What’s the best HP gaming laptop? HP has plenty to offer gaming fans and knows a thing or two about mobile computing. Its Omen and Victus stables have something to offer most buyers regardless of their budget, so we’ve rounded up the best HP gaming laptops around to find out which is right for you.
Hewlett Packard is a well-established laptop brand that’s been around the block and bought the t-shirt. Though better known for its productivity machines than out-and-out gaming devices, HP has some gaming heritage. Much of that comes from its acquisition of the innovative Voodoo computers in 2006. Voodoo specialized in high-performance desktop computing, and that, combined with HP’s portable computing nous, resulted in the resurrection of the Omen brand, which creates HP’s flagship range of gaming laptops and desktops.
To complement the Omen roster, HP created the Victus line to offer a broader range of budget gaming laptops covering the increasingly competitive sub-$1,000 end of the market. These well-specced machines offer functional looks paired with reliable, gaming-focused components, delivering devices that are more than capable of handling action-packed AAA titles but won’t leave you destitute in the pursuit of owning one.
But which of HP’s latest line-up of high-spec, gaming-obsessed portables do we really rate? Read on to find out which of its line-up makes our list of the best HP gaming laptops money can buy.
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These are the best HP gaming laptops in 2023:
- HP Omen 16 (2023) – best HP gaming laptop overall
- HP Omen 17 (2022) – best big-screen option
- HP Victus 16 – best HP gaming laptop for content creators
- HP Victus 15 (2022) – best budget HP gaming laptop
1. HP Omen 16 (2023)
Best for most gamers.
Our preferred HP Omen 16 (2023) specifications are:
|GPU||Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS or Intel Core i7 13700HX|
|Storage||1TB PCIe NVMe SSD|
|Ports||3x USB Type-A / 1x USB Type-C / 1x HDMI 2.1 / 1x Ethernet / 1x 3.5mm (ouput)|
|Screen||1080p / 165Hz (16.1-inches)|
|Dimensions (WxDxH)||14.53 x 10.21 x 0.93in (369 x 259 x 24mm)|
- Solid performance for the price
- Great connectivity for a slim laptop
- Seven hours of general use battery life
- Can get loud and hot under load
- Overly plain aesthetic
The HP Omen 16 (2023) aims to provide a great gaming experience with minimal frills, offering a tonne of value and solid gaming performance, and it accomplishes this for the most part. In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find competing options that offer a similar experience for the price.
It’s available in graphics cards from the GeForce RTX 4050 up to the RTX 4080, but we have an affinity for the RTX 4060 when it comes to the HP Omen 16. Combined with the 16.1-inch 1080p display, with a refresh rate of 165Hz, they’re basically a perfect match for cinematic single-player experiences or competitive multiplayer games.
It has impressive battery life too, if you’re caught short without your charger for whatever reason. Just bear in mind that it can get uncomfortable to use on your lap when under heavy load, due to high noise and temperatures.
Read our HP Omen 16 (2023) review.
2. HP Omen 17 (2022)
Best big-screen HP gaming laptop.
HP Omen 17 (2022) specs:
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060|
|CPU||Intel Core i7 13700HX|
|Ports||3x USB 3.0, 1 x Thunderbolt 4, 1 x HDMI 2.1. 1 x Mini DisplayPort, 1 x 3.5mm jack|
|Screen||17.3″ QHD (2560 x 1440) IPS, 144Hz|
|Dimensions (WxDxH)||15.63 x 10.32 x 1.06in (397.1 x 262 x 27mm)|
- Understated, classy design
- Solid build quality
- Big-screen gaming at a great price
- Screen isn’t best-in-class
- Slightly compromised spec
HP’s Omen range is their flagship brand of gaming laptops, and that’s reflected in the spec list on offer here. Yet, despite that spec, the Omen 17 costs around two-thirds as much as many high-end gaming laptops. That begs the question: Which corners have been cut in pursuit of such keen pricing?
The Omen 17 sports Intel’s Core i7 chips rather than the i9, and its Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 graphics card is a powerhouse performer but not quite top-of-the-line. That said, it’s enough to allow processor-intensive titles to run cleanly. You get a healthy 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage, both of which will tick boxes for all but the most hardcore gamers.
The Omen 17’s chassis is a mix of plastic and metal with an understated, classy matt black finish, which tips the scales at a little over 6 lbs. Connectivity comes in the form of three USB three ports, a USB-C Thunderbolt 4 slot, HDMI 2.1, Mini DisplayPort and a 3.5mm jack, which is plenty enough to cover most eventualities.
People buy a 17-inch laptop with one thing in mind: the expansive screen. The Omen 17 has a 17.3-inch QHD IPS with a 165Hz refresh rate that delivers cracking visuals for this price point. It may not provide the kind of retina-searing definition of truly high-end gaming laptops, but you’ll have $1000 or so left in your pocket to drown your sorrows.
The keyboard is tactile with decent feedback and, as expected at this level, offers RGB lighting and a spacious trackpad. Serious gamers will undoubtedly want to go with a dedicated gaming mouse, regardless.
Sure, the Omen 17 can’t challenge the cream of high-end laptops for raw power, but at this price point, it’ll give you hours of gaming pleasure and leave you with plenty of change for a surround system and a killer gaming mouse and headset.
3. HP Victus 16
Best for content creators.
HP Victus 16 specs:
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060|
|CPU||Intel Core i5 12500H|
|Ports||3 x USB 3.1, 1 x USB-C, 1 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x 3.5mm jack|
|Screen||16.1″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS, 144Hz|
|Dimensions (WxDxH)||14.57 x 10.24 x 0.93in (370 x 260 x 23.5mm)|
- Attractive design
- Great connectivity
- Bright display
- No Thunderbolt 4
- Speakers could be better
- All-plastic build
At the top end of the affordable Victus line sits the Victus 16, a no-nonsense gaming machine with minimal bells and whistles. The plastic construction gives a few clues as to where the cost-savings have been made, but this isn’t a flimsy machine, weighing in at a healthy 5.47 lbs.
At this sub-$1000 price point, you won’t tend to find the latest components, and that’s true of the Victus. The fairly modest Core i5 processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 are fine for most titles, but you may find they struggle to run AAA games at the highest frame rates. At this price, however, that’s true of more or less any competing model you care to mention.
The keyboard and trackpad give plenty of useful feedback, and you get simple, white LED keyboard backlighting rather than psychedelic per key RGB. There’s a strong port selection with three USB 3.1 Type-A ports, one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port, an HDMI 2.1 and a 3.5mm jack. Rounding out the list is a Gigabit Ethernet port for wired LAN gaming. All that connectivity makes this a great machine for connecting peripherals at a bargain price, so content creators and power peripheral users will find the Victus 16’s plethora of ports handy.
A full HD screen isn’t going to set the world alight, but this 16.1-inch, 1920 x1080-pixel number is plenty bright, and its 144 Hz refresh rate will satisfy all but the most critical gamers.
The Victus 16 is worthy of inclusion on your shortlist if you’re set on a 16-inch screen. If not, you may find the Victus 15 delivers much of what you need and leaves you with some spare change in your pocket.
4. HP Victus 15 (2022)
Best budget laptop.
HP Victus 15 (2022) specs:
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050|
|CPU||Intel Core i5 12450H|
|Ports||3x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x 3.5mm jack|
|Screen||15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS, 144Hz|
|Dimensions (WxDxH)||14.09 x 10.04 x 0.93in (357.9 x 255 x 23.5mm)|
- Great value
- Wide viewing angle
- Portable for a gaming machine
- Poor battery life
- Unspectacular looks
- Average speakers
Eschewing the bells and whistles associated with many gaming laptops, the HP Victus 15 is a no-frills machine with enough power to run all but the most processor-intensive games and delivers much for comparatively little.
For a relatively small outlay, you get sturdy, all-plastic construction, a bright, backlit (non-RGB) keyboard, and a decent array of ports, including three USB-A ports and one HDMI 2.1, alongside a 3.5mm jack. You’ll also find a solid Full HD 1920 x 1080, 15.6-inch IPS screen with a refresh rate of 144Hz.
A healthy 16GB of RAM is a generous spec for a budget laptop, and twinned with 512GB of SSD storage should give you plenty of room to store your titles. However, it’s at the lower end of the storage spectrum, so you may want to budget £50-60 for an additional external SSD drive to bolster storage.
Despite its all-plastic construction, the Victus 15 is on the chunkier side in gaming machine terms and tips the scales at 5.05 lbs. While not the heaviest laptop on the market, neither is it the most svelte.
A modest Intel Core i5 processor helps whip things along at a decent pace. The GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card has the gaming prowess to deliver pleasing visuals that will satisfy all but the most hardcore laptop gaming fans. Battery life is unexceptional, and this machine will need to be plugged in if you’re gaming for more than a couple of hours at a time.
Predictably, despite B&O’s intervention on the speaker front, the Victus can’t deliver earth-shattering sonics. They’re passable, but as with most portable machines, you’ll probably want to invest in a set of dedicated 2.1 or 5.1 speakers fairly briskly to get the most out of your gaming.
To sum up, the Victus 15 is a great value laptop, and those on a budget would do well to add it to their prospect list. It won’t set the world on fire in terms of performance, but neither does it cost the Earth
How we chose the best HP gaming laptops
When putting this list together, the following criteria helped us to decide which laptops deserved a space on this list:
- Price: Via its Victus and Omen range, the best HP gaming laptops come in all shapes and sizes. And for all budgets, too. We picked laptops that tick boxes from budget to higher-end.
- Spec: Varying wildly from cutting-edge to budget configurations, you can generally spec up even the most basic Victus machines to a pretty pleasing level. If you get the opportunity, make sure you have plenty of RAM, a speedy processor, and a great graphics card. Storage space is less important as external drives are now relatively cheap.
- Style: The best HP gaming laptops combine power with sultry good looks. Both Victus and Omen machines are well-designed, attractive models that wouldn’t look out of place in a home office or a high-end gaming setup.
- Connectivity: HP gaming laptops come with a variety of ports and connectors to ensure you have everything you need to connect external displays, mice, and the like. Thunderbolt 4 is an excellent addition for external peripherals if you can afford to spec your laptop with it.
Find out more about how we test laptops and PC gaming hardware.
HP Victus versus HP Omen
Like many other gaming laptop marques, HP has two brands on its roster.
Victus is an entry-level brand with device specifications that aren’t cutting-edge but deliver solid gaming prowess at an affordable price.
Omen is the premium line of machines and offers power and high-spec components at higher prices. Which to choose depends on whether you’re after a machine for all-out performance or have a slimmer budget and need something that will perform well across the board. Either way, there’s an HP machine to fit.