Origin EON 11-S Review: Successor To The Mobile Gaming Throne
User Interface, Display and Audio Quality
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.
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
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.
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.