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Origin EON 11-S Review: Successor To The Mobile Gaming Throne

Author: Matt Smith
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Origin

User Interface, Display and Audio Quality

User Interface
 
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A simple glance is all that is required to tell that the keyboard of the EON11-S is not going to be a joy. The problem is simple: size. An 11.6” laptop has only so much real estate, and if a laptop doesn’t make use of every inch there is going to be a problem. This laptop doesn’t (there is about three-quarters of an inch of unused space on each side) so the keyboard is quite restrictive.
 
Personally, as a 6’2” guy with typical hands for my size, I find this keyboard difficult to use. Your mileage will vary depending on your size. Someone who is under 5’8” may not find this keyboard as trying.
 
There’s not much to complain about besides the size. The layout is what you’d expect, tactile feel is average and there’s plenty of separation between individual keys. It’s a fine keyboard. It’s just not large enough.
 
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The touchpad is also small, though I found it usable. Its surface is coated with the same soft-touch coating as the rest of the laptop. At first this was awkward because the surface texture forces your finger to move slowly. Cranking up the touchpad’s sensitivity eliminated this problem and resulted in a fairly enjoyable experience. Individual left/right buttons are provided, but they lack travel, which can make them a bit annoying to use.
 
Display And Audio Quality
 
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The 1366x768 display on the EON11-S doesn’t sound like much but, when crammed into an 11.6” space, it's more than adequate. There are plenty of pixels per inch and the result is excellently-perceived sharpness. You’ll have to deal with the glossy coat to enjoy it – this panel is a mirror in a bright room.
 
Test images revealed black levels that were better than average, smooth gradient banding results and decent contrast. All of this was marred by extremely poor viewing angles. The panel’s viewing angle performance is so poor that images towards the edge of the display look slightly different from those at the center no matter how the display is angled.
 
Despite this, the display seemed up to performing its most important tasks – playing games. In a moderatly-lit (or darker) room, with the display at maximum brightness it looks quite nice. Colors are bright and punchy, bringing out the best of games like Diablo 3 and Dawn of War 2: Retribution.
 
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Audio quality is surprisingly good for a laptop of this size. Music sounds clear and crisp and some minor bass tones are reproduced without distorting the rest of a track. This is probably possible because of the laptop’s modest maximum volume. 
 
With this said, performance isn’t great when compared to other gaming laptops. Many are louder, clearer and more capable of producing bass. This is yet another area where size restricts the possibilities of the EON11-S.
July 18, 2012 | 01:25 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Nice last gen screen.

July 19, 2012 | 01:45 PM - Posted by Matt Smith

Er...there is no such a thing as a "last gen" screen.

July 19, 2012 | 08:13 PM - Posted by eastbayrae

Okay, how about a screen that was out 2 or more years ago? That panel should be at least 900p or 1080p. If Asus can put one a 13" Ultrabook, then I see no reason these guys couldn't do the same.

December 22, 2012 | 08:53 PM - Posted by Yvette (not verified)

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July 19, 2012 | 07:52 AM - Posted by jedibeeftrix (not verified)

i don't suppose some enterpising ODM will bring out a version of this chassis sporting an AMD A10-4655M APU?

July 19, 2012 | 01:45 PM - Posted by Matt Smith

No, probably not. I'm curious why you'd want that? It would be awful thick for a laptop with a 17w part.

July 19, 2012 | 03:19 PM - Posted by sotoa

Good timing on the article. Thank you for that.
I'm guessing this has Optimus switchable graphics.
I was looking for a tiny gaming laptop, but this still doesn't quite meet what I have in mind.
BTW, I'm 6'2" but my hands aren't chunky, so the keyboard would be more than fine for me.

July 20, 2012 | 07:01 AM - Posted by J_hernandez (not verified)

"is this a good laptop? No" = GOLD AWARD!.... huh? this makes no sence to me

July 20, 2012 | 08:57 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"My personal solution to gaming on the go was to buy a Nintendo DS"
WHAT?!?!
"I review super cars for a living but I prefer a Prius"

July 22, 2012 | 11:58 AM - Posted by Micah Ganske (not verified)

I just got a version of this laptop from XoticPC and I'll add some information to the mix.

First, there aren't a lot of options out there if you want something truly messenger-bag-portable and need to do pretty heavy 3D modeling and gaming while out and about. I had an M11x R2 and this is a pound lighter with triple the performance. The keyboard is small but I'm 6'5" and have adjusted to the size. It's not ideal, but a necessary evil for extreme portability.

The screen is not great, but if you get the matte option that most resellers are offering it's not bad and a HUGE improvement from the M11x. The panels have similar properties, but the M11x was super glossy with an extra glossy panel of plastic a few millimeters above the actual LCD. So even if you put a matte protector on the top plastic, you'd see double reflections in bright light. Terrible. The w110er with a matte option is pretty usable.

The power supply is huge, but you can find 120w ultraportable power supplies. I bought a Kensington for $40 on Amazon but everyone seems to be sold out of that one now.

Finally, the bios used in these laptops is pretty throttle-happy with the nvidia gpu active. If you download Throttlestop you can seriously increase your performance in a lot of games and 3D intensive apps though: http://forum.notebookreview.com/hardware-components-aftermarket-upgrades...

It's a fantastic machine with caveats. All in all, I'm quite happy with it.

July 23, 2012 | 07:33 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'd say the Eourocom Version is way better, It's cheaper and gives you better upgrades " glossy to matte screen". The Eourocom version even let's you put the $1000 unlocked Ivybridge CPU version of this little beast. I personally liked the version I said, also because you can buy it withought an Os so It's cheaper.

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