Origin EVO15-S – Design and Features
The Origin EVO15-S is one sleek gaming machine. Apart from the Origin logo on the rear cover and the illuminated keyboard, there is very little about it that screams “gamer.” That’s a good thing because it can easily double as a machine for work or school thanks to its 4.4 pound weight and thin .77 inch depth. The outer shell is matte black and the bottom half is lined with vents across the bottom, back, and sides to better dissipate heat. If black isn’t your style, Origin allows you to customize the lid with HD UV printing, laser etching, or even hydro dipping for an extra charge.
The large amount of vents is only the first example of some really thoughtful design. Another that stands out is how Origin has arranged the I/O on this machine. Rather than force everything onto the sides, both power and video outputs are placed at the rear of the PC. This keeps USB slots from being cluttered and makes for easier cable management when connecting different devices and external displays. All told, the EVO features three USB 3.2 Type-A ports, an RJ-45 ethernet jack, a microSD card reader, and separate headphone and microphone outputs on the sides. Along the rear is the AC port, as well as a full-size HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt 3 connection.
Returning to the face of the laptop, we have a full-size keyboard which includes a number pad for easily mapping macros. Given the size of the screen, I found it to be a bit cramped at first but became used to it after a few days of use. The keyboard feels good to type on – each key has a distinct tactile bump, so you know when it’s triggered. The keyboard is also per-key backlit and can be personalized with a custom color scheme.
Just below that is a large touchpad. It’s offset to the left, centered below the alpha keys, and matched the size of my hands very well. It wasn’t overly sensitive like some gaming laptops and I didn’t find myself sending gesture commands by mistake. Like all touchpads, it’s not going to replace a mouse for gaming but worked well for navigating Windows and browsing. I also really like that Origin used two physical buttons instead of the clickable surface, and found them to be easier to find and click.
Under the hood, my unit came configured with the works: an Intel Core i7-10870H 8-core CPU with a maximum boost speed of 5 GHz, 32GB of Corsair Vengeance DDR4 memory clocked to 2666 MHz, a 1TB Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSD capable of 3500 MB/s and 2500 MB/s read and write speeds, and, of course, the headline feature, the Nvidia RTX 3080 mobile GPU. That GPU drives the gorgeous 15.6-inch display to an incredibly fast 300 Hz, which comes pre-calibrated from the factory with an active SpyderX color profile.
These specs place it in the upper echelon of Origin’s offerings and, indeed, gaming laptops today, so it should come as no surprise that this configuration is priced to match at $2997. Origin also offers the EVO15-S in cheaper configurations beginning at $1962 if you like what you see but perhaps don’t need something quite so cutting edge.
The EVO15-S also offers different screen options if 300 Hz isn’t your cup of tea. The benefit to opting for this screen is the added smoothness and motion clarity when engaging in quick turns in first-person shooters. The added refresh rate also enhances how responsive the panel feels, in part due to that added clarity. In practice, it’s a difference you can feel coming from a traditional 60 Hz display, but if you’re already used to a 144 Hz panel, the upgrade will be more subtle. If resolution is more important to you, Origin also offers 4K OLED screens running at 60 Hz.
This assortment of hardware makes it an excellent choice for gamers-on-the-go who want exceptional performance in games but who also want to try their hand at streaming or content creation. The high core count CPU and top-of-the-line GPU are excellent fits for live stream encoding while also holding high frame rates. That’s only bolstered by the amount of memory, which is well in excess of what those tasks would require. These same features also make it a great fit for photo and video editing. In combination with the Samsung 970 EVO SSD, I was able to edit 4K video clips, even hopping over for live edits to Adobe After Effects and back again without the PC breaking a sweat.
Given how well the EVO15-S performed with these system straining tasks, it should come as no surprise that it handles normal browsing and productivity tasks with ease. I like that it featured a split headphone and microphone jack, which made connecting a gaming headset easy. The 720p webcam is also decent provided you have sufficient light, but can be quite grainy without. It works perfectly fine for Zoom calls, but if you’re planning to stream, I would recommend investing in a standalone webcam. The EVO15-S also features a built-in fingerprint reader under the touchpad for speedy, password-free logins right underneath the touchpad.
Between its thin form factor and high-end hardware, heat could be an issue and it certainly is here. Despite the plentiful venting and high RPM fans, my CPU regularly spiked to 99C and tended to hover around 85C. The GPU was a bit cooler, peaking at 84C. While gaming, the fans become quite loud. Gaming on the couch next to my wife, she had to turn up the TV to overpower the fan noise. It’s possible to set a custom fan curve, but I wasn’t able to overcome this while also keeping temperatures in check.
Origin EVO15-S – Software
It seems that Origin doesn’t believe in bloatware because the EVO15-S is delightfully free of it. Instead, it ships with a standard Windows installation with only its own lightweight configuration tool, Control Center 3.0, and the SpyderX utility to maintain the color profile. Inside the Control Center app, you can set the power mode, control the fan curves, adjust keyboard lighting, and even program macros. It’s simple, with a basic and easy to understand user interface that gets right to the point for each of its sections.
Out of the box, my unit came set to the Performance power mode. This turns the dials to 11 and pushes the system to perform at its highest, disregarding fan noise. It offers several others which adjust fan and system parameters to match different use cases. Quiet mode limits system performance to reduce temperatures and fan noise, while Power Saving mode maximizes battery life. Entertainment mode, on the other hand, is equivalent to Balanced mode from vendors like MSI, staking out a middle ground between performance, temperatures, and fan noise.
When it comes to keyboard control, the LED Keyboard section allows you to, you guessed it, customize the LED keyboard. There are seven preset animations, which include a rainbow wave, breathing, and reactive typing, as well as a custom layout builder. I opted to create my own color scheme, striping purple and pink in wide sections. The software allowed me to click and drag to highlight sections of keys, as well a color wheel, which made dialing this in quick and easy.
The Flexikey portion of the software is all about key remapping and programming macros. I was impressed to see this functionality built into the laptop. It’s especially fitting here since the number pad can be used to store macros. The software even supports multiple profiles, so you can create custom layouts for different games and applications.
Finally, the Fan Speed Setting section allows you to monitor temperatures and fan settings for both the CPU and GPU. You’re given the option of allowing each to control itself, turning them to maximum to quickly dissipate heat, or creating your own custom fan curve. As always with gaming laptops, managing heat and noise is a balancing act and I didn’t personally find it worthwhile to dial in my own fan curve since the noise levels turned out so similar anyway. Still, it’s nice to see the option here and to see that the GPU supports zero RPM mode like desktop GPUs.
While I’m a fan of the otherwise stock Windows installation, I do wish Origin had included Microsoft Office. I understand that this isn’t a standard in gaming laptops, but even at the EVO15-S’s introductory price of $2000, it should at least offer the ability to type an essay or work in a spreadsheet.
Origin EVO15-S – Performance and Gaming
With specs and software out of the way, it’s time to look at gaming performance. Given the different cooling solutions at play across laptop brands, even two systems configured with the same hardware can offer differing results. To counter this, I’m showing the EVO15-S’s results against several other comparable systems to show how this configuration scales.
All games are tested on ultra settings with ray tracing and DLSS enabled wherever possible. Note that we recently added Hitman 3 to our test rotation but since these systems need to be returned following publication, two of the models below do not have this data point.
The EVO15-S offered excellent results at 1080p. In synthetic tests, it outperformed the MSI G66 Stealth in all but 3DMark Fire Strike. What is especially striking to me is just how close the internal RTX 3080 performs to the eGPU system with the Asus ROG Flow X13. Compared to the Razer Blade 15 with the RTX 2080 Super, the EVO15-S really demonstrates the improvements brought with this generation of graphics cards. The Hitman 3 results are especially impressive, but even with that outlier removed, we’re looking at a 31% improvement across the game tests and Unigine Heaven.
MSI GS66 Stealth
Asus ROG Flow X13 (w/eGPU)
MSI GP66 Leopard
Razer Blade 15 Advanced
Price as tested
Intel Core i7-10870H
Intel Core i7-10870H
AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
Intel Core i7-10870H
Intel Core i7-10875H
Nvidia RTX 3080
Nvidia RTX 3080
Nvidia RTX 3080
Nvidia RTX 3070
Nvidia RTX 2080 Super
3DMark Time Spy
3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark Night Raid
Total War: Three Kingdoms
Unigine Heaven 4.0
PCMark 10 Battery Test
9:05 (no eGPU)
What’s not represented in these numbers is how the 300 Hz screen impacts gameplay. Since none of these games are achieving 300 FPS, the true clarity benefits aren’t being realized but games definitely felt subtly more responsive. When you step into a game like Counter Strike: Global Offensive and can push those frame rates, there’s definitely better clarity in motion and I felt more accurate taking down enemies. It’s not a major change in the moment but one you definitely notice going back to even a 144 Hz screen. In a word, it feels snappy in a way that other gaming laptops I’ve used just don’t, and that includes normal browsing. With a 300 Hz refresh rate, even something as simple as moving the reticle with a gaming mouse feels almost airy.
While I did most of my gaming using a headset, the machine comes equipped with a decent pair of speakers to use in a pinch. As is common, they lack bass but get plenty loud. The marketing material says they’ve been tuned by Sound BlasterX for “pro gaming” but I’m unclear what this means since there really doesn’t seem to be anything special about them. The soundstage is fairly compressed and positionality is only so-so. At higher volumes, they can also sound a bit sharp, so I would avoid using them for gaming unless a headset just isn’t an option.
Origin EVO15-S – Battery Life
The EVO15-S features a reasonably large battery at 73wH. This isn’t quite as large as the 99wH found on the MSI G66 Stealth but can support a reasonably long life. Using PCMark 10’s Modern Office Battery Life test in Power Saver mode, it lasted 1 hour and 57 minutes. In Performance Mode, this was cut down to 1 hour and 26 minutes. If you’re gaming in Performance Mode, as you should to hit the highest FPS it’s capable of, you should definitely plug in and use wall power.
In the interest of transparency, my battery tests in Power Saver mode fell far short of the internal testing conducted by Origin whose own Modern Office test with this machine finished at 4 hours and 13 minutes. After reaching out to Origin, repeatedly verifying settings, reinstalling PC Mark 10, and re-running the test, I was not able to approach this figure. Should we be able to track down the disparity, we will post an update to this review, but until then please bear in mind that these results are not in line with what Origin expects for the battery and hardware configuration tested.
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