Origin EVO15-S review

Tons of power in a compact package

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3DMark: Sky Diver: 25,111; Fire Strike: 9,915; Time Spy: 3,728
Cinebench CPU: 733 points; Graphics: 110 fps
GeekBench 3: 3,894 (single-core); 14,452 (multi-core)
PCMark 8 (Home Test): 3,573 points
PCMark 8 Battery Life: 2 hours and 52 minutes
Battery Life (techradar movie test): 4 hours and 3 minutes
The Division (1080p, Ultra): 54 fps; (1080p, Low): 136 fps
GTA V (1080p, Ultra): 40 fps; (1080p, Low): 151 fps 

Throughout testing, the Origin EVO15-S handled everything I threw at it without drama. 

The latest Intel Kaby Lake chips handles games well and multitasking with two dozen tabs open was no problem for the 16GB of RAM.

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 offers a nice bump in graphics performance over the previous generation, with increased frame rates in the same games across the board.


The scores show a noticeable jump in gaming performance but the largest jump can be seen in the battery life. Where last year’s Skylake model only managed 1 hour 49 minutes in the PCMark 8 battery life test, this year’s Kaby Lake model managed 2 hours and 52 minutes.

Our real world test, which involved looping the Guardians of the Galaxy move, resulted in just over four hours of battery life. 

This isn’t anything to write home about when ultrabooks are getting 10 to 12 hours of battery life now, but four hours is pretty great for a gaming laptop. You’ll still want to carry around the rather large power brick (628 grams to be exact) to charge on the go, but at least you won’t be tethered to an outlet if you simply want to get some work done at a cafe.

Pixel peeping

The 15.6-inch full HD screen is a good compromise between size and resolution. The EVO15S gives you a bit more screen than the 14-inch Razer Blade, which is great for gaming or watching video. 

It’s also coated in a matte finish to help prevent glare, which works very well to keep the screen visible in a bright room. However, the display is a bit too dim to work outside in the bright sun or next to a big window.

While competitors like the Razer Blade offer 4K resolution displays as an option, we think the 1920 x 1080 resolution of the EVO15-S is perfect for gaming and productivity. 4K screens may look better with specific content, but sacrifice battery life and usability. And with a GTX 1060, you won’t be pushing 4K games at playable framerates anyway.

Software you'll actually want

Since the laptop comes equipped with Creative’s Soundblaster card, there’s a Creative Soundblaster Cinema app installed to let you tailor simulated 3D effects to your liking. The simulated 3D sounded artificial to our ears so we left it off.

Since the laptop comes equipped with Creative’s Soundblaster card, there’s a Creative Soundblaster Cinema app installed to let you tailor simulated 3D effects to your liking. The simulated 3D sounded artificial to our ears so we left it off. 

We liked

The Origin EVO15-S is a handsome, understated gaming laptop that has more than enough power to play most modern games at smooth frame rates. While there aren’t many options when configuring the machine, the package that Origin has built is extremely compelling with a great blend of power and storage in a svelte form factor.

The latest Intel Kaby Lake CPU and Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU offer a noticeable bump in performance over last year’s model. While the design hasn’t changed much the EVO15-S is still one of the lightest gaming notebooks out there with an understated design that you won’t be embarrassed to take out to use in a business meeting.

We disliked

Build quality is acceptable, but not great compared to the competition. Razer still leads the pack when it comes to bullet-proof build quality for a gaming laptop. The thin aluminum may be prone to bending in the long run so take care to protect the laptop with either the included neoprene sleeve or an aftermarket sleeve of your choice.

The display, keyboard and trackpad are just average. We expect Windows laptops to begin using universal trackpad drivers so that everyone can enjoy multi-touch gestures. The keyboard takes some getting used to since there’s no left Windows key and the number pad is small but these aren’t deal breakers.

Final verdict

Origin has done a stellar job creating a compelling package of power and lightness with the EVO15-S. It may not have changed dramatically over last year’s model, but the increased performance and battery life are welcomed. 

While spending two grand may seem like a lot, the EVO15-S is actually not a bad bargain when looking at the competition. The Razer Blade costs almost the same but is smaller and doesn’t feature a number pad. The MSI GS63VR is slightly cheaper with a few less customization options. 

If you want a laptop that’s a beast when it comes to gaming and productivity but don’t want to tote around a laptop that weighs as much as a cinder block, the Origin EVO15-S should be at the top of your list.

Lewis Leong
Lewis Leong is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He has an unhealthy obsession with headphones and can identify cars simply by listening to their exhaust notes.