Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: Origin EON15-S

6:00 PM on 05.18.2012 // Daniel Starkey

I love laptops. They are great for LANs, they allow me to play games on trains and planes, and most importantly, they don't weigh 80 trillion pounds.

Sadly, laptops are almost always worse than desktops in terms of raw power. What they gain in portability, they lose in cost versus performance, which is especially a problem when it comes to high-end gaming. This is compounded by the fact that, unlike desktops, laptops are exceptionally hard to build for the average consumer. Enter the custom laptop manufacturer.

I spent the past week and a half putting the latest 15" laptop from Origin to the test. It's equipped with the brand new Intel Ivy Bridge chip, as well as the Nvidia GTX 675M. On paper, this laptop is easily the most powerful one I've used, but how well does it perform in the real world?

Manufacturer: Origin
Processor: Intel Core i7-3820 @ 3.6GHz
RAM: 8GB DRR3 @1333Mhz
Video Card: Nvidia Geforce GTX 675M
HDD: 750GB @ 7200RPM
Cost: $2530
Full specs 

Origin (not to be confused with EA's digital distribution platform), allows the customer to customize their laptop with quite a bit of freedom. They also offer higher-end hardware than you can usually find with mainstream manufacturers (e.g., Asus, Acer, Dell). Having only ever used mainstream laptops myself, I was eager to see what the custom crowd could conjure.

When the EON first arrived at my apartment, the people at the office asked if I had recently ordered the Ark of the Covenant. Arriving in a 30lb wooden crate, it was more than a little ostentatious. I found a crowbar and busted it open, Gordon Freeman-style. Inside, there was a t-shirt, a poster, the largest power brick I've ever seen, and a stunningly light laptop.

The first thing I noticed was how solid the computer felt in my hand. The lower portion of the case didn't squeak or visibly strain with pressure. The lid did flex a small bit, but I also had an older top -- shown on the left side of the image below. I cannot vouch for the build quality of the new lid.

From a design perspective, the computer is very quiet. It's subtle and calm. A stark contrast with Alienware and the Asus G73 line. The darker colors of the chassis and the default deep blue of the keyboard backlights is remarkably calming and works to hide the ridiculous power held inside.

Upon closer examination, there were a couple of slight problems. There are a lot of crevices, for example, which isn't very conducive for cleaning the machine. The speaker grill will be awful for long-term maintenance, and the lack of a "chiclet," aka "island"-style keyboard doesn't exactly fill me with joy either. I will openly admit, though, that the degree to which these things would bother someone depend very much on how anal you are. I, for example, take razor blades and clean the cracks on the edges of game pads and controllers. So take what I just said with a mountain of salt. 

When I actually started up the machine and got everything set-up, my first thought was to download and test Furmark. It's an absolutely brutal GPU test that has caused the death of quite a few cards -- great for testing your system's power and heat management. The EON did splendidly and after 30 minutes it was sitting at a balmy 85 degrees centigrade. I've only ever seen a handful of laptops that could actually survive the full 15-minute standard benchmark, much less hold a stable temperature below 100 degrees. Needless to say, I was thoroughly impressed.

Encouraged by the first batch of results, I turned to 3DMark 2011 for my second battery of tests. This proved especially useful because the machine came with a paper detailing all of the QA tests the team at Origin ran before they sent it off, giving me a chance to make sure they weren't trying to pull a fast one. The provided score was P3809 running the standard performance tests and my own runs all landed with in five points of that. So it definitely performed pretty consistently and on the extreme upper end of what most laptop users could expect, though it's still quite a bit less than moderately powered gaming laptop.

This is all well and good, and probably pleases the PC-playing patricians amongst our patrons, but what ultimately matters is the games. While I would like to create a nice-looking table filled with very detailed results pulled from console commands and Fraps, what matters is this -- every game I tried ran at a silky smooth sixty frames. Portal 2, Skyrim, StarCraft 2, Crysis 2, Mass Effect 3, and yes, even Minecraft all ran at max settings for hours on end without dropping a frame or heating up too much.

Trying to push the hardware a little harder, I ran a Blu-ray movie and two 1080p .mkvs in addition to all of the games above with pretty much the same result. Beyond the fantastic performance, the screen itself is gorgeous. The EON is fantastically bright with great contrast and color accuracy. It helps create a fantastic visual platform for playing games overall.

The astute will notice I qualified that last sentence with "visual." Indeed, the only real failing of the EON is audio output. Now I realize that no laptop speakers will ever really deliver the best audio experience around, but there have been some pretty great entries in the past. Notably, the aforementioned Asus G73. This is something I tend to expect, though, so I'm never too disappointed. What did cause a problem, however, was the lackluster performance of the sound card.

While far from the worst I've ever heard, the EON's auditory prowess simply isn't in the same league as the rest of the machine. Performance is inconsistent. After spending about 30 minutes configuring every conceivable setting, running output through an equalizer (first software and then hardware), I managed to get everything sounding pretty alright. Still, it was an awful lot of work to reach "normal." The one key exception to this short diatribe is the optical output, which was prismatic.

The keyboard and trackpad also hold up pretty well. The keyboard layout is nice, and it includes a numpad for those that are really picky about that kind of thing in 15" models. The touch pad has a nice texture that is neither too slick or too rough. It definitely feels like it would stand the test of time, but I didn't have two years with it, so I can't make any guarantees.  

The build that I tested runs for $2530. For that price, the EON is definitely competitive. That said, the market for custom-built gaming laptops isn't enormous, and many probably wouldn't even consider getting anything but a desktop. If you're a PC gamer on the go, and you're looking for a very solid piece of hardware to take to college or LANs, then it's worth a look.

Photo Gallery: (6 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Daniel Starkey, PC Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure dcstarkey Tips
Some say he never sleeps and eats only gourmet amaretto cupcakes. Others claim he's a hyperactive optimist. To citizens of the Destructoid empire, though, he's Captain Starkey, Intergalactic Game... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

NYCpunk avatarNYCpunk
you know what's not okay? scalpers with 10 copies of fire emblem fates SE on ebay for $200+. and no one is saying anything.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Fallout 4 wouldn't be Fallout with ridiculous glitches and shenanigans. Here are a few I've run into - [youtube][/youtube]
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
I've never earnestly went drinking before so it's cool to know I'm the slow, sleepy, impaired type.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Got to admit I didn't expect to find a mewtwo amiibo at my bookstore of all places...
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
My cousin found out I slept with his girlfriend and is pissed. Understandable. I am totally sick of the angry phone calls though. It reminds me so much of playing Call of Duty online. The screaming 11 year olds suck on there too.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Huh. Apparently even Japan has a Black Friday sale going on on PSN right now.
Lawman avatarLawman
Yes, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, I know that somebody has 2,625 more medallions than me. No, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, I don't really care.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
This fucking Bloodborne DLC, jesus. I'm on new game+, about level 90, and shit just tears my dick off. I don't know if I want to start another guy just to avoid NG+ and level him up, etc. sigh....
Shinta avatarShinta
Wii U, top selling black friday item on Take that you anti-Wii U people.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I am pretty hyped for when I get a laptop because I'll be able to have a good enough connection to stream XbOne/soon PS4 games to it along with natively rendered Steam games. Hype!
Avoclefo avatarAvoclefo
Got a PS4 that came with SW Battlefront this week, and planning on picking up the FFX/X-2 remake. Hype is through the roof, especially for FFX. If I were to get one other game, what should it be?
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Did a google maps search around my parents house for bars and there isn't one in like 25 miles, so I picked up an Intel compute stick and South Park: Stick of Truth on Steam. That's more or less the drunken screaming I'm in the mood for at about the cost.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
Do you ever have that moment of clarity when talking to someone and suddenly realising: You're just a skull, and they're just a skull, with fucking eyeballs and a sac of skin being the only comparative difference between you visually? ..just me then?
Nathan D avatarNathan D
After quitting for two days out of frustration, I beat Ludwig on my first try of the night. I'm on cloud fucking nine right now.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
When I did my retail shift today, we were moving more Smash/Splat Wii U bundles and the Gears/Rare Replay/Ori XB1 bundles than Uncharted and Battlefront PS4s. I think Nintendo and MS have better value on their side this holiday. Sony got lazy.
Confuseddalek avatarConfuseddalek
I found this weird game called Samurai Heroes for 8 dollars today. Its not bad.
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
Got Deadpool, Arkham Asylum and BioShock 1 and 2 all for 30$. Not to bad for going Black Friday shopping late.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
If you haven't played Tales from the Borderlands yet, GO BUY IT! By far the funniest game I have ever played, and the characters and narrative are incredibly well written. Very few memes unlike BL2 by the way.
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Played all of Life is Strange today in one sitting. Bloody hell. You should all play it. Only game this year to make me cry. Bravo developers. Possibly the most valuable thing I've ever bought for £10.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Last night, got farther than ever in Wasteland 2. This is my third playthrough-once thru beta, once through the orig version, now on Directors cut. Worth the restart, and it speaks highly of the game that I like it enough to do this. DAMONTA HERE I COME!
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -