Mini Laptop Computers – Eurocom Monster
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Yesterday when we reviewed the AVADirect Clevo W110ER we made a few references to one of its biggest rivals, the Eurocom Monster. For this reason we thought that for today we have an in-depth look at Eurocom’s rival. Both models share the same chassis and pack a lot of punch under their hoods. The Monster costs $1,444 so it’s one of the most expensive 11-inch laptops available on the market today.
As the old saying goes, good things come in small package, and this statement is entirely true since this tiny laptop packs an Intel Ivy Bridge processor, a SSD and a dedicated Nvidia GeForce 650M graphics chip. We are dealing basically with a gaming laptop that comes with a rubberized lid that has a grid pattern which is barely noticeable. This grid pattern is bisected by a pinstripe which is running through the center of the lid. The company’s silver logo has been installed in the center of the pinstripe.
Once you open the Eurocom Monster you will immediately notice the same grid pattern and rubberized material on the touchpad and the wrist rest. A similar rubberized finish can be seen on the keyboard deck but without the aforementioned grid pattern. In the top left corner of the laptop’s keyboard deck you are going to notice the green indicators for Wi-Fi, Number Lock, Caps Lock, Scroll Lock and also for the HDD activity. On the top right corner of the keyboard deck sits the big power button which features an elegant blue LED that looks very nice during the evening.
The Eurocom Monster measures 11.5 x 8.3 x 1.5 inches and has a curb weight of four pounds, making it 0.4 pounds lighter than Dell’s Alienware M11x, despite the fact that it has a chunkier profile. When talking about gaming laptops, the screen is very important for every gamer but Eurocom seems to have forgotten this as the 11.3-inch display of the Monster has a native resolution of only 1,366 x 768 pixels and doesn’t get too bright, plus it’s also wearing a glossy coating. The good news is that the color reproduction is nice while the images will look sharp. However, we were disappointed to find out that the colors will deteriorate starting from the 45-degree angle, an unpleasant thing to find on such an expensive laptop.
Into the rear underside of the laptop Eurocom has installed the speakers which frankly wasn’t a very clever idea since the sound is a little bit muffled when you are holding the Monster on your lap (that sounds weird, doesn’t it?) If you place it on a desk, the audio is accurate and crisp, while the bass levels are surprisingly good.
Moving on, let’s take a closer look at the island-style keyboard of the Eurocom Monster. This is a nice keyboard for a gamer since the very important WASD keys are capable of providing a very satisfying feedback, just like the rest of the buttons on this keyboard. However, it’s far from being perfect since the direction keys located on the keyboard’s right side are simply way too small so if you use them frequently while playing games this can get a bit frustrating. In addition, the right Shift key has received the same treatment as it is on the small side.
Underneath that chiclet-style keyboard Eurocom has installed an Elan touchpad that offers support for multitouch gestures and is covered by the same rubberized material located on the keyboard deck, featuring a similar texturing. The touchpad manages to be very accurate but we still recommend using an external mouse, especially if you enjoy playing first person shooters where you need to act fast.
Even though this is such a petite laptop, Eurocom has managed somehow to squeeze in a lot of ports. For example, on the Monster’s left side you will have access to two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI port, VGA port, headphone and microphone jacks, as well as the regular Ethernet port. Moving on to the right side, this is where the USB 2.0 port sits, along with the power jack and the lock slot. The 9-in-1 memory card reader has been installed up front. As you would expect form an 11-inch mini laptop, there wasn’t any room left for an optical drive. We should also mention the 1.3 megapixel webcam which is not very good as it captures grainy images while the level of details is too low.
Eurocom says that the Monster is a proper gaming machine and we should believe them since this mini laptop is powered by a third-generation Intel Core i7-3720QM quad core CPU running at 2.60 GHz. It has 8GB of DDR3 RAM and a fast yet small 120GB solid state drive (SSD). Let’s not forget the dedicated Nvidia GeForce GT650M video card that has 2GB of its own memory. It’s a pretty potent discrete GPU but it’s not as impressive as the Nvidia GTX 670M found in the MSI GT60.
If you hate bloatware on a laptop, you’ll be happy to hear that Eurocom is not a big fan either since on that SSD you will only find the Ultimate version of Windows 7, along with the useful THX TrueStudio Pro software for tweaking the audio of the Monster.
The configuration we mentioned in this article will set you back $1,444 but if you have a lot more money to spend you can opt for the $3,409 version which has a quad-core, Ivy Bridge-based Intel Core i7-3820QM clocked at 2.70 GHz, working together with 16GB of RAM and a large 600GB SSD.
We end by talking about the battery life of this Eurocom Monster 11-inch gaming laptop. It has a 6-cell lithium-ion battery that is capable of lasting for about three and a half hours if you run LAPTOP Battery Test. If we have a look at the ultrabook segment where the average is of almost seven hours, the battery of the Monster is not that great, but on the other hand this is a genuine gaming machine so three and a half hours isn’t really that bad if we take into account the powerful hardware components found inside.