Laptop makers want 2012 to be the year of the Ultrabook, the year the industry ditches optical drives for a new generation of lightweight computers. While Ultrabooks pop up left and right, there's still a small sector of the laptop market making systems that embody the opposite approach to laptop design. Even Alienware's laptops look positively skinny and affordable next to Origin PC's new EON17-X, a 12.1-pound gaming notebook with a 17.3-inch 1080p display.
Origin's outfitted the laptop with more processing power than the average gaming desktop: the cheapest configuration comes equipped with a quad-core i7-3820 3.6GHz, and there's an option to upgrade to the hex-core i7-3960X Extreme 3.3GHz. An expensive option: even in its base configuration, the EON17-X costs $2818. But how many laptops out there pack in so much hardware that they need two power adapters?
One of Origin's two optional graphics upgrades is to dual GeForce GTX 580M cards in SLI. The upgrade requires a pair of 300 watt power supplies to keep the laptop running. That i7-3960X processor costs over $800 in upgrade bucks, and naturally everything else in the computer is upgradeable as well.
Origin will even ship the laptop in a special protective wooden crate for an extra $30.
RAM scales from 8GB to 32GB. They'll cram up to four HDDs or SSDs into the laptop body and set up a RAID configuration, though by default a single 250GB SATA drive provides storage. Toss in enough hardware and the laptop might manage to crest the 15 pound mark. Origin will even ship the laptop in a special protective wooden crate for an extra $30.
The EON17-X is more of a semi-portable desktop than a laptop; frame it that way and 12 pounds actually isn't that heavy. It's also vastly more expensive than what you could build in a midsize tower case. Is there really a market for these kinds of computers today, or are we going to start seeing the Origins and Alienwares of the industry forced to slim down or disappear entirely?