Price Analysis & Conclusion
This is the second Origin PC laptop we've tested, but it's the first Max-Q version. Max-Q's promise stems from the performance it has to offer in a such a small package, and Origin PC has chosen the perfect laptop chassis for this case. It's not as thin as that of the Asus ROG Zephyrus or Acer Predator Triton 700, but it's also easier to upgrade. Gamers enjoy a nicely presented product, but function is just as valuable as form.
The Origin PC EVO 15-S won't surprise anyone with its performance, but it won't disappoint either. The GTX 1070 Max-Q offers nearly as much performance as a traditional GTX 1070, but its decreased power draw and lower clock rate limit it maximum performance. In GPU-reliant synthetic tests such as 3DMark and CompuBench, the EVO delivers performance between that of the GTX 1070-based MSI GE63VR Raider and the Acer Predator Helios 300 with its GTX 1060. The EVO shines in our storage tests thanks to its 512GB Samsung 960 Pro.
In a few cases, the GTX 1070 Max-Q rivals a traditional GTX 1070. Notable examples include Hitman, where the performance difference is negligible. However, it struggles a bit in GPU-intensive titles such as Metro: Last Light Redux and Rise of the Tomb Raider. Here, Max-Q's limits curtail the EVO's performance performance to about 90% of the MSI Raider's.
One of Max-Q's attractive points is its reduced power draw, which logically implies increased battery life. We've found that this isn't always the case in practice, as battery life is primarily determined by battery capacity. The Origin PC EVO 15-S delivers respectable battery life, lasting nearly one hour and 30 minutes with its 60Wh battery. The MSI Raider has a smaller battery and greater power demands, and thus falls behind.
The EVO 15-S' thin chassis and split cooling solution were one of our main concerns when running our thermal tests, but the Max-Q remained within acceptable temperatures.
Unfortunately, the EVO 15-S isn't perfect. Our biggest criticisms revolve around its display. It has a Full HD IPS display with a snappy 120Hz refresh rate. However, it exhibits poor contrasts. RGB levels are well balanced at low-to-medium brightness levels, but lose balance as the brightness is increased. This results in poor grayscale accuracy at high brightness levels as well. The display is also undersaturated, with gamma values hovering well below 2 at most brightness levels. The display's saving grace is color accuracy, where we only found a few issues, such as inaccurate blues, greens, cyans, and yellows.
Origin PC selected the ideal chassis with the EVO 15-S. It features outstanding aluminum construction with minimal use of plastic and solid build quality. Its design strikes a perfect balance between sleek and aggressive, and it only bares its fangs on the bottom panel. Origin PC to offers this particular configuration for $2,446, a price that includes extras like the wooden shipping crate, poster, and custom USB thumb drive. In comparison, the competing Eurocom Q5 offers a similar configuration with a 120Hz TN panel for $2,729, or nearly $300 more.
You can, of course, opt out of some of the Origin PC extras. Removing the wooden shipping crate brings the price down to $2,379. You can opt for DDR4-2400 memory, which drops the price down to $2,368 for 16GB of G.Skill Ripjaws or $2,350 for 16GB of "Origin PC Approved DDR4 2400MHz" memory. This price then pits the EVO against the recently reviewed Asus ROG Zephyrus (GTX 1070), which is available for $2,300. The Zephyrus lacks a 2TB SSHD and has slightly less battery life, but has comparable performance, better thermals, and a more accurate display. You can reduce the price even further by opting for a 60Hz Full HD IPS display, which drives the EVO's cost down to $2,277.
Also note that the MSI Raider, which features a regular GTX 1070 GPU, runs about $2,300 as well. At roughly the same price point, you're trading about 10% gaming performance for a slimmer, sleeker packaging and more battery life.
If you're looking for an outstanding Max-Q laptop from a boutique vendor, the Origin PC EVO 15-S makes a solid argument for your money.
MORE: Best Gaming Laptops
MORE: Gaming Laptop Previews
MORE: All Laptop Content