The HP Omen Transcend 16 proves that new-generation components still make a slimline form factor possible. When gaming laptops are opting for a more desk-bound build in favor of high-end specs, the majority of players are hunting for something with the best of both worlds
HP has struggled to be considered alongside the big guns of gaming laptops over the last few years. Its Omen machines always seem to have been sidelined, due to some design flaws and a general sluggishness when it comes to updating to new ports and protocols. My first ever gaming laptop was a GTX 1050 HP Omen and I loved it – so I’ve been following each new release closely since. The HP Omen Transcend is the first to truly get me excited.
This is a machine that might compete with some of the best gaming laptops on the market for the first time. With a super slimline chassis housing some of the latest components without fans roaring in the background – and a Mini LED display to watch all the action on – HP means business this time.
I didn’t receive the top-end Mini LED Omen Transcend for review. But I was more than happy with my more realistic RTX 4060 configuration and took it out for a spin over three weeks to see exactly how well it stacks up.
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HP Omen Transcend 16: DESIGN AND DISPLAY
The first thing you will notice is its rather slim profile and boxy, sharp design. The aesthetics are a little muted for a gaming machine, which is both good and bad. On the one hand, it means you can use it in public places or the office without it being too flashy. And that’s exactly what HP is aiming for with this laptop.
On the other hand, it doesn’t look or feel like a gaming laptop, which some gamers, especially hardcore ones, may find unappealing.
In general, the laptop is a good choice for gaming and everyday use, thanks to its small size and slim profile. Additionally, HP has used magnesium alloy for the first time in this laptop, which makes it feel solid and sturdy.
In terms of design, it has a wedge shape — thicker at the back and slim as you start moving toward the front. The lid has a massive Omen logo and the back is a little extended to incorporate essential ports like a power pin, Ethernet, HDMI, and a USB Type-C port.
We love the idea when laptop makers put some ports at the back, it helps in keeping the wire clutter away from hands and surrounding to keep the tablet tidy.
The right side has another Type-A USB port and the left has two Type-C USB ports along with a headphone jack. Also, both USB ports support charging.
Opening the hinge reveals the keyboard deck and the display. The hinge mechanism, by the way, is very smooth and the screen also does not wobble at all. Now, let’s talk about the keyboard and trackpad.
The keyboard deck is solid, there’s no flex. Also, the keyboard is chicklet-style with RGB backlit and multiple brightness levels. The only issue is that the WSAD keys are transparent and give the inside mechanism a nice look, but only when the backlit is not turned on. When the backlit is turned on, the letters are not easily visible.
The keyboard experience is generally positive. The keys have good feedback and travel, and there are no issues with responsiveness while typing or gaming.
The trackpad size is massive and is placed slightly towards the left side of the palm rest. The surface is smooth and traction is also up to the mark. It supports gestures too. Again, we had no issues with it while working. On the left side of the palm rest, there’s a big ‘16’ logo.
The name itself gives away the screen size. The 16-inch display is HP’s first mini-LED panel with HDR support. The panel has 400 nits of peak brightness and supports a 240Hz refresh rate with a 7ms response time.
The WQXGA has an anti-glare coating with low blue light. In practical terms, the higher resolution makes everything appear sharp and detailed. Also, the mini-LED panel has a good contrast level. The colors are vibrant and the 240Hz refresh rate makes everything smooth. Reflections are well-controlled and that makes this laptop easy to use outdoors.
However, the 7ms response time is a little slow as per the expectations. While it does not affect much in day-to-day usages, at times things become more prominent while playing faster games.
Overall, the display is sharp, detailed, and has good colors. The anti-glare and higher resolution adds to the experience.
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HP Omen Transcend 16: PERFORMANCE AND BATTERY
The 13th-generation Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX4070 GPU is a good combination for gamers. It’s a middle ground that offers performance that sits between high-end performance machines and entry-level offerings.
The performance figures also reflect the same. First of all, the day-to-day usage is seamless. No lag, or delay while opening or closing the apps. We also tried a couple of intensive apps like Photoshop, Premiere Pro, etc and the CPU-GPU combination managed them without any worries, thanks to the 16GB DDR5 4800MHz RAM and faster 1TB SSD drive.
Moving to the gaming performance, the laptop does manage to run all the titles we tried. This includes Cyberpunk 2077, GTA 5, The Division, and Crysis Remastered.
Almost all the games managed to run smoothly with around 60 to 70 fps at medium to high graphics settings. Cyberpunk 2077 did require a little more granular graphics settings change to be able to run at high graphics settings.
To make things better for users, HP has added its control center-like software called Omen Gaming Hub. This is one software that offers complete control over the system including backlit customization, performance monitoring, and a lot more.
In addition, HP has integrated a dedicated chip that facilitates connectivity with HyperX headsets. We tried it with the HyperX Cloud II Core and it worked perfectly. The headset paired instantly without any lag. Furthermore, HP has integrated it deeply, which means that the audio and microphone will switch to the headset when it is connected and vice versa when it is disconnected.
Apart from that, the integrated chip also ensures low-latency audio for a better gaming experience.
Let’s talk about the camera and privacy. The laptop has an FHD IR camera with a dedicated manual shutter. That ensures privacy and it comes in handy all the time. The camera quality is decent, nothing extraordinary here.
The speakers are placed at the front on either side and they sound average. Loudness and clarity could have been better.
Talking about thermal management, HP has taken special care in that regard. The laptop comes with a quad outlet design with two at the back and two on each side. The fans are bigger too.
The overall thermal management here is good. We never felt that the laptop was getting too hot to touch. No doubt, certain areas are hotter than others, but the heat is nowhere around the keyboard or the palm rest. Things are max to max in a warm state.
HP claims that the Omen Transcend 16 will offer around 9 hours of battery life. But in our test, the laptop lasted for around 4-5 hours on a single charge while doing regular work. With gaming, it only lasts for a couple of hours.
HP Omen Transcend 16: Gaming and general performance
- An Intel i7-13700HX powers it
- An Nvidia RTX 4070 GPU handles graphics
The Omen Transcend 16 is available in multiple variants, with the top-most variant running on the i9-13900HX. For this review, we have the variant with i7-13700HX. The ‘HX’ nomenclature indicates the processor is targeted for heavy performance with room for overclocking.
It has a total of 16 cores (8P + 8E) and 24 threads running at a boost clock speed of 5GHz.
This is paired with 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM running at 4800MHz, in dual-channel memory. It comes with up to 1TB NVMe SSD storage. The Nvidia RTX 4070 sits at the heart of the laptop for gaming needs. It has a maximum TGP of 130W and 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM.
While it’s not surprising, the laptop flies through almost all the tasks thrown at it. We did not notice any hesitation when using the laptop daily.
In Geekbench 6 tests, the Omen Transcend 16 returned 13406 and 2495 in multi-core scores and single-core, respectively. The included Micron’s 1TB SSD is pretty fast, with sequential read and write speeds of 7093 MB/s and 6382 MB/s.
The Omen Transcend 16 handles most AAA games without much trouble. All the games mentioned below have been played on High Graphics at native resolution.
Additionally, you also get access to Omen Gaming Hub, which, as the name suggests, is a hub that lets you launch games directly from it instead of hopping on to Epic Games or Steam. It also enables you to boost games by clearing up space in the background.
|Games||Average Frame Rates (FPS)|
|CS:GO||190fps (noticed throttling issues)|
We noticed the underside of the laptop reaching up to 60 degrees, so keeping the laptop on your lap is only recommended if you plan on ironing out your jeans. Speaking of which, the keyboard area also reached upwards of 39 degrees. While most games weren’t affected by this, CPU-intensive games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive saw the frames plummeting.
HP Omen Transcend 16 (2023) Review: Verdict
With the introduction of new-gen components, a hike in the price of gaming laptops is inevitable. The Omen Transcend 16 has multiple variants on the market starting at Rs 1,59,999 —- the variant we reviewed retails for Rs 2,09,000. At this price, the laptop offers notable upgrades over the traditional Omen 16 in the form of a mini-LED panel and a sleeker approach to the design.
The combination of Intel’s i7-13700HX and Nvidia RTX 4070 GPU works well together. It should suffice for gamers looking to play AAA games at 1080p resolution on demanding graphics. While the battery life is quite disappointing, you’re bound to use it plugged in for peak performance.
If you are someone who values battery life on a gaming laptop, the Asus TUF A15 might entice you.