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Eurocom Monster review

Ardjuna Seghers

By

Reviewed:

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Eurocom Monster 12
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  • Eurocom Monster 5
  • Eurocom Monster 6
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  • Eurocom Monster 8
  • Eurocom Monster 9
  • Eurocom Monster 10
  • Eurocom Monster 11
  • Eurocom Monster
  • Eurocom Monster 1
  • Eurocom Monster 2
  • Eurocom Monster 3
  • Eurocom Monster 4

Summary

Our Score:

8

Pros

  • Incredibly powerful for its size
  • Affordable and configurable
  • Generous connectivity
  • Well-built, soft finish
  • Game-worthy graphics across the range

Cons

  • Average screen
  • Poor speakers
  • Average keyboard
  • Average battery life

Key Features

  • Nvidia GeForce GT 650M with 2GB of RAM
  • 11.6in 1366 x 768 matt or glossy screen
  • Quad-core Core i7 ‘Ivy Bridge’, 4-32GB RAM
  • Choice of HDD/SSD/Hybrid
  • Manufacturer: Eurocom
  • Review Price: £653.00

Remember Dell’s Alienware M11x? As the first ultraportable, big-brand gaming laptop worthy of the name, it was a small revolution, packing all the essentials into an 11-inch chassis. Unfortunately, Dell has decided to discontinue the M11x in favour of the larger M14x. So where does that leave you if you want an ultraportable gaming solution? Well, with the Eurocom Monster – or to give it its full name, the Eurocom W110ER Monster 1.0.

The ironically named Monster is as small as gaming laptops come. It’s a bit of a chunky munky, but that’s pretty much a given with serious gaming machines, and it means that it doesn’t compromise on connectivity either – something the average Ultrabook certainly can’t boast.

When we say “serious gaming machine”, we mean it. Our Monster came with a quad-core Intel Core i7 Ivy Bridge CPU, 8GB of RAM, 750GB hybrid HDD/SSD for storage and, crucially, a GeForce GT650M with 2GB of dedicated RAM – incidentally, that’s the same card found in the MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

That’s some impressive muscle – doubly so when you consider the small form factor and low 1.77kg weight - and some of it’s upgradeable to even higher specs on Eurocom’s website. Did we mention it has a Killer BigFoot wireless card?

Eurocom Monster

Better yet, the starting price for the Monster is just £653 including postage (the company is based in Canada), and that’s with the same GeForce GT650M 2GB graphics! We’d call that a very worthwhile bargain anytime – based on specs and value alone, this laptop kicks the last of the Alienware M11x laptops to kingdom come.

Eurocom Monster Design

As with so many of the smaller ‘assembler’ companies, Eurocom’s Monster 1.0 uses a Clevo chassis – which we last saw a 17in incarnation of with the Wired2Fire Vector Elite. Overall, the W110ER Monster 1.0 is a good case. Eurocom Monster 8

It comes in a dark bronze colour that makes a nice change from the usual shades of black. The entire lid and keyboard area are covered in a soft-touch, patterned finish that is lovely to feel, doesn’t show up fingerprints and provides a more secure grip. It also makes resting your palms while typing much more pleasant.

As with the Vector Elite there’s no bling; in other words, no blinking logos in all the colours of the rainbow, no floodlights that illuminate your desk, and no brightly coloured sections or backlit controls. While it will never be called sexy we certainly don’t mind a more understated approach, though we’re sorry the lack of lighting extends to the keyboard.

Eurocom Monster Build

Clevo seems to improve the build quality of its chassis with each generation, and in keeping with this trend the Monster is sturdy all-round. There’s no creak or excessive flex, panels are neatly fitted, and it all feels pretty durable. The rubberised outer finish contributes to this, as does the lack of glossy sections.

Eurocom Monster 1

Eurocom Monster Connectivity

Considering this is an 11-inch laptop we’re talking about here, albeit a chunky one, connectivity on this small gaming machine is simply superb. On the left, we have a Gigabit Ethernet jack, VGA and HDMI for video, headphone and microphone jacks, and twin USB 3.0 ports.

The front houses a spring-loaded SDXC card reader, while the right hosts a single USB port and the power jack. The usual Wi-Fi N and Bluetooth combo is also present, though 3G doesn’t seem to be on the menu.

cliche

August 6, 2012, 11:49 pm

Great review.
1) Can you tell me is there any keyboard flex ? I've been spoilt by old IBM Thinkpads and can't stand any keyboard flex

2) I've always wanted a powerful, switchable graphics 11" laptop. Would you buy this or wait for the new generation of Win8 machines ?

Thanks for your opinions

TechVegan

August 7, 2012, 2:25 pm

Thanks Cliche, glad you liked it.

1) Nope, there's no flex, I've added that to the review.

Indeed, ThinkPad keyboards are still the best in the laptop market by a long stretch! If you're after the best mobile typing experience, Lenovo's the way to go.

2) That this is. Personally, I'd wait, but that's because I'm a screen quality snob and want a compact yet powerful convertible machine with IPS/MVA screen - and digitizer! So I'm pretty picky :)

TBH waiting can't hurt, but at least in terms of components this is a pretty safe buy. I'm also not currently aware of specific gaming laptops of this size on the horizon that would improve notably on this little monster.

Hope that helps and good luck with your decision!

cliche

August 8, 2012, 2:57 am

Thank you very much for your replies, very helpful !

TechVegan

August 8, 2012, 2:26 pm

You're welcome :)

M. Long

August 10, 2012, 8:16 pm

Do we get hit with customs charges buying this from abroad now? I just had to pay extra to get a book delivered from America, which ended up doubling the price! Dread to think what a PC would cost in taxes...

JaiSan

August 11, 2012, 1:30 am

11" for Gaming seems a little inadequate. Personally, I would prefer to pay a little more for better specs. Had a look at the Lenovo IdeaPad Y580, now waiting for the Gigabyte P2542G to reach retail for comparison.

Alex

December 3, 2013, 7:53 pm

"Actual explosions"....awesome!

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