The HP Victus 16 is a new chassis inaugurating the 16.1-inch format at the American manufacturer. This model dedicated to gamers is also the most affordable of the manufacturer with configurations with an attractive performance/price ratio.
A new brand dedicated to gamers at HP, Victus is presented as more affordable than Omen, the second gaming label of the American manufacturer.
The first representative of this brand, the Victus 16 laptop, is built around a 16.1-inch panel and can embark GPUs such as the Radeon RX 5500M from AMD to the GeForce RTX 3060 from Nvidia. The same goes for processors, where it is possible to find Ryzen 5 from AMD to Core i7 from Intel. To test this chassis, we have selected a reference that seems the most balanced with an Intel Core i5-11400H processor and a GeForce RTX 3060 with a TGP of 95W. Let's see what it has in store for us.
The Victus 16's chassis plays it simple with a matte black skin, a shiny V logo on its hood and a Victus silkscreen on the bottom. Just above the left vent, an inscription reminds us that Victus is an integral part of HP. The coating, although matte, has the annoying tendency to attract fingerprints and mark quite easily.
The opening of the screen reveals a white backlit keyboard. No RGB then. Between the screen and the keyboard, there is a bar with intertwined Vs. These are not the speakers that are hidden below, but air inlets for ventilation.
The keyboard is pleasant to use. The keystroke is long enough, and typing provides satisfactory feedback. A diamond-shaped key opens the Omen application directly, but there is no shortcut to change power profiles on the fly.
The touchpad, on the other hand, suffers from a little play on its surface. We thought it had haptic feedback when we first used it, but it's far from it. Simply touching the touchpad makes a clicking noise, so you don't know when you're doing something or not. To make matters worse, the chassis suffers from a lack of rigidity on the upper right part, around the touchpad.
The connectivity is mainly grouped on the left side of the PC with an RJ45 port, an HDMI, a USB-A, a USB-C (DP and Power Delivery compatible), a jack and an SD reader. Two USB ports (5 Gb/s) complete this rich connectivity on the right side of the chassis.
Wireless connectivity is entrusted to the Intel AX201 chip offering wifi 6 at 2400 Mb/s and Bluetooth 5.2. The 720p webcam delivers just acceptable images with an optimal exposure while, in the dark, the images are entirely noisy. It is not Windows Hello compatible to unlock the session, and it is not the absence of a fingerprint reader that will fix things.
The cooling consists of two fans and three heat pipes. Three radiators are responsible for dissipating heat behind the screen and on the right side of the chassis.
Thermal imaging reveals that heat is not only escaping behind the screen, but also in front of it. For example, we found 49.9°C on the screen above the keyboard. The ZQSD keys are spared, as they are located above a fan, while the arrow keys reach 42 °C on the keyboard piano.
The Victus 16's noise levels are 48 dB in Performance mode, 46 dB in Normal mode and 35.6 dB in Silent mode. The device is perfectly in the average range of gaming laptops. Note that, by default, the Victus 16's fans do not shut off during office use or content viewing. In a quiet environment, a slight humming noise can be heard. You have to go into the PC's BIOS to allow the fans to stop. We have seen simpler; an option in the computer management utility would have been welcome.
To access the components, you have to remove the eight Phillips screws, then carefully unclip the shell: a rather arduous task, and the less meticulous may damage the shell. Inside, the RAM, SSD and battery are easily accessible. Those who need more space will be happy to know that a second M.2 port is available and ready to receive their SSD. The only drawback is that the wifi card, although removable, is stuck under the cooling system, so its eventual replacement will be an opportunity for a good cleaning and the renewal of the thermal paste.
We tested the Victus 16-d0206nf equipped with an Intel Core i5-11400H processor with 16 GB of RAM, a 512 GB SSD and a GeForce RTX 3060 from Nvidia. In practice, the processor with six hyperthreaded cores maintains its frequency at 3.37 GHz on video encoding and occasionally reaches frequencies of 4.1 GHz.
The Victus 16 and its Core i5-11400H thus obtain an index of 108, respecting the hierarchy by placing itself naturally under the Ryzen 7 and other Core i7s, but, as we shall see, this is more than enough for gaming. A word about the SSD on board the Victus 16: it reaches 6.5 GB/s in reading and 3.9 GB/s in writing. We didn't notice any drop in throughput when transferring our video rushes.
HP has chosen to equip its Victus 16-d0206nf with a 95W GeForce RTX 3060 accompanied by 6GB of video memory. On paper, this version is ideal for playing the latest games in Full HD in decent conditions.
There are few surprises here, since all the RTX 3060s in the gaming laptops we tested have a rating of around 130. The RTX 3060 in the Victus 16 has an index of 138, putting it at the top of the list of laptops with this GPU.
This translates into a frame rate with full detail in Full HD of over 60 fps on our game panel. The only exception is Cyberpunk 2077 with a respectable framerate of 42 fps. Once raytracing is activated, only Control and Call Of Duty remain playable - you have to activate DLSS to get a slightly more acceptable framerate. For competitive games such as Valorant or Fortnite, the Victus 16 and its RTX 3060 should have no trouble reaching the 144 fps that the 144 Hz slab can display.
Our Victus 16 has a 16.1-inch IPS panel displaying 1920 x 1080 pixels at a frequency of 144 Hz. Note that the manufacturer also offers a Full HD panel at 60 Hz, as well as a QHD panel (2560 x 1440 pixels) at 165 Hz. The 144 Hz panel is far from offering exemplary color fidelity. We measured a delta E of 6.4, far from the 3 threshold where drift becomes visible. This is accompanied by an acceptable contrast ratio with 1245:1 and a temperature of 6380 K, a little below the 6500 K.
The maximum brightness is 314 cd/m², a value sufficient for indoor play. In addition, the matte panel is particularly effective against reflections with 18.2% of reflected light. On the other hand, the responsiveness is good, as we measured a remanence of 9 ms, which is close to the best laptop screens (7 ms).
Two speakers are in charge of the Victus 16 sound system. Their placement under the chassis brings its share of usual defects: variation of the rendering according to the support, hands that cover the speakers. The listening experience turns out to be banal with a typical sound for this kind of laptop despite the B&O label on the chassis. For optimal listening, we recommend activating the dedicated audio software with the equalizer in music mode.
The headphone output is perfectly usable with an output power of 210 mVrms and will even be able to handle high-impedance headphones. The rest of the measured components are also correct: low distortion, important dynamic range and well marked stereo.
The Victus 16 measures 37 x 26 cm and is 2.3 cm thick. Despite a 16.4-inch panel, it takes up the same amount of space as a gaming laptop with a 15.6-inch panel. On the scale, the Victus weighs 2.4 kg, to which we must add 612 g for its 200 W charger. With its average measurements, the Victus 16 will easily fit into a suitable backpack.
HP equips its Victus 16 with a 70 W battery. This allows it to last 4 hours and 20 minutes in video playback (Netflix under Chrome at 200 cd/m²). A relatively low autonomy that reflects the absence of a MUX chip offering the possibility to cut the power supply of the GeForce RTX 3060 embedded. Thus equipped, the Victus 16 could have almost doubled its autonomy.
The Victus 16 offers a convincing chassis with well-controlled cooling. The processor and graphics card pairing is well balanced and allows you to enjoy the latest games in Full HD. Its touchpad would have deserved a little more care and the panel a colorimetric profile despite a good reactivity. Finally, we regret that the autonomy is not better.