Origin EVO15-S review: Great gaming power in a minimalist laptop chassis

An RTX 3070 Max-Q in a thin and light chassis... for a gaming laptop .

Origin Evo15 S Hero
(Image: © Windows Central)

The Origin EVO15-S has been on the market for a handful of years at this point, being refreshed every so often with new specs to keep the laptop current. The latest iteration of the EVO15-S is a beast, featuring an eight-core Intel processor, up to 32GB RAM (as reviewed) and an RTX 3070 Max-Q for excellent and powerful gaming performance.

I've been reviewing the EVO15-S for the last month, replacing my desktop with it in a lot of areas and using it as if it were my only PC. Should you use a gaming laptop as your only PC, and is it a contender for our best gaming laptops? Let's find out.

Origin EVO15-S: Price and availability

Origin Evo15 S Lid

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The Orign EVO15-S isn't the cheapest gaming laptop out there, starting at $1,962 in the United States. The model we reviewed costs $2,546, which features 32GB of RAM, an Intel i7-10850H, NVIDIA RTX 3070 Max-Q graphics, and a 300Hz 15.6-inch 1080p display.

Origin EVO15-S: specs

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OSWindows 10 Home
Processor10th Gen IntelCore i7-10850HEight coresUp to 5.10GHz
RAM32GB 2666MHzDual-channel
Storage1TB M.2 PCIe SSD
Display15.6 inches1920x1080 (FHD)300hz
PortsThree USB Type-A 3.1HDMI 2.0DisplayPortRJ45 EthernetThunderbolt 33.5mm audio
ConnectivityIntel Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax (2x2)Bluetooth 5.0
CameraFront-facing 1MP
SecurityWindows Hello fingerprint reader
Dimensions(W) 14.07" x (H) .77" x (D) 9.3"
WeightFrom 4.4 pounds

Origin EVO15-S: Design and features

Origin Evo15 S Lidtrackpad

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The Origin EVO15-S features a rather pedestrian "built for gamers" design. When closed, the laptop looks minimalist and clean, featuring a black metal chassis that's cold to the touch but also incredibly prone to fingerprints. There's a non-intrusive Origin logo on the outside that doesn't draw any attention to itself, and a plethora of ports that we'll get to shortly.

The only thing that really screams "gamer" is the keyboard on the inside. It's RGB-capable and features a gamer style of font on the keys. Other than that, this is a perfectly fine-looking laptop that I wouldn't be ashamed to break out in a professional meeting environment, not that you'd want to use this laptop for that kind of workload.

It's also not the biggest or heaviest gaming laptop out there. While it's thicker than most Ultrabooks, it's not that thick in comparison to other gaming laptops on the market at just 0.77-inches thick when closed. The bezels around the display on the inside are also super thin, making this 15-inch laptop feel more like a 14-inch one.

In regards to weight, the EVO15-S is much lighter than it looks. At 4.4 pounds, it's heavier than your average Ultrabook, but for a gaming PC that's on the light side. I was impressed with how light it was when I first held the device after unboxing it.

Origin Evo15 S Usbports

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Ports selection is good, though I wish it had a full-size SD card reader. The ports it does have include three USB 3.1 Type-A ports, a USB-C Thunderbolt 3 port on the back, alongside a full-size HDMI-out port, mini-DisplayPort out, a full-sized ethernet jack on the right, and a microSD card slot on the left. It also has two 3.5mm jacks for a microphone and wired headphones.

The webcam is mediocre at best, featuring a 720p shooter that's passable in well-lit scenarios and basically unusable in low-light environments. The built-in mic is also fine, but when on calls I had multiple recipients mention that they could hear a buzzing sound coming from me. I believe what they could hear were the fans that would sometimes spin up to keep the PC cool, but it's worth keeping in mind.

The built-in "soundblaster" speakers are terrible.

The built-in speakers are the worst part about this laptop. They're bad, with tinny sound that becomes distorted the louder you go. It's fine for brief periods of listening to a quick video, but if you want to be immersed in music or gaming, you'll want to invests in a pair of headphones.

One cool feature on paper is that this laptop has a Windows Hello-enabled fingerprint reader built right into the trackpad that lights up when on the lock screen. It's just above the center of the trackpad underneath the glass, and an LED light comes on when Windows is expecting you to scan your finger. It looks great, but its performance isn't the best out there.

I found that the fingerprint reader works maybe 70 percent of the time. I noticed it failing to recognize my finger more often than I would hope, resulting in having to enter my pin instead. It's also not very fast, taking a little over a second or so before it authenticates and begins to log you in.

Origin EVO15-S: Display

Origin Evo15 S Display

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The display is a 15.6-inch panel that can be configured with either 1080P or 4K resolutions. Our review unit features the 1080p panel, and it's very good. For gaming laptops, 1080p is the real sweet spot as it means you can play most games at a smooth framerate at native resolution on medium to high settings. On gaming laptops with a 4K panel, you'll often have to drop the resolution to get those high framerates.

And those smooth framerates will be something you want to aim for, because the 1080p panel features a 300Hz refresh rate. This offers much smoother gameplay and is even beneficial when outside of games, as it makes using the rest of the OS feel super-fast and fluid. However, this will suck down battery life even more, just like higher refresh rate displays do on phones.

The 300Hz refresh rate is so good.

The 300Hz refresh rate is so, so good. If you've not had a high refresh rate display before, using this for the first time will be a noticeable difference for both Windows and games. It's like getting glasses after not having them for a while, or going from standard definition to HD. After a while, you get used to it, but when you go back you notice just how much worse life was.

You can switch between 60Hz and 300Hz in Windows' Display Settings, which I think you'll want to if you want to squeeze as much battery life out of the device as possible. Color accuracy is good, with a 99% SRGB color gamut, 75% NTSC, 79% AdobeRGB, and 81% DCI-P3. The display gets bright, but not bright enough for outdoor viewing in direct sunlight.

Origin EVO15-S: Keyboard and touchpad

Origin Evo15 S Keyboard

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The keyboard and trackpad on this device are really good. I was honestly surprised at how nice these components are to use. The keyboard is full-sized, and features a full, if not tiny bit squished, number pad on the right. I'm not a number pad user, but I know there are plenty of gamers out there who can't live without one. The arrow keys are also full-sized.

The trackpad is a precision trackpad, so using it is smooth and accurate, and the trackpad hardware itself features dedicated left and right-click buttons which are satisfying to click. You can tap on the actual trackpad too if you're not a huge fan of the physical buttons, just like on a normal laptop.

The keyboard is RGB-enabled, and can be configured via Origin's own lighting software that comes preloaded on the device. There are several lighting presets to choose from, some being more bombastic than others.

The typing experience is great. Keys feel clicky, though they are not mechanical. I actually prefer the chiclet style typing experience on laptops, and there's enough key-travel here that makes typing and gaming feel satisfying enough. Those hardcore gamers will want to connect an external, dedicated keyboard and mouse peripheral, but for everybody else the setup here is more than fine.

Origin EVO15-S: Gaming and software

Origin Control Center

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Origin bundles a handful of its own software that help configure the device's RGB keyboard, fan speed, and performance modes. There's a "Control Center" app that acts as a hub to all the mini-utilities that let you control such functions. It's simple enough and works well.

In regard to thermal throttling, I noticed none during our CPU and GPU stress tests. The laptop has two large and loud fans that will spin up to max power to keep it cool, and that allows the CPU and GPU to run at their max for prolonged use. Fan noise emitted around 53 decibels at its max, but usually averaged closer to 40 decibels during gaming.

You will notice the keyboard deck get ever-so-slightly warm. Not enough for it to be uncomfortable, however, as the laptop does such a good job at moving that hot air out the back and sides instead. The area where your wrists rest and the keyboard deck averaged 90 degrees Fahrenheit during gaming.

Benchmarking GTA V on high settings saw an average framerate of 138.6, Shadow of the Tomb Raider's average framerate was around 114 on high settings, and Red Dead Redemption 2 on high graphics saw an average framerate of round 61. All of these benchmarks were run in 1080p 300Hz mode.

These results show that the RTX 3070 Max-Q inside the Origin EVO15-S is no slouch, with most games hitting 60fps or above with medium to high settings in 1080p. The 4K model will see worse results unless you lower the resolution of the panel, of course. The 3070 Max-Q won't provide a locked 60fps experience, however, as some more demanding games will dip into the low 40s in brief but rare circumstances.

Origin EVO15-S: Performance and battery

Origin Evo15 S Bottom

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Performance is great. The 10th-generation Intel Core i7-10850H inside is a beast, rivalling that of the HP Omen 15 or Dell XPS 17 (9700). This chip can do everything from high-end video and animation work, down to hardcore gaming or data crunching. The RTX 3070 Max-Q processor on the inside is also nothing to sniff at, providing near-desktop GPU-tier performance.

What's not so great is the battery life. When gaming or doing any intensive CPU or GPU work, you'll want to be connected to a power outlet, as this thing won't last you more than 90 minutes. When doing light productivity work or procrastinating on the web, battery life can vary between three and six hours.

This can be slightly improved by dropping the display's refresh rate from 300Hz to 60Hz, but I found this can vary in results and only offers an extra 30 minutes of battery life at most. Those using the 4K model will see even worse battery life. PCMark 10's modern office battery test saw a result of four hours and 24 minutes, with battery mode on "recommended." Not bad for a gaming laptop, but not good for a standard laptop.

PCMark 10s gaming test, with the display set to 300hz saw a result of one hour and 46 minutes, which is about exactly what I'd expect from a gaming laptop. You'll definitely want to be connected to an outlet when gaming, which is standard practice anyway.

Origin EVO15-S: Competition

Hp Omen 15 2020

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The closest thing to competition for the Origin EVO15-S is the HP Omen 15 that we recently reviewed. That laptop features a 2070 Max-Q instead of a 3070, however, so you'll be missing out on performance gains in the GPU department.

There are just aren't many gaming laptops with an RTX 3070 Max-Q just yet, so your options are limited to those with an older generation GPU. You do have the Razer Blade and Lenovo Legion 7i as alternatives with similar pricing, specs, and design.

Origin EVO15-S: Should you buy it?

Origin Evo15 S Lidclosed

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

You should buy this if ...

  • You want a gaming laptop that doesn't scream gamer.
  • You need powerful CPU and GPU processing power on the go.
  • You want a 300hz display in a laptop.

You shouldn't buy this if...

  • You want a laptop with long battery life.
  • You want good speakers.
  • You make frequent video calls.

If you're looking for an all-out powerful gaming laptop that doesn't scream gamer upon first look, I think this is an excellent buy. It has a wonderful, large 15.6-inch 1080p display with thin bezels and a full sized RGB keyboard paired with a great precision trackpad with dedicated left and right click buttons.

Can you use this laptop as your only PC? Yes, you can. You won't suffer from a lack of performance in doing so, but unless you're constantly tethered to a wall, it's not the greatest portable laptop. It's small for a 15-inch gaming laptop, but for standard office or productivity work, you'd be better served getting an Ultrabook or another kind of lightweight PC, as those tend to have better battery life.

However, if you're just going to be gaming, video editing, or doing other high-intensive CPU or GPU tasks, this is an excellent choice. I never found myself wanting for more power.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads