If you're looking for a gaming laptop that you can design from the ground up, the Origin EON17-S is a terrific option, experts say. However, you'll pay dearly to get the best performance.
It's all in how you make it. The Origin EON17-S's myriad customization options make gauging performance difficult. The base model's Core i5 processor, Nvidia GeForce GT660M GPU, 4 GB of RAM and 320 GB hard drive can play games at moderate settings and handle most tasks with ease, but the performance won't blow you away.
Most experts test an advanced $3,500 configuration with a Core i7-3920XM Extreme Edition processor, GeForce GT675M graphics, 16 GB of RAM and two SSDs in a speed-boosting RAID 0 setup. Unsurprisingly, that version blows through anything thrown at it and can play even the newest games on the highest graphics settings.
The EON17-S's battery life is abysmal, even for a gaming notebook, at slightly over two hours in most tests.
Chunky but comfortable. This is no Ultrabook; at nearly 2 inches thick and 8.6 pounds -- and that's without the bulky power adapter -- the Origin EON17-S is a burden to lug around. Actually using the notebook, however, is a breeze. The keyboard and touchpad are both very comfortable and responsive, although some reviewers are bothered by a couple of keys that are smaller than average. Port selection is top-notch, rivaling that of a full-blown desktop. There's even a fingerprint reader.
Bland on the outside, beautiful on the inside. The nicest thing experts call the generic-looking notebook is "bland." Origin offers several airbrushing, color and etching options, however, and reviewers say you'll be impressed once you open the laptop. The EON17-S sports a stunning 1,920-by-1,080-pixel, high-definition screen, a keyboard with fully customizable backlighting and solid-sounding audio.
Great customer service. As a boutique system builder, Origin prides itself on its customer service and forum users say it shows. When you buy an Origin laptop, you receive free phone and online support for the life of the computer, and a team will help you with technical details if you ever want to upgrade the notebook in the future. In the case of a return, shipping is free and the company offers a 45-day "No Dead Pixel Guarantee" for the display that you can double to 90 days for an additional $50.
Top-notch support and customization options don't come cheap. It's a fact: Origin's laptops cost more than most of the competition. However, the competition doesn't have Origin's excellent customer support or wide array of powerful customization options.
Review Credibility: Excellent The Origin EON17-S gets an "Excellent" rating from PCMag.com. It's big, heavy and expensive, Delaney says, but the build design and gaming capabilities are some of the best around.
Review: Origin EON17-S, John R. Delaney, June 28, 2012
Review Credibility: Excellent Origin's gaming laptop earns another "Excellent" rating here. "Origin is one of the few high-end boutique gaming PC makers that really pays attention to laptops," Ackerman writes. He loves the customization and overclocking options provided.
Review: Origin EON17-S Review (Intel Core i7-3920XM), Dan Ackerman, April 22, 2012
3. Laptop Magazine
Review Credibility: Excellent "The Origin Eon 17S offers an astounding amount of power with a high level of customizability, making it a gaming rig to be reckoned with," says Smith. She particularly likes the 1,080p display and booming audio, and gives the notebook 4 stars out of 5.
Review: Origin Eon 17S Review, Sherri L. Smith, May 17, 2012
Review Credibility: Good The design of the EON17-S is nothing much to look at, but Brown says gamers will be more than impressed by its incredible customization options, attractive display and potent game-playing chops. "Origin's Eon 17-S gaming notebook might not be a beauty, but it's certainly a beast," he writes.
Review: Origin Eon 17-S Review, Michael Brown, May 22, 2012
5. PC World
Review Credibility: Good PC World's verdict mirrors that of DigitalTrends.com. "The EON17-S is bulky, heavy and generic-looking, but it's an excellent performer," Purewal says. The audio sounds especially nice, she adds.
Review: Origin EON17-S Review: 11 Pounds of Power, Sarah Jacobsson Purewal, May 4, 2012