Eurocom Monster 4 14-inch Gaming Notebook Review

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by Rob Williams on April 1, 2016 in Systems

Building a gaming desktop can be tough, but building a gaming notebook can be even harder. While most vendors limit your options, Eurocom goes out of its way to provide the most customization possible. As we find out in this review, the company’s offerings are diverse, and based on our findings with the Monster 4, a notebook with professional looks can still be a beast inside.

System Performance & Final Thoughts

With real-world gaming performance having been taken care of on the previous couple of pages, we’ll take care of overall system performance (with the help of Futuremark) on this one. Then, I’ll wrap up with some final thoughts.

While it’s easy in our regular desktop GPU content to compare one card to another, notebooks are far more difficult to compare given the sheer number of configurations out there. Fortunately, the ASUS G751 I took at look at before, with its GTX 980M graphics, is fair enough competition. That notebook does cost nearly $1,000 more, so this is hardly apples-to-apples, but it will at least show where the 970M and i7-6700HQ in Eurocom’s Monster 4 stands.

Let’s start things off with a look at Futuremark PCMark 8 and 3DMark (2013). Both notebooks feature an M.2 SSD, although ASUS’ is PCI-e based, which means its scores will get a little boost from that alone. The CPUs in both notebooks are almost identical (even the clock speeds), but the i7-6700HQ in the Eurocom is a generation newer, and gains a 100MHz clock speed at its base (both are 3.50GHz with Turbo).

Futuremark PCMark & 3DMark
Eurocom (970M)ASUS (980M)
PCMark 8 – Home36894776
PCMark 8 – Work48185245
PCMark 8 – Creative45865378
3DMark – Fire Strike67328528

It’s no surprise that ASUS’ notebook won all of these tests, given the fact it has a beefier GPU and faster I/O, but Eurocom’s Monster 4 doesn’t fall short of delivering “great” performance. For regular duties, it’s going to more than deliver what’s needed, especially with its eight-thread CPU that can peak at 3.50GHz (at least in single or dual-thread).

Based on the 3DMark scores, the 980M is about 27% faster than the 970M. That doesn’t make the 970M a poor choice, though; it’s still the third from the top in NVIDIA’s current lineup, and as we saw on the previous page, it can even handle good 1440p gaming when connected to an external monitor. 1080p native? You’ll be laughing.

So what about battery-life? Being that both notebooks included here are designed for gaming, no one should expect impressive results here. That’s because we don’t get them, with both notebooks lasting just over 2 hours in the entertainment test. Eurocom’s notebook does prove to be much better for productivity, though, extending the battery life by another 40 minutes.

ASUS G751JY – Futuremark Powermark
Eurocom Monster 4ASUS G751
Balanced3 hours 16 minutes2 hours 46 minutes
Productivity3 hours 57 minutes3 hours 11 minutes
Entertainment2 hours 19 minutes2 hours 5 minutes

As with basically every single gaming notebook ever, Eurocom’s Monster 4 isn’t going to be the best choice for those who demand a notebook that’s going to last them all day. Notebooks that can do that are not as close to being as powerful as this one is, though, so it boils down to what your needs are, versus the wants.

Final Thoughts

Eurocom’s Monster 4 is a bit of an oddly-named notebook. It doesn’t look like a monster, after all. In fact, its looks are subdued, which I kind of appreciate. People will look at this notebook not even realizing that it could play the latest games at 1080p, and especially not 1440p (with some caveats) with an external monitor. It looks professional, despite being a gaming notebook.

After testing the Monster 4 for an entire month, I am left with few complaints. I think the keyboard is fantastic, and the touch pad isn’t too bad, either; it has a matte finish and is easy on the fingers after long periods. The touch pad’s buttons don’t give me the kind of clicky satisfaction I like, but that could be a matter of preference.

Connectivity-wise, the Monster 4 has it all – except Thunderbolt 3.0. It does provide dual mini-DisplayPort ports, though, as well as an HDMI and four USB 3.0 ports.

Eurocom Monster 4 Gaming Notebook

Our sample of the Monster 4 included a modest 128GB SATA-based M.2 drive, but you can configure your notebook to include a much larger, and much more powerful one. In lieu of a mechanical hard disk, you’d be able to opt for a second SATA-based SSD if you’re only looking for sheer speed, rather than mega storage.

If I were in the market for a gaming laptop, I wouldn’t hesitate to toss this one on my shortlist. That’s for a couple of reasons: it’s super-fast, has professional aesthetics, has an openness about it that allows you to upgrade certain components without feeling guilty, and can also be received sans an OS. That last one is key, as it can save upwards of $100 on the price if you already have a Windows license you can use (and Windows 10 makes that easier for those with Windows 7/8 keys).

The main complaint I have about the Monster 4 is something that can’t be helped: its noise. The ASUS G751 I looked at last year was very silent thanks to the fact that it had huge exhausts. Eurocom’s Monster 4 doesn’t have that benefit. It’s instead a professional-looking notebook that looks as great in the boardroom as it does on your desk at home. Even sometimes while merely browsing YouTube I’d hear the fan speed up to high levels, although it didn’t happen too often. In gaming, the fans are ramped way up, completely noticeable to anyone around. This is a laptop meant to be used with headphones, else the noise is just going to be too distracting. A laptop cooler in this case might help, but I did not have one kicking around to test.

Despite the noise issue, the Monster 4 truly impressed me, and I’d highly recommend taking a look at Eurocom’s configurator tool if you’re interested in a new gaming notebook that’s as light as a regular one and offers fantastic gaming performance at 1080p.

Pros

  • Very fast performance, thanks to Intel’s quad-core i7-6700HQ and NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 970M.
  • Eurocom offers many configuration options to help make the Monster 4 best-suited for you.
  • The memory, M.2 storage, and SATA HDD/SSD are all user-upgradeable.
  • 1080p display is very crisp and colorful. It’s one of the best notebook panels I’ve seen.
  • Wireless performance is great. I downloaded 200GB of games off of Steam in one go without a hiccup; internal transfers peaked at around 45MB/s.
  • Lots of USB 3.0 ports (4x). Dual DisplayPort connections mean you could use this notebook with up to three external monitors.
  • Bloat-free. If you opt for Windows, you’ll be given a real OEM copy, not a pre-configured version.
  • A gaming notebook at 4.4lbs? Win!

Cons

  • The notebook’s fans get loud during gaming – and sometimes, even desktop work.
  • Either the power port should be placed towards a side, or the power plug should be straight on the end.

Rob Williams

Rob founded Techgage in 2005 to be an 'Advocate of the consumer', focusing on fair reviews and keeping people apprised of news in the tech world. Catering to both enthusiasts and businesses alike; from desktop gaming to professional workstations, and all the supporting software.

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