HP Victus 15 review: As low cost as gaming laptops come

HP Victus 15

MSRP $800.00

“The HP Victus 15 provides modest performance, but ceratin configurations make it worthwhile.”


  • Solid productivity performance
  • Decent 1080p gaming performance
  • Good keyboard and touchpad
  • Conservative attractiveness
  • Reasonably priced


  • Confusing configurations
  • Poor battery life
  • Ho-hum screen

Gaming laptops are inclined to be expensive, and the chip shortage has only made that situation worse lately. HP’s latest Victus 15 slides in with options well under $1,000 that try to provide a fix to that problem.

While the larger Victus 16 gets you as much as an RTX 3060, the Victus 15 tops out at an RTX 3050 Ti — and starts at a budget-tier GTX 1650, which is what my review unit included. Despite having the newest Twelfth-gen CPUs, we don’t normally recommend gaming laptops with graphics which are quite that bottom of the barrel. While our unit lacked in performance, there are some configurations within the lineup that might make the Victus 15 a solid purchase — especially considering the alternatives.


HP Victus 15 front angled view showing display and keyboard deck.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Just like the Victus 16, the Victus 15 has a design that carries over just a few elements from HP’s Omen lineup but maintains a more conservative aesthetic. The Victus logo shares the Omen logo’s basic geometry, cutting off and retaining the underside portion. The brand shows up on the lid and within the venting above the keyboard. Otherwise, the Victus 15 has easy lines and few gamer-oriented elements. The rear vent has a little bit of a fighter jet look, but from the front and sides, you wouldn’t be blamed for mistaking the Victus 15 for a mainstream budget laptop. That perception extends to the skinny side bezels and fairly small top bezel that contrast with the huge chin at the underside of the display.

There are three available colours, Mica Silver (dark gray), Performance Blue, and Ceramic White. The Victus 15 doesn’t look exactly like a smaller version of the Victus 16 — the rear edges are more rounded, giving a sleeker look. It’s common for gaming laptops to strike a more mainstream look. Other examples include the Razer Blade 15 and the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. For those who need a laptop that appears like a gaming machine, you’ll want to think about something just like the Asus ROG Strix G15 that’s a gamer through and thru.

HP didn’t got down to make a skinny and light-weight gaming laptop, nevertheless it didn’t make the thickest or heaviest either.

The Victus 15 is fabricated from all plastic, similar to the Victus 16. Also like that laptop, it has a lid that’s quite bendable. The keyboard deck also comes with a little bit of flex, although the smaller model is a little more solid. The hinge works well, allowing the lid to be opened with one hand and avoiding any serious wobble during intense gaming motion. Overall, the Victus 15 is barely improved over the Victus 16, nevertheless it falls well wanting costlier machines just like the Lenovo Legion 5i Pro and the Razer Blade 15.

Even given the massive chin on the underside of the display, the Victus 15 is sized like the everyday 15-inch gaming laptop. It’s fractions of an inch narrower and shallower than the Lenovo Legion 5, for instance, and just as thick at 0.93 inches. The HP is barely lighter at 5.06 kilos in comparison with 5.3 kilos. The Acer Nitro 5, a similarly priced gaming machine, is in regards to the same size, but thicker at 0.94 inches and lighter at 4.85 kilos. HP didn’t aim to make a skinny and light-weight laptop, nevertheless it didn’t make the thickest or heaviest either.

HP Victus 15 left view showing ports.

hp victus 15 review olympus digital camera

Connectivity is powerful, with one exception. There’s a USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 port, two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a full-size HDMI 2.1 port, an Ethernet connection, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a full-size SD card reader. The one glaring omission is Thunderbolt 4, which we’ve seen on laptops at this price point. Wireless connectivity is either Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 or Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, depending on the configuration.

Price and configurations

Reasonably priced gaming laptops are tough to return by nowadays, especially ones which are actually price buying. As with all low cost laptops, though, digging into the configurations is essential — and unfortunately, HP has created a confusing lineup with the Victus 15, offering preconfigured models via retailers that utilize different Intel CPUs than you may buy via HP’s configure-to-order (CTO) system.

The preconfigured models range from a $600 (on sale from $880) configuration with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and an Nvidia GTX 1650. My review unit was similar, though it cost $800 and features a Core i5-12450H and a 144Hz Full HD display. On the high end is the $1,000 (on sale from $1,100) model with a Core i7-12650H, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and the Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti. Other options include the AMD Ryzen 7 5800H and the RTX 3050. These higher-end options offers you much better performance.

You’ll be able to configure the Victus 15 at HP.com, which enables you to spec out your laptop in finer detail, starting from $870 on the low end to $1,230 on the high end. There are two primary competitors that price out closely to the Victus 15: The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 and the Acer Nitro 5. The Nitro 5 is $50 costlier when configured similarly, while the IdeaPad Gaming 3 comes with the newest Ryzen processor for $900.


HP Victus 15 rear view showing lid and logo.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

A very powerful distinction is that the Core i5-12450H is a 45-watt, 10-core (4 Performance and 6 Efficient), and 12-thread CPU, in comparison with the 45-watt, 12-core (4 Performance and eight Efficient), 16-thread i5-12500H. The Core i7-12650H is a 45-watt, 10-core (six Performance and 4 Efficient), 16-thread CPU, in comparison with the Core i7-12700H, a 45-watt, 14-core (six Performance and eight Efficient), 20-thread CPU. We’ve only benchmarked the Core i7-12700H, but the Geekbench 5 database, the Core i5-12450H and Core i7-12650H are (as expected) slower than their higher-core and higher-thread counterparts.

We haven’t tested a 28-watt P-series Core i5, but again, the Geekbench 5 database, it appears to be faster than the Core i5-12450H in my review unit. It’s price noting that the Victus 15 couldn’t quite sustain with laptops running the 28-watt Core i7-1260P with its 12 cores (4 Performance and eight Efficient) and 16 threads, of which we’ve reviewed quite just a few. The AMD Ryzen 7 5800H can be faster than the Core i5 in my review unit.

Accordingly, the Victus 15’s productivity and creativity performances were mixed. It had the second-slowest Geekbench 5 ends in our comparison group, well behind the Core i7-1260P within the MSI Prestige 14 and the core i7-11800H within the HP Victus 16. The identical held with our Handbrake test that encodes a 420MB video as H.265, although the differences weren’t as significant. At the identical time, the Victus 15 was more competitive within the Cinebench R23 benchmark, producing the third-fastest single-core rating and beating the MSI Prestige 14. The Victus 15 was again behind a lot of the pack within the PCMark 10 Complete test that runs through a spread of productivity, multimedia, and artistic tasks.

The Victus 15 can handle demanding productivity workflows and a few low-end creative tasks.

Finally, within the Pugetbench Premiere Pro benchmark that runs in a live version of Adobe’s Premiere Pro, the Victus 15 again fell behind the MSI Prestige 14. That laptop was configured with the RTX 3050, a faster GPU than the GTX 1650 within the Victus 15, and the Pugetbench benchmark is heavily influenced by GPU performance. Nonetheless, it wasn’t GPU performance that held the HP back. Actually, the Victus 15 tied the Prestige 14 within the GPU section of the benchmark, and it was within the CPU-dependent video playback section that the HP was much slower.

Overall, mainstream performance was still solid for an $800 laptop. The Victus 15 can handle demanding productivity workflows and a few low-end creative tasks. But you’ll see faster results by ordering via the CTO system. Interestingly, the Omen Gaming Hub app has a performance tuning section, however the GTX 1650 version of the Victus 15 doesn’t have a performance setting, which is disappointing.

Geekbench (single/multi) Handbrake
Cinebench R23 (single/multi) Pugetbench for Premiere Pro PCMark 10 Complete
HP Victus 15
(Core i5-12450H)
1,450 / 6,699 118 1,670 / 9,521 441 6,059
HP Victus 16
(Core i7-11800H)
1,594 / 9,141 93 1,510 / 10,145 N/A 6,808
MSI Prestige 14
(Core i7-1260P)
1,505 / 10,041 114 1,553 / 8,734 553 6,201
Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey
(Core i7-11600H)
1,478 / 5,366 152 1,501 / 8,571 N/A 5,989
Lenovo Legion 5i Pro 
(Core i7-12700H)
1,625 / 11,543 72 1,725 / 14,135 793 7,430
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
(Ryzen 7 5800H)
1,460/7,227 99 1,430/11,195 N/A n/a


HP Victus 15 rear view showing vent.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Gaming performance was mostly in keeping with expectations given the GTX 1650 GPU. These are the lowest-end graphics cards yow will discover in a gaming laptop, so your expectations needs to be low when firing this up. First, the Victus 15 had the bottom 3DMark Time Spy test in our comparison group, as expected. It was considerably lower than the MSI Prestige 14’s RTX 3050, also as expected.

The Victus 15 performance OK in most of our benchmarks at 1080p and better graphics settings. It managed playable frame rates in Civilization VI and Fortnite, but just barely within the latter case. You’ll must drop all the way down to a lower setting to play Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. The outcomes aren’t listed within the table below, however the Victus 15 managed to hit 45 frames per second (fps) in Cyberpunk 2077 at 1080p and Ultra graphics with DLSS turned off.

Overall, the laptop averaged greater than 30 fps in most of our benchmark titles. In fact, that’s the bare minimum fps for gaming, so that you’ll wish to configure the RTX 3050 Ti to get more comfortable frame rates at higher graphics.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (1080p Ultra High) Civilization VI (1080p Ultra) Fortnite (1080p Epic) 3DMark Time Spy
HP Victus 15
(GTX 1650)
25 fps 60 39 3,653
HP Victus 16
(RTX 3060)
59 fps 118 99 7,341
MSI Prestige 14
(RTX 3050)
20 fps N/A 26 4,438
Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey
(RTX 3050 Ti)
15 fps 61 54 N/A
Lenovo Legion 5i Pro 
(RTX 3070 Ti)
80 fps 177 fps 103 fps 1,0623
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
(RTX 3070)
61 fps 114 fps 101 fps 9,175

Display and audio

HP Victus 15 front view showing display.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

There are three display options for the Victus 15, all non-touch 16:9 Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS. They include a 250-nit 60Hz panel, a 250-nit 144Hz panel, and a 300-nit low blue light panel. My review unit was equipped with the 144Hz display, and it seemed OK to me once I powered on the laptop and used it during my testing. The colours were muted, however the contrast seemed deep enough, and the display didn’t get terribly vivid.

That’s just about what my colorimeter confirmed. Brightness was indeed low at 236 nits, below our 300-nit threshold, while the contrast was good at 1,150:1, above our preferred 1,000:1. Colours weren’t very wide at just 65% of sRGB and 49% of AdobeRGB, and accuracy wasn’t great at a Delta-E of three.04 (2.0 or less is taken into account the minimum for creative work). The Victus 16’s display was brighter and had wider and more accurate colours, and only the Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey‘s display was worse.

These results aren’t terrible for a laptop that’s $800 or less, but they turn out to be less palatable as you approach $1,000. The display is wonderful for productivity work and gaming, primarily due to the high contrast, but creators will find it lacking.

Contrast sRGB gamut AdobeRGB gamut Accuracy DeltaE
(lower is best)
HP Victus 15
236 1,150:1 65% 49% 3.04
HP Victus 16
375 1,120:1 100% 79% 1.86
MSI Prestige 14
317 1,820:1 97% 72% 3.67
Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey
350 800:1 65% 48% 2.37
Lenovo Legion 5i Pro
502 1,330:1 99% 76% 1.35

Two downward-firing speakers provide the audio, putting out loads of volume with just a touch of distortion at the highest end. Mids and clears were high, but there was zero bass, meaning you’ll wish to wear some headphones for intense gaming and binging sessions.

Keyboard, touchpad, and webcam

HP Victus 15 top down view showing keyboard and touchpad.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

There’s no per-key RGB lighting with the Victus 15, as HP is seemingly reserving that for its Omen gaming lineup. As an alternative, there’s only a single, quite vivid backlight setting. There’s loads of spacing, and the keys with their gamer-oriented font are large enough. I discovered the switches to be ligh, with a pleasant click at the underside, which should work nicely for gamers even when it’s not a mechanical keyboard. Overall, the keyboard felt very similar to the one on the Victus 16, which shouldn’t be a surprise.

The touchpad was large and had a surface that offered a touch of resistance. It was responsive and reliable for Windows 11’s complement of multi-touch gestures, and the clicks were solid and assured without being too loud.

The webcam is a 720p version, and it performed about in addition to the everyday laptop webcam. That’s, it was OK with good lighting but lost details in low light.

The Victus 15 doesn’t support Windows 11 Hello passwordless login. There aren’t any fingerprint reader or infrared camera options, which is disappointing.

Battery life

HP Victus 15 edge view showing HP stamp.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

My review unit packed in only 52.5 watt-hours of battery, which isn’t lots for a 15-inch laptop with a discrete GPU. For those who order a higher-end model via HP’s CTO system, you may get a 70 watt-hour battery. I wasn’t expecting much in the way in which of battery life.

Unsurprisingly, the Victus 15 didn’t do well. It managed just 4.25 hours in our web-browsing test that cycles through a series of popular and demanding web sites, and it only managed five hours in our video test that loops an area Full HD Avengers trailer. Within the PCMark 10 Applications test that’s one of the best measure of productivity battery life, it couldn’t quite make it to 5 hours. The common laptop in our database at the least doubles those results.

The Victus 15 performed similarly to a lot of the gaming laptops in our comparison group. Only the Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey and the Razer Blade 14 with its AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX had meaningfully longer battery life.

Web browsing Video PCMark 10 Applications
HP Victus 15
(Core i5-12450H)
4 hours, 18 minutes 5 hours, 7 minutes 4 hours, 50 minutes
HP Victus 16
(Core i7-11800H)
4 hours, 25 minutes 6 hours, 25 minutes 5 hours, 7 minutes
MSI Prestige 14
(Core i7-1260P)
5 hours, 11 minutes 6 hours, 2 minutes 7 hours, 2 minutes
Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey
(Core i7-11600H)
10 hours, half-hour 14 hours, 19 minutes 11 hours, 47 minutes
Lenovo Legion 5i Pro 
(Core i7-12700H)
4 hours 32 minutes 7 hours 9 minutes N/A
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
(Ryzen 7 5800H)
7 hours 10 minutes N/A N/A
Razer Blade 14
(Ryzen 9 5900HX)
8 hours 17 minutes 11 hours 7 minutes N/A

Our take

Rating the HP Victus 15 is difficult given its big selection of configurations. The $600 configuration (on sale from $870) with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H and a GTX 1650 provides a number of value and can likely provide similar performance to my review unit. Speaking of that, the configuration I reviewed justifies its $800 price, but barely.

In the long run, the Victus 15 performed well enough and is built solidly enough to make it a solid latest entry within the budget gaming arena. You’ll just want to check the available options before making your selection.

Are there any alternatives?

The perfect alternative to the Victus 15 is the Victus 16. It’s a bit of larger, but it will probably even be configured with a much faster GPU, and its display is barely higher. For just $100 more, you may get a configuration with an AMD Ryzen 5 6600H and RTX 3050 that’s probably faster than my review unit.

There aren’t many other gaming laptops under $1,000 which have made the switch to Intel Twelfth-gen CPUs. One which has is the Acer Nitro 5, which has a more aggressive gaming design and similar configuration for a few hundred dollars more.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 is one other alternative, offering a similarly conservative design and similar components for only a bit extra money than the Victus 15. You’ll wish to search for the latest AMD Ryzen 6000 models.

How long will it last?

Despite a bit of bending within the lid and flexing within the keyboard deck, the Victus 15 is a well-built budget gaming machine. It should still last for years of hard gaming. The one-year warranty stays as disappointing as ever.

Must you buy it?

Yes. The Victus 15 is an excellent value so long as you make your selection rigorously from amongst HP’s confusing purchasing options.

Editors’ Recommendations

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