HP has had quite good success with its gaming brand Omen. Since its introduction in 2016, we have seen several successful machines from that edge. Some of them at very competitive prices.
With the Omen X 2S, HP has moved up to the top of the scale, where you should preferably have a sponsorship contract to join.
HP Omen X 2S is a slim 15 “lightweight machine of only two and a half kilos. The frame of the screen is slightly pentagonal, which gives a slightly cheeky feel. And everything is of course in black anodized aluminum. Also the keyboard, which is comfortable, but necessarily with short travel due to the thickness of the cabinet.The keys are individually RGB-lit.
An extra 6-inch screen
Where most laptops have the keyboard all the way up to the screen to accommodate the touchpad, the Omen X 2S has pulled the keyboard all the way to the front. The touchpad is to the right of the keyboard, something we have also seen on the Asus Zephyrus. Unfortunately, at Omen it cannot be used as a numeric keypad. The placement of the keyboard is probably about cooling the graphics card, but also about the Omen X 2S ‘party tirks, which is the dual screen. A black glass surface below the screen across the width of the machine indicates that something is going on. This “something” is a six-inch touch screen that can act as a control panel for gaming functions or be used directly in some games. The screen is in Full HD resolution as the main screen, but it only fills the middle third of the machine’s width.
HP is betting that the Omen X 2S is the first dual-screen gaming PC. That’s right, but only among gaming PCs. We tested the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo last year, which in addition to a 15 “4K main screen had an extra screen pushed over the keyboard, in the full width of the machines and with 4K horizontal resolution.
The main screen is a standard Full HD LCD screen, but fast. With 144 Hz refresh rate, it can handle the latest 3D games without chopping. 32 GB of RAM prevents bottlenecks in heavy applications, and the SSD disk is 512 GB. But at this price, that kind of thing is also a matter of course. The sound is provided by Danish Bang & Olufsen.
The purpose of the extra screen is especially to provide easy access to settings while playing on the main screen. A button panel on the left side switches between the most common functions. Here you can, for example, see the temperature in the main processor and graphics processor, the speed of the wireless network and the RAM consumption. You can also enlarge an area of the main screen, and see maps, and more. It’s smart, but does not make a vital difference in most games. And since the extra screen otherwise acts as an extension of the desktop, some icons simply disappeared when they landed there and were covered by the palettes instead of lying on the main screen. Next to the almost three times as big screen on the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo, it honestly seems a bit skinny. Especially when the price difference is not in Omen’s favor.
As in most powerful PCs we’ve seen in recent years, the processor is a 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7-9750U with six cores and 12 threads. There are faster processors, but they are disproportionately much more expensive. And this solves the task quite adequately. A GeekBench 5 score of 6108 (multi-core) and 1074 (single-core) is really nice. The PC Mark 10 test also does not cause any problems for the Omen X 2S. 6046 is more than plentiful.
With an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 card on board, there is reason to expect an outstanding score in the 3D graphics tests. That expectation is only partially met. A 3DMark TimeSpy score of 6656 is nice enough, but not much more than we are used to seeing on RTX 2070 machines! The same goes for the 3DMark FireStrike test: 15,292 are just below. In comparison, the record holder Acer Predator Helios 700 passed 10,807 and 23,243, respectively, in the same two tests with the same graphics processor.
The battery test was, as usual for gaming machines, a short performance. After one hour and 44 minutes, the battery was empty. Fortunately, the power supply is lighter than most.
Omen X 2S is the wildest gaming laptop I have seen to date from HP. It’s just a little thicker and heavier than the Alienware M15, which we recently tested. But there is still room for an extra screen and a more powerful graphics processor. It has become an impressive machine – but also a machine with an impressive price. And the question is whether the good forces and the many kroner have been utilized well enough? In terms of performance, it is just a hair’s breadth ahead of some cheaper machines with GeForce RTX 2070 cards, and the extra screen is neat, but does not make much difference. That the main screen is fast is almost a matter of course today – and that does not explain the price. If I had money for an Omen X 2S I would have spent it on an Asus Zephyrus. And if the budget was a third smaller, it went to the aforementioned Alienware M15. Or to a ZenBook Pro Due where the dual screen makes a far bigger difference.