Origin EON17-SLX review: Windows 8 comes to this massive gaming laptop

The key metric here is gaming, and it's also no surprise that the EON17-SLX turns out great scores, thanks to its dual overclocked Nvidia GeForce GTX 680M cards. It's almost silly to even run this basic test on a laptop such as this, but at 1080p resolution, our Street Fighter IV test ran at 258 frames per second. Our very tough Metro 2033 test ran at the same resolution at 44.3fps, which is the best laptop score we've seen for that test. Anecdotally, Just Cause 2 ran at 59fps, and newer games, such as Medal of Honor: Warfighter and Modern Warfare 3, all played great, even at 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution, with all settings set to high or ultra.

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It's also not surprising that this kind of power comes at a cost, and the EON17-SLX is not going to run for very long away from a power outlet, even if you're not actively playing games. In our video playback battery drain test, the system ran for 2 hours and 12 minutes, which is not long at all, especially if you consider that our test is not really hitting the GPU at all. Other gaming laptops, while not as full-featured, have been able to turn in longer running times by 40 to 70 minutes, or more. That said, gigantic laptops such as this rarely spend much time away from a rooted desktop position.

One of the things you're really investing in with Origin is service and support. The default policy feels a bit thin, with one year of coverage and only 45 days of free shipping for service, but the phone line is manned by actual in-house experts 24-7, not third-party operators reading from a support script. Two- and three-year plans are available for $169 and $269, respectively, and seem like a good investment for a $4,500 laptop. Unlike with a lot of other PC vendors, having spent a reasonable amount of time talking to the guys at Origin, I feel confident that you'll get a receptive ear to any issues you have.

With current-gen game consoles well past retirement age, 2012 has been a great year for PC games, from XCOM to Far Cry 3, and a great year to invest in high-end PC gaming hardware to make your console-playing friends jealous. It's expensive, because you're paying for both the parts and the expert assembly, testing, and support. There's also still the seemingly insurmountable issue of finding or building a chassis worthy of such a heavy investment, but the Origin EON17-SLX goes about as far as the current laptop performance needle can be pushed, short of jumping to actual desktop-level components.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Adobe Photoshop CS5 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Street Fighter IV (in fps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Native Resolution, 2X AA, V Sync Off  

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Load test (average watts)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test Windows laptops.

System configurations:

Origin EON17-SLX
Windows 8 (64-bit); 3GHz Intel Core i7-3940XM; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; (x2) 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 680M; HDD #1: 240GB Intel 520 SSD / HDD #2: 1TB Western Digital 5,400rpm (RAID 0)

Samsung NP700G7C-S01US
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.3GHz Intel Core i7-3610QM; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 675M; 750GB Hitachi 7,200rpm

Dell Inspiron 17R SE - 2051BK (7720)
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.3GHz Intel Core i7-3610QM; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 650M / 64MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 1TB Western Digital 5,400rpm

Digital Storm x17
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.3GHz Intel Core i7-3610QM; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 2GB AMD Radeon HD 7970M / 2GB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 750GB Seagate 7,200rpm

Maingear Nomad 17
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/SP1; 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-3820QM; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M; 750GB Western Digital 7,200rpm

Razer Blade
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-3632QM; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 660M / 64MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 500GB Hitachi 7,200rpm

What you'll pay

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