Eurocom Monster 1.0 (Clevo W110ERF) Review: Biggest Isn’t Always Better

by Reads (35,272)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Software & Support
    • 8
    • Upgrade Capabilities
    • 7
    • Usability
    • 7
    • Design
    • 6
    • Performance
    • 9
    • Features
    • 8
    • Price/Value Rating
    • 7
    • Total Score:
    • 7.43
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Overview

  • Pros

    • Phenomenal performance
    • Manages heat well
    • Good keyboard and touchpad
  • Cons

    • Bland looking design

Quick Take

Currently the only option for serious ultraportable gaming, the Clevo W110ERF is an amazing 11-inch notebook.

Overview

Don’t be fooled by the 11.6″ screen – this “Monster” packs an Intel Core i7-3720QM quad-core processor and Nvidia GT 650M graphics card while staying under 4 pounds and running cool and quiet. Read our review of this pocket powerhouse.

 

Build and Design

This Eurocom Monster 1.0 is a customized Clevo W110ERF. Clevo is known for its functional no frills designs and the W110ERF is not an exception. It has a bland gray exterior; I thought it was a netbook at first glance (it’s small enough, for sure). It’s constructed entirely of plastic and feels durable enough to withstand the rigors of everyday travel. I like the rubberized lid and palm rest surfaces. Glossy plastic is thankfully absent from the chassis.

Build quality is about average; the chassis is twistable though the lid is surprisingly strong; pushing in on the back doesn’t produce any ripples on the screen. I wish the lid tilted back further; it only goes to 45 degrees past vertical. The Monster looks and feels like a durable netbook.

Overall there’s just not much more to say about the design and build. Clevo hasn’t changed their design principals much over the years.

Ports and Features

The W110ERF has a respectable assortment of input/output ports for a notebook this small. It has two SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports (great for connecting external hard drives), HDMI, and a media card reader. It does not have an internal optical drive. All picture descriptions are left to right.


Front: Status lights, 9-in-1 media card reader

Back: Battery pack

Left: Ethernet, VGA, HDMI, headphone and microphone jacks, 2x SuperSpeed USB 3.0

Right: Kensington lock slot, USB 2.0, AC power jack

 

Screen and Speakers

The 11.6-inch display has a glossy surface and 720p resolution (1366 horizontal pixels by 768 vertical). It’s not special by any means; colors are somewhat underwhelming with a cool default temperature (bluish). Contrast is average; blacks look a bit gray. Viewing angles are narrow with just a 15-20 degree sweet spot before colors start to invert. And the glossy surface attracts dust and fingerprints but on the plus side enhances contrast. 720p is by far the most popular resolution on notebooks so that’s not remarkable either; on a screen this size it’s hard to ask for more. Overall the screen leaves me wanting more; it will due in a pinch for mobile gaming but for at-home use, I imagine many will hook the notebook up to an external monitor or TV.


The two speakers are located under the back corner of the chassis and sound tinny. They’re surprisingly loud and actually have some bass but the praise stops there. The best ways to get sound out of this notebook are through the HDMI port and headphone jack.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The keyboard has 90% full-size keys and quite civilized. The “Chiclet” style design with extra spacing between the keys works well; it’s easy to type quickly and accurately. It has a somewhat hard feel; personally I prefer some more cushioning. There is enough key travel to provide ample tactile feedback and zero flex. It doesn’t make more noise than a standard notebook keyboard. The home, end, pgup, and pgdn keys have been integrated into the arrow keys due to space limitations.

The Synaptics touchpad is appropriately sized for the 11.6-inch screen. It has a rubber surface like the palm rest and is plenty accurate. The two touchpad buttons make a solid if loud click. Of course, gamers are likely to use an external mouse with this machine.


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