Origin EVO15-S Review: Thin, Powerful NVIDIA Max-Q Gaming On The Go

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Origin EVO15-S: A Thin and Light Gaming Powerhouse

NVIDIA's Max-Q technology has only been on the market for about a year, but in that time quite few OEMs have jumped on the bandwagon. And for good reason. Max-Q is, or wants to be, the answer to a problem that has plagued mobile gamers since the first gaming laptop was birthed, spanked, and shipped off into the real world. We are, of course, talking about size. Bigger is not always better, especially in the mobile computing market. Most gaming laptops are bulky, heavy, and short on battery life. With Max-Q, NVIDIA is looking to change this by focusing on what they call the sweet spot when it comes to performance, power usage, and acoustics. 

In order to achieve this "sweet spot" NVIDIA has set guidelines for laptop manufacturing partners that improve efficiency via optimized voltage regulation, clock speed gating, and cooling. There are currently a handful of Max-Q laptops on the market with graphics cards that range from the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, to the GeForce GTX 1080. The Origin EVO15-S we will be evaluating here sports a GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q along with a stout arsenal of high-end component hardware backing it up.

Origin EVO-15S Back View

When comparing a standard mobile graphics engine to one employing Max-Q design, you can expect a 10% to 15% decrease in performance. However, while there's some performance loss from these power concessions, a GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q should in theory still perform better than a GTX 1060. All while requiring less power, and with a cooling system designed to allow it to fit into a much slimmer chassis. The magic here lies within the margins and NVIDIA claims the last 10-15% of peak power is typically the most costly in terms of power budget.

The EVO15-S isn't Origin's flagship model, but it's still a powerhouse in its own right. It's also much slimmer than the other gaming laptops in their lineup. The EVO15-S comes in at less than an inch tall yet it's equipped with a NVIDIA GTX 1070 (Max-Q), Intel Core i7-8750H (6-core, 12-threaded processor), 16GB of memory and a 512GB Samsung 970 PRO NVMe M.2 SSD. The whole system weighs in at just over 4lbs as well, so if it can pack a punch, we may be looking at the Connor McGregor of laptops here. 

Origin EVO15-S
Specifications & Features
Model EVO15-S
Processor 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Processors
Display
FHD 1920 x 1080 15.6"' IPS Matte Display
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Max-Q) 8GB GDDR5
Memory
16GB DDR4 2666 MHz
Storage
512GB  Samsung 970 PRO NVMe M.2 SSD + 2TB Seagate 5400RPM 2.5" Hard Drive
Ethernet Onboard Network Port
Wireless Connectivity Intel Wireless-AC 9560+BT
Interface (Left)
Power Port, HDMI port, dual Mini DisplayPorts, dual USB type-C ports, dual USB 3.0 ports
Ports (Right) Mic jack, Audio jack, USB 3.0 port, a 6-in-1 card reader, LAN port, kensington lock
Extras
Metallic: ORIGIN PC Red, ORIGIN PC White, Eternal Pink, Sabot Grey, Atmos Blue, Evolve Green, Horizon Yellow, Epic Purple Custom: Laser Etching, Custom Paint - Exclusive ORIGIN Design Design: True Fire, True Fire ORIGIN Red, True Fire Atmos Blue, Neurons, Battle-Tested, Shredder Red, Shredder Green, Shredder Blue Hydro Dip: Carbon Fiber Panel Designs: ORIGIN PC Black HD UV Printing: Low Poly Blue, Low Poly Red, Low Poly Green, Neurons Print, Blue Neurons, Flare
Cameras Built-in 2.0M FHD Video Camera
Operating System
Windows 10 Home 64-bit
Battery 4-cell (55WHr)
Dimensions Height: 0.7” Width: 14.9” Depth: 9.9”
Weight 4.30 pounds
Warranty Lifetime 24/7 U.S. Based Support and Lifetime Free Labor. 1 Year Part Replacement & 45 Day Shipping Warranty
Price $2,529 as configured @ originpc.com

Origin PC is known for delivering a high-end boutique PC experience, so on top of its already impressive internal hardware the EVO15-S also comes with a full back-lit keyboard, a FHD 144Hz display and more expansion slots than even the most die hard enthusiast could use. Of course all of this doesn't come cheap and in fact the model we tested here would set you back $2,629 USD. Even the base model of the EVO15-S isn't exactly what you would call budget friendly. However, when you're talking about a gaming laptop that can handle any game at 1080p at ultra image quality settings as well as VR, you know it's about the experience first and the price tag second. 

Origin also doesn't appear mess around when it comes packaging. Our laptop showed up in a crate that could almost fit a full sized desktop PC, or perhaps the Ark of the Covenant. Either way, the hardware we received was thoroughly protected. To have your laptop shipped via crate adds a $41 USD premium, but if you invested anywhere from two to three thousand dollars on the contents inside it, like our machine was configured, it would make sense to protect your gear from the likes of UPS and FedEX. We've all seen what they can do

Origin PC Shipping Crate

Our model is about as good as it gets in terms of customization, though there are a decent array of options to chose from to better suit budget levels and personal preference. The entry level model EVO15-S starts at $1,768 USD, but if you want all the bells-and-whistles expect to pay closer to our as-configured price above. However, if NVIDIA Max-Q and an Coffee Lake 6-core can perform as promised, meaning we get a gaming power-house squeezed into a svelte clam-shell, then that upside cost is better justified. 

Let's take a closer look at the EVO15-S design, materials and build quality...

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