This has been the year that desktop performance truly arrived in gaming laptops. Nvidia’s new GTX 10-Series graphics chips have already proven themselves to bring desktop-level performance and some of the best gaming experiences we’ve seen on a notebook this year. But what happens when you add a full-on, PC-equivalent processor to that equation?
Origin EON17-X Full Specification, Features, Price, Release Date And Review
The new Origin EON17-X is here to answer that question with overwhelming performance. The 17-inch desktop replacement comes equipped with a top-end Nvidia GTX 1080 and an unlocked Intel Skylake processor – both of which have been overclocked to the max – plus enough DDR4 RAM and PCIe SSD storage to make most PC towers cry in envy.
However, you’ll really tear up when you see the $3,637 (about £2,940, AU$5,010) price you’ll have to pay for all this awesome power packed into our review unit.
CPU: 4.0GHz Intel Core i7 6700K (quad-core, 8MB cache, up to 4.2GHz)
Graphics: Nvidia GTX 1080 (8GB GDDR5X VRAM)
RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 (2,666MHz)
Screen: 17-inch, 4K (3,840 x 2,160) G-SYNC Matte
Storage: 2 x 256GB Samsung M.2 950 PRO (RAID 0, 512GB total); 1TB Seagate Mobile SSHD (8GB cache; 5,400rpm)
Ports: 4 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB-C, 1 x Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C), 2 x mini DisplayPort 1.3, 1 x HDMI, Ethernet, SD card reader, headset jack, microphone jack, headphone jack, optical out jack
Connectivity: Killer Wireless AC 1535 Dual Band, Bluetooth
Camera: 2MP FHD webcam
Weight: 8.6 pounds (3.9kg)
Size: 16.4 x 11.6 x 1.6 inches (41.7 x 29.5 x 4.06cm; W x D x H)
This year’s Origin EON17-X not only comes with new internals but a completely new design courtesy of the Clevo P775. Clevo might not sound like a familiar name, though it’s the manufacturer Origin has worked with for years as the chassis provider for most of its EON-series gaming laptops.
Following the tradition of sacrificing portability and thinness for maximum performance, the new EON17-X measures 16.4 x 11.6 x 1.6 inches (41.7 x 29.5 x 4.06cm; W x D x H) and weighs 8.6 pounds (3.9kg). The laptop won’t fit in anything but the largest of bag, and make you feel sore every day you’re carrying it.
This latest model also adds to the increasingly angular look as seen with the Lamborghini-esque Origin EON17-SLX. Our review unit is furnished with a bespeckled candy red lid that shimmers in the light. On top of this hot paint job, panel lines are etched into the screen lid, giving it sculpted lines like a hypercar.
Around the rear, you’ll also find the EON17-X’s forked and extended exhaust system. Don’t mistake this for a hinge forward design like that of the Alienware 17, though. The 17-inch screen is actually attached at this extended stern section. It’s more likely that Clevo pushed in the center of this machine to create a small cubbyhole for cleaner routing with the backside ports.
Interestingly, this indented center of the laptop is also the only spot that’s made with metal. Unlike the Origin EON15-X, there’s no soft-touch coating to cover up the unmistakable plastic construction of this machine. The good news is the EON17-X feels solid throughout, with only the most miniscule bit of flex in the center of the keyboard.
Although it looks like there isn’t much to the EON17-X’s all black interior, there are enough little touches to keep things interesting.
The aforementioned metal flap rises up from the back and drapes itself over and onto the interior of the laptop to meet the power button. Just below this, there’s a set of white indicator lights arranged into a chevron. And just to the sides of this whole arrangement is a sizable, split speaker bar.
The keyboard also lights up into three distinct zones – though we stuck with a simple white color scheme, matching it to the system lights and power button. Typing on the keyboard feels solid thanks to keys with a firm actuation point and an appreciable amount of key travel.
Unfortunately, we don’t have as many nice things to say about the touchpad.
Don’t forget to bring a mouse with this laptop, because you’re almost always going to want to disable the Synaptics touchpad on this laptop. We can forgive the basic plastic build and the pointing devices serviceable job of translating our cursor movements, but palm rejection was virtually non-existent.
While writing this review, we would abruptly jump to a different page or end up deleting large sections of text whenever our hand brushed too closely to the touchpad.
And as if that wasn’t enough of a frustration, the integrated fingerprint reader was initially buggy due to Windows 10’s incompatibilities with the preloaded BioExcess software. No matter how we swipe our fingers on the biometric sensor, we couldn’t properly register a single digit.
Worse yet, even gently brushing our palm against the sensor causes the BioExcess app to pop up above all other windows. While playing games, BioExcess would literally bust through all our open programs like the Kool Aid man, forcing games to drop out of full-screen mode.
Thankfully, Origin quickly squashed this bug for us by telling us delete the software from our system and simply use the built-in Windows Hello feature. Registering and logging in with the fingerprint sensor is still annoying due to the part being much smaller than readers on other devices. But at least we don’t have to tell BioExcess to end task anymore.
Ultra HD the way it was meant to be seen:
One of our biggest complaints of the Origin EON17-SLX we reviewed last year was the lack of a 4K screen option from the onset – though Origin added it later. Thankfully, the Ultra HD screen option is available from the get go now, and it’s spectacular.
The 4x resolution bump from your traditional Full HD display makes games and high-resolution movies look incredible. Colors are vividly represented to make everything pop off and the EON17-X 4K screen also produces the best blacks and contrast we’ve seen on an Origin laptop yet.
That said, everything looks a little warm and that’s even with Origin’s optional screen calibration, so we wouldn’t really rely on it for editing photos or color correcting video reels. As a media machine, though, we would say hell yes.
On top of the big ol’ gorgeous 17-inch 4K display you’re getting here, the split speaker bar on the EON17-X is also dazzling. Music played on this laptop is both loud and full of richness. Thanks to the size of the drivers inside, you can practically use it like a Bluetooth speaker to fill an entire room with sound.
Last year, the $3,305 (about £2,341, AU$4,114) Origin EON17-SLX was the most expensive laptop we reviewed due to its two desktop-grade parts, and now the $3,637 (about £2,940, AU$5,010) Origin EON17-X has eclipsed that.
It’s a pricey proposition, but let’s consider the fact that it’s essentially a very well specced desktop that also happens to be portable and has a 4K screen. Yes, it’s entirely possible to build an equally powerful desktop for the same price while still having plenty leftover to buy a 4K screen and additional peripherals – but not everyone has the time or space for this type of setup, and this is when a gaming laptop makes the most sense.
That said, there are more affordable alternatives out there, like the $3,339 (£4,399, AU$5,799) MSI GT73VR Titan. Although it may not include a processor pulled from the desktop bin, it’s Intel Core i7-6820HK chip is still unlocked, plus there’s a larger 1TB SSD and 64GB of RAM on tap here. The thinner, though only QHD (2,560 x 1,440) resolution, Alienware 17 can also be had for $3,199 (£2,829, AU$4,199).
The Origin EON17-X may be the most expensive option in this desktop replacement group, but it’s the only one that offers a full desktop processor. The true value of an Origin system comes with its ability to customize the system however you’d like.
The base $1,894 (about £1,530, AU$2,610) Origin EON17-X is merely a platform with a 1080p screen, Nvidia GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5), 3.2GHz Intel Core i5-6500, 8GB RAM and 120GB SSD. From there, you can build up the system to be a mid-range gaming machine or a media workhorse equipped with tons of storage.
No matter how you build it, Origin includes a year of insurance coverage and guaranteed parts replacement service. Our review system also came with optional overlocked CPU and GPU upgrade, the earlier of which is pushes the processor to operate at 4.5GHz – rather than the 4.2GHz limit Intel suggests.
Here’s how the Origin EON17-X performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
3DMark: Cloud Gate: 31,206; Sky Diver: 34,741; Fire Strike: 17,006
Cinebench CPU: 861 points; Graphics: 146 fps
GeekBench 3: 4,549 (single-core); 17,445 (multi-core)
PCMark 8 (Home Test): 4,085 points
PCMark 8 Battery Life: 1 hours and 46 minutes
Battery Life: 1 hours and 54 minutes
The Division (1080p, Ultra): 102 fps; (1080p, Low): 232 fps
GTA V (1080p, Ultra): 86 fps; (1080p, Low): 182 fps
Thanks to the desktop CPU and overclocked parts, the Origin EON17-X is the best performing machine we’ve tested this year. Both the MSI GT73VR Titan Pro and Razer Blade Pro wowed us with their impressive scores, but Origin’s 17-incher just smashed them out of the park.
The EON17-X’s 3DMark Fire Strike scores landed 3,000 points ahead of everyone else, and we saw identical results from the processor in the GeekBench tests. In terms of gaming performance, Origin’s desktop replacement also ran games faster with 20 more frames per second (fps) at 1080p Ultra.
At 4K Ultra, the Origin EON17-X also proved its worth, running Watch Dogs 2 and Battlefield 1 at an average 45-60 fps. Our benchmark games, The Division and GTA V, stayed at 28 fps on 4K Ultra but we were able to get 60fps by dropping down the graphical settings a tiny smidge.
The only thing more impressive than these numbers is the jetstream the Origin EON17-X produces to keep itself cool. The cooling fans inside the laptop produces at least a foot of air pressure coming through the back while making a giant racket at the same time.
Ultimately, though, if you’re looking for a machine with the raw power to just smash through everything. This is it.
No worse or better battery life:
With all the emphasis on power we weren’t expecting much in terms of battery life. Our battery benchmark tests (PCMark 8 and our standard movie test) and our own everyday usage, confirmed the Origin EON17-X lasts for less than two hours.
If you’re looking for a machine with portability in mind, the Razer Blade Pro offers up to five hours of battery life. Otherwise, the EON17-X’s run times falls in line with the trend of 17-inch gaming laptops lasting for next to no time at all.