HP Omen Transcend 14 review: sleek and discreet

Light, but still a heavyweight?

HP Omen Transcend 14
(Image credit: Future)
T3 Verdict

Ultra-portable and still packing a punch, Omen's latest is a strong contender among the best 14-inch gaming laptops. Not the most eye-catching, it has an understated beauty instead. It does however suffer the usual gaming laptop pitfalls of poor battery life, even in normal use.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Slender and light

  • +

    Solid performance

  • +

    Pretty Quiet

  • +

    Stunning display

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Poor battery life

  • -

    Occasional overheating issues

  • -

    Mediocre connectivity options

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I know virtually nothing about boxing. But I do know about gaming laptops, which currently come in three main weight classes: nimble 14-inch flyweights, 16-inch all-round middleweights, and knockout 18-inch heavyweights (with the odd 17-inch machine thrown in). 

The HP Omen Transcend 14 on review here belongs to the first category. In fact it's one of the most compact gaming laptops on the market right now. But does it strike like a heavyweight as one of the best gaming laptops you can buy? That's what we're here to explore.

The lightweight gaming rig is a category that looks set to dominate 2024 as the progression of hardware allows for sleek designs without sacrificing power. The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is another 14-inch machine that is also exceptionally stylish, so can the HP do enough to be champion come the final bell?

HP Omen Transcend 14: Price & availability

The HP Omen Transcend (cidename 14-fb0011na if you're searching for specifics) that I was loaned for review is a middle-of-the-range model - both as far as gaming laptops are concerned and as far as the Omen Transcend 14 range goes. 

This model will set you back £1799/$1659 for an Intel Core Ultra 7 Processor and an RTX 4060 GPU. However, the top-spec (14-fb0009na) variant features an Ultra 9 processor and RTX 4070 GPU, which will cost you get more (around £/$2K).

HP Omen Transcend 14 review: Design

HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Future)

I'm used to reviewing gaming laptops with more shall we say... ostentatious designs than the Transcend 14. That's great fun, but when you want something to use on the train or in the office without turning heads, you'll be better off reaching for the HP than something like the ROG Zephyrus G14 (which has a giant illuminated slash on its lid). 

I'm not saying that the Transcend 14 is an ugly machine though. In fact, in its black finish and all-metal case, it's an elegant sight - reminiscent perhaps of a stealth bomber. It's payload? An RGB-packed keyboard (that you can turn off or customise, but of course).

The defining feature of the Transcend 14's design is something you can't really see: its weight. At just 1.75cm thick and weighing just 1.63kg it's no trouble at all in a backpack and is, in fact, HP's lightest gaming PC ever. When it comes to mixing work and play, the design of the Transcend 14 is the best of both worlds. 

HP Omen Transcend 14 review: Display

HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Future)

It may only be a 14-inch screen, but good things come in small packages - and the Transcend 14's display is definitely a good thing. 

The 2880 x 1800 OLED panel is a blessing for the eyes and comes with an 120Hz refresh rate with 0.2ms response time. That's identical to the ROG Zephyrus G14, so again that's no bad thing. 

We have seen laptops with higher refresh rates, but you will be able to get a 120fps frame rate with this 120Hz display, if you play your cards right, which is more than enough.

HP Omen Transcend 14 review: Performance

HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Future)

The proof with all gaming laptops is in the playing. It's all well and good having an attractive machine, but if it can't even play Pac-Man then you've wasted your money. 

That's not the case here, as an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU is part of this solid setup. You won't make the absolute most of the latest AAA titles, but you'll definitely be able to play them comfortably with 16GB of RAM to asssit. 

On 2023's Forza Motorsport, I found myself racing around Laguna Seca at a smooth 60fps on Medium settings. Even while cranking things up to Ultra settings I still managed a playable 45fps.

One area in which gaming laptops often falter is in performance when plugged in versus performance when running on battery power. I actually was impressed that it wasn't such an obvious issue here. With Doom: Eternal running on its highest 'Ultra Nightmare' settings I managed a constant 60fps+ when connected to the power and a fluctuation from 55-60fps when freewheeling it. 

What I would say is that although it wasn't particularly loud, the Transcend 14 does sometimes get pretty hot underneath when gaming, so much so that a couple of times it had to suddenly 'hibernate' to cool off. 

If your are a benchmark enthusiast then you'll like to know that the Transcend 14 registered a 1674 single-core score on the Geekbench CPU test, a 6240 multi-core score, while the GPU clocked in at 22,260.

HP Omen Transcend 14 review: Features 

HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Future)

Ports might not be a particularly exciting part of a laptop, but they are essential to how you use it every day. Given the Transcend 14's slim profile, it doesn't offer a massive amount of ports, but it's not terrible. 

You'll find a headphone jack, an HDMI port, two USB-A ports, and two USB-C ports on this machine. However, that's more like one USB-C slot as one is used for charging (this is meant to be the rear port but you can use the side one - but it will charge much slower). 

Having USB-C charging is handy, and while it won't work on just any old charger, it does mean the power brick is almost the same size as a regular laptop's equivalent. Not a giant brick, as is so common among gaming laptops. 

There's no touchscreen here, but the keyboard is an impressively easy-to-use one and it's an enjoyable experience. If you're a gamer/novelist there's no problem here. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1
Weight: 1.63kg
CPU: Intel Core Ultra 7 155H
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060
Display: 14-inch 2880 x 1800 IMAX Enhanced OLED, 120Hz, 0.2ms respons
Storage: 1TB SSD
Webcam: Full HD 1080p
Ports:2x Thunderbolt 4/USB-C, 2x USB-A, 1x HDMI port, 1x 3.5mm headphone jack

HP Omen Transcend 14 review: Battery Life

HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Future)

Now we come to the Achille's heel of pretty much every gaming laptop: battery life. In regular use, they are normally fairly capable if underwhelming, and that's the case here too. 

Using the Transcend like a normal laptop I managed to get about five to six hours - which is a little disappointing, but not uncommon at all. 

You'll do well to hit two hours of demanding play with any gaming laptop and that's something the Transcend falls short of. In use, I was getting between an hour and 90 minutes when stressing that GPU. 

HP Omen Transcend 14: Verdict

HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Future)

If you're after a speedy laptop that can also play AAA games, then the HP Omen Transcend 14 makes a very compelling case. Superlight and portable, it's great whether playing on its OLED display or using one of the best gaming monitors.

What it doesn't offer is a great battery life or a wealth of ports, but it is a competitively priced and smart-looking laptop well worth your time. 

As for the rivalry between it and the Zephyrus G14? There's very little in it. If you're after something more showy go for the G14, but the HP is the more grown-up choice. 

Also consider

As touched upon above, the elephant in the room is the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. It's a similarly slim and light laptop, it also boasts comparative performance, but if you want something with a bit more of an outlandish 'gamer' design then it could be worth your while. 

If you don't mind going bigger and more expensive, we love the MSI Raider GE78HX, which looks like something from classic Star Trek and has a £3000+ price tag - but it runs everything like a dream.

HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Future)
Andy Sansom
Staff Writer

Andy is T3's Tech Staff Writer, covering all things technology, including his biggest passions such as gaming, AI, phones, and basically anything cool and expensive he can get his hands on. If he had to save one possession from a fire it would be his PlayStation 5. He previously worked for Tom’s Guide - where he got paid to play with ChatGPT every day. When it comes to streaming, Andy will have his headphones glued in whilst watching something that will make him laugh. He studied Creative Writing at university, but also enjoys supporting his favourite football team (Liverpool), watching F1, teaching himself guitar, and spending time with his dog.