In an interview with Engadget, HP's VP of Product Management, Josephine Tan, said that the second screen feature is very much inspired by the Chinese market -- including some 500,000 local Omen fans HP gathered over the past couple of years, according to Su-yin Yam, VP of Consumer PC & Mobility. In a survey conducted by HP, 89 percent of the Chinese gamers said they keep their phones right next to them while gaming, mainly for strategic chats with fellow gamers on WeChat as well as playing music. So the whole point of this second screen is to help gamers declutter the main screen and the desk.
Otherwise, the Omen X 2S hits all the right notes for a gaming laptop in 2019. It packs up to a 9th-generation Intel Core-i9 8-core CPU (with 5 GHz overclocking), NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU, 32GB of RAM and optional Intel Optane memory storage. It also comes with a fancy new 5-way airflow cooling system (two inlets at the bottom plus three outlets on the sides), and the CPU's been pre-applied with Thermal Grizzly's "liquid metal" CPU thermal paste, which has "10 times" the thermal conductivity of regular silicon grease, according to HP.
The Omen X 2S 15 is just 20mm thick, but HP didn't mention how much it weighs, nor the battery life, and you can expect the second screen to negatively impact both those things. The concept isn't exactly new, having been flaunted most recently by ASUS at Computex last year, and we had questions about how well it could work. That said, ASUS' implementation wasn't made for gamers; Tan pointed out that such screen-in-trackpad placement isn't convenient for viewing, especially when you're busy owning enemy players.
That screen also makes for awkward touchpad positioning off to the right where the numeric keypad would normally go, but according to Tan, her team believes that most gamers would prefer using their own mice, anyway. Speaking of, you can toggle a virtual numeric keypad on the small screen with the touch of a button, but that's obviously more useful for general input instead of gaming.
Tan added that the keyboard here is placed in such a way that it mimics the experience of a desktop keyboard -- something that traditional PC gamers are more used to -- to the point where it even has the same height. The laptop also comes with a free palm rest that slots right in front of the keyboard.
Strange layout aside, this looks like a pretty incredible gaming laptop at a starting price of $2,100, or $2,700 with 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD and an RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU.