We were big fans of last year's version of the Origin Eon17-X, and this year's edition is even better -- and more expensive.
The Eon17-X, which now starts at just over $2,000, is essentially a desktop gaming system crammed into a laptop. Yes, it's technically more portable than hauling around a monitor, desktop tower and all of the peripherals -- and it's also lighter than rivals including the 10-pound Alienware 17 (R4, 2017). Still, the Eon-17-X is massive, measuring 16.4 by 11.6 inches, and weighing in at 8.6 pounds. The modest battery life -- we got about 2.5 hours in our test -- presumes you won't stray too far from the wall socket. (And like nearly all contemporary laptops, this one does not have a removable battery.)
The benefits of all of that bulk are significant, however. Ultimately, performance is the no. 1 priority for any gaming PC -- and in every one of our benchmark tests, the Eon17-X simply annihilated the competition in both performance benchmarks and gaming frame-rate tests. The games I played, including Doom and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, ran smoothly -- with no discernible stuttering or lag. The Nvidia GeForce 1080 GPU, which is near the top of the line, is powerful enough to play virtually any game at full HD resolution and with high detail settings. It's also extremely VR-ready.
Our higher-end configuration, currently priced at $3,412 (or approximately £2,622 and AU$4,805), didn't even come with every top-shelf component Origin PC offers. But the included hardware was no joke: Intel's 3.7GHz Core i7 8700K six-core chipset -- a desktop processor -- and Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080 (overclockable) graphics card, added $245 (£185 or AU$340) and $659 (£500 or AU$915) to the price, respectively. Origin PC will sell to customers internationally -- but a machine this size will not travel cheaply; the price to ship via UPS Ground to my home in Maine added about $50 to the price.
Origin PC Eon-17X (2018)
|Price as reviewed||$3,412|
|Display size/resolution||17.3-inch 1,920x1,080-pixel HD G-Sync IPS display|
|CPU||Six-core Intel 3.7GHz Core i7 8700K|
|Memory||16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,800MHz|
|Graphics||8GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (overclockable)|
|Storage||2 x 256GB SSD RAID 0 + 1TB HDD|
|Webcam||Built-in 2.0-megapixel FHD camera and mic|
|Networking||Qualcomm 10/100/1000MB Base-TX Ethernet LAN, 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.1|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit)|
Origin PC provides numerous options across a wide array of components -- you can choose from among five CPUs, three GPUs, more than two dozen memory configurations and many, many hard drive combinations. The company will happily assemble a system with every top-end component at its disposal, including a 4TB Samsung 860 PRO Series SSD and a 64GB Kingston HyperX Impact 3,200 MHz memory card, for the price of a decent used car (i.e. north of $10,000).
The 17.3-inch HD G-Sync IPS display, with a 1,920x1,080 native resolution, looks crisp and bright. The full-size keyboard and number pad are comfortable to type on and feature four zones of color-configurable backlighting -- nice, though not quite as useful as the individual key lighting found on the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin or Razer Blade. The touchpad and buttons, which are not illuminated, are also responsive. Though it's not a big thing, I do wish the integrated fingerprint scanner was positioned outside the boundaries of the touchpad.
The bulky, mostly plastic body looks dated and a bit generic. Origin PC, like most boutique gaming PC makers, takes the same off-the-shelf laptop bodies as a bunch of other enthusiast brands and customizes them. (Only the biggest brands, like Alienware and Acer, can afford to design and produce unique laptop bodies from scratch. Origin PC makes some of its own desktop cases, however, which are excellent.) Though the default case isn't particularly compelling, the Eon-17X provides plenty of options for customization with a variety of panel designs, HD UV patterns, metallic paints and even a hydro dip treatment.