HP Omen Transcend 14 review: Striving for excellence

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HP Omen Transcend 14

MSRP $1,700.00

“HP’s Omen Transcend 14 is an impressive first step into premium gaming laptops.”

Advantages

  • Beautiful OLED display
  • Solid aluminum body
  • Excellent port selection
  • Great CPU performance

Disadvantages

  • Slightly behind in gaming
  • Exclusively uses USB-C for charging

HP is elevating its laptop game. Despite the fact that its Omen range of laptops have never been poor, a focus on value over build quality and features have kept most Omen machines off the list of the top gaming laptops. The Omen Transcend 14 is a step into more premium laptop designs, albeit with a few stumbles.

It’s a slender and lightweight 14-inch gaming laptop with a stunning OLED display and a price that’s highly competitive with options from Asus and Razer. Some peculiar choices in specifications hold back the performance of the laptop, however, but I hope to see them resolved in the second iteration of this machine.

HP Omen Transcend 14 specifications

The back of the HP Omen Transcend 14.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

HP offers the Omen Transcend 14 in a few different configurations, and unlike competing laptops from Razer and Asus, HP bases the design around one of Intel’s new Meteor Lake processors. HP ties the CPU and GPU choices together, so you don’t have an opportunity to mix and match the handful of options.

Both the RTX 4050 and RTX 4060 configurations come with a Core Ultra 7 155H, which is a 16-core processor that can boost up to 4.8GHz. The RTX 4070 configuration comes with a Core Ultra 9 185H, which also features 16 cores, but with a higher 5.1GHz boost clock. This configuration also comes with 32GB of soldered memory, while the other configurations are stuck at 16GB.

It’s odd that HP stuck with Intel’s processors for this generation around how they compare to the competition from AMD for gaming performance. My bigger issue is the memory configuration, however. Given that this is soldered memory, it would be nice to see a 32GB option across configurations to give the laptop a bit more life.

  HP Omen Transcend 14 (2024)
Dimensions 12.32 x 9.19 x 0.67 inches
Weight 3.6 pounds
Processor Intel Core Ultra 7 155H (16 cores, 4.8GHz boost clock)
Graphics Nvidia RTX 4060 (90W TGP)
RAM 16GB
Display 2.8K (2,880 x 1,800), OLED, 16:10, 120Hz
Storage  1TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD
Touch N/A
Ports 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1x Thunderbolt 4, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x 3.5mm headphone
Wireless Bluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi 6E
Webcam 1080p with Windows Hello
Operating system Windows 11 Home
Battery 71 WHr
Price $1,700
Where to buy

For storage, HP oddly doesn’t default to 1TB, which is what we see with other 14-inch gaming laptops. A base configuration on HP’s website starts at a 512GB SSD, and upgrading that to 1TB is a $90 upcharge. Thankfully, the preconfigured options available at a retailer like Best Buy start with 1TB of storage, so this shouldn’t be issue unless you’re ordering the laptop directly from HP.

One option that remains the same across configurations is the 2.8K OLED display. This is the same display we saw on the 2024 Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, and it’s gorgeous. I have some questions about the resolution, but I’ll dig into those later.

Pricing falls directly where I’d expect. The RTX 4070 configuration is $2,000, matching the price of the 2024 Zephyrus G14 and coming in $700 cheaper than the Razer Blade 14. Interestingly, the RTX 4060 is $1,700, which is $100 more than what Asus is asking for a similar configuration.

A sleek design

Logo on the HP Omen Transcend 14.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The Omen Transcend 14 might be the best-looking gaming laptop HP has ever made. It takes cues from HP’s more mainstream designs like the Spectre x360, with rounded edges on the exterior, as well as the lid and body of the laptop. This doesn’t look like a gaming laptop, and in this category of 14-inch laptops that’s trying to do everything under one roof, that’s a good thing.

The body is made from aluminum, though it doesn’t feel nearly as premium as something like the Razer Blade 14. I’m not sure if it’s the thickness of the aluminum or the overall construction, but there’s a bit of flex on the key deck. I’m not worried in the slightest about the durability of the laptop, especially given the robust screen hinge, but the feel in your hands falls slightly short of the most expensive Blade options.

Forza Horizon 5 running on the HP Omen Transcend 14.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

It’s a fair trade-off for a laptop that’s significantly cheaper, however. Elsewhere, HP even has an edge. The Omen Transcend 14 is surprisingly thin at 0.67 inches in the front and 0.71 inches in the rear, matching what Razer offers, but HP’s laptop is significantly lighter at 3.6 pounds. Asus still has the lead in portability with its 2024 Zephyrus G14 at 3.3 pounds, but HP isn’t far behind.

Between the Razer Blade 14, Omen Transcend 14, and Asus Zephyrus G14, HP falls squarely in the middle. This isn’t the thinnest or lightest, nor the thickest or heaviest, and its design, although attractive, is a bit more pedestrian than what you’ll find on competing laptops. Whether that’s a positive or negative is up to you.

Ports

Side ports on the HP Omen Transcend 14.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The Omen Transcend 14 has a standard port selection, matching exactly what you get on the 2024 Zephyrus G14. There’s an HDMI 2.1 port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, and a Thunderbolt 4 connection. Both the USB-C ports are capable of power delivery and DisplayPort modes, while the Thunderbolt 4 connection is also used for charging.

Although there are two USB-C ports technically, you’ll be occupying one for charging most of the time. HP also uses a 140-watt USB-C charger, which isn’t large enough to run the GPU and CPU at their maximum power. Similar to the Alienware x14 R2, it feels like you hit a performance wall in certain titles, particularly the most demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077. 

Back ports on the HP Omen Transcend 14.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

HP lays out the ports in an interesting way. The USB-C port for charging is placed around the back of the laptop, along with the full-size HDMI 2.1 port. This keeps the bulkiest connections out of your way, and I love the design. On the right, you’ll find the two USB-A ports near the back of the machine, and on the left, the remaining USB-C and 3.5mm headphone jack are centered.

It’s a great selection and a solid layout, but I’m still questioning the choice to

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