Finally, a notebook that does justice to gaming

June 6, 2024
3 mins read


HP Omen Transcend 14

It’s rare to find a notebook that does gaming well but PAT PILCHER plays with HP’s new Omen Transcend and is pleasantly surprised.


With most of us opting for notebook PCs, gaming can be challenging. Its limited upgradability means that getting a notebook PC that’s portable enough to use as your daily driver for gaming and non-gaming tasks can be tricky. HP has thrown their gaming hat in the ring with the Omen Transcend 14, which they say packs plenty of gaming goodness and other nifty AI tricks to make it a compelling option for gamers and power users.

Put simply, HP designed the Omen Transcend 14 for gamers who want to play, work, and create, with the emphasis being on portability. With a screen size of 14 inches, the theory is that it won’t require a chiropractor visit after you’ve lugged it into the office.

The review unit had an Intel Core Ultra 9 185H CPU, 32GB of LPDDR5x RAM, 2TB SSD and a GeForce RTX 4070 GPU. This beefy line-up is HP power-range spec, but users can opt for a more affordable Core Ultra 7/RTX 4060 or 4050 spec. Both options pack the same gorgeous 2880 x 1800 120 Hz OLED display.

From a design perspective, the 14 resembles its larger sibling, the Omen Transcend 16, which isn’t a bad thing. Key design cues include a slick one-colour chassis. Everything is smooth, while edges and corners are rounded. Overall, the design feels grown-up and elegant and is, if anything, understated. This is a nice change from the LED-laden garishness of most gaming laptops.

On the connectivity front, the Omen can be charged using either of its two USB-C ports. However, the rear USB-C port supports 140 W, which makes for much faster charges. This also means the bundled power brick must be connected to the rear USB-C port for full system performance. As well as side/rear USB-C ports, there are two USB-A ports on its right-hand side, a headphone socket on its left, and an HDMI port on its rear. The review unit came with Wi-Fi 6E support, providing insanely fast performance on my Mesh network. Future HP models will support Wi-Fi 7, adding a sizeable measure of future-proofing. Weighing in at a shoulder-pleasing 1.75 kg, the Omen is no effort for a home-to-work/work-to-home commute either.

Tucked away at the top of the Omen’s screen bezel is a 2MP webcam with IR for improved Windows Hello facial recognition in low-light conditions. The camera proved to be a capable widget and, by default, used a slightly warm white balance, but these can be tweaked for more accurate colours and exposure levels. Either way, it’s more than ample for remote work and video meetings.

Perhaps the most striking feature when powering the Omen up is its keyboard. The keys feel a tad larger than similar-sized notebooks and are translucent, allowing them to show off a glitzy RGB effect. When bashing out text, the keys felt crisp, providing a satisfying clatter and plenty of tactile feedback. However, key travel is relatively shallow which is a given considering the Omen’s thin, slimline chassis. There is some customisability for key backlighting, but that’s limited to four zones instead of being offered on a per-key basis. Its click-pad feels spacious, especially considering the Omen’s 14-inch form factor. It provided accurate tracking of my taps and swipes, offering a small amount of tactile feedback for clicks.

The Omen’s display is a Samsung OLED panel. It supports HDR and has a native refresh rate of 120Hz, with a 2.8K resolution. It can hit 500 nits on the brightness front when HDR is enabled (and on-screen content is HDR compatible). It also supports Windows dynamic refresh rates ranging from 60Hz to 120Hz. Sadly, G-Sync or FreeSync didn’t appear to be available. That said, the display offers up the super vivid colours you’d expect from an OLED panel, and its brightness also impressed indoors, delivering similar usability outdoors in the few rare instances when the Wellington sun decided to shock city inhabitants and appear.

Under the hood, there’s quite a lot happening. Much of the Omen’s performance comes down to the Core 9 Ultra, which, as recently announced, sports an integrated NPU for accelerating AI tasks like Microsoft Copilot as well as performing a bunch of other nifty webcam tricks for video meetings.

While the bulk of its AI apps are still Cloud-based, the addition of an NPU (Nural Compute Unit) will allow the Omen to take advantage of future on-device AI apps, reducing the impact of intensive compute requirements associated with AI by handling a sizeable chunk of those off to the NPU.

I borrowed and installed a bunch of high-end games, and that’s when I got to put the Omen to the test and get some quality gaming time in. Everything played well, and I was particularly impressed to see Cyberpunk 2077 running smoothly. Gaming fan noise remained fairly quiet, and only moderate heat was generated near the middle of the keyboard and the underside.

Depending on what you’re doing, the Omen will run for a surprisingly decent amount of time away from its power adaptor. I got just shy of an entire day’s use when using productivity apps, but I expect this number to decrease when running demanding apps and graphics-heavy games. Either way, the Omen’s battery life is impressive.

The Omen ticks a lot of boxes. Its slick design looks the part and confers it with excellent portability and decent connectivity options. On a specs versus price basis, it’s impressive. The Omen has it all if you want GeForce RTX graphics, a decent OLED display, and a travel-friendly form factor.


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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