- Very good overall quality
- Excellent gaming performance
- Effective cooling system
- Good keyboard and touchpad
- Plentiful port selection
- 4K resolution too high to play most games
- Pricey when optioned out
The Eurocom M5 Pro excelled in our tests, earning our full recommendation and an Editors' Choice Award.
The Eurocom M5 Pro is a built-on Clevo P650SE chassis. This 15.6″ notebook is an upscale gaming unit packing the latest technology, including Nvidia’s GTX 970M graphics card and a 4K display. We especially enjoyed its great design, quality components, excellent overall performance, and 4K display though it does come at a price.
Is this the customizable gaming notebook that your should spend $1400 (or more) to own? Keep reading to find out.
The M5 Pro has a significantly more upscale chassis than we’re used to seeing on a Clevo-based notebook. The black brushed aluminum palm rest and lid backing are eye catching while also providing a cool, solid feeling. The chassis corners are angled off to create a more engaging look. Even the little things received scrutiny – take for example the display lid’s center lip which makes it easy to open the display with one finger. The display hinge is stiff enough to minimize display wobble but still allows the lid to be opened one handed without having to hold the chassis down with the other. The M5 Pro is on par with similarly priced gaming notebooks and is a step up from older Clevo designs.
The M5 Pro is constructed from a mix of aluminum and plastic; with the latter making up the majority of the chassis and the former being found on the display backing, palm rest, and entire bottom of the notebook. The chassis has very good rigidity on par with business-class notebooks. There’s minimal flex in the palm rest and surrounding areas as well. The lid has ample support from the aluminum backing and also has a low amount of flex. Additionally, we were unable to produce ripples in the display by pressing in from behind the lid, which is always a good sign of durability.
The M5 Pro’s internals are accessible by removing the bottom of the chassis via numerous screws. The two M.2 SSD slots, two 2.5” storage drive compartments, and four RAM slots are all user-accessible. Note that the wireless card is connected via a third M.2 slot. The CPU is soldered on and non-upgradeable.
Input and Output Ports
The M5 Pro has a plentiful variety of ports including everything from two mini DisplayPorts, HDMI, a media card reader, and even less common ports such as eSATA and S/PDIF. It lacks an inbuilt optical drive but that’s expected from modern notebooks. All picture descriptions are left to right.
Screen and Speakers
Eurocom provides numerous display choices for the M5 Pro including the Samsung 4K display on our review unit, an upgrade over the base model’s full HD display. This 4K display has a glossy surface and uses IPS technology for limitless viewing angles – the picture quality remains constant regardless whether you’re looking at it straight on or from an angle as opposed to TN displays which wash out. Above all this display’s most endearing quality is what defines it as a 4K display: the 3840×2160 resolution. Full HD (1920×1080) was the highest up until the very recent availability of 4K displays in notebooks.
Doing the math, a 4K display has over eight million pixels or four times the amount in a full HD display. Individual pixels can’t be seen by the naked eye giving the picture quality a liquid appearance. The benefit of a 4K display at the moment is more for play than work – prepare to be impressed by the vivid detail in 4K and other higher-than 1080p resolution content. The benefit is less felt in general productivity where the 4K display offers no benefit over a standard full HD display. The 4K resolution makes text and other objects appear one quarter the size they would on a full HD display, which isn’t practical since they’re too small to read.
Continuing, the Samsung 4K display has good but not quite outstanding picture quality. Contrast is very good with deep black levels and stark whites. We felt the brightness could actually use a small boost though it’s plenty for working in most environments. Color saturation is good with this display covering 72% of the NTSC gamut, much higher than the average notebook display. Our only complaint about this display is its glossy surface which produces reflections in well-lit environments but this is a minor annoyance at best. This display is not touch-enabled.
The M5 Pro’s twin speakers reside in a slightly upward angled section at the base of the display. Their placement is ideal when the display is opened, projecting sound directly at the user. They have fuller sound than their appearance suggests though it’s not far removed from tinny. There’s plenty of detail and even good depth to the sound but the sound level leaves something to be desired. We feel these speakers are sufficient to entertain two people watching a movie in a quiet room. The included Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3 software is helpful in getting the most out of the speakers. We found the ideal configuration to our ears was Music mode with the SBX Pro Studio engaged but with only the Bass setting checked for the latter and set to 40%.
The M5 Pro features a full-size keyboard with separate numeric keypad. This is another welcome improvement over the Clevo-based notebooks we’ve tested in the past primarily because it has a standard desktop-like layout with all of the expected keys including dedicated Home and End keys. This keyboard has two levels of white backlighting which can of course be disabled if desired. The keys have a good amount of travel and key presses make little noise but the tactile feedback is generally unexciting. The flex-free keyboard deck is another positive attribute. One small discrepancy is that the number pad keys are slightly smaller than the rest but still proved plenty large for our fingers.
The excellent Synaptics touchpad is situated to the left of center in the palm rest in order to be centered with the keyboard as we see on most notebooks with a number pad. The touchpad is slightly oversized with a pleasantly smooth surface for predictable finger tracking. The two dedicated buttons below it have generous travel and feedback and appreciably quiet when pressed producing no loud click noises. The biometric fingerprint reader sits between the buttons.