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Origin EVO 17-S (2021) review

The outside of the Origin Evo 17-S looks like a piece of art, but inside it's the Art of War.

Origin EVO 17-S (2021) review
(Image: © Future)

Laptop Mag Verdict

On the outside is art and on the inside, it's ready for war and that's what a good gaming laptop should be

Pros

  • +

    Stylish design and solid build quality

  • +

    Excellent performance

  • +

    Good audio

  • +

    Great keyboard

  • +

    Creamy smooth 300Hz display

Cons

  • -

    Dim display

  • -

    Pricey

  • -

    Abysmal battery life

Origin EVO 17-S specs

Price:$2,229 (starting); $3,102 (reviewed)

CPU: Intel Core i7-11800H 

GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 with 16GB VRAM

RAM: 32GB

Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD

Display: 17.3-inch, FHD at 300Hz

Battery: 3:13 (1:29 gaming) 

Size: 15.5 x 10.4 x 0.78 inches

Weight: 5.7 pounds 

The Origin EOV 17-S arrived a couple of weeks before the new year in its mysterious wooden crate that always makes me giddy. When an Origin laptop shows up at your doorstep, it's cause for fanfare and a jubilant expectation of what they come up with now. Does it hover and sing lullabies to your infant so you can keep gaming unbothered? Is it also an air fryer that will produce crispy snacks to fuel my 18 hours of Assassin's Creed Valhalla? Does it have more lights and sequins than a Billy Porter awards show dress? 

While there was nothing so fantastical inside, the Origin Evo 17-S is nevertheless impressive with an Intel 11th Gen Core i7-11800H CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Max Q GPU and a 17.3-inch display with a silky smooth 300Hz refresh rate. On the outside, its got a Parliament-Funkadelic vibe, which is still rather low-key for Origin. The Evo 17-S with its artistic flare seems almost too civilized for all the battle-ax slaughter and heart-piercing arrows I unleashed while sacking villages.

Despite that, the Origin EOV 17-S is incredibly pricey, starting at $2,229 ($3,102 reviewed), and it can weigh you down with its crappy battery life and dim display. However, this inspired piece of artwork stormed its way onto the best gaming laptops page with the savage heart of a Viking thanks to its excellent performance and gorgeous design.

Origin EVO17-S pricing and configurations

Our review model costs $3,102 and comes with an Intel Core i7-11800H CPU, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Max Q GPU with 16GB of VRAM, with a 17.3-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel at 300Hz Nvidia G-Sync display.

The $2,229 base model comes with a 17.3-inch, 1080p IPS G-Sync at 144Hz display, an Intel Core i7-11700K CPU, 16GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, and a 256GB SSD.

The great thing about Origin laptops is they are highly customizable. The user can choose to have a personal logo or name HD-UV printed or custom painted onto the lid.

Origin EVO17-S design

The Origin EVO 17-S lid is Jackson Pollock’s Number 17A meets a sleek ninja when the unit is closed, hiding its massive keyboard and gaming soul that lusts endlessly for a battlefield.

Origin EVO 17-S (2021) review

(Image credit: Future)

The eye-catching lid covered in bubbly swirls of color is where you will find the Origin logo nicely slipped in. When you pick it up and spin it around, you will notice stylish yet understated vents on the sides and rear. Lift the unit slightly to reveal the down-firing speaker vents that extend upward along the sides.

When you open the lid, your eyes meet a massive powder-coated black aluminum deck that contains a gorgeous RGB keyboard with a large touchpad skewed to the left. Looking upward you come in contact with the immersive 17.3-inch, 1080p at 300Hz panel with thin bezels. At the top center of the panel is the webcam that fits seamlessly into the bezel. 

The Evo measures 15.5 x 10.4 x 0.7 inches and weighs 5.07 pounds. It’s one of the lightest members of our competitor group. The Alienware X17 is our large Marge at 6.7 pounds and measuring 15.7 x 11.8 x 0.8-inches. The Alienware M17 R4 weighs in at 6.6 pounds (12.7 x 11.6 x 0.9-inches) followed by the Acer Predator Triton 500SE (14.1 x 10.3 x 0.8-inches) tipping the scales at 5.4 pounds.

Origin EVO17-S ports

The Origin EVO 17-S  comes with a decent collection of ports to satisfy your needs. On the right, there are two USB Type-A ports and an ethernet port.

Origin EVO 17-S (2021) review

(Image credit: Future)

On the rear, we discover a Mini DisplayPort, an HDMI port, a USB Type-C Thunderbolt port, and the AC power port.

Origin EVO 17-S (2021) review

(Image credit: Future)

Finally, on the left, we find a headphone jack, a microphone jack, a USB Type-A port, and a Kensington lock.

Origin EVO 17-S (2021) review

(Image credit: Future)

Origin EVO17-S display

The Origin EVO 17-S features an expansive 17.3-inch, 1080p at 300Hz display that is not the brightest, but the colors are sharp and vivid. The first thing you will notice while gaming is how creamy smooth everything is rendered. The dimness may be bothersome for some, but I found it was bright enough to enjoy watching videos and movies because it produced smoothly rendered, razor-sharp images. 

The dark, brooding, stone gray and green essence of Assassin's Creed Valhalla with its smokey villages and beautiful orange fires was mesmerizing. All of it was rendered nicely creating a rich tapestry of the darker muted coloring of the middle ages.

Origin EVO 17-S (2021) review

(Image credit: Future)

While watching episode 5 of the Book of Boba Fett, (spoiler alert) Din Djarin’s chrome beskar armor was stunning. The way the armor’s shine moved as the lighting changed from room to room on the space station, was magnificently rendered. The Evo’s display captured the tone of the episode as I quietly watched it in bed. The subtle touches of red lights blinking on the right arm of the beskar armor were warmly saturated against the dark chrome coloring of the metal.

Origin EVO 17-S (2021) review

(Image credit: Future)

The Origin reproduced 75.1% of the DCI-P3 color gamut during our testing, which is below the 85.1% premium gaming average. The Alienware X17 easily led our comparison group with 116.2%, followed by the Alienware m17 R4 at 80.6% and the Acer Predator Triton 500 SE closing things out with 71.8% 

The Evo 17-S didn’t fare well during our brightness tests, topping out at 295 nits of brightness and below the category average of 327 nits. The Titan SE led our group with 492 nits followed by the Alienware X17 with 438 nits and the m17 R4, which reached 316 nits.

Origin EVO17-S keyboard and touchpad

The black with white font Chiclet-style keys on the Origin EVO 17-S are RGB-backlit and you can change the zone-lighting scheme with the LED keyboard setting application. The keyboard is very responsive, with a speedy bounciness that’s fantastic for gaming. I always enjoy having a ten-key number pad, so that's also a bonus. 

During the 10fastfingers typing test, my battle-scarred Orc smashers typed at 90 words per minute with 89% accuracy, as the aircraft carrier-sized deck and keyboard are made for savage mitts like mine. Normally I am in the 85 to 90 words per minute range with 85% accuracy so I was pretty spot on with this keyboard.

Origin EVO 17-S (2021) review

(Image credit: Future)

The 5.1 x 2.7-inch touchpad is responsive and accurate when navigating websites or documents. It performed all the Windows 10 gestures, such as two-finger swipes and three-finger taps, nicely. The bottom corners give very firm and clicky feedback when using either right or left clicks. This touchpad also features a pair of discrete buttons beneath it that are satisfyingly clicky.

Origin EVO17-S audio

The Origin EVO 17-S is equipped with a pair of down-firing speakers located at the bottom front of the chassis. Tuned by Sound Blaster Pro-Gaming, the speakers did an admirable job of filling my studio apartment with clear audio. They provide a fair amount of depth, allowing the ear to clearly hear the difference between high, mid, and low range audio elements. They’re not thumpy bass blasters, but the audio experience is loud, clear, and satisfying. 

The Origin comes with Creative Labs Sound Blaster Atlas audio software. It does a nice job of allowing you to adjust the audio settings via its acoustic engine or by manually adjusting the equalizer. There is also an area to refine mic performance and add cool sound effects to your voice if you so choose. 

I played with the EQ settings to get the most out of the speakers and then listened to, Lil Nas X’s “Montero.” When the bassline kicked in the 17-S did a solid job of reproducing mid-tones in Lil Nas X’s auto-tuned vocals and provided enough depth for the bass to be distortion-free while remaining clear when pushing the volume to its loudest setting.   

While watching the Book of Boba Fett, the actor's vocals were reproduced with solid timbre, tone, and you could hear the inflection of Mando’s voice changes clearly when discussing the history of the Dark Saber.

Origin EVO17-S graphics, gaming and VR

The Origin Evo 17-S comes with an  Nvidia RTX GeForce 3080 Max- Q GPU and 16GB of VRAM. The 3080 easily handled Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, averaging 77fps while I slaughtered, sacked, and looted villages. There was never any laggy performance or stuttering. I just transverse the massive word of ACV using my battle-ax to conquer and defeat my enemies.

Origin EVO 17-S (2021) review

(Image credit: Future)

During our Far Cry New Dawn benchmark in 1080p (Ultra), our unit hit 87 frames per second. The Evo fell short of the 90-fps premium gaming laptop average in our competition. The Titan scored 75 fps, coming in last, while the Alienware m17 reached 104 frames per second. The Alienware X17 sealed the door on this benchmark with a score of 94 fps. It’s odd to see such a variance in scores being that they all share the same Nvidia RTX GeForce 3080 GPU. 

The Origin handled the Borderlands 3 (Badass, 1080p) benchmark better, yet it still fell short of the category average of 80 fps with a score of 79 fps. The Alienware m17 R4 led our group in this benchmark, tallying 102 fps, and its sibling the X17 followed with 94 fps. The Triton closed things out for our group, scoring 77 fps. 

When we ran the Metro: Exodus (1920 x 1080, DirectX Ultra) benchmark, our unit came up shy of the category average of 71 fps, scoring 70fps. Our group was led by the m17 R4 with 91 fps, followed once again by the X17 with 81 fps and the Acer Predator Triton tallying just a score of 58 fps.

Lastly, when we ran the Shadow of Tomb Raider (1080p) benchmark, the Origin EVO 17-S scored 88 fps, slipping just past the 86 fps average. The Alienware m17 blew this benchmark away with 103 fps, with the Triton coming next with 93 fps and the Alienware X17 tallied 77 fps. 

Origin EVO17-S performance

With an overclockable Intel Core i7-11800H CPU, 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD, the Origin EVO 17-S was made with gaming in mind and it performs well while doing so and handles other rigorous tasks just as well. 

I edited a video I shot in 6K using DaVinci Resolve and the EVO handled it easily. It was only about 7 minutes of footage that I cut down to three and a half minutes and then rendered it in 4K. I didn’t experience any lag while editing the 6K footage; the 17-S handled my hopping around DaVinci smoothly without any stuttering or freezing.

I opened up 50 tabs in Google Chrome with several playing YouTube videos and one running The Book of Boba Fett on Disney Plus. I’m happy to report there was no lagging performance with the exception of the fans turning up a notch, but the system's overall performance was not affected. 

The Origin surpassed the category average during our synthetic tests, starting with Geekbench 5.4, an overall performance benchmark. The EVO 17-S scored 8,859, as it leaped past the average score of 7,220. The Acer Predator Triton (Intel Core i9-1190H CPU, 32GB of RAM) led our collection with a score of 9,310 followed by the Alienware X17 (Intel core i7-11800H CPU, 32GB of RAM) 9,024. The M17 (Intel Core i9-10980HK CPU 32GB of RAM) finished things with a score of 8,082. 

During the Handbrake video-editing test, which requires the laptop to transcode a 4K video to 1080p, the EVO 17-S scored just below the 7:07 premium gaming laptop average, taking 7 minutes and 17 seconds.  The Alienware X17 speedily transcoded the same media in just 5:51; the Triton followed with 6:41 and the M17 was right behind it with 6:44. 

During our File Transfer test; the EVO 17-S delivered a transfer rate of 1,528 megabytes per second, surpassing the average of 1,061 MBps when duplicating 25GB of mixed-media files. The Origin led our group, with the Acer’s 512GB SSD (1,302MBps) sliding into the second spot followed by the Alienware X17’s 1TB SSD (1,226MBps) and the M17’s1TB SSD (448.5MBps).

Origin EVO17-S battery life

The Origin EVO 17-S battery life is about what's to be expected in a gaming laptop with these specs. The laptop lasted 3 hours and 13 minutes on our in-house battery test (continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits). It scored below the premium gaming laptop average of 3 hours and 59 minutes. During actual gaming, it lasted just 1 hour and 29 minutes, so you’re going to have to lug its power supply around. 

The Acer Predator Triton led our test group in battery life with 4 hours and 42 minutes during web surfing and 1 hour and 49 minutes during gaming. That was followed by the 4 hours and 31 minutes of web surfing on the X17 (1:19 gaming) and the M17, which averaged 2 hours and 5 minutes of web surfing. 

Due to the power-sucking specs of gaming laptops, they tend to have poor battery life, so keep that in mind if you’re considering using one as a workstation.

Origin EVO17-S 15 heat

The Origin EVO 17-S is a relatively cool customer when you’re using it for your normal day-to-day web surfing and checking emails. It scored solidly during our heat tests, which consists of running a fullscreen HD video for 15 minutes. The touchpad measured a cool 74.3 degrees Fahrenheit while the space between the G and H keys measured 87.3 degrees. The underside of the laptop stayed a lap safe 90.5 degrees which is below the 95-degree comfort threshold.

Mind you, those were the non-gaming scores. After 15 minutes of gaming, the temps got a little steamy in some areas. The touchpad measured a still comfortable 78.1 degrees. However, between the G and H keys measured a feverish 103.8 degrees, with the underside reaching a boiling egg temp of 114.3 degrees.

Origin EVO17-S webcam

The Origin comes with your standard 720p webcam, which delivers solid images and video, with mostly color-accurate skin tones when the lighting in the room is right. The autofocus was accurate and quick, finding my face and following it when I moved around the frame. I cannot stress the importance of good lighting to get the best performance out of the camera. I recommend using an external webcam on our best webcams page for the best photo and video quality. With many laptop makers making the switch to FHD (1080p) webcams, I hope Origin follows suit.

Origin EVO17-S software and warranty

The Origin EVO17-S doesn’t come with an obnoxious amount of software or bloatware. You will find an application for overclocking the CPU, the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Atlas audio software, and the RGB lighting setting application. Like every Windows 10 computer, there are apps for Skype, Office 365, Microsoft Solitaire suite and Xbox console. 

The EVO 17-S comes with what the company refers to as Free World Class Lifetime Warranty. As stated by Origin, you get 24/7 US-based technical support with a standard 1-year warranty.

Bottom line

The Evo 17-S is a cream of the crop gaming laptop that will cost you a premium price. It’s not as expensive as some premium gaming laptops or workstations, but it’s still a pretty penny and it’s up to you to know what your budget is and what you’re willing to pay for top-of-the-line specs. 

The EVO 17-S achieves its main function, which is to allow users to play AAA titles smoothly, and although its display doesn’t blow the competition away, its 300Hz refresh rate renders games smoother than melted cream cheese on a hot bagel. 

In the end, the EVO 17-S delivers the gaming goods in a sleek, colorful package with a massive display, potent specs, and performance that will have you gaming for hours on end.

Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.