HP’s Victus: an affordable gaming power house reviewed

November 4, 2023


HP Victus Gaming Laptop

Witchdoctor game boy PAT PILCHER gets immersed in HP’s surprisingly nicely-priced HP Victus gaming laptop and likes what he sees.


Not so long ago, PC gamers were tied to large beige boxes tucked away in a dark corner of their homes. More recently, increasingly powerful CPUs/GPUs and more compact cooling designs have seen gaming-centric laptops growing in popularity. It isn’t hard to see why. Even if there is no mains power, being able to game anywhere you fancy has an undeniable appeal.

None of this has been lost on HP, whose Victus range of gaming laptops is an affordable and popular choice amongst gamers. I got my hands on the Victus 15, a gaming rig designed for use on the go.

Hitting the shelves at a reasonable (for a gaming laptop) $2499 for its base spec, the Victus 15 feels solidly built. It’s a chunky monkey, so a decent-sized laptop bag is a must. When it comes to its display, the Victus isn’t lacking. Its 15.6″ display delivers decent peeper-pleasing visuals, which are helped by a 144Hz refresh rate that keeps on-screen action silky smooth. Its exterior chassis sports a minimalist design that (thankfully) lacks the garish RGB LEDs so many PC manufacturers tend to slather their gaming gear in.


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That said, its keyboard is backlit, which helps when gaming in the dark. However, there is no ability to set lighting zones for specific in-game key combos.  Goodie. You get oodles of room and a dedicated number pad with a handy dedicated calculator key. The keys are also a good size, which makes for easy typing. In use, they did feel a tad soft but were otherwise good. The touchpad is a buttonless design and is decently sized. It handled all my glides and taps, although its click felt a tad dull. Either way, the Victus feels like a gaming laptop for grown-ups rather than a garish fairground ride slathered in RGB lights.

The review unit came with an AMD Ryzen 5 CPU and NVIDIA AMD Radeon RX 6500M mobile GPU with 16GB of DDR4 RAM plus a generous 512GB SSD. While I was concerned that the GPU might be a tad anaemic, it keeps the price affordable. It also ran most graphically intensive games smoothly. That said, powerful hardware takes a toll on battery life, and I got just over four hours of gaming time on battery power. Because of this, I used it with the bundled charger when gaming. Thankfully, charge times are reasonably quick, and I got close to a full charge after just a few hours.

Its exterior is hewn out of post-consumer recycled plastic. While it feels solid and packs plenty of heft at 2.2kgs, it doesn’t feel quite as premium as you’d expect from a gaming laptop. On the plus side, the plastic body feels durable, but its weight literally makes it a pain to carry any further than a short hop.

It comes with a surprisingly solid lineup of ports. These include 2x USB Type-A, 1x USB Type-C, Ethernet, SD Card, HDMI, and an audio jack. Add in Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth support, and the Victus is as versatile for use as a workhorse as it is for gaming.

I found its performance with most games to be good. However, more demanding titles like Cyberpunk 2077 sometimes needed settings tweaked downwards to run at a decent framerate. For productivity use, I got a super smooth and responsive experience with demanding tasks such as video editing and less demanding chores such as word processing.

Despite its affordable (for a gaming laptop) sticker price, HP has put some effort into cooling. It has a powerful (and slightly noisy) dual-fan setup and sizeable vents on its underside. I was pleased to note that it hardly ran warm in gameplay, meaning it scored well with the on-lap ball-scorch benchmark.

The Victus is a solid and affordable gaming laptop that feels like it was designed for grown-up gamers. It also wins as a productivity workhorse thanks to its decent connectivity options. The other big win for anyone with a conscience is that it is built out of recycled and sustainable materials.




Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

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