Origin PC EON17-SLX Gaming Laptop First Look

The Origin PC EON17-SLX features a desktop-class Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 graphics module and Intel Core i7-6700K host processor. Let's see what it can do!


[Editor's Note: The following content is intended to be a first look, with some hands-on impressions and a few benchmarks. We will be conducting full reviews of gaming laptops soon enough, with a battery of exhaustive tests, including more thorough benchmarks (we're currently revamping our benchmark suite), and deeper analysis. But we wanted to get some of the newer models into the lab for some early testing.]

The Origin PC EON17-SLX is all about performance, boasting a desktop-class Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 graphics module and Intel Core i7-6700K host processor. It's no surprise, then, that the EON17-SLX is designed to actually replace your home PC, offering close to the ceiling of what fits in a mobile device. Of course, it has a price to match.

The Unboxing

Let it never be said that Origin PC doesn't protect its products for the trip to your front door. Our EON17-SLX arrived in a large wooden crate proudly displaying the company logo, with the interior box completely shielded from damage. Expect to pay an extra $41 for this "crate armor" option. The box inside the crate had a friendly thank-you note from Origin PC printed on it, building anticipation for this higher-than-high-end gaming laptop: "The moment has arrived."

The laptop itself is in a protective sleeve, which is covered by the box, that uses tensioned plastic instead of Styrofoam to suspend the system, thus minimizing shock to the device during shipping. Normally, we wouldn't spend so many words gushing about packaging quality, but the lengths Origin PC goes to ensure its product arrives safely would make a Russian nesting doll maker jealous.

The EON17-SLX is custom-configured by Origin PC and ships with the latest drivers and operating system updates. Inside the box is an Origin PC T-shirt, all of the retail component manuals, a notebook user guide, a driver disc, a recovery disc and a 16GB flash drive containing a backup image of the operating system.

Specifications



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The most prominent features are the desktop-class components, which include an Intel Core i7-6700K and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 8GB graphics module, both of which can be overclocked. And don't forget the 256GB Samsung 950 Pro NVMe SSD, 16GB of DDR4 and 17.3-inch IPS G-Sync display. This laptop is in a tier only a few gamers can afford. For over $3,300, the EON17-SLX should offer some of the highest performance possible in a laptop, and be comparable to a desktop.

The large chassis creates lots of room for I/O. There are five USB 3.0 ports (one of which is a charging port), four audio jacks, a 9-in-1 media card reader, an HDMI 2.0 output, two mini-DisplayPort 1.2 connectors and a USB 3.1/Thunderbolt 3 Type-C port, which operates at 10 Gb/s with USB 3.1 and 40 Gb/s with Thunderbolt 3.

The laptop doesn't appear to have any bloatware to speak of, unless you count the BioExcess fingerprint scanner software that pops up after boot (and will continue to do so until you set it up or disable it). The other software Origin loads, including Intel's Extreme Tuning utility, a graphics overclocking program, Flexikey (keyboard macro and LED lighting software), Control Center (for switching power modes), Sound Blaster audio software and a Spyder screen calibrating utility are actually quite useful for a system like this. There are no pesky trial versions of antivirus or word processing products to uninstall.

The EON17-SLX sports a ton of vents, which isn't surprising considering the machine's hardware. The bottom of the chassis appears to be mostly dedicated to intake, with two small speakers visible through the holes. The rear vents are exhausts; the right side expels heat from the graphics module, while the left takes care of the CPU's thermal energy. The front of the chassis is lined with more intake vents. Also not surprising: when this thing gets hot, it gets loud.

This system is considerably heavier than your average laptop, weighing in at 10.5 pounds. That heft is distributed mostly toward the machine's rear, but is also well-supported by sturdy construction. Nothing about the EON17-SLX suggests quality was compromised. The hinges are firm and the screen doesn't wobble.

The on-board audio provided by a Sound Blaster X-Fi MB5 is impressively clear and full. The speakers in the hinge and underneath the chassis (two in the hinge and two underneath, four total) provide pleasant mid-range and high frequencies with decent bass response.

Display

The EON17-SLX comes equipped with a 17.3-inch 1920x1080 IPS G-Sync-capable display. Eight gigabytes of GDDR5 on the GeForce GTX 980 is absolutely overkill for a 1080p display. However, if you connect the laptop to an external 4K display (which seems like a reasonable expectation, given the HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2 outputs), the extra memory could come in handy.

The added bonus of G-Sync makes gaming at ultra-quality presets quite enjoyable. Nvidia's technology seems most useful when averaging below 60 FPS, which tends to happen in the most taxing games at high resolutions, even on high-performance GPUs. G-Sync eliminates the screen tearing usually associated with disabling V-Sync, allowing you to crank up the quality slider instead of holding back just to achieve a 60 FPS target.

Input Devices

The EON17-SLX features a multi-color LED backlit keyboard, which is comfortable in both feel and size. You can create profiles and macros using the included Flexikey software. It's also useful for recording keystroke statistics and modifying the keyboard's LED colors.

The touchpad is perhaps the least-enjoyable feature of the EON17-SLX. It’s not that this is one is especially bad, I just happen to dislike touchpads. For basic productivity, it's actually responsive. However, the fingerprint scanner placed between the left- and right-click buttons got in my way often, and it would activate the BioExcess software that I neglected to configure, reminding me to set it up each time. I quickly found myself connecting a Bluetooth mouse.

Battery

The EON17-SLX comes with an eight-cell lithium-ion battery, which Origin PC claims provides up to 180 minutes (3 hours) of use. That doesn't sound like much, but considering the desktop-class hardware, size of the display and weight of the laptop, we really see the EON17-SLX spending most of its time in one place, on a table and close to an AC outlet.

The power supply is massive and heavy. The cord and connector are also very thick, and with a maximum output of 330 watts, they should be.

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17 comments
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  • warezme
    It is more expensive than a small form factor box running a 980 without the built in keyboard screen of a laptop. It is aesthetically unattractive as a laptop but with desktop performance that makes it a hard sell to someone wanting a performance laptop. It is a niche product. I would rather have a Razer Blade with the 970m and small form factor mobo running a 980 than having to lug this around.
    2
  • JamsCB
    Thanks for the write up. Very long time lurker, finally posting. When you start the reviews of gaming laptops, please include more portable options. I'm looking for a new gaming laptop now, but most articles I find for the "best gaming laptop" usually list the large "desktop replacement" style laptops. I'm a pilot, and on the road at least half the month, so I don't want something too big or heavy, yet I want one that is powerful. I'm also almost always near a plug if I'm actually gaming, so battery life while gaming isn't a huge concern. I'd appreciate it if you could include a few more reviews for the 15.6" and smaller, thin and light style of gaming laptops.
    2
  • Au_equus
    IMO the biggest point is missing. FPS and synthetics are to verify that performance is in the same neighborhood. The desktop CPU/GPU is in a VSFF package, ie, temperature and noise should be the main highlights.
    1
  • FritzEiv
    JamsCB: Thanks for this input. We're doing First Looks on a variety of laptops, including ones like you've described, but we're looking for what people eventually want more of. I suspect it's variety, and we'll try to look at all ranges and choices.

    Au_equus: We agree. These First Looks don't have that level of testing as noted in the top of the article, but we will be doing that in our reviews, so stay tuned.
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  • alphax45
    This seems excessive and really niche. Here is my general response when someone says they are looking for a laptop: Why a laptop? Do you NEED it to be portable? IMHO a desktop will always be better in the price/performance area. I always ask people why do you think you need a laptop? Do you really need a portable full fledged computer or do you just want something more casual; a tablet for social and/or media consumption while you sit and watch TV along with a desktop for real computing may be better in many cases. YMMV/IMHO of course.
    0
  • brettms71
    Will these sort of laptops run an Oculus. Serious question, since the specs say it will, but oculus also states that what is also important is the direct connection to the video cards for throughput. I use gaming laptops, but also want to get into VR. So not sure if I need to move away from laptops for VR capabilities.
    0
  • Golfis
    Quote:
    It is more expensive than a small form factor box running a 980 without the built in keyboard screen of a laptop. It is aesthetically unattractive as a laptop but with desktop performance that makes it a hard sell to someone wanting a performance laptop. It is a niche product. I would rather have a Razer Blade with the 970m and small form factor mobo running a 980 than having to lug this around.


    I thought the same thing. To my surprise at least when using amazon.de or .fr as a prizing reference, if you try to build a desktop pc that rivals an the 6700k and 980m sli performance, together with a backlit keyboard , a somewhat decent 2.1 speaker setup and the cheapest g-sync panel you can find, the actual price difference becomes almost non existent.
    1
  • gamebrigada
    For those that don't want to pay the OriginPC tax on outdated models should check this out...

    http://www.amazon.com/Prostar-P870DM-G-Display-i7-6700K-Wireless-N1535/dp/B017WN4YP4/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1455243412&sr=8-5&keywords=sager+P870DM-G

    You can just search for that model for different specs. That's the newest in that same range from Clevo. For those wondering about warranty, Origin will not service it, they make you ship it to the Clevo repair center in California.
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  • alidan
    Quote:
    This seems excessive and really niche. Here is my general response when someone says they are looking for a laptop: Why a laptop? Do you NEED it to be portable? IMHO a desktop will always be better in the price/performance area. I always ask people why do you think you need a laptop? Do you really need a portable full fledged computer or do you just want something more casual; a tablet for social and/or media consumption while you sit and watch TV along with a desktop for real computing may be better in many cases. YMMV/IMHO of course.


    when my brother went to college, he refused to listen to me and got a laptop for around 1000$,
    my reasoning for why not?
    you are taking your full FAR better spec gaming pc to college, do ANY of your classes require a laptop to attend?
    in a 2 years he may have classes that do, but nothing first year and probably nothing second year, so he got a 1000$ laptop now which could be completely outclassed in 2 years when he actually needs one because he is a moron.

    most of my family moved to tablets for media consumption and light use, but once really work needs to be done they get on an ancient laptop and do it because it simply works better than a tablet does when real work is involved.

    personally, i can see the fun in a laptop as a portable media box, emulation box, second pc for when mine is rendering and hitting 100% useage, and emergency backup but i can never bring myself to get one as they are just to expensive for what i get.
    1
  • TJ Hooker
    I bought a gaming laptop (Asus G75VX, not nearly as beastly as this one), during college. I went back to my parents' place for holidays and some weekends, and I wanted to be able to play games if I wanted while I was there. Plus I had something to bring with me to school when I occasionally needed to, although it was too big to be something you'd bring everyday and take notes in class with. Gaming laptop seemed like the best solution. After I graduated and moved away for good, I sold my laptop, built a desktop, and got a cheap tablet.

    I'm not saying that this Origin laptop (and, to some extent, gaming laptops in general) aren't a niche product, and don't usually offer the best value. But there are people for whom gaming laptops really are the best option. I just get annoyed when every article about gaming laptops seems to feature people questioning why anyone would buy one, and often implying that anyone who does did so out of ignorance. There's no need to point out that you can build a more powerful desktop for less money, most people are perfectly aware. Luckily the comments here don't seem to have quite reached that point yet.

    That's not to say that some people buying gaming laptops aren't sometimes clueless people who don't seem to understand the concept of value for money. After I bought my G75VX I spent some time on the Asus forum for fellow ROG laptop owners, and I swear there was a new thread everyday with someone talking about RAID0-ing SSDs, or upgrading to 32 GB RAM (for a laptop used only for gaming and casual use).
    2
  • ivyanev
    Quote:
    But there are people for whom gaming laptops really are the best option.

    While this is true - nowhere is written that a gaming laptop should be that big and heavy( and ugly ). Are the 200 frames with ultra settings, enough to say this is better than something sleek and beautiful and mobile?
    -1
  • MrDMajor
    There's a growing need for multimedia folks (who also game) to be mobile with their rigs. I've been researching laptops, and while I'd typically spend a lot less to build a desktop I can't afford to be tethered these days.

    My main concerns are heat, size of AC brick, display, and thunderbolt 3 and how it will play out in the future. I have investigated Sager, Alienware, Origin, and others for solutions but there is little info out there from sources I trust. I'd love to hear more from Tomshardware on this outside of the "just do desktop" crowd.

    Thanks for this.
    0
  • gaspir324
    Quote:
    Are the 200 frames with ultra settings, enough to say this is better than something sleek and beautiful and mobile?

    You cannot get sleek and mobile desktop replacements. It is all physics. I for one prefer to play the games with the max settings. And I don't want to compromise. This is not meant for taking it into class to take notes from your philosophy prof. This is for those who need to be able to get it into class, do some 3D modelling etc. and/or want to play games while travelling due to job or school. This is not obviously for you so why the hate?
    0
  • anarky321
    its not comfortable but i lug my 18.4" alienware to class and back....fits inside my messenger bag

    please stop comparing DTR's to desktops, mini-pc's and other 'alternatives'

    DTR's provide a very unique and irreplaceable solution to many people

    personally i wouldn't ever downgrade from an 18.4" laptop to a 17" one but it looks like manufacturers are way more committed to the 17" DTR size class ...that's very unfortunate
    2
  • hst101rox
    It came in a crate! Would be awesome if it had some LEDs in the lid or around the touchpad. Do the touchpad buttons have good tactile feedback?
    Can you customize it to have a 6820HK mobile CPU instead? A lot less power unless you heavily overclock, but more thermal headroom! Hopefully they'll provide a GPU upgrade path for Pascal, supplying the new heatsink for it.
    And hey, since the CPU is socketed, Kaby lake and possibly Cannon lake are possible upgrades in the future.

    It's a shame. New mammoth laptops, still less than 100 watt hours of battery. What if, just what if they used the same cells that the Tesla 90KWh pack has?? Probably closer to 115 watt hours for that laptop instead of 89.
    Laptop batteries have lower end cells I'm seeing. Even on very high end laptops. EDIT: Well, except Apples. Macbook Pro 15" has a 99.5 Wh battery.

    3 hours is really good for that laptop though! Way more than expected. Nvidia Optimus is great along with the desktop processor obviously being able to throttle way down and sleep certain parts of itself. That was the average battery life for a Pentium m laptop or pentium 3 laptop with a new battery, so it's nothing to complain about.
    0
  • Mikabl
    Isn't this is a rebadged CLEVO P870DM-G? Because other then the name it looks exactly like mine.
    0
  • coolspot18
    What an ugly computer.
    0