Is the Origin EON14-S gaming laptop a Razer Blade 14 killer? – Digital Trends

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It’s a 14-inch gaming laptop. It has an RTX 4070 inside. And most importantly, it’s a full $1,000 less than the Razer Blade 14.
And sure, the Origin EON14-S only comes with a 1080p screen, and to get the best bang for your buck, you need to drop down to 512GB of storage. But for $1,000 less than the Blade 14 (and a solid $200 less than the Zephyrus G14), the EON14-S seems like a godsend of a gaming laptop on paper.
But the Origin EON14-S brings up an interesting conversation about how a spec sheet and a physical laptop differ. Because as compelling as this Origin laptop looks on the surface, the EON14-S is a middling laptop that won’t be the right fit for most people.
Let’s talk specs because that’s where the Origin EON14-S earns its stripes. The base price is $1,500, and for that, you’ll get an Intel Core i7-13700H and RTX 4060 along with 500GB of storage and 16GB of DDR5-4800. A $200 upcharge will bump the specs to an RTX 4070 and a Core i9-13900H. Not bad.
Origin, if you’re unfamiliar, offers a lot of customization options (read my Origin Neuron review for an example of the company’s excellent desktops). In particular, you can scale up to 64GB of RAM for $350 and up to 8TB of storage for $800, with several options in between. You can even set up a RAID configuration for your SSDs.
Where the EON14-S falls behind is the screen. It’s a 1920 x 1080 display with a 144Hz refresh rate, despite touting specs more worthy of a 1440p display. It may seem like a fair trade-off given the price gap between something like the EON14-S and the Razer Blade 14 or Zephyrus G14, though.
The problem, as a buyer, is that you can go to your local Best Buy or Micro Center and put your hands on the Razer Blade 14 and Zephyrus G14. You can’t do that with the Origin EON14-S. And if you could, its problems would become apparent very quickly.
Let’s start with the screen because the spec sheet hints at its problem. Yes, it’s a 1080p display, but that’s not the main issue with it. It comes with thick bezels, and the bottom bezel is distracting. It looks as if Origin put a 16:9 screen inside a body built for a 16:10 one. Combined with the low resolution and the 14-inch body, everything just feels cramped on the EON14-S.
The display quality isn’t great, either. It topped out at just 270 nits of peak brightness, while most IPS displays these days can reach 350 or 400 nits. It showed decent color accuracy with a color error of 1.86 (under 2 is considered good), but the color coverage is poor. It covered just 74% of DCI-P3 and even fell short of full coverage of sRGB.
For those of you who aren’t display nerds, I don’t blame you, but those results don’t paint a great picture. The display looks OK at best, and it doesn’t have the range to extend to content creation or cinematic HDR gaming. It’s a clear cut corner on the EON14-S.
Another area where the EON14-S falls behind is its overall build quality. It’s light at 3.86 pounds and portable at only 0.84 inches thick, but the EON14-S is constructed out of plastic from top to bottom. There’s a lot of screen and keyboard flex, and it definitely feels more fragile than other premium 14-inch gaming laptops.
I can overlook a plastic construction. Where the EON14-S loses me is the keyboard and trackpad. The trackpad is small, and it has a little too much give. It’s clearly separated from the rest of the body, providing an uncomfortable click when pressed. The keyboard is mediocre, as well. It’s useable, but the long travel combined with a mushy bottom makes it tough to type on.
The EON14-S feels like a barebones laptop. It doesn’t feel barebones in features, but rather like a shell you could buy to slot in your own components. Unlike the Zephyrus G14 and Razer Blade 14, it doesn’t feel crafted for a specific purpose from top to bottom.
This feeling comes from other areas, too — the standard barrel power connector positioned on the right side of the laptop, right next to an oddly-placed power button, and the fact that the laptop just says “notebook computer” on the bottom. Remove the Origin logo from the top, and this could be any laptop from any vendor.
To be clear, I’m not docking points for the lack of explicit branding and a weird power button placement. They’re illustrations of the overall package the EON14-S arrives in, feeling like a spec sheet in a chassis rather than a premium gaming laptop.
Who cares? Well, these oversights translate into other areas of the laptop. The speakers are tinny and don’t get very loud, and although the machine isn’t hot to the touch, it gets extremely loud under a heavy workload (like, MSI GT77 Titan levels of loud). The components get hot, too, with the GPU reaching upwards of 80 degrees Celsius in games. It also dies fairly quickly — it lasted just six hours in my battery test, while similarly configured laptops can last more than eight hours with brighter screens.
I’ve played up the spec sheet angle a lot during this review, but at the very least, the EON14-S delivers on that front. With a Core i9-13900H and an RTX 4070, it blitz through most tasks, even if you have to deal with some loud fan noise and higher temperatures along the way.
In multi-core tests, the Core i9-13900H can blow past anything AMD is offering right now, even if the chip doesn’t have quite as much room to breathe as it does in a machine like the ROG Zephyrus M16.
Similarly, the Core i9-13900H offers solid single-core performance, but the Ryzen chip inside the Lenovo Legion Pro 5 has a slight edge in Geekbench 5.
When we zoom out and get a snapshot of overall productivity performance, though, the EON14-S starts to suffer as a laptop. Sure, the Core i9-13900H is powerful, but PCMark 10 makes an argument that the laptop isn’t making the most of the hardware it has.
Thankfully, that doesn’t translate into gaming performance. Looking at 3DMark Time Spy, the Origin EON14-S is actually slightly ahead of the Razer Blade 14, though only with its loud, hot performance mode. Still, it doesn’t quite have the grunt to match a larger laptop like the Lenovo Legion Pro 5, which is to be expected.
For me, the default performance mode is the way to go. If you look at my 1080p gaming benchmarks, you can see that you’re not getting a huge advantage by pinning the GPU and CPU.
My results also show that a 1440p would have really been the way to go here. You’re getting close to or above 100 frames per second (fps) in most games, and this hardware is certainly capable of driving a higher resolution above 60 fps. That’s especially true with the RTX 4070, as it supports Nvidia’s DLSS Frame Generation.
I’d wager a good chunk (if not the majority) of gaming laptop decisions happen without ever seeing the laptop in person. In that context, the EON14-S looks very enticing. It offers great specs and undercuts the competition, but there’s a lot more to a laptop than just the specs alone.
Although the EON14-S isn’t a straight-up bad laptop, it’s not a good one, either. It compromises in too many areas, even accounting for its lower price.
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