the laptop body while bottom surface is free floating. This results in the whole keyboard shaking and rattling around when tapping to click. If I didn’t know I had a brand new unit from the factory, I might have thought there was a loose screw inside. It’s a cheap feeling and I would have expected much more from a laptop that costs nearly $1,000.

Next, onto the keyboard. The keys feel very sturdy and have a nice actuation. They keyboard is internally braced quite well such that there isn’t a lot of flex for even the heaviest of typists. Another feature of more and more laptops that I appreciate is the increased resistance on the power button. It takes noticeably more force to press than the other keys around it and also has a slight actuation delay so you don’t accidentally turn off the laptop. The soft white backlight works really well, too. It’s uniform and hits all the marked areas without leaving any area over or under-illuminated.

Taking a step back to talk about keyboard layout, this is another area where I think HP could have done much better. While it’s very nice to have the full-sized numpad, I don’t like the removal of the laman up/down and home/end keys. Why did HP not put halaman up/down in the open gaps above the arrow keys? Why does the keyboard have dedicated “HP Omen Gaming Hub” and calculator buttons? Home and End keys would have been much more useful there.

Opening up the bottom cover to get a look inside is very difficult in the Victus. I’ve opened tons of laptops over the years and this one took me at least 10 minutes of prying. The 8 screws around the edge were easy to remove, but then you’re still stuck with a bunch of those internal plastic retention clips every few inches. Even with a proper plastic spudger kit I managed to break off a few of these in the struggle. It shouldn’t be that hard to get into a laptop.

HP did make up for this in my opinion by posting a wonderful teardown and repair guide. It’s a 25 minute long official instructional video that walks the user through removing and replacing basically every component on the laptop. Huge credit to HP for this and I wish other brands would do the same. Many of the parts inside even list what screw sizes they use and product numbers for their replacement. Both M.2 and RAM sockets are easily accessible for upgrades.

While we can see the guts inside, let’s go over thermal performance. Overall I’d say the two heatpipes and blowers do a decently nice job of keeping Victus cool. I did notice the CPU start to throttle down from dua.7GHz to between dua.2GHz – dua.4GHz after about 5 minutes of full load.

I tested thermal performance in two locations: on a flat surface with limited airflow such as a carpet, and then on a more open surface like your leg or a laptop stand with better airflow. The CPU and GPU stabilized at 82C and 79C respectively in the first scenario with limited airflow. This is quite warm, but isn’t a very common use case since the laptop will most likely be used in a place with better airflow. Letting the fans breathe more lowered CPU temps to 68C and GPU temps to 66C. Those numbers are much better.

The fan noise is definitely noticeable when the system is heavily loaded, but it isn’t obnoxious. The acoustics make them sound more like a low drone than a high pitched whine. I found the fan curves to be tuned very nicely. The fan gradually ramps up over several minutes when heavy usage starts and then is quick to quiet down once the load stops. Definitely easy on the ears that way.

Keyboard comfort during heavy load is about as expected for a gaming laptop. The middle of the keyboard gets uncomfortably hot during prolonged gaming sessions, but the outer edges and touchpad stay cool enough to rest your hands on. This makes perfect sense since the two hot components are in the middle and the fans are near the edge.


Our review unit arrived with basic specs including a Core i5-11400H and discrete RTX 3050 Ti laptop graphics. HP offers the Victus with up to an i7-11800H CPU, RTX 3060 GPU, 32GB of RAM, 144Hz display, and 1TB SSD. My configuration retails for $990 ($930 when on sale) and maxing it out will cost $1,600. There’s also more basic configurations on the same chassis that start at $799.99 with the same i5-11400H and a GTX 1650 laptop GPU.

We won’t be explicitly covering benchmarks for the HP Victus since we’ve reviewed the same components in detail before. Here are our reviews of the i5-11400H CPU and RTX 3050 Ti Laptop GPU. We like the CPU a lot and in our testing it ranks among the best mobile chips Intel has produced in quite some time for this segment. As for the 3050 Ti, it’s far from a standout. Performance is average and is often limited by the 4GB of VRAM. However, because the Victus 16 only has a 1080p display, it won’t be as big of an issue compared to 1440p configurations.