Gaming laptops are expensive. There’s no way around it. With absolute beasts like that Razer Blade 16 ($4,299), MSI Raider GE78HX ($2,999) and Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 ($3,699) When asking for an amount of money that would make any bankrupt player cry, it’s hard not to feel left out by these absurd prices. My last test of the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 I was particularly disheartened when I said goodbye to a gaming laptop that I was asking up to $3,600 for with a poor-quality plastic body and disappointing display.
When a manufacturer expects nearly four grand out of the consumer’s pocket, the associated product should look and feel premium. I’ve been wondering if Nvidia’s RTX 40-series GPUs are in such bad condition that anything built with them would have to cost somewhere between $3,000 and $4,000. After all, the RTX 4080 desktop GPU starts at $1,199 while the previous-gen RTX 3080 started at $800.
This huge price increase means that anyone on a budget should steer clear of the RTX 4080 series and above. Instead, we recommend looking at RTX 4050, 4060, and 4070 series GPUs. And in that category is the Origin EON16-S, a gaming laptop that clocks in at just under $2,000.
The best gaming laptop under $2,000
The Origin EON16-S can be configured Origin’s website (opens in new tab) for $1,977 with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU with 8GB VRAM, an Intel Core i9-13900H processor, 16GB DDR5 4800MHz RAM, and a 500GB Samsung 970 Evo SSD. While those specs are impressive on their own (especially for a sub-$2,000 gaming laptop), what really sets the EON16-S apart is that the display has 83.5% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage and a brightness of 326 nits.
The Origin’s display is significantly better than our previous favorite under $2,000, the Katana 15 (46.1%, 248 nits). Both laptops feature an RTX 4070 GPU, and while the Katana 15 is only slightly cheaper, the added benefit of 5 hours and 6 minutes of battery life (compared to 2 hours and 48 minutes for the Katana 15) still means the Origin location comes first.
The Katana 15 is equipped with an Intel Core i7-13620H CPU, which achieved a score of 11,581 on the Geekbench 5.5 overall performance test, while the EON16-S’ Intel Core i7-13620H scored an incredible 14,644. This remained the case in our gaming tests, where the EON16-S was always slightly ahead in terms of frame rate.
This was in Borderlands 3 (102 vs 99 fps), Far Cry 6 (99 vs 94 fps), Grand Theft Auto V (97 vs 96 fps), Red Dead Redemption 2 (75 vs 72 fps) and Shadow of the case of Tomb Raider (115 vs. 113 fps). The only exception was Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (106 vs. 106 fps), since there was a tie in this case. Aside from Red Dead Redemption 2, which we tested on medium settings, the above games were tested on the highest possible settings.
This does not mean that the Katana 15 has become unusable. It is priced at $1,600 for an Intel Core i7-13620H processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. If you’re okay with inferior productivity performance, inferior battery life, and a significantly inferior display, then it’s definitely worth saving that $400. But if you don’t mind the extra $400, the EON16-S is a phenomenal choice.
The Origin EON16-S offers great gaming performance, phenomenal productivity values and powerful sound supported by its solid display. So much performance for $2,000 is a little surprising. But it’s not perfect.
The EON16-S suffers from a plastic bottom and top and overwhelmingly noisy fans. If you can overlook those issues, this is the best sub-$2,000 gaming laptop we’ve tested.