Ports and connections
Origin PC Eon17-S
HDMI, DisplayPort, mini-DisplayPort
Stereo speakers w/subwoofer, headphone/microphone/line-in/S/PDIF jacks
3 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, SD card reader
Ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Blu-ray player/DVD burner
Connections, performance, and battery
If you're looking for three distinct video outputs, you're not going to find that in too many other laptops. Here, you get HDMI plus both full-size and mini-size DisplayPort connections. Interestingly, the slim 15-inch MacBook Pro has a similar setup, with HDMI and dual mini-Display Ports.
We've previously gone over the very expensive options, including a large SSD and "Extreme" edition Intel Core i7, that make the configuration we tested so expensive. But if you're looking to spend as little as possible, the entry price for this system is $1,630, which includes an Intel Core i5 4340M CPU, 4GB of RAM, a 320GB HDD, and Nvidia's GeForce 860M GPU. But I can't imagine that anyone interested in one of these systems would be happy with the gaming performance you'd get from a configuration like that.
The Origin PC and Digital Storm Krypton traded top scores in our benchmark tests with a recent Alienware 17, all three featuring high-end Intel Core i7 processors and Nvidia GeForce 880M graphics. Note that these tests are built around more mainstream use, and the extra-expensive MX-level processor in the Eon17-S didn't do much for us in these basic Photoshop and video encoding tests.
In our gaming tests, these systems were also closely matched. In our challenging Metro: Last Light test, at 1,920x1,080 resolution and high/ultra settings, the Eon17-S ran at 27.3 frames per second, versus 25.3 for the Alienware and 27.0 for the Digital Storm Krypton. In BioShock Infinite, also at 1080p/high settings, the Eon17-S ran at 82.6fps, versus 80.9 for the Krypton and 80.3 for the Alienware. With the exception of dedicated gaming desktops, this is about as high-end as gaming PCs get right now, at least until the next generation of Intel and Nvidia parts, which are expected later this year (but even then, it'll be some time until that new tech is readily available).
There were few, if any, surprises from the Origin PC Eon17-S, but with the company's excellent reputation for quality and support, that's not a bad thing. Sure, it's still ugly, but we saw amazing performance in applications and games, and the options for building a version to suit your budget and expectations are numerous.
There's a premium price to be paid, but you also get a lot of behind-the-scenes services, from hands-on tech support to custom paint jobs to a no-dead-pixel policy. We've reviewed several Origin PC systems over the past several years, and never had a problem with any of them, even ones with overclocked parts, which is not something we can say about many PC makers.
Find more shopping tips in our Laptop Buying Guide.
Origin EON17-S (2014)
Windows 8.1 (64.bit); 3.1GHz Intel Core i7-4940MX; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 8192MB Nvidia GeForce GTX 880M; RAID 0 (2) 120GB SSD, 750GB 7,200rpm HDD
Alienware 17 (2014)
Windows 7 Home Premium (64.bit); 2.9GHz Intel Core i7-4910MQ; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 6144MB Nvidia GeForce GTX 880M; 256GB SSD, 1TB 5,400rpm HDD
MSI GS70 Stealth
Windows 8.1 (64.bit); 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-4710HQ; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 6144MB Nvidia GeForce GT 870; RAID 0 (3) 128GB SSD, 1TB 7,200rpm HDD
Digital Storm Krypton
Windows 8.1 (64.bit); 3.1GHz Intel Core i7-4810MQ; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 8192MB Nvidia GeForce GTX 880M; 256GB SSD, 750GB 7,200rpm HDD