HP Omen Transcend 14 review: A stylish gaming laptop

Don't let its appearance fool you — this is indeed a gaming laptop

HP Omen Transcend 14
(Image: © Tom's Guide)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The HP Omen Transcend 14 delivers the goods thanks to its great gaming performance, classy design, vibrant OLED display and RGB-lit keyboard. While its battery life disappoints and it only has effective USB-C charging via one port, its strengths outweigh its deficiencies.


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    Solid gaming performance

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    Vivid OLED display

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    Elegant design

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    Comfortable keyboard


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    Only USB-C charging

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    Poor battery life

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    AI features might not be useful for all

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The HP Omen Transcend 14 ($1,499 to start) is a gaming laptop that doesn’t look the part. Though it sports RGB lighting on its keyboard, you could easily mistake this notebook for a business ultraportable. In fact, HP is marketing it as “the world’s lightest 14-inch gaming laptop.” It’s a fetching machine that won’t look out of place at the office or at home.

Besides design, the other notable thing about the HP Omen Transcend 14 is that it packs an Intel Core Ultra “Meteor Lake” chip. With “AI laptops” being all the rage nowadays, this laptop could take advantage of all the fancy AI features we’ve heard so much about.

Even if you don’t care about AI features, the Omen Transcend 14 is an excellent mid-range gaming laptop. Thanks to its Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 laptop GPU, you can confidently play many of the best PC games in medium settings. The bright and colorful 14-inch 2.8K 120Hz OLED display also ensures those games look and run phenomenally. Battery life isn’t so great, which is expected for a gaming laptop. However, since this can also double as your everyday notebook, the limited battery life could be a problem.

Though the HP Omen Transcend 14 is technically an “AI laptop” due to its NPU, the main thing I like about it is that it’s a sleek and elegant machine for playing games. I’m not a fan of gaudy-looking gaming laptops, so the Omen Transcend 14 is suited to my particular aesthetic tastes. Sure, it’s pricey at $1,499, but that’s still more affordable than higher-end gaming notebooks. Anyone looking for a solid mid-range gaming laptop that won’t shatter their bank account would do well to give this svelte machine a shot.

Right now, the HP Omen Transcend 14 is my favorite gaming laptop of the year. Find out why in my full review.

HP Omen Transcend 14 review: Cheat sheet

  • What is it? The HP Omen Transcend 14 is a mid-range gaming laptop with a design akin to a business notebook.
  • How much does it cost? The HP Omen Transcend starts at $1,499 on HP’s website and features an Intel Core Ultra 5 CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 GPU, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.
  • Who is it for? For anyone who wants a decently powerful gaming laptop with a subdued design.
  • What do we like? Its elegant design, solid performance and vibrant display.
  • What do we dislike? Poor battery life and USB-C exclusive charging. 

HP Omen Transcend 14 hands-on review: Specs

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Header Cell - Column 0 HP Omen Transcend 14 (starting)HP Omen Transcend 14 (tested)
Display14-inch 2.8K (2,880 x 1,800) OLED, 120Hz, 0.2ms14-inch 2.8K (2,880 x 1,800) OLED, 120Hz, 0.2ms
CPUIntel Core Ultra 7 155HIntel Core Ultra 7 155H
GPUNvidia GeForce RTX 4050Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060
Ports2x Thunderbolt 4/USB-C, 2x USB-A, 1x HDMI, 1x headphone jacx2x Thunderbolt 4/USB-C, 2x USB-A, 1x HDMI, 1x headphone jack
ColorsShadow Black, Ceramic WhiteShadow Black, Ceramic White
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3
Battery life8 hours (rated)4:09 hours (non-gaming) | 0:58 (gaming)
Dimensions12.3 x 9.1 x 0.7 inches12.3 x 9.1 x 0.7 inches
Weight3.6 pounds3.6 pounds

HP Omen Transcend 14 review: The ups

The HP Omen Transcend 14 has a lot going in its favor. Its thin profile and lightweight make it easy to take wherever you go. And since it doesn’t resemble a gaming laptop, you won’t get stares when using it outdoors. Performance is generally solid at medium settings and 1080p resolution, and games look phenomenal on the OLED display. 

Strong 1080p performance 

HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The HP Omen Transcend 14 we reviewed features an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU, an Intel Core Ultra 7 CPU and 16GB of RAM. While these specs aren’t great for gaming at 4K and 60 frames per second with graphical settings on max, they’re plenty for 1080p gaming at medium settings. You can have a good time with this laptop, so long as you keep your expectations in check.

I fired up Doom Eternal and Cyberpunk 2077 and ran them both at 1080p resolution and medium settings. I wasn’t surprised that the well-optimized Doom Eternal ran between 120 to 140 frames per second. Cyberpunk 2077, which isn’t as well optimized, ran between 30 and 40 fps. For the latter, I enabled XeSS, which is Intel’s answer to Nvidia’s DLSS frame-boosting technology. Without XeSS, the game ran around 25 to 30 fps (and sometimes lower). 

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Frame rate results (@ 1080p)
Header Cell - Column 0 HP Omen Transcend 14
Assassin’s Creed: Mirage66 fps
Borderlands 363 fps
Far Cry 663 fps

We saw similar results in our lab tests. Assassin’s Creed: Mirage, Borderlands 3 and Far Cry 6 all ran at just a little over 60 frames per second at 1080p. Frame rates took a tumble at the native 1800p resolution, but remained above 40 fps. The Alienware m16 R2, with its beefier RTX 4070 GPU, ran the former two titles at 100 fps and the latter at 87 in 1080p.

Given its specs, the Omen Transcend 14 can handle everyday workloads without much hassle. During work, I had over 30 open tabs with YouTube running in the background and never saw a hint of the laptop slowing down when switching tabs and windows. This machine is also good at video editing and rendering, though the best MacBooks are better suited for those tasks. 

Elegant design

HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The HP Omen Transcend 14 is one of the most understated gaming laptops I’ve ever seen. You could easily mistake it for a non-gaming laptop if you didn't know better. There is no RGB lighting or flashy logos anywhere on its thin and sturdy machined aluminum chassis, for example. Thanks to this subdued design, you won’t receive any sideways glances if you’re at a cafe or the office when using this notebook.

HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The main thing that denotes the HP Omen Transcend 14 as a gaming device is its 4-zone RGB keyboard. Most of the lighting shines from around the keys, spilling over the rest of the keyboard deck. It’s a cool effect, especially on the Ceramic White version I reviewed.

HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

A lot of gaming laptops aren’t made for travel due to their bulk and size, but at 12.3 x 9.1 x 0.7 inches and weighing 3.6 pounds, the Transcend 14 is an excellent travel companion. I almost forgot I had it in my bag whenever I took it on the road. Its smooth surface and sturdy build also make it feel great to hold.

Bright and vibrant display 

HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Thanks to the 14-inch 2.8K OLED display, games look as good as they perform. I had no trouble picking out small details in Cyberpunk 2077 and Doom Eternal. Both titles feature a lot of colorful environments, which were further enhanced by the panel’s oversaturated hues. The bright OLED panel also did a great job of amplifying dark and light elements. 

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Display benchmarks
Header Cell - Column 0 HP Omen Transcend 14Alienware m16 R2
Nits (brightness)392287

Naturally, watching videos is also enjoyable on this display. This was especially true when I watched the final trailer for Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire. There were a lot of quick cuts and fast action, but the 120Hz refresh rate ensured everything moved smoothly. Godzilla’s neon-pink dorsal plates and atomic blasts also appeared vivid and bold. 

Excellent for typing 

HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

I’m not the biggest fan of laptop keyboards, but I had a fun time typing on the Omen Transcend 14.

Thick keycaps and good travel distance helped me maintain my usual typing speed of around 55 words per minute. I also liked how bouncy the keys were and the satisfying clicks they produced. The soft RGB glow under the keys was the proverbial icing on the cake. This is a gaming laptop worth typing on.

HP Omen Transcend 14 review: The downs

The HP Omen Transcend 14 has more strengths than weaknesses. However, some design aspects and features mar the experience.

Exclusively uses USB-C to charge 

HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Given its thin design, the HP Omen Transcend doesn't offer many ports. You get a pair of USB-C ports, another pair of USB-A, an HDMI port and a headphone jack. Gaming laptops tend to have more ports than these, but the port selection isn’t terrible. You can always pair this laptop with the best wireless gaming mice, best wireless keyboards and best wireless gaming headsets if you need to free up ports.

Since gaming laptops don’t tend to have great battery life (more on that shortly), you’ll need to keep this notebook connected when playing games. Not only for battery life but to maintain steady performance. However, that means using the USB-C port over on the back — leaving you with just one free USB-C port.

The USB-C port on the rear of the laptop is the one that’s intended for plugging in the power cable. Plugging the cable into the port on the left edge of the laptop will power the laptop and display the "charging" icon in the system tray, but it will charge slower.

While this laptop features two USB-C ports, you can only really use one since the other is used for charging.

Poor battery life, even for a gaming laptop 

HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

As I said, gaming laptops usually have poor battery life compared to non-gaming notebooks. If you’re lucky, you might be able to squeeze out two hours of non-stop game time. This is true for the Omen Transcend, but don’t expect to get anything close to two hours of battery while gaming. 

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Battery test results (hours:mins)
Header Cell - Column 0 GamingProductivity
HP Omen Transcend 140:584:09
Alienware m16 R20:536:12

In our battery test, we found that the HP Omen Transcend 14 lasted a measly 58 minutes in the PCMark 10 battery life test. It lasted a little over 4 hours when not gaming — which isn’t so great either if you plan to get work done on this machine while you’re out and about.

As is always the case with gaming laptops, you’ll need to keep this machine plugged in to get the most out of it. But for a laptop that’s also meant for everyday work, it’s disappointing to report that battery life won’t even get you through half a normal workday.

AI features that might not mean much 

HP Omen Transcend 14

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Like the Alienware m16 R2 and Acer Swift Go 14, the HP Omen Transcend 14 packs an Intel Meteor Lake chip that’s built for AI workloads. Right now, programs like OBS, GIMP and Audacity have AI features meant to streamline your work. If you use these programs often, this laptop could boost your productivity. Conversely, the AI capabilities could be useless if you don’t use programs that utilize the processor’s NPU.

At the moment, there isn’t a lot of software that truly takes advantage of Meteor Lake chips. I won’t say this is a deal breaker if you’re interested in an “AI” laptop, but you should know AI features are currently about as necessary as 8K televisions. It’s cool that they exist, but you won’t get much out of them.

HP Omen Transcend 14 review: Verdict

The HP Omen Transcend 14 isn’t flawless, but its strengths outweigh its weaknesses.

After spending a week with it, the HP Omen Transcend 14 feels like a gaming laptop made for people like me. Its understated ultraportable design makes it an ideal travel partner that won’t get you sideways glances on the train. Performance is also excellent at 1080p and medium settings, and I had a blast with the RGB keyboard. The bright and colorful OLED is another big selling point.

Admittedly, the battery life isn’t great and its AI features might not mean much to most people. I also don’t like that it only uses USB-C charging — and only charges as intended with just one of the ports. While there’s not much you can do about the latter, you can ignore the AI features (if you even notice they exist) and can always keep the laptop plugged in when gaming — which is typical for gaming laptops.

The HP Omen Transcend 14 might not be the best gaming laptop for everyone, but if you’re looking for a decently powerful 1080p gaming notebook with style, it’s a machine worth considering.

Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.