If the idea of a built-in six-inch secondary monitor sounds like exactly what you’re looking for in a gaming laptop and you don’t care much about unplugged operation, HP’s Omen X 2S is the only game in town (unless you want to track down a used 2014-era Razer Blade). If you’re sure you’ll find the second screen useful instead of fumbling with your smartphone for secondary functions like chat, it’s worth considering.

The compromised peripherals, clunky software, and short battery life make HP’s dual-screen gamer tough to recommend. With a dedicated keyboard and mouse, it’s a good gaming and productivity machine. But at that point, you might as well just opt for a compact gaming desktop with a second (much larger) screen.

At worst, this Omen feels like a collection of mostly passed-over gaming laptop ideas: the second screen from a 2014-era Razer, the keyboard and touchpad from a 2018-era Asus Zephyrus, and a cinched-in hinge from a late-model Alienware m15. None of these ideas are inherently awful in isolation, but bringing them all together in one laptop, along with sluggish software, doesn’t make for a gaming portable with mass appeal.

At best, the Omen X 2S is an experiment that a particular subset of gamers will find appealing, facilitating gaming and multitasking on the go without having to clutter up your primary display. But we’d still like to see better battery life so that you could multitask for longer than a couple of hours while unplugged.

Back in January 2018, HP issued a battery recall covering 50,000 laptop batteries which had the potential to overheat and become either a burn of fire hazard. A year on, and the recall has been expanded to include a further 28,500 batteries taking the total up to 78,500.

The faulty batteries were shipped in a wide range of products or sold as accessories for those products. As the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website explains, the complete list includes "HP ProBooks (64x G2 and G3 series, 65x G2 and G3 series, 4xx G4 series), HPx360 (310 G2), HP Pavilion x360 11inch Notebook PC, HP 11 Notebook PC, HP ZBook (17 G3, and Studio G3) mobile workstations. The batteries were also sold as accessories or replacement batteries for the HP ZBook Studio G4 mobile workstation, HP ProBook 4xx G5 series, HP ENVY 15, HP Mobile Thin Clients (mt21, mt22, and mt31)."

As Tom's Hardware reports, HP actually updated the recall in January this year, but not many people heard about it. The CPSC forms part of the US government, which was stuck in a shutdown at the time and therefore sharing of this new information didn't happen on its website immediately. That changed on March 12.

The advice for these newly added batteries is the same as it was last year. Visit the website www.HP.com/go/batteryprogram2018 to check if your battery is included in the recall. If it is, then instructions are provided on how to place your battery in a "Battery Safety Mode." Replacing them will require HP provide an authorized technician to remove the old, faulty unit and install a new one as the customer can't do it themselves.

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