The Victus 15 is one of the newest models in HP’s expanding line-up of low-cost gaming computers. It starts off incredibly affordable without making many sacrifices to capabilities and only mildly increases in price as the specs rise. It’s undoubtedly a basic alternative with no refinement, but at least you can choose from three basic colours for the laptop’s chassis: mica silver, performance blue, and ceramic white.
Even entry-level hardware might be prohibitively expensive for PC gaming, which makes the cost barrier significant. Enter the HP Victus 15, a low-cost gaming laptop that costs $799 when configured and has serviceable but basic specifications including an Intel Core i5-12450H CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU. Along with a sleek style that fits into any setting, it also has a 15.6-inch display with a 144 Hz refresh rate and a 1920 x 1080 resolution. Here you can read all the details in our HP Victus 15 review.
The Victus 15 peaks out at an RTX 3050 Ti, while the larger Victus 16 goes up to an RTX 3060. Its starting point is a GTX 1650, which is what my review unit had. Despite having the most recent 12th-gen CPUs, we don’t typically suggest gaming laptops with such subpar graphics. Although the performance of our unit was lacking, there are several configurations in the range that could make the Victus 15 a wise investment—especially when compared to the alternatives.
HP Victus 15 review: Design
The HP Victus 15 is undoubtedly what you want if you require an exterior composed of a durable material and with a substantial weight. It weighs five pounds, which is good because it can withstand a lot of abuse but can also be a drawback when you have to carry it around. Due to its size and weight, this laptop will probably be difficult for most users’ bags to carry. The HP Victus 15 offers a number of intriguing features, including the use of water-based paint, fully recyclable packaging, and post-consumer recycled and ocean-bound plastic in part of its construction.
But the overall quality of the laptop’s construction does not appear to be affected by the recycled parts. Given how simple the three colour options are, the paint job is well-done and of decent quality, which is very disappointing. Two USB Type-A ports, one USB Type-C connector, an Ethernet port, an SD Card slot, an HDMI port, and a combination jack are among the numerous ports that are available.
It results in a multifunctional laptop that is excellent for both work-related tasks and games. The monitor itself is 1080p, and because of the 144Hz refresh rate, it looks fantastic while playing on High and Ultra settings with other graphical elements turned on. The bezels aren’t exceptionally tiny or effective at protecting screen space, but they do provide a respectable amount of screen real estate. Unfortunately, it has a 720p HD webcam, which, although not the best resolution, nevertheless does the job.
HP Victus 15 review: Keyboard and Touchpad
The Victus 15 from HP features a large keyboard with a numpad. Edge-to-edge construction makes the most of the laptop’s inner space. Thus, even with the numpad crammed into the left side, the majority of the keys are big. Even the slightly narrower numpad keys are a fair size. Shift and Backspace are two examples of the right-side keys that are a little undersized.
When using the keyboard regularly, it seems sturdy. The deep chassis of the laptop contributes to the lengthy key travel, and the spacious layout provides room to spread out. The keyboard is somewhat displaced from the touchpad because of the numpad, which is bothersome. Users are encouraged to slouch or slant slightly to the left.
Standard equipment includes a backlit keyboard. That’s encouraging to see because a backlight is still something of a luxury for cheap laptops. However, there is only one brightness setting available for the backlight, so don’t anticipate any customisation.
The touchpad couldn’t be any more basic. It features a simple, responsive surface that feels comparable to the surrounding plastic, and it is big but not huge. Multi-touch gestures can be used, and in my testing, they were successful. Certainly not a quality experience, but adequate for a budget Windows laptop.
HP Victus 15 review: Display
A 15.6-inch screen with a 144 Hz refresh rate and 1920 x 1080 resolution was available on the HP Victus 15. The bright, colourful movie Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness was one of the first things we fired up to check how it handled on the Victus. Although I’ve seen better, the picture quality wasn’t bad for a 1080p screen.
America telling Strange her origin story at that scene appeared to be overexposed. The panorama was overtaken by the environment’s light beams, which also overbrightened people’s features. The colours lacked vibrancy, but the display adequately portrayed blacks. Unfortunately, the anti-glare effect didn’t work very well because we could still see the screen while viewing the movie being illuminated by the light from my window and the keyboard.
However, the display is excellent for 1080p gaming. Control looked fantastic even if we didn’t have ray tracing enabled when we played it on medium settings. As Jesse came out of the dark elevator, we could see the brightness of each light fixture hanging overhead. Since there were no reflections to detract from my gaming experience, the anti-glare feature of the display performed significantly better in this context than it did when it was viewing material.
The display of the HP Victus 15 covers 64% of the sRGB colour space and 45% of the DCI-P3 colour space. Competitors like the Asus TUF Gaming 17 and the Acer Nitro 5 had comparable overall percentages. The Victus 15 had the lowest brightness of the group, only 235 nits. The Acer Nitro 5 had the highest brightness at 314 nits, and the Asus TUF Gaming F17 had a brightness of 284 nits.
HP Victus 15 review: Audio
A pair of speakers that face upward and have the Bang & Olufsen logo play music. At a low to medium level, they deliver acceptable audio and reasonably sharp audio. However, the absence of bass makes the sound murky at higher volumes. The built-in speakers are adequate for casual use, but a headset or pair of headphones will be much better. The webcam and microphone on the HP Victus 15 are both 720p. It performs somewhat in line with (or below) expectations.
Both the audio and video are of poor quality. The Victus 15 doesn’t perform any worse than other laptops, though, and the majority of mid-range gaming laptops don’t offer an improvement in these areas. A USB 3.2 Type-A port, an audio jack, an SD card slot, and the power connector are all located on the left edge. On the right, a USB Type-C port, an Ethernet socket, and an HDMI video output are joined by a second USB-A port. Wireless communications are handled by Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 6.
HP Victus 15 review: Graphics
Given the GTX 1650 GPU, gaming performance was generally in line with expectations. You should not have high hopes when starting this up because these are the least powerful graphics cards you can find in a gaming laptop. First, as was predicted, the Victus 15 performed the worst on our comparison group’s 3DMark Time Spy test. As anticipated, it was significantly less powerful than the RTX 3050 of the MSI Prestige 14.
The Victus 15 performed admirably in the majority of our testing at 1080p and higher graphics settings. In Fortnite and Civilization VI, it was able to maintain playable frame rates, but barely. To play Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, you must lower the graphics settings. The Victus 15 was able to get 45 frames per second (fps) in Cyberpunk 2077 at 1080p and Ultra graphics with DLSS disabled, although the results aren’t shown in the table below.
In most of our benchmark games, the laptop overall averaged more than 30 frames per second. You should adjust the RTX 3050 It to acquire more comfortable frame rates at higher graphics settings because that is, of course, the absolute minimum frame rate for gaming.
HP Victus 15 review: Performance
The Ryzen 7 5800H processor from team red, an 8-core and 16-thread CPU with a clock speed of up to 4.4GHz, is housed beneath the chassis of the Victus 15. A discrete Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti with 4GB of GDDR6 memory and an integrated Radeon 680M GPU are both there to handle the visuals. The device we were using has 8GB of DDR5 RAM, although it is also available with 16GB or 32GB if you choose.
Even though the Victus 15 only has 512GB of PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD pre-installed (not much for a gaming laptop), it is still advantageous to have second-generation storage on a budget-friendly laptop as not even the most expensive ones have it. Regarding performance, the Ryzen 7 5800H achieved results in the Cinebench R23 benchmark of 9824 in the multi-core test and 1303 in the single-core test.
Even when we opened a lot of Chrome tabs and had a few programs running in the background, the laptop handled our daily duties adequately. To get the most out of this system, however, we advise choosing the 16GB RAM variant or, if you are buying the 8GB model, adding more RAM. The RTX 3050 Ti from Nvidia performs admirably in games and other graphically demanding tasks.
Even many AAA games work nicely at medium to low graphical settings on the GPU for 1080P gameplay, averaging 60–70 frames per second. Additionally, the Victus has a tendency to maintain its coolness even under pressure, so you won’t have to worry much about overheating while playing for an extended period of time.
Battery Life and Heat
The RTX 3050 Ti from Nvidia performs admirably in games and other graphically demanding tasks. Even many AAA games work nicely at medium to low graphical settings on the GPU for 1080P gameplay, averaging 60–70 frames per second. Additionally, the Victus has a tendency to maintain its coolness even under pressure, so you won’t have to worry much about overheating while playing for an extended period of time.
The 52 watt-hour battery in the HP Victus 15 that I evaluated. The larger, 70 watt-hour battery is listed in high-end options, which buyers should be aware of. Of course, that would yield better outcomes than the machine’s base model.
The battery lasts for about four and a half hours. That might not seem like much, and it isn’t, but some models do worse, so it’s still not bad for a cheap gaming laptop. Students who only need a laptop to get them through a lecture should be fine with the HP Victus 15, which requires frequent top-offs and isn’t a decent travel companion.
Given the HP Victus 15’s extensive configuration options, rating it is difficult. The AMD Ryzen 5 5600H and GTX 1650 configuration for $600 (on sale from $870) offers excellent value and probably performs similarly to my review unit. Speaking of which, the setup I examined just about makes up for its $800 price.
In the end, the Victus 15 delivered enough performance and has a sturdy enough construction to qualify as a reliable new player in the low-cost gaming market. Simply weigh your possibilities against each other before choosing. The HP Victus 15 was equipped with an Intel Core i5-12450H, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage. For a total price of $799.99, it also included a 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080 display with a 144 Hz refresh rate.
The only places to get this model are Best Buy and Newegg. On HP’s website, a number of customised configurations allow upgrades for the wireless networking, RAM, storage, display, CPU, and GPU. For an additional $10, the Victus can also be ordered in blue and white.
On best It’s not a terrific gaming laptop, the HP Victus 15. It has an unimpressive display and is ugly and fragile. Most importantly, however, is that game performance is only passable. Most games can be played at 30 frames per second, but increasing that to 60 generally necessitates major reductions in visual quality.
To be candid, there’s no need to accept GeForce GTX 1650 graphics when so many reasonably priced gaming systems today provide RTX 3050 or 3060 GPUs, even though the base-model HP Victus 15 has a seductively low price. Unless your budget simply won’t allow you to spend more than $600 or $650, seek for the Victus 15 in a higher-end configuration or consider one of its more competitive competitors, such as the MSI Katana GF66 or Acer Nitro 5.
If you’re looking for a cheap laptop and don’t mind one with a bigger screen and footprint. It is, however, rather more expensive. A Core i7-11400H (albeit it is a last-generation CPU) F17 with a 512GB SSD, 8GB of RAM, and a 144 Hz screen is currently available for $999 at Best Buy. However, the Victus is a viable option if you’re looking for an affordable 15-inch gaming laptop.