Performance summary: Gaming laptops have historically been big and bulky. Yet despite the extra heft, they often require more power-efficient versions of the chips and technologies used in desktop systems, which nevertheless still significantly drains batteries and necessitate complex cooling solutions with specialized power profiles. Fortunately, The Origin EVO15-S is a good example of just how impressive NVIDIA Max-Q technology can be. This laptop, when closed, stands less than an inch tall, yet there is a potent GeForce GTX 1070 on board and a 6-core Intel processor. NVIDIA claims the Max-Q models will be roughly 10% to 15% slower than the standard models in heftier laptops and we verified that in our testing. At best our Max-Q model performed equal to a standard GTX 1070 and at worst we saw a 17% performance discrepancy. You can't help but be impressed when you consider all the performance they squeezed into a small package that weighs well under 5 lbs.
Along with excellent gaming performance, the EVO15-S comes wrapped in a sexy chassis. The new look was inspired by Stealth Fighter jets and features bold lines along with an all metal exterior. The style of the machine is also enhanced by its RBG backlighting. There are three LED backlight zones in total that can be used to create some impressive RGB color effects. Beyond that, this laptop also felt very sturdy and its metal chassis showed very little flex. The design itself should wear well over time.
As configured and tested here, the Origin EVO15-S will set you back just north of $2,600 USD. That's a premium gaming laptop price point no matter how you slice it. However, there are options to that significantly reduce the upfront cost, without killing the performance. When configuring a machine there are options for standard SSDs instead of the faster NVMe
SSD in our machine. There are also less expensive processors available, such as Intel's last gen Core i7-7700HQ quad-core. The base model comes in at just over $1,700 USD and still includes a GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q GPU
. While you might not get the same performance as the beast we tested, you will still have a lot of power under the hood and a VR ready GPU.
The EVO15-S also offers a lot in the way of connectivity. In total there are three USB 3.0 ports, two USB Type-C ports, two Mini Display ports, an HDMI port, and a card reader. That along with all the standard power and audio ports. The port configuration lends to any number of possibilities. You can connect your EVO15-S to 3 external displays with the 2 Mini DisplayPorts and 1 HDMI port, for a max of 4 active displays powered by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics. Or you could use it as a portable VR laptop. The only exception here is there isn't quite enough ports to run a three base station room-scale Oculus Rift setup, but it can easily handle dual base stations. Some people might also find the lack of Thunderbolt 3 disappointing, but with an already powerful graphics card, external graphics options are probably less attractive anyway.
The only real downside we could find was that the keyboard can get hot while gaming. Specifically, most of the heat output is just below the FPS gaming keys and the W, A, S, and D keys can get pretty warm. The area where you wrest your wrist under the keys got warm as well. We didn't find this to be too bothersome, but if you're playing for long hours it could become an issue. You can reduce the heat a bit by cranking up the fans, but when at full RPM we found the noise to be somewhat distracting.
Overall, the Origin EVO15-S
is an impressive machine. If you're in the market for a powerful gaming laptop, but don't want to haul around a heavy and bulky traditional gaming machine, the EVO15-S is worth checking out for your use case. It offers similar performance to much larger laptops with fewer compromises than most in its weight class.
- Sleek looking chassis
- Powerful Max-Q graphics GPU
- Great RGB backlighting
- Easy upgradability
- Bright display
- Fast NVMe M.2 SSD
- Thin and light
- Good IO connectivity options
- Keyboard gaming keys get hot
- No Thunderbolt 3 support
- Typically poor gaming laptop battery life