Amid a rising crowd of super-thin, super-light and super-fast gaming laptops, HP’s Omen X 2S 15 simply jumped above the noise.
Sure this sub-five-pound laptop computer options an 8-core, Ninth-gen Core i9-9880H CPU and a GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU—these specs are a given on any high-end laptop computer. But all these different laptops haven’t got a six-inch touchscreen within the keyboard deck. The Omen X 2S 15 does.
Dual-screen laptops aren’t new, however they’re uncommon. Lenovo tried it manner again in 2009 with its beefy W700ds, with a screen that slid out from behind the primary display screen. Asus did it recently with the ZenBook Pro, which built-in a display screen into the trackpad. Add in any variety of dual-screen makes an attempt alongside the way in which, resembling Acer’s 2011-era Iconia 6120, and it’s a reasonably outdated idea.
None of these are gaming laptops, although, which lets HP declare the mantle of being the “World’s first dual screen gaming laptop.” (You can exclude 2014’s Razer Blade Pro as a result of the second display screen wasn’t an extension of the desktop show, technically. And no, Razer’s three-screen Project Valerie was by no means bought.)
But that quick record of dual-screen laptops must also let you know simply how precipitous the ideas are. After the early “oohs and ahhs” died down, dual-screen laptops principally cratered.
With the Omen X 2S 15, HP hopes to make its idea really usable with some fairly cool software program tips. The six-inch secondary display screen is actually a 1920×1080-resolution LCD that Windows sees as a second show. You can push a button and have the energetic window moved from the primary show (a 1920×1080 240Hz G-Sync panel) to the secondary show. This will allow you to watch your favorite YouTube show or monitor Slickdeals.com for breaking PC offers. You can even monitor the laptop computer’s important statistics, resembling CPU or GPU temperature.
Why the dual-screen issues
Those aren’t precisely scorching gamer duties, although. HP takes its dual-screen method additional with a nifty characteristic known as display screen mirroring that allows you to zoom in on a portion of a sport and present it on the second show. This is vital to the success of the Omen X 2S, as a result of only a few video games in the present day are designed with twin displays in thoughts. HP will get round it by principally making it work in any sport.
HP’s nifty utility allows you to, for instance, take a map from Counter Strike: Global Operations, or the mini map from World of Warships or a observe map from any racing sport you play, and show it on the six-inch display screen.
In some video games, it may not assist because of the diminutive dimension of the mini-display, however you possibly can, as an illustration, amplify a portion of the map for higher navigational precision. You might even “enhance” your sport play by zooming in on the reticle space of the primary display screen to create a direct, always-magnified view. Yes, 360 no-scope pictures galore.
To jam the display screen in there, HP strikes the per-key RGB keyboard to the entrance of the laptop computer and the trackpad to the facet. It’s an thought we’ve seen just lately with the Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501, however outdated timers will keep in mind that early laptops have been generally constructed with ahead keyboards.
Does it throttle?
One challenge trendy gaming laptops face is the “throttling” of efficiency when a part heats up. By ‘trendy’ we do not imply the large, thick, eight-pound laptops, however moderately comparatively lighter five-pound fashions that attempt to jam an 8-core CPU and a top-end GPU into their slimmer shells.
HP addressed the problems in a number of methods. First, it constructed giant vents—mesh panels with steel strong steel framework—into the underside of the laptop computer. The followers are three-phase, 12-volt followers to allow them to transfer lots of air over the 4 warmth pipes, the corporate stated. The laptop computer exhausts out the again and the facet.
To additional help in cooling, HP stated it’s going to use Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut liquid steel thermal compound from the manufacturing unit on the CPU. While smaller boutique PC distributors have provided it as an choice on laptops for extra money, HP’s making it a normal characteristic on all Omen X 2S 15 laptops.
Liquid steel has been kicking round on the PC for greater than a decade, however the compound’s conductivity (which will be dangerous in a pc) has scared some off. HP stated its utility in a extremely cellular laptop computer would not carry the identical threat as utilizing it in a desktop.
The efficiency distinction in comparison with the paste, grease or bubble gum that the majority laptop computer makers use is appreciable, HP claims. HP additionally says its personal testing exhibits a 28-percent body charge increase in Apex Legends efficiency from utilizing liquid steel.
Taming the cooling of the 8-core Ninth gen Core i9-9880H will likely be key to greater clock speeds in gaming conditions that aren’t restricted by the GPU’s efficiency (one thing you’ll be hard-pressed to do on a 1080p display screen). It ought to assist in different methods as nicely. HP stated its personal checks present that going from frequent thermal grease to liquid steel in the identical laptop computer improved rendering in Blender about 8.5 %, too.
We sit up for testing these claims if we get a overview unit. If they show out, it’ll be massive step ahead for laptop computer cooling.
We ought to observe that the liquid steel is just used on the CPU and never the GPU. HP stated it focused the part with the densest warmth manufacturing.
To shut out our preview, we must also let you know that HP says upgrades ought to be pretty simple. Remove the underside panel and you may entry two M.2 slots and two SO-DIMM slots. That might sound like a no brainer, however many skinny gaming laptops have resorted to inverting the motherboards and placing the M.2 and RAM slots out of attain with out eradicating the motherboard first. That’s rightfully scary for most individuals.
The final spec can be considerably vital: the battery dimension. HP stated it didn’t wish to compromise an excessive amount of on battery life, so the Omen X 2S 15 incorporates a 77-watt hour battery, good for about 5 hours of use. That might underwhelm you, however the blame principally lies with G-Sync. Nvidia’s G-Sync requires the laptop computer GPU to be related to the show, which implies the graphics card will at all times be working. That simply murders battery life.
We’ve seen some laptop computer distributors merely hand over on battery life and put in small 50-watt-hour packs, which yield even worse battery life. We’d predict the battery life on the Omen X 2S to vary from meh to blah, which continues to be higher than some gaming laptops that vary from horrible to “what’s wrong with this thing?!”
Pricing on the Omen X 2S 15 is anticipated to begin at $2,099. We think about that’s for the laptop computer with lower-end parts than the top-end Core i9-9880H and RTX 2080 Max-Q we noticed.