There are only a couple of names gamers need to know when in the market for a 17-inch gaming laptop. Falcon Northwest, Asus, MSI, and Maingear all come to mind, but Origin PC is garnering major attention with its EON line. The company is better known for building made-to-order gaming PCs with fully assembled water-cooling blocks. But those who know the origin story will remember this gaming boutique was started by ex-employees of the top-end gaming laptop maker, Alienware.
It's been a few years since Origin first got into the game and this time around, its EON17-S is loaded to the gills with a 17.3-inch 1920 x 1080 resolution screen, Onkyo-designed speakers, and a multi-colored LED keyboard—and that's all standard. For this particular review, Origin sent TechRadar a machine loaded up with an absurd 8GB of video RAM onboard an Nvidia GeForce GTX 880M graphics card and nearly the most powerful Intel Core i7 chip.
The EON17-S has some impressive specs behind it that should translate to near desktop-level performance. However, given this machine's considerable footprint, it's more of a command deck than a laptop. Plus, its even larger price tag is proof enough that this isn't a purchase that gamers should take lightly.
Unlike the Alienware 17 or MSI GS70 Stealth, the EON17-S is a far more subtily-designed gaming laptop. When closed, the laptop only has a few bits of noticeable flair on its back lid, including a metal Origin logo and two flared lines. This makes the machine resemble a Lamborghini, thanks to the red rubberized lid. This hypercar look extends to the back of the machine, where there are two massive vents that look like they were pulled right off of an Aventador or Gallardo.
Otherwise the laptop does not feature any side-paneling lighting on the side or superfluous "body armor," like the Alienware 17. Instead, the EON17-S is a fairly pedestrian machine with an almost all-plastic body, unlike the brushed aluminum-bodied MSI GS70. Despite its plasticky frame, the Origin machine feels dense and there's only the slightest hint of flex in the middle of the keyboard.
Opening the clamshell reveals more of the EON17-S' accented stylings, including a completely backlit keyboard plus a trackpad emblazoned with Origin's logo. To make things more comfortable, the rubberized coat from the lid also covers the keyboard deck and wrist pads. Just above the function keys is a built-in equalizer that lights up in the presence of loud music and explosions. This includes sounds piping through the EON17-S' audio outputs or speaker bar, which nearly spans the entire width of the laptop.
Getting deeper into the EON17-S' unique speaker system, it's way bigger and louder than most built-in laptop sound systems. Not only is the sound bar designed by Onkyo – an audio hardware company lauded for its home theater receivers and sound systems – there's also a subwoofer located underneath the laptop's giant footprint.
The massive tweeters on the EON17-S help the machine output some full-bodied tunes, and the subwoofer really kicked out the bass when things in the Battlefield Hardline beta got explosive. It's also great for users looking to turn this 17.3-inch laptop into a makeshift media center.
Ultimately, using a headset is best for gaming, but customers emptying their bank account for the EON17-S can rely on the laptop's built-in speakers. Just don't expect your team to like you when your keyboard chatter comes through the laptop's internal microphone.