The 11-inch gaming laptop lives, with the new Origin EON11-S

Alienware's once-popular M11x may be heading for retirement, but boutique rival Origin is keeping the ultraportable gaming laptop alive.

Origin

The 11-inch gaming laptop is the textbook definition of a niche product. In fact, up until now, there's really only been one serious entry in that category, Dell's Alienware M11x . Origin (coincidentally co-founded by some former Alienware employees) is now getting into the game, with the EON11-S, which the company calls a "compact high-performance laptop."

Interestingly, this new model won't actually double the number of 11-inch gaming laptops available, as the Alienware model is being quietly discontinued . That's a shame, as we liked the M11x, even if it wasn't the most practical for either serious PC gamers or portability obsessed travelers.

Taking a bit of a shot at the current trend for slim ultrabook-style laptops, Origin CEO and co-founder Kevin Wasielewski says, "Everyone dreams of a laptop that is smaller, lighter, has a longer battery life and has the ability to play all of the latest PC games well. The EON11-S makes that dream a reality and without making any 'ultra-sacrifices.'"

Origin

The new Origin EON11-S will debut with Intel's new third-generation Core i-series processors and Nvidia's GT 650M graphics, which sounds like a basis for a good gaming rig. The company claims 6.5 hours of battery life (with Nvidia's Optimus technology switching the GPU off as needed), and a weight under 4 pounds. Like the recent EON17-S update, the 11-inch version will also include Origin's new finned (and frankly, a bit Alienware-like) back lid design.

The highly customizable Origin EON11-S is available to order now, and starts at $999.

About the author

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal.

 

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