Origin EON17-SLX

Cramming the most high-end parts into a massive 17-inch body will top AU$5000, but you also get a powerful laptop that has more next-gen gaming muscle than any living-room console.


8.4
CNET Rating


With new living-room game consoles from Sony and Microsoft hitting stores, it would be easy to ignore the PC side of the video-game biz. And yet this year has given us more, and better, gaming laptops than we've seen in a long time.

The Origin EON17-SLX is essentially similar to the Alienware 18, with a few minor spec and component swaps that largely even out in the end. The configuration we tested cost roughly the same at US$4449, although the system starts at US$1916. (A comparable Australian configuration of the Origin EON17-SLX, as tested, costs around AU$5500.)

Design

Smaller gaming laptops, including recent 13-inch and 14-inch models from Alienware, Razer and others, are getting slimmer, sleeker and lighter. Big-screen desktop replacement models, on the other hand, show no sign of shrinking down much or even making any real concessions to laptop design trends from the past few years.


(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

The EON17-SLX is an easy example. It looks as if it could have been found on any serious gamer's desktop any time over the past half decade or so. The boxy black chassis lacks the clean, seamless lines so many laptops strive for today.

To give credit, each successive generation of Origin system I've seen takes a step forward in terms of tweaking the design, adding a custom A-panel (the back of the lid), new interior lights and, this time, a backlit touch-pad surface with a swirling Origin PC logo. But you're still stuck with a thick, angular machine that doesn't feel as if it had been designed from the ground up for gamers.


(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

The display, however, is one of the most important components. The 17.3-inch screen here has a native resolution of 1920x1080 pixels, which is the standard for multimedia and gaming PCs. The display has a matte finish, a feature we're pleased to see popping up more frequently this year, and includes a 45-day "no dead pixel" guarantee.

Performance

The Origin EON17-SLX we tested had an Intel Core i7-4930MX CPU, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, two Nvidia Geforce GTX 780M graphics cards (a rare feature even in a high-end gaming laptop), two 120GB SSDs and a 750GB storage drive.


(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

With all the real estate on the sides and back of the massive EON17-SLX, it's fair to expect a robust series of ports and connections, making use of both sides and the rear panel. I'm pleased to find five total USB ports, four of them USB 3.0 and one a USB 2.0/eSATA combo. The eSATA standard for connecting external drives has been eclipsed by both USB 3.0 and the newer Thunderbolt, but you get both of those here as well.


(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

The EON17-SLX 17, as configured, ran our BioShock Infinite test (high settings, 1920x1080-pixel resolution) at 117 frames per second. The Alienware 18, with dual GPUs, ran the same test at 141 frames per second. The very challenging Metro: Last Light test flipped the results, giving the EON17-SLX the top score of 41.7fps, with 35.3 for the SLI Alienware 18. Anecdotally, Battlefield 4 ran at Ultra settings at full 1080p resolution with no problem.

Conclusion

With the excellent current high-end parts available from Intel and Nvidia, and something of a PC gaming renaissance going on right now, it's great time to be a PC gamer. Systems such as the Origin PC EON17-SLX, with powerful processors and battery-draining dual video cards, are a major investment, but they offer an experience beyond the game console. Keep in mind that there's a major living-room thrust coming from Steam, the PC game distributor, and systems such as this may become much more common in powering big-screen 10-foot experiences next year.

Via CNET.com

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