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HP Omen Transcend 14 Laptop: The Jack Of All Trades

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HP Omen Transcend 14 Laptop: The Jack Of All Trades

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When HP first unveiled the Omen Transcend 14 at CES 2024, it caught the world by surprise. This is because the company promised a thin and light laptop featuring an RTX 4060 and the new Intel Core Ultra 7 155H – a rare combination in the segment. Now that the device is finally out, the question arises: has HP delivered the long-awaited MacBook Pro killer? Let’s delve into the review of the HP Omen Transcend 14 for the answer.

HP Omen Transcend 14 Review

Hisan Kidwai

Summary

The HP Omen Transcend 14 stands out as one of the few laptops successfully merging gaming and productivity within a sleek 14-inch form factor.

HP Omen Transcend 14 Review: Design and Hardware

Front view of the HP Omen Transcend  14-3

Taking the Transcend 14 out of the box, the build quality immediately stands out. The laptop feels sturdy without the bulkiness often associated with gaming laptops. However, to truly understand build quality, we need to look at Windows laptops as a whole. When you think about a gaming laptop, you might picture a bulky laptop with a compromised build of materials and ugly RGB lighting.

But Transcend 14 overcomes all these challenges. Measuring 12.32 x 9.19 x 0.67 inches and weighing a mere 1.6 kg, the laptop is only slightly larger than the MacBook Air 13-inch. Drawing inspiration from the Spectre series, the design exudes premium quality. The aluminum chassis not only provides strength but also eliminates any flex in the keyboard region. Additionally, the hinge allows for one-hand opening and restricts the screen from wobbling.

Moreover, the device supports the latest Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 standards. During our testing, we encountered no issues while downloading apps or connecting devices.

However, similar to the midnight MacBook Air, carrying a cleaning cloth is advisable if you’re considering the black variant of the laptop, as it tends to attract fingerprints.

Ports

Ports on the back

Fortunately, unlike Dell, HP hasn’t skimped on useful ports. On the left, the device features a headphone-microphone combo jack and a USB-C port (with support for charging, 10Gbps signaling rate, and DisplayPort 1.4).

Two USB-Type A ports with a 10Gbps signaling rate are on the right. Additionally, the Transcend 14 houses two more ports on the back – a Thunderbolt 4 USB-C port (with support for 40Gbps signaling rate and DisplayPort 1.4), along with an HDMI 2.1 port. This setup allows users to connect monitors and charge devices without cluttering their desks with cables.

Great Keyboard and Trackpad

Image of the Keyboard and Trackpad

Given the dual role of the Transcend 14 as both a gaming and productivity machine, the keyboard becomes a crucial element. Fortunately, the keyboard is exceptional, offering ample key travel and activation. Thanks, in part, to the aluminum chassis, the keyboard surface remains rigid, ensuring a consistent experience across its entirety. Additionally, the laptop boasts four RGB zones with two intensity levels, easily configurable through the OMEN gaming hub app.

Moving to the trackpad, the surface is generously sized, providing excellent tracking accuracy. Although the surface may feel slightly grippy initially, it becomes smoother as natural oils from one’s fingers settle on it. Moreover, the clicking action is solid, with substantial travel and low actuation energy.

HP Omen Transcend 14 Review: Display

Image of the Display of the HP Omen Transcend 14

The display on the Transcend 14 is perhaps the best you can get in a laptop. However, before we get ahead, it’s essential to note that the laptop features a stunning 16:10 2.8K OLED glossy display with a variable refresh rate of 48-120Hz. While it’s challenging to fully convey the display’s excellence here, a comparison with the MacBook’s LCD emphasizes its capabilities. Taking a look at both screens, you can see how the colors on the Transcend 14 just pop out, making the MacBook look pale in comparison.

Display comparison with MacBook

Thanks to the impressive resolution and the 14-inch form factor, the laptop achieves a pixel density of 240ppi, making it exceptional for viewing content or navigating spreadsheets. HP claims a brightness of around 500 nits for SDR content and 600 nits for HDR content, a statement we can confirm. The laptop remains easily usable in bright environments.

Image of the HP Omen Transcend 14 Playing F1 2023 2

Furthermore, catering to professionals, the display covers over 95% of the Adobe RGB color space and 100% of the DCI-P3 space. This ensures that creators can confidently use the laptop’s display for video editing without worrying about variations in color reproduction.

However, the ultimate way to experience the laptop is through movie watching. The combination of great brightness, vibrant colors, and deep black levels creates a cinematic experience, making the laptop an excellent content consumption device. Nevertheless, we highly recommend visiting a store and experiencing the display firsthand.

HP Omen Transcend 14 Review: Performance

Image of the HP Omen Transcend 14 Playing F1 2023

The HP Omen Transcend 14 comes in two variants, and we had the opportunity to test the Core Ultra 7 155H model paired with the RTX 4060 GPU. Our variant included 16GB of LPDDR5X soldered RAM, running at 7467 MHz, and a 1TB PCIe Gen4 NVME SSD.

In terms of day-to-day performance, the laptop proves to be a breeze to use, with super-fast reboot times and instant opening/closing of applications. The 120Hz display enhances the overall experience, making animations and the entire operating system feel snappy and aesthetically pleasing. Notably, the fans remain quiet during light workloads, allowing users to work comfortably, even with the laptop on their laps.

Benchmarks

Moving over to synthetic benchmarks, the Transcend 14 shines here as well. In the performance setting, with the fans running at maximum while plugged in, the laptop achieved a score of 1,724 in Cinebench’s single-core test and 15,617 in the multi-core test.

Screenshot of the Cinebench R23 benchmark

Moreover, in 3DMark’s Time Spy test, the device scored an impressive 9,173 points, positioning it just slightly behind others with the same GPU. This score might be attributed to the 90W TDP of the RTX 4060, which, while limiting compared to other gaming laptops, is justified due to the size constraints of the Transcend 14. However, the laptop scored 20,587 points in 3DMark’s Fire Strike test, positioning it on par with other devices.

In the Speedometer browser benchmark, the laptop achieved a respectable score of 183 points, making it a great device for general everyday use.

Gaming

Despite being a thin laptop, the gaming performance of the Transcend 14 is no slouch either. The device delivers some impressive numbers with the games we tested. Starting with F1 23 at ultra-high settings with RTX and DLSS turned on, the laptop delivered an impressive 58 FPS across a variety of tracks and weather conditions. While on the high setting, with RTX enabled, the laptop clocked over 130 FPS.

In Palworld (still in beta) and Rise of the Tomb Raider, the Transcend 14 clocked over 50 FPS (without DLSS) and 81 FPS at high settings, respectively. In an esports title like Rocket League, the laptop scored over 200 FPS.

Screenshot of Tomb Raider benchmark

However, FPS is not the sole metric for judging gaming performance. The overall gaming experience on the Transcend 14 is extraordinary, complimented by the gorgeous display and more than capable performance. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to enjoy any game at high settings with RTX enabled, albeit requiring DLSS support.

As for thermals, the laptop did warm up on the underbelly during gaming, but the fans effectively managed temperatures, preventing throttling or FPS drops. It’s worth noting that the fans are audible, necessitating the use of a headset while gaming.

Battery and Charging

With such high specifications, we didn’t expect the laptop to perform well in the battery department, considering it houses a 71W cell. However, we were pleasantly surprised in this department as well. During general light use—comprising light web browsing and movie watching—the laptop lasted about 6 hours, which is more than acceptable.

Fortunately, the laptop includes a 140W USB-Type C charger, eliminating the need for a separate power brick for different devices. Not only does it provide convenience, but it also charges the laptop to 50% in just 30 minutes.

HP Omen Transcend 14 Review: Speakers and Webcam

Webcam image from the HP Omen Transcend 14

The 1080p webcam proves ample for video calls, offering excellent quality and lighting. Utilizing the new NPU, the company has incorporated temporal noise reduction and the ability for the camera to keep the subject centered, similar to Center Stage on Apple devices. Additionally, the laptop houses an IR sensor for Windows Hello functionality, proving effective in unlocking the laptop from various angles and even in dark rooms during our testing.

Unfortunately, there is not much to praise about the speakers. Although they are loud and vocals come through clearly, their bottom placement puts them at a significant disadvantage. The sound easily gets muffled if you plan to watch movies while the laptop sits on a sofa or bed.

Pre-installed apps

Screenshot of the HP Omen Gaming Hub app

Given its premium status, the Transcend 14 comes with minimal pre-installed apps, featuring a few HP services and the infamous McAfee antivirus software, which we recommend uninstalling immediately. Additionally, the laptop includes the OMEN Gaming Hub, enabling users to fine-tune the performance of their devices.

What is the verdict?

Image of the HP Omen Transcend 14 playing F1 2023

Starting at INR 1,75,999, the HP Omen Transcend 14 presents a unique proposition. While it may not claim the title of the best gaming laptop, the most portable, or the one with the longest battery life, it strikes a unique balance between these three factors.

However, you might wonder, who is this laptop for? The answer is simple: everyone. If you desire a MacBook’s portability and a gaming laptop’s performance, look no further. With a stunning display, excellent keyboard and trackpad, impressive build quality, and top-of-the-line performance, the Transcend 14 is truly the jack of all trades.

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