- Great performance
- Beautiful 1080p IPS display
- Reasonable battery life
- Subpar build quality
- Barebones features
- Poor keyboard
Quick TakeThis 15-inch multimedia and gaming laptop doesn't deliver great value but has a beautiful display and solid performance.
Taiwan-based notebook manufacturer Clevo provides the chassis; Eurocom provides the rest. The W560SR (also called the “Electra” by Eurocom) includes a beautiful 1920×1080 display with IPS unlimited viewing angle technology; excellent overall performance thanks to an Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, 16GB of RAM and a Solid State Drive (SSD). Our review model also sports a 1.5TB hard drive, the first of its kind in a notebook form factor. Ultimately however we find this notebook’s asking price hard to swallow since the chassis is cheaply made, the keyboard mediocre at best and an overall frugal user experience.
Build and Design
The product photos pretty much say it all about the W560SR; it’s an unimaginatively designed notebook made of all plastic. The majority of Clevo notebooks we’ve tested over the last several years have shared these characteristics to their detriment; competing notebooks from HP, Dell, Alienware and others offer much more quality in this area.
The W560SR’s build quality is borderline anemic; the plastic used is thin and makes a hollow sound when tapped by a fingernail. It’s easy to flex the chassis grasping it by the corners and twisting since there’s not enough internal support. Fit and finish is at least acceptable; all the corners are rounded off smoothly and parts fit together evenly. Overall though, we’re not seeing quality above what’s expected from an entry-level consumer notebook priced at less than half the W560SR’s starting price.
One area where the W560SR surpasses most modern budget laptops is access for upgrades. Owners can easily upgrade the W560SR thanks to the single large access panel on the bottom of the chassis; just two screws are required to remove it. This panel provides access to the storage drives, memory modules and wireless card.
Ports and Features
The W560SR includes an appreciable amount of ports including USB 3.0, eSATA and Ethernet. You also get an optical drive for watching DVDs or Blu-ray (depending on configuration). The front edge of the laptop (not pictured below) includes a 9-in-1 media card reader. All picture descriptions are left to right.
Left: AC power jack, heat exhaust vent, VGA, Ethernet, eSATA/USB 3.0 combo, HDMI, USB 3.0
Right: Microphone and headphone jacks, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, optical drive, Kensington lock slot
Screen and Speakers
Eurocom equips the W560SR with a particularly high-quality 15.6-inch display; it has a 1920×1080 resolution and IPS technology, which allows for superior image quality and unlimited viewing angles (the picture looks the same no matter where it’s viewed from). The anti-glare surface is another bonus; there’s no annoying reflections as there would be with a glossy surface. The overall picture quality is outstanding; the contrast is deep and there’s ample brightness. Saturation is just right; there’s plenty of color without being overwhelming. There are essentially no downsides to this display.
The speakers on the other hand are poor; zero bass and an almost inadequate volume level. Needless to say these are good for basic tasks only. The headphone on the other hand is crystal clear with no static or interference.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The W560SR has a full-size Chiclet keyboard with a separate numeric keypad. The layout of the main keyboard is mostly familiar though it?d have been nice if the home, end, pgup and pgdn keys were dedicated instead of being integrated as secondary functions into the arrow keys. The numeric keypad is unusually arranged being three columns instead of four; it’s functional but takes getting used to. The typing experience however is unfortunately subpar; the keys feel and sound cheap and plasticky. There’s just not a whole lot of tactile feedback either. It’s screaming for improvement in nearly every way.
The Synaptics touchpad fares better than the keyboard; it’s appropriately-sized for a 15.6-inch display and has a pleasant anti-glare surface for easy tracking. The touchpad buttons are blissfully quiet and have sufficient feedback.