HP Victus 15: Two minute review
The HP Victus 15 is what you should envision when you think about what a budget gaming laptop should be.
One of the latest models in HP’s growing lineup of low-cost gaming machines, the Victus 15 starts off extremely affordable without compromising too much on specs and only moderately increases in price as the specs climd higher. It's certainly a no-frills option that lacks a lot of refinement, but you at least get three simple colors options (mica silver, performance blue, and ceramic white) for the chassis, so it's not a bad looking laptop either.
The Victus 15 is sturdy and a bit chunky, so bags that aren’t made to carry around larger gaming laptops will have a harder time fitting it. The HP Victus 15 has a good assortment of ports and its 15.6-inch display is pretty good for the price, with solid viusuals and resolution even in higher settings, and the 144Hz refresh rate is surprisingly good.
The bezels are perfectly fine but nothing particularly noteworthy, and the webcam is pretty clear, so it’ll treat you well during streaming sessions. The keyboard is just as basic as its laptop's exterior and there’s no key backlight, which makes gaming in the dark a bit harder. On the plus side, there is a tenkey numpad on the right. Meanwhile, the keys are a good size and would be easy to type on but are a bit too smooth, which can trip you up occasionally and result in more typos.
The Victus 15 comes with either an AMD Ryzen 5 or an Intel Core i5 for the CPU and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 mobile GPU, the latter of which really helps keep the price down. Despite the lower spec, it runs graphically intensive games pretty smoothly, even if it doesn't play something like Cyberpunk 2077 at Ultra settings very well.
Its battery life is similar to many of the other best gaming laptops, which is to say not great at all. If you’re lucky, you can keep it alive for about four and a half hours but it’s much safer to simply keep it on the charger. Its charge time is fairly decent at least so you won’t be waiting too long if you stick with the out-of-the-box charger, but it might be worth investing in a USB Type-C charger if you need something faster.
For those looking for the best cheap gaming laptop that brings a great gaming experience at a seriously affordable price, the HP Victus 15 is one to check out for sure. Though it’s simple in design and a bit bulky, its specs will run nearly any title in your Steam library at 30 FPS at least, as well as balance other work or school-related tasks.
HP Victus 15: Price and availability
- Excellent price
- Limited availability outside the US at this time
The HP Victus 15 starts at an incredibly low price of $599 (about £490 / AU$865) in the US with the lowest specs. The price increases with additional upgrades like an AMD Ryzen 7 or Intel Core i7, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Laptop GPU, 16GB memory, or a 512 GB SSD, with the highest price coming in at about $1,200 (about £980 / AU$1,730). Don't forget to take a look at HP promo codes available to potentially save more.
In the UK and Australia, this laptop appears to have very limited availability at this time, and we aren't sure if or when it will become available in those regions. We've reached out to HP for clarification and will update this review if we hear back from the company.
- Value: 4 / 5
HP Victus 15: Design
- Hefty and well-built
- Solid display and keyboard
- Good port selection
If you need an exterior that’s made of sturdy material and has a solid weight, then the HP Victus 15 is definitely up your alley. At five pounds, it has some heft to it which is great since it can take quite a beating, but it can also be a downside when you need to carry it around. This is a laptop that, thanks to both its weight and size, will most likely challenge the bags of most users.
Here is the HP Victus 15 configuration sent to TechRadar for review:
CPU: Intel Core i5-12450H
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650
Screen: 15.6-inch FHD IPS LED Display, 144Hz
Storage: 512GB SSD
Ports: 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 1 x Power port, 1 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x SD Card Reader, 1 x Combo Jack, 1 x Ethernet port
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
Weight: 5.06 pounds (2.3 kg)
Size (W x D x H): 14.09 x 10.04 x 0.93 ins | 357.89 x 255.02 x 23.6 mm
An interesting feature of the HP Victus 15 is that it’s partially made of post-consumer recycled and ocean-bound plastic, uses water-based paint, and has wholly recycled packaging.
Yet the recycled parts don’t seem to impact the all-around quality of the laptop’s build. The paint job is well-done and of good quality, which is rather disappointing considering how basic the three color choices are.
There are a good range of ports including two USB Type-A ports, a Type-C port, an Ethernet port, an SD Card slot, an HDMI port, and a combo jack. It makes for a versatile laptop that is not only great for gaming but for work-related tasks as well.
The display itself is 1080p, and it looks great when playing on High and Ultra settings with other graphical features enabled, especially thanks to its 144Hz refresh rate.
The bezels offer decent screen real estate but aren’t particularly thin or efficient in terms of preserving screen space. Its webcam is unfortunately 720p HD, and though it’s not the best resolution it still gets the job done.
It displays your face clearing while streaming during a gaming session, as well as for video meetings. There’s no backlight for the keyboard, which otherwise is a very simple and sensible one with a good sized trackpad, limiting gaming to well-lit areas.
- Design: 4 / 5
HP Victus 15: Performance
- Can play most demanding games just fine
- Good ventilation for heat disipation
- Works great as a school or work laptop
Though it’s a budget gaming laptop, the HP Victus 15 takes air circulation seriously, with a dual-fan setup and a much larger air vent at the bottom of the laptop than in previous models. Even during more intensive gameplay segments, it barely generated any real heat.
In terms of gaming performance, this is a budget laptop and as such there are certain concessions to be made when dealing with lower specs. For instance, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Laptop GPU that the lowest spec HP Victus 15 laptops are outfitted with only comes with 4GB VRAM.
During our test run with Dirt 5, both benchmark and normal gameplay, error messages would occasionally pop up to warn about the VRAM getting too low. And this was despite the game itself running at 30 FPS on the highest setting and at around 75 FPS on the lowest.
Here is how the HP Victus 15 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
Cinebench R23 Multi-core: 10,082
3DMark Night Raid: 30,805; Fire Strike: 8,935; Time Spy: 3,645
GeekBench 5 (single-core): 1,596; (multi-core): 6,897
PCMark 10 (Home Test): 6,361
PCMark 10 Battery Life: 4:33
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 4:14
Total War: Warhammer III (1080p, Low): 82 fps; (1080p, Ultra): 34 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p, Low): 48 fps; (1080p, Ultra): 24 fps
Dirt 5 (1080p, Low): 76 fps; (1080p, Ultra): 31 fps
The issue of low VRAM didn’t show up in other test runs with titles like Cyberpunk 2077, Total War: Warhammer III, and Hitman 3. On the lowest setting Cyberpunk ran at 48 FPS, which sounds bad but the game still looks and runs impressively. But you definitely won’t be maxing out your settings on this title.
Total War: Warhammer III runs at about 34 FPS on average at Ultra and 82 on Low, so if this kind of game is more your jam you can feel free to crank up the settings, but Medium is where you’ll get the best balance of framerate and graphics.
Hitman 3 was a true surprise, considering how demanding it is to run. During our test, we were able to crank up the setting to the second-highest preset and the VIctus 15 still ran above 60 FPS on average. This machine loves Hitman 3 and it shows.
The HP Victus 15 performed below other gaming laptops in the standard benchmarks like Cinebench, Geekbench, PCMark10, and 3DMark. But there wasn’t a huge discrepancy between those scores despite the machine we tested running far less powerful tech compared to other budget laptops.
In other non-gaming related tasks, the HP Victus 15 performs well. It’s able to juggle multiple tasks like streaming movies, voice/video conference calls, editing documents, and more. If you’re looking for a well-balanced laptop, this is a good option.
- Performance: 4 / 5
HP Victus 15: Battery life
As with many gaming laptops, the battery is the worst aspect by far and the HP Victus 15 is no exception. In both our battery tests, the laptop only lasted a little over four hours, which is half of a full work day. When we used it for non-strenuous daily tasks, it lasted about the same amount of time. For gaming the battery dies much faster, which would limit sessions to maybe two hours at most.
However, its charge time isn’t bad when using the charger it comes with, taking around an hour to get to a little over 60% charged. That time would be faster if using a USB Type-C charger, and something we’d recommend if that option is available.
- Battery Life: 2 / 5
Should I buy an HP Victus 15?
Buy it if...
You want a very affordable gaming laptop
At a starting price of $600 and one that won’t exceed $1,200 with all the upgraded specs, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a cheaper gaming laptop around. There’s definitely a model to fit every budget.
You want a well-rounded laptop
Not only can this laptop run most games pretty well, it has features and ports that make it well-suited for other tasks like streaming moves, video chats, and more.
You’re looking for a more sustainable laptop
One of the most stand out features of this laptop is that a good amount of its build is made of recycled and sustainable materials.
Don't buy it if...
You want a long-lasting battery
If you need a battery that can hold its own off the charging cord, this is not the one for you. At a mere four and a half hours of juice at most, you’re better off keeping it connected to a power source.
You’re looking for a stylish laptop
While the design is simple and sustainable, it is rather boring, with boring colors on a boring chassis and a boring keyboard. This laptop just isn't very pretty, so if that’s important, best to move on.
This machine is affordable with some great specs that translates to great gaming performance. It also features a nearly bezel-less screen, meaning you get the full 15-inches with little else in the way.
Check out our full MSI GF63 review
Acer Nitro 5
Another budget laptop in a similar vein to the HP Victus 15, this machine sports superior benchmarks, all-around solid performance in other fields, and a 720p webcam. But its battery life is far worse, barely hitting three hours at most.
Check out our full Acer Nitro 5 review
|Value||The HP Victus 15 is easily one of the cheapest gaming laptops you can find on the market, and even the more expensive options are very affordable. However, its availability in other regions such as the UK and Australia poses a problem.||4 / 5|
|Design||The budget aspect of this budget laptop comes at the expense of any style or flair. But it’s a well-built machine that’s also made with sustainability in mind, and that makes it worth having an otherwise plain design.||4 / 5|
|Performance||Even at the lowest specs possible, the HP Victus 15 runs most graphically demanding games pretty well, as long as you’re willing to turn down settings to Medium for them. It’s also a balanced machine that performs other work and school tasks well.||4 / 5|
|Battery Life||This battery is pretty bad, with a life of just over four hours when performing normal task and much lower when gaming. Luckily the charge time isn’t terrible with the standard charger and can be improved with a USB Type-C charger.||2 / 5|
- First reviewed July 2022