Eurocom X3 Clevo P157SM Review

Eurocom X3 Clevo P157SM Review

Don’t let its bulky frame fool you; the Eurocom X3 is a gaming powerhouse. Utilizing the Clevo P157SM barebones housing model, the X3 not be pleasant on the eyes, but it does offer an impressive array of technical specs.

Armed with a top-of-the-line NVidia Keplger GPU and Fourth Generation Intel Haswell processor, the Eurocom X3 is able to tackle practically any game on the market with outstanding performance. That being said, users can expect to pay upwards of $3,000 for that high-end performance.

Does the Eurocom X3’s cutting-edge specs justify its high price point despite its lackluster design? Read the full review to find out.

Build and Design

Building off a Clevo base model the Eurocom X3 isn’t banking on its visual appeal. That’s not to say that the Eurocom X3 is poorly constructed, but instead that it’s rather minimalistic. Where other gaming notebooks such as the Alienware 17opt for flash and flare, the Eurocom X3 embraces a simplistic box-like design.

The X3 (based off of the Clevo P157SM) does manage to infuse a bit of style into the device’s aesthetic, with a series of slants meeting along the edges and corners of the chassis. While the slants do help to provide a break in the notebook’s linear design it still appears rigid in comparison to other competing gaming notebooks currently on the market.

The large black mass is comprised of a mix of rubber and plastic. The protective rubber which spans across the top of the display case and hand rest is soft to the touch and comfortable to hold. The remainder of the device is coated in a sturdy plastic. A thick plastic chassis not be ideal for a high-end device, but similar to MSI GT60the plastic helps to create a sturdy build without adding unnecessary weight.

Despite looking massive, the Eurocom X3 is actually relatively portable measuring in at 14.25″ x 10″ x 1.43″ and weighing in at 7.8lbs. Coming in just under eight pounds the X3 certainly isn’t light by any stretch of the imagination; but considering that many gaming notebooks easily push upwards of 10 pounds it is portable by comparison.

As expected the large frame of the X3 offers solid durability. The base of the chassis remains resilient even when faced with extreme amounts of pressure. The back of the display proved less sturdy, flexing slightly when pressure was applied and at moments, noticeable rippling did occur on screen. Even with the slight rippling, the Eurocom X3 felt more than secure and should easily hold up to the normal wear and tear of traditional use, especially as a desktop replacement.

Ports and Features

The Eurocom X3 offers an impressive amount of connectivity with a cornucopia of ports capable of accommodating a wide array of devices and functions. The one thing missing from the X3’s wide selection is a VGA connector, but as a cutting-edge gaming device, it makes sense that Clevo would drop the now dated connector in favor of newer technologies.

The X3 makes the most of its ample surface area locating ports along the left, back and right side of its chassis. The left side houses a mini ieee1934a port, an Ethernet port, two USB 3.0 ports, an e-SATA/USB 3.0 combo port and a 9-in-1 card reader. The back portion of the device is relegated to external display connectors offering a power jack, mini Display Port connector, an HDMI connector and a Display Port connector. Finally the right side focuses mainly on audio with a USB 2.0 port, Line-In jack, S/PDIF-Out jack, microphone jack, headphone jack and an optical Blu-Ray Drive.

Back: power jack, mini Display Port connector, an HDMI connector and a Display Port connectorLeft: mini ieee1934a port, an Ethernet port, two USB 3.0ports, e-SATA/USB 3.0 combo port and a 9-in-1 card readerRight: USB 2.0 port, Line-In jack, S/PDIF-Out jack, microphone jack, headphone jack and an optical Blu-Ray Drive.

Typically fingerprint scanners can be more of a hassle than they’re worth, but the Eurocom X3’s biometric fingerprint scanner actually proved beneficial. The scanner is located between the right and left mouse buttons below the touchpad. What truly sets the fingerprint scanner apart is the AuthenTec True Suite software that accompanies it. Setting up the scanner is simple as the software will run users through all of the steps, more importantly the software insures that the user’s prints are recorded accurately by the scanner before connecting them to the account. This result in the setup to take a few more minutes, but it is well worth it as the scanner has yet to fail on a reading since running the software. Perhaps the best feature of the software is the ability to connect the user’s online accounts such as Facebook and WordPress to the scanner. Tired of juggling multiple passwords?  With the X3’s biometric scanner all you need is a finger.

Screen and Speakers

The Eurocom X3 houses a 15.6-inch matte LED backlit display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. The display provides a crisp clear image and it reads text well. Additionally, the screen’s robust color contrast is great for playing games and ensures that users get the most out of the notebook’s impressive NVidia Kepler GPU.

The matte display provides generous viewing angles with image quality holding up at 180 degrees on the horizontal axis. Quality remained consistent on the vertical axis as well, though minor image distortion was visible at extreme angles. Direct lighting can cause a small glint to appear on the surface of the display, but that only occurs in heavy lighting conditions. In most scenarios the X3’s display reads wonderfully, and as a desktop replacement it’s unlikely that users will face conditions that could deter from that experience.

The Eurocom X3 houses a pair of Onkyo speakers located directly above the keyboard on the right and left portions of the chassis. The two speakers are capable of producing audio suitable for personal use, but the notebook’s limited amplitude will struggle to fill an entire room with sound. While the speakers certainly are not boisterous, they do manage to offer solid sound quality. Audio remained consistent detailing sound effects from various game titles and a classic orchestral track with no noticeable distortions even when pushed to 100 percent capacity.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The Eurocom X3 offers a full keyboard, complete with number pad. The base of the keys are tightly packed together. However, the surface of each key offers a raised rectangle design with a reduced surface area. The condensed key surface offers added spacing allowing for greater accuracy while typing, which is certainly welcomed in a gaming oriented device.

Despite the device’s large frame, the keyboard offers surprisingly limited travel distance. Responsive and consistent tactile feedback helps to make up for the shallow key depth. With its solid feedback the keyboard is more than serviceable, but the lack travel distance is still noticeable (especially while playing games).

The generously sized touchpad can be found to the bottom right of the keyboard’s spacebar. The spacious touchpad offers a rubberized surface that is smooth to the touch with limited friction. Running on Microsoft’s drivers the touchpad managed to perform normal swipe and click functions accurately; however, the touchpad often failed to read multi-finger gestures. Even after reinstalling the drivers the issues continued to the point where it was simply easier to use normal point and click measures and avoid the multi-finger gestures entirely.

Luckily this is a gaming device, meaning that many users will simply default to an external USB mouse, but that still does not excuse the touchpad’s consistent failings.





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