The HP OMEN line of PCs is a truly ground-breaking gaming brand; it offers a rich line-up of innovative desktop systems, elite gaming laptops, and a variety of cutting-edge accessories, software, and services. HP OMEN computers provide maximum gaming performance, and they’re ergonomically optimized and feature-loaded.
So how do you decide between a desktop and a laptop for gaming? If it’s power and portability you’re after, then you really can have it all. With HP OMEN laptops, you’ll enjoy all the performance benefits of a desktop in a mobile form factor. So if you’re deciding between a gaming laptop or a desktop, look no further than the HP OMEN X 2S.
Why HP OMEN gaming laptops?
Gaming laptops are a dime a dozen. You’re bound to wander into online forums where people are worshiping one model or rage-venting about another. You don’t want to get caught in that endless loop. Instead, sit back and let us introduce you to a gaming laptop unlike anything you’ve ever seen: the HP OMEN X 2S 15.
The HP OMEN X 2S laptop is a gaming laptop with desktop-class graphics and much, much more. Here is our comprehensive review of this cutting-edge piece of gaming tech.
What is the HP OMEN X 2S 15 gaming laptop?
1. Revolutionary dual-screen design
The all-new HP OMEN X 2S is the gaming world’s first dual-screen laptop. Yes, you read that right. There is a second, industry-first, 6-inch, 1080p touch screen display mounted right above the keyboard where you would normally find the speakers on other laptops. But don’t worry, the HP OMEN X 2S doesn’t sacrifice high-quality sound for this second display.
This very cool second screen lets you display and interact with other applications like Spotify, Twitch, Discord, and more, without interrupting your gameplay. Basically, the HP OMEN X 2S’s dual screen functions like a second monitor in a desktop setup. Your cursor can switch between the main screen and second screen with ease.
If you find that, while gaming, you often end up using your mobile phone for activities such as instant messaging, listening to music, browsing websites, watching non-gaming videos or live streams, or even playing another game, then this feature will be especially useful. Having a second screen right there on your gaming laptop means that you can ditch the phone and help declutter your main screen as well as your desk or gaming area.
Real-time screen mirroring on the second screen
Not every game is as simple as a point-and-shoot FPS or other first-person game. Some require time, strategy, patience, and a little ingenuity. HP OMEN Command Center lets you duplicate and magnify a portion of that main display into the second display. Using the real-time screen mirroring feature, you can cut and magnify images from your laptop’s primary screen - for instance, copying a portion of a map or directions or commands from a game - to the second screen.
This is a game changer (so to speak). There could be something you want to keep an eye on as you’re exploring a new world or environment. Maybe you need to zoom in on an enemy force before you engage in an attack. It’s entirely up to you. Such situational awareness can be incredibly useful in certain games. And the screen’s position, located directly under the laptop’s primary screen and right above the keyboard, is perfect for watching any instructional videos or livestreams while you’re in the middle of your game.
Now wait, didn’t we just mention that we should use the main screen for gaming and leave the dual-screen to less important tasks? Well, this does depend on what type of game you’re playing. We can imagine that a fast-paced FPS leave little room for distractions. But even a slower-paced RTS or smaller games overall might give you more time to make decisions. Use that second screen to your advantage.
Before you ask, the answer is yes. You can load a game on the dual-screen. While unconventional, we know there are daredevils out there.
The HP OMEN X 2S laptop also features a precision touchpad that’s located to the right of the keyboard. Though it supplants the positioning of where the numerical keypad would normally go, you can toggle a virtual numerical keypad directly on the secondary screen with one touch. The touchpad is also placed strategically so that there is less risk of accidental movements/taps during gameplay. There are dedicated left/right click buttons as well as dedicated buttons for second screen shortcuts.
Drag, drop, scroll - whatever you need it to do. But that’s not all that sets the HP OMEN X 2S apart from other gaming laptops.
2. Raw processing power
When it comes to specs, the HP OMEN X 2S won’t disappoint you. Its stock loadout consists of some pretty eyebrow-raising hardware for a gaming laptop. Then add the second 6-inch touch screen and you’ve got yourself a high-powered, high-performing PC. Let’s dive a little deeper into graphics and processors.
We know that gaming laptops have been catching up with their desktop counterparts in the performance arena. The HP OMEN X 2S is no exception. It comes equipped with the latest high-performance 9th Generation 6- or 8-core Intel® Core™ i H-series central processing units (CPUs) that give you the power you need for gaming, streaming, and multi-tasking.
You can choose the Intel Core i7-9750H with 6 cores, 12 threads, 12MB cache, a base clock of 2.6 GHz and up to 4.5 GHz boost clock capabilities. Or you can get the Intel Core i9-9880H with 8 cores, 16 threads, 16MB cache, a base clock of 2.3 GHz and up to 4.8 GHz boost clock capabilities.
The 9th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 processor is the same chip you’d find on a number of HP desktops, including HP’s powerful Z and ZBook workstations. To play the newest triple-A (AAA) games (and to have a good experience while doing so), you need best-in-class processing power.
Both processors can execute up to, respectively, 12 and 16 threads simultaneously thanks to Intel Hyper-Threading technology, which provides two processing threads per physical core. The boosted speeds can be reached using Intel Turbo Boost Technology, which dynamically increases the processor’s frequency as needed by taking advantage of thermal and power headroom, giving you a burst of speed when you need it and increased energy efficiency when you don’t.
Intel Thermal Velocity Boost is also supported on both CPUs. This technology opportunistically and automatically increases clock frequency by up to 200 MHz as long as the processor is at a temperature of 50°C or lower and turbo power budget is available.
3. Incredible graphics for the latest titles
The HP OMEN X 2S laptop is outfitted with a powerful, newer generation of graphics processing units (GPUs) such as the NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX™ 2070 or 2080, both with 8GB of GDDR6 video memory (VRAM). These GPUs are built with NVIDIA Max-Q Design: an innovative approach to helping reduce system heat and noise in slimmer form factor PCs.
Both of these high-performance graphics cards are built on the NVIDIA Turing architecture, which is currently the world’s most advanced GPU architecture. While exploring RTX Turing GPUs is a whole other discussion that warrants its own article, we’ve done a quick rundown of it below. Basically, it combines a triple threat for a new dimension of game immersion: real-time ray tracing, artificial intelligence, and programmable shining. With lifelike lighting, reflections, and shadows, it features a realism that goes beyond what’s possible using traditional rendering techniques.
Is your head spinning yet? Basically, your graphics will be hyper-realistic, so you get a near life-like experience from your game. The reactions of your character are instant, every move is fluid, and you can analyze intricate details as they pop up on screen. A single shade of color can be the difference between a normal looking plant, or an enemy hidden beneath it.
NVIDIA Turing architecture: The world’s most advanced GPU
Both graphics cards (and all GPUs in the GeForce RTX series) are built on the NVIDIA Turing architecture, which significantly improves performance by 6 times over previous generations. Turing is a multi-purpose GPU architecture that combines multiple processor cores to accelerate artificial intelligence (AI) and simultaneously perform real-time ray tracing, AI, and pixel processing.
Turing offers enhanced graphics capabilities and new programmable shading technologies, enabling:
- Fluid interactivity with large models and scenes
- Improved virtual reality (VR) experiences
- More realistic details
- Smoother rendering
The fastest GPU memory
RTX series graphics cards are equipped with GDDR6 memory, which is currently the world’s fastest. Play your games on maximum settings with high frame rates of at least 60 frames per second (fps).
The GeForce RTX 2070 has a 14 Gbps memory speed, with a base clock speed of 1,410 MHz and boosted speeds of 1,620 MHz. Like the RTX 2070, the GeForce RTX 2080 has a 14 Gbps memory speed. It has a base clock and boost speeds of, respectively, 1,515 MHz and 1,710 MHz.
4. Select configurations powered by GeForce GTX 1080
On select configurations, HP OMEN X laptops feature the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080: an advanced gaming GPU and one of the most powerful in the GTX 10 series. The GTX 1080 laptop features ultra-fast FinFET, high-bandwidth GDDR5X (G5X) video memory of 8GB and a memory speed of 10 Gbps. This high-end card is perfect for gaming at QHD (1440p) resolutions, delivering breakthrough performance, power, and efficiency.
The GTX 1080 is built on the NVIDIA Pascal architecture, which is one of the more powerful computational architectures ever built inside a GPU. It delivers extraordinary performance of more than 5 teraFLOPS for high-performance computing (HPC) workloads, plus a 7x increase in deep learning capabilities compared to previous-generation GPU architectures.
A gaming laptop with GTX 1080 features NVIDIA GameWorks™ technologies for extremely smooth gameplay and cinematic experiences, in addition to revolutionary 360-degree image capture - even in VR.
5. Incredible visuals with edge-to-edge immersion
If you want to play at your absolute best, then being able to see the visuals as crisply and accurately as possible is critical. Choose from a 15.6-inch diagonal FHD (1080p resolution) with a 144 Hz refresh rate and IPS anti-glare micro-edge WLED-backlit display or a 15.6-inch diagonal 4K (2160p) with a 240 Hz refresh rate IPS anti-glare micro-edge WLED-backlit display.
Both feature the innovative secondary display with a 5.98-inch diagonal FHD IPS, 60 Hz refresh rate, BrightView, multi-touch enabled, edge-to-edge glass, and LED backlighting.
With a high resolution and fast refresh rate, HP OMEN X 2S on-screen visuals are swift and smooth. A micro-edge bezel display delivers edge-to-edge immersion, revolutionizing your display by letting a larger screen fit into a smaller frame.
NVIDIA G-Sync technology
Enabled on select configurations, NVIDIA G-Sync synchronizes display refresh rates to the GPU to reduce screen tearing and minimize display stutter and input lag during gameplay. As a result, objects seem sharper, scenes appear instantly, and gameplay feels exceptionally fluid.
6. Memory loaded
The HP OMEN X 2S offers up to 32GB dual-channel DDR4-2666 SDRAM and up to 32GB dual-channel DDR4-3200 SDRAM supporting Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP). Intel XMP helps you take advantage of fast memory speeds and make overclocking simpler and more accessible by easily letting you change multiple memory settings with predefined, tested, and stable configurations.
7. Accelerated, serious storage options
With the HP OMEN X 2S, you can boot up your operating system at lightning-fast speeds and load games in a flash thanks to accelerated storage options including PCIe® SSD, RAID 0, and Intel Optane™ memory with SSD for storage acceleration. RAID 0 SSD splits data across two separate SSDs, so that you can experience faster game loading and overall system responsiveness. Choose from a variety of configurations, including:
- Intel Optane Memory 32GB SSD + 512GB SSD
- 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
- 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
- 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
- 2TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
- (2) 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD with RAID 0 configured
- (2) 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD with RAID 0 configured
- (2) 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD with RAID 0 configured
8. Control the frontline from your fingertips with a mechanical keyboard
The HP OMEN X 2S laptop features a mechanical keyboard that’s precision designed for competitive gameplay and inspired by e-Sports competitors. The keyboard placement, height, and blue mechanical switches all mimic the setup of and provide the next-level responsiveness of a desktop setup. With 1.5 mm fast-action key travel, you’ll experience a more tactile feel. And with N-key rollover anti-ghosting, you can activate multiple keys at once.
9. Chock-full of ports
Easily maintain, upgrade, and customize your HP OMEN X 2S laptop with single-panel, unique see-through access to internal components such as HDD, SSD, and RAM thanks to a generous port selection. It has two Thunderbolt-certified USB Type-C™ ports, three USB 3.1 Type A ports, and one HDMI 2.0B port. Get ready to hook up all your favorite accessories.
10. Keep your head in the game
Every gamer hates being snuck up on in the middle of a firefight. Built-in, dual, and custom-tuned stereo speakers by Bang & Olufsen (enriched by HP Audio Boost to improve audio volume and quality using a discrete amplifier), amplifies every sound and every noise-related detail. The speakers also employ integrated DTS Headphone:X technology and DTS: X Ultra. This innovative system paints a multi-dimensional audio picture for your ears when using headphones, so you feel like you’re in the middle of the action. There’s no better place to be, right?
11. Ultra-thin, performance-driven design
Experience maximum portability with a 20 mm thin metal chassis at an easy-to-transport 5.18 lbs. It features a sleek, ultra-thin design engineered with performance and customization at the forefront.
12. HP OMEN's first overclockable laptop
The HP OMEN X 2S is overclockable; the first overclockable laptop in the HP OMEN lineup, which lets you adjust your PC’s core, power, memory, and more for enhanced performance and gameplay.
13. Cooling as intense as the gameplay
It goes without saying that the HP OMEN X 2S thermals are intensive. HP OMEN’s Tempest Cooling Technology consists of two large, high-performance 12V fans with a 3-phase motor and dynamic bearings that pull cool air in from numerous vents on 3 sides with 5 flow ways each. An integrated vapor chamber on select configurations and four 3.5 mm heat pipes help transfer heat away from the GPU and CPU and toward four massive radiators.
Additionally, HP OMEN has partnered with Thermal Grizzly to introduce a liquid metal compound to the base of the laptop. This compound enhances the overall performance of the laptop by allowing the internal temperature to cool easier.
The end result of all these specs?
These specs are eye candy and all, but what games are do they prepare you for? Short answer: most AAA games that are set for release in the foreseeable future. It doesn’t matter if it’s the latest Call of Duty or your go-to indie game, the HP OMEN X 2S is prepared for it. Just make sure you get enough initial memory to handle the big ones!
Commonly asked questions
Who’s this gaming laptop for?
Whether you’re an up and coming pro or a casual evening gamer, the HP OMEN X 2S covers all the bases. While there are certain specs geared more toward pro-grade performance, you shouldn’t let that stop you from customizing an HP OMEN X 2S to your tastes and style. Configurations of this two-screen laptop exist that’ll work for any gamer regardless of experience.
Why do I need a dual-screen gaming laptop?
The world’s first dual-screen laptop offers gamers more than just high-quality processors and graphics. The HP OMEN X 2S offers opportunity - the opportunity to feel the power of a full-fledged gaming machine with the comfort and flexibility of a mobile format. If you live life on-the-go or are a multi-tasking fanatic, then the HP OMEN X 2S has much to offer you.
How will a dual-screen add to my mobility?
The primary advantage of a two-screen laptop is having a mobile gaming rig that is similar to a dual monitor desktop setup. Not all of us have the luxury of setting up dual monitors for our battle stations, especially when we are gaming away from home. You may work a highly mobile career or live in a compact area. If that’s the case, dual monitors may not be an efficient or economical use of your resources.
How will the HP OMEN 2S add to my comfort level?
When it comes to comfort level, the HP OMEN X 2S was designed for any level of gamer to enjoy. Whether you’re engaged in a competitive match or sitting back as the next mission loads, the top-down view of the 6-inch display is there when you need it, but also doesn’t divert your attention away from what’s going on in the main screen.
What can I use the 2nd screen for?
- Do you hate having to use ALT+TAB to check on another program?
- Do you need to switch between servers on Discord mid-game?
- Enjoy listening to Spotify while you game?
- Want to check in on your favorite Twitch stream or YouTuber?
- Or, maybe that gamer you met in the middle of a high-stakes Rocket League match wants to chat on Steam.
This is where this dual-screen comes in handy. You use the primary screen for gaming, and the second to multi-task. You can even pull up the HP OMEN Command Center to monitor the HP OMEN X 2S for performance while in-game. The dual-screen is designed to not only improve your gaming experience but alter your perspective on what’s possible while in-game.
Let’s come back to that Twitch stream we mentioned. You have the option of personalizing the HP OMEN X 2S with an FHD camera and dual digital microphone. Some high-quality equipment, if you ask us. But the kicker is you can start your own Twitch stream on the road. No need for dual monitors or a special microphone, just boot up and get to streaming.
Can I upgrade later?
When you get to the HP OMEN X 2S customization screen, you’ll have a handful of upgrades to choose from. You’ll be able to go from the standard 16GB of memory to 32GB. You’ll also have a choice of 15.6-inch FHD or 4K diagonal screens with up to 240 Hz refresh rate. If you’re aiming to be blur and lag free in any situation, that 240 Hz is going to be extremely satisfying for years to come.
But what if you have your 2S for a while then want to increase RAM or update the hard drive? When it comes to upgrading hardware, the HP OMEN X 2S has made it easy for you. The bottom side has a single-panel access plate where you can change up your HDD, SDD, and RAM.
Why isn’t the 2nd screen bigger?
Go big or go home, right? Not exactly. When it comes to the HP OMEN X 2S, going much bigger than 6 inches on the 2nd screen doesn’t work in your favor. The main screen extends end to end of the laptop, but only 6 inches of the width is dedicated to that second display. Go any wider and you’ll push the main screen away from you. Go any longer and you’d be taking up space reserved for the keyboard. Our engineers have determined: 6 inches is the perfect size.
Is the 2nd screen touch-sensitive?
Yes. That second screen is touch-sensitive for those who find fingers more applicable than mice. However, using a mouse to drag windows to and from the main screen may prove to be simpler overall. Just make sure your fingers are clean before you drag windows around. You may want to invest in some laptop screen cleaner as well.
How much does the HP OMEN X 2S weigh?
The HP OMEN X 2S is a testament to portability. It weighs in at just 5.18 lbs in a 14.26 x 10.3 x 0.78-inch frame. It won’t kill your back when carrying it in a case or backpack.
How is the HP OMEN X 2S configured differently from other gaming laptops?
One thing you might notice is the placement of the touchpad. Instead of in the center spot like you’d find on most laptops, it's off to the right. This is to off-set the placement of the 2nd screen at the top of the keyboard. If the touchpad were still in the same center spot, you’d have a very long laptop.
Top of the line CPU and GPU
Graphics and processor wise, the HP OMEN X 2S employs the latest and greatest NVIDIA and Intel technologies. OMEN by HP is committed to giving you the best gaming experience possible through partnerships with these awesome organizations.
HP OMEN Command Center
Finally, there is the HP OMEN Command Center, which you may have heard us mention a couple of times. You can download this from the Windows app store. With this app, you can control game performance and processing power. This is especially useful when running games with state-of-the-art visuals or multiple applications at once.
Even with the HP OMEN X 2S’s cooling technology, it's important to know just where the laptop is focusing its power. The Command Center also controls the screen mirroring and focusing technologies we mentioned earlier. It is preferable to use the second screen for the Command Center while in-game.
Combine all these features with the dual-screen and you get a standout laptop. We’re certain that however you end up customizing the HP OMEN X 2S, it’ll exceed your expectations.
Still on the fence?
Okay, so you’re still unsure of whether you want to fully commit to the HP OMEN X 2S. We understand, it’s a big investment, and you want that investment to last as long as possible. The customizable features of the HP OMEN X 2S mean that you can build this laptop to your liking. That configuration will last a long time as long as you treat the HP OMEN X 2S with great care.
Whether you need a little more interaction with the specs or are ready to get started playing on your own HP OMEN X 2S, you can always talk to one of our knowledgeable product specialists.
About the Authors: Tomas Zegarra and Jolene Dobbin are contributing writers for HP® Tech Takes. Tomas is an Idaho-based writer for the tech and outdoor industries. His writing has appeared in journals such as Memoir Mixtapes, Upland Optics, and The Prepper Journal. He also writes fiction and is always working on a new idea for a short story. Jolene is an East Coast-based writer with experience creating strategic messaging, marketing, and sales content for companies in the high-tech industry.