Wednesday, May 29, 2024

HP finally has a flagship gaming laptop, and it looks killer

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HP has been well-known in the PC gaming space for its Omen brand, but the company hasn’t had a flagship gaming laptop that felt like it could keep up with the Razers and Alienwares of the world. But the newly announced Omen Transcend 16 is just that.

Not only is it thinner and lighter than the standard Omen 16 (0.78 inches thick and 4.6 pounds), but it’s also more advanced in almost every way. The highlight of the show is the new mini-LED panel. We saw a lot of these same mini-LED panels introduced at gaming laptops at CES earlier this year, and HP continues the trend by bringing it to the Omen Transcend 16.

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Mini-LED allows for much brighter panels than what has been possible with LED or even OLED, meaning in theory, it can produce some spectacular HDR gaming. HP didn’t include the number of dimming zones but says the panel goes up to 1,180 nits of peak HDR brightness. This particular screen also has a 240Hz refresh rate and a resolution of 2560 x 1600 resolution. HP is, of course, also selling entry-level configurations of the Omen Transcend 16 with panels that are slower, less sharp, and use LED backlighting.

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Other big additions to the Omen Transcend 16 include a 1080p webcam, a manual shutter door, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a graphics switcher, and a much bigger 97-watt-hour battery. HP claims this larger battery allows for up to 11 hours of battery life, which is really impressive for a gaming laptop.

Really, the only thing missing here is options for the highest graphics cards. For whatever reason, HP has decided to cap it at the RTX 4070 with a TGP (Total Graphics Power) of 130 watts. The specific GPU names don’t always correlate directly with performance, though, so we’ll have to test the thermal capabilities out for ourselves once we get it in for review.

Interestingly, HP has also provided a minor update to the standard Omen 16, which can now be configured up to a more powerful RTX 4080 in the Intel model only. It uses a thicker chassis, though, which could explain the difference.

HP has also introduced some updates to its Victus gaming laptops, which is its entry-level brand. The Victus 16 configures down to a fairly affordable gaming laptop, but can now also be maxed out at an RTX 4070 and the latest-gen Intel and AMD processors. It still comes in three different colors, is made of recycled materials, and now comes with a MUX switch.

The Omen Transcend 16 will be available starting this spring at $1,670 at Best Buy and HP.com. The standard Omen 16 starts at a more affordable $1,300, while the Victus 16 starts at $1,050.

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