Game on: HP’s Victus 16 tries to prove gaming laptops needn’t be costly

Updated on Oct 28, 2021 02:43 PM IST

Where the HP Victus 16 gets a leg up is with the AMD price advantage. This is more than satisfactory as an entry-spec gaming laptop, sitting well below the ₹1 lakh price mark

HP’s Victus 16 tries to prove that gaming laptops need not be expensive. (Supplied photo)
HP’s Victus 16 tries to prove that gaming laptops need not be expensive. (Supplied photo)

AMD, meet Nvidia. And Nvidia, meet AMD.

We could be saying this quite often in the coming years. That’s because the combination of AMD’s Ryzen processors and Nvidia graphics seems to be working wonders for the HP Victus 16 gaming laptop.

You’d also hear this called “Victus for HP”. Particularly when the price tag offers a genuine advantage compared with similar specs for an Intel processor-powered alternative.

The pricing tells a tale of how this unfolds. The HP Victus 16 gaming laptop range prices start at 64,900 for the AMD-powered options and 74,900 for the ones that have Intel chips.

The ball is now in your court. It may just be a good time to bet on something that also saves you some money on the price tag, isn’t it?

Gaming laptop genes, but with wider appeal

There is one thing that HP does well, and that’s the design. The eye-catching contours interspersed with a lot of sophistication that we have seen in the Spectre and the ENVY laptop ranges make way for the more youthful and aggressive design on the HP Victus 16.

The Victus branding is front and centre on this gaming laptop. So much so that you’d usually see the brand logo on the lid, but here, it’s the big “V” for the Victus series. There’s a definite dash of aggression that you’d expect from a gaming laptop and not one strictly meant for boardrooms and meetings.

Yet, the Victus 16 does stop some distance short of the bright LED lights and the look-at-me colourful inserts that some of its rivals are happy to flaunt.

Also Read: Three laptop deals from MSI you just can’t miss this Diwali

It isn’t hard to notice that there is a certain lightweight touch to the build quality at certain places. The hinge for the display isn’t as well calibrated as we’d have expected. There is some wobble of the screen that is apparent if you are typing rapidly.

The keyboard and the palm rest area feel fine, but press down hard on the plastic body, and there’s some flex. We do feel that the arrow keys are a tad too small, individually, and these keys are very relevant while playing a game - that’ll take some getting used to.

Lot of cooling vents at the back and on the underside, which gives the two cooling fans enough of inflow and outflow to keep this fairly cool when you’re gaming.

Large canvas for your games

This is a large 16.1-inch display you’ll get for all the gaming fun. It’s an IPS or in-plane switching display that brings the standard advantage of this screen type to the fore. That’s rich and bright colours, darker black levels than traditional LCD screens can manage and good contrast levels that also help with viewing under harsh office floor lights. That’s 300 nits brightness, which should be adequate for most indoor use, though if you do wish to enjoy a winter afternoon working under the rare sunlight, there may be some squinting needed.

This has a 144Hz refresh rate and that simply means fast moving visuals in games as well as in media are silky smooth. This display also has the low-blue light tech, though how much of an impact that has in the long run, if at all, isn’t something we can assess in a limited review duration.

Specs that’ll hold up well

You’ll have the option of the AMD Ryzen 5 5600H processor and the Nvidia GeForce RTX3050 graphics or the AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor and the Nvidia GeForce RTX3060 graphics. Both variants are, at least in AMD’s scheme of things, powerful enough for giving the Victus 16 gaming laptop credentials.

Mind you, these graphics solutions will be hitting the performance ceiling soon enough, but in the larger scheme of things, 16GB RAM and a fast 512GB SSD adds a bit of push to the overall performance.

This is an entry-spec gaming laptop and if your game’s graphics and detailing settings are mirroring that knowledge, this will hold you in good stead for a bit more than casual gaming for quite a few years.

Basically, any game that you wish to play will have its built-in visual settings. Those need to be set at medium by default, and you can push them up step by step to understand the performance ceiling for this laptop.

It’ll vary from game to game, and some experimentation will go a long way in drawing the last ounce of performance. This feels powerful for the non-gaming usage and powerful enough for when you want to game.

Better than expected battery life

AMD’s advantage is the slightly lower power consumption under load, particularly when left idle. That said, a gaming laptop isn’t ever primed for frugal battery use and that shows soon enough. Even with a lot of care with display brightness, keeping the unnecessary stuff turned off and just used for the typical office workflow apps, this lasts a bit more than six hours on a single charge.

It must be noted that the Victus 16 can get quite hot under gaming load, and for a laptop that stays whisper silent for the most part otherwise, it really gets the fans whirring into action.

That can be fairly loud as well. None of this is unique in the world of gaming laptops, which is something you must consider if you intend to also carry this to office from time to time.

Splurge or not?

It is hard not to have the HP Victus 16 on your gaming laptop shortlist. Competition is tough. The Dell G Series gaming laptops (prices start 75,490), the Asus TUF series, and the Asus ROG Strix are very much there and thereabouts in terms of prices and comparative specs.

Where the HP Victus 16 gets a leg up is with the AMD price advantage. This is more than satisfactory as an entry-spec gaming laptop, sitting well below the 1 lakh price mark. There is enough headroom on the spec sheet to stay relevant for a few years, even as your gaming interest will inevitably take a couple of steps forward.


    Vishal Mathur is Technology Editor for Hindustan Times. When not making sense of technology, he often searches for an elusive analog space in a digital world.

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