Review Price £653.00
Eurocom Monster 1.0 – Usability, Screen and Audio
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.
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 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.
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 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.