From foldable screens to touchpad displays, we've seen all sorts of crazy ways in which laptop makers are trying to stand out from the competition. Now HP has joined the crowd with the Omen X 2S, a gaming laptop that features a primary 15-inch display along with a secondary 6-inch screen that's built into the deck.
If this sounds familiar, it's because Asus did something very similar with the ZenBook Pro 15. However, there are a couple of key differences between the two laptops. The Omen X 2S has a 6-inch panel embedded in the deck above the keyboard, whereas the Asus laptop has a ScreenPad, a screen that replaces the touchpad. The Omen X 2S has a traditional touchpad that is vertically orientated and located to the right of the keyboard, much like the Asus ROG Zephyrus.
The Omen X 2S is expected to be available in June at a starting price of $2,099.
The Omen X 2S' primary 15-inch display has a resolution of 1080p and a 144Hz refresh rate for smoother motion when gaming or watching videos. There is also an optional 4K display with a 240Hz refresh rate for dedicated gamers and e-sports players who need to react faster than their enemies.
The secondary 6-inch, 1080p acts a lot like the GamePad on a Nintendo Wii U, displaying additional information you couldn't fit on the primary screen. You can also use the mini-display to set macros and monitor system performance. Perhaps the best use for the display is to pin resources you'll frequently refer back to, like the world map in an RPG or your inventory in a battle royale.
The Omen X 2S is HP's flagship gaming laptop, and as such, packs some powerful mobile components, including up to a 9th Gen Intel Core i9 CPU, up to 32GB of RAM, up to a 1TB SSD, and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics with 8GB of VRAM. The RTX 2080 is the highest end graphics card from Nvidia, and capable of playing the latest games at Ultra graphics settings. And, of course, it supports ray tracing for more realistic lighting and reflections.
Those brawny components are sure to generate heat while you're gunning down enemies in Fornite or pulverizing opponents in Mortal Kombat 11. HP's solution is a new 5-way airflow cooling system that uses liquid metal thermal paste that supposedly has 10 times the conductivity or regular silicon paste, according to the company.
As impressed we've been by the performance of RTX-equipped laptops, those we've tested have had short runtimes. Unfortunately, HP didn't provide a battery life rating but you can expect that second display to have a negative impact on endurance.
The Omen X 2S has an aggressive style and RGB lighting like most modern gaming laptops, but at 0.8 inches thick, it's more portable than its peers.
We should be getting our hands on an Omen X 2S as we get closer to its release, so stay tuned for a full review.
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Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.