Product Reviews

Origin EON15-S

As technology marches on, affordable, powerful gaming laptops have become commonplace. The Origin EON15-S is one such mobile PC gaming device, though it’s not without its compromises to earn that ‘affordable’ descriptor.

The EON15-S comes encased in a black frame, with the same sort of angles found in almost every modern gaming laptop. However, Origin offers a slew of design customizations, from different lid colors to your very own designs on the shell.

Customization extends beyond just the chassis, with RAM, processor, and storage options galore. The configuration we tested, at $1,381 (about £1,050, AU$1,729), is a decent value, too, but there are plenty of options to make yours cheaper, or more expensive. There’s no 4K option, like the MSI GE62 Apache Pro, and the lowest configuration is $200 more than the low-end Dell Inspiron 15 7000 – but, even at the low-end, it’s still affordable for what’s inside and the additional free services Origin provides post-purchase.

Spec Sheet

Here is the Origin EON15-S configuration sent to TechRadar for review: 

CPU: 2.8GHzIntel Core i7-7700HQ (quad-core, up to 3.80GHz)
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 630; Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4GB GDDR5)
RAM: 16GB DDR4 (2,400MHz; 2 x 8GB)
Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS matte display
Storage: 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD, 1TB SATA HDD
Ports: USB 3.1 x 2, USB 3.1 Type C x 2, Mini DisplayPort x 2, HDMI, 6-in-1 card reader, Gigabit Ethernet
Connectivity: Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168; Bluetooth
Camera: 2MP Full HD webcam
Weight: 5 pounds (2.26 kg)
Size: 14.9 x 10.5 x 1 inches (37.8 x 26.7 x 2.54 cm; W x D x H)

Price and availability

The low-end EON15-S, with an Intel Core i3 processor and a paltry 120GB solid-state drive (SSD) for storage, sets you back $1,006 (about £780, AU$1323). Origin recommends an M.2 SSD for your OS, and even lets you add one for no extra cost. Strangely, you need to make sure to check the radio button on the configuration page, even though it’s free.

Fully decked out, with an Intel Core i7 processor, 2TB Samsung 960 Pro SSD, 32GB of 2,666MHz RAM, a 6x-speed Blu-ray drive and an Elgato capture card pumps the price up to $3,414 (about £2,597, AU$4,274).

There are two constants in all configurations: the display and the graphics chip. Whether you go bone-stock or all-out, your EON15-S has the same 15-inch 1080p display and the same Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. 

Since the 1050 Ti isn’t aimed at 4K gaming, it makes sense not to offer a UHD display, but the 4GB of video RAM holds the EON15-S back. The 1050 Ti-configured Apache Pro is $1,399 (about £1,063, AU$1,751), making it a hair more expensive for a comparably specced laptop.

Design

The black laptop we tested isn’t eye-catching in the least. It has just enough in the way of angular design flair to tip an outside observer off to its intended purpose as a gaming laptop. Where it really shines design-wise is in its multitude of case options. In addition to the stock black option, there are 8 other metallic colors to choose from, each adding $175 (about £133, AU$219) to the price. 

There’s also a $249 (about £189, AU$311) “Hydro Dip” option, which replicates the look of carbon fiber. Then there are an 8 additional themes to choose from, with flames, battle scarring, and more. The themes each add $299 (about £227, AU$374) to the price, though opinions of these elements of flair are divisive.

Custom designs make personalization options for the EON15 limitless. The price is ‘to-be-determined,’ and requires coordination with Origin and extra lead-time. But, if you have a guild or clan logo you want emblazoned on the lid of your laptop, Origin’s got your back.

Inside the laptop is a programmable, full-sized chiclet-style RGB keyboard. They keys are well spaced, but we don’t like the way the keys felt. Key travel is suitable, but typing on them feels a little mushy, lacking force when bouncing back into position. We found it less noticeable after a day or two of use, but the sludgy feeling never fully fades away.

However, we were left unimpressed by the trackpad. The buttons have a satisfying clickiness to them, but the multi-touch response is terrible. Two-finger scrolling is not possible in the way we’ve grown accustomed with nearly every multi-touch trackpad we’ve used. Normally, we’d place our pointer and middle fingers on a trackpad and scroll with impunity without giving it any thought.

The EON15-S won’t have any of it. The cursor jumps all over the screen, sometimes clicking randomly, sometimes scrolling a tiny bit. We are able to properly scroll only by spreading our fingers way apart, which is uncomfortable and requires us to actively think out the gesture, rather than just doing it. We’ve ended up using the up and down arrow keys to scroll instead.

The IPS matte display is a delight. Colors really pop, and when you’re configuring your laptop on the Origin website, there’s an option to have the screen color-calibrated before it ships. That’s awesome if you’re a photographer or designer who needs true-to-life on-screen colors. Movies and games look sharp, and it’s bright enough to take outside, although we wouldn’t recommend it in full sun.

The EON15-S is comparable to both the Inspiron and the Apache Pro in both size and weight. The power brick is about what you’d expect size-wise, so slinging the EON15-S around in a laptop bag isn’t too much of a problem. At exactly 5 pounds, it’s the lightest of the three, but just barely, and we never felt like it was too heavy to use on your lap.


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