Hey Guys! I’m back again with yet another gaming laptop review — this time, it’s the 2023 edition of Victus 15 from HP. The Victus series, as you know, is a more affordable gaming lineup. HP has not made any substantial change to Victus 15, having debuted the very first model just last year. The biggest change, however, is the addition of new CPU and GPU options. This new breed of Victus 15 laptops now rock the latest 13th Gen Intel “Raptor Lake” CPUs. On the GPU front, HP has gotten rid of the GTX GPUs, with even the base models now boasting Ray Tracing capabilities.
HP Victus 15 (2023) Specifications:
- Display: 15.6-inch IPS LCD, 144Hz refresh rate, Anti-glare, 250 nits, 45% NTSC
- Resolution: FHD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
- Keyboard: Full-size keyboard with NumPad
- Processor: Intel Core i5-13420H CPU, Up to Core i7-13700H
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 “Refresh,” Up to RTX 4050
- RAM: 16GB DDR4-3200
- Storage: 512GB PCIe Gen4 NVMe M.2 SSD
- Audio: Bang & Olufsen tuned dual speakers
- Battery: 3-cell 70 Wh Li-ion polymer
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E AX211, Bluetooth 5.2
- I/O Ports: 1x USB Type-A (HP Sleep and Charge), 1x USB Type-A, 1x RJ45, 1x combo audio jack, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x USB Type-C (DisplayPort 1.4, HP Sleep and Charge)
- Price in Nepal: Rs. 120,000
HP Victus 15 (2023) Pricing:
In India, the price starts at Rs. 105,000 for Core i5-13500H and RTX 4050 configuration, which I feel is kinda steep. So I suggest waiting for the base variant, which brings Core i5-13420H and the refreshed RTX 3050 graphics. This new RTX 3050 boasts 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM compared to just the original one and a maximum configurable TGP of 75W, which is what you find here with up to 75W TGP, which is what you find here.
This exact model costs Rs. 120,000 in Nepal and some 800 dollars in the US for 16GB RAM and 512GB storage option. I know this is not exactly a gaming powerhouse but a modest setup for beginners, which is what Victus is all about.
HP Victus 15 (2023) Review:
- Intel Core i5-13420H CPU
- NVIDIA GTX 3050 “Refresh” (discrete GPU)
- 16GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
For students watching this, it can handle all of your academic projects along with intermediate C programs if you are getting into programming. You won’t feel missed out if you are a regular office-goer like me. This handled my workload pretty well, which mostly involves brainstorming new content ideas, researching key points, and finally, jotting down the scripts.
For this, I have tons of Chrome tabs all the time, along with LibreOffice. My work duty also requires adjusting photos and visuals for our website and social media handles which this laptop was able to handle without breaking a sweat.
I know you guys are not really here for this office titbit, so let me quickly move on to gaming. And the Victus didn’t disappoint in this regard either. With a CPU-intensive game like CS: GO, I was getting around 215 fps on average. The 1% and 0.1% low are high as well, resulting in a mostly stutter and lag-free experience.
Comparatively heavier games like GTA V, the laptop scored a decent 95 fps on medium settings with 1% and 0.1% fps at 56.6 and 48.7, respectively.
To push the RTX 3050 GPU a bit more, I took on a high-speed journey through the breathtaking landscapes of the Forza Horizon 5. Here too, the Victus 15 impressed me with 92.6 average fps on high graphics preset. With a respectable average 65 fps, the game was playable even at ultra settings.
I was able to play Borderlands 3 at both Medium and high settings with average fps lingering at 66.3 and 94.3, respectively.
And since this laptop has dedicated RT cores, I had to test some Ray Tracing-compatible games. Control was the first game that came into my mind, so I fired up the game on Medium settings. And while the visuals were stunning, it came at the expense of stability, with a 0.1% low dropping by almost half. The gameplay was still salvageable as turning on DLSS brought the scores to normal.
This way, you can even play Cyberpunk 2077 at Medium graphics and Ray Tracing which would not be possible otherwise.
And all the time I played these games, the laptop remained relatively cool. The maximum surface temperature that I recorded of this thing was 42 degrees near the number pad, and it, too, was not that frequent. For most of the time, the temperature remained below 40, and the WASD and surrounding regions were even cooler at around 38 degrees.
So the thermals of the new Victus 15 keep up even with extended gaming sessions. One thing that’s a little annoying is the fan noise. The dual cooling fans remain silent during day-to-day tasks but get into action real quick as you start to game and they are a bit too audible when they do. So I recommend getting good wired headphones for a more immersive experience
The 3.5mm headphone jack is on the right, together with a USB port. All other ports are on the left side. This includes another USB-A, a USB-C, an ethernet, and a display output.
I found the ports to be too rigid than usual, making plugging peripherals in and out a bit of exercise. Every time I did it, I had this feeling that I would break something.
The reason I’m complaining about this seemingly minor issue is that the touchpad on this laptop is just trash. So you will have to resort to using an external mouse not just for gaming but also for normal tasks. So, unless you just leave your laptop at the desk all the time, you will have to bear with rigid ports.
The touchpad is actually spacious, and the off-center placement does reduce accidental touches, but that’s about it. The tracking is too sloppy, and clicks are too unpredictable for me to like it.
- Full-size Keyboard with number pad
- White Backlight
Fortunately, the keyboard is just the opposite of this. It’s a full-size keyboard with decent key travel that makes for a pleasurable typing experience. Even gaming is not a problem. Plus, the inclusion of dedicated function keys and number pad makes it ideal for office productivity. These things are not as rare, but since some gaming laptops do skip them, I felt like mentioning it.
You don’t get fancy RGB backlighting here, but the white backlight does get the job done. Plus, there are additional indicators for things like Caps lock, mute, and trackpad status. It could be just me but I also find the overall effect the white backlight creates with the blue backdrop quite cool.
I really dig this premium blue shade of my review unit, which blends in well with almost any setting. It won’t raise many eyebrows, even if you take it to the office or college. It is also good at hiding smudges and marks, so it is more practical as well.
The build quality, I would say, is just decent. At this price point, you obviously can’t expect a metal chassis. This keyboard deck flexes when you really exert pressure on it, but it is not something you would notice in normal usage. You might think the area of the keyboard is for the speakers, but it’s actually not. They are placed on either side at the bottom. The audio quality is also not something to write home about. It feels flat and has noise at higher volume.
- 15.6″ anti-glare non-touch FHD IPS panel
- 144Hz refresh rate
Now let’s talk about the display. HP Victus 15 sports a 15.6-inch display with options for 60Hz and 144Hz panels. Given the overall specs of this machine, it is only logical to go with the latter. With just 48% of NTSC coverage, the laptop is not good for serious content creation, and 290 nits of brightness is also just above average.
- 3-cell 70 Wh Li-ion battery
- 200W AC power adapter
Finally, let’s talk about the battery. HP Victus 15 packs a 70Whr battery that lasted me around 4 to 5 hours on a full charge. It is not anything groundbreaking, but still decent for a gaming laptop nonetheless. You get a 200W adapter in the box that can fully charge the laptop in about 2 hours.
HP Victus 15 (2023) Review: Conclusion
To sum it all up, HP Victus 15 is still a good gaming laptop if you are on a budget, the base variant, that is. The latest iteration gets rid of the aging GTX graphics, replacing GTX 1650 with RTX 3050 while embracing the power of the latest-gen Intel CPU, and it’s priced competitively. And at USD 800, there are not a lot of competitors in the market offering the same bit of all-round features, and you can get it for even cheaper during sales (USD 600). Availability can be an issue as the 13th gen models are not widely available yet in which case I recommend getting the last year’s models.
HP Victus 15 (2023) Review: Pros and Cons
- Latest 13th Gen CPUs
- Ray Tracing on budget
- Good Thermals
- Passable speakers
- Sub-par touchpad