Origin EON17-X Review: The Ultimate Big-Screen Gaming Laptop

The Origin EON17-X laptop is the embodiment of speed in every sense. With a full-powered RTX 4090 Mobile graphics card and a 24-core Intel Core i9-13900HX processor, it doesn't compromise on performance. While all this gaming potential comes at a premium price and isn't exactly slim and lightweight, if you're seeking top-tier gaming on a big-screen laptop, it doesn't get much better than this.

 Origin EON17-X (2023) – Design and Features

The Origin EON17-X proves itself as a contemporary desktop replacement laptop. While Origin has dropped the term "desktop replacement" from its product page (it was used to describe the original 2020 model), it still packs top-tier specifications, exceptional performance, and an impressive form factor. When it comes to gaming laptops that come closest to emulating desktop-level performance, the EON17-X is a standout choice.

The centerpiece of this powerhouse laptop is its expansive 17.3-inch IPS screen. Sporting a 4K resolution with a remarkable 144Hz refresh rate and full G-Sync compatibility, it competes head-to-head with high-end, full-sized desktop gaming monitors. Boasting an impressive peak brightness of 524 nits and covering the entire sRGB spectrum (100%) and an impressive 99% of the DCI-P3 color space in our rigorous testing, the display is nothing short of brilliant. While it may not deliver the same deep contrast levels as an OLED screen, like the one found on the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i (with a measured contrast ratio of 800:1), the EON17-X's screen still dazzles with its exceptional visual quality.

For those who prioritize a higher refresh rate over 4K resolution, Origin offers an alternative configuration featuring a 1440p, 240Hz screen. Keep in mind that opting for this screen comes with a trade-off, as it necessitates a slight downgrade in GPU performance to achieve that lightning-fast refresh rate.

In conclusion, the Origin EON17-X (2023) stands out as a potent desktop replacement laptop that brings desktop-like gaming performance to the portable realm. Its stunning 17.3-inch display, available in both 4K and 1440p configurations, ensures a visually immersive gaming experience that rivals even the most elite gaming monitors. For gamers who demand uncompromising performance and a spacious screen, the EON17-X is a prime choice.

Inside the EON17-X (2023) – Hardware Powerhouse

Deep within the EON17-X lies a formidable arsenal of hardware components meticulously engineered to deliver exceptional performance. At the heart of its capabilities stands the Intel Core i9-13900HX processor, boasting an impressive 24 cores and 32 threads. This powerhouse CPU is a versatile workhorse, seamlessly handling a spectrum of tasks, from everyday productivity and multitasking to the demands of concurrent gaming and streaming, as well as resource-intensive activities like 3D rendering and video editing. What sets it apart is its intelligent architecture, comprising eight high-performance cores and 16 efficiency cores. This configuration ensures that games never suffer from a shortage of performance cycles, while background tasks are efficiently managed by the efficiency cores. Furthermore, the processor's ability to reach clock speeds of up to 5.4GHz is a game-changer, especially for titles that derive greater benefit from high frequencies than sheer core count.

When it comes to the graphics department, Origin provides the option to equip the EON17-X with either an Nvidia RTX 4090, coupled with the 4K, 144Hz screen (as tested), or an RTX 4080 paired with a blazing-fast 240Hz screen at 1440p resolution. While the inclusion of the RTX 4090, in particular, is a welcome sight, with its price becoming more accessible compared to early models featuring this graphics card, it does come at an additional cost, adding $650 to the base price. Thus, the starting price for the EON17-X, featuring a 500GB SSD, begins at $3,277. On the other hand, the RTX 4080 variant starts at a slightly more budget-friendly $2,627. The added investment not only unlocks superior performance but also provides an upgraded 16GB of video memory (as opposed to the standard 12GB) and the enhanced screen mentioned earlier, ensuring a more immersive gaming and visual experience.

Origin EON17-X (2023) – Performance, Connectivity

When it comes to mobile gaming performance, the EON17-X stands tall with its top-of-the-line graphics cards. In fact, it outshines some of its competitors, as we'll delve into later. However, gaming performance on a laptop isn't solely determined by the chips inside—it's also influenced by factors like temperatures and power consumption. Origin has boldly unlocked the Total Graphics Power (TGP) of both graphics cards, pushing them to their full 175-watt limit without any throttling. However, be prepared for some significant fan noise with this power-hungry approach.

The EON17-X doesn't just excel in the graphics department; its entire system is impressively well-equipped and surprisingly expandable. During the configuration process, you can select anywhere from 16GB to a whopping 64GB of DDR5 memory and a system drive ranging from 500GB to a massive 8TB. With three NVMe slots available, Origin even allows you to add up to two additional drives at checkout. Should you wish to install a third drive, it's possible, although you'll need to open the laptop and do it yourself. Essentially, configuring this system to underperform is a near-impossible task, given its versatile options.

Connectivity options abound with the EON17-X. You'll find two Thunderbolt 4 ports with power and video support on the right, along with two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports on the left. The laptop also features dual audio jacks for headsets, microphones, and optical speaker systems. Around the back, there's a Mini DisplayPort 1.4, a full-size HDMI port, ethernet connectivity, a Kensington lock slot, and a power port. For wireless connections, it offers Bluetooth 5.1 and WiFi 6E support.

In terms of size and weight, Origin has made substantial improvements compared to the previous generation. While the 2020 model was akin to a "desktop replacement" due to its substantial size and weight, the latest iteration aligns more closely with typical 17-inch gaming laptops. It tips the scales at 7.25 pounds and measures just 0.98 inches in thickness, marking a 13% reduction in weight and a 42% decrease in thickness compared to its predecessor.

Having carried it in my bag for the past two weeks, I can attest that it's noticeably heavier than my 5.5-pound Asus ROG Strix G15. Nevertheless, it hasn't been as unwieldy as I initially feared, as long as I leave the power adapter at home. Speaking of the power adapter, it's worth noting that it's quite substantial, adding over two pounds to the laptop's overall weight. Given the laptop's limited battery life (a couple of hours when gaming), you'll want to have the adapter on hand for gaming on the go. However, for tasks like work or studying, the laptop supports charging with a 100W PD charger, which is much lighter and more portable. While gaming at full throttle isn't possible with a PD charger due to the GPU's power demands, it will ensure your laptop doesn't run out of juice during your workday.

Using the EON17-X for gaming and productivity is a straightforward and satisfying experience. The keyboard features a full numpad and offers tactile feedback without feeling soft or mushy. The oversized 7-inch touchpad is a pleasure to use and rarely misinterprets gestures. Surprisingly, the laptop's speakers deliver robust and clear audio up to around 80% volume before showing signs of distortion. For virtual meetings, there's a 1080p webcam that, while not exceptional, provides decent clarity and handles changes in lighting well.

For those who appreciate customization, the EON17-X is available in various unique, UV-printed lid designs. For an extra $40, you can choose from 20 vibrant patterns. Alternatively, for an additional $150, you can submit your custom design to be applied to the lid. Our review unit came with a custom lid resembling the options available on the website, but it had noticeable horizontal roller lines across the front. If you're particular about aesthetics, it's advisable to stick with the standard lid to avoid potential disappointment.

In summary, the Origin EON17-X (2023) impresses with its stellar gaming performance, versatile hardware options, and improved portability compared to its predecessor. It's a powerhouse built for both gaming enthusiasts and productivity-focused users seeking a high-performance laptop. With a rich array of connectivity options and thoughtful design touches, it's a formidable choice in the competitive gaming laptop arena.

Software on the EON17-X (2023)

The EON17-X (2023) is refreshingly free from bloatware, and the additional programs it does come with serve essential purposes to enhance your overall experience. The primary configuration application, aptly named "Fn hotkeys and OSD," will likely become your go-to control hub. It's neatly organized into four tabs, covering system configuration, keyboard programming and lighting adjustments, and battery settings, making it user-friendly.

The initial tab offers a basic system monitor displaying vital information such as clock speed and temperatures for both the processor and graphics card. You'll also find small windows tracking memory usage, fan speeds, and other system statistics. Plus, it includes options to lock the Windows key, disable the webcam, and more. You can adjust the laptop's performance mode, choosing between Performance, Entertainment, Power Saving, and Quiet modes. The latter two options deactivate the RTX 4090 in favor of the processor's integrated graphics to conserve battery life.

The remaining tabs cater to personalization. The keyboard customization tab boasts nine distinct lighting effects and the ability to configure individual key lighting for a personalized touch. You can also remap keys or assign macros, including mouse functions, which can be a game-changer for gaming (especially with the Numpad). The battery tab grants you control over how the battery charges, offering options to charge to 100%, follow the recommended charge range (typically 70-80%), or set a custom range.

Additionally, the EON17-X (2023) comes with Creative's Sound Blaster Studio Pro software, which plays a significant role in optimizing the laptop's speakers. It provides various EQ presets and other enhancements, such as Scout Mode for enhanced audio positioning and CrystalVoice, which effectively eliminates background noise from your microphone.

Battery Life on the EON17-X (2023)

Given the power-hungry components packed within the EON17-X, even a substantial 99wHr battery can drain quickly. To assess battery life, we conducted tests using PCMark 10's Modern Office battery test, which simulates mixed usage scenarios, including web browsing, virtual meetings, productivity tasks, and 3D rendering. For this evaluation, we utilized the processor's integrated graphics, adjusted the screen brightness to 50%, and disabled non-essential features like Bluetooth. Additionally, we set the laptop to Power Saving mode, a recommended choice when not engaged in gaming. Under these conditions, the laptop endured for approximately four hours and 53 minutes. When the same test was repeated in Entertainment mode, it managed only two hours and 53 minutes.

During gaming sessions, the RTX 4090 significantly diminishes battery life. While playing Cyberpunk 2077, it lasted less than two hours. However, in less demanding tasks such as web browsing or working on documents in applications like Google Docs or Word, the laptop showcased better endurance. Running at reduced brightness with integrated graphics, it typically provided over five hours of usage before prompting the need for a recharge.

The EON17-X's performance is nothing short of exceptional, as previously hinted at in this article. It's time to highlight the standout qualities: this gaming laptop is blazing fast, fully leveraging its RTX 4090 graphics card. Across a battery of tests, it consistently secured top-tier positions. These assessments were conducted in Performance mode, with games configured at maximum settings, DLSS enabled where applicable, and frame generation performed in separate runs. Since the laptop's native screen resolution is 4K, we've included both 4K and 1080p results for direct comparisons with similarly equipped laptops we've reviewed.

What's particularly noteworthy about these results is that, despite the Razer Blade 16 boasting an ostensibly faster processor (5.5 GHz versus 5.4 GHz), the EON17-X consistently outperforms it in every single test. It engages in a neck-and-neck battle with the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16, falling slightly behind in 3DMark's Fire Strike and Night Raid tests but triumphing in all other assessments, except for Cyberpunk 2077.

Unsurprisingly, gaming at 4K resolution yields more mixed outcomes. With its fourfold increase in resolution compared to 1080p, 4K demands significantly more computational power, which is evident in our testing. Despite the visual splendor, it's a notably more taxing endeavor, even for a robust mobile GPU like the RTX 4090 (which lags roughly 30-40% behind its formidable desktop counterpart). Nevertheless, during testing across a selection of Steam games, it was surprising how many titles managed to maintain a steady 60 FPS or higher with minor in-game adjustments. Games supporting Frame Generation, such as Cyberpunk, benefited from a single-setting tweak with minimal impact on visuals.

However, games lacking DLSS or Frame Generation support can present more performance limitations. After investing $3,300 in a laptop, compromising visual quality is far from ideal. Reducing the resolution to 1440p results in noticeable image softness. But there's an alternative solution: integer scaling. Activating this setting within the Nvidia Control Panel allows you to play games at 1080p, with the RTX 4090 handling upscaling and sharpening. The result is a Full HD experience that looks impressive on the EON's 4K display, striking a fine balance while maximizing the refresh rate.

Our review unit was equipped with a Samsung 970 Pro SSD, boasting remarkable speeds with a maximum read speed of 7.1GB/s and write speeds of 6.9GB/s. This rapid storage solution significantly minimizes load times and accelerates file transfers, a valuable asset for creative applications like Adobe Premiere Pro, where frequent media manipulation and large file writes are commonplace.

It's important to note that this performance comes at a cost, namely in terms of heat and noise. The laptop's fan speeds swiftly ramp up to 100% upon launching a game and remain there, emitting a noise level akin to a jet engine, which may disturb those around you. Despite the intense cooling efforts, the processor consistently maintained temperatures between 98-100°C. On the other hand, the GPU operated much cooler, hovering around 77°C, well within safe thermal limits.

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