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  • ijozic - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    Thanks for a review of this little thing; was waiting for something like this to replace my portable Acer 1810TZ, although I'd need a better matte display and a backlighted keyboard.

    But, just had to note that I don't really see why all the cries after the M11x. Personally, it looked like a very thick laptop designed around a 14" 4:3 screen with a 11,6" screen fitted instead. While I like the Clevo's effort, I wish it was made with a nicer design, better materials and a higher quality screen (though admittedly, there aren't seem to be any available in this size apart from the matte option used on some variants).
  • ImSpartacus - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    Don't get rid of that 1810TZ. It's a goddamn gem. Reply
  • Darkstone - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    I digged up the specification sheet of the M11x R3 display you tested: it features an advertised contrast ratio of 500:1. In fact, i have never seen a datasheet with an contrast ratio below that.

    Saying that the matte display is better than the standard glossy display based on a number in a datasheet, is just not right. Those numbers are never accurate for budget LCD's anyway.
  • Menty - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    True, but saying the matt screen will be better than the glossy one is basically 99.99% true. Glossy screens are almost entirely terrible if you don't live in a dark cave, regardless of the numbers on the spec sheets. Reply
  • plewis00 - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    This isn't necessarily true. Glossy screens are not terrible depending on the other specifications, I'd go as far to say contrast ratio and colour gamut are more important factors - the Dell XPS 15 1080p B+RGLED is a stunner however you look at it and I can compare that to my work Dell Latitude E6400 with a matte screen and I can't stand it, it looks dull and washed out.

    That said the Alienware M11x R3 was everything I wanted and expected from a computer like that with the exception of the screen - I loved the low idle power consumption meaning you could watch videos and browse the web in bed or on the sofa without heat being an issue.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    We're trying to get a version of the laptop with a matte LCD in for testing. It almost certainly can't be worse than the glossy display, but is it better? As you point out, datasheets often "lie".

    I've seen LCDs advertised as 500:1, and what I found in testing is that if I measured white at max brightness and black at min brightness, I would get around 550:1. The problem is that the LCD didn't even support dynamic contrast, which would at least make such a claim partially true. So the LCD in question was something like 250 nits white/1.25 nits black at 100%, and 80 nits white/0.47 nits black at 0%.

    I've got another laptop actually in house where the max brightness is 430 nits, but black levels at 100% are 1.66 nits. Drop to 25% brightness and you get 108 nits/.42 nits. Using the same "dynamic" range, the manufacturer might claim 1000:1 contrast, when the real contrast is closer to 250:1.
  • prdola0 - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    I wonder if Asus comes with something similar/better. I would give my fist-born for a 11" 2core Ivy Bridge/GT640M Zenbook-style machine with Optimus, an Intel SSD 120GB inside and a matte screen with something like 1280x720 or so. Thunderbolt would be a great addition as well.

    Since this 11" Clevo is possible (although at the limit of thermals), my setup with smaller/slower CPU & GPU should certainly be possible too. Drop the D-Sub and Ethernet ports, leave just mini HDMI and Thunderbold and some USB 3.0, add backlit keyboard, and it is a bestseller.
  • htwingnut - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    I own the Sager brand of this and have to say it is one sexy mini beast. A couple things to note is that if you just prop this laptop up at the back, temps can drop as much as 10C at load. The screen is a bit miserable, and should have been matte by default. It's impossible to use outside or with any kind of lights on in the background.

    Otherwise it runs like a charm. 60-80FPS in BF3 on high. Can even crank out games at 1080p without much issue.
  • bennyg - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    I had a G51J that spent a LOT of its life with its GPU nearly boiling water. Sure it's not great, but the fact it survived 22 months without skipping a beat means high temps are somewhat tolerable. I made damn sure it sat on a cooler and the fan grilles and vents were cleaned every few months though. Ironically, it died when I ran over it... the base was resurrected minus a couple of ports and lives on as a ~50W HTPC now :)

    Every laptop with intake vents on the bottom benefit from being propped up or a cooler.
  • Meaker10 - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    I think they could have taken the current M14X and slimmed it down into an edge 14" machine (tiny bezel).

    The 650M (which had GDDR5 btw instead of DDR3) at a native 1600x900 would be awesome.
  • Meaker10 - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    I meant to say the M14X version is GDDR5 as opposed to the clevo DDR3. Reply
  • ptmmac - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    I would not be at all surprised if Apple went all in on thin and fast notebooks with high resolution screens. How about an 11" notebook with a much higher resolution screen and the 640GT with thunderbolt, USB3 and OSX? The bigger SSD below would leave space for dual boot as well.

    Does anyone sell something similar to the phone protection layers that changes a screen from shiny to matte? It doesn't seem that hard to do and would really be a lot cheaper and easier then ordering a separate screen for the same SKU. A matte finish is nothing more than a reduction of the reflectivity of the screen.

    Another option as far as the SSD is this 240 Gig SSD from new egg.
    It is almost exactly 1$ per gigabyte in price and has twice the room.
  • Roland00Address - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    The motherboard does not have any slot for a msata hard drive? Reply
  • drfish - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    Not that I'm doing the exact same test but I have a 3610QM in mine and I get about 3.5 hours doing what I would consider light Internet browsing... Can you share any more details? I'm running with the default "balanced" Windows power profile and a 128GB Samsung 830, 1.35v RAM, Killer 1102. I am using Opera instead of IE though, lol.

    BTW, the 1103 will be lacking one of its antennas in this system, only two built in.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    We test at 100 nits brightness (I'm not sure what that works out to for this laptop -- Vivek would have to respond for that), and we use the Power Saver setting. We set the HDD to power off after 1 minute of inactivity, disable screen dimming/power off, set WiFi to maximum power saving, and let the CPU run from 0% to 100% depending on requirements, and we mute the audio. We also test using Internet Explorer. For the web browsing, we load four web pages that have some Flash ads and plenty of images; these pages are refreshed every 60 seconds until power is lost.

    My experience is that the "Balanced" defaults will usually cut battery life by around 10-15%, and most other browsers aren't quite as power optimized as IE, interestingly enough. They're faster but on average things like Flash use more CPU time I guess. But the bigger factory is probably the number of web pages you have open as well as how often you're loading new web pages, and whether you're doing other things besides just web browsing.
  • Daniel Egger - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    Killer Wireless but Realtek GigE? What kind of freak combines the (supposedly) best WLAN implementation with the worst Ethernet chipsets on the planet? Not that any half-way serious player would use opt to use WLAN over a cable anyway... Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    Have you really had that bad of experiences with Realtek's GigE implementations? Because I've been running GigE in my house for roughly a decade, and generally speaking I've had no complaints with the various chipsets. Some might have lower CPU load, but rarely am I transferring a bunch of data while doing some other tasks that I notice. My general impression is that wired Ethernet controllers have become commoditized for most users -- 2% CPU load vs. 10% load on a quad-core + Hyper-Threading system just doesn't affect me, and sustained transfer rates over 100MiB/s is faster than what most HDDs can handle (though SSDs certainly can hit higher speeds). Reply
  • Daniel Egger - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    Yes. These things produce all kinds of troubles:
    - Lousy drivers for various (Windows) OSes, especially new ones like 64bit Windows
    - Weak hardware (little buffering, little offloading, outdated communication with the host...) means busy hosts will lose packets very easily -> no reliable connections under CPU load
    - Bad and stupid PHYs causing all kinds of nasty errors with long cables, bad shielding, corroded contacts...

    This is only covering the basic features, don't let me get started on jumbo frames, vlan support, virtualisation and other "Pro"ish topics.

    Long story short: If it says Realteak Ethernet that an absolute dealbreaker for me. Unfortunately this crap is *really* common with certain categories of laptops. :/
  • JarredWalton - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    Just to be clear, are you running this stuff in a server or workplace or something? The errors you describe don't sound like home use problems, at least. I've never had issues with cable lengths, but then I've never used any cables more than around 100 ft. Heck, most people with laptops don't even use wired cables at all unless it's at work. I do understand that if you were trying to use a bunch of Realtek chipsets in a business environment with a lot of systems on a network, the list starts to matter a lot more.

    For home use, though, I've never needed to use any of the "Proish" features you list. YMMV, naturally. Still, it's good to know specifically what types of errors people are running into. If I ever get around to testing GbE chipsets, I'll have to delve a little deeper into the nitty gritty stuff -- not realistically, that's not going to happen.
  • Daniel Egger - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    > Just to be clear, are you running this stuff in a server or workplace or something?

    Coincidentally all of them. But actually the quality matters more in not so tightly controlled environments like simple homes.

    > The errors you describe don't sound like home use problems, at least.

    All of them tend to be huge problems at home when unskilled people try to run a home network which is very common since many devices do not have WLAN at all like NASses, SIP phones and ATAs, printers or often run quite unreliable when connected to WLANs like STBs, television sets, media players...

    > Heck, most people with laptops don't even use wired cables at all unless it's at work.

    I would not be so sure of that. WLAN is still slow when compared to GigE, unreliable and quite problematic in multi-story brick and mortar or concrete building (even more so with floor heating) and in dense cities. Where I live WLANs are mostly used as slow backup and for mobile phones.

    And in fact I rather doubt that any serious gamer (the target group for the Eurocom Monster?!?) will be using WLAN at a party even if it actually was available.

    > I do understand that if you were trying to use a bunch of Realtek chipsets in a business environment with a lot of systems on a network, the list starts to matter a lot more.

    Rather the opposite. In businesses you typically have high quality calibrated cabling and switches which will adapt cable lengths and and bad client chipsets ... and alert sysadmin when links drop too often or too many packets are lost. It's almost impossible that a Realtek chipset will mess that up. ;)
  • JarredWalton - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    Your circle of friends and acquaintances must be a heck of a lot more tech savvy than mine, because I can count the number of people I've helped with computer issues that have wired home networks on one hand. I've even encouraged many to consider running wires, and they almost always decline. Granted, I don't live in an area where there are tons of apartment buildings, and neither do most of my family/friends (Washington, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Arizona is where we're all located). Reply
  • Daniel Egger - Sunday, May 20, 2012 - link

    > ... computer issues that have wired home networks on one hand

    Over here every non-mobile internet user gets a router free or heavily subsidised when closing a contract or changing the provider. 4 ethernet ports are the undisputed standard (though some vendors try to cut costs by only providing 2) on those things and the latest when WLAN problems pop up people will try to use them; usually earlier.

    In fact I used to design software for routers and although (thanks to mobile phones) WLAN became more and more important over the years I do not know of a single end-customer or acquaintance who doesn't have at least one Ethernet connection in use.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, May 21, 2012 - link

    A single Ethernet connection doesn't constitute a "wired network" -- it's just a link to the cable modem/router. I know plenty of people with a single computer doing something like this. I'm talking about people that actually have multiple PCs in different rooms where there are Ethernet jacks available. Most everyone I know uses wireless for their console, sometimes wired if the cable/DSL modem is inside in the office -- I know plenty who have their modem installed in the garage, which leads to horrible wireless coverage but apparently avoids unsightly wires. :-\ Reply
  • Visual - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    If they added a multitouch enabled wacom digitizer and a hinge that can convert it to a tablet without bumping the weight too much, I could see myself paying up to $500 more for this.
    Even better, also drop the keyboard and hinge and make it a pure tablet to shave some weight, include a bluetooth keyboard/touchpad and again they would have my money.
  • Blindsay04 - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    Is it too much to ask for for a fairly potent gaming machine (maybe a hair better video card performance then this machine, in around a 13.3" form factor with a GOOD screen? Sick of these terrible screens. Reply
  • kyuu - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    Agreed, that's exactly what I'd like. A dual-core would be fine though, for better thermals and battery. Or a Trinity with a discrete AMD GPU that can be asymmetrically crossfired.

    And the screen... why oh why can't they stop sourcing these PoS screens.
  • Blindsay04 - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    Id give up the quad and take a better gpu :D

    Ive seen so many machines that come close but it seems no one can just quite get it right
  • bhima - Saturday, May 19, 2012 - link

    Well, you can opt for the better screen at least, so there is an option. The problem is that only the BEST mobile gaming GPUs should be running native 1920x1080 screens. Pretty much anything between 13-16" should have mostly 1600x900 options because these GPUs just aren't powerful enough unless you roll the highest, most expensive ones like the 7970m.

    This is what PC manufacturers should be doing... building properly balanced systems that take into account screen resolution with the performance of the GPU they cram into the machine.
  • Eidorian - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    I'm going to wait for Ivy Bridge ULV options first. Reply
  • versesuvius - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    "Spiritual Successor"? Aren't you taking this a little too far? Reply
  • fic2 - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    Cue the lawsuit from Monster Cable in 3, 2, 1... Reply
  • hsew - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    This needs an mSata port and a higher resolution display option and it would be worth buying. Thunderbolt would be nice but not critically necessary. Guess that's why they called it the 1.0. Reply
  • Beenthere - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    ...and a 45w CPU for a 11.6" laptop sure don't make good sense. Reply
  • RoninX - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    It would be interesting to see a comparison, in terms of design and hardware options, of all the different OEM varieties of this Clevo (Eurocom, Origin, Maingear, etc.). Of course, the performance will be similar, if not identical, but the look and feel, and the choices in terms of screens and SSDs, may be different...

    Also, is there any way to get a 9-cell battery for this?
  • slim142 - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    This laptop in 14" with Matte screen, 1680x1050 (or, if too much, then 1440x900) resolution. I would jump on it immediately. Reply
  • maniac5999 - Friday, May 18, 2012 - link

    Actually, I have a 12" laptop (MSi Wind 230) and I think that 768p is the right resolution for this size. Reply
  • yhselp - Saturday, May 19, 2012 - link

    It really boggles my mind when competent people, even professionals, make subjective claims about products. Did they get caught up in marketing to such an extent that they're no longer able to see a product for what it really is? When was the m11x anything but a shameless, uninnovative shirking of an already dated chassis? A thick notebook which weighs as much as a regular 13.3-incher, yet has a tiny screen and unimpressive components. I'm not saying it's a bad product per se, just an unimaginative one that doesn't push the envelope in any way. Not to mention a glossy screen on an 'ultraportable' machine, although that's a problem with so many products nowadays.

    What I'm trying to say here, as someone who knows a little about thermal design, is that very few notebooks on the market make optimal use of TDP, and as a result the public has an unrealistic opinion of what's possible. Many people would be surprised by what components you can actually stuff in a given chassis. I don't feel competent enough to say why that is, but I suspect it has something to do with companies being reluctant to develop (and well) new designs as often as they should - even Apple.

    W110ER is not a thermal miracle, it doesn't break the laws of physics - it just makes adequate use of thermal limits. However, it's fair to say that the inclusion of 45W CPUs is quite bold (not in a bad way). As for the product itself - it's pretty good (apart from the generic outer design), although I feel that it lacks focus. I'd much rather have either a truly portable 11.6-incher that weighs under 3 lbs and packs a ULV + 640m, or a more practical (and still portable) 13.3-incher at 4.5 lbs with a 35W quad-core + 660m.

    I really like it how you guys at AnandTech constantly preach about better displays. In your Vaio SE review you said that its IPS panel should be the bare minimum nowadays - I agree. And to that I'd also add proper thermal optimization. Perhaps Haswell will bring that.

    I hope I haven't been offensive, that was not my intent.
  • VivekGowri - Sunday, May 20, 2012 - link

    Set a 4.5lb weight limit, and how many decent gaming systems have there been over the last 3 years? The M11x, the VAIO SA, the first two generations of VAIO Z series (not the new Power Media Dock one), and how many others? The M11x was really the only one of those to be focused on gaming, and the GT 335M was pretty sweet at the $799 price point (in 2010). I wasn't really a huge fan of the M11x (in any of its 3 iterations, actually) primarily due to the size/weight vs screen size, but it was relatively unique in pushing the concept of portable gaming, and that's all the opening paragraph was trying to say. Reply
  • ijozic - Monday, May 21, 2012 - link

    Well, there is the 13,3" LG P330 which has a much better design and materials (IMHO), though it's dual core + 555M (somewhat slower than the 650M). Unfortunately, it has a glossy screen, no backlighted keyboard and it's only available in Korea. Hopefully, they'll make an IB refresh and release it worldwide. Reply
  • yhselp - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Yes, the LG P-series are (and have been) generally well optimized portables. Unfortunately, they've also never been widely available in the US or anywhere outside Korea for that matter. I wonder whether anyone remembers the excellent LG P300 - it used to be a direct competitor to the famous Dell M1330. Unlike the Dell, however, it had a 8600M GS (compared to the slower 8400 GS), better battery life and a somewhat sturdier design. It was quite the machine back then. Reply
  • ijozic - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Yes, I remember it (and the purple-ish tiger stripes on the lid?) as I was seriously considering it at the time (and the M1330). I bought neither because of the manufacturing flaw those GPUs had. Then I decided to go for a small portable + workstation combo to have both the battery life and the business performance (Acer 1810TZ and Dell M6400). The M6400, the charger and the backpack are so heavy that carrying the Acer as well doesn't make a big difference (extra 1.5 kg). Reply
  • ijozic - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Actually, I did find the P300 in some shop like a year later (might have bought it to compensate for the time spent wanting it), but it was still at full price and was rather outdated by that time.

    I also remember wanting to buy that Fujitsu Siemens with an ATI external card (Sa 3650), but when I saw it in shop, the case was made from some tacky glossy white plastic and the whole thing was rather thick).
  • yhselp - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Not only carrying a DTR but another laptop as well - more power to you, mate! That's truly amusing for some reason. There was this guy from the institute that used to lug around (probably still does) 15 pounds of tech, he said it didn't really bother him.

    I remember there was a website that offered the LG P300 initially, seemed a bit murky but people were happy so nothing wrong with that.

    That Fujitsu with the external GPU was very quirky, wasn't it? If I'm not mistaken, initially you could only use the dGPU with a monitor; when they enabled using the built-in display it didn't seem to work very well - there were all sorts of artifacts and anomalies on-screen. Poor overall quality couldn't have helped either.
  • SodaAnt - Saturday, May 19, 2012 - link

    I'm just curious what the battery life would look life it you tried to go for full power saving instead. I'd think that the HD4000 would be enough for many 720P gaming tasks, and I'd think you might get reasonable battery life out of it if you tried. Reply
  • yhselp - Sunday, May 20, 2012 - link

    I absolutely agree - there hasn't been much choice when it comes to a gaming-able portable system; and, yes, the M11x is the only one that capitalizes on that. I actually know a marketing exec (not consumer electronics) who is a fan of Dell and uses an M11x as his business portable, despite not doing any gaming - he just thinks it's cool. The price - again, I agree - it's what salvages the whole thing, $799 for the Core 2/335M was a good deal. The Core i ramped up prices, but it never got too high. Price always plays a major role - just take a look at the M14x and the Razer Blade.

    Thinking along those lines, I can't help but agree with your statement. Perhaps, I was too quick to dismiss the first paragraph and didn't give it a second thought - I apologize. It's just that I'd really like companies to spend more on R&D and optimize their thermals, and thus give us better products with better components. If consumers don't create a demand (and remain happy with what is available) that change is unlikely to happen. I used to give the 330M VAIO Z as an example when people asked me what was wrong with the M11x - sure, it had a slightly lower gaming performance but it was essentially what we now refer to as an 'ultrabook', yet with a regular voltage CPU and a decent dGPU. Insane price, but an engineering accomplishment nonetheless.

    I never said 'excellent review' which is definitely the case, and thanks for responding - I appreciate it.
  • JoeDirte' - Sunday, May 20, 2012 - link

    This is a brilliant laptop except for the lack of a backlit keyboard and it has a VGA port. I bought a M11X R2 and when I got it I was on the fence about how I felt having something so small for screen and I really wondered about the performance of the laptop as a workstation. To my surprise the M11XR2 has been a great laptop for portability, performance, gaming, and I love being able to hook up two digital displays without a docking station. That makes this an excellent workstation for on the go and working between several offices. The Clevo isn't as professional in my opinion with it still having a VGA port and not offering a backlit keyboard.
  • junky77 - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link


    You didn't write the drivers version you used

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