Another day. Another gaming laptop. It feels like all of 2023 has just been about gaming and gaming devices. Besides laptops, Asus unveiled the ROG Ally, a handheld gaming console that, on the whole, most people have liked.
But, I digress. We’re here to talk about a gaming laptop. Specifically, the HP Victus 16 that launched a few months ago in the country. It’s another one of those ‘not-so-portable and keep on your desk’ gaming laptops. If you don’t have a desktop at home and don’t want to buy one, then the Victus 16 can be a good laptop to plonk on your desk, keep it plugged in at all times and work and play all day long.
Let’s dive in.
Hefty but mighty
Yes, like most gaming laptops, the Victus 16 from HP is a hefty gaming laptop. It’s more than meets the eye though as it brings a lot to the table. It’s a laptop with rounded corners, unlike previous generations, and has great build quality. The best part of the design is that there is a V logo (chromed out) and it looks elegant.
The unit of the Victus 16 that I got for review came with an i5-13500HX processor, 16GB of RAM, a Nvidia RTX 4050 GPU, a 512GB Gen4 NVMe TLC M.2 SSD, and an 83Wh battery.
All this makes for plenty of power for a day filled with work and play. But yes, it’s a laptop you must plug in to get the most out of it and something that isn’t portable at all.
The kicker is that the Victus 16 offers a full-size keyboard. It’s good for both content creators and gamers alike. Something for everyone as they say.
As for the ports, well, there is plenty there. There’s a Thunderbolt 4 USB Type-C port, an HDMI port, an Ethernet slot, a 3.5mm audio jack and three USB Type-A ports.
Performance is extremely solid
The backbone of a gaming laptop is how well it can play your favourite titles. Yes, the Victus 16 is no slouch when it comes to gaming. The Core i5 processor combined with Nvidia’s RTX 4050 graphics card provides for top-level gaming performance.
I played FIFA 23, Forza Horizon 5, Red Dead Redemption 2, Halo, and more during my time with the Victus 16. Those games were played without any issues. Try playing some more demanding games like Far Cry and they will start to lag a bit on the highest settings.
A word of appreciation for the battery on the Victus 16. Gaming laptops hardly have good battery life, but the Victus 16 stands head and shoulders above its competitors. The laptop is hardly portable, but this does give encouragement in case you need to spend a day outside the home working.
The issue was not with the gaming performance but with the display. Yes, the Victus 16 isn’t perfect. The display offers a little bit of flex. The screen may have thin bezels next to it, but I was disappointed by two things. First, the viewing angles were not great. Second, the display wasn’t bright enough. With a max brightness of 300 nits, the display is hardly usable when the sun shines brightly. Indoors, it is more than useable, as the IPS LCD panel comes with an anti-glare coating.
The speakers on the laptop are average but the clarity is there. Most gamers like to use headphones, but for media consumption, people like to listen on the speakers. Folks on the latter end might get disappointed. The speakers lack any bass, and at full volume, the sound gets distorted.
The Victus 16 also comes with a 2.1MP webcam that supports 1080p resolution in both photo and video modes. It’s decent but nothing to write home about.
The laptop gets hot, yes, but the cooling system helps keep things in check. It’s not unusable while on your lap, but can at times, get uncomfortable.
Where the laptop falters
Let’s just run down where the laptop doesn’t live up to the mark. The list is short, which is a good thing.
- The display isn’t bright enough for outdoor usage
- The viewing angles aren’t up to the mark
- The speakers lack bass and can get distorted
- There’s limited internal storage
- No SD card slot
Where does the Victus 16 stand?
The Victus 16 starts at Rs 59,999 and can go up to over one lakh rupees depending on the configuration. At Rs 1.29 lakh for the higher-end configuration, the Victus 16 is a tough sell.
The Victus 16 has tried to correct some of its past mistakes, and it has come out as a good successor. It’s got a solid (including the solid hinge) build quality, great gaming performance, and much more. But for over one lakh rupees, it leaves you wanting for a little bit more.
Still, if you’re in the market for a 16-inch gaming laptop, then the Victus 16 should be in the mix. It’s definitely worth a look and HP is on the right path with this series. Here’s hoping the next iteration of the Victus pushes the boundaries of what’s capable on a budget 16-inch gaming laptop.