The Bottom Line
Mar 6 2014 - The Origin PC EON17-S offers a solid level of performance that will likely appeal to any mobile gamer. The 17-inch system even in its base form offers a very pleasant gaming system. This is helped by the default SSD used for the primary storage drive. Performance can be improved by customizing the system but for many it probably isn't worth the added cost. Even with all this, the system is flawed by a screen that doesn't quite match up to the color, brightness or contrast of the competition. The battery life is also below many of the other 17-inch gaming laptops but that isn't as big of a concern as the display.
- Solid Gaming Performance
- Highly Customizabe
- Wide Range of Peripheral Ports
- Display is Dimmer with Less Color
- Battery Life Shorter Than Most
- Customization Causes Price to Rise Quickly
- Intel Core i7-4700MQ Quad Core Mobile Processor
- 8GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
- 750GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- Dual-Layer DVD Burner
- 17.3" WUXGA (1920x1080) Display With 2.0 Megapixel Webcam
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M 3GB GDDR5 Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Three USB 2.0, One uSB 2.0, eSATA (shared), FireWire 400, Displayport, HDMI, 9-in-1 Card Reader
- 16.5 x 11.5" x 1.95" @ 8.7 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium
Review - Origin PC EON17-S
Mar 6 2014 - Origin PC's latest EON17-S model is based around the Clevo P370SM white box chassis. This means that similar laptops be found from other system integrators on the market that use the same chassis. Origin PC attempts to make it a bit different by offering some customization including their logo etched onto the back of the lid and on the trackpad. These logo's then are lit up through the customizable lighting on the system that is something that we have seen in the past from the Alienware. The system is smaller than some past 17-inch gaming systems but is still almost two inches thick and weighs around nine pounds.
Powering the base configuration of the EON17-S is the Intel Core i7-4700MQ quad core processor. Now this processor should provide more than enough performance for those that want to use the laptop for demanding tasks like desktop video work or PC gaming. There are higher processors available for those that want the added performance but the costs can get quite high compared to the gains. The processor is matched up with 8GB of DDR3 memory which provide it with a smooth overall experience with Windows.
Storage for the base EON17-S is a mix of solid state and traditional hard drives. The primary drive is a 240GB solid state drive. This provides it with fast boot times and quick loading of applications. Since this is rather limited in space, a second 750GB hard drive is used for data storage of things like video, photos and documents that don't require the fast solid state drive for access. Of course you can always adjust the configuration of the system so that it has a larger SSD or hard drive if you are willing to pay the upgrade costs. If you want to add external storage to the system, you are covered as it features three USB 3.0 ports in addition to an eSATA and FireWire 400 port. This lets it use just about any type of high speed external storage system on the market. A standard dual layer DVD burner is included for playback and recording of CD and DVD media.
Sadly, the display which is one of the key features for gaming is also one of the areas where the EON17-S needs work. The 17.3-inch display panel comes with your typical 1920x1080 native resolution but it suffers in the brightness, color and contrast levels. Viewing angles are also fairly narrow. Sure, it offers smooth frame rates but the images are just not as bright or vibrant as other gaming laptops. The graphics are powered by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M graphics processor. This provides it with sufficient performance to offer smooth frame rates for the majority of games up to the native resolution. Some of the more demanding games will require that the detail levels be turned down some to keep the frame rates up. If you need additional performance, you can upgrade to the GTX 780M but it is nearly $400 for it alone.
Rather than an isolated keyboard layout found on many new systems, the EON17-S uses a more traditional design but it offers a bit more feedback on the keys that many gamers might appreciate. The spacing is decent and it does include a full numeric keypad. As mentioned before, the backlighting for hte keyboard can be adjusted to different colors to give it a more personalized look. The trackpad for the system is a decent size and offers dedicated right and left buttons below it that have a nice solid feel. Between the two is a fingerprint reader for extra security. The trackpad handled multitouch gestures fine which is a benefit if you will be getting Windows 8.
Speaking of the software, Origin PC ships the system default with Windows 7 rather than Windows 8. This is a preferred platform for many gamers as it bypasses the new UI with its start screen. Now Windows 8.1 has addressed some of these issues but many buyer's still want Windows 7 and this is something to consider. You can always opt for Windows 8 instead.
The battery pack for the Origin PC EON17-S uses a nicely sized 89WHr capacity unit. This is fairly typical in many 17-inch gaming class laptops that need the extra power. In digital video playback testing, this results in roughly three hours of use before the system shuts own. Now more demanding tasks like PC gaming will likely result in less than two hours of play so be sure to be near a power outlet and carry the power adapter. While times like this are not uncommon for a gaming class laptop, it is sadly less than others by anywhere from a half to a full hour. It still falls well short of the Dell Inspiron 17 7000 that has roughly twice the running time but has much less performance such that it is not suited for PC gaming.
Pricing for the Origin PC EON17-S is just over $1800. This is a bit more expensive than the similar Digital Storm Krypton but the EON17-S does feature a SSD that has to be added to the base Krypton laptop. The closest competitor after that would be the Alienware 17 that starts at around $1500. It is important to note that the Alienware 17 at that price offers less 3D performance from the GTX 765M and a lower resolution display. Upgrading those options would put the price slightly higher. Now the Alienware does offer a nice overall design. If you want something comparable but more affordable, then the ASUS ROG G750JW and CyberpowerPC Fangbook EVO HX7 are also options at around $1300. The Cyberpower offers nearly the same level of performance but is much heavier and has a more cramped keyboard. The ASUS on the other hand offers slightly less performance but is easy to add an aftermarket SSD into. It's primary advantage is that it runs much cooler and with less fan noise.