HP Omen X 2S Review: A Secondary Screen Doubles Your Gaming Pleasure

We can begin with the honorifics. HP calls the Omen X 2S the “world’s first dual-screen gaming laptop”—presumably with no apologies in any way to the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo (not a gaming machine) nor to Razer’s Blade R2 or its Project Valerie (technically triple-screen and not likely in existence).

With that out of the way in which, we are able to transfer to definitions. What does dual-screen imply on a laptop computer? Banish ideas of two screens aspect by aspect such as you might need in your desk; that’s merely impractical. Instead, what HP—and others earlier than it—have executed is embed a second display into the chassis of the laptop computer, sliding the keyboard right down to the underside of the laptop computer’s base, leaving an area above the keyboard which permits for a small, second monitor to be embedded within the body.

It’s a neat trick, and it certain does make for a putting look. If you didn’t look intently, you may properly assume somebody had laid their telephone down throughout their open laptop computer to extra simply multitask.

Courtesy of HP

And, to reply the apparent query, that’s solely the purpose of the second display: to offer customers—particularly avid gamers—a neater technique to do one thing they’d in any other case be doing on their telephone with out having to drop out of the full-screen gaming expertise. What does that one thing seem like? Really, it may very well be something: A Discord feed. A Twitch stream. A recreation map or a listing of cheat codes. It might even be a second recreation. You may also use this monitor to “zoom in” on a portion of the primary display, magnifying a very essential portion of the window (reminiscent of a mini-map)—although HP notes this won’t work with most first-person shooters resulting from Microsoft Windows limitations.

Outside of gaming, you need to use it for something you’d use a traditional second display for, although at simply six inches in dimension and with 1920 x 1080 pixels of decision, it makes for a tiny studying expertise when you drop something with textual content into it. It actually does work like a second monitor—and a touchscreen, at that—and it’s totally managed inside Windows identical to any secondary show.

So is the second display helpful or only a gimmick? In fact, it lies someplace in between. I didn’t get a lot out of it whereas truly gaming, however having a second display to park Reddit feeds, YouTube movies, or BTC trade charge charts has no less than some worth. While not instantly important, it’s in all probability a type of issues that slowly turns into increasingly helpful after you’ve had the system for a couple of months.

Courtesy of HP

As for the remainder of the system, it’s as tricked out as any good gaming laptop computer must be. The design is impressively modern, with center-mounted hinges propping up the show (a 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel panel, although it is upgradable to 4K) and a beveled rear edge giving the display an attention-grabbing separation between it and the bottom. Because of the secondary show and the situation of the keyboard on the entrance fringe of the bottom, the touchpad is moved off to the right-hand aspect. (Sorry, lefties!) I’ve used programs like this earlier than they usually actually do take some getting used to, although when you’re truly making an attempt to recreation with no separate mouse, god enable you, they will’t be beat.

The snappy keyboard is without doubt one of the greatest I’ve used lately, and per-key RGB backlighting is included (with WASD illuminated in purple by default). At 27 millimeters thick and 5.2 kilos, it’s fairly transportable although not precisely svelte, however contemplating you’re toting two screens round, that’s in all probability to be anticipated. Connectivity is phenomenal, with three USB 3.1 ports, full-size HDMI, full-size Ethernet, and one USB-C port with Thunderbolt Three assist.

Naturally, the system is tricked out with all the most recent specs: 2.6 GHz Core i7, 16 GB of RAM, a terabyte SSD, and Nvidia’s high of the road graphics card, the GeForce RTX 2080. As anticipated, it destroyed the file on each benchmark I threw at it, although due to the march of tech and time, the king of the hill by no means stays there for lengthy. (I additionally skilled a handful of crashes, seemingly as a result of further layers of HP software program that make the second display behave correctly.) Screen brightness is nice however not nice; a lot much less spectacular is the dismal one hour, 59 minutes of battery life (based mostly on a full-screen video playback), a sacrifice HP says it consciously made to be able to preserve the laptop computer no less than fairly sized.

On the entire, I actually loved working (and taking part in) with the Omen X 2S, each from a efficiency and a usability perspective. It isn’t low cost ($2,850 as examined), and the secondary display isn’t excellent, however I’ll say that it by no means didn’t spark oohs and aahs from onlookers—although that could be extra due to the loop of cat GIFs I used to be working on it somewhat than the know-how itself.

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