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Eurocom Monster 1.0 – Usability, Screen and Audio

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

Eurocom Monster Usability

Usability is the first area where the Eurocom W110ER Monster 1.0 has a bit of a hiccup. The keyboard is visually attractive, and its small keys sport good action with plenty of travel.

Nor, we're glad to say, is there any flex - an annoyance we've come across with some previous Clevo chassis, and indeed with laptops from larger brands.

Eurocom Monster 4

Where it falls down just a little is layout, with a tiny right-shift key right next to the ‘up’ cursor key and a second Fn key. We suppose that for all the 2 percent of gamers out there who still use cursor keys rather than WASD, having these full-size is essential - but as a right-shifter I’ll take the up and down arrows being the size of a single key any day. Still, overall the Eurocom Monster’s keyboard is certainly usable.

We have fewer complaints about the touchpad. The same textured soft finish found on the rest of the chassis can get a little wearing after a while, and it’s occasionally a tad jittery. Otherwise it’s responsive, with a nice click to its buttons.

Eurocom Monster 3

Eurocom Monster Screen

IPS is only just beginning to make its way into high-end laptops like the Asus Zenbook Prime range and MacBook Pro with Retina, so we weren’t expecting one here given this laptop’s affordable price.

Still, we’re pleasantly surprised to find a matt option for the Monster’s 11.6in 1,366 x 768 TN display. Eurocom is currently one of the few system integrators to offer this, and it’s definitely what we would recommend going for.

Eurocom Monster 5

By TN standards, meanwhile, the Eurocom Monster’s screen is decent but nothing more. Viewing angles are average, and even sitting straight-on you’ll need to be careful how you tilt the screen as subtle contrast shift may mean you lose shadow detail that the display can normally distinguish.

You’ll also find that things aren’t quite as vibrant as on some higher-brightness glossy screens, but that’s a price we’ll happily pay for the lack of reflections. However, there’s no real backlight bleed or noticeable clouding to spoil things, and everything’s pretty sharp due to the same res as most 13-inch laptops being packed into the smaller display.

Eurocom Monster 2

Eurocom Monster Speakers

We’re also a little disappointed with the Monster’s speakers. With a few impressive examples of decent audio from small chassis recently, we were hoping the Monster would live up to its name here, but the sound it manages is underpowered and tinny.

In other words, it’s adequate for casual games and YouTube, but not what you want to listen to an explosive soundtrack – let alone actual explosions – on. As such, headphones or external speakers are a must.

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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