Origin EON17-SLX (2014) Review

Introduction

Some hardcore gamers want to go over the top with all the latest and meanest hardware, with EON17-SLX (2014) Origin offers all that and more. With Intel’s latest 4th gen Extreme Series processor and dual-GPU setup, EON17-SLX has the horsepower to outrun even the most expensive gaming machines. With a price tag of $3676, it is not a cheap machine, but it is worth every penny and it dominates the competition with its sheer raw performance and is the top contender for the title of best high-end gaming laptop.

Design and Features

Like most hardcore gaming laptops, EON17-SLX is ginormous in size and weighs a lot. It is 2.15 inches thick with overall dimensions of 2.15 x 16.5 x 11.3 inches (H x W x D) and weighs 9.3 pounds without power adapter and 12.3 pounds including power adapter. In size and weight it is comparable with the likes of Alienware 17 and Maingear Nomad 17 Ultimate. It has a simple black exterior with soft-touch finish and a pair of red lights on the back corners. It features a large variety of ports, on the left side there is a headphone and microphone jacks, S/PDIF for external surround sound system, a Kensington lock slot and a Gigabit Ethernet port. While on the right there is a USB/eSATA combo port, two USB 3.0 Ports including one with power for charging devices, DVD+-RW drive and a Thunderbolt Port. The back side features two more USB 3.0 port, a Four-pin power connector and an HDMI out.
Origin EON17-SLX features a 17.3-inch display with 1920 x 1080 pixels full HD resolution. The display has good quality matte finish so the users will not face any reflectivity issue. The display offers great viewing angles and crisp details with vibrant colors and sharp contrast. The display has normal level of brightness, which is similar to most rival laptops. The full HD display offers great detail level and gives great viewing experience. Below the display and between the hinges, there is a pair of Onkyo speakers angled toward the users which produce loud and rich sound. The speakers are combined with an integrated subwoofer and Sound Blaster X-Fi MB control panel, and the sound experience is surreal. EON17-SLX scored 82dB on the Laptop Audio Test while most rivals scored above 85dB

 

EON17-SLX features a full-size keyboard with backlit island style keys and a numeric keypad. The backlight comes in 7 colors and three distinct lighting zones, which the users can easily customize according to their liking. Below the keyboard is a large multi-touch trackpad with separate mouse buttons. The trackpad has a smooth surface with a glowing Origin logo in the center. The trackpad also changes color to match the keyboard and surprisingly the mouse buttons are almost half an inch below the trackpad. On the right of trackpad there is a fingerprint scanner for secure logins. It also features two cameras, a 5MP camera on the front for video calls and a 1MP camera on the lid. For wireless connectivity it has dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It comes pre-installed with Windows 8.1 and mostly free of bloatware. Origin provides a recovery flash drive with it and covers it with one-year warranty with free labor and support.

Performance

At the heart of EON17-SLX there is Intel Core i7-4930MX quad-core processor clocked at 3GHz. It comes with 16GB of memory for handling heavy tasks including gaming. It comes equipped with two 128GB SSDs in RAID-o configuration for faster loading time and a 750GB 7200rpm mechanical hard drive for additional storage. EON17-SLX passed all the benchmark tests with flying colors, in PCMark 7 it scored 6446 points while Alienware 18 scored 6220 points. It blazed through the Handbrake test in 31 seconds and completed the Photoshop CS6 test in 3 min 2 seconds.

EON17-SLX features two Nvidia GeForce GTX 780M with 4GB of dedicated memory each in SLI configuration. During real-life gaming tests, it managed to give 96fps while running Alien vs Predators and Heaven benchmark test on 1080p full HD resolution and high-detail settings. It is a monster that every hardcore gamer dreams of buying and it can run any and all latest games without any hiccups. Battery life is not one of its strong attributes and if users decide to take it with them on the road, they’ll definitely need to stay close to a power source. It lasted only 1 hour 13 minutes during a battery test which is low even for a power hungry gaming laptop. Some of the rivals like Alienware 17 and previous Origin EON17-SLX lasted more than 2 hours during the same test.

Conclusion

On paper, EON17-SLX (2014) might look like a refresh of last year’s model, but thanks to Intel Extreme series Core i7 processor, dual GeForce GTX780M GPUs and two 128 SSDs, there is an impressive amount of performance gain over the last year’s model. The mouse buttons might be awkward to use and the battery life is short but there is no shortage of raw power. It performs better than the more expensive Alienware 18 and without a doubt the best choice in high-end gaming laptops category.

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