Saturday, July 13, 2024

HP Omen Transcend 14 Review: Transcends What a Slim Laptop Can Do

When one thinks of a gaming laptop, one imagines a big and heavy machine, and most of them are. However, there are a couple of gaming laptops that take the slim route. The HP Omen Transcend 14 is one of them. HP unveiled the laptop at CES 2024, and it’s now available in India. It’s a relatively slim laptop, but at the same time, it can easily run AAA titles. The laptop doesn’t have RGB strips like most gaming laptops and is all about stealth. Apart from running games, the laptop can also perform all kinds of other tasks, such as video editing, running 100 tabs in Chrome, and so on.

HP claims that the Omen Transcend 14 is their portfolio’s lightest and slimmest laptop. I was able to try out the laptop for about a week and was truly impressed with what it could do.

HP Omen Transcend 14 price in India

The HP Omen Transcend 14 is available in two colour options and has a starting price of Rs. 1,74,999 in the country. We also get the lone variant in India, that is equipped with the Intel Core Ultra 7 155H CPU and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU.

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The matte finish on the laptop does attract a lot of fingerprints


You get the laptop, some paperwork, and a 140W charging brick in the box.

HP Omen Transcend 14 Review: Design and display

HP has done a great job with the design of the Omen Transcend 14. At first glance, it doesn’t look like a gaming laptop at all. It’s slim at up to 0.79 inches, compact, and weighs about 1.6 kg. There are no flashy bits or RGB strips on the outside. We received the Shadow Black option, which has a matte finish and uses an aluminium chassis. There’s no flex anywhere, and everything feels solid. However, the matte finish does attract some fingerprints.

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There’s minimal branding on the laptop


You get rounded edges and plenty of ports as well. The Omen logo is on the lid, and a ‘Designed and built for winning’ slogan is on the thin ledge right behind the display hinges. Apart from that, there is no other branding on the outside.

Underneath, the laptop has two large intake vents for the dual fans. You’ll also find the bottom-firing dual speakers at the bottom. However, the output grilles are on the front edge. You have the exhaust ports at the back, where the thin ledge is. The display hinges sit a bit forward, which keeps the heat away from the display and the keyboard.

The rear edge also gets an HDMI 2.1 port and a USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen 2) port, which can be used for charging or connecting to a display.

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The rear port placement is quite useful when gaming


The HP Omen Transcend 14 has more ports on the sides. You get dual USB Type-A 10Gbps ports on the right edge, whereas the left edge houses a Thunderbolt 4 with a USB Type-C port and a combo audio jack. That’s all the ports you get on the laptop, and it’s plenty. A 1080p web camera sits at the top bezel around the display alongside the IR sensor for facial recognition. You get slim side bezels, but there’s a noticeable chin at the bottom with the Omen logo.

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The laptop offers up to 120Hz refresh rate


Now, let’s talk about the display. The HP Omen Transcend 14 has an amazing display. It’s a 14-inch 2.8K resolution OLED panel that offers up to 120Hz refresh rate, 16:10 aspect ratio, HDR support, up to 500 nits brightness (HDR mode), and IMAX certified. The colours, blacks, and contrast are amazing. HP claims that the panel supports 100 percent DCI-P3 colour gamut and I believe them. However, it gets a glossy reflective coating thanks to the Gorilla Glass protection, which can be annoying if you’re using the laptop in a well-lit room or outdoors. Apart from that one nibble, the Omen Transcend 14’s display is truly impressive.

I enjoyed watching content, especially HDR videos on the display. You’ll also enjoy playing games on the laptop as the panel has a 0.2ms response time. Try sitting in a dark room to avoid the glare, though.

HP Omen Transcend 14 Review: Keyboard, Speakers, Touchpad, and Camera

As soon as you look down from the brilliant display on the HP Omen Transcend 14, you’ll see the first hint that suggests this is a gaming laptop. You get a full-size 4-zone RGB keyboard that is different from most laptop keyboards.

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The keyboard design is inspired by HyperX keyboards


The keycaps use zero-lattice translucent sky printing that lets the RGB lighting surround the keys. HP says this is the world’s first gaming laptop with a lattice-less sky-printing RGB keyboard, and I, for one, haven’t seen this on any other laptop. It is comfortable to type on and has enough key travel despite not having enough gap between the keys. RGB lighting can be configured using the Omen app.

The keyboard design is inspired by HyperX keyboards, which is why you’ll find the HyperX logo below the keyboard on the left side. It is also because the audio is tuned by HyperX. Talking about the audio, the speakers on the laptop offer good sound and have some bass as well. I’d have personally liked them to be louder, but it should be plenty indoors.

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The audio quality on the laptop isn’t bad, but it could’ve been better


Below the keyboard, you’ll find a fairly large Precision trackpad. It worked well and offers support for multitouch gestures as well. It was nice to have a big trackpad on a gaming laptop.

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The trackpad supports multitouch gestures


Moving on to the web camera, the HP Omen Transcend 14 has a 1080p camera that works well in all kinds of lighting conditions.

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The webcam works well and doesn’t make a lot of noise in well-lit conditions


The laptop also uses the built-in NPU to improve camera performance. You also get Intel AI Boost, which helps in broadcast/meeting tools such as OBS studio.

HP Omen Transcend 14 Review: Specifications and software

While the Omen Transcend 14 is not equipped with the best in the industry, it still packs powerful innards. The laptop has the latest Intel Core Ultra 7 155H processor with up to 4.8 GHz clock speeds and up to 15W TDP. You also get a built-in Neural Processing Unit (NPU) that helps bring some camera and other minor enhancements to the laptop. The chipset is paired with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU that gets a max 65W TGP. You get 8GB of GDDR6 video RAM, 16GB of LPDDR5x RAM (soldered), and 1TB PCIe Gen4 NVMe M.2 storage.

HP has packed a 71 Wh 6-cell battery inside, which supports fast charging via the 140W USB Type-C power adapter. HP claims that the charger can offer up to 50 per cent charge in 30 minutes, and during my review, the numbers were around the same. For wireless connectivity, HP has provided Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 on this unit. In terms of software, there’s Windows 11 Home with some HP software baked in, such as the Omen Gaming Hub that lets you adjust keyboard lighting zones, change power modes, and so on.

HP Omen Transcend 14 Review: Performance and gaming

While it may not perform as well as a high-end gaming laptop, you will be surprised by what this little fellow can do. The HP Omen Transcend 14 is an excellent laptop for creators and gamers who want a compact, portable alternative to big, heavy gaming laptops.

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I was able to easily get 60fps+ in most games


While the laptop doesn’t have the best of the new Intel Core Ultra SoCs, it still packs a punch. The Intel Core Ultra 7 155H is decent enough for all kinds of tasks and even some heavy gaming. I obviously ran some benchmarks on the laptop just to find out how good it is, and here are the results. On PC Mark 10, the laptop scored an overall score of 6262. Individually, it scored 8949 on the Essentials test, 8145 on the Productivity test, and 9145 on the Content Creation test. The folks over at PC Mark 10 recommend a score of 4,500 or higher for a PC that you can use for content creation, editing, productivity, and light gaming, and the HP laptop scores much higher.

We also ran Cinebench R23 on the system and got a single-core CPU score of 1684 and a multi-core score of 13997. If you’re looking for excellent gaming performance from a CPU, its single-core score should ideally be above 1,000. As you can see, the HP performed pretty well here. I wasn’t able to run the 3DMark benchmarks as I didn’t get enough time, but I’m sure it would’ve given a very favourable score. 

From the numbers and my personal experience playing Marvel’s Spider-Man on the laptop with no drop in frame rates and finishing the game, the HP Omen Transcend 14 performed well. I tried a couple more games and constantly got over 60fps. It is an excellent slim and compact machine for playing games for someone who is on the move a lot. The laptop does heat up quite a bit when gaming, but the fans kick in as soon as you launch a game and keep the heat away from the keyboard. The rear edge, where the exhausts sit, is very hot to touch, and we’d recommend that you leave the laptop to sit idle on the desk for a bit after finishing a long gaming session.

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The rear exhaust vents work well to keep the heat away from the keyboard area


The 2.8K OLED display is also a treat for playing games on. Marvel’s Spider-Man looked wonderful on the laptop, with excellent colours, deep blacks, and good contrast. However, in most cases, the games won’t be able to use the full display resolution as that’s just too much for the laptop to handle. I’d recommend running games at full-HD+ resolution, where the laptop can easily offer 60+ frames per second even with the graphics settings dialled up all the way.

HP Omen Transcend 14 Review: Battery life

Now, gaming laptops are known to have terrible battery life, but things are a little bit different on the HP Omen Transcend 14. While gaming in battery power mode, I’d get anywhere from 1 to 2 hours of battery life out of the laptop. It’s best to play games with the AC adapter plugged in, though. When not gaming, the laptop provides about 5 hours of battery life with normal usage such as browsing, web streaming, and some work. I’m sure you can squeeze more out of the laptop by reducing the brightness, turning off the RGB lights on the keyboard, switching to 60Hz, and using the Balanced power mode in Windows 11.

HP Omen Transcend 14 Review: Verdict

The new HP Omen Transcend 14 is an excellent gaming laptop for its size. It has enough power to run most games and is portable enough to carry anywhere in a backpack. And that’s not all, as the laptop can also be used for creative work such as video editing and content creation. You also get a great IMAX-certified 2.8K resolution OLED display and a decent battery life. The keyboard and the touchpad are also pretty good on the laptop.

If you’re looking to purchase a compact and light gaming laptop that can also be a creative work machine, the HP Omen Transcend 14 is a great buy at the price. It really transcends what a slim laptop can do.

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