RESEARCH NOTE: HP at CES 2024 – New Premium Notebooks and Gaming Peripherals

By Anshel Sag - January 8, 2024

At CES 2024 we’ve seen a flurry of announcements for PCs that use Intel’s new Core Ultra processors with new chiplet architecture and integrated AI capabilities. HP is undoubtedly a part of this AI PC trend in its consumer and gaming notebooks. However, HP has also inherited a thriving peripheral business from its acquisitions of Poly and HyperX, both of which have been extremely successful in their respective areas of collaboration and gaming peripherals.

At CES 2024, HP focused on its Spectre x360 and Omen Transcend notebooks, but also fielded some impressive accessories and integrations. We are finally starting to see how Poly and HyperX enhance the HP sub-brands across client, commercial devices, and gaming.

The HP Spectre x360 14 Inch in tent mode

Spectre x360 14- and 16-Inch

HP offers the popular Spectre x360 2-in-1 convertible in two new flavors, 14-inch and 16-inch, with different configuration options. One constant for both models is the Intel Core Ultra 7 155H processor as the high-end CPU, with the 14-inch model also offering a Core Ultra 5 125H. I’m a little surprised that the 16-inch model doesn’t offer a higher performance processor like an Intel Core Ultra 9 185H, as some of its competitors do. However, HP does offer an NVIDIA RTX 4050 discrete graphics option in addition to Intel Arc graphics.

For displays, both laptops have a 2880 x 1800, 120 Hz, 500-nit HDR OLED touch-enabled option with VESA Trueblack HDR 400 certification. However, the 16-inch also offers a lower-resolution 1600p IPS panel with touch and 120 Hz with a slightly lower 400-nit brightness. Both laptops also have options of 16GB or 32GB of RAM. Again, I am a little surprised that HP doesn’t offer a 64GB option, but I suspect we might see that only in enterprise and commercial notebooks instead of premium consumer models. NVMe Gen4 storage capacities for these machines start at 512GB and go up to 2TB.

The similarities continue with the 9-megapixel webcam, which seems like a considerable upgrade—continuing a good trend. HP has been leading the charge on improved webcams for laptops, being one of the first to offer 1080p and 5MP, and now we’re seeing the company up the ante once again. Both laptops also come with Poly Studio audio, which harnesses the expertise from HP’s acquisition of Poly to tune the audio with its quad speakers to enable both DTS:X Ultra and HP Audio Boost. I haven’t yet heard these models in person, but they may be among the first Spectre notebooks without B&O audio tuning. Both laptops also have dual Thunderbolt 4 ports capable of 4 Gbps, as well as DisplayPort 2.1, USB Power Delivery, and a single USB Type-A port with 10 Gbps connectivity. Additional connectivity also includes Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7. (I’d like to see Wi-Fi 7 become standard across the board.)

HP also addressed sustainability by using 90% recycled metal (top cover keyboard deck), 50% recycled plastic including ocean-bound plastic (keycaps, scissors, bezel speaker enclosure), and 100% sustainably sourced recycled wood fiber and cushions in packaging. HP also spoke about additional Intel Core Ultra products coming down the pipeline, including 14-inch and 16-inch Pavilion Plus laptops, HP 15.6 and 14 notebooks, and 27-inch and 23.8-inch All-in-One systems.

The HP Omen Transcend 14 in Ceramic White

Omen Transcend 14 and 16 Gaming Notebooks

The HP Omen line of laptops also gets a refresh, with the Transcend 14 and 16 benefiting from new processors. The Transcend 14 has new Intel Core Ultra processors, with options starting from the Core Ultra 7 155H and going up to the Core Ultra 9 185H. The Transcend 16 gets an entirely different treatment with an upgrade from the Intel Core 13th Gen series to the Intel Core 14th Gen, up to the Core i9-14900HX. This difference enables a higher TDP with more and faster cores than the Intel Core Ultra series currently offers. I think this is the right balance for the types of performance profiles that HP is looking to hit with each laptop model. However, I am a little surprised that the GPU offerings on both laptops cap out with the NVIDIA RTX 4070, which seems reasonable for a 14-inch notebook but feels a little weak for a 16-inch notebook. I know that the Transcend family is supposed to deliver a thinner and lighter gaming experience, but on a 16-inch machine I would have liked to see an RTX 4080 or even an RTX 4090 option.

The Omen Transcend 14 comes with a new 140-watt Type-C power adapter that charges the laptop 40% in only 30 minutes—an excellent accessory for anyone on the go. The Transcend 14 also comes with a gorgeous 120 Hz 2880 x 1800 OLED panel, which seems to have identical specs to the display on the Spectre x360 14-inch mentioned earlier. One of my favorite innovations HP has implemented in the Transcend 14 is the audio tuning by HyperX paired with built-in connectivity for the HyperX Cloud III wireless headset. This is something I’ve been begging tier-one PC makers to do with their systems to maximize the “better together” story and give customers more reasons to buy first-party peripherals. The need to carry around dongles is extremely annoying across mice, keyboards, and headsets, and I hope to see HP and HyperX expand this built-in connectivity to mice and keyboards too.

Comparing the two laptops, the Omen Transcend 14 feels like the right balance of size and power, especially with the new Core Ultra processors and the AI capabilities that will come with that. HP claims the Transcend 14 is the world’s lightest 14-inch gaming notebook, thanks to its construction with high-strength aluminum. From my perspective, HP has nailed the Transcend 14, but I think they could have pushed the envelope a little harder with the 16, which seems less compelling.

The Omen Transcend OLED gaming monitor pictured with the Transcend 14 laptop

Omen Transcend 32 OLED Gaming Monitor

Aside from the Transcend 14, the Transcend 32 OLED is one of my favorite new products coming from HP. The company has taken Samsung’s latest QD-OLED panels and combined them with a plethora of connectivity and power. The Transcend 32 OLED has a 4K 240 Hz QD-OLED, which is one of the newest and highest-resolution QD-OLED panels out there; this panel will likely become the standard for most gamers wanting to have the best image quality. This panel also supports DisplayHDR TrueBlack 400 from VESA, while having a peak brightness of 1,000 Nits in HDR. The panel’s color accuracy is great, with 100% sRGB, 99% DCI-P3, and 97.5% Adobe sRGB coverage. The GtG (gray-to-gray) response time is also a staggering 0.03 milliseconds, which is exactly what you’d expect from a QD-OLED gaming monitor. This is a 3X improvement from the previous generation of QD-OLED displays, which were already heralded as the best for gaming. I expect most gaming monitors with this QD-OLED panel will have similar specs.

HP has set itself apart with the connectivity and power options on the Transcend 32 OLED. Traditionally, most high-end gaming monitors come with DisplayPort and maybe an HDMI port or two. This monitor has both of those, with DisplayPort 2.1 and HDMI 2.1. It goes beyond that with the USB connectivity: it has three 10 Gbps USB-A ports, a 10 Gbps USB-C port, and a special DisplayPort Alt-mode-capable 140-watt USB-C upstream port with AdaptiveSync support. This means that a user can easily connect something like a Transcend 14 notebook with a single cable and have the keyboard, mouse, and headset all connected directly to the monitor using only a single port on the laptop —while simultaneously providing power to the laptop for full-performance and charging. The only port I see missing is a 2.5G Ethernet port enabling low-latency stable internet connectivity. This monitor is also missing G-Sync certification, but it does have AMD’s FreeSync Premium Pro and VESA ClearMR, which means that it should still deliver a good experience but won’t necessarily support all of NVIDIA’s G-Sync capabilities. I would love to see this monitor paired with a Transcend 14 notebook since that notebook was designed with a 140-watt USB-C charger in mind.

HyperX Peripherals

HP also announced a bevy of HyperX peripherals for gamers of all ages. First, HP released the Cloud Mini Wired and Wireless headsets; these are specifically targeted towards children, with audio safeguards that limit audio levels to 85 dB. Also for younger gamers, HP announced the Clutch Tanto Mini wired controller, which is officially licensed by Xbox but is also compatible with other platforms. Both products are recommended for children ages 8 to 12; from a marketing perspective, this is a great age for a brand to introduce itself to kids before they can make their own buying decisions.

The new HyperX Alloy Rise and Rise 75 keyboards

Also at CES 2024, HP announced the HyperX Alloy Rise and Rise 75 keyboards with hot-swappable key switches, smart ambient light sensors, and a gasket-mounted keyboard. I like to see more brands adding support for hot-swappable switches because I believe that all mechanical keyboards should offer this as a standard feature to enable customization and reuse of keyboards. HyperX understands that offering interchangeable top plates, badge packs, and switches further enhances the personalization that gamers are looking for today.

In addition to the keyboards and kid peripherals, HP also announced the HyperX Pulsefire Haste 2 Mini Wireless mouse (yes that’s a mouthful). This extremely lightweight, long-battery-life mouse is 16% smaller than the existing Haste 2 mouse. The new model weighs a paltry 59 grams, making it an extremely attractive mouse for users with smaller hands. HP also announced the Knight and Delta backpacks, which are designed to make it easy to stylishly and comfortably carry all of your HyperX peripherals with your Omen laptop.

Wrapping up

It seems that HP’s newest additions to its product lines refine the company’s vision for the AI PC and how it sees gaming moving forward. The Spectre 14 and Omen Transcend 14 seem like the focal points of the brand’s new line of products, each shipping with Intel’s latest AI-enabled Core Ultra processors and having a healthy balance of performance and features that complement the brand’s strengths. I am also highly impressed with what HP is doing with integrating the Poly and HyperX brands. I’m particularly happy to see HP doing hardware integrations with the HyperX Cloud III wireless headset; I want to see more integrations like this from HP and other OEMs. The Transcend 32 OLED will be a gorgeous monitor, and I can’t wait to see how seamlessly it integrates with an Omen Transcend 14 gaming notebook. All in all, these CES 2024 announcements make for a great set of upgrades in this area for HP.

Anshel Sag
VP & Principal Analyst| Website| + posts

Anshel Sag is Moor Insights & Strategy’s in-house millennial with over 15 years of experience in the IT industry. Anshel has had extensive experience working with consumers and enterprises while interfacing with both B2B and B2C relationships, gaining empathy and understanding of what users really want. Some of his earliest experience goes back as far as his childhood when he started PC gaming at the ripe of old age of 5 while building his first PC at 11 and learning his first programming languages at 13.