Feature Article

Origin EON15-S with GTX 880M Review

Heavyweight contender.

by

Laptops have come a long way over the past few years. They've gotten thinner, lighter, and more powerful. Plastic has been eschewed in favour of premium metals, and many now boast screens with ludicrously high pixel densities. The exception is the humble gaming laptop, which--aside from the excellent Razer Blade--is very much stuck in the '90s school of laptop design. Origin's EON15-S is no different. Sporting a "l33t gamer" aesthetic, it's a weighty chunk of plastic covered in the kind of garish lights and angular moulding that a 12-year-old me would have lusted over. For sure, the EON15-S's quad core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, 250GB SSD, and Nvidia GTX 880M GPU make it a very powerful machine, but it's hard to love something that's so lacking in the design department.

Design

When you lift the EON15-S out of its imposing (although optional) wooden packing crate, it's striking just how big it is. Weighing 8.8lb (4.1kg), and coming in at 1.7 inches thick, this is not a laptop you're going to want to carry around with you too often. Scattered around the sides are a plethora of ports, including a multicard reader, an esata port, two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port, Firewire, mini and full-size display ports, and HDMI; separate line in, headphone, S/PDIF, and microphone jacks; and a DVD writer. You're certainly not going to be stuck for places to plug things in.

Our EON15-S's lid came in red (you can customise your lid to taste) and was finished in a nice soft-touch plastic. I'm not a fan of the angular moulding on top, which adds yet more thickness to an already chunky laptop, but hey, maybe that sort of thing floats your boat. When you open it up, there's a classic, non-chicklet keyboard, along with a garish '80s-style graphic EQ setup above it, and a large and impressively loud set of speakers above that. Indeed, the sound quality out of the EON15-S is so good that you can easily use it as a makeshift boombox, or for watching films when you don't have any headphones to hand.

The EON15-S's thickness compared to my trusty work 13" Macbook Pro (late 2013).

Below the keyboard is a large touchpad complete with yet more lights, which is surprisingly good as Windows laptops go. The two buttons below it are a little feeble in action, but they get the job done. There's also the unnecessary addition of a fingerprint scanner, which you can use to unlock the PC, but it proved unreliable enough to make it quicker and easier to just type in a password. Speaking of typing, though, the backlit keyboard isn't great. It feels cramped, despite full-size keys, and the key travel is spongy and indistinct. It's not a great typing experience, but is just about passable for games. I'd happily lose the number pad for a cleaner design. Thankfully, Origin hasn't committed cardinal keyboard sin, and the Ctrl key is on the far left, just where it should be.

Build quality is good, and there's none of the creaky plastic that you get from cheaper laptops. That said, the EON15-S doesn't "feel" expensive. For a laptop that starts at $1,542 and rises sharply upward from there, I'd expect something with a little more finesse, and certainly something slimmer and lighter. I also find it incredibly unattractive. Maybe it's an age thing, but blinking lights and garish moulding just don't do it for me these days. Razer, Sony, and Apple have shown that powerful laptops can be just as attractive as their less-powerful cousins, so for the money the EON15-S demands, I want better.

Specs

What you give up in design, portability, and battery life, you gain in sheer customisation options. The EON15-S starts at $1,542, for which you get a dual-core Intel i5 4340M, 4GB of DDR3 1333MHz RAM, an Nvidia GTX 860M, a 15.6-inch 1920x1080 display, 320 GB HD, and a DVD writer. From there, you can go ahead and add different GPUs (all Nvidia), processors, mSATA drives, raid setups--you name it, and chances are you can do it with the EON15-S.

Our machine came kitted out with a quad-core Intel i7 4810MQ processor, 8GB of 1600Mhz RAM, a top-end Nvidia 8GB GTX 880M, wireless AC, integrated SoundBlaster XFi audio, 250GB Samsung EVO SSD, 750GB 7200 RPM HD, Windows 8.1, a 15.6-inch 1920x1080 display, and a DVD writer. Battery life is rated at six hours, which is wildly optimistic. Expect well under half that if you're hammering the CPU and GPU. Our spec of EON15-S will set you back an eye-watering $2,621, which puts the machine firmly in the high-end camp. It makes the inclusion of a 1920x1080 display something of a disappointment.

It's not a bad display by any means, and the anti-glare coating is a nice change from the hyper-reflective displays that seem to grace laptops these days. But since competing machines at this price are coming equipped with high-DPI displays, it's not the best value. Indeed, the price puts the EON15-S in the same price bracket as the 512GB Razer Blade 14, which comes with a gorgeous 3200x1800 display and costs $2,699.

Performance

As you'd expect with such high-end specs, the EON15-S handles games extremely well. At the display's native 1080p resolution, I could max out the settings on every game I threw at it, and get playable frame rates above 30fps. The GTX 880M's massive 8GB of memory is great for cranking anti-aliasing and texture settings, and with a few tweaks, you can hit that magical 1080p/60 performance that's all the rage these days.

GameSettings (all @1080p)Average FPS
Battlefield 4Ultra preset47
TitanfallHigh, "Insane" Textures60
Crysis 3Ultra preset, TXAA40
Tomb RaiderUltra preset, TXAA, Tres FX50
Bioshock InfiniteUltra preset79
Watch DogsUltra preset40

The EON15-S's general performance was good too, with the SSD making light work of booting Windows and loading up apps; it could easily double up as a speedy video- and photo-editing machine.

Verdict

The EON15-S is an admirable performer, and the GTX 880M powering it is a very impressive mobile GPU. But would I buy one? Absolutely not. Sure, it's easier to carry around to LAN parties than a tower, but it's not something you're going to be able to carry around with you to surf the Web or knock out a few emails. There are those who will have another device for that task, but if I'm spending upwards of $2,500 on a computer, I want one that's going to be useful for more than just a single task.

For the money, the likes of the Razer Blade, or even something like a Macbook Pro (if you're happy to bootcamp it for games), are better choices. In particular, the Blade's high-res touchscreen display; slim, light, and attractive enclosure; and much better battery life make it the go-to gaming laptop. Sure, you're more limited when it comes to customisation options, and its GTX 870M isn't quite as powerful as the 880M, but you gain so much in terms of portability and design that the trade-offs are more than worth it. If boutique gaming PC brands like Origin want to stay on top, they need to seriously step up their game.

Discussion

157 comments
sadface1234
sadface1234

It is trash, just got a lenovo on their 40% sale that has same processor (i7), the 870m GPU (so worse), 128 SSD, 500 BG hybrid DH, and same memory. Screen is smaller at only 15 inchs (1080p IPS screen tho), weights a lot less and only cost me 700$; it was 950 before sale.  Thing looks sleek as hell and beasts games (BF4 ultra gets 60).


This thing is a rip off beyond belief.... So while he may be bias this thing is a rip off

Vexov
Vexov

Basically it was considered trash right off the bat, because of its weight, thickness, plastic case. It really sounded like he already had his opinion made up.

Xerialstraz
Xerialstraz

TressFX with an Nvidia GPU isn't really a good idea.. just saying.

Kiyosuyo
Kiyosuyo

Saw Mark Walton reviewing a gaming laptop after he spouts constantly about MacBook, done. No one who takes MacBooks seriously should be writing reviews for gaming laptops.

aajep
aajep

As expected of Mark Walton, friggin MacBook hipster.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

I have a laptop that I bought for gaming. I didn't buy the most advanced money no object laptop I just bought one that I felt was a good price and gave good performance.

It cost me £800, got an i7 3.3GHz, GT 640M, 8GB RAM. It is a great laptop, can play Witcher 2 at 720p, 30fps with almost everything on max anyway and that isn't shabby at all.

The issue is it is now out of puff game wise, can't play Watch Dogs or Wolfenstein for example, Witcher 3 is WAY out. Even Far Cry 3 is right on the limits. BUT the good news is I now have a great every day PC that I can take anywhere with me. Has about four hours of battery, and the i7 can power through any every day activity without an issue.

Not worth it for gaming but well worth it in general for the long run.

TheGreatOldOne
TheGreatOldOne

No dice. Essentially, this is a laptop that begs to be placed on a desk and left there most of the time. If you REALLY hate cables or you just don't have enough space for a desktop this might be worth considering. As it stands, it has no redeeming qualities at its asking price (yes, that includes performance.)


A Razer Blade just makes more sense, the better screen alone is worth the performance sacrifice (again, strictly talking gaming here)

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

Well over priced, though that is how laptops are. Better off buying a good desktop then a small capable laptop if one is desired.

bfa1509
bfa1509

Noob here. Has anyone considered making a highly portable desktop gaming computer? i.e. one that has room to breathe but can easily be brought home at the weekends from college,work etc. I'm not very interested in gaming laptops but I don't like to be grounded by a desktop either.


More of these articles by the way, they are the only thing I like about the new gamespot.

daabulls23
daabulls23

High-end gaming laptops aren't supposed to be light.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

I really hate these squashed together, clunky looking keyboards... I don't think I'll ever find another keyboard like the one in my Vaio f12, which is a shame, because this things getting a bit out of date now.

Ferric24
Ferric24

Thanks for the review. I think you could add more useful tidbits about the laptop though. Like how loud the fans were and how warm it gets sitting on your lap. This article has received a lot of criticism but I hope Gamespot has more hardware reviews in the future as I'm a bit of a hardware nerd and like reading up on current trends. 

dannydopamine8
dannydopamine8

why do laptops have to be so thin? what are you throw it at someoens forhead?

thereal25
thereal25

It's the performance / price that counts - not petty considerations having to do with weight, thickness or design.



realguitarhero5
realguitarhero5

I don't think it looks bad.  It's certainly better than ASUS ROG designs.

TheExxorcist
TheExxorcist

Anyone buying a Laptop for only "Gaming" in mind... should consider building a Rig similar for half the price... If your the gamer that wants your PC on the open road. I guess laptops are your only option... personally I prefer ASUS ROG laptops if you want strait gaming... best bang for the buck, sleek design, great screens... I've had Alienware laptops before... to me, they are overpriced. All that extra money goes to a laptop with a pimped out chassis basically. ..

Just my personal thoughts.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@nameaprice 

Now, I don't usually do this, but I take umbrage to your protest that this product should be reviewed with regards to gaming only.

Perhaps you think that this product is targeted at game consumers and thus the review should be considered from strictly this angle, but that's a very, very narrow view which neglects the opinions of other kinds of consumers.

Phrykshun
Phrykshun

Portability and design?! Who the hell cares? How well it runs games is all that matters. 


I think I'd probably want a bigger screen. And definitely keep the numpad.

IJONOI
IJONOI

This review is a bit ridiculous. 

It's designed specifically for gaming. I'm sure 90% of people wouldn't give a toss what it looks like when your playing watch dogs at ultra setting. You can sit next to me on you mac book while I laugh at your patheticness. 


And 4kilos.... Really? man the F up. 


I had a DELL XPS M2010 that I used to carry everywhere. And that thing rocked. 

thechuck11
thechuck11

 This is more overpriced than alienware, somehow

nameaprice
nameaprice

To those defending mark saying crap about how we need to consider typical users, "typical" users SHOULDN'T even factor into a GAMING LAPTOP REVIEW!!!! ITS FOR GAMERS!!! WHAT DONT YOU UNDERSTAND ABOUT THAT!!! I MEAN BLUE STEEL, FERRARI, LATIGRA!!! I FELL LIKE IM TAKING CRAZY PILLS!!! 

Mommas_b_o_y
Mommas_b_o_y

comparing a gaming laptop to a mac is like comparing a car to a boat, should never happen. Also, gain some muscle you pansy. 8 lbs is too much to carry? lol

Daian
Daian

This thing is like a Mac but with Windows on it, way too overpriced, u can get the Asus G750 with the GTX 880M version for 1000$ less. Don't review crap like Origin or Alienware, overpriced as hell.

johnlewis107
johnlewis107

Where would you even take a laptop like this? :s

jellyman68
jellyman68

@Kiyosuyo Why? MacBooks are popular for a reason. They're great machines, and I actually used one for gaming on for 3 years with no problems. If it couldn't run a game smoothly on high it would run it on medium. The audio performance on the device is better than my gaming desktop too.

lem10001
lem10001

@Dannystaples14 I bought the Lenovo Y500 2 1/2 years ago for $800. Similar situation. I got 2 good years of gaming out of it but now the GT 650M just can't handle the newest games. 2 years of cutting edge gaming and I still have a laptop that plays many games I love and is excellent for other every day use.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@bfa1509 I doubt it. It is one of the reasons laptops are expensive for what they are, the components need to be low enough in power to make the battery last more than five seconds while playing a game and also low enough in wattage to not melt the casing on the laptop or make it overheat but high enough in power to at least play some games. Getting the balance right is where a lot of the cost comes.

A desktop gets around this by having lots of room inside for air flow so you can increase the power of the components a lot without creating nuclear fusion inside the case. The downsize is the case is so large it isn't mobile.

I don't think we will get around this issue until we see the first quantum computers start to hit the shelves. Will be a LONG time yet.

lem10001
lem10001

@bfa1509 You will still need to wrap up the cables and either have a 2nd monitor or pack that up too, but for the desktop I would recommend building one (or having one built) with either a micro-ATX case or a standard ATX case with a handle. I've done quite a few computer builds and I don't usually go with micro-ATX because I prefer to have more graphics card clearance (for higher end cards), but you could definitely build a "portable" desktop for $600-$700 that would play games much better than laptops at that price point. If you're not comfortable with building it yourself I would recommend asking a computer savvy friend to do it.

zyxe
zyxe moderator moderator

@daabulls23 bingo! Besides, I have a good backpack and don't have trouble carting my 17-inch gaming laptop AND my 15-inch work laptop around airports and such, I don't get what the big deal is when you're purchasing a desktop replacement that still actually fits in a backpack and games well :)

naetas
naetas

@Ferric24 I'm with you there! I was also hoping they would talk about the cooling system, as everybody knows, Gaming lappy tend to overheat quite much. For instance, the one I bought last october heated so much that I was forced to disable Intel Boost Mode on its processors, and this is all due to a bad cooling system, and very bad design (both CPU and GPU are sharing the same heat sink). 

zyxe
zyxe moderator moderator

@Gelugon_baat @nameaprice I'd say that it really should be reviewed with gamers in mind, especially on a gaming website. Gaming laptops are designed for a more narrow market, for individuals who want a semi-mobile desktop replacement. You specifically sacrifice things like battery power, size, weight and cost for performance when dealing with a gaming laptop that you don't consider with regular laptops. 


This is a gaming site; if I want basic tech reviews, I'll go to newegg or amazon or other retailers with a significant number of reviews for all kinds of products.

zyxe
zyxe moderator moderator

@Phrykshun a 17" gaming laptop affords the numpad without sacrificing room on the actual keyboard. i use one as a desktop replacement (gtx 880m, 16gb ram, i7 4910...) and it's magnificent.


basically, i'm agreeing with you :) right on.

zyxe
zyxe moderator moderator

@nameaprice agreed. You don't typically buy a gaming laptop unless you're a gamer or have money to burn. I don't have a gaming laptop to check email and play solitaire on and do nothing else with, I have mine to play BF4 when I'm out of town on business!


I don't care that it weighs 9 pounds: that's what backpacks are for. I don't want a low profile under my hands, I want something with a decent tilt that will be comfortable to type and game on (I have a zalman nc-2000 under my 17" gaming laptop).

zyxe
zyxe moderator moderator

@Daian actually, I checked out an Alienware 17 with similar specs and it was about $300 cheaper. I really dislike Dell, but I love my Alienware 17 with its gtx 880m... the soft touch keyboard is extremely nice to use and it's pretty well built.


I had a much cheaper gateway with a 9800m that lasted 5 years, but they don't make anything I like as much as that for the same price point anymore :(

WingChopMasta
WingChopMasta

@Daian Actually it is not an Mac and not really overpriced if you want to compare it to an MBP. I have an Macbook Pro Retina 15". 2.4 i7, GTX 650m ,8Gb Ram and it cost me almost $3000.


Minecraft with a shader mod crushes my Laptop.

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

Where ever you want comforts like good PC gaming away from your home.

Truth_Hurts_U
Truth_Hurts_U

@johnlewis107  on a 1 our trip before the battery dies from playing games on it... Then the next 2-3 hours plugged into a wall outlet in your hotel room.

C-P-30
C-P-30

@zyxe but with 17" screen instead of 15.6" the battery won't last as long (don't matter for you since you probably plug into wall) and how long does the batter last, say for heavy gaming use? The only reason I've never got a gaming laptop is cuz of the battery life and having to have a backup battery for continue use.

Truth_Hurts_U
Truth_Hurts_U

@canuckbiker  Or you could do the smart thing with all that cash... And build an ITX system. Since your going to be playing in your hotel room any ways.

zyxe
zyxe moderator moderator

@C-P-30 @zyxe but I don't buy a gaming laptop with battery in mind, I'm never gaming far from a plug. I don't have a backup battery. It's not going to be something you can use on a train or airplane anyway due to its size, and there really isn't anywhere else I'm going to try to game that won't have an outlet nearby.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

@Truth_Hurts_U @canuckbiker and carrying that is going to very easy... What with the monitor & keyboard & cables and possibly a mouse if you're too lazy to learn keyboard shortcuts.

velvetcisele
velvetcisele

@johnlewis107 Considering that picking up this laptop at that starting price tag could be considered sodomy levels of rip off for what you are getting, I'd be embarrassed to pull it out in the public too.