Skip to main content

SLI & Centrino 2: Gaming Laptops Battle

Eurocom M860TU Montebello: Look and Feel

Of all four contenders, Eurocom’s Montebello feels the most like a do-it-yourself whitebook. And that’s not too far from the truth, since its shell is intended for resellers looking to build their own mobile offerings. To be fair, so is Killer Notebooks’ Odachi—the main difference, visually, being the graphics shield that Killer Notebooks added. Nevertheless, Clevo’s design keeps the Eurocom offering looking professional thanks to a polished black lid and matching palm rests. This is another two-tone design, the other color being silver around the top and bottom of the chassis.

As with the 17.1” D9C shell, Clevo’s M860TU incorporates a lip underneath the available ports that isn’t quite as attractive as the flush Alienware chassis, but does make for easy lifting. Not that picking up Eurocom’s Montebello is a challenge—it’s the lightest model in our roundup at roughly seven pounds. There’s naturally not as much room with a 15.4” LCD, so you give up the 10-key number pad with Eurocom’s smaller shell. However, the notebook still includes a full-sized keyboard on which it’s a pleasure to type. And the Montebello is one of only two designs we tested that doesn’t latch shut. It instead swivels on a quality hinge with enough resistance to not fall open while closed.

We like how Eurocom jumped into Centrino 2 early, incorporating the PM45 chipset, Intel’s fastest dual-core Core 2 Extreme processor, battery-conserving DDR3 memory, and a relatively potent Nvidia GeForce 9800M GT graphics processor.

Although the M860TU only includes an eight-cell, 4,400 mAh battery, it’s still much more efficient than either of the two SLI-equipped offerings. Of course, the more power-friendly stature comes at the expense of performance, and we’d certainly hesitate before calling this an extreme gaming notebook. Perhaps the Montebello would be more at-home as a desktop replacement workstation rather than a purpose-built entertainment machine.

Like Killer Notebooks’ Odachi, Eurocom’s solution exhausts air out the back of its chassis by pulling it in from underneath. But because the Montebello isn’t hosting a 95 W desktop processor or pair of graphics boards, it gets by with just one fan blowing over a heat pipe and fins. Though the thermal load isn’t nearly as demanding, we’re still not big fans (pardon the pun) of drawing air from under the chassis.

Image 1 of 2

Dinky buttons and tinny speakers give away this Clevo shell

Image 2 of 2

  • kitsilencer
    From a money point of view, it's never going to make sense buying a gaming laptop. Scaled down performance and inability to upgrade are issues.

    But it sure as hell feels good having one ^___^
    Reply
  • Hey, that aint green...
    Reply
  • neiroatopelcc
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-notebook-roundup,2023-6.html
    "shipped the system with a 64-bit copy of Vista Ultimate (Alienware included x32 Home Premium)."
    Reply
  • ap90033
    4 Grand? Are you guys nuts? I would say that right there would rule out about 90% of us normal gmaers..

    Besides the gaming scores looked weak imo..

    I personally thought it was a better idea to go get a Gateway P7811FX with a single Geforce 9800GTS. It plays Call of Duty at 1920x1200 max settings around 50FPS. AND it cost me ONLY $1249 (Plus Best Buy let me pick any game I wanted for FREE!)
    Reply
  • jas39
    what about www.xtremenotebooks.com?
    Reply
  • agree with kitsilencer, gaming laptop is never practical.

    even with a beast graphics card, you'd be pretty hard to get more than 2 hours of shitty performance.

    get a gaming desktop and perhaps an EEE or iPhone for travelling. my iPhone has 20+ games and enough media (don't forget TV connector for watching films in hotels) to keep me busy for more than one week away from my gaming rig.
    Reply
  • ap90033
    oops cant spell "gamers" lol
    Reply
  • ap90033
    Not true my "Gmaing Laptop" is great at LAN Parties and I play it for 6-8 Hours straight there...

    I think maybe you had a bad experience with a laptop that claimed to be a "gaming" laptop. I bought one before like that and it have an 8600M Geforce and it Sucked bad... If you get a good laptop with say a 9800gts or so you would be suprised...
    Reply
  • GlItCh017
    ap900334 Grand? Are you guys nuts? I would say that right there would rule out about 90% of us normal gmaers..99.90%
    Reply
  • ap90033
    PS gaming laptops hold value much better than desktops. I had one I paid 1250 for, had it for a year, then sold it for $1100 and bought the newer "upgraded" model that just came out for $1250. I got an Upgraded CPU (From Core 2 1.67 GHZ to Core 2 Centrino 2 2.26 GHZ), Memory (from 3 Gigs DDR2 667MHZ to 4 Gigs DDR3 1066MHZ), Hard Drive (faster), Video Card (from 8800gts to 9800GTS), Screen (from 1440x800 to 1920x1200) and OS (From 32 bit to 64 bit). Not bad upgrade for $150 or so!
    Reply