We were quite excited when we first learnt of Origin PC’s new affordable gaming laptop range that launched with an attractive $999 price tag. For those who have never heard of Origin PC, they are a brand that is known for their high-end gaming rigs, and no, they have nothing to do with EA Games and their digital gaming delivery service. Origin PC was founded in 2009 by three former Alienware employees, meaning that they know a thing or two about gaming laptops. The company took to the web to announce the release of their EON15-S range which is aimed at the $1000-$1500 gaming market. This might have to do with the fact that quite a few manufacturers have brought out what some might classify as entry-level gaming laptops priced at $999. So, we decided to have a look at their entry-level laptop and this is what we thought.
What we liked:
An NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
A good Full-HD IPS display
Seventh generation Kaby Lake processor
Three zone backlit keyboard
Both SATA and M.2 slots
Configuration options on their site
What we didn’t like:
The i3 processor in the base model
No option for either the standard GTX 1050 or the GTX 1060
Tiny storage option for the base model
What you do and don’t get for $999:
While this might be a shift from their previous cheapest laptop which was priced at around $1700, the base model leaves a bit to be desired as it is not quite as powerful as some of the competing $999 gaming laptops. So what exactly do you get for $999? Well for $999 you get a seventh generation Intel Core i3-7100H processor, yes you read that correctly, an i3 processors. While this processor is from Intel’s Kaby Lake architecture, it only offers two cores and weirdly has been based off of a Quad Core design with the exclusion of a turbo clockspeed. So in essence Intel have taken a Quad Core processor and deactivated two of the cores and the turbo to offer the i3 chip set at a much lower price point. Luckily this can be upgraded to either an i5-7300HQ for an extra $67 or an i7-7700HQ processor for $128. Meaning that to get the same processor as many 2017 gaming laptops, you will already have to fork out an extra $128. But it doesn’t end here, the $999 model features a tiny 120GB SATA based SSD. You can customize it and add a larger 250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2 SSD for an additional $149 and instead of the tiny SATA SSD you can go for a 1TB 7200rpm mechanical drive for an additional $23. This is a far cry from some of the $999 options which come standard with a 1TB HDD or both a 128GB SSD and a 1TB HDD. Memory wise, the base model comes with 8GB of DDR4 2133MHz RAM which sounds average, however Origin PC do use Kingston HyperX Impact RAM for the base model which offers better performance than some of their competitor’s RAM modules. You will be able to upgrade the RAM to a maximum of 32GB and Origin PC also offers the ability to customize it with either 2400MHz RAM or even 2666MHz RAM. 16GB of 2133MHz RAM will add another $52 to the price. Opting for a higher frequency RAM will add an additional $66 for 16GB of 2400MHz or $171 for 16GB of 2666MHz RAM. While most of its hardware is customizable, Origin PC only offer the EON15-S with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. It would have been nice to see an option for the GTX 1060 on their configuration page as it is a more future proof GPU that would only push up the price slightly. Another option which would have been great would have been the standard GTX 1050 and a slight reduction in the $999 price. This would have allowed users to save some money with the cheaper GTX 1050 which they could put towards a better processor or storage option.
When all is said and done it would seem that the guys at Origin PC have taken a page from their former employers and offer a seemingly attractive price while offering a below average system compared to its competitors. Dell and Alienware have been doing it for years and I still remember spending a lot more on my fist XPS laptop in 2006 than I originally planned on. And honestly they have done the same thing with their EON15-S laptop. It almost makes more sense to purchase one of last year’s cheaper MSI or ASUS laptops than to spend the $999 on the i3 EON15-S version. Sure, some of the MSI laptops do not feature backlit keyboards, however you will still get an Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor and some change left over for a larger SSD. To be honest you are better off looking at the Acer Aspire VX5-591G-75RM as it is currently on special for $999 and features slightly better specs than the EON15-S. If the Acer Aspire VX5-591G-75RM is not quite what you are after, then head over to our Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000 guide where you might find just the gaming laptops for you.