HP’s experimental dual-screen Omen X 2S is the Nintendo DS of laptops

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HP's experimental dual-screen Omen X 2S is the Nintendo DS of laptops


hp omen x 2s gaming laptop review hero

HP Omen X 2S gaming laptop computer assessment: The Nintendo DS of laptops

“HP’s Omen X 2S is a daring experiment, however falls in need of revolution.”

  • Modern second display screen design
  • Comparatively skinny and lightweight
  • Highly effective gaming efficiency
  • Stable port choice
  • Second display screen might be extra helpful
  • Touchpad feels low cost
  • Poor battery life

Gaming laptops are getting nutty. Due to how highly effective and transportable they’ve change into, it takes greater than easy framerates to face out from the gang. The HP Omen X 2S takes a rare step to make avid gamers give it a glance. It has a small, second display screen constructed proper into the keyboard deck.

It’s a neat trick, however HP needs the Omen X 2S to be greater than only a gimmick. It’s additionally a robust flagship gaming laptop computer constructed to face toe-to-toe with the very best from Alienware and Razer. At $2,540, it comes with a six-core Core i7 processor, an Nvidia RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics chip, and 16GB of RAM. You may even select an eight-core Core i9 if you wish to get loopy. 

So, is the second display screen helpful? Or are you higher off with a extra conventional gaming laptop computer?

Two screens on a laptop computer. Why not?

The Omen X 2S is not like any gaming laptop computer I’ve ever used. Sure, it’s nonetheless black, RGB-laden, and heavier than your common laptop computer. However when the empty house between the keyboard and the hinge lights up as a second show, I can’t assist however need to play with it. 

That second display screen is a 6-inch, 1080p touchscreen — simply in regards to the dimension of a smartphone. You would possibly want it was wider to fill the clean house on both facet, however there’s a cause for the scale. The concept of the laptop computer got here from some analysis that confirmed simply how typically folks used their telephones whereas gaming. They play music, take heed to podcasts, textual content, test social media, and watch movies. That’s why HP determined to construct a smartphone-sized display screen proper into the keyboard deck.

hp omen x 2s gaming laptop review screen

The display screen’s default app is the HP Omen Command Heart, which supplies you fast entry to issues like system vitals and lighting customization. However from there, you’ll be able to drag any window all the way down to the second display screen, or open any utility you need to run, as if it was an exterior monitor. It’s only a fast attain to pick a brand new tune on Spotify or scroll down on a information you’re studying as you make your approach by a recreation.

HP even features a few useful macro buttons above the touchpad that add further performance. One will swap the apps between the primary display screen and the second display screen, and one other will flip the display screen off fully.

I can’t see many advantages to having a display screen constructed into the keyboard the place this one is.

The issue, after all, is the display screen isn’t a smartphone. You don’t have entry to the identical apps as your cellphone, and once you do, they’re comically small. There are even issues with the contact capabilities of the display screen. When a recreation is open, the system mechanically turns off contact controls, they usually can’t be flipped again on. This isn’t an issue with different functions, however for DirectX video games, it’s off limits.

You may work round this by inserting a recreation in Windowed mode. That works effectively in some titles, however others undergo efficiency penalties or interface oddities in that mode.

I additionally had points with the location of the second display screen. As a result of it lays flat throughout the keyboard deck, it’s not preferrred for actions like watching movies. The off-axis angles aren’t nice, which meant I needed to lean over to have a greater view. Then there’s the issue of glare. Despite the fact that the display screen is matte, vibrant pictures solid reflections throughout the underside display screen. As I kind this assessment, the blinding white display screen of Google Docs is washing out the second display screen with glare.

hp omen x 2s gaming laptop review keyboard

Having a second display screen remains to be helpful, although. HP even contains one game-specific trick, the place you’ll be able to mirror a portion of your principal display screen. I attempted it out in Civilization VI, cropping out the mini-map onto the second display screen, nearly like enjoying on a Nintendo DS. The use instances are undoubtedly restricted, however for the suitable gamer, it might be a pleasant addition.

Even past that, further display screen house is all the time nice (particularly in the event you’re on the go or away out of your desk). Nonetheless, I can’t see many advantages of getting that display screen simply above the keyboard. I nonetheless discovered myself selecting up my cellphone.

The second display screen of the Omen X 2S is perhaps the extra thrilling of the 2, however the common show is the one you’ll be enjoying video games on. It’s a 15.6-inch 1080p display screen with a 144Hz refresh price, although you too can go for a 4K mannequin at 60Hz. The display screen is mid-pack in picture high quality.  Its definitely not the brightest or most colourful laptop computer display screen I’ve seen, however for a gaming laptop computer, it will get the job performed. The highest and backside bezels are relatively chunky, although, making this in any other case futuristic laptop computer really feel slightly old-school.

Not a traditional laptop computer

Having a second display screen doesn’t come with out some sacrifices. To make room for it, the touchpad and keyboard have been shifted all the way down to the underside of the deck, and are actually side-by-side. For gaming, you’ll be plugging in a mouse anyhow. However with regards to utilizing it as an precise laptop computer, the shortage of wrist rests and the cramped structure make for an uncomfortable typing expertise.

hp omen x 2s gaming laptop review keyboard

The keyboard is backlit with per-key, RGB lighting, although it’s brightness management is proscribed to on or off. That’s not an enormous deal, although in comparison with what you get on similarly-priced gaming laptops, it’s missing. When you leap into the Omen Command Heart, you’ll be able to customise the lighting to fit your fancy, after all, although you’ll must stumble by HP’s limiting software program.

The touchpad sits to the suitable of the keyboard, and it isn’t nice. It’s responsive sufficient, and helps Home windows Precision drivers, although the plastic floor isn’t as easy as glass touchpads. The taller form of the touchpad takes a while to get used to. The separate left and proper buttons are tactile with loads of journey.

At 0.eight inches thick, it’s solely a hair thicker than the Razer Blade.

The audio system are positioned on the angled edges of the underside of the laptop computer. I want audio system to be front-firing just like the Razer Blade or MacBook Professional, as they typically lead to crisp audio. They are often loud, although bass remains to be missing when listening to music.

An aluminum exterior ensures the Omen X 2S feels premium to the contact. That’s to not say there’s no give or flex, nevertheless it’s a sturdy chassis. The Omen X 2S can also be surprisingly skinny. At 0.eight inches thick, it’s solely a hair thicker than the Razer Blade. It’s, nevertheless, a half pound heavier at 5.2 kilos.

HP didn’t skimp on the port choice. You get three USB-A, a USB-C Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, and an RJ-45 Ethernet jack. That’s pretty normal for gaming laptops nowadays, and it’s what I prefer to see. 

Efficiency past a mere gimmick

The Omen X 2S could be configured with as much as an eight-core Intel Core i9 processor, which simply occurs to be essentially the most highly effective processor you’ll be able to put in a laptop computer like this. For avid gamers, which is solely who this laptop computer is for, these two further cores are a bit overkill. My assessment unit had the Core i7-9750H, a six-core Ninth-gen processor with loads of muscle, which is a more sensible choice. It additionally got here with 16GB of dual-channel RAM, greater than sufficient for essentially the most demanding video games.

To go with these elements, the Omen X 2S could be configured with as much as an RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics card. Removed from merely a gimmick, the Omen X 2S proved itself to be a strong performer in our checks and benchmarks.

hp omen x 2s gaming laptop review featured 2

I ran the Omen X 2S by our typical suite of check video games, which incorporates processor-heavy video games like Civilization VI, in addition to GPU-straining titles like Murderer’s Creed Odyssey. All through all of them, the Omen X 2S carried out admirably. Sticking with the display screen’s 1080p decision, most video games may simply put to make use of the complete 144Hz refresh price, particularly fast-paced video games like Fortnite. You’re crusing at effectively over 100 FPS, even with settings at Epic.

You’re crusing at effectively over 100 FPS in Fornite.

The Omen beat the Razer Blade in each state of affairs, starting from 1080p with dropped settings all the way in which as much as 4K on the highest. Impressively, it even went toe-to-toe with bigger 17-inch laptops like Razer Blade Professional or MSI GS75 Stealth.

The one recreation the Omen struggled with a bit was Battlefield V, the place it was round 20% behind the Razer Blade for some cause. The sport was nonetheless superbly easy in 1080p with a framerate of over 70 FPS, however increased resolutions weren’t as playable.

Now, there are are better-cooled laptops on the market that produce higher framerates — such because the Predator Triton 500. Laptops prefer it additionally embrace G-Sync, which the Omen lacks. However generally, I used to be impressed by how video games performed on the Omen X 2S.

I used to be, nevertheless, a bit disillusioned by battery life. Due to that second display screen, the Omen burns by its 72 watt-hour battery in simply hours and 20 minutes on video loop with the second display screen turned off. That’s unhealthy, particularly for a gaming laptop computer with out G-Sync. If you happen to’re utilizing it for normal productiveness, you’ll be able to’t anticipate greater than two to a few hours, relying on how exhausting you’re taxing the system and what you’re doing with that second display screen. 

Our take

The HP Omen X 2S must be recommended for its risk-taking. It received’t be the final gaming laptop computer with a second display screen, that’s for certain. Nonetheless, the thought nonetheless wants refinement. There’ll all the time be early adopters which might be keen to pay for the primary technology, however for most individuals, it’s not 

Is there a greater different?

If you happen to’re concerned with a second display screen, the HP Omen X 2S is the one gaming laptop computer of its variety. If you happen to’re much less of a gamer, you could possibly go for the Asus ZenBook Professional Duo, a laptop computer with a wider, edge-to-edge second display screen that appears a bit extra helpful for content material creators.

As for 15-inch gaming laptops, you’ll discover loads of good choices, starting from high-end premium laptops just like the Razer Blade to the Acer Predator Triton 500.

How lengthy will it final?

The Omen X 2S is a strong, well-built gaming laptop computer. That’s for certain. The elements are up-to-date too, which means you received’t really feel the necessity for an replace for at the very least three or 4 years. The usual one-year guarantee is nothing to brag about, nevertheless it’s commonplace for laptops of this kind.

Must you purchase it?

No. The second display screen is a enjoyable thought, however for most individuals, it’s not helpful sufficient to be price the additional price.

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