Origin Eon11-S : The little gaming notebook that could

9/8/2012 9:31:27 AM

Origin PC's EON11-s isn't the first 11.6-inch gaming notebook to come knock­ing – Atienware kicked off the category in 2010 with its small-but-mighty M11x. But times have changed since the M11x's debut, hardware and thermals have ad­vanced, and thus Origin's Eon11-S is no less impressive an accomplishment. Packed into the 11.2x8.1x1.4-inch chas­sis are an Ivy Bridge Core i7-3720QM quad-core processor and a GeForce GT 650M GPU. They're joined by a 256GB SSD in the standard 2.5-inch trim and 8GB of DDR3/1333 RAM across two slot-driven SO-DIMMs. Incidentally, all the innards are accessible via a bottom panel that pops off with ease, making future upgrades possible.

Description: Origin Eon11-S

Origin Eon11-S

At present, upgrades are hardly called for. The Eon11-S ran circles around our 16.6-inch zero-point gam­ing notebook in the content creation benchmarks, with gains of more than 60 percent. In gaming, the two were a little more closely matched, with the zero-point's GTX 460M having a slight, but measurable advantage. Never­theless, the Eon11-S proved its gam­ing mettle, with scores of 43.6fps and 66fps in Far Cry 2 and Call of Duty 4, respectively. That was with a resolu­tion of 1680x1050 on an external dis­play (native is 1366x768). When we ran the more modern and graphically chal­lenging STALKER: CoPat 16x10 res and the Ultra setting, the Eon11-S achieved a decent 22.9fps.

Description: The Eon11-S comes in either a ‘Traditional’ design, with a simple matte-black textured lid, or this ‘A-Panel’ design, in either matte red or black, for the same price

The Eon11-S comes in either a ‘Traditional’ design, with a simple matte-black textured lid, or this ‘A-Panel’ design, in either matte red or black, for the same price

A more apt competitor for the Eon11- S might be Acer’s Timeline M3 (re­viewed July 2012) – a 15.6-inch gaming Ultrabook. The Eon11-S weighs less by almost a pound – that is until you ac­count for the power bricks; then the two weigh nearly the same, so honking is the Eon11-S's PSU. In performance the distinctions are more clear-cut. From Premiere to ProShow to Pho­toshop and MainConcept, the Eon11-S's 2.6GHz quad-core CPU was like a schoolyard bully wailing on the Time­line M3’s growth-stunted 1.7GHz dual­-core. We're talking beatings of 100-156 percent. In games, where the M3's GT 640M takes over, the Eon11-S showed a more modest 15 percent advantage. Still, it's the obvious choice if a super­-portable gaming notebook is what you're after.

Description: The Eon11-S lacks the flashy keyboard backlighting and other LED accents that characterized Alienware’s M11x, but it comes through where it counts: in performance

The Eon11-S lacks the flashy keyboard backlighting and other LED accents that characterized Alienware’s M11x, but it comes through where it counts: in performance

Capable as it is, the wee Eon11-S is not without tradeoffs. While it has the same 1366x768 screen res as the Timeline M3, the Eon11-S's keyboard suffers some from the smaller foot­print. The compressed layout can feel a little cramped, particularly for larger-handed folk. At least it doesn’t have the shallow keypress and maddening touchpad of an Ultrabook. The Eon11-S can also get pretty hot when run­ning full tilt. A sizable vent on the left side of the machine expels a rush of hot air that could rival a space heater. Finally, battery life isn't incredible. Three hours-plus is pretty decent for a standard-size gaming notebook, but it doesn’t come close to the five hours achieved by the Timeline M3. But all of these issues are just what come with the territory when you cram serious hardware into a small form factor. What you get in return is powerful rig that’s also amazingly portable, and we applaud OriginPC for filling that niche.


Our zero-point notebook is an Asus G73Jw-A1 with a 1.73GHz Intel Core i7-740QM, 8GB DDR3/1066, two 500GB Seagate 7,200rpm hard drives, a GeForce GTX 460M, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. Far Cry 2 tested at 1680x1050 with 4x AA; Call of Duty tested at 1680x1050 with 4x AA and 4x anisotropic filtering.





Pros and cons

Pros: Shortbread:

Lotta power, little package; upgrade friendly.


Short bus: Small keyboard; gets hot; compact size offset by huge power brick.



2.6GHz Core-i7 3720QM


8GB DDR3/1333, dual-channel


Intel HM65


Nvidia GeForce GT 650M w/Optimus


11.6-inch, 1366x768


: Samsung 830 Series 256GB SSD


802.11n/g, Ethernet, VGA, HDMI, headphone, mic, 2x USB 3.0, powered USB 2.0, 1.3MP webcam, 9-in-1 media reader, Bluetooth 4.0

Lap / Carry:

3 lbs, 11.3 oz / 5 lbs, 5.1 oz




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