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I tried the world’s lightest 14-inch gaming laptop — here’s what surprised me

HP Omen Transcend 14 sitting next to a window.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

I’ve been on the hunt for a gaming laptop that doesn’t feel like one. Something thin, highly portable, but still plenty powerful. HP says it has the laptop I’ve been looking for: the Omen Transcend 14, which it says is the “world’s lightest 14-inch gaming laptop.” And yes, that’s a quote.

It is, indeed, super thin and light, which was immediately noticeable when I had a chance to try out the laptop ahead of CES 2024. HP has a lot of competition to get through, but the Omen Transcend 14 looks like it’s up for the fight.

We can’t start anywhere else but the weight. HP claims the Omen Transcend 14 is 3.61 pounds, which, at this moment, makes it the world’s lightest 14-inch gaming laptop. The Razer Blade 14 is 3.92 pounds, and the 2023 Zephyrus G14 is 3.64 pounds. I strongly suspect HP won’t hold the title of having the lightest 14-inch gaming laptop for long (watch out for other CES announcements from Digital Trends).

Ports on the HP Omen Transcend 14 gaming laptop.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Regardless, this is still a very light laptop, and it’s thin at only 0.7 inches thick. It may not claim the title of thinnest and lightest 14-inch gaming laptop for long, but it doesn’t need to. This is still an extremely portable gaming laptop and a step in the right direction for HP’s Omen brand after the disappointing Omen 16 I reviewed last year.

In addition to the lightest claim, HP also says the Omen Transcend 14 is the coolest. I could see some Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay on the laptop, and I couldn’t hear the fans — though, my demo was in a rather large demo room with about 30 people. It was warm, but not hot. It’s hard to say with any certainty if this is indeed the coolest 14-inch gaming laptop, but it definitely isn’t a loud, hot monster.

HP says the laptop is constructed from an aluminum body, but it doesn’t feel that way. There’s a soft plastic feel on the outside. That’s not a bad thing. It’s similar to the feeling of the Lenovo Legion Pro 5, just much thinner.

The screen on the HP Omen Transcend 14 gaming laptop.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

However, HP loses me at the keyboard. It’s a bit mushy, and there are translucent edges around each key as if HP attempted to put a pudding keycap on a laptop keyboard. It cheapens the look of what is otherwise a premium gaming laptop. You have per-key RGB lighting, and the keyboard looks better with everything lit up. I still much prefer a traditional keycap on such an expensive laptop.

Thankfully, HP makes up for it with a stunning display. OLED is here for gaming laptops, and HP is taking advantage with a 120Hz panel that holds a 2.8K resolution (2880 x 1800). In addition to DisplayHDR True Black 400 certification, the display is capable of up to 500 nits of peak brightness and variable refresh rate from 48Hz up to 120Hz.

It looks incredible. The brightness is searing for OLED, and the colors explode off the screen. It’s a huge upgrade for Omen, as last year’s Omen 16 featured a disappointing IPS panel with middling color and poor brightness. This finally feels like a laptop worth its price.

The HyperX logo on the HP Omen Transcend 14 gaming laptop.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

HP isn’t playing coy with the price, thankfully. The laptop starts at $1,600 and is available for preorder now.

For that, you get the base configuration, which comes with 512GB of storage, an RTX 4050, and an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H. This is one of the few gaming laptops we’ve seen sporting Intel’s new Meteor Lake CPUs, which is interesting compared to other laptops we expect to see at CES this year.

You can scale much higher — HP offers up to an RTX 4070 and a Core Ultra 9 185H, with 2TB of storage and 32GB of LPDDR5x-7467 memory. We have no word on pricing for a tricked-out configuration yet, but hopefully, it won’t be too far off considering the Omen Transcend 14’s already high base price.

There are a few great features that stretch across the configurations. You get Thunderbolt 4, which supports up to 140W of power delivery over USB-C, and the laptop supports both Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7. I’m not sure how many Wi-Fi 7 routers are floating around, but it’s nice that the laptop is equipped with the latest wireless tech.

The HP Omen Transcend 14 gaming laptop sitting on a table.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

From early impressions, HP has a very compelling laptop from what has traditionally been a middling brand. A slim form and OLED elevate the Omen Transcend 14 and make it feel like a laptop worthy of that Transcend badge. The price isn’t bad, either, though I do hope it doesn’t get too much more expensive with more powerful GPUs.

The features and price are right, meaning the Omen Transcend 14 will live and die based on its cooling solution and battery life. For now, all we can do is wait until we’ve had a chance to evaluate the machine fully.

Editors' Recommendations

Jacob Roach
Senior Staff Writer, Computing
Jacob Roach is a writer covering computing and gaming at Digital Trends. After realizing Crysis wouldn't run on a laptop, he…
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