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Origin PC Evo15-S (2017) review: A bantamweight gaming laptop fighting with heavyweight power

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The Good The Origin PC Evo15-S gives you the power of a mainstream gaming desktop in a slim laptop package weighing weighs less than 5 pounds, and without sacrificing connections.

The Bad The keyboard is a hair too cramped, which throws off anything you use muscle memory for, plus it's a bit mushy. And if you set it for maximum performance, it can get maybe-I-should-stop-playing-now hot.

The Bottom Line As long as you're not persnickety about your keyboards and always play plugged in, the Origin PC Evo15-S should deliver a great portable gaming experience with a lower-than-average schlep factor.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.9 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8
  • Battery 7

Review Sections

LIke the Asus ROG Zephyrus, Origin PC's jumped on the Max-Q bandwagon with its Evo15-S, delivering a similarly thin and light notebook packed with gaming guts.  

it's not the $1,200 system Nvidia promised last summer; the cheapest you can get is about $1,560 if you cut back to 8GB of RAM, a GTX 1060, a tiny 120GB SSD and the basic 1,920x1,080 matte IPS display. And our evaluation system configuration runs about $2,300. You don't have any choice on the processor, which is typical. But you have a ton of options for the storage, up to 5TB in total, and a nice handful for memory, up to 32GB 2,666MHz DDR. 

The three display options include two 1,920x1,080 matte IPS panels, one with a 120Hz refresh rate, and a 4K matte IPS. It supports G-Sync when connected to an external monitor via one of the two Mini DisplayPort connectors. The 4K upgrade (also matte IPS) seems oddly cheap at just under $100 over the base panel; in Australia, the same upgrade costs about AU$1,260 -- that's equivalent to $1,020. 

Australians generally have fewer options. Because there are no 120Hz display or 2,666MHz memory choices, there's no direct equivalent to our test configuration. The closest model you can get runs AU$3,910; the cheapest, AU$3,010 with 16GB of RAM, because there's no 8GB option. Origin PC doesn't have a UK site, but our test configuration price converts to roughly £1,635 and the cheapest setup translates to about £1,075.

Origin PC Evo15-S (2017)

Price as reviewed $2,312
Display size/resolution 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080 display (120Hz IPS)
PC CPU 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ
PC Memory 16GB DDR SDRAM 2,666MHz
Graphics 8GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
Storage 500GB SSD+2TB hybrid, SD card slot
Ports 3 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 2 x USB-C, 2 x Mini DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI
Networking Ethernet, 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2
Operating system Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
Weight 4.9 lb/2.2 kg

I think this is a solid configuration to recommend; if you don't play fast-moving games you can save a bit with the base display -- 4K strikes me as a bit too high for such a small monitor -- and cut back to 8GB, but decreasing the amount of storage won't save you all that much. (The Seagate FireCuda flash-accelerated hard drives aren't anywhere near as expensive as all flash.)

Slim with plenty o' ports

The Evo15-S has a relatively attractive, low-key design which you can always customize, and is a lot lighter and more compact than a typical 15-inch gaming laptop -- it weighs less than 5 pounds (a little more than 2 kg), compared to the Alienware 15's hefty 7.8 lb/3.5 kg. It doesn't seem quite as tanklike as the AW15, but its metal body still feels quite durable. I do miss flashy lighting on the chassis.

origin-pc-evo15-s-promo-43
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Sarah Tew/CNET

It also has all the ports you need, including two mini DisplayPort connectors and 3 USB 3.1 Type-A for your wired accessories, plus an HDMI for VR.

The display is okay but not standout for IPS, but as you'd expect much better than TN when it comes to viewing angle. It delivers about 94 percent sRGB gamut coverage, which is perfectly fine for gaming, though I wouldn't use it for anything where colors matter: it's very cool, with a color temperature of about 11,000 K, so everything looks a little too blue. That's perfect for games with ice and snow, however. And it's bright, with a peak brightness of about 400 nits, and typically about 315 nits when set at 75 percent. 

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