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HP Omen Transcend 14 review: a stylish, reasonably-priced OLED gaming laptop
3:38 am | July 14, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Gaming Computers Gaming Laptops | Tags: , | Comments: Off

HP Omen Transcend 14: Two-minute review

The HP Omen Transcend 14 (2024) is almost everything I want out of the best gaming laptops lineup: sleek, stylish, portable, comfortable to type on, and offering more than enough gaming performance for modern games at 1080p, all for a pretty reasonable price tag.

Its 120Hz OLED display in particular is a jaw-dropper and made me realize what I’m missing out on with my usual IPS monitor. The Transcend 14’s classy, portable design made me feel at ease taking it out to work. And it offered enough gaming performance to keep me gaming from the comfort of my bed rather than in my office on my gaming PC.

There are a couple of pain points with the Transcend 14, though. First, its battery life is seriously bad. Second—and admittedly this might only be a problem for those like myself who like to pretend they’re “competitive” gamers—it has a 16:10 aspect ratio display, which means you see less on the horizontal axis while playing first-person shooters. I could find no easy fix for this, as enabling 16:9 resolutions with black-border GPU scaling proved difficult.

Despite this, for casual or non-FPS gaming, this laptop is stylish, comfortable, and performs well enough that it would certainly be in the running for becoming my own personal gaming laptop. Its GPU is a little underpowered (even with a 15W boost in the Omen software) compared to similar laptops, but not enough to detract from the value offered by the Transcend 14’s stellar design, cooling, and display.

So, if you’re fine with these battery life, resolution, and GPU caveats, I can happily recommend the HP Omen Transcend 14, though I’d personally struggle to pick between it and the 2024 version of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (or maybe a bigger laptop altogether, given 14-inch displays are quite small). 

HP Omen Transcend 14: Price and availability

A design element of the HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
  • How much does it cost? Starting at $1,689 / £1,449 (about AU$2,450)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US and UK (Australia release unknown)

The Transcend 14 sits smack-bang where I hope many more laptops will sit as time goes on: in the mid-range OLED segment—“mid-range,” of course, always sounds a little tongue-in-cheek when we move past $1,500.

Three things make this laptop stellar value for the money: its mainstream gaming performance, sleek and portable design, and gorgeous OLED display. For $1,819 for the 1TB RTX 4060 version, you’re getting a pretty great deal.

Its main competitor is the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2024), which also looks great, is portable, has a lovely 120Hz OLED screen, has similar specs, and costs roughly the same at MSRP. The main difference between the two right now seems to be that the Transcend 14 is frequently selling for much cheaper than its MSRP.

The Razer Blade 14 (2024) is an alternative, too, but costs a fair amount more for a version with similar specs. For that mark-up, you get an even better chassis (which is saying a lot) and better performance thanks to higher GPU power limits. But you don’t get that beautiful OLED screen, which is no little thing. 

  • Value: 4 / 5

HP Omen Transcend 14: Specs

The spec stickers on the HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

The Omen Transcend 14 (2024) comes in three main configurations, although you can customize it a little beyond these configs. The main choice to make is between a model with a Core Ultra 7 155H with RTX 4050, a Core Ultra 7 155H with RTX 4060, or a Core Ultra 9 185H with RTX 4070

Beyond this, you can configure a few things. In the US, you can save $90 by opting for a 512GB SSD instead of a 1TB one, taking the base config down to $1,599, or pay an extra $140 for a 2TB SSD. You can also pay an extra $40 for a Wi-Fi 7 card, and you can pay extra for single-zone RGB or a white chassis. 

You can also choose to pay an extra $150 to have a HyperX Cloud III Wireless headset included (which automatically pairs with the laptop). Apart from this, there’s the usual slew of Operating System, warranty, and software customizations to choose from. 

HP Omen Transcend 14: Design

The lid of the HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
  • Gorgeous 120Hz OLED display with vibrant colors and deep blacks
  • Classy, understated, portable MacBook-esque design
  • “Pudding-inspired” keycaps on a springy keyboard that feels great

The Omen Transcend 14 looks and feels more like a modern portable work laptop than a gaming laptop, and that’s a good thing, in my book. HP is clearly going for more of a MacBook-style design than a decked-out gaming aesthetic, and for the price, it sure as hell delivers.

This 14-inch machine is light, weighing 3.59lb, and slim, too, at just 0.7 inches thick. Crucially, it manages to walk the line between portable and sturdy, being super easy to sling in a backpack and take to the café without feeling like you might break it while doing so. There’s a slight flex to the display, but nothing concerning.

What’s more, it offers all this in a crisp, understated design—understated for a gaming laptop, that is. And while the “shadow black” style of Transcend 14 I received looks gorgeous, the “ceramic white” one looks even better. You can get the latter version for just $15 extra, which is worth it in my opinion.

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The keyboard of the HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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The ports on the HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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The HyperX logo on the HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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The webcam on the HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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A quarter next to the HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Apart from this, the Transcend 14’s OLED display is probably its main selling point. If you’ve never gamed on an OLED monitor before, it’s hard for me to explain just how stunning the dark blacks and vibrant colors look. Combine this with its 120Hz refresh rate and you have a phenomenal gaming display. It’s just a shame it doesn’t come with full-fledged GSync or FreeSync.

It takes a lot to impress me in the keyboard department, given I’m very used to my own custom mechanical keyboard, but the Transcend 14’s semi-chonky keyboard did impress. I used this laptop as a daily driver for a few days and found it an absolute joy to type on. Its “pudding-inspired” HyperX keycaps look great, and the keys feel nice and springy. The trackpad’s nice and tactile, too, and is centered (thank God), just like it should be.

I’m no fan of RGB, but if that kind of thing’s your jam, you’ll be pleased to hear it comes with four-zone RGB. Or, if you’re happy paying an eye-watering $80 extra, you can get per-key RGB. Colors, effects, and the like can all be customized in the HP Omen software.

One thing that slightly disappointed me about the Transcend 14 is its selection of ports, especially given the rear USB-C port essentially acts as a dedicated charging port. For multiple USB devices, you’ll want to pick up a USB hub. Still, there should be just enough ports here for most use cases, including for connecting an external mouse and keyboard.

  • Design: 5 / 5

HP Omen Transcend 14: Performance

The HP Omen Transcend 14 on a table

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
  • Reasonable 1080p gaming performance
  • GPU is power-limited, even after enabling 15W boost
  • Great performance for such a slim, cool, quiet, and reasonably-priced laptop
Benchmarks

Here is how the HP Omen Transcend 14 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark Fire Strike: 17,848; Time Spy: 8,010;
GeekBench 6: 2,362 (single-core); 13,248 (multi-core)
25GB File Copy:
15.52 seconds
Handbrake 1.6 4K to 1080p encode: 5:04 minutes CrossMark Overall: 1,506; Productivity: 1,404; Creativity: 1,810; Responsiveness: 1,069;
Total War: Warhammer III (1080p, Ultra):
60.8 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p, Ultra): 21.24 fps
Dirt 5 (1920x1200, Ultra): 50 fps
Web Surfing (Battery Informant): 4 hours 9 minutes
PCMark 10 Gaming Battery Life: 58 minutes 

The Omen Transcend 14 keeps up with modern titles at 1080p, but starts to struggle at higher resolutions. However, gaming at 1080p on medium settings looks fantastic on its OLED display, and frankly, you don’t need a higher resolution on a 14-inch monitor anyway. During my time gaming on this laptop, I found that whether I was playing Metro Exodus, Overwatch 2, Doom Eternal, V Rising, Satisfactory, or Vampire Survivors (you know, to really put the laptop through its paces), it was more than up to the task. 

During the starting area of Metro Exodus, the Transcend 14’s RTX 4060 pulled over 100fps on Extreme settings at 1080p with DLSS enabled, and not much less than that with it disabled. Risk of Rain 2 had me at a smooth 80fps even at higher resolutions, and Overwatch 2 averaged well over 120fps.

However, my real bugbear is that while the Transcend 14 display’s native 16:10 aspect ratio makes it more useable for casual gaming and general use, it’s not great for competitive gaming because you lose out on some horizontal real estate in games. 

Using 16:9 compressed everything, making the game look stretched vertically. So, I tried to get it working with black borders. However, because the laptop runs a hybrid GPU setup (switching from its Intel Arc GPU to its RTX 4060 when needed), there was no GPU scaling option in the Nvidia Control Panel. I couldn’t get it working via the Intel Graphics Command Center, either. 

The only way I could run a game at 16:9 with black borders was to change the resolution in Windows Settings and then play it in borderless windowed mode, which feels like more of a hacky workaround than anything else and, at any rate, introduced more input latency than when playing fullscreen (And trying to get 16:9 working in Counter Strike 2 just straight-up crashed the entire system.)

If you’re not picky about 16:9 FPS gaming like me, the Transcend 14 performs well enough for casual gaming today. You can expect about 60fps in most good-looking games at 1080p, and if you enable DLSS, FSR, or XeSS you can really make the most of the OLED display’s 120Hz refresh rate.

There’s also an option to boost max GPU power by 15W (from 65W to 80W) in the Omen Gaming Hub software. I found that enabling this boosted the GPU clock from 1965MHz to 2190MHz, and from 113fps to 131fps, at 1080p during the opening portion of Metro Exodus.

Unfortunately, though, even this 15W boost doesn’t quite put the Transcend 14’s performance in line with some similar-specced 14-inch laptops. Instead, it sacrifices a little gaming performance for a portable design, cooler thermals, quieter fans, and a lower price.

If we’re talking general work use, the laptop performs great—with one caveat. I found, for whatever reason, things got laggy when downloading files while on battery power. Even typing in Notepad was slow. As soon as I plugged in the mains or stopped downloading, it was fine. Just a peculiar heads up.

  • Performance: 3.5 / 5

HP Omen Transcend 14: Battery life

  • Atrocious battery life
  • Even with power-saving settings, expect fewer than 6 hours for light tasks

The Transcend 14 has a 71Wh battery, and in practice I found it to offer worse battery life than many other gaming laptops. In our PCMark 10 Battery Life test, we found it to give less than an hour of game-time on battery power, and this seemed to bear out in my day-to-day testing. For gaming, then, you’ll really want to have this thing plugged in via the rear USB-C port (which offers faster charging than the side port).

I got 5 hours and 45 minutes of seven-tab Chrome office work out of the Transcend 14, so don’t expect to get a full 8 hours of work done without charging it. To be clear, this was with the Omen Hub’s Eco Mode enabled, Windows power efficiency mode turned on, brightness turned low (but still clearly visible), and RGB lighting turned off.

In all, its battery life is disappointing, but it’s enough to crank out a few hours of work on-the-go, or half an hour of unplugged gaming here and there. And thankfully, it charges quickly using the rear port.

  • Battery Life: 2 / 5

Should you buy the HP Omen Transcend 14?

The lid of the HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Buy the HP Omen Transcend 14 if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

How I tested the HP Omen Transcend 14

  • I tested the HP Omen Transcend 14 (2024) for several weeks
  • I tested it using benchmark tests, video game benchmarks, and doing day-to-day gaming and office work
  • I used Nvidia FrameView to capture in-game framerates

For the first week, I got used to the laptop. I treated it as if I’d just bought it for myself, unboxing it, downloading my favorite games, and making use of it day-to-day. I made notes of any positives and negatives that came to mind. Then, I got to testing. 

I ran benchmarks for tons of different use cases, noting the results. Finally, I tested some specific things I was curious about. Namely, the 16:10 vs 16:9 issue, and office work battery life tests. I also took the laptop out with me to work, to test its portability.

The HP Omen Transcend 14 (2024) is a gaming laptop, and is ideal for gaming even in more demanding titles (provided it’s plugged in and not running on battery power), but it can also be used as a work laptop. I used it for my own work and found its portability and design to both look and play the part, and its keyboard was a delight to use. Unfortunately, its battery life wasn’t amazing.

I’ve spent the past few years testing and reviewing all kinds of PC components, peripherals, and devices, including gaming laptops. I know how to test them properly, be objective and make accurate inferences from test results, and, probably more importantly, I know how to treat my devices like an end-user would, cutting the wheat from the chaff and getting to what’s most important to average PC gamers.

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

  • First reviewed July 2024
Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9 review: a solid if unspectacular 1080p gaming laptop
6:13 pm | July 3, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Gaming Computers Gaming Laptops | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9: Two-minute review

If you're looking to get into the portable PC gaming scene without breaking the bank then the Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9 is a viable option to consider in 2024. It's not going to give the best gaming laptops a run for their money in terms of leading performance, battery life, display, and design, but it does enough to stand out from a price-to-performance perspective. 

While the manufacturer has made waves in the mid-range and premium end of the gaming laptop market, its budget offering favors function over form. My review unit features a 13th Gen i7 CPU, Nvidia RTX 4060 GPU, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB NVMe Gen 4.0 SSD - all of which is more than enough to play today's games in 1080p. You won't always be maxing everything out in the graphical settings, due to the GPU's limited 8GB GDDR6 VRAM, but Nvidia DLSS 3's Frame Generation or AMD FSR can help ease the stress. 

There's also the LOQ 15 (AMD) to consider if you would rather go for a Team Red rig instead of a Team Blue offering. Regardless of CPU choice, the GPU is decidedly mainstream, so there's no great power differential. It means that the same problems largely apply, meaning a so-so display, lacking battery life, and a port placement that may be cumbersome. 

That battery life really does leave a lot to be desired. Web browsing and media playback achieved just under two hours with battery saving modes and the screen brightness halved. It's not great, and this extends to battery gaming which can't even manage an hour. You'll want to keep this gaming laptop plugged in to enjoy a lengthy gaming session, or when used as a desktop replacement when hooked up to one of the best gaming monitors

So yes, while the Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9 is unlikely to wow you, it is entirely serviceable at providing a solid 1080p gaming experience.  It's ultimately going to come down to the pricing of the unit; if you can find an RTX 4060 variant around the $1,000 / £1,000 / AU$1,300 mark then it's worthwhile, but I can't really recommend splashing out upwards of $1,300 / £1,300 / AU$2,000 when RTX 4070 rigs offer more power for the money. 

Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9: Price and availability

1080p 144Hz refresh rate display on the LOQ 15

(Image credit: Future / Aleksha McLoughlin)
  • How much does it cost? Starting from $999 / £1,049 / AU$1,297
  • When is it available? The Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9 is available now 
  • Where can you get it? US, the UK, and Australia 

The Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9 is available with a starting price of $999 / £1,049 / AU$1,297 for a variant running an RTX 4050 GPU. Alternatively, there's a more powerful version running the more capable RTX 4060 discrete graphics for around $100 / £100 / AU$300 more depending on the retailer's availability - and I'd recommend springing for that slightly more powerful GPU.

In terms of price, the Lenovo LOQ 15 is one of the more affordable gaming laptops on the market at the budget end of the spectrum. Whether you're considering an RTX 4050 or RTX 4060 version, these aren't powerhouse machines, but they are priced as such. It's less aggressive when considering you can pick up some RTX 4070 laptops such as the MSI Katana 15 and Asus TUF A15 from $1,199 to $1,349 nowadays. 

  • Price: 4 / 5

Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9: Specs

The Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9 is available in a variety of configurations from Lenovo itself or found from retailers in the US, the UK, and Australia. As touched upon above, you can find the budget rig with either an RTX 4050 or RTX 4060 GPU. A major difference is the choice of GPU, depending on price, you can get a Ryzen 7000 or Intel Raptor Lake variant. 

Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9: Design

Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9 keyboard

(Image credit: Future / Aleksha McLoughlin)
  • Durable build quality 
  • Thick bezels around the 1080p display 
  • Lovely full-size RGB keyboard

Display-wise, the Lenovo LOQ Gen 9 is primarily plastic with a rugged build quality. It's a far cry from the single-sheet aluminum of premium gaming laptops but feels considerably better than some budget models available. The cracks begin to show, however, when looking further into the screen. With a peak brightness of 350 nits and a 1080p IPS screen, things are serviceable but dull. The 144Hz refresh rate is smooth enough but the bare minimum for machines in 2024. 

The exposed hinges and thick bezels aren't the most pleasing to look at, as Lenovo has opted for function over form here. Simply put, it's not sleek or stylish, but it gets the job done. This utilitarian approach can also be seen in the protruding rear I/O as the hinged screen is around an inch ahead. It's done to maximize airflow, sure, but it's quite an outdated idea that was common on rigs from around 10 years ago.

The design of the Lenovo LOQ Gen 9 gets a lot of things right with its excellent array of connectivity options on the left, right, and rear of the device. You're fully equipped with a full-size HDMI 2.1 port, USB-C, and USB 3.2 ports so there are no complaints here. This extends to the keyboard which features four-zone RGB backlighting with its full deck size. It's lovely to type and game on. Unfortunately, this doesn't extend to the trackpad which is small and feels cheap, but that's not a huge concern as you really should be be utilizing one of the best gaming mice instead. 

  • Design: 3 / 5

Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9: Performance

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Side of the Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9

(Image credit: Future / Aleksha McLoughlin)
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Rear I/O of the Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9

(Image credit: Future / Aleksha McLoughlin)
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Rear fans of the Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9

(Image credit: Future / Aleksha McLoughlin)
  • Solid gaming performance in 1080p 
  • The fans are very loud under stress 
  • The 13th Gen i7 CPU is still powerful
Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9 benchmarks

Here's how the Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9 got on in our suite of industry-standard benchmarks and game testing. 

PCMark10 - 7,328
3DMark:
Night Raid - 57,918
Port Royal - 5,532
Time Spy - 10,117
Fire Strike - 22,507
Geekbench 6:
Single - 2,358
Multi - 13,144
Cinebench R23:
Single - 1,652
Multi - 15,698
CrossMark - 1,572
Productivity - 1,500
Creativity - 1,699
Responsiveness - 1,439
Cyberpunk 2077
RT Ultra - 88fps
Ultra - 84fps
Low - 114fps
Total War: Three Kingdoms
Ultra - 80fps
Low - 246fps
Red Dead Redemption II
Ultra - 67fps
Low - 159fps
TechRadar Battery Test: 59 mins

For the most part, the Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9 delivers on its promise of providing playable framerates at 1080p. The 144Hz Full HD display is fast enough seeing as you'll be getting around 60 to 90fps when maxing out games such as Red Dead Redemption II, Cyberpunk 2077, and Total War: Three Kingdoms. For the best possible experience, you're going to want to enable DLSS 3 Frame Generation and Ray Reconstruction to take the strain off of the native hardware. 

While there are versions of the Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9 with 14th Gen processors, our review unit with the Intel Core i7-13650HX still impresses. This can be evidenced by the CPU-bound title Total War: Three Kingdoms, reaching a staggering 246fps with the settings dialed down to low. The single-core and multi-core performance through Geekbench 6 and Cinebench R23 is also solid, even though these figures have recently been eclipsed by Meteor Lake and Ryzen 7000 models. 

As mentioned further up the page, the display here is what sets the side down to an extent. Yes, it's fast enough with a 144Hz refresh rate being smooth with no screen tearing or artifacting. With that said, the colors are washed out, there's no HDR support, and the peak brightness leaves a lot to be desired. It's not an issue that's unique to the LOQ 15 Gen 9, but it also doesn't break from convention here either. 

What you will notice is just how loud the fans are on this gaming laptop. It's particularly noticeable at start-up, or when under any level of moderate stress. The LOQ 15 is easily among the loudest machines I've ever tested, distractingly so at times, even drowning out gameplay and media playback from the otherwise fine 2x 2W stereo speakers. 

  • Performance: 3.5 / 5

Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9: Battery life

  • Poor battery life whether gaming or media playback
  • Battery can be quick-charged to full in just over an hour

Battery life can make or break a laptop and, unfortunately, the Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9 falls into the latter category. In our battery test, the machine was able to achieve just under two hours of media playback when prioritizing the battery life and reduced screen brightness. Simply put, you're going to want to keep the 135W power adapter close at hand to get through a lengthy film or take your gaming experience on the go. Granted, that's the case for many gaming laptops, but I'd expect a bit better from a lower-powered unit like this - there's not an RTX 4090 guzzling down power here.

The Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9 features a 60Whr battery that supports quick charging, but it drains almost as quickly so it's a double-edged sword. The manufacturer claims a full charge from completely flat about 80 minutes, and my testing can verify this. It can reach 50% in about around half an hour, which is solid enough, even if the battery retention is far from impressive.

  • Battery life: 3 / 5 

Should you buy the Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9?

closed lid of the Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9

(Image credit: Future / Aleksha McLoughlin)

Buy it if...

You can find it discounted 
There are regular deals on the Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9 available from both the manufacturer and major retailers in the US, UK, and Australia. For the right price, it offers a ton of value. 

You play a range of less-demanding PC games 
The RTX 4060 and 1080p display are a good pair for entry-level PC gaming. 8GB GDDR6 VRAM should be enough to play most titles at 60fps for the next few years, even if you won't be maxing out all settings settings. 

Don't buy it if...

You can find an RTX 4070 machine for around the same price 
Some variants of the Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9 may be nearly as expensive as some other budget RTX 4070 models. This graphics card is considerably more powerful in 1080p and can be found inside 1440p machines, too. 

You want a more powerful gaming laptop 
Regardless of which variant you consider, the Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9 isn't a very powerful machine. It's available with an RTX 4050 or RTX 4060 which are far from leading offerings. 

Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9: Also consider

MSI Katana 15
The MSI Katana 15 is the most comparable alternative to the Lenovo LOQ 15 Gen 9 with its 144Hz refresh rate and Full HD  resolution. It's available with either the RTX 4050, RTX 4060, or RTX 4070 so the pricing may be more of what you're looking for. 

Read our full MSI Katana 15 review

Asus TUF Gaming A15
The Asus TUF Gaming A15 combines excellent 1080p gaming performance with a stellar battery life and a solid design. It also has a wonderful RGB keyboard and a fast refresh rate, while being available in several different configurations. 

Read our full Asus TUF Gaming A15 review

  • First reviewed July 2024
HP Omen 45L (2024) review: a pricey but seriously powerful gaming PC
1:45 pm | June 26, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Gaming Computers | Tags: , | Comments: Off

HP Omen 45L: One-minute review

If you're considering a new machine then the latest take on the HP Omen 45L does enough to be mentioned in the same breath as some of the best gaming PCs out there. As far as prebuilt rigs from trusted manufacturers go, HP's latest effort maintains a straightforward approach with its design ethos and performance potential, albeit at a price which may be a little hard to swallow. 

Speaking of the design, there's a toolless approach to upgrading as both side and front panels can be removed without the need for a screwdriver, with ample room for tinkering. There's a total of four 120mm fans and a 360mm AIO for enhanced airflow, and this gaming PC largely delivers near-silent operation even when under stress. 

Pricing starts at $1,779.99 (about £1,415 / AU$2,689) for a configuration that gets you an Intel Core i7-14700K CPU, 16GB of DDR5 RAM, and an Nvidia RTX 4060 Ti GPU. Yeah, it's far from the cheapest given that more humbly specced hardware, and this extends to higher-end configurations, such as our review unit. This came equipped with an RTX 4090 and Intel Core i9-13900K with 64GB of DDR5 RAM, but costs a mammoth $3,399.99 (about £2,673 / AU$5,136). 

As you may expect, that large price tag comes with staggering performance. It's been nearly two years since the components inside the machine were first released, but they're showing no signs of slowing down. Make no mistake, this is a leading 1440p and 4K machine with excellent performance that should last you an incredibly long time. Then, when future RTX 5000 series graphics cards (or RDNA 4 lower down the GPU spectrum, if the rumors are right) hit the scene, it shouldn't be taxing to swap in a beefy upgrade. 

HP Omen 45L: Price and availability

  • How much does it cost? Starts from $1,779.99 (about £1,415 / AU$2,689) 
  • When is it available? It's on sale now 
  • Where can you get it? In the US, UK and Australia 

The HP Omen 45L starts at the mid-range with a base configuration featuring an Intel Core i7-14700K CPU coupled with either an RTX 4060 Ti or RTX 4070 GPU depending on the region you're buying in. This machine is priced at $1,779.99 (about £1,415 / AU$2,689) which is a touch high factoring in the 1440p GPU in question. 

My review unit featured the Intel Core i9-13900K, the previous-generation Raptor Lake processor, with 64GB of Kingston Fury DDR5 RAM and an Nvidia RTX 4090. Unsurprisingly, the latter comes at a premium. If you're buying brand-new directly from HP or certain other retailers, you may find this build available around the $4,507.99 mark (about £3,538 / AU$6,798), which is at the very upper-end of the spectrum. 

Simply put, there are cheaper RTX 4090 PCs out there, but this top configuration is priced at around the going market rate from a trusted manufacturer. It's about on a par with the recently released Corsair One i500, which is famed for its compact footprint and sleek chassis, at the cost of easy upgradability. 

  • Price: 3 / 5 

HP Omen 45L: Specs

Here are the specs for the HP Omen 45L at a glance. 

HP Omen 45L: Design

HP Omen 45L side panel

(Image credit: Future)
  • Stylish overall look with space to upgrade 
  • Toolless design to open things up, but there are drawbacks 
  • Front and rear I/O leave a lot to be desired

The design of the HP Omen 45L is fairly standard fare for the company's lineup. In short, this means an illuminated square badge on the front, a triple front fan setup, and what's been described as a "toolless" upgrade path. The rig looks great with its fully metal frame and tempered glass panels, with enough space to be able to reach in and make changes where desired. 

However, said toolless design, meaning the front and side panels can easily pop out, can become a bit of a hindrance. My particular review unit has been around the circuit for some time and came in the box with the front and side panel popped off. It took a bit of effort to slide things back in, with a little flex on the front. It's possible this could have happenend in transit, but it's something to be aware of. 

What I'm not a fan of is the front and rear port panels which leave a fair amount to be desired. The former is top mounted and clean enough, sure, but the port selection is lacking. There's no USB 3.2 or USB-C, which means you're stuck with older USB 2.0 for your peripherals. The rear is better: here you get two USB-C ports, and three USB-A ports as well as Ethernet and 3.5mm jacks. There should be enough here to be getting on with but it's far from top of the class connectivity. 

  • Design: 4 / 5

HP Omen 45L: Performance

HP Omen 45L rear I/O

(Image credit: Future)
  • Excellent gaming performance 
  • Strong productivity chops with this CPU and GPU combo 
  • Included NVMe SSD is strong, but SATA HDD is fairly pointless

The performance of the HP Omen 45L is impressive, but that's not surprising when factoring in the combination of the Intel Core i9-13900K and Nvidia RTX 4090 with 64GB of DDR5-5200 RAM.

You have more than enough power under the hood to fuel today's games at max settings in 1440p and 4K with room to spare. That's made all the better when you can take advantage of Nvidia DLSS 3's Frame Generation to make the most out of the high refresh rates on the best gaming monitors

HP Omen 45L benchmarks

Here's how the HP Omen 45L performed in our suite of industry-standard benchmarks and demanding games. 

Geekbench 6:
2,853 (single)
18,523 (multi)

PCMark10: 9,302 (overall)
Essentials - 10,631
Productivity - 11,226
Digital Content Creation - 18,300

Cinebench R23:
Single - 2,181
Multi - 28,910

CrossMark: 2,135 (overall)
Productivity - 1,959
Creativity - 2,480
Responsiveness - 1,765

3DMark:
Night Raid - 89,961
Fire Strike - 41,073
Time Spy - 29,874
Port Royal - 25,501

CrystalDiskMark:
Read - 6,893MB/s
Write - 5,267MB/s

Red Dead Redemption II:
1080p: 169fps (Low); 165fps (Ultra)
1440p: 165fps (Low); 154fps (Ultra)

Total War: Three Kingdoms:
1080p: 503fps (Low) ; 240fps (Ultra)
1440p: 444fps (Low); 154 fps (Ultra)

Cyberpunk 2077:
1080p: 163fps (Low); 146fps (High)
1440p: 161fps (Low) ; 114fps (High)
RT Ultra + DLSS : (1440p) 143fps; (1080p) 212fps

Dubbed by the manufacturer as the "Omen Cryo Chamber," the cooling solution does a respectable job of keeping the core temperatures reasonable with the 360mm AIO and four 120mm case fans inside. What was notable was the lack of noise from the machine when under stress from heavy benchmarking, which is usually where these company-made gaming PCs start to struggle. With the Omen 45L, even moderate to heavy gaming is quiet.

We've gone into detail extensively about the RTX 4090 over the years and it remains a powerhouse. There's nothing on the market now that can make it sweat as the card's 24GB GDDR6X VRAM is seemingly endless for even the most demanding of software. To say the Intel Core i9-13900K is a bottleneck isn't exactly fair, but that's what's ultimately holding things back (but not to much of an extent).

That's because you can expect frame rate averages of well over 100fps in all the demanding games on the market such as Red Dead Redemption II, Cyberpunk 2077, and more CPU-bound titles such as Total War: Three Kingdoms, and that's running natively (with no DLSS). This is echoed in 3DMark's range of tests as well as in CrossMark as mentioned above.

HP says the Omen has a WD Black PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD but doesn't specify which one. In my testing with CrystalDiskMark, I logged sequential performance of 6,893MB/s and 5,267MB/s reads and writes respectively. That's on par with the quoted performance for the WD Black SN850, which is a rival to the best SSDs, despite being usurped by more powerful Gen 5.0 options in recent years.

What's odd to me is the 2TB 7200 RPM SATA HDD included with the HP Omen 45L. It's not just HP that goes for a hard disk as a secondary drive, as Alienware tends to as well, but I would rather have had a larger primary NVMe SSD instead of a fairly mediocre storage drive. Not only does it take up space in the case, but with sequential rates of around 300MB/s apiece, you can't really use it for gaming.

Lastly, there's the Omen Gaming Hub which comes included as a one-stop-shop for customizing your rig's lighting, overclocking your components, balancing power options, and optimizing games. While seasoned PC gamers are largely going to ignore this app, those new to PC gaming may find some use for it. The Hub is easy to understand, colorful, and powerful, but unnecessary for those who know what they're doing.

  • Performance: 4 / 5

Should you buy the HP Omen 45L?

HP Omen 45L side panel opened

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if... 

Don't buy it if... 

  • First reviewed June 2024
Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 (GU605) review: a sleek Intel gaming laptop with creator appeal
9:30 am | June 21, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Gaming Computers Gaming Laptops | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 : Two-minute review

Thinner and lighter than it looks, the ROG Zephyrus G16 packs some serious hardware in a stylish 16-inch frame. While there are multiple configurations available, the G16 that was sent to me for this review features an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H CPU paired up with a Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 that can boost up to 100W. Sadly the 16GB of LPDDR5X 7467MHz RAM is soldered in and not upgradeable, and 32GB is only available on the Ultra 9 with RTX 4070/4080/4090 configuration for a significantly higher price. The 16-inch IPS screen has a 16:10 ratio, with a 2.5K (2560 x 1600) resolution, up to 500 nit brightness, a 3ms response time and a 240Hz G-Sync compatible refresh rate. You also get a 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6 and a large 90Wh battery. 

The G16 has two USB-C ports (one on each side), and while both support PD spec 100W charging and DisplayPort output, the left one is Thunderbolt 4 spec (40Gbps) and the right is USB 3.2 Gen 2 spec (10Gbps). You also get USB-A 3.2 ports on both the left and right, as well as HDMI 2.1, an SD card slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The G16 includes an array of customizable RGB lighting in the keyboard backlight, as well as “slash lighting” option that runs across the back of the display. 

Performance is excellent, and the G16 has the cooling capacity to let the Intel Ultra 7 CPU sustain high performance. Even with the GPU joining in, heat dissipation isn’t an issue in most scenarios. The RTX 4060 GPU means you will need to turn the details down for most intensive games if you want to take advantage of the high refresh rate – especially at the native resolution. Dropping back to 1080p makes it easy to keep the details high, but still achieve 120+ fps. The laptop scales back performance on battery or USB-C, but it’s still plenty good enough for plugging into a dock at work, without needing to bring along the monster 200W PSU. 

The 2560 x 1600 display is vibrant and bright, while G-Sync, the 240Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time makes for very smooth gaming. Moreover, the 100 DCI-P3 color reproduction will satisfy creators as well. The 90Wh battery is on the larger side and can be charged to 50% in 30 minutes, but the G16 isn’t too keen to run efficiently when unplugged. In silent mode (and half screen brightness) it struggles to last 4.5 hours for productivity tasks on default settings.

The keyboard is well spaced with deep 1.7mm travel, and the trackpad is large and accurate. The 1080p webcam quality is nothing special but gets the job done, and is equipped with IR that works well for facial recognition. The speakers provide better than expected sound considering the form factor.

Asus Zephyrus G16 displaying Red Dead Redemption II home screen

(Image credit: Future)

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: Price and availability

  • How much does it cost? from $2,899 / £2,299 / AU$3,299
  • Where is it available? Available in different configurations in most markets

Asus gives a price tag of $2,899 / £2,299 / AU$3,299 for the base configuration of the G16, but what hardware is included at that price varies across different markets. 

It's hard to judge the value of the G16, as the base spec (in some regions) isn't overly appealing, and opting for higher-specced models can make the G16 much more expensive and reduces the overall value. I tested a G16 with the bang for buck RTX 4060, but you can opt for a lesser RTX 4050, or bump up to an RTX 4070, RTX 4080 or RTX 4090. While the other options are appealing, the RTX 4060 is well suited to the G16 form factor.

Depending on your location, the specific configurations available vary and can include an OLED or IPS screen, and Intel Core Ultra 7 or 9 CPUs. For example, the G16 tested is available in Australia with an RRP of AU$3,499 (RTX 4060) but, at the time of writing, isn’t available in the USA or the UK. In comparison, the higher end Core i9, RTX 4090 model costs $3,499 / £3,999 / AU$6,999.

Asus also announced a new ROG Zephyrus G16 (GA605) at Computex on June 3, 2024, which will be available later in the year. The new model brings increased AI focus with an AMD CPU and Copilot+ support, but is unlikely to improve gaming performance by a significant amount. The good news is that the new model should help drive down prices of the current Zephyrus G16 (GU605) and make it an even better deal. 

  • Value score:  4 / 5

Asus Zephyrus G16 keyboard side angle

(Image credit: Future)

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 review: Specs

Availability varies widely depending on your location, but overall the G16 has a large number of configurations that include AMD and Intel CPUS, and GPUs from the RTX 4050 all the way through to the mighty RTX 4090. 

The specs listed below are for the G16 model tested for this review.

Asus Zephyrus G16 right-hand side ports

(Image credit: Future)
  • Specs score: 4 / 5

Asus Zephyrus G16 left-hand side ports

(Image credit: Future)

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 review: Design

  • Balanced hardware
  • Customizable lighting
  • Surprisingly portable

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 is sold as a gaming machine that can also fly under the radar and make for a capable workstation. At 35.4 x 24.6 x 1.62 – 1.72 cm (13.94 x 9.69 x 0.64 – 0.68 inches) and 1.85kg (4.08 lbs) the G16 is pretty slim for a 16-inch, discrete GPU-sporting laptop. It’s worth noting that while Asus claims the thickness is up to 1.72cm, I measured the laptop at up to 1.79cm at the thickest point and 2.1cm off the table when including the feet. On the plus side, the width, depth and weight are accurate.

The G16 chassis is CNC-machined (a computerized manufacturing process) from aluminum, then anodized, which makes it stiff and robust without adding to the weight. Overall, the G16 is very portable, but keep in mind it does come with a monster 200W PSU that is needed for full performance. That said, the 100W USB-C charging is relatively capable (more on that later), so the G16 does well plugged into a dock.

I tested the mid-range model featuring a Intel Ultra 7 155H CPU and a Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 8GB GPU that features a 100W TGP. The 16GB (2x8GB) of DDR5 is low profile, so soldered to the board and sadly not upgradeable. My G16 also had a 1TB Pcie 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD, which is upgradable if needed down the track. The problem here is that if you want 32GB of RAM, then you need to opt for the higher-end Ultra 9 185H-powered G16, with either RTX 4070/4080/4090 and an OLED screen. This is a shame, because 32GB of RAM is well suited to the Ultra 7 and RTX 4060 variants – especially for use as a high-powered workstation. Whereas the RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 GPUs are overkill for the cooling capacity of the laptop, and as they are capped at 115W TGP, don’t offer a huge amount of additional gaming performance considering in relation to the price increase. 

On the plus side, the cooling setup is great – and fresh air is drawn in from below and vented out the rear of the laptop, meaning there are no vents on the sides aimed at your hand.

The G16 has a 16-inch 16:10 ratio (2560 x 1600) IPS panel with a very fast 240Hz  G-Sync compatible refresh rate and a solid 3ms GTG response time for smooth gaming at high or low frame rates. The display has up to a 500 nit brightness and covers 100% of the DCI-P3 gamut, so has vibrant, accurate colors. While I wish the OLED was also available on the RTX 4060 variant, the IPS panel is a good match for the laptop overall. 

Wireless connectivity is good, with Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax, triple band 2x2 antennas) and Bluetooth 5.3. The selection of ports is also excellent, and we really appreciate having USB-C PD 100W charging and DisplayPort capable USB-C ports on both sides of the laptop – again making the G16 well suited to use with a dock or USB-C charging.  The full complement of fast USB-C and USB-A ports, HDMI 2.1, SD card slot and 3.5mm audio jack mean the G16 is very versatile without needing to carry any extra dongles.

Asus Zephyrus G16

(Image credit: Future)

The G16 has a Windows Hello-ready 1080p IR webcam with an array of three microphones and noise-canceling tech. It’s a perfectly serviceable setup and better than lower-end laptops, giving about average performance for the price point the RTX 4060 G16 is targeting, but it would be a touch underwhelming on the much more expensive configurations. A fingerprint reader would have been a nice addition rather than the “Premium Glass” power button. The upwards and downwards firing speakers are quite good (for a laptop) and the Asus woofer setup gives noticeable kick to lower frequencies.

The G16 has a large RGB backlit keyboard with 1.7mm keyboard that opts to do without a numpad in favor of larger keys. The keyboard is very pleasant to type on, and we had no trouble with extended work sessions or gaming. The trackpad is also very large, and the premium feeling surface was very accurate – even with clammy hands. I just wish it included the fantastic light-up numpad in the trackpad as featured on some other Asus models. 

The keyboard RGB lighting has a reasonable amount of customization and can be turned white to blend in. The rear of the laptop screen has what Asus calls Slash Lighting – a strip of LEDs that can be used to create customized lighting that can run through 15 different animations, match sounds or give notifications. The latter is not very useful when using the laptop (as you can’t see the lights) and isn't very bright. While I liked the concept, the Slash Lighting could have done with more options for customization.

  • Design score: 4 / 5

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 review: Performance

  • Excellent RTX 4060 performance
  • High sustained CPU wattage
  • Impressive cooling system
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16: Benchmarks

Here's how the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Speed Way: 2,602; Port Royal: 5,912; Time Spy Extreme: 5,058; Fire Strike Ultra: 6,222.
GeekBench 6.2: 2,324 (single-core); 13,546 (multi-core)
Cinebench R24: 996 (multi-core); 102 (single-core)
PCMark 10: 7,690
CrystalDiskMark 8 NVMe: 5,046 MB/s (read); 3,638 MB/s (write)
Red Dead Redemption II: (Ultra 1080p) 65 fps
Cyberpunk 2077: 1080p, (Ultra) 51 fps; QHD, (Ultra) 39 fps
F1 2023: 1080p (Ultra): 50 fps
PCMark 10 Battery Life: 4 hours and 45 minutes
1080p video playback battery life: 6 hours and 27 minutes

As a thinner and lighter laptop, the G16 faces some minor cooling restrictions that mean it doesn’t run the GPU or CPU as hard as possible. When using the 200W AC adaptor, the Intel Ultra 7 155H is limited to 80W (down from 115W) and the RTX 4060 has a 100W TGP (Total Graphics Power, reduced from a possible 140W). These limits tend to have very little impact on gaming performance, as the CPU isn’t running at full load, and the 100W GPU TGP is plenty to reach the point of diminishing returns on RTX 4060 performance vs power use.

The overall result is a gaming laptop that gives performance just as good as most other RTX 4060-based machines, but in a thinner and lighter form factor. The G16 will happily run any modern game at high frame rates, but you will need to turn down the details (or reduce the resolution) if you want to push beyond 100 fps or try to make use of the full 240Hz screen refresh rate. Intense games such as Cyberpunk 2077 will push the RTX 4060 to its limits, but turning on Nvidia DLSS can give a big boost – taking frame rates from 51 fps to 83 fps at 1080p Ultra settings. With a bit of tweaking it's possible to get reasonable quality results at over 100 fps, but a higher-end GPU would be needed to go much further without major reductions to quality.

The Zephyrus G16 is available in configurations equipped with high-end RTX 4080 or 4090 GPUs. While these models will give improved performance, the GPUs are capped at 115W, and so won’t give the same result as the same GPU in a thicker gaming laptop using a higher TGP.

Asus Zephyrus G16 underside

(Image credit: Future)

The G16 is positioned as a gaming machine that is also a very capable creator or productivity workstation. Thanks to the high-power cooling system, the G16 can run the CPU at the full 80W TPD (Thermal Design Power) most of the time, and even under extended heavy load can sustain 70W. This means performance in CPU-heavy tasks that is as good as, or better than, most productivity-only focused laptops. 

On battery, Asus limits the CPU and GPU to 40W. If plugged in via 100W USB-C (such as a charger or dock), the G16 uses the same power limits. For most productivity work this doesn’t have much of an impact, but sustained CPU or GPU heavy workloads do suffer a little. For example, I saw about a 10% reduction in PCMark10 score on USB-C or battery vs AC. But in sustained Cinebench24 testing or long encodes, CPU performance can be up to 30% lower if not plugged in with the AC adapter. GPU-heavy loads suffer similar reductions if using the RTX 4060.

I would have preferred to see the G16 use smarter power profiles when on battery or USB-C that could route more than 40W to the CPU or GPU, depending on the total load. For example, if the RTX 4060 is not in use, making 70W available to the CPU would give near identical performance on USB-C or battery compared to the AC PSU. While it’s reasonable that gaming needs the AC PSU plugged in, plugging into a 100W PD dock (or using a power bank if away from the wall socket) is very common for productivity work. While performance is still good, it could have been even better.

At full tilt, the G16 does have to vent a lot of heat (I pulled 160W from the AC PSU when running flat out), requiring the fans to run at a dull roar. Scaling back the performance settings gives relatively quiet usage with less than a 15% hit to performance or game frame rates. The G16 has a large rear vent, which can reach a toasty 50ºC / 122ºF. The underside of the laptop peaks at 46ºC / 115ºF, whereas the keyboard is a warm but not uncomfortable 37ºC / 98ºF, and the trackpad a cool 24.1ºC / 75ºF.

  • Performance score: 4 / 5

Asus Zephyrus G16 keyboard

(Image credit: Future)

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 review: Battery life

  • 4 hours and 45 minutes of use when unplugged
  • 6 hours and 27 minutes of video playback

The G16 has a large 90Wh battery but the power-hungry hardware takes a toll even on efficiency mode. I could manage 4 hours 45 minutes of work unplugged, or about an hour of gaming. If playing video with the screen brightness set to 50%, I could make it 6 hours and 27 minutes before needing to charge. This is a below-average result and, as a comparison, the Alienware m16 R2 with the same 90Wh battery (but a Ultra 9 CPU) can reach over 8 hours of video playback or light office use, and the Gigabyte Aorus 16X manages similar. At the time of writing, Asus does not give any battery life figures on the G16 product page, but I'm hopeful that a future software update will improve power management and help extend the battery life.

If charging from the AC PSU, the G16 can hit 50% in just 30 minutes, making quick top-ups easy. Charge speed drops as you approach 80% and a full charge takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes. I saw up to 93W of power when using a 100W USB-C charger, and total charge times around 1.5 hours. 

  • Battery life score: 3.5 / 5

Should I buy the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16?

Buy it if...

You want solid gaming performance in a very portable package
The G16 is all about being slimmer than most gaming machines, which makes it ideal for those who need portability without sacrificing too much performance. 

You want a workstation as well as a gaming machine
The design and spec of the G16 makes for a great gaming laptop, but it’s even better if you need a powerful laptop for productivity or creative needs. 

You want to stand out but also blend in when needed
The G16 has plenty of customizable RGB lighting options to satisfy your inner gamer, but can also quickly tone it down to hide in plain sight. 

Don't buy it if...

You want bang-for-buck gaming
The Zephyrus G16 is a standout premium option but, for pure gaming, the FPS per dollar lags behind chunkier dedicated gaming laptops.

You want an unplugged productivity laptop
Over 4 hours on battery is useful, but if you want to make it through a work day without a charger, the G16 is not the right choice. 

You want to be able to upgrade your laptop in the future
The slim nature of the G16 means it uses low profile RAM soldered to the motherboard, limiting future upgrades to just the SSD. 

Also consider

If this Asus Zephyrus G16 review has you considering other options, here are some other gaming laptops you can take a look at.

How I tested the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16

  • I tested the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 for two weeks
  • I used it both on a desk, and put it in a backpack for travel
  • I used it for gaming, as well as office productivity work and video editing

I ran the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 through our usual comprehensive array of benchmarks, as well as using it for actual day-to-day work.

I used a range of synthetic gaming and productivity benchmarks, real-world gaming benchmarks, and battery and power testing.

I used the TechRadar movie test for assessing battery life during video playback, as well as productivity battery benchmarks. I logged power use in a variety of scenarios, including when charging from USB-C. I also tested charging the G16 with a power bank. 

Read more about how we test

[First reviewed May 2024]

Asus TUF Gaming A16/A14: a premium look for an affordable price
5:40 pm | June 5, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Gaming Computers Gaming Laptops | Comments: Off

Asus's TUF brand has always been its affordable line and the Asus TUF Gaming A16 refresh and the newly revealed A14 continues the tradition. However, the stark difference here is the aesthetics, which have essentially been overhauled to look far more premium.

Not only that, but the addition of the A14 means there's another, more portable option to the gaming laptop lineup. Of course, performance is the most important aspect of any laptop and I wasn't able to run benchmarks to officially test that out during my hands-on. But with those specs, it should be able to handle any PC title you throw its way - including AAA games.

Asus TUF Gaming A16/A14: price and availability

Both the Asus TUF Gaming A16 and Asus TUF Gaming A14 are expected to ship on July 22, 2024 in the US, UK, and Australia.

The TUF Gaming A16 launches with a starting price of $1,799.99 / £1,799.99 / AU$2,299 while the TUF Gaming A14 launches priced at $1,399.99 / £1,299 / (around AU$2,400).

Asus TUF Gaming A16/A14: specs

Here are the specs for the Asus TUF Gaming A16/A14 at a glance. 

Asus TUF Gaming A16/A14: design

Asus TUF Gaming A16

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Asus TUF Gaming A14

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What impressed me the most about the upcoming Asus TUF Gaming A16 and A14 models is how much more attractive they are compared to previous iterations of the TUF series. The A16 has a sleeker and more premium-looking design that defies its relatively lower price tag, and the A14 is compact and much more lightweight than you'd expect from a gaming laptop. It also features an aluminum lid and bottom cover, making the smaller model even more durable.

I like the added touch of the power light, shaped in a cute flower-like pattern. It complements the revamped look of the laptop in a simple yet non-obtrusive way. My only real complaint is that I wish we could get more colors, but considering it's a more budget-minded line the decision not to makes sense.

The A16 has a full keyboard with a numpad, taking advantage of the extra space. Both versions have well-sized and spaced-out keys that make error-free typing much easier and large touchpads perfect for navigating while gaming. The A14 in particular has a beautiful glass touchpad, which feels silky smooth.

Both also have great port selections including USB Type-A and Type-C ports, combo jacks, HMDI ports, SD readers, and the A16 even has an ethernet port. It's refreshing to have a gaming laptop with the full breathe of ports and slots available, and for the smaller one to be as close as possible.

What also impressed me was the A16's improved bezels, a full width heatsink hidden in that thinner frame, and even a pop up screw to pop out the chassis and make repairs and upgrades that much easier.

Asus TUF Gaming A16/A14: performance

Asus TUF Gaming A16

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Asus TUF Gaming A14

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The Asus TUF Gaming A16 and A14 are outfitted with the latest AMD Ryzen 9 CPUs, as well as up to a Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU. Past benchmark results inform us that both gaming laptops should perform well with the best PC games, including more demanding AAA titles. However, I wasn't able to benchmark these laptops during my time with them, meaning this is all still speculation. 

The A16 and A14 screens are both QHD+ 2.5K resolution with 400 nits of brightness, sport a 165Hz refresh rate, and a 3ms response time, which ensures a smooth and stutter-free experience for most gamers. 

Asus TUF Gaming A16/A14: early verdict

black gaming laptop

(Image credit: Future)

Out of the gaming laptops featured in the Asus Computex 2024 event, the TUF Gaming A16 and A14 impressed me the most by far. Asus is overhauling its affordable line, giving it a cleaner and prettier look. I especially love the A14, with its small and thinner frame that has plenty of power.

The pricing for both is pretty solid, with the A14 being quite more affordable. The A16 is a bit steep but, compared to other laptops with similar specs it's far more reasonable. Hopefully, as manufacturers lean more into AI processors, we continue to see budget and near budget machines being pushed out as there's still a market for them.

Acer Orion X: everything compact gaming PCs should be
12:49 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Gaming Computers Gaming PCs | Comments: Off

I’ve long been a fan of Acer’s excellent Orion gaming desktop line, and here at Computex 2024 in Taipei, Taiwan, I think Acer has just outdone itself. The Predator Orion X is a more compact - but no less powerful - version of Acer’s staple gaming PC, with a slick new design and some impressive specs.

With a 15.4-liter chassis and a total package weight of less than 9 kilograms, this is one of the smallest (if not the smallest) gaming desktops Acer has ever made. It measures just 25.6 x 17.8 x 33.5cm, but that small form factor case doesn’t sacrifice performance to save space; instead, the internals of this PC are smartly designed to make maximum use of the available room inside the case.

The Acer Orion X desktop gaming PC at Computex 2024.

(Image credit: Future)

The interior of the chassis is neatly split into three zones: one for the CPU and mainboard, one for the graphics card, and one for the fans and AIO radiator. 

Don’t be fooled by the cramped design, though - this is no Corsair One, where space-saving comes at the cost of easy upgradability. Acer designed the Orion X with PC DIY in mind, so accessing these three zones is actually incredibly simple.

Hot swap

On the front of the Orion X, there are three chunky release levers. Pull one, and off pops the corresponding zone panel, making upgrading or repairing a component a cinch. When you’re done, the panels slot back into place easily with no tools required. You can optionally cover the front of the case with a transparent panel, too.

I like that the industrial aesthetic of the Orion X’s exterior makes these release levers blend seamlessly into its visual design. The style might not be for everyone, but I personally love it; the use of RGB here is relatively understated, and the large ‘ZONE 2’ printed on the side evokes a certain genre of sci-fi dystopia that I’ve been known to enjoy.

The Acer Orion X desktop gaming PC at Computex 2024.

(Image credit: Future)

It gets better, though. On the front panel of the Orion X, a small flap opens up to reveal a slot containing a swappable M.2 SSD enclosure. Not only is it extra storage in general, which is never a bad thing, but it’s a boon for PC gamers who like to take their games on the go with them. 

This alleviates the need for a portable SSD or a USB converter - you can simply take one of the best SSDs and slap a whole PC’s worth of games into this system in an instant. It’s potentially very handy if you’re buying the Orion X as an upgrade to an existing system, too; just extract your old SSD and drop it straight in here.

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The Acer Orion X desktop gaming PC at Computex 2024.

(Image credit: Future)
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The Acer Orion X desktop gaming PC at Computex 2024.

(Image credit: Future)

The tiny interior does mean that you may be limited in some areas when it comes to switching out certain components, but it's likely you'll never need to. 

After all, the RTX 4090 is pretty future-proof. The only possible issue I can see here is if the AIO cooler fails, you'll need to specifically buy another one that fits perfectly - there's no room for a tower air cooler here.

Power under the hood

Despite its small size, the Acer Predator Orion X is packing a seriously respectable spec sheet. Acer has managed to cram a twin-fan RTX 4090 card of its own design inside this PC, so gaming performance is just about as good as it can get. With 32GB of DDR5 RAM (upgradable up to 64GB) and a 2TB PCIe SSD as standard, the GPU is well-supported.

One slightly odd choice here is the CPU, which is an Intel Core i9-13900KS. It’s a very powerful chip, no doubt about that, but I was surprised to find that the Orion X doesn’t use the newer i9-14900K, especially considering that chip has been on the market for months at this point. But then again, the 14th-gen desktop chips were merely a refresh of the 13th-gen Raptor Lake microarchitecture, and we noted in our review that the generational performance gains were next to unnoticeable, so perhaps this was just a smart move from Acer to help keep the price down.

The Acer Orion X desktop gaming PC at Computex 2024.

(Image credit: Future)

Speaking of price: the Orion X was actually announced at last year’s Computex, and has already been available to buy in the UK for a few months, albeit a less powerful model sporting an RTX 4080 instead of Nvidia’s flagship 4090 GPU. We don’t have official pricing for this new iteration, but given the current £3,299 price (around US$4,210 / AU$6,330), we can reasonably expect it to be less than £4,000 in the UK.

As for when it’ll arrive on the other side of the Atlantic, that’s not quite clear at this point. While researching, I found some Acer documentation that suggested it was originally slated for launch in the US in September of 2023, but that evidently didn’t happen, so we might be waiting a little longer for an American release. I certainly hope Acer gets its act together and gives us a proper global release soon, because this is one of the best compact PCs I’ve seen in ages.

MSI Vector 17 HX: an outdated design can’t stop a powerhouse laptop
11:55 am |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Gaming Computers Gaming Laptops | Comments: Off

MSI Vector 17 HX: Two-minute review

While the MSI Vector 17 HX isn't going to win any awards for its physical design, this portable has all the performance necessary to stand with some of the best gaming laptops on the market.

Priced at $2,299 / £2,399 / AU$3,099 for a version sporting an RTX 4070 graphics card, it's more costly than many of its rivals. And when you consider that alongside the build quality comprises here (which we'll discuss in more depth later), sadly this means this MSI notebook doesn't quite achieve top marks - but it's still a decent machine. 

That's because the MSI Vector 17 HX still largely justifies its higher-than-average price tag by including an excellent Intel Core i9-13900HX CPU, 32GB of DDR5 RAM, and a superfast Gen 4.0 NVMe SSD so you've got a wealth of power at your fingertips. The bottleneck, therefore, becomes the GPU, given the laptop's native 2,560 x 1,600 resolution 16:10 display. So, while we were sent the RTX 4070 variant for review, you may want to consider the RTX 4080 model for a power boost.

The 17-inch display unfortunately lacks any kind of HDR support which is a real shame. The IPS LED screen is bright enough at 500 nits, but looks a little washed out, especially when factoring in that some of its competitors are utilizing mini-LED and even OLED. Fortunately, with its 240Hz refresh rate, it's fast enough for you not to necessarily mind all that much. 

Speaking of that refresh rate, though, you won't necessarily be able to hit frame rates that can fully take advantage of it, given the 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM on board the mobile RTX 4070 - especially at 1440p. However, if you're smart with your settings sliders in 1080p, you can expect framerates of around 100fps. 1440p hovers around the 60fps mark, although DLSS 3's Frame Generation will be able to provide a shot in the arm, at least where it's supported. 

Furthermore, the MSI Vector 17 HX doesn't buck the trend of gaming laptops having less-than-stellar battery lives. Its four-cell 99Wh battery pack is decent enough for powering around four hours of light use, but gaming is more limited to about an hour and a half. You'll need to keep the 330W charger close by, or keep the rig perennially plugged in as a dedicated replacement for one of the best gaming PCs

MSI Vector 17 HX: Price and availability

Screen of the MSI Vector 17 HX

(Image credit: Future)
  • How much does it cost? $2,299 / £2,399 / AU$3,099 
  • When is it available? It's on sale now 
  • Where can you get it? In the US, UK and Australia 

The MSI Vector 17 HX is available from $2,299 / £2,399 / AU$3,099 for the RTX 4070 model. The peppier version sporting the more powerful RTX 4080 GPU is available for $2,799 / £2,899 / AU$3,399. That positions this gaming laptop in the upper mid-range, pitting it against weighty competition from premium manufacturers. 

Price-wise, that's a similar entry point to the Razer Blade 16 and the HP Omen 17 which are far from the cheapest options on the market. With its high asking price, the MSI Vector 17 HX is considerably pricier than other 17-inch RTX 4070 gaming laptops such as the Asus ROG Strix G17, MSI Sword 17 HX, and the Acer Nitro 17. It's not the cheapest RTX 4070 laptop, that's for sure. 

  • Price: 3 / 5

MSI Vector 17 HX: Specs

Here are the specs for the MSI Vector 17 HX at a glance. 

MSI Vector 17 HX: Design

MSI Vector 17 HX's RGB keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
  • Bulky plastic chassis 
  • Large and fast display 
  • Weighty at 6.6lbs / 3kg 

In terms of its build, the MSI Vector 17 HX is on the bulkier side even as far as mid-range laptops go. It's a deliberate and old-fashioned design with its plastic construction and thick-angled hinges that won't be for everyone, but it's at least distinct. You won't find a carefully machine-crafted aluminum chassis here, but it's serviceable enough. 

You'll feel the weight of this gaming laptop at 6.6lbs / 3kg, as the MSI Vector 17 HX is a touch heavier than some of the other 17-inch models we already mentioned above. It's still sleek enough to be portable, but its display size and heft may not be ideal if you're thinking of something for everyday use at work or school. 

Our review unit had a QHD+ resolution (2,560 x 1,600) screen at 240Hz, however, some variants may feature a 165Hz Full HD display depending on configuration and asking price. There's no support for HDR here, which is a shame, and the screen has a peak brightness of 500 nits; by no means the brightest or most vivid display, but it's good enough for gaming, and fast enough, certainly.

The keyboard on the Vector 17 HX is colorful and full of personality with its multi-zone RGB lightning and decals on each key, even if it doesn't offer the best typing experience. This extends to the trackpad as well - while functional, it feels a little cheap, but you'll likely be using one of the best gaming mice instead, so it's not too big a deal. 

A high point is the excellent port selection. You'll find a total of three USB-C ports, two USB 3.2 ports, HDMI 2.1, and Ethernet. They're spread out on both sides and the back of the machine, so you should be fully catered for when using this gaming laptop as a full-on desktop replacement, hooked up to the best gaming keyboard and best gaming monitor

  • Design: 3 / 5

MSI Vector 17 HX: Performance

Closed lid of the MSI Vector 17 HX

(Image credit: Future)

The performance of the MSI Vector 17 HX is solid thanks to the excellent Intel Core i9-13900HX CPU combined with the respectable RTX 4070, but it's actually the GPU which will be your biggest bottleneck. That's because Nvidia's mobile mid-range graphics card only features 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM on a 128-bit memory bus. 

MSI Vector 17 HX benchmarks

Here's how the MSI Vector 17 HX performed in our suite of industry-standard benchmarks and game tests.

Geekbench 6:
Single - 2,915
Multi - 17,669
3DMark:
Night Raid - 71,732
Fire Strike - 27,029
Time Spy - 12,850
Port Royal - 7,471
PCMark 10: 8,180
Cyberpunk 2077:
1080p - 132fps (Low) ; 86fps (Ultra)
1440p - 102fps (Low) ; 72fps (Ultra)
RT Ultra - 75fps (1080p) ; 73fps (1440p)
Total War: Three Kingdoms:

1080p - 334fps Low ; 96fps Ultra
1440p - 221fps Low ; 59fps Ultra
Red Dead Redemption II:
1080p - 162fps (Low) ; 88fps (Ultra)
1440p - 121fps (Low) ; 67fps (Ultra)
CrystalDiskMark:
Read: 7,024MB/s
Write: 5,203MB/s
Cinebench R24:
Single-core - 2,100
Multi-core - 27,484
TechRadar Battery Test: 1 hour 38 minutes

1080p appears to be the sweet spot for this particular variant of the MSI Vector 17 HX, as seen with the gaming benchmarks. Specifically with GPU-heavy games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Cyberpunk 2077, you're getting nowhere near the 240Hz refresh rate unless you drop down to Full HD.

This is reflected in the benchmarks for Total War: Three Kingdoms, a CPU-heavy title, which can exceed the maximum refresh rate with the graphical settings reduced. Ray tracing is possible, but won't quite excel in the way that a mobile RTX 4080 or RTX 4090 can (with 12GB and 16GB GDDR6 VRAM respectively). In Cyberpunk 2077 at RT Ultra, you're getting around 70 to 80fps here.

The 13th-gen Core i9 is a powerhouse CPU and this is evident in the stress-testing conducted. Geekbench 6 delivers confident scores of 2,720 and 17,308 for single-core and multi-core respectively, with Cinebench R23 providing superb results of 1,941 and 25,624 respectively. There's nothing this processor won't be able to do, and it offers a whole load of grunt, despite lacking a dedicated NPU (as seen with its Meteor Lake successor).

The Gen 4.0 NVMe SSD inside of the MSI Vector 17 HX is excellent. Despite this tech being replaced by Gen 5.0 models, you won't need anything faster than the tested sequential rates of 6,442MB/s reads and 4,873MB/s writes respectively. Modern PC games are starting to utilize the DirectStorage API for near-instant loading times and ultra textures. Interestingly, there's a Gen 5.0 port available for even faster storage. 

The screen natively supports 1600p resolution with its 16:10 aspect ratio, and while you shouldn't experience frame rate drops that are too jarring, you'll need to be mindful of the limitations of the RTX 4070's VRAM. Even 8GB for the desktop version is starting to struggle nowadays in this resolution, and that uses far faster GDDR6X memory. We recommend utilizing Nvidia DLSS 3 Frame Generation where possible for a boost.

  • Performance: 4 / 5

MSI Vector 17 HX: Battery life

Sideways view of the MSI Vector 17 HX with the screen at a 90-degree angle

(Image credit: Future)
  • Lasts around four hours with media playback and browsing 
  • Can game for around an hour and a half on battery

The MSI Vector 17 HX features a four-cell 90Wh battery which is average-sized given the 17-inch chassis of this gaming laptop. In practice, you can expect up to four hours of web browsing and media playback when prioritizing efficiency over performance. You'll need to keep the charging cable handy if you're planning on working all day or enjoying a few longer movies back to back, though. 

Gaming on battery power is expectedly poor. We got around an hour and a half from a full charge with Cyberpunk 2077. The mobile RTX 4070 has a TDP of 115W, making it more power-efficient than more powerful discrete graphics, but the battery is still a major concern. It's not a problem unique to the MSI Vector 17 HX, but it's worth noting all the same. 

Fortunately, the power cable connects at the back of the device instead of the side, delivering a constant feed of 330W. We'd recommend using a dedicated laptop riser on your gaming desk and doing a little cable management to be more comfortable. As something to carry around with you every day, this machine isn't up to the task, but that's the cost of performance like this. 

  • Battery: 2 / 5

Should you buy the MSI Vector 17 HX?

Buy it if...

You want a big-screen gaming laptop

The MSI Vector 17 HX has a sharp screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio. It may not be the brightest or most vivid display on the market, but its size and fast refresh rate make it worthwhile.

You want a notebook that's a powerful performer

The MSI Vector 17 HX packs in some beefy components including a powerful CPU and a seriously impressive SSD, alongside a solid choice of GPU.

You want a gaming laptop that excels in 1080p

The RTX 4070M features 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM which is ideal for speedy frame rates in Full HD and indeed FHD+ (1200p resolution) for the 16:10 aspect ratio.

Don't buy it if... 

You want the best value for money 

Simply put, the MSI Vector 17 HX is on the expensive side for an RTX 4070-powered gaming laptop, and you can save a bundle by opting for a competitor instead. 

You want a gaming laptop that motors in 1440p 

While this machine's native 1600p screen is impressive in some ways, it's held back by the more limited VRAM of the RTX 4070M, which means it can't quite hit the frame rates we'd like to see at 1440p (or 1600p, of course).

MSI Vector 17 HX: Also consider

HP Omen 16
The HP Omen 16 is more affordable than the MSI Vector 17 HX, offering a similar level of performance, albeit in a slightly more compact 16-inch form factor, and with a slower display.

Read the full HP Omen 16 review

  • First reviewed June 2024
Hands-on: the Zotac Zone is the newest challenger in the handheld PC gaming arena, but it needs some work
7:48 pm | June 4, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Gaming Computers | Tags: | Comments: Off

Another month, another rival to Valve's popular Steam Deck gaming handheld. Yes, now PC gaming brand Zotac has thrown its proverbial hat into the ring, revealing its own handheld PC at Computex 2024 in Taipei, Taiwan.

The Zotac Zone (yes, I know Zotac formats it as ZONE, but I don't want to feel like I'm yelling at you!) will feel immediately familiar to anyone who has used any of the mainstream handheld PCs currently on the market. The MSI Claw, Lenovo Legion Go, and Asus's shiny new ROG Ally X all have their own strengths and weaknesses, but at the end of the day, they're broadly similar devices, and the Zone is no exception.

The physical design is immediately reminiscent of the Steam Deck, since it features a pair of small square trackpads beneath the analog sticks, something notably absent from most of the Deck's existing rivals (the Legion Go has a single pad on the right-hand side). However, the controller layout and general feel of the device is a lot closer to the ROG Ally - and having used my own Ally extensively, I can say that this could be a real competitor.

Screen queen

The Zotac Zone handheld gaming PC on the Zotac stand at Computex 2024.

(Image credit: Future)

The star of the show here - and the thing I noticed first about the Zone - is the 7-inch AMOLED touch display. With a resolution of 1080p, 120Hz refresh rate, and impressive maximum brightness of 800 nits (more than most other PC handhelds), it's a stand-out feature that looks absolutely bloody gorgeous.

That's truly not hyperbole: I played Horizon Zero Dawn and Street Fighter 6 on this thing, and both games looked fantastic. Colors are vibrant and shadows are deep, with no visual artifacts and excellent sharpness. It's no exaggeration to say this is one of the best displays I've seen on a gaming handheld. It's worth bearing in mind, however, that this is a MIPI panel, which means it doesn't support Variable Refresh Rate in games.

The Zotac Zone handheld gaming PC on the Zotac stand at Computex 2024.

(Image credit: Future)

Behind that glorious screen is an AMD Ryzen 7 8840U processor, which delivered solid performance during my hands-on testing. The RDNA 3 integrated graphics perform admirably - and while I wasn't able to properly test framerates, playing on the Zone felt smooth and responsive at 1080p with graphics set to Low or Medium. The Ryzen APU is supported by 16GB of DDR5 RAM and a 512GB SSD.

The 8840U is a bit different from the AMD Z1 and Z1 Extreme chips found in several other handhelds (including the Ally and Legion Go), but it has the same number of cores and the same operating frequency. It's just a slightly newer architecture: Hawk Point as opposed to the Z1's Phoenix Point. The main difference here is an improved XDNA processor for better performance with AI workloads, which may come in handy for AI-powered game features like AMD FSR.

Trigger happy

One unique feature I quite liked was the adjustable trigger system. On the back of the unit, both main triggers have a small switch that lets you swap the trigger sensitivity between two stages - basically switching between a normal full press to register input and a hair-trigger response.

It's a neat function that could come in handy for shooters, since the triggers have quite a lot of travel in regular mode, and it's good that the two switches can be toggled independently - I could see myself using the hair-trigger mode on the left trigger for quicker aim-down-sight reactions but sticking with the regular input for actually firing my weapon, so as to avoid misfires.

The Zotac Zone handheld gaming PC on the Zotac stand at Computex 2024.

(Image credit: Future)

Another possible first for gaming handhelds is the inclusion of what looks like a small front-facing webcam to the left of the display. Zotac didn't have any information about this on the event floor, however, and early test units of the Lenovo Legion Go also featured a camera that never made it to the final release, so don't get your hopes up.

I didn't get an exact figure for the weight, but the Zone weighs about the same as the newly-announced ROG Ally X - which is to say, heavier than the more compact Steam Deck, but lighter than the chunky Legion Go. Despite this, it's still quite large, measuring 31cm across, so this might not be the best choice for gamers with smaller hands. There's a small kickstand at the back, which is useful if you want to hook it up to a larger screen via the Thunderbolt 4 port and play using a separate controller.

AMOLED you finish, but...

Unfortunately, no fancy trigger systems nor gorgeous AMOLED screens can hide the fact that some parts of the Zotac Zone feel a little... cheap. Zotac assured me that the unit I was testing was a relatively early beta model, so there's every chance my qualms will be addressed before the product makes it to a full release, but I'd be remiss not to mention the issues here.

Firstly, the D-pad felt very flimsy, and the analog sticks were a bit loose for my liking - some people might not be bothered by the latter, but I definitely prefer the more resistive feeling of the ROG Ally's twin sticks. The additional two rear finger bumpers are also lacking in satisfaction, with a feeble click to them. On the bright side, the triggers, main bumpers, and face buttons all feel solid.

The Zotac Zone handheld gaming PC on the Zotac stand at Computex 2024.

(Image credit: Future)

It's also worth noting that just like every other Windows-based gaming handheld, the OS is poorly suited to this device format. Even with a touchscreen and trackpad, the small display and lack of a physical keyboard make navigating Windows 11 rather cumbersome. I can't really blame Zotac for that, though - it's a frustration of Microsoft's making, and I've already given them the solution...

The factor that may truly prove to be the Zone's downfall, though, is the price. While Zotac hasn't officially confirmed pricing, Spanish tech site Geeknetic has reported that the launch price is expected to be around $800 (about £625 / AU$1200). That's rather expensive considering the specs here; the ROG Ally X is expected to be around the same price, but packs more memory and storage, while the Steam Deck is significantly cheaper than both.

Still, I'm excited to see the Zone hit the market so I can properly test it out. Competition breeds innovation, as they say; more PC gaming handhelds can't be a bad thing. But the competition is really starting to heat up now, so Zotac will need to bring its A-game if it wants to capture a segment of this emerging market.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: a solid but mostly standard refresh
5:30 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Gaming Computers Gaming Laptops | Comments: Off

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G16, part of Asus's lineup of the best gaming laptops, is mostly another refresh of the Zephyrus G16 but with the added AMD NPU. The other models featuring the Intel Core Ultra 9 have already launched earlier this year, with this new one made to give buyers more options.

Like with most other NPU-equipped laptops and PCs, the biggest question is whether they'll hold up as the next evolution of processors. Plenty of manufacturers seem to believe so and have been investing accordingly. As they slowly trickle out, we'll see how well founded these investments are.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: price and availability

The AMD NPU version of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 has been revealed in time for Computex 2024, though we don't have an official release date or pricing yet.

Currently, the Intel versions are available for purchase through the Asus online shop and most major retailers, starting at $2,899.99 (around £799 / AU$1,599). As you can see, the pricing of this gaming laptop is quite premium, as you're paying both for its thin and light frame and that it houses the AI processor.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: specs

Here are the specs for the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 at a glance. 

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: design

Image 1 of 2

black gaming laptop

(Image credit: Future)
Image 2 of 2

black gaming laptop

(Image credit: Future)

For a gaming laptop, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 is quite lightweight and could easily be one of the best thin and light gaming laptops on the market. Though the available color is uninspired, it sports a unique design feature like much of the line's previous iterations. 

In this case, it's an LED light that runs diagonally across the top case, adding some much-needed flair to an otherwise bland-looking laptop. I can't imagine how badly this aesthetic gimmick bleeds through battery power, so hopefully, there's a simple way to turn it off when one needs to conserve energy.

It features a solid port selection that includes two USB Type-C ports, two USB Type-A ports, one combo jack, one SD card reader slot, and one HDMI port. Unfortunately, it's missing an ethernet port, which is odd considering that playing PC games online requires a stable connection that can't be replicated using Wi-Fi.

The display is a 2.5K OLED and sports HDR True Black 500, meaning you'll get a gorgeously clear and sharp picture quality every time. The keyboard features nice-sized keys that are well-suited for a wide range of hand types, and the touchpad is large, so you'll have plenty of space to maneuver.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: performance

Image 1 of 2

black gaming laptop

(Image credit: Future)
Image 2 of 2

black gaming laptop

(Image credit: Future)

On paper, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 refresh has some impressive specs, like an Nvidia RTX 4000-series GPU, next-gen AMD NPU, and a display with a 240Hz refresh rate and 0.2ms response time. With these components, it should be one of the fastest laptops out there, able to handle the massive AI workload that it's sure to be put through.

Of course, I wasn't able to benchmark the ROG Zephyrus G16 myself, so I can't say for sure exactly how it compares to current laptops on the market. It uses an AMD NPU instead of a Qualcomm SnapDragon chip, meaning that the battery life will most likely run as well as the average gaming laptop – Which is to say, not very long.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: early verdict

black gaming laptop

(Image credit: Future)

The AMD refresh version of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 is a solid gaming laptop with a thin and light chassis and a fun visual gimmick. Though it's clearly well-balanced and would serve most gamers well, there's nothing particularly impressive about it either. It's a mostly standard refresh except for the NPU addition. 

Those needing an update should consider investing in this one, but if you have a laptop, then there's nothing you're missing out on in particular. I am curious to see how well the NPU coupled with the RTX 4000-series GPUs will perform - whether the difference between an AI processor and a normal one is that great.

Acer Predator Triton 17 X: a premium gaming laptop that packs a punch
2:59 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Gaming Computers Gaming Laptops | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Acer Predator Triton 17 X: Two-minute review

There's an argument to be made for packing in as much power as possible when it comes to the best gaming laptops, and that's the space the Acer Predator Triton 17 X occupies. For the most part, it forgoes being the sleekest and smallest of its kind to go all-in on pushing boundaries for those with deep enough pockets to take the plunge. 

Priced at $3,599.99 / £3,299.99 / AU$7,999, the Acer Predator Triton 17 X isn't a budget pick by any means, but that's the cost of packing in enough horsepower to give even the best gaming PCs a run for their money. While the mobile RTX 4090 doesn't exactly rival what its desktop counterpart can do, the performance margin is within an acceptable ballpark range; you can think of it as similar to an RTX 4080 desktop GPU.  

Where this rig stands out from competitors is with its display. The Triton 17 X features a staggering 250Hz refresh rate with a 1600p resolution screen. That 16:10 aspect ratio means you get more real-estate for gaming, and the results are impressive. Fortunately, the components inside this Predator laptop mean you'll be able to push even the latest and most demanding games to superfast frame rates. 

No corners have been cut with the quality-of-life features here, either. This laptop is armed with a six-speaker setup, an excellent keyboard, and a healthy port selection, so even when you're not gaming, you'll have a good experience. Just keep in mind that the Triton 17 X is not the most practical notebook with its 3kg / 6.6lbs heft, so it might not be your daily runner to work or school on the side. 

Compounding this is the majorly disappointing battery life. The Acer Predator Triton 17 X lasts around two hours at best when enjoying media playback or browsing the web, and about an hour when getting stuck into one of the latest games. You'll want the charger nearby, but if you can overlook these issues then there's a stellar machine underneath it all. 

Acer Predator Triton 17 X: Price and availability

MSI Triton 17 X screen

(Image credit: Future)
  • How much does it cost? $3,599.99 / £3,299.99 / AU$7,999
  • When is it available? It's out now
  • Where can you get it? In the US, UK and Australia

The Acer Predator Triton 17 X is one of the pricier gaming laptops on the market, coming in above the $3,000 / £3,000 mark (and at AU$8,000). Considering the hardware inside, that shouldn't come as a huge surprise, though. Acer isn't pulling any punches from the choice of CPU and GPU, through to the display, RAM, and storage. Simply put, it's far from a cheap gaming laptop, but if you want to be on the bleeding edge and have the cash to splash then it could be worthwhile. 

As a frame of reference, the price of entry for the Predator Triton 17 X puts it in league with other top-end offerings such as the Origin EON 16SL when fully specced out, or the Alienware M16 and Razer Blade 16 (2023) in higher configurations. You aren't getting the best value for money on the market, nor the strongest price-to-performance ratio, but in terms of sheer raw power, the Triton 17 X has it in spades. 

  • Price: 3 / 5

Acer Predator Triton 17 X: Design

Design of the MSI Triton 17 X

(Image credit: Future)
  • Stunning 250Hz mini-LED display 
  • Packed with ports 
  • A bit heavy at 3kg / 6.6lbs
Acer Predator Triton 17 X: Specs

Here's what's inside the Acer Predator Triton 17 X supplied to TechRadar. 

CPU: Intel Core i9-13900HX
GPU: Nvidia RTX 4090
RAM: 64GB LPDDR5
Storage: 2TB NVMe Gen 4.0
Display: WQXGA (2560 x 1600) 16:10 IPS 250Hz
Ports: 2x USB 3.2, 2x USB-C, 2.5Gb Ethernet, 3.5mm audio jack, microSD card slot
Wireless: Wi-Fi 6E; Bluetooth 5.1
Weight: 3kg / 6.6lbs
Dimensions: ‎‎28 x 38.04 x 2.19cm (LxWxH)

The most notable thing about the Acer Predator Triton 17 X at first glance is the display which is certainly a leading model as far as gaming laptops go. This portable powerhouse packs in a 16:10 WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600 resolution) screen meaning more real-estate is available for gaming than 16:9 can offer. It's bolstered by a 250Hz refresh rate and is Nvidia G-sync compatible, so there's no screen tearing. 

It's not the first laptop to feature a mini-LED display, but it is an excellent example of the panel tech in action. While not quite as vivid as OLED, it is considerably brighter, and the 1,000 local dimming zones do a solid job of standing in with similar black levels. Considering the hardware inside, an RTX 4090 mobile GPU backed up by an Intel 13th-gen Core i9 processor, you'll be able to take advantage of that high refresh rate, too. 

Acer's design philosophy for this machine is "excellent in excess" and that's clearly demonstrated with the hardware packed into a portable form factor. Mind you, this rig weighs in at 3kg / 6.6lbs making it one of the heavier models on the market. With a 17-inch screen, it's fairly large as well, and while technically portable, the 17 X is unlikely to be something you'll commonly be slinging into a bag. It's more of an out-and-out desktop replacement. 

While you're likely to plug in one of the best gaming keyboards and best gaming mice, the Acer Predator Triton 17 X features a solid keyboard and trackpad for casual web browsing and typing. It offers pleasant multi-zone RGB lighting which looks the part when playing in darker environments. The trackpad isn't as nice as some of the glass ones you'll find on a similarly priced Razer Blade, but it gets the job done. Again, a dedicated mouse will do the trick better.

No expense was spared on the connectivity front here, either. There are two USB-C ports, two USB 3.2 ports, 2.5Gb Ethernet, an SD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack. You'll have no shortage of options for either work or play, and it's good that the manufacturer chose function over form in this respect, as some thinner laptops can sacrifice port selection to achieve their svelte nature. 

  • Design: 4 / 5

Acer Predator Triton 17 X: Performance

Keyboad of the Triton 17 X

(Image credit: Future)
  • Unparalleled 1080p and 1440p gaming performance 
  • Silky smooth refresh rate 
  • Gets very hot and loud

You won't be surprised to learn that a gaming laptop powered by the Intel Core i9-13900HX and Nvidia RTX 4090 with 64GB of LPDDR5 RAM absolutely mowed through our suite of benchmarks and games. The display for the laptop tops out at 250Hz, and you'll have all the horsepower necessary to achieve those kind of frame rates in 1080p, and drive very smooth gameplay at 1440p as well.

Acer Predator Triton 17 X benchmarks

Here's how the Acer Predator Triton 17 X got on in our game testing. 

Total War: Three Kingdoms (1080p) - 364fps (Low); 140fps (Ultra)
Total War: Three Kingdoms (1440p) - 290fps (Low) ; 92fps (Ultra)
Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p) - 118fps (Low); 107fps (Ultra)
Cyberpunk 2077 (1440p) - 129fps (Low); 89fps (Ultra)
Cyberpunk 2077 RT Ultra - 85fps (1080p); 83fps (1440p)
Red Dead Redemption 2 (1080p) - 147fps (Low) ; 128fps (Ultra)
Red Dead Redemption 2 (1440p) - 108fps (Low); 86fps (Ultra)
Geekbench 6:
Single - 2,720
Multi - 17,308
3DMark:
Night Raid - 72,575
Fire Strike - 31,498
Time Spy - 16,866
Port Royal - 11,261
PCMark10: 8,069
CrystalDiskMark: Read - 6,441.97; Write - 4,872.65
Cinebench R23:
Single - 1,941
Multi - 25,624
TechRadar battery test: 1 hour 8 minutes

It's comparable to what the MSI Titan 18 HX can do, albeit without the 4K resolution, not that you'll necessarily need 4K in such a small display anyway. It wasn't uncommon for the demanding games tested, such as Cyberpunk 2077 or Red Dead Redemption 2, to exceed 100fps when maxed out in 1440p. Even CPU-bound titles such as Total War: Three Kingdoms were no sweat for the 13900HX, as this game could exceed a lightning-fast 300fps.

Synthetic figures are equally strong as evidenced by 3DMark's range of GPU benchmarks alongside PCMark 10. Acer hasn't skimped on the choice of Gen 4.0 NVMe SSD either, with a strong performance of 6,441MB/s for reads and 4,872MB/s for writes. All told it's a very encouraging package showcasing the prowess of the hardware, but not without a few drawbacks.

While the RTX 4090M is roughly equivalent to the desktop RTX 4080 with its 16GB GDDR6 VRAM and lower power draw, the combination of CPU and GPU here does result in excess heat and loudness. It wasn't uncommon for the rig to reach upwards of 90 degrees when under stress, with the fans drowning out the otherwise impressive six-speaker surround setup. This could be counteracted by employing the use of one of the best gaming headsets, but it's worth noting all the same.

Using the HDMI 2.1 port, you'll be able to hook up the Acer Predator Triton 17 X to one of the best gaming monitors for that big screen experience should the 17-inch display not be enough for you. You may also want to invest in a dedicated laptop riser to keep the fans of the machine elevated to aid cooling, too. 

  • Performance: 4 / 5

Acer Predator Triton 17 X: Battery life

Closed lid of the MSI Triton 17 X

(Image credit: Future)
  • Lasts around two hours when web browsing or for media playback
  • About an hour of gaming on battery power  

What's most disappointing about the Acer Predator Triton 17 X is the battery life which just about manages two hours on a single charge with media playback or casual browsing. When gaming, you can expect about an hour or so, give or take, so you'll need to keep a charger handy if you want to have a full session of gaming for the evening.

Keeping the Acer Predator Triton 17 X plugged in at all times isn't ideal in terms of its portability factor, obviously, but as we already observed, it's a little too large and bulky for that anyway. The battery life is a shame considering there's a 99.98Wh four-cell power pack inside, but it's not too big a shock when factoring in that there's 175W of power drawn by the RTX 4090M GPU alone.

Simply put, if you're after excellent battery life for a portable machine then the Acer Predator 17 X won't be for you. Instead, we recommend considering one of the best Ultrabooks, even if you won't get anywhere near the same level of processing power.

  • Battery: 2 / 5

Should you buy the Acer Predator Triton 17 X?

Buy it if... 

You want a no-compromise gaming experience 

The Acer Predator Triton 17 X packs a punch with its RTX 4090 GPU and 13th-gen Core i9 CPU backed with a staggering 64GB of RAM. All that power translates to commonly getting over 100fps in 1440p with maxed out details. 

You want an out-and-out desktop replacement 

With its powerful hardware and generous port selection, you'll be able to hook up the Triton 17 X to an external monitor for a big screen gaming experience. 

You're in the market for a productivity powerhouse 

While the Acer Predator Triton 17 X is geared towards gamers, its 250Hz refresh rate and cutting-edge hardware make it a good choice for creatives who need all the VRAM and raw performance grunt they can get.

Don't buy it if... 

You want the best value for money 

There's no getting around the eye-watering MSRP of the Acer Predator Triton 17 X at $3,599.99 / £3,299.99 / AU$7,999. If you're on a tighter budget, you'll clearly want to consider a more mid-range model instead.

You want a laptop with a good battery life 

Despite its 99.98Wh battery, you can expect only around an hour of gaming when not plugged in. Media playback doubles that to around two hours based on our battery test (conducted at 50% battery with half max brightness). Whatever the case, don't expect much longevity with the Triton 17 X.

Also consider

  • First reviewed June 2024
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