Origin PC's EON11-S Achieves Portability Without Sacrificing Power

Origin PC and LucidLogix have teamed up to offer what may be the best portable gaming laptop on the market, the 11" EON11-S.

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The terms "portable" and "gaming" aren't usually synonymous with laptops, but there are a handful of vendors attempting to undo that train of thought. As Alienware quietly sent its aging M11x out to pasture, Origin PC stepped up with its 11-inch EON11-S. While Origin PC is just one of many companies offering rebranded versions of Clevo's 110ER, there's more under the hood of its rendition than initially meets the eye.

The diminutive EON starts at $1,009, but as of publication, GameSpot's midrange configuration goes for $1,302. The backbone of the EON11-S (and all rebranded 110ERs) is Nvidia's GeForce GT 650M GPU with 2GB DDR3. It's not the beefiest mobile GPU around, but it's no slouch either. It slightly outperforms the ever-popular GTX 560M from 2011 and is currently ranked third among Nvidia's Kepler mobile GPUs in terms of raw power. Each EON11-S also comes with two USB 3.0 ports, a media card reader, and a built-in webcam.

GameSpot's review unit was configured with savings in mind, but not all corners were cut. In addition to the aforementioned components, we opted for an Intel Core i5 3320M 2.60 GHz CPU, 8GB of DDR3 1333, and a 256 GB Samsung 830 SSD, again, checking out at $1,302. Origin PC includes a reassuring one-year parts replacement warranty, on top of its promise of lifetime labor and 24/7 customer support.

The build quality is solid and the chassis is compact, consisting primarily of hard plastic, with a few panels of soft, rubberized plastic. The wrist rest and touchpad have a gridlike texture, unlike the rest of the interior. The rubberized portions pick up some fingerprints, but overall, the EON11-S isn't what we'd call a fingerprint magnet.


The EON11-S's LAN, VGA, HDMI, Audio, and USB 3.0 Ports

The EON is not just small, but light as well. It weighs in at 3.9 pounds, roughly 50 percent heavier than a MacBook Air, but far lighter than larger gaming laptops. Origin claims 7 hours of battery life for the EON11-S, but during a day of word processing and web browsing, our battery was empty after 5.5 hours. While gaming, the EON11-S's battery lasted roughly 3 hours before kicking the bucket, but that's still a respectable figure among gaming laptops in general.

When pushed to the limit, the EON11-S does have a tendency to warm up rather quickly while gaming. The GT 650M's fan kicks into high gear frequently, doing its best to combat the heat. Overall, we wouldn't call the EON11-S "hot" or "loud," but expect a little warmth and a little noise whenever booting a game up.

Now, each PC vendor offers a different selection of parts, but comparable builds from a handful of vendors consistently clocked in cheaper than the EON11-S. With that in mind, why would an informed customer pay more for the same hardware? If they are truly informed, it's because of Origin's exclusive partnership with LucidLogix and their recently launched Virtu MVP software. Before passing it off as an abject cross-promotional deal, it's important to understand what Virtu MVP is and why it may be worth the extra cost, especially in a gaming laptop.

At its essence, Virtu MVP offers a threefold approach to GPU management and optimization: GPU virtualization, Virtual V-Sync, and HyperFormance.

The primary goal of GPU virtualization is to delegate various tasks to the appropriate GPU--either the discrete Nvidia card, or the Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU, integrated in every Ivy Bridge GPU. You may be familiar with Nvidia's Optimus tech, which intelligently switches control to the discrete GPU when the integrated GPU tops out. With GPU virtualization from LucidLogix, tasks are dynamically assigned to either GPU based on the nature of the task at hand, rather than waiting for the integrated GPU to reach its performance limit. Even better, both GPUs can function simultaneously. This delegation takes place in LucidLogix's software layer.

Now, you can leverage the strength of both GPUs, maximizing your PC's potential. Intel's second- and third-generation CPUs feature Quick Sync video encoding technology as a part of the integrated HD Graphics GPU. Now, instead of sitting on the sidelines, for example, it can encode video while you game away on the GT 650M.

Virtual V-Sync is the second part of LucidLogix's Virtu MVP software. V-Sync traditionally limits frame rates to your monitor's refresh frequency, typically 60Hz. In doing so, it also limits peripherals to the same rate input. The main advantage of enabling traditional V-Sync is the elimination of tearing, which results from the frame buffer passing more than one frame per refresh cycle of the monitor. LucidLogix's Virtual V-Sync allows your GPU to hit higher frame rates, without screen tearing, and without limiting the responsiveness of your peripherals.

As purported, each game we tested exhibited increased frame rates with Virtual V-Sync enabled and, to our eyes, did so sans screen tearing. Now, objectively testing the effectiveness of these higher frame rates is difficult, as peripheral responsiveness felt roughly the same whether or not Virtual V-Sync was enabled. What's definite is the increased frame rates, which will reduce frame stuttering (occurs when frame rates are lower than the monitor's refresh rate) while also preventing screen tearing.

The final trick up LucidLogix's sleeve, HyperFormance, might be the feature that seals the deal for some customers. In an ideal scenario, HyperFormance boosts frame rates by roughly 30 percent. We disabled V-Sync and Virtual V-Sync during our testing to maximize frame rates. Here are our results

Game
Settings
Standard FPS
HyperFormance FPS
Far Cry 2
DX10, High
47 FPS
78 FPS
Metro 2033
DX11, Medium
37 FPS
47 FPS
Batman: Arkham City
DX10, High
32 FPS
33 FPS

When using the Virtu MVP configuration utility, you need to manage settings for individual games, as each must be verified by LucidLogix before receiving official support. Some games aren't on the list and must be manually added or tested. Others may be present but have features disabled, as is the case with Arkham City and the HyperFormance option. While we were able to find a mix of settings that did benefit from HyperFormance, we were unable to test Arkham City with DirectX 11 features enabled, as it resulted in serious rendering errors.

LucidLogix's exclusive partnership with Origin PC is enticing; Virtu MVP boosts frame rates while optimizing battery life and processing potential. Since Origin PC offers a laptop that, from a hardware standpoint, goes toe-to-toe with the competition, its slightly higher price tag must be justified. Virtu MVP does what's promised and will only improve as LucidLogix continues to update support for games, but its worth is subjective. If 30fps is too low for your standards, then HyperFormance should soothe your woes. If V-Sync is important, Virtual V-Sync will allow you to enable it without limiting performance and responsiveness. If you need a functional, well-built, portable gaming laptop, with a generous warranty and round-the-clock support, and all the benefits of Virtu MVP sound enticing, then the EON11-S is right up your alley.

Discussion

1 comments
chuchomalanga
chuchomalanga

Portability is the main factor for most gamers on the road, keep in mind that an 11inch screen notebook could be plugged as well to your 55 inch TV and take advantage of the screen size if you are at home. A portable system takes you everywhere...a LAN party, enjoying gameplay while on a plane...basically anywhere. An ssd is a plus and yes they are pricy not only make your boot up time super fast, and applications loading is way faster but it is also more reliable and there are no mechanical parts in it, meaning in case your system is dropped by accident, your hard drive won't get damaged. Some people using mechanical drives drop their systems and guess what? Operating system will not be available next time you power on you system (OS not found error message). Mechanical drives have moving parts and they break then you probably won't ever recover your data from a damaged drive. SSDs are something interesting to consider.

vackillers
vackillers

does not make me want one, for a tiny bloody screen of 11" at a full wooping price of 1300 or more, that is beyond over-priced crap and its not even a gtx 660M... rediculas... you might as well get a MUCH more powerfull laptop at alienware for the same price... or cyberpowerpc.com

 

I get its supposed to be mobile, but really, if you going for mobility, gaming on the road, your just better off using either a smart phone with 1000s of free downloadable games (on andriod) or an ipad.. which is a lot easier and a lot more mobile then a craplap...

 

If laptops are seriously going to replace full gaming rigs or want to be using in the gaming industry as a serious alternative, then you HAVE to BRING that price WAAAAAAY down... no one in their right mind will pay 1300 bucks for something that you have to squint to see the screen because its so small... laps need to be HALF the price as dont even last as long as a regular machine because of over heating issues anyway

Kayweg
Kayweg

The very term "gaming laptop" makes me cringe. 

 

BuzzLiteBeer
BuzzLiteBeer

30% increased FPS from software? I need to see this to believe this. I also agree that the size diminishes the experience of gaming. Put this HyperFormance technology on a real gaming laptop or machine, because if it is indeed that good, HyperFormance is really what we should be watching.

theshonen8899
theshonen8899

I love the 11" form factor. So easy to carry everywhere.

kreisler
kreisler

My comments is going to go against everybody's feel about the machine. Suffice to say, I went to an 11.6 and never looked back since. I know plenty of people think that 11.6 is too small, but you have to try gaming on it and you will realize the screenis actually quite perfect (for the distance of your face to screen). 11.6 now runs on 1366 X 768 and your games will be just beautiful with the kind of size and resolution. There aare some YouTube videoas doing actual gameplay of BF3, etc on an 11.6 and such specs and you can see for yourself the performance - it is very playable and the size is right.It's not for everyone, granted yes you can get better machines for a fraction. But I'm a mobile person, not extensive, but I move around. And I would like to know I can game when I'm over at my relatives, when I'm hanging at some cafe or at some late nights in the hotel room on my working trip (BTW it's small enough for you to even game on the plane's seat tray, with some mouse space to boot as well). I normally do my Civ V when I'm flying short distances (couple of hours). If you're watching movie, great size on the plane tray as well without being too intrusive.It's a great machine if it fits your profile of a mobile gamer. Won't get you super specs but then again, as hardcore a gamer I am, I'm not that hardcore looking for constant >70fps fluid graphics, etc. Medium high settings is ok for me. My machine is 2 years old and still takes everything thrown at it pretty well on those settings.It is a great machine if you're willing to give and take. Expensive, not as powerful, gets hot - but it let's you play on the go, and I need that. Some people say being hardcore means getting all the powerful specs and all. My version of hardcore is i need to game anywhere and anytime i want. :) 

fraator
fraator

Laptop gaming is waste of money in the first place. Good performance comes for about 1500-2000USD and is outated in 2 years, since laptop video is simply weak. 3dmark11 P score 2000 is nothing to boast about in todays gaming. I do not reccomend.

5SI-GonePostal
5SI-GonePostal

Unless you have a very very good reason for buying a "gaming laptop" like travelling 3-6 months of a year buy a desktop!  There are very few reasons to ever choose a gaming laptop.  

chronocommander
chronocommander

11 inch  gaming laptop, no thanks, what is the point of all that power on such a minuscule screen?

violenus
violenus

I've got the Eon 17s,casings plasticky and utterly crappy. Friends think i got ripped off as far as the casing goes,and i tink so too. Performances is good though.This casing looks very similar and extremely familiar.

Wizallah
Wizallah

The Asus g73jh all the computer a gamer needs. An older but still very powerful 17 inch laptop that will run anything you feed it. $600 bucks at most places.

nyran125
nyran125

its cheaper to build you own, but i guess if you cant be bothered this is another option. However, you SHOULD be bothered, becuase i teaches you about building your own PC, that cant be bad for you.

valium88
valium88

Yeah I'll just stick to my desktop and 50" plasma-screen. As long as these gaming-laptops stay true to being an expensive peace of crap, there actually is a chance of me having a life outside my four walls in the coming future lol! So I think those specs are thrilling, just not in a buying way.

wis3boi
wis3boi

Just picked up an Acer laptop with the basically the same hardware for $829

ESPM400
ESPM400

Personally, I bought a G74sx about a year ago for $1500 CAD and have yet to find a game it won't play smoothly at max settings. Sure it's hefty, but since I use it as my home PC as well, most of the time it sits on a shelf hooked up to my TV

billlabowski
billlabowski

Horrible performance per $. I'll stick to mobile gaming when I'm traveling and my PC for gaming at home.

poopinpat
poopinpat

A lot of the commentors bashing this machine don't seem to realize how hard it is to find these specs in a laptop under 5lbs.  Yes the small screen is a massive turn off for gamers but for some people portability is a number one priority.  Not saying this lapper is right for everyone but it is definitely ideal for somebody.  You can't say EA can't afford good market research lol.

poopinpat
poopinpat

3.9lbs is nice but 11" is just too small for me especially at that price point.  About to order a lenovo y580 (15.6", 1080p, i7, gtx 660m, 8Gb ram, 6lbs) for $1000.  More gaming on the go then you can shake a stick at :D

larkin-54
larkin-54

Yeah... just build a desktop its no difficult and way cheaper, I just built my current one 3 weeks ago runs like a dream and is smoking fast for 1100 total 

scarred_fox
scarred_fox

i'm not shelling out the cash just to purchase a name especially for a screen that small. i've been gaming on my 17" sager laptop and have been modifying it over the year and it will continue to do the job for my gaming needs throughout all of 2013. sure it cost a bit to upgrade myself but it was cheaper than building a whole new system. FYI, I work abroad hence why I pay to upgrade. No mention on whther u can upgrade these origin laptpops, but knowing EA  and their money grabbing habbits, there will be a VOID warranty sticker somewhere on the chasis.

Beagle_san
Beagle_san

I'll point out that many people can take something like this for the portability, and at other times hook it up to as big a monitor as they want (hell, hook it up to an big screen TV). I can see this being used by people who need a lightweight device, but who want to game, but don't want or can't have both an ultrabook and a gaming rig. I agree, the 650M isn't a crazy strong video card.

 

I do have to question the ranking of the 650M as being in 3rd place in terms of raw Kepler mobility power, as there's the 660M, 670M, 675M, and 680M... and there are different gigabite versions of some of those cards.

 

Explain to me, Mr. Brown, why it shouldn't be ranked 5th.

PeterDuck
PeterDuck

11 inches? low specs? THAT expensive?

suck one

mnoi
mnoi

Kind of silly to get this, might as well get a 14" with better specs at a lower price

megakick
megakick

$1300? for this are you crazy?

I would rather buy a bigger laptop and get more...

Origin is expensive...

NFSKJG
NFSKJG

Funniest piece of junk ever. 256 GB Disk space and only 8GB Ram? I can build a much better computer for under $800. Plus the low end video card? Pfft, waste of money here guys

Tsuchikage
Tsuchikage

Seems pretty solid, though I'd like a higher CPU clock speed. 

ragnar320
ragnar320

im confused is this an ad or a review of a gaming laptop? it seems decent enough but i dont understand whats the big deal of a SSD drive i am kinda noobish but other than aquireing data quicker i dont understand why this hardrive is better?

ssj2los
ssj2los

11 inch monitor.. what kind of res we pushing here 800 x 600?

WoodenStick
WoodenStick

@Kayweg same here, Asus vivobook x202 + gaming rig for 750$ = win!

fraator
fraator

 @chronocommander Only on HD rez do you get tehese fps stated in the review. If you go FHD you are going to see a slideshow in Metro33, Crysis, BF3 and other damanding games. Desktop cards are 2-5X faster than this.

 

JLCrogue
JLCrogue

 @larkin-54 I couldn't agree with you more. I built my desktop just several months ago and it will outperform any gaming laptop by a long shot, even if the tech specs are higher (simply because laptops have limited power to use, so hardware won't reach it's full potential). My hardware specs are: Intel Core i7 3.06GHz, nVidia Geforce GTX 560 Ti 2GB, 16GB of RAM and a 600GB 10,000RPM HDD. I've bought a gaming laptop before, but it was quickly outdated and can hardly run any of the games I've wanted to play on it.

poopinpat
poopinpat

 @Beagle_san 670m and 675m are rebranded 500 series cards (as in they just tweaked them and changed the name) :D brands that make them aren't differentiated in these comparisons, instead they look at which chipset its based off of.

poopinpat
poopinpat

 @PeterDuck Its really hard to find specs in laptops that small that aren't called an m11x.   I'm sure the price reflects the difficulty of running that kind of hardware in such a small chassis without overheating.  Its a convenience premium that some are willing to pay (look at the razer blade for example)

zealotman
zealotman

 @NFSKJG "only 8GB Ram"      -      haha  "only"

Having more ram would change NOTHING. Heck, even 4Gb vs 8GB difference is minor for current games.

 

poopinpat
poopinpat

 @NFSKJG thats an ssd which are expensive, and the 650m is not low end its middle class. a 630m would be considered low end.

OurSin-360
OurSin-360

 @ragnar320 and yeah, the SSD is supposed to make everything load quicker from games to pc startup.

 

OurSin-360
OurSin-360

 @ragnar320 I'm pretty sure it's an ad, I had to double check to make sure it wasn't EA going into the hardware market lol. 

poopinpat
poopinpat

 @ssj2los probably 1366x768.  800x600 is a 4:3 aspect ratio lol, and a 650m can easily push newer games at that resolution (1366x768).

killman961
killman961

 @ssj2los if its at 800x600, then the fps on those games on those settings arent impressive. 

chronocommander
chronocommander

 @fraator Yes, this too, I tried using one of those Alienware 11 inch laptops and even for a laptop it's power was under par (for me at least). This 11-inch range should be restricted to portable offices and slightly more powerful keyboard equipped tablets.

oflow
oflow

 @JLCrogue  @larkin-54 the whole point of the article was about portability. They already know they could build a desktop cheaper and with better specs for the money.

JLCrogue
JLCrogue

 @larkin-54 Also, what's nice about my graphics card is that it will use up to 1GB of my extra RAM to boost its performance, giving it 3GB of video RAM.

poopinpat
poopinpat

 @Beagle_san to further elaborate the 670 and 675m's are not kepler they are fermi cards.  

OurSin-360
OurSin-360

 @killman961  @ssj2los on the site it just says "HD" , but the lack of actual resolution info it's probably 720p or lower.  Honestly, higher res on 11inch screen would probably be unplayable anyway.

ssj2los
ssj2los

 @killman961 You can say that again. Another thing not so impressive is going to a lan party and whipping this 11 incher out.... BAHAHAHA!!!

poopinpat
poopinpat

 @JLCrogue  @larkin-54 lots of ppl already have desktops and are looking for a gaming laptop on top of that.  Of course pc gaming is cheaper and you end up with better performance but all products serve a purpose or else they wouldnt exist...  and if your laptop can't play the games you want its either because you buy crappy laptops or have expectations that are beyond what you are willing to pay.

ssj2los
ssj2los

 @killman961 lol gotta be silly looking to a alrger teenager or grown adult hovering over this tiny thing... This is Tinker Bell's gaming machine

killman961
killman961

 @ssj2los haha yea. i could see someone walk in to BYOC at quakecon and goin all like "WOOH! Got mah gamin laptop with me!i only take it on special occasions broski's!!!!LETS Play some Starcraft!!!