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HP Omen X 2S Gaming Laptop computer Assessment: Is Two Screens One Too Many?

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.”

Progressive second display design

Comparatively skinny and light-weight

Highly effective gaming efficiency

Strong port choice

Second display may very well be extra helpful

Touchpad feels low-cost

Poor battery life

Gaming laptops are getting nutty. Due to how highly effective and moveable they’ve turn out to be, it takes greater than easy framerates to face out from the group. The HP Omen X 2S takes a unprecedented step to make players give it a glance. It has a small, second display constructed proper into the keyboard deck.

It’s a neat trick, however HP desires 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 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 in contrast to 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 area 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 is a 6-inch, 1080p touchscreen — simply in regards to the dimension of a smartphone. You may want it was wider to fill the clean area on both facet, however there’s a motive for the dimensions. The concept of the laptop computer got here from some analysis that confirmed simply how usually individuals used their telephones whereas gaming. They play music, hearken to podcasts, textual content, test social media, and watch movies. That’s why HP determined to construct a smartphone-sized display proper into the keyboard deck.

hp omen x 2s gaming laptop review screen

The display’s default app is the HP Omen Command Middle, which provides you fast entry to issues like system vitals and lighting customization. However from there, you’ll be able to drag any window right down to the second display, or open any software you need to run, as if it was an exterior monitor. It’s only a fast attain to pick out a brand new tune on Spotify or scroll down on a information you’re studying as you make your means via a sport.

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

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

The issue, in fact, is the display isn’t a smartphone. You don’t have entry to the identical apps as your telephone, and whenever you do, they’re comically small. There are even issues with the contact capabilities of the display. When a sport is open, the system robotically turns off contact controls, and so they 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 putting a sport in Windowed mode. That works properly in some titles, however others endure efficiency penalties or interface oddities in that mode.

I additionally had points with the position of the second display. As a result of it lays flat throughout the keyboard deck, it’s not ideally suited 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. Although the display is matte, shiny pictures solid reflections throughout the underside display. As I kind this assessment, the blinding white display of Google Docs is washing out the second display with glare.

hp omen x 2s gaming laptop review keyboard

Having a second display continues to be helpful, although. HP even contains one game-specific trick, the place you’ll be able to mirror a portion of your important display. I attempted it out in Civilization VI, cropping out the mini-map onto the second display, virtually like taking part in on a Nintendo DS. The use instances are undoubtedly restricted, however for the precise gamer, it may very well be a pleasant addition.

Even past that, additional display area is all the time nice (particularly should you’re on the go or away out of your desk). Nonetheless, I can’t see many advantages of getting that display simply above the keyboard. I nonetheless discovered myself choosing up my telephone.

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

Not a traditional laptop computer

Having a second display doesn’t come with out some sacrifices. To make room for it, the touchpad and keyboard have been shifted right down to the underside of the deck, and are actually side-by-side. For gaming, you’ll be plugging in a mouse anyhow. However in relation 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 restricted 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 soar into the Omen Command Middle, you’ll be able to customise the lighting to fit your fancy, in fact, although you’ll should stumble via HP’s limiting software program.

The touchpad sits to the precise 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 zero.eight inches thick, it’s solely a hair thicker than the Razer Blade.

The audio system are situated on the angled edges of the underside of the laptop computer. I favor audio system to be front-firing just like the Razer Blade or MacBook Professional, as they usually end in crisp audio. They are often loud, although bass continues 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 strong chassis. The Omen X 2S can also be surprisingly skinny. At zero.eight inches thick, it’s solely a hair thicker than the Razer Blade. It’s, nonetheless, 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 three, HDMI, and an RJ-45 Ethernet jack. That’s pretty commonplace for gaming laptops lately, and it’s what I wish to see. 

Efficiency past a mere gimmick

The Omen X 2S might 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 players, which is completely who this laptop computer is for, these two additional 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 parts, the Omen X 2S might 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 stable performer in our exams and benchmarks.

hp omen x 2s gaming laptop review featured 2

I ran the Omen X 2S via our typical suite of take a look at 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’s 1080p decision, most video games might simply put to make use of the complete 144Hz refresh fee, particularly fast-paced video games like Fortnite. You’re crusing at properly over 100 FPS, even with settings at Epic.

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

The Omen beat the Razer Blade in each situation, starting from 1080p with dropped settings all the best way 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 sport the Omen struggled with a bit was Battlefield V, the place it was round 20% behind the Razer Blade for some motive. The sport was nonetheless superbly easy in 1080p with a framerate of over 70 FPS, however larger 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 embody 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, nonetheless, a bit dissatisfied by battery life. Because of that second display, the Omen burns via its 72 watt-hour battery in simply hours and 20 minutes on video loop with the second display turned off. That’s unhealthy, particularly for a gaming laptop computer with out G-Sync. Should you’re utilizing it for common productiveness, you’ll be able to’t count on greater than two to 3 hours, relying on how arduous you’re taxing the system and what you’re doing with that second display. 

Our take

The HP Omen X 2S needs to be counseled for its risk-taking. It received’t be the final gaming laptop computer with a second display, that’s for positive. Nonetheless, the concept nonetheless wants refinement. There’ll all the time be early adopters which are prepared to pay for the primary era, however for most individuals, it’s not 

Is there a greater different?

Should you’re occupied with a second display, the HP Omen X 2S is the one gaming laptop computer of its type. Should you’re much less of a gamer, you would go for the Asus ZenBook Professional Duo, a laptop computer with a wider, edge-to-edge second display 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 stable, well-built gaming laptop computer. That’s for positive. The parts are up-to-date too, which means you received’t really feel the necessity for an replace for at the least three or 4 years. The usual one-year guarantee is nothing to brag about, nevertheless it’s commonplace for laptops of this sort.

Must you purchase it?

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

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