Hands-on: the Eurocom M590K Emperor

Hands-on: the Eurocom M590K Emperor

Justin Jaffe Managing editor
Justin Jaffe is the Managing Editor for CNET Money. He has more than 20 years of experience publishing books, articles and research on finance and technology for Wired, IDC and others. He is the coauthor of Uninvested (Random House, 2015), which reveals how financial services companies take advantage of customers -- and how to protect yourself. He graduated from Skidmore College with a B.A. in English Literature, spent 10 years in San Francisco and now lives in Portland, Maine.
Expertise Credit cards, Loans, Banking, Mortgages, Taxes, Cryptocurrency, Insurance, Investing. Credentials
  • Coauthor of Uninvested (Random House, 2015)
Justin Jaffe
2 min read
UPDATE: Video is up; click here to watch. Full review coming later this week.

Hotness in the CNET Labs today in the form of the Eurocom M590K Emperor, notable for the fact that it has a gargantuan, 19-inch (diagonal) display and two Nvidia GeForce Go 7800 GTX cards in a scalable link interface configuration (read: two graphics cards running simultaneously). That's right: the first 19-incher and the first SLI notebook all raining down on us at once. After some preliminary benchmarking and hands-on testing, we've verified two things:

  • 19 inches of display is good to look at, less fun to carry
  • SLI equals mega frame rates

We first heard about this gaming rig back in February, when Canadian computer maker Eurocom sent us the specs for its 19-inch model, the grandiosely named M590K Emperor. Since then, eerily similar 19-inch models have popped up on many of the niche vendor sites (Sager, SavRow); word is that Taiwanese OEM, Clevo, is ultimately responsible for the design.

In any event, our review unit's specs:

  • 2.21GHz AMD Turion 64 MT-40 processor
  • 2GB PC3200 DDR SDRAM (400MHz)
  • Two Nvidia GeForce Go 7800 GTX 256MB (SLI, 256MB each card)
  • Native resolution: 1,680x1,050
  • 100GB 7,200rpm SATA hard drive
  • Operating system: Windows XP Pro
  • Cost: About $4,000

Also, a few preliminary observations:

  • Display: Very nice, very bright. Scored 192cd/m2 on our Minolta luminance meter (compared to 170 for the Dell XPS M1710); 1,680x1,050 native resolution is lower than that of some 17-inch laptops but offers a nice balance of screen real estate, crispness, and readability.
  • Graphics: While playing F.E.A.R., I saw some aliasing and a few stutters, but the game looks and plays beautifully.
  • Heat/noise: The Emperor is considerably noisier than the Dell XPS M1710 sitting alongside it; it also got quite hot just to the right of the touch pad.

For now, let's review the performance data and talk some smack. Check out the charts below, and then tell me: for $4,000, would you rather have the 19-inch Emperor or the Dell XPS M1710? Or some other high-powered gaming rig? Talk back now.

See also: Alpha: 19-inch laptop alert: the Eurocom M590K Emperor

SysMark 2004 performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo SysMark 2004 Rating  
SysMark 2004 Internet content creation  
SysMark 2004 office productivity  
Dell XPS M1710
Gateway NX850XL
Toshiba Satellite P105-S921
Dell XPS M170
Eurocom M590K Emperor

Doom 3 High Quality, 10x7, 4xAA
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Id Software/ActiVision's Doom 3 (frames per second)  
Eurocom M590K Emperor
Gateway NX850XL

FEAR 10x7, 4xAA
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Monolith's/VU Games' F.E.A.R. (frames per second)  
Eurocom M590K Emperor
Gateway NX850XL