HP’s answer to the MacBook’s Touch Bar is a huge second screen

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HP Omen X 2S
It’s not quite as pretty as the MacBook Pro.
Photo: HP

Most MacBook Pro owners see the Touch Bar as a useless gimmick, but HP thinks a similar feature could be great for gamers.

The company’s latest gaming laptop features a massive second screen above its built-in keyboard. The 6-inch panel let you keep an eye on another app or watch videos while you play.

What’s great about the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar is that it’s incredibly flexible (not literally). It adapts to whatever app you’re running to provide useful shortcuts when you need them most.

But because of its size, the Touch Bar has some big limitations. That’s not the case with the secondary touchscreen on the new HP Omen X 2S gaming laptop.

HP Omen’s second screen does it all

This portable powerhouse puts a 6-inch 1080p display right at your fingertips. It’s like having an iPhone XR strapped to your keyboard. And because it’s a traditional display, it can do just about anything.

HP suggests gamers might want to use the screen to chat to friends on Discord or watch tutorial videos while they play. It can also be used to magnify a section of the primary screen — such as a map — and to keep an eye on system performance.

HP Omen X 2S second screen
The second screen can be used to magnify parts of your game.
Photo: HP

But because the 6-inch display is literally a second screen, you can actually use it for anything you want. You can drag any app or window to it just like you would with a second monitor.

Omen X 2S packs plenty of power

The Omen X 2S is just as impressive under the hood.

It’s powered by ninth-generation Intel Core i9 processors with eight cores. It can also be configured with up to 32GB of RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU.

As for the 15-inch primary display, there are several options to choose from. The standard version is a 1080p panel with a 144Hz refresh rate, but you can upgrade to a 240Hz model or even a 4K option with HDR support.

Obviously this kind of technology doesn’t come cheap. When the Omen X 2S goes on sale in June, it will start at a whopping $2,099.99.