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HP unveiled the lightest 14-inch gaming laptop in the world at CES 2024

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Sometimes the never-ending quest to shave an extra gram or millimeter off a new laptop can become a bore. However, when a company can do it without cutting too many corners, that deserves some attention. And that’s what HP has done with the new Omen Transcend 14, which is making its debut at CES 2024 as the lightest 14-inch gaming laptop in the world.

Weighing just 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg), the Omen Transcend 14 is much closer in size and lightness to an ultraportable than an average gaming laptop. To put that into context, that’s just 0.1 pounds heavier than a 14-inch MacBook Pro and 0.15 pounds lighter than rival super-portable gaming laptops like the ASUS ROG Zepyrys G14. And while it’s not quite as powerful as the larger Omen Transcend 16, it certainly won’t be hurting for performance thanks to support for 14th-gen Intel Core Ultra 7 or Ultra 9 processor, up to 32GB of DDR5 RAM, 2TB of storage and an RTX 4070 GPU.

Critically, despite its petite dimensions, you still get two USB-A and two USB-C ports (one of which supports Thunderbolt 4) plus a full-size HDMI 2.1 jack around back. And for those who want peak wireless speeds, you’ll also have the option to upgrade to Wi-Fi 7 card with Bluetooth 5.4.

The Transcend 14 does feature a Meteor Lake chip with a dedicated NPU, but don’t expect any game-changing breakthroughs in terms of AI capabilities. At HP’s demo station, I saw the Omen run Cyberpunk 2077 smoothly at a 2K resolution while simultaneously livestreaming using OBS at 1080p. In this situation, the laptop was offloading camera effects to the NPU, which provides a small performance bump as that task would normally be handled by the GPU. AI is destined to be a big buzzword at CES 2024, but this is probably the most realistic example of what you should expect on next-gen notebooks.

Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

The Transcend 14’s display looks great, packing a 2.8K (2,880 x 1,800) OLED panel with a variable 120Hz refresh rate. It supports HDR with a peak brightness of 500 nits and a wide color gamut that colors 100 percent of the DCI-P3 spectrum. Meanwhile sound is handled by a pair of DTS:X Ultra speakers, though an interesting change for 2024 is that following HP’s acquisition in 2021, the Transcend 14’s audio tuning will now be handled by its in-house sub-brand HyperX. This comes with the added bonus of the Transcend 14 having a built-in wireless receiver for the company’s Cloud III headphones. So, if you already have a pair or decide to purchase some later, you won’t have to waste one of your precious USB ports on a dongle.

The HP Omen Transcend 14 also features a more translucent lattice between its keys that lets the RGB backlight really shine through.

Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

The Transcend 14 shares a lot of design traits with its 16-inch sibling (which is getting a spec refresh and new OLED panel option for 2024) including minimalist lines with a matte finish in classic black alongside a new white color option. The two main differences are that on the smaller model, the trackpad is centered on its deck while the keyboard features a more translucent lattice that allows HP’s RGB backlighting to pop even more. I think this makes the Transcend look especially good in white, where it looks slightly out of place on the black model, but to each their own.

I really appreciate that HP paid attention to little details that matter for travel-ready gaming laptop, like opting for USB-C power delivery. This means you can use the Omen’s adapter to juice up other gadgets like a phone or a tablet instead of needing a separate charging brick for each device.

The Transcend 14 also comes with a brilliant OLED display with a 120Hz refresh and full VRR support.

Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

In a vacuum, the goal of being the lightest isn’t all that important. But when a company like HP can make a laptop that’s easy to carry around that also has solid specs and a slick design, that’s when superlatives come into play. And with a starting price of $1,600, HP isn’t demanding a huge premium for a machine this sleek. That said, with some other extremely sleek gaming PCs due out at CES 2024, it’s unclear how long the Transcend 14 will hold this title.

The Omen Transcend 14 is expected to go on sale sometime in Q1 2024.

We’re reporting live from CES 2024 in Las Vegas from January 6-12. Keep up with all the latest news from the show here.

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