In the PC industry, “gaming laptop” often means “wildly overpriced.” The typical gaming rig hits the register at more than $2,000—sometimes much more.
Origin PC decided to do something about this, and set an admirable goal: release a true gaming laptop with a price tag under $1,000.
Origin PC EON15-S Gaming Laptop
An exceptional value for a solid gaming configuration. Turns in very good performance. Tons of ports.
Heavy and bulky as hell. Not particularly stylish. Anemic battery life. Shipped with poorly calibrated color.
Its latest model, the Origin PC EON15-S, starts at $999. That buys you a very good rig with a 15.6-inch screen with 1920 x 1080 pixels of resolution, an Intel Core i3, 8GB of RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics, and a 120GB SSD.
Now, that’s a minimal configuration for a gamer, but the EON15-S qualifies, if only barely, as a gaming laptop. Origin offers some upgrades, and sent me a review unit spiffed up with a significantly faster Core i5 CPU, faster RAM (but still 8GB), and dual drives: a 256GB SSD with a terabyte hard drive to back it up. Along with the much-needed upgrades, this configuration adds $200 to base price, which I find completely reasonable for a gaming rig.
The design looks and feels a bit like an 80s throwback, all Cylonesque angles extruded from matte black plastic, with vents and grilles all around. The body measures a whopping 37mm, thick enough to accommodate a full-size Ethernet port and tons of other connection options—including a USB-C port, three standard size USB ports, an SD card slot, a full-size HDMI output, and two DisplayPort outputs. Power flows through a rather clunky brick with a dedicated, cylindrical plug. At 5.25 pounds, it’s one of the heaviest laptops I’ve used in years. But hey, you gotta make sacrifices somewhere.
General app benchmarks performed well, and as a gaming rig it turned in framerates only about 30 percent below what you’d find on machines like the Alienware 13 and the Gigabyte Aero 15. Quite respectable, considering those machines cost hundreds of dollars more (and in the case of the Alienware, close to $1,000 more).
The EOS15-S includes a solid touchpad—not that gamers will use it—and a workable keyboard. The battery life, at three hours and 45 minutes, disappoints. Origin does make some design and usability concessions for gamers, including color-tunable LED backlighting on the keyboard and big squares outlining the WASD keys, so you know where your fingers go when it’s time to pick up your railgun.
Ultimately, gamers looking for the bleeding edge will find this machine underwhelming, even in its upgraded form. But if your allowance just isn’t what it used to be, well, you could do worse.
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