Boutique PC builder Origin might not have the economies of scale of Dell or HP, but it's got something the big guys lack: a team of passionate builders who aren't afraid to construct the ultimate in mobile gaming computers, price be damned. The Haswell-powered EON15-S is one such overpowered beast with a stratospheric price tag matched by skyrocketing performance.
Design and features
A 15-inch display determines the overall size of this laptop, but don't expect it to be lightweight simply because the screen isn't huge. Gaming laptops tend to weigh much more than their corporate cousins, with the EON15-S tipping the scales at a hefty 3kg. It's also surprisingly tall, coming in at 43mm at the highest point. The sharp, angular design denotes this machine's gaming focus and the range of blazing colour choices are sure to turn a few heads. Unfortunately, the entire chassis is built from plastic, a disappointing choice of material when the high price tag is considered. At least it's covered in soft-touch rubber, so it doesn't feel cheap or fragile.
The 1920x1080 LED display is crisp and clear, thanks to its smaller dimensions, and performed admirably in our basic image quality tests, with above average colour, contrast and angled viewing results. Attempting to match the excellent display are a pair of speakers from high-end audiophile company Onkyo, but we found their lack of bass rather disappointing. The backlit keyboard is a tight fit thanks to the smaller size of the base, and will take a little getting used to, especially as each key only has a very small amount of travel. The touch pad is much nicer to use, with separate left/right buttons that feel just right.
Connections, performance and battery
The range of inputs and outputs can only be described as comprehensive. On the left side, we find twin USB 3.0 ports alongside an eSATA port, SD Card reader and FireWire. Heading to the opposite side reveals the DVD burner, next to a headphone, microphone, line-in and SPDIF jacks. A solo USB 2.0 port rounds out this side. At the rear, we find the display ports, with HDMI, DisplayPort and DVI-I out. Yep, the EON15-S has all of your connectivity bases covered, but it's the gear inside that really excites.
Intel's top-of-the-line Haswell arrives in the form of the Hyper-Threaded, quad-core i7 4930MX CPU, which ramps up to a blistering 3.9GHz when the going gets tough. It doesn't get any faster than this in a gaming laptop, and it's matched perfectly by Nvidia's new flagship mobile GPU, the GTX 780M. A whopping 32GB of DDR3 1600MHz memory is overkill by gaming standards, while twin Samsung 840 SSDs in RAID 0 mode deliver over 240GB of high-speed storage. The cherry on top is the inclusion of SoundBlaster's X-Fi integrated audio, delivering much higher-quality gaming sound, provided you match it with a decent set of headphones. The EON15-S is simply stuffed to the brim with cutting-edge hardware, which goes a long way to explain the AU$4000+ top-of-the-range price tag.
As expected, this potent hardware combination absolutely dominated in our benchmarks, blazing a trail straight to the top of every test. Unlike many of the other gaming laptops we've tested, we're confident the EON15-S will be able to handle the impending range of Christmas titles that look to push the limits of PC gaming once again. This performance comes at a cost, though, with the loudest fan noise of all of the gaming laptops we've tested, at 54dB. Noise-cancelling headphones are probably in order if you're going to be using this for lengthy gaming sessions.