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Eurocom Monster 4 14-inch Gaming Notebook Review

Date: April 1, 2016
Author(s): Rob Williams

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.



Introduction, A Look At The Hardware & Software

It’s been a little while since Techgage last took a look at a notebook, with the previous one being ASUS’ excellent UX305 ultrabook. For this article, we have something a bit special. That’s because it’s the first notebook we’ve ever had in from Eurocom, and believe me, the Monster 4 is a great place to start.

While Eurocom’s name might make it sound like it’s based in Europe (something 100% of the people I’ve polled thought), it’s actually based in the Great White North – Canada, for those who might think I mean the North Pole. From its Ontario headquarters, Eurocom creates a hard-to-number amount of notebooks, which includes some of the most ridiculous (as in ‘amazing’) ones I’ve ever seen. Take for example its recently launched Sky X9, a notebook that can be equipped with both a desktop CPU and GPU.

While the Monster 4 I’m taking a look at here isn’t quite the powerhouse the Sky X9 is, it’s hardly a slouch, either. In fact, “slouch” shouldn’t appear anywhere near this notebook, as it sports both a high-end quad-core Intel Core i7-6700HQ and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M graphics card. Right off the bat, you know that this notebook means business. Well, business and gaming.

Eurocom Monster 4 Gaming Notebook

Unlike most notebooks we’ve taken a look at in the past, the specifications for the Monster 4 are not written in stone. The base configuration is $1,292, and includes most of what our sample does; the main differences is that ours has a 128GB M.2 SATA-based SSD, as well as 16GB of memory (versus 8GB) and 1TB of storage (versus 500GB). Our sample as tested is priced at $1,528.

It’s worth noting that this notebook can be equipped with either a SATA or PCIe-based M.2 SSD, and while our sample included a SATA-based one, we’d encourage paying a bit extra for a PCIe one if you are able, as they can be upwards of 4x as fast. Further, all Eurocom notebooks can be shipped without an operating system, potentially saving you time and money. If you do want Windows preinstalled, you can choose between Windows 7, 8.1, and 10. Since our notebook sample didn’t ship with an OS, we performed all testing using Windows 10 Pro 64-bit.

A Look At The Hardware

Eurocom Monster 4 Gaming Notebook
ProcessorIntel Core i7-6700HQ Quad-core @ 2.6GHz
3.50GHz Turbo; 6MB L3 Cache; HyperThreading
MotherboardEurocom Monster 4 (HM170)
Memory16GB (8GBx2) (19-15-15 @ DDR4-2133)
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 530
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M 3GB
DisplayLG Philips LP140WF3-SPD1 (14.0″, 1080p)
StorageMicron M600 128GB M.2 SSD
HGST HTS541010A7E630 1TB (5400 RPM)
OpticalN/A
AudioRealtek ALC892 & Intel HDMI
WirelessKiller Wireless 802.11n/ac 1535 & Bluetooth 4.1
Connectivity1x HDMI, 2x mini-DisplayPort
4x USB 3.0
3 Audio Ports
1x Ethernet
Card Reader
Et cetera13.74mm x 9.72″ x 1″
4.4 lbs
3-cell 45Wh Battery
Kensington Lock

As powerful as the Monster 4 is, Eurocom considers it to be an “ultra portable” thanks to its 14-inch form-factor. It’s actually interesting that Eurocom sent a 14″ model, as I purchased a 14″ ASUS notebook a couple of months ago and have come to appreciate the form-factor. I like 13-inch notebooks because of their overall size, and 15-inch ones because of the extra breathing room (and sometimes the addition of a numpad). 14-inch, though, meets me right in the middle, and makes not having the benefits of 13- and 15-inch notebooks easier to bear. At 4.4lbs, the Monster 4 isn’t as light as most Ultrabooks, but this isn’t an Ultrabook: it’s a mobile workhorse.

The Monster 4 has a speaker bar right above the keyboard, delivering what I felt to be great sound (“from a notebook”), but nothing is going to compare to a good set of headphones. And speaking of headphones, you might just need them, because as I found out, high-performance gear in a small notebook can result in quite a bit of noise. More on that later.

There’s really not too much that can be said about a notebook keyboard and touchpad, and the same applies with this notebook. But, I can say that the touchpad is one of the best I’ve used in a while for moving the cursor around, though the left and right buttons didn’t feel quite as satisfying to click as I would have liked (a personal preference). I have no complaints about the keyboard, however; it was a pleasure to type on.

On both sides of the Monster 4 are two USB 3.0 ports, and on the left, those are complemented with dual mini-DisplayPort connectors. Also on the left side is an HDMI port and three audio connectors. On the other side, there’s a card reader, Ethernet port, and also a Kensington lock.

Aesthetically, I don’t think the Monster 4 is a “great looking” notebook, but that’s something that can be debated. I do love the look of the notebook when it’s opened up, but the hood’s aesthetics don’t really grab me. It definitely looks like a workstation, though, so I can give it that.

A design choice I find a little odd here is with the power port; it’s right in the middle of the back, and can cause the power cable to get in the way of the exhausts. This wouldn’t be an issue if the power cord included was straight at the end, but that’s not the case. Instead, it has an angled end (as can be seen in a shot above), which means that unless you happen to get the power cable to point straight up, it’s going to be hanging to the side, causing it to block some of the exhaust. Personally, I like to give my notebooks as much room to breathe as possible, so it doesn’t give me a great feeling when I am forced to have a cable run alongside a portion of the backside.

That complaint aside, a great thing I can say about the Monster 4 is that it’s very durable, and feels like quality. You can feel that this notebook was designed for important workloads, which I guess in this case can include gaming. I have few complaints about the design itself overall; most minor complaints are tied to personal taste.

Because Eurocom doesn’t install an OS on its notebooks by default, and likewise doesn’t include any sort of unique software solution, that makes my job just a wee bit easier. However, because this is a gaming notebook with a great GPU, I tested some games out with an external monitor as well, since the GeForce GTX 970M can handle 1440p resolution gaming pretty well.

With that, let’s jump into a look at 1080p gaming on this notebook.

1080p (Native) Gaming Performance

Last spring, I took a look at ASUS’ G751 gaming notebook, which featured NVIDIA’s second-from-the-top GeForce GTX 980M. In that evaluation, I discovered that the card could handle 1440p gaming without issue, so I decided to test gaming out on an external monitor in addition to the internal one. Since the 970M is right up there on the performance scale, I’ve done the same here.

What’s changed this time around is the game selection. Some titles have been dropped and others have been added. As always, we try to cover all of the important bases with our performance testing here, so there are not only high-end games here, but some aging ones as well.

As with most of our GPU-related content, the ultimate goal when testing the Monster 4 was to find the Best Playable settings from each game. Ideally, we want the framerate to be 60, but we can sometimes ignore that rule at our discretion if it makes sense to (and we’ll explain why on a game-by-game basis).

Games tested include Rise of the Tomb Raider, Far Cry Primal, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Dying Light, Grand Theft Auto V, Crysis 3, GRID Autosport, Borderlands 2, Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition, and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Framerates were captured with Fraps; our manual playthroughs can last between 1 and 2 minutes.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider - Eurocom Monster 4 (1080p)
Rise of the Tomb Raider
MinimumAverage
5262
Resolution:1920 x 1080Anti-Aliasing:FXAA
Texture Quality:MediumAnisotropic Filter:16x
Shadow Quality:MediumSun Soft Shadows:Off
Ambient Occlusion:OnDepth of Field:On
Level of Detail:MediumTessellation:Off
SS Reflections:OnSpecular Reflection:Normal
Dynamic Foliage:LowBloom:On
Vignette Blur:OnMotion Blur:On
Purehair:OffLens Flares:On
Screen Effects:OnFilm Grain:On

RotTR is a game that I underestimated graphically – it’s simply stunning. It’s also incredibly demanding on a system, with us being forced to run with “Medium” settings in certain cases even at 1080p. The game looks great despite that, especially on a small 14″ monitor.

Far Cry Primal

Far Cry Primal - Eurocom Monster 4 (1080p)
Far Cry Primal
MinimumAverage
4451
Resolution:1920 x 1080Anti-aliasing:SMAA
Textures:HighShadow:Normal
Post FX:NormalGeometry:High
Terrain:HighWater:High
Environment:HighVolumetric Fog:High
Motion Blur:On

Far Cry Primal also happens to be graphically demanding. Since I haven’t had a chance to start a campaign here, I just used the built-in benchmark to test. 51 FPS isn’t quite the 60 we want to see, but the game looked great and still felt very smooth during gameplay testing.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt - Eurocom Monster 4 (1080p)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
MinimumAverage
5263
Resolution:1920 x 1080Anti-Aliasing:On
Blur:OnBloom:On
Sharpening:LowAmbient Occlusion:None
Depth of Field:OnChromatic Aberration:On
Vignetting:OnLight Shafts:On
NVIDIA Hairworks:OffNumber of BG Chars:Ultra
Shadow Quality:MediumWater Quality:Ultra
Grass Quality:UltraTexture Quality:High
Terrain Quality:HighFoliage Visibility:Low
Detail Level:Ultra

I am not sure I could ever get bored looking at The Witcher 3‘s world, and thankfully, I don’t think I’ll have to give it up soon given the game takes great advantage of high-end GPUs. In the Monster 4’s case, its 970M enabled me to run very high detail levels overall and peak at just over 60 FPS. Notably, ambient occlusion was disabled, and shadow quality was set to medium.

Dying Light

Dying Light - Eurocom Monster 4 (1080p)
Dying Light
MinimumAverage
5471
Resolution:1920 x 1080Texture Quality:High
Shadow Map Size:HighFoliage Quality:High
View Distance:60%Ambient Occlusion:On
NVIDIA HBAO+:OnNVIDIA Depth of Field:Off
Motion Blur:OnAntialiasing:On

Dying Light didn’t require too much tweaking to get running well, but it’s an interesting game where one detail setting change can drastically impact performance. I found this particular blend of settings to be ideal versus increasing anything, as I’d end up dipping below 60 FPS with no major IQ difference to be seen.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V - Eurocom Monster 4 (1080p)
Grand Theft Auto V
MinimumAverage
5873
Resolution:1920 x 1080FXAA:On
MSAA:OffNVIDIA TXAA:Off
Population Density:100%Population Variety:100%
Distance Scaling:100%Texture Quality:High
Shader Quality:HighShadow Quality:Very High
Reflection Quality:Very HighReflection MSAA:Off
Water Quality:Very HighParticles Quality:Very High
Grass Quality:HighSoft Shadows:PCSS
Post FX:HighMotion Blur:0%
DoF Effects:OffAnisotropic Filtering:16x
Ambient Occlusion:OffTessellation:Very High

GTA V might be a console port, but it’s a damn good one where graphics are concerned. On this notebook, the 970M could handle the game at great detail (minus AO and TXAA) at 1080p with the minimum framerate settling at around 60 FPS.

Crysis 3

Crysis 3 - Eurocom Monster 4 (1080p)
Crysis 3
MinimumAverage
4154
Resolution:1920 x 1080Anti-aliasing:SMAA Low (1x)
Texture:Very HighEffects:Very High
Object:Very HighParticles:Very High
Post Processing:Very HighShading:High
Shadows:Very HighWater:Very High
Anisotropic Filtering:x16Motion Blur:Medium
Lens Flares:Yes

Can the Monster 4 run Crysis 3? Of course it can, and as the table above highlights, it can do so largely at “Very High” detail levels.

GRID Autosport

GRID Autosport - Eurocom Monster 4 (1080p)
GRID Autosport
MinimumAverage
5365
Resolution:1920 x 1080Multisampling:8x MSAA
Night Lighting:UltraShadows:Ultra
Advanced Fog:OnParticles:Ultra
Crowd:UltraCloth:High
Ambient Occlusion:UltraSoft Ambient Occlusion:On
Ground Cover:UltraVehicle Details:Ultra
Trees:CustomObjects:Ultra
Vehicle Reflections:UltraWater:Ultra
Rear-view Mirror:OffSkidmarks:On
Advanced Lighting:OnGlobal Illumination:On
Texture Quality:High

As great as games in the GRID series look, they’re not incredibly demanding on graphics hardware. It’s no surprise, then, that the 970M was able to handle this game just fine at 1080p with max detail levels – even 8xMSAA.

Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 - Eurocom Monster 4 (1080p)
Borderlands 2
MinimumAverage
3775
Resolution:1920 x 1080Anisotropic Filtering:16x
Bullet Decals:HighFoliage Distance:Far
Texture Quality:HighGame Detail:High
Ambient Occlusion:OnDepth of Field:On
FXAA:OnView Distance:Ultra High
Texture Fade:OnPhysX:High

Following in the footsteps of GRID Autosport, Borderlands 2 runs smoother than butter on this notebook at max detail. If not for the fact that PhysX was cranked to High, the average framerate would be even higher.

Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition

Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition - Eurocom Monster 4 (1080p)
Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition
MinimumAverage
4957
Resolution:1920 x 1080Anti-aliasing:High
SSAO:HighShadow Resolution:High
Shadow Filtering:HighMotion Blur:High
World Density:Extreme

Sleeping Dogs might have come out over three-and-a-half years ago, but it and its Definitive Edition still look downright incredible. With max detail levels, and “High” anti-aliasing, this notebook hits 57 FPS on average in this game. If you want a further boost in performance at almost no sacrifice to image quality, I’d recommend dropping anti-aliasing down to “Normal”.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist - Eurocom Monster 4 (1080p)
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist
MinimumAverage
6069
Resolution:1920 x 1080Texture Detail:Ultra
Shadow:UltraParallax:On
Tessellation:OnTexture Filtering:16x
Ambient Occlusion:Field AO & SSAOAnti-aliasing:FXAA

Helping us wrap 1080p testing is Blacklist, which as with some other games in this lineup, runs at max detail with great framerates. That even includes the performance-hitting AO modes.

Since the GTX 970M is such a powerful GPU, I performed 1440p testing in addition to the 1080p testing above. In case you haven’t guessed it, those results are on the next page, so let’s move on.

1440p (External) Gaming Performance

Years ago, it felt like no mobile GPU could give us a great gaming experience at the resolution that shipped with our notebooks. Today, things are quite different. Modern mobile GPUs are so powerful, that the highest-end ones can handle resolutions that are higher than native. That includes the GeForce GTX 970M. It can eat most games at up to 1080p (as seen on the previous page), and it can handle 1440p games quite well, too.

That said, the 970M has 83% of the CUDA cores that the 980M does, and based on that and the experiences I’ve had, I can say that 1440p won’t be flawless, but it will most certainly be “good”. Just expect the latest and greatest games to require some serious tweaking.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider - Eurocom Monster 4 (1440p)
Rise of the Tomb Raider
MinimumAverage
4247
Resolution:2560 x 1440Anti-Aliasing:FXAA
Texture Quality:MediumAnisotropic Filter:16x
Shadow Quality:MediumSun Soft Shadows:Off
Ambient Occlusion:OffDepth of Field:Off
Level of Detail:LowTessellation:Off
SS Reflections:OffSpecular Reflection:Normal
Dynamic Foliage:LowBloom:Off
Vignette Blur:OnMotion Blur:On
Purehair:OffLens Flares:Off
Screen Effects:OffFilm Grain:On

After seeing the Monster 4 getting punished with RotTR at 1080p, I cringed when opening the game up at 1440p. As you might have expected, low graphics settings have to be used here – and even then you’re not going to be getting 60 FPS. The upside? That ~47 FPS didn’t feel that bad, and somehow, the game still manages to look great. Admittedly, I’d recommend just sticking to 1080p even if you’re connected to an external monitor for this one.

Far Cry Primal

Far Cry Primal - Eurocom Monster 4 (1440p)
Far Cry Primal
MinimumAverage
3639
Resolution:2560 x 1440Anti-aliasing:Off
Textures:NormalShadow:Low
Post FX:LowGeometry:Low
Terrain:LowWater:Low
Environment:NormalVolumetric Fog:Normal
Motion Blur:On

Like RotTR, Far Cry Primal is a seriously punishing game. Dropping the detail levels on this one isn’t going to help the frame rate much. I have a hard time calling an FPS “playable” at 39 FPS, but that’s the best I got. What we can take away from this is that like RotTR, Primal should stick to 1080p even on an external display.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt - Eurocom Monster 4 (1440p)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
MinimumAverage
3945
Resolution:2560 x 1440Anti-Aliasing:On
Blur:OnBloom:On
Sharpening:LowAmbient Occlusion:None
Depth of Field:OnChromatic Aberration:On
Vignetting:OnLight Shafts:On
NVIDIA Hairworks:OffNumber of BG Chars:Medium
Shadow Quality:LowWater Quality:Low
Grass Density:MediumTexture Quality:Low
Terrain Quality:LowFoliage Visibility:Low
Detail Level:Low

Wild Hunt like the two previous games, proves to be a bit much at 1440p. While the game was fairly playable, I am again going to have to recommend sticking to 1080p for this one.

Dying Light

Dying Light - Eurocom Monster 4 (1440p)
Dying Light
MinimumAverage
4055
Resolution:2560 x 1440Texture Quality:Medium
Shadow Map Size:MediumFoliage Quality:Medium
View Distance:50%Ambient Occlusion:Off
NVIDIA HBAO+:OffNVIDIA Depth of Field:Off
Motion Blur:OnAntialiasing:On

Dying Light might have great graphics, but it’s not quite as punishing as those earlier games, which allowed me to retain “Medium” detail levels at 1440p. Perhaps not surprisingly, ambient occlusion was a big, fat “no” for this game and resolution combination.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V - Eurocom Monster 4 (1440p)
Grand Theft Auto V
MinimumAverage
5264
Resolution:2560 x 1440FXAA:On
MSAA:OffNVIDIA TXAA:Off
Population Density:60%Population Variety:100%
Distance Scaling:100%Texture Quality:High
Shader Quality:HighShadow Quality:Very High
Reflection Quality:Very HighReflection MSAA:Off
Water Quality:Very HighParticles Quality:Very High
Grass Quality:HighSoft Shadows:Softest
Post FX:HighMotion Blur:0%
DoF Effects:OffAnisotropic Filtering:16x
Ambient Occlusion:OffTessellation:Very High

With as many knobs and dials as GTA V has, you could spend an eternity fine-tuning the game for your particular rig. In this notebook’s case, I could thankfully stick to the higher-end of the options spectrum. While ambient occlusion definitely wasn’t happening, many other settings were able to be High or better.

Crysis 3

Crysis 3 - Eurocom Monster 4 (1440p)
Crysis 3
MinimumAverage
3451
Resolution:2560 x 1440Anti-aliasing:FXAA
Texture:HighEffects:Medium
Object:MediumParticles:Medium
Post Processing:MediumShading:Medium
Shadows:MediumWater:Medium
Anisotropic Filtering:x16Motion Blur:Medium
Lens Flares:Yes

I had anticipated having to go even lower than I did in Crysis 3, but thankfully, the game runs quite well at ~50 FPS.

GRID Autosport

GRID Autosport - Eurocom Monster 4 (1440p)
GRID Autosport
MinimumAverage
5670
Resolution:2560 x 1440Multisampling:8x MSAA
Night Lighting:HighShadows:Ultra
Advanced Fog:OnParticles:Ultra
Crowd:HighCloth:High
Ambient Occlusion:HighSoft Ambient Occlusion:Off
Ground Cover:HighVehicle Details:Ultra
Trees:HighObjects:Ultra
Vehicle Reflections:HighWater:High
Rear-view Mirror:UltraSkidmarks:On
Advanced Lighting:OnGlobal Illumination:Off
Texture Quality:High

Being that GRID Autosport isn’t the most demanding game around, I was able to attain playable framerates at 1440p without much of an issue. Some of the “Ultras” had to be turned into “Highs”, and soft ambient occlusion had to be disabled entirely. As it is, these are still high detail settings, so the game will look almost as great at 1440p as it does at 1080p – without sacrificing framerates.

Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 - Eurocom Monster 4 (1440p)
Borderlands 2
MinimumAverage
4359
Resolution:2560 x 1440Anisotropic Filtering:16x
Bullet Decals:HighFoliage Distance:Far
Texture Quality:HighGame Detail:High
Ambient Occlusion:OnDepth of Field:On
FXAA:OnView Distance:Ultra High
Texture Fade:OnPhysX:Low

As with GRID above, we’ve entered the “easier” set of games, which definitely includes Borderlands 2. As cool as the game looks, you can achieve great detail levels and framerates at 1440p with this notebook. If you really love the PhysX effects in the game, you might want to increase that detail level and just deal with the lower framerates, because in reality, the heavier PhysX parts don’t come along too often.

Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition

Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition - Eurocom Monster 4 (1440p)
Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition
MinimumAverage
4754
Resolution:2560 x 1440Anti-aliasing:Normal
SSAO:HighShadow Resolution:High
Shadow Filtering:HighMotion Blur:High
World Density:Extreme

I can’t think of many examples that are as great as Sleeping Dogs where the graphics/performance ratio is concerned. With dropped anti-aliasing (which makes almost no difference in the game, in my opinion), the game can run at max detail with good framerates. If you want to secure 60 FPS+, SSAO should be the first thing to go.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist - Eurocom Monster 4 (1440p)
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist
MinimumAverage
5869
Resolution:2560 x 1440Texture Detail:High
Shadow:HighParallax:On
Tessellation:OffTexture Filtering:16x
Ambient Occlusion:OffAnti-aliasing:FXAA

We’ve reached the end of our real-world game testing with Blacklist, a game that runs very well at 1440p on the Monster 4 if AO and tessellation are turned off. Fortunately, those features don’t impact the overall visual quality that much.

On the next (and final page), we’ll take a quick look at system performance, and then wrap this thing up.

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

Cons

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