Origin EON17-X

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This has been the year that desktop performance truly arrived in gaming laptops. Nvidia’s new GTX 10-Series graphics chips have already proven themselves to bring desktop-level performance and some of the best gaming experiences we’ve seen on a notebook this year. But what happens when you add a full-on, PC-equivalent processor to that equation? 

The new Origin EON17-X is here to answer that question with overwhelming performance. The 17-inch desktop replacement comes equipped with a top-end Nvidia GTX 1080 and an unlocked Intel Skylake processor – both of which have been overclocked to the max – plus enough DDR4 RAM and PCIe SSD storage to make most PC towers cry in envy. 

However, you’ll really tear up when you see the $3,637 (about £2,940, AU$5,010) price you’ll have to pay for all this awesome power packed into our review unit.

Spec sheet

CPU: 4.0GHz Intel Core i7 6700K (quad-core, 8MB cache, up to 4.2GHz)
Graphics: Nvidia GTX 1080 (8GB GDDR5X VRAM)
RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 (2,666MHz)
Screen: 17-inch, 4K (3,840 x 2,160) G-SYNC Matte
Storage: 2 x 256GB Samsung M.2 950 PRO (RAID 0, 512GB total); 1TB Seagate Mobile SSHD (8GB cache; 5,400rpm)
Ports: 4 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB-C, 1 x Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C), 2 x mini DisplayPort 1.3, 1 x HDMI, Ethernet, SD card reader, headset jack, microphone jack, headphone jack, optical out jack
Connectivity: Killer Wireless AC 1535 Dual Band, Bluetooth
Camera: 2MP FHD webcam
Weight: 8.6 pounds (3.9kg)
Size: 16.4 x 11.6 x 1.6 inches (41.7 x 29.5 x 4.06cm; W x D x H)

Design

This year’s Origin EON17-X not only comes with new internals but a completely new design courtesy of the Clevo P775. Clevo might not sound like a familiar name, though it’s the manufacturer Origin has worked with for years as the chassis provider for most of its EON-series gaming laptops.

Following the tradition of sacrificing portability and thinness for maximum performance, the new EON17-X measures 16.4 x 11.6 x 1.6 inches (41.7 x 29.5 x 4.06cm; W x D x H) and weighs 8.6 pounds (3.9kg). The laptop won’t fit in anything but the largest of bag, and make you feel sore every day you’re carrying it. 

This latest model also adds to the increasingly angular look as seen with the Lamborghini-esque Origin EON17-SLX. Our review unit is furnished with a bespeckled candy red lid that shimmers in the light. On top of this hot paint job, panel lines are etched into the screen lid, giving it sculpted lines like a hypercar.

Around the rear, you’ll also find the EON17-X’s forked and extended exhaust system. Don’t mistake this for a hinge forward design like that of the Alienware 17, though. The 17-inch screen is actually attached at this extended stern section. It’s more likely that Clevo pushed in the center of this machine to create a small cubbyhole for cleaner routing with the backside ports. 

Interestingly, this indented center of the laptop is also the only spot that’s made with metal. Unlike the Origin EON15-X, there’s no soft-touch coating to cover up the unmistakable plastic construction of this machine. The good news is the EON17-X feels solid throughout, with only the most miniscule bit of flex in the center of the keyboard.

Little touches

Although it looks like there isn’t much to the EON17-X’s all black interior, there are enough little touches to keep things interesting.

The aforementioned metal flap rises up from the back and drapes itself over and onto the interior of the laptop to meet the power button. Just below this, there’s a set of white indicator lights arranged into a chevron. And just to the sides of this whole arrangement is a sizable, split speaker bar.

The keyboard also lights up into three distinct zones – though we stuck with a simple white color scheme, matching it to the system lights and power button. Typing on the keyboard feels solid thanks to keys with a firm actuation point and an appreciable amount of key travel.

Unfortunately, we don’t have as many nice things to say about the touchpad.

Finger trap

Don’t forget to bring a mouse with this laptop, because you’re almost always going to want to disable the Synaptics touchpad on this laptop. We can forgive the basic plastic build and the pointing devices serviceable job of translating our cursor movements, but palm rejection was virtually non-existent.

While writing this review, we would abruptly jump to a different page or end up deleting large sections of text whenever our hand brushed too closely to the touchpad.

And as if that wasn’t enough of a frustration, the integrated fingerprint reader turned out to be completely useless. No matter how we swipe our fingers on the biometric sensor, we couldn’t properly register a single digit. Instead the process put us through a ringer of successfully scanning our fingerprints six times in a row, only to be told the authentication failed.

Worse yet, even gently brushing our palm against the sensor causes the BioExcess app to pop up. This prompt overlaps all other windows until we dismiss it and click through another dialogue box to confirm that we really want to close the app. 

This becomes an especially bad problem when we’ve triggered the fingerprint reader while playing games. BioExcess will literally bust through all our open programs like the Kool Aid man, forcing games to drop out of full-screen mode while also making every other window unresponsive. From there, we’ll have to bring up the task manager force the program to end its task.

According to Origin stems from a Windows update causing causing the BioExcess software and driver to behave erratically and inconsistent. The company also explained it has since pulled the software and switched to Windows Hello.

Ultra HD the way it was meant to be seen

One of our biggest complaints of the Origin EON17-SLX we reviewed last year was the lack of a 4K screen option from the onset – though Origin added it later. Thankfully, the Ultra HD screen option is available from the get go now, and it’s spectacular.

The 4x resolution bump from your traditional Full HD display makes games and high-resolution movies look incredible. Colors are vividly represented to make everything pop off and the EON17-X 4K screen also produces the best blacks and contrast we’ve seen on an Origin laptop yet.

That said, everything looks a little warm and that’s even with Origin’s optional screen calibration, so we wouldn’t really rely on it for editing photos or color correcting video reels. As a media machine, though, we would say hell yes. 

On top of the big ol’ gorgeous 17-inch 4K display you’re getting here, the split speaker bar on the EON17-X is also dazzling. Music played on this laptop is both loud and full of richness. Thanks to the size of the drivers inside, you can practically use it like a Bluetooth speaker to fill an entire room with sound. 

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