Origin Gaming Laptops – 2017 Brand Rating and Report Card
If you want to build a gaming laptop to your own specifications, Origin PC should be on your mind. The company is among the best when it comes to customizing your own rigs, though it's the worst when it comes to warranties. While Origin spent the last year focusing on powerful, high-performance notebooks, it should also spend some time working on new software.
We reviewed only a couple of Origin laptops during our test period: the Origin Eon17-X and the Eon17-SLX 10 series. Both earned 4 stars and our Editors' Choice award. They're expensive, at more than $2,000 each, but you'll get a ton of power and speed for the price.
Origin PC deserves to be in any design conversation, based on customization alone. Depending on how deep your wallet is, you can have your Origin painted in one of eight metallic shades of paint. You can also choose from eight themes, three of which involve flames.
But in case you don't want all that painted finery on your system, we're happy to report that the Eon17-SLX 10 series and the Eon17-X are some nice-looking laptops. We're really fans of the Eon17-X, as it incorporates a small brushed-aluminum panel to break up all that soft-touch goodness.
Beneath the external niceties, Origin gaming laptops tend to be built like futuristic tanks. That means they're chunky and packed full of ports. For example, the Eon17-SLX features two Thunderbolt 3 ports and a pair of Mini DisplayPorts.
Origin PC is the master of customization, so it makes sense that the company applies some of that know-how to its screens. In addition to offering Nvidia's G-Sync anti-tearing technology on the majority of its panels, the company also has an optional screen-calibration service you can purchase.
Both the Eon17-SLX 10 eries (177 percent sRGB) and Eon17-X (196 percent sRGB) have incredibly vivid, accurate 4K displays. However, where the 10 eries is incredibly bright at 331 nits, the Eon17-X is a bit dimmer at 289 nits.
As formidable as Origin PC's designs are, the keyboards are a mixed bag. So while the SLX 10 series had 2 millimeters of key travel, the 50 grams of actuation force made for a shallow typing experience. Meanwhile, the Eon17-X's keyboard (1.5-mm key travel, 73 g of actuation) had springy feedback.
We wish Origin would update its lighting/programming software. GameFeet is rudimentary at best and doesn't hold a candle to the likes of Razer, Alienware or MSI. However, Origin PC is one of the only companies to add an integrated fingerprint scanner to its notebooks for an added layer of security, which is a big plus.
While Origin's gaming laptops offer solid gaming performance, the company hasn't done much to push the envelope in the past year. Aside from beautiful 4K displays and the addition of G-Sync technology, the company's leading-edge offerings only go so far as a thin-and-light VR-ready machine and the addition of Thunderbolt 3 ports on newer models.
The brand does, however, offer dual GPUs, like a pair of Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards in SLI in the Eon17-SLX 10 series. That sort of double-barreled gaming power is nothing to sneeze at.3
Origin will be among the first to embrace Nvidia's Max-Q standard for slim gaming systems: Its upcoming Eon15-S weighs just 4.3 pounds and is a mere 0.7 inches thick.
Origin's laptops include the GameFeet keyboard software, a rather rudimentary customization tool. While it lets you assign macros and keystrokes, change the coloring for four sections of the Origin Eon17-X's keyboard and pick a lighting effect, we want more. We'd like to see something like what you get with the Razer Synapse tool, which allows every key to be customized; allows users to decorate keys with a much wider range of colors (16.8 million, to be precise); and also offers a wider array of digital effects. It'd also be nice to be able to adjust fan and clock speeds.
Origin laptops also include Killer Networking for network bandwidth prioritization.
Selection and Customization (5/5)
Origin's latest 10 series gaming notebooks give you a lot of options when it comes to 15- and 17-inch systems. You can opt for systems with big-ticket components, including built-in G-Sync screens, Intel Core i7 7700K CPUs and even dual Nvidia 1080 GPUs on the flagship Eon17-SLX. And despite being known as a fancy boutique PC maker, the prices of Origin's gaming systems are pretty palatable, starting at $999.
What really puts Origin over the top is the sheer number of customization options you get when kitting out a system. You can choose from various paint jobs, SSDs, power sources and different options for cooling and screen calibration.
Origin backs its laptops with a standard one-year limited warranty, but if you need to send your laptop in for service, the company only pays for shipping if the defect occurs within 45 days of purchase. You can pay an additional $69 to get free return shipping for the entire warranty year or extend your warranty to two or three years for $149 or $249. No matter which warranty you get, upgrading the RAM or storage will not void it.