Gaming laptops aren't just for gamers! Their powerful processors and graphics cards, along with their large screens, also make them a good choice for anyone using creative software, for tasks like image and video editing, graphic design work, film-making animation and 3D modelling. Yes, they tend to be expensive, but if you can get your work done faster, then surely you're going to save cash overall. As they say, time is money…
Origin has a great reputation, both for the quality of its hardware and the high standards of its customer service. The specs for this laptop compare favourably against some of the best gaming laptops (opens in new tab) as well as the best laptops for CAD (opens in new tab), so I was keen to get my hands on the latest iteration of its flagship gaming laptop, the Origin EVO17-S (2022), and put it through its paces. Read on to find out what I thought of it, and whether I'd recommend it to both gamers and users of creative software.
Origin EVO17-S (2022) review: Pricing
The base model of the Origin EVO17-S (2022) costs $2,499, but at the time of writing, the company's website was offering a $200 discount, bringing the total price down to $2,299. That gets you 16GB RAM, an i7 12700H processor, an RTX3070Ti graphics card and a 17.3-inch 1080p screen with a 144Hz refresh rate.
If you want to upgrade to an RTX3080Ti card (which is covered in our guide to the best graphics cards), that adds $500 to the price. Alternatively, you can add the RTX3080Ti, change the screen to QHD, and upgrade the processor to an i9 12900H, all for an extra $800. Finally, if you want to bump up the RAM from 16GB to 32GB, that will cost you an extra $121. Or you can spend an extra $400 to bring it up to 64GB.
Assuming the $200 discount is still valid when you read this, then, the best-specced version of the Origin EVO17-S (2022) will cost you $3,499. Finally, Origin will add a custom design to your laptop's lid using HD UV printing, for an additional $65. This is the model I was sent for review.
Origin EVO17-S (2022) review: Size and weight
As you might expect from a powerful gaming laptop with a 17.3-inch screen, the Origin EVO17-S (2022) is pretty big and bulky. It measures 15.5 inches (39.7cm) high by 10.2 inches (26cm) wide, so will fit in an average laptop bag, but only just. That said, it's pretty thin, with a depth of just 0.78 inches (2cm); not far off the 0.66 inches (1.68cm) of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. And while at 6lbs (2.72kg) it's heavier than that MacBook's 4.7lbs (2.1kg), it's still fairly portable.
Put it this way: this wouldn't be our first choice for a commuting laptop if your train gets crowded and you need to work standing up. But if you're mainly going to be using it at home, it's a good size and weight for something this powerful.
Origin EVO17-S (2022) review: Design and build
Seeking a gaming laptop that looks like a gaming laptop? The Origin EVO17-S (2022) fits the bill nicely. For starters, if you stretch to the extra $65 for a custom neuron print, you can have your favourite gaming character (or whatever) adorn the lid. Origin did a nice design for us that incorporated the Creative Bloq logo, and it looks very smart indeed.
Inside, the chassis looks fairly standard and has none of the sleek metallic looks of an Apple or Surface laptop. On the plus side, though, I've found it doesn't show fingerprints up like on other laptops. Even better, the Origin EVO17-S easily passes the 'open with one hand' test, with zero wobble.
The centrepiece of the Origin EVO17-S (2022)'s design is a large, multicoloured, backlit keyboard. This is split into four zones, and you can vary the colour of each zone, as well as set up mini-animations or make the whole keyboard flash, should you wish to induce an epileptic fit.
Backlit colours on laptops are something some people will love and others will hate, of course. (Personally, I love them.) My guess is that you'll already know which camp you fall into.
The rectangular keys here are very stylish, with sharp, straight corners and printed with characters that are suitably sci-fi-esque. And they function well, too, with a nice level of travel and a satisfying click.
Best of all, there's a number pad: something I've found shockingly absent on even some expensive laptops. If you want, you can disable this, along with the function keys, to help make gaming smoother. The large (3 x 5 inches) touchpad is very nice too.
Possibly our favourite thing about this design is the inclusion of a 'performance' button next to the power button. This makes it easy to switch between Gaming, Turbo and Office modes. With other laptops, you have to fiddle about in the settings to change modes; this is a far more user-friendly experience.
Another area where the design of this laptop excels is around the edges. There's a fun lightbar at the front, which has 23 customisable zones, while the left and right-hand sides pack in a ton of ports (take that, MacBook!). Also, the power cable plugs in at the back, which is so much more ergonomic than having it on the side.
There are three other ports here, too, which helpfully stops your desktop becoming a tangle of wires. There are also four 2.5 inch-long ventilation strips along the sides and on the back, providing some useful cooling in a non-intrusive way.
Finally, just above the main screen is a webcam, which offers full HD (1080p) resolution. There's no privacy shutter for this, but the camera can at least be locked digitally.
Origin EVO17-S (2022) review: Display and speakers
My review model of the Origin EVO17-S boasts a QHD resolution screen (2560 x 1440), which I found quite delightful. It's nice and big (17.3 inches in diameter), bright (up to 395 nits) and colourful (achieving 98% sRGB and 71% AdobeRGB colour spaces).
No, it's not 4K, but if gaming is your passion then I'd say that's not a problem. To be frank, in my experience, graphics cards and broadband connections aren't quite up to the job of 4K gaming yet, so QHD is a much better middle-ground to inhabit.
This configuration of the laptop is also 240Hz, which makes for buttery-smooth frame rates on games, especially if you drop the resolution down to 1080p. For example, I got up to 157fps at QHD and 144 fps in Grand Theft Auto 5; and 93/84 fps respectively in Red Dead Redemption. I did detect a little backlight bleed on a few dark game scenes, but this wasn't a major issue.
Much less impressive than the screen were the built-in speakers. They do a decent enough job for both movies and games, and go plenty loud, but the sound is a little flat and the bass a little hollow.
Again, it's not a dealbreaker, but for a laptop this price I'd expected sound that was fuller, richer and deeper. So if you were to use this as your main entertainment centre (and the screen is certainly big enough), you'd probably want to plug in some external speakers.
Origin EVO17-S (2022) review: Connectivity
As I noted earlier, the Origin EVO17-S (2022) isn't quite thin enough to be considered an ultrabook. But those extra few millimetres go a long way, allowing it to pack in a huge array of connectivity options.
The MacBook Pro, in comparison, is so short on slots you'll need to buy a docking station if you want to connect a lot of peripherals. So that's one area where the Origin EVO17-S (2022)'s higher price starts to seem justified.
Here's exactly what you get. On the left are a Kensington lock, a USB-A 3.1 Gen 2 port, and two audio jacks, which are dedicated to microphones and headphones respectively. On the right side, you'll find an SD card reader and two USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 ports.
On the back, meanwhile, are a USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 port, which offers Thunderbolt 4 and DisplayPort 1.4 capabilities, along with the ability to charge the laptop, along with an HDMI 2.1 port, an RJ45 Ethernet Jack, and a power port.
Origin EVO17-S (2022) review: Performance
With an i9 Intel processor, an RTX 3080Ti graphics card and 64GB RAM, I was confident this laptop would be an impressive performer, and I was happy to be proved right. The Origin EVO17-S (2022) has been a fast, responsive, smooth and efficient performer throughout my time using it. And just to confirm this isn't just in my head, my benchmark tests returned some impressive results:
- Geekbench 5: Single Core 1910, Multicore 12843
- Cinebench R23: Single Core 1931, Multicore 16301
- Crystal DiskMark: 6597 MB/s read speed; 4938MB/s write speed
This laptop has also coped well with even the most demanding creative software I've thrown at it, not once slowing down or crashing. You know you're onto a winner when, for example, Photoshop opens in a matter of seconds, barely enough to read one or two of its long list of credits. In my benchmark tests, the Origin EVO17-S achieved the following PugetBench scores, all of which are pretty decent.
- Photoshop: 1076
- After Effects: 989
- Premiere Pro: 805
The only thing to add is that the fan noise is noticeably loud when this laptop does anything particularly intensive. It also gets quite warm, especially when playing AAA games, so I wouldn't recommend it for anyone who uses a laptop primarily on their lap, rather than on a desk.
Origin EVO17-S (2022) review: Battery life
One of the big drawbacks on a powerful laptop like the Origin EVO17-S (2022) is that it eats up battery life. I managed just two hours and 11 minutes doing a mixture of word processing, browsing and watching YouTube clips; about a quarter of what I typically get out of my day-to-day computer (Dell Latitude 1940).
The Origin EVO17-S isn't a great choice for watching video on long journeys, either. My review model lasted for six hours and three minutes showing TV shows downloaded from Netflix, which isn't bad. But this compares poorly with, say, the 19 hours and 10 minutes I recently got out of a $100 Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus tablet under the same conditions.
Limited battery life is pretty normal in a laptop this high-powered, of course. And when you see the size and feel the weight of the power brick it comes with, you won't be very surprised either. But it is something worth considering if you commonly need to use a laptop away from a socket.
Origin EVO17-S (2022) review: Should I buy one?
Overall, the Origin EVO17-S is a fantastic laptop with a lot to offer. It's the perfect choice for anyone who wants to play premium games or use powerful creative software and wants a big screen to see everything in detail. No, it's not cheap, but if you can afford one, you do get excellent bang for your buck.
This laptop's closest competitor is the Razer Blade 17, which costs between $2,899.99 and $4,099.99 at the time of writing, making it around $600 more expensive for broadly equivalent specs. That's largely because the Razer Blade 17 has a superior cooling system, which minimises CPU throttling. That leads to better gaming framerates and less fan noise, making it the better laptop for gaming overall. I'd argue, though, that the lower-priced Origin EVO17-S offers better value, hitting the sweet spot in terms of price to performance. So I'd say it's a better bet for anyone other than the most obsessive gamers.
What if you're not bothered about gaming, or only play the odd title now and again? I'd say that while this is a very nice laptop, it's probably overkill, in terms of both price and size, for most non-gamers. The main exception is creative professionals using resource-intensive software.
The lovely big screen and impressive processing power make it a great choice for using tools like Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere Pro, while not having to deal with the bulk and expense of a desktop computer. So if you're a heavy user of premium software for photo editing, digital art and illustration, graphic design, animation or 3D modelling, it's a great option… especially if you like to play games too.