The laptop industry can get monotonous at times with the same basic laptops being released under different name tags. However, once in a blue moon, you get an anomaly like the HP Omen X 2S that just blows your whole idea of a conventional gaming laptop out of the water. Dubbed the ‘first dual screen gaming laptop’, the Omen X 2S was unveiled today at the HP Gaming Festival in Beijing and features a secondary display that is integrated into the chassis just above the keyboard. The Omen X 2S also packs some serious specs to power its dual displays paired with a whole new innovative thermal solution to keep it cool. Let’s break everything down one by one and see if the laptop is actually worth the money or if the secondary display is just a gimmick.
The first time you hold the laptop, you notice the weight and the build quality of the laptop. While it is still bulky, the Omen X 2S is nowhere near as heavy as some of its competitors. The full metal chassis feels very sturdy and there are absolutely no compromises being made when it comes to the build quality. The first thing you notice when you open up the laptop is, of course, that secondary display. It is a 6-inch touchscreen display sitting above the keyboard. The display can be used for multitasking or mirroring a specific element of the main display. Meanwhile, the primary display has multiple configuration options. It starts at a 1080P 144 Hz IPS panel that can be upgraded to 240Hz and supports both G-Sync and FreeSync for that sweet variable framerate. A 4K HDR variant of the display is also available for selection. The display is connected to the main chassis via a relatively narrow hinge. However, there was no visible wobble and the hinge felt robust.
The bezels are also up to the 2019 standards with only the top bezel being relatively large to accommodate a webcam. The laptop has a decent port selection on both sides with plenty of full sized USB Type-A ports, a USB Type-C port, and an HDMI port added for good measure. The keyboard of the Omen X 2S moves down to accommodate the secondary display and for better thermal performance. It is average at best with mediocre key travel and no area for you to rest your wrists while typing. Similarly, the touchpad also goes down to the bottom right corner and is an average performer. This is a common theme with most gaming laptops these days as most people just connect external mice and keyboard with them. However, if for some reason, you’re getting this for on-the-go productivity, you’d be very disappointed with the results.
You can find laptops with the same specs elsewhere too but what sets the Omen X 2S apart, is the secondary display. As mentioned earlier, the 6-inch touchscreen secondary display sits just above the keyboard and can be used for multitasking. It is like having a second display on your desktop for additional tasks like Spotify, Discord, watching streams, and keeping track of stats etc. This can be particularly useful for streamers as they could have their streams and chat open on the secondary display while gaming and streaming on the go. It also has a real-time screen mirroring feature that lets you magnify some parts of the main display. For example, you could have the minimap open on the secondary display while playing a game. You could also have a tutorial or walkthrough open on it guiding you through a puzzle in a game.
The secondary display is like the Apple MacBook’s touch bar on steroids. However, much like the MacBook, this falls apart when it comes to real life usage as well. The display sits flat with the chassis meaning that unless you have the laptop right in your lap, it can be pretty hard to see. As far as the main display is concerned, it is a very well calibrated IPS panel and gets fairly bright. The 240 Hz variant is a godsend and can really make a difference in competitive gaming.
The HP Omen X 2S is an absolute beast when it comes to raw power and performance. Like most other laptops, the X 2S also comes in multiple configurations. These go up to an Octacore Intel 9th Gen Core i9 processor paired with 32 GB of RAM, 2 TB SSD and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU. The laptop starts from $2,099 for the base variant and the price goes up as you add better stuff. Now, every laptop that has top tier specs like these is always going to be prone to thermal throttling. However, this is not the case here. The Omen X 2S has a unique cooling system that cools down the CPU using a liquid metal compound. This helps with keeping the temperatures stable even at higher clock speeds. Consequently, the X 2S absolutely breezes through every task you throw at it and doesn’t break a sweat even during heavy workloads.
The liquid compound is accompanied by a three-way cooling system with vents for airflow present all over the laptop. HP has been raving on about their innovative cooling technique and the company claims that this thermal solution can boost the performance by up to a whopping 28 percent. While these numbers look solid on paper, the real life results may vary. However, during our normal usage, we did not run into any thermal throttling issues even while running the most demanding games. Most demanding games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Anthem ran perfectly well with all the settings cranked up to maximum. On the other side, the Omen X 2S is also blazing fast when it comes to productivity tasks and demolished the competition when it came to rendering times and benchmark scores.
The speakers on the laptop are, in classic HP fashion, made by Bang & Olufsen and can get pretty loud so, no complaints here. As for the battery, we do not have solid details on what the actual battery capacity is yet. However, since it is a gaming laptop with beefy specs, we expect the battery life to be below par so be ready to take that power brick with you wherever you go.
Overall, the HP Omen X 2S is an absolute beast when it comes to performance and it also adds some added functionality by using that space above the keyboard for a secondary display. HP also announced a few other things at the festival including a wireless mouse with Qi wireless charging capabilities. This means that, when paired with the Outpost Mousepad which has a Qi wireless charger inside, the mouse can charge itself while it is in use via the mousepad.
The Omen X 2S is expected to launch in the United States by June and will have a starting price of $2099.