Laptop-leading performance. Dual GTX 1080 graphics capable of 60fps 4K gaming. Unlocked desktop processor. Myriad port options. A ton of storage space.
Super expensive. Enormous size. 15 pounds with its two power bricks. Very short battery life.
- Bottom Line
The hefty Origin EON17-SLX delivers unparalleled performance for a gaming laptop thanks to SLI graphics and top-end features like a 4K G-Sync display. Just know you'll have to pay big for it.
If price is no object, the 2017 Origin EON17-SLX (starts at $2,177; $4,983 as tested) is hard to beat. While you can configure it at a more reasonable cost to start, the true draw is the dual graphics capability and desktop-class processor, which really ramp up the cost. It's obviously very expensive, and its hefty size will deter those looking for a more portable gaming laptop. Those caveats aside, the performance of this configuration simply can't be matched, delivering the overall speed and gaming proficiency of a desktop. While the EON17-SLX tops the heap for pure power, the Editors' Choice Alienware 17 R4 is a much less expensive single-card 17-inch option, while the Razer Blade Pro is a pricey, sleek alternative.
//Compare Similar Products
There's no two ways about it: The EON17-SLX is an enormous laptop. You'd expect it to be large given the dual graphics and requisite thermals, but it's bigger than nearly anything on the market. It measures 1.9 by 17 by 12 inches (HWD) and weighs 12 pounds, a huge black rectangle that's far from what I'd call portable. Aesthetically it's somewhat understated—there aren't any particularly attractive design elements, but I prefer this to some of the more garish gaming system looks. On the lid, on either side of a white Origin logo, there are some thin, angular LEDs, which glow red while the system is on and pulse while it's sleeping. Multiple color and lid options are available when ordering, but ours is all black. It looks very similar to the Origin EON17-X 10 Series, a single-card build, just much thicker and heavier.
Only other dual-card laptops will give it a run for its money in terms of size, and they're not too common. The MSI GT83VR Titan SLI is one of a few modern laptops that has it beat, measuring 2.72 by 18.1 by 13.4 inches and 12.2 pounds, though it also has a larger 18-inch screen. The Acer Predator 21 X, an even larger but perhaps less realistic alternative, is a $9,000 behemoth that's more technical showpiece than consumer laptop. At 3.27 by 22.36 by 12.38 inches and 18.6 pounds, it makes the EON17 look downright travel-friendly, but at the end of the day you won't want to carry either around with you unless you absolutely have to.
Its size is further exacerbated by its not one, but two huge power bricks. The laptop comes with an adapter to plug both bricks into, from which one cord then runs into the laptop. With both bricks added to the weight—say, if you had to haul the whole setup somewhere—the total comes to 15 pounds. In conclusion, if you get this laptop, don't do so with the expectation that you'll move it around often, as it should instead mostly serve as an occasionally movable desktop.
Its 17-inch screen delivers a 4K (3,840-by-2,160) resolution, which is one of the main reasons to even need a dual-card setup. Pushing so many pixels is extremely demanding for even the highest-tier single-card options, and two is more or less necessary for reaching steady 60 frames per second (fps) and higher game play at max settings. In addition, the display includes In-Plane Switching (for wider viewing angles and a sharper picture) and Nvidia's G-Sync technology (for syncing frame rates with your monitor's refresh rate for smoother visuals), making it ideal for performance-conscious users. The non-gloss matte finish makes for virtually no glare, but the picture doesn't particularly pop as a result (matte always makes for a somewhat muted effect).
The image quality is sharp due to the resolution, and colors are vibrant, it just doesn't leave a lasting impression. The EON17-X uses the same resolution (4K is nice for media and other uses, even if you shouldn't always play games at it with one card), while even the Predator 21X curiously only features a 2,560-by-1,080 resolution on its curved screen.
The keyboard will be familiar if you've used other Origin EON laptops. The non-chiclet keys, flush against one another and backlit with customizable lighting, have a nice bounce to them. There's no mechanical click to them, so they could feel airy to some users, but typing generally feels like a breeze. The touchpad is smooth and responsive, and there's a fingerprint sensor in the top left corner for secure sign in. The speakers get extremely loud, as you'd hope from something so hefty, and the sound quality is solid. There's a bit of a tinny quality at maximum volume, but I sincerely doubt anyone would want it that loud when sitting directly in front of the system.
On a laptop so big, the number and variety of ports are more akin to a desktop. There are five USB 3.0 ports, two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3, two Mini DisplayPort connections, an HDMI port, two Ethernet jacks, and a six-in-one card reader. Other connectivity options include dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. For storage, there's a 512GB SSD (a super-fast, compact Samsung 960 Pro NVMe M.2, to be exact), as well as a 2TB Seagate hybrid drive. That's plenty of storage, and a lot more than you get on the pricey 17-inch Razer Blade Pro, which, for $4,000, only matches the SSD capacity and doesn't pair it with a larger drive. The 2TB drive can be the main location for your (increasingly large) game installations, while specific games that benefit greatly from being on an SSD, along with other crucial programs, can go on the boot drive. Origin supports the laptop with a one-year part-replacement warranty and lifetime 24/7 support and free labor.
Real Life. Real News. Real Voices
Help us tell more of the stories that matterBecome a founding member
The real benefits of the EON17-SLX come through its powerhouse hardware, including a 4.2GHz Core i7-7700K processor, 16GB of memory, and of course the dual Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards in SLI. The CPU, as denoted by the "K" designation, is unlocked for overclocking, and built-in software lets you tweak performance of both the processor and graphics cards. The results below were recorded with the overclocking off, since the degree to which you boost performance vary by user (or be entirely optional) and use case.
The unlocked CPU (which, like dual graphics, are only found in more premium machines) is another reason the chassis is so big, given the need for more heat management to allow for overclocking. As expected, its benchmark scores are excellent all around. Even with the demanding 4K display, it beats out virtually all competition, including the Predator 21X, on the PCMark 8 Work Conventional productivity test. Its multimedia test scores were similarly unassailable—no laptops match its overall performance on Handbrake, Photoshop, and CineBench. Some come close on individual tests (the Blade Pro's Photoshop score, the Alienware 17 R4 on Handbrake), but its overall proficiency leads the category. Though mainly a gaming system, you'll want your pricey laptop to do more, and the EON17-SLX can chew through video editing and other demanding tasks in no time.
With dual graphics, its leading position didn't change on the 3D and gaming tests. Even the prohibitively expensive Predator 21X scored lower (though still extremely high relative to all systems, it should be said) on the 3DMark Cloud Gate and Fire Strike Extreme 3D tests. Single-card laptops can't reasonably be expected to match up against the EON17-SLX's two (with lower price points to match), but the EON17-X 10 Series and the Alienware 17 R4 come closest. As for gaming performance, the SLX averaged just above 60fps on the Heaven and Valley tests in 4K at Ultra-quality settings, which is what you'd want a dual-card machine to achieve. It goes to show how demanding 4K gaming is, given that even the SLX didn't clear smooth 60fps by much, but the EON17-SLX can do it (and overclocking will take you even further). No modern game will make the SLX chug or dip, and these two top-of-the-line cards and unlocked CPU will future-proof you for years to come.
Unsurprisingly, its battery life leaves a lot to be desired. When the power it requires is made so clearly visible by the two supply bricks, and considering the high-end components, its 1 hour and 56 minute time on our battery-rundown test is what you may expect. Some ran a bit longer—the Blade Pro for 3:46, the Alienware 17 R4 for 3:30—but most 17-inch laptops with this much power simply aren't meant to last off the charger for very long. They're just portable enough to have to move in a pinch and use when you get to your next destination, but aren't very well-suited for use along the way.
You Get What You Pay For
There's no getting around the fact that the EON17-SLX is expensive, but if you're shopping in this price range, you're already prepared to spend big. For nearly $5,000, you're getting appropriate power for the price, with virtually unmatched performance in every area. It wouldn't be a stretch to call this the king of laptop power, really closer to a desktop than most notebooks in all but form factor. You're not going to want to carry it with you very often, so you should expect this to be your nearly stationary gaming hub, but if you can justify the need for a laptop over a less expensive, similarly powered desktop, the EON17-SLX leads the pack. In this price tier, the more reasonably sized Razer Blade Pro remains our favorite 17-inch laptop, while the Alienware 17 R4 is a powerful, much less expensive option. If you want top-end power but value portability, the ingenuity of the Asus ROG Zephyrus (GX501VI) is the way to go.
Other Origin PC Corporation Laptops & Notebooks
Matthew Buzzi is a junior analyst on the Hardware team at PCMag. Matthew graduated from Iona College with a degree in Mass Communications/Journalism. He interned for a college semester at Kotaku, writing about gaming. He has written about technology and video game news, as well as hardware and gaming reviews. In his free time, he likes to go out with friends, watch and discuss sports, play video games, read too much Twitter, and obsessively manage any fantasy sports leagues he's involved in. More »
More Stories by Matthew
- Destiny 2 (for PlayStation 4)
- Destiny 2 (for PlayStation 4)
While it's difficult to draw final conclusions about Destiny 2 from the beta, it provides the same a… More »
- Intel Core i5-7640X
The Core i5 member of Intel's new Core X family offers little advantage over Intel's mainstream chip… More »
Subscribe to the newsletter news
We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe