Eurocom is a company that we’ve seen a few times over the years. Mostly, their focus is on the high-end mobile workstation market, though they also sell plenty of consumer-oriented laptops and notebooks. What we haven’t seen from them before is a high performance gaming-worthy system stuffed into a small chassis; they’ve had some business-class ultraportables and tablets, and they’ve had 15” and larger gaming notebooks, but there’s nothing in their past ten years even remotely similar to the Monster 1.0. In fact, the only other laptop we’ve ever seen that targeted this category is Alienware’s M11x, a small gaming laptop sporting ULV CPUs with moderate GPUs.

The Monster 1.0 (which uses a Clevo w110er chassis) isn’t just about stuffing the latest and greatest parts into a small form factor. Intel’s new Ivy Bridge processor is socket compatible with Sandy Bridge chips, and since there are no dual-core IVB offerings right now Eurocom offers the Monster with either dual-core SNB or quad-core IVB—though you’ll have to wait a bit longer for the quad-core IVB option it seems. Since it uses the updated HM76 chipset, you also get native USB 3.0 ports. Let’s run through the supported components and options just to give you a taste of what Eurocom has to offer.

Eurocom Monster 1.0 Configuration Options
Processor Core i7-3720QM (4x2.6-3.6GHz, 6MB L3, 22nm, 45W)
Core i7-3610QM (4x2.3-3.3GHz, 6MB L3, 22nm, 45W)
Core i7-2620M (2x2.7-3.4GHz, 4MB L3, 32nm, 35W)
Core i5-2540M (2x2.6-3.3GHz, 3MB L3, 32nm, 35W)
Core i5-2520M (2x2.5-3.2GHz, 3MB L3, 32nm, 35W)
Core i5-2410M (2x2.3-2.9GHz, 3MB L3, 32nm, 35W)
Chipset Intel HM76
Memory Up to 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600
(Two SO-DIMM slots, DDR3-1333 or DDR3-1600)
Graphics Intel HD 4000 (16 EUs, DX11) on Ivy Bridge
Intel HD 3000 (12 EUs, DX10) on Sandy Bridge

NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 2GB DDR3 Optimus
(384 CUDA cores, 850/1800MHz Core/Shader/RAM)
Display 11.6" Glossy 16:9 768p (1366x768) or
11.6" Matte 16:9 768p (1366x768) (AUO B116XW02)
Storage 120GB-600GB SSD (Intel or Micron)
500GB-750GB 7200RPM HDD
1TB 5400RPM HDD
Optical Drive N/A
Networking Gigabit Ethernet
802.11n WiFi (Intel or Bigfoot Killer)
Bluetooth (Optional, depending on WLAN)
Audio Stereo speakers
Headphone and microphone jacks
Battery 6-cell, 62Wh
Front Side Memory Card Reader
Left Side 2 x USB 3.0
Headphone jack
Microphone jack
HDMI 1.4a
Exhaust vent
VGA
Gigabit Ethernet
Right Side Kensington Lock
1 x USB 2.0
AC Power Connection
Back Side N/A
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Dimensions 11.48" x 8.28" x 0.51-1.48" (WxDxH)
(287mm x 207mm x 12.7-37.1mm)
Weight 3.96 lbs (1.8kg)
Extras 1.3MP Webcam
83-Key Keyboard
Flash Reader (MMC/SD/MS Pro)
90W Power Adapter
Pricing Starting at $817 with i5-2410M
(500GB HDD, 4GB RAM, and 1-year warranty)
$2203 for High-End i7-2620M
(240GB SSD, 8GB RAM, and 3-year warranty)

Okay, seriously, that is a metric ton of performance stuffed into a relatively small chassis. We’re obviously not looking at something in the ultrabook category, and the 0.51” thickness at the front is misleading as it looks more like a 1.1” height (the front narrows to a small wedge over the last inch or so of the palm rest), but for a <4 lbs. laptop with up to quad-core 45W CPUs I’m not going to complain.

On the CPU front, even dual-core Sandy Bridge is plenty fast for most users, and what’s more Eurocom uses full voltage CPUs. That means even the minimum i5-2410M ought to give Alienware’s M11x a run for the money. (Granted, we haven’t seen any news on the M11x since the R3 version, and while we can still find it on Dell’s site, it’s a bit odd that it doesn’t show up at Alienware’s laptop page.) Looking at the heart of any gaming system, it’s the GPU that’ll really determine what will run well and how high you can crank the settings. With the Monster, NVIDIA’s Kepler GK107 chips look ready for mainstream gaming at the very least.

Pricing isn’t bad either for what we could see; the base model should perform reasonably well, especially if all you want is a petty gaming laptop; the only real upgrade we’d make for sure is on the RAM. We’d also look into the LCD upgrade, but $136 extra for what may or may not be a substantially better panel is a tough pill to swallow. If you need more CPU performance, you’ll have to wait for the Ivy Bridge options to show up, and we’d guess the i7-3720QM will be at least a $300 upgrade, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Given everything listed above, the Monster 1.0 should certainly live up to its name. We’ve requested a review unit and hopefully we can report on the overall experience in the near future. Eurocom did release some preliminary benchmarks, and it looks like the GT 650M DDR3 with a full voltage CPU should improve on the early GT 640M we tested in the Acer TimelineU ultrabook by 30-50%. Eurocom also quotes battery life of up to 410 minutes (though they don’t say what sort of test they used), which should be sufficient for non-gaming use. In the meantime, fans of gaming ultraportables have something new to look forward to.

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  • phoenix_rizzen - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    All the CPU and GPU power going to waste pushing a measly million pixels. :( With hardware like that, you'd expect it to come with at least a 1200x1080 screen.

    Shoot, my first laptop (Fujitsu Lifebook 765dx) had a similar screen size and resolution (1024x768) back in '97.

    Why even bother putting that much GPU power into a laptop with such a crappy resolution? Even the onboard GPU in the CPU would be more than enough.
    Reply
  • Meaker10 - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    The GPU is pretty bandwidth constrained anyway, so really it suits the res. Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Saturday, April 28, 2012 - link

    Even if it did suit the resolution... My PC back in 1998 had more pixels. (1280x1024 CRT).

    It's been 14 years since then, 1080P should be a minimum in my eyes, heck my 10" tablet has a 1366x768 screen and that's several years old now.
    Reply
  • Meaker10 - Saturday, April 28, 2012 - link

    That would swamp the GPU and be unusable. Reply
  • SlyNine - Saturday, April 28, 2012 - link

    I agree the GPU wouldn't push 1080p on some games (but it would on others). But thats no reason to not add a 1080p screen.

    Its called, non native resolution, and at that size its not that big a eye sore.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, April 28, 2012 - link

    The problem is that 1080p at 11.6" is really high DPI, and Windows does not scale perfectly with the DPI setting. Some apps do, but there are plenty that break -- modern apps, web pages, etc. Reply
  • bennyg - Sunday, April 29, 2012 - link

    The overstating of problems with huge DPI is getting old. I have experienced none of the issues that people regularly whine about, and I have been using 15 inch 1920x1200 / 1920x1080 panels with font scaling >125% on my everyday workstation@wok/gaming@home lappy for over 5 years now. The only things I've seen genuinely visually screwed (text wrapping and chopped top/bottom issues mostly) work are old 32 bit programs run in compatability mode on XP.

    I hate 768 V px screens sooo much now. If I were Clevo I would have an option for uberDPI screen to make money... I cannot understand why they do not.
    Reply
  • FaaR - Sunday, April 29, 2012 - link

    First off, it's of course a big difference between 1080P at 11 and 15 inches, and second, your anecdotal evidence that high-DPI screens aren't a problem is worthless. Sorry, but it's true.

    Windows currently isn't equipped to handle this. Many people would find it really uncomfortable to use a 11" 1080P computer. Not to mention, it would likely choke on that rez in heavy gaming titles like BF3 and Crysis 2, thus defeating the whole point of sticking in a high-rez screen in the first place.

    If a screen is uncomfortable to use in productivity apps and useless in gaming = bad idea.
    Reply
  • Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer - Sunday, April 29, 2012 - link

    You realize that 1920x1080 at 15.6" is only slightly denser than 1366x768 at 11.6", right? Like, six more pixels per linear inch? I very much doubt you would see any real, practical benefit from increasing the density much beyond 135-140ppi.

    The bottom line is, there's only so much information you can fit in a given area of a surface viewed at a certain distance before you run into the limitations of your eyeballs.
    Reply
  • ET - Monday, April 30, 2012 - link

    1366x768 is an okay res for 11.6" (though I agree it would be nice to go a little higher), but you can always hook this up to a monitor when you're at home, so you have a flexible gaming station. Reply

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