Notebookcheck

Eurocom Armadillo 2 (Clevo W840AU) Notebook Review

An armored shell. It's not everyday that we run into a 14-inch Ultrabook with support for up to 32 GB of RAM. Can this this thin 14-inch Clevo replace your existing notebook for home and office use?

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We reported on the launch of the Eurocom Armadillo 2 in May and we can now provide our full take on the thin and highly expandable notebook from the reseller.

While this may be one of Eurocom's smallest and thinnest offering yet, the Armadillo 2 still packs quite the punch. This heavy duty 14-inch Ultrabook can hold up to 32 GB RAM and two dedicated storage bays, which automatically make it much more spacious than your standard Ultrabook from a major manufacturer.

The Clevo W840AU chassis of the Armadillo 2 is largely similar to the Clevo W840SU-T that we published in late 2013, so users should check out our older review for more details on case quality and features. Instead, the largest difference here is that the Armadillo 2 offers a WLED 1080p matte display in favor of the lower resolution glass touchscreen on the older Clevo barebone.

Being a Eurocom, the notebook doesn't come cheap and starts at just under $1000 USD. Are the extra features and hardware worth the starting price?

Eurocom Armadillo 2
Processor
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 5500, Core: 300 MHz, Memory: 800 MHz, 10.18.10.4013
Memory
32768 MB 
, PC3-12800, Dual-Channel, 11-11-11-28
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, AU Optronics B140HAN01.1, IPS, ID: AUO113D, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Broadwell-U PCH-LP (Premium)
Storage
Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF mSATA, 256 GB 
, Secondary: 1 TB HGST HTS541010A7E630
Soundcard
Intel Broadwell PCH-LP - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 1x 3.5 audio, 1x 3.5 microphone, Card Reader: 6-in-1 MMC/RSMMC SD/miniSD/SDHC/SHXC
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 21 x 340 x 240 ( = 0.83 x 13.39 x 9.45 in)
Battery
45 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 1 MP
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo 2 Watt, 4 Ohm, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, Quick Start Guide, Drivers and Utilities disc, Hotkey Control Center, Embedded Lockdown Manager, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.9 kg ( = 67.02 oz / 4.19 pounds), Power Supply: 340 g ( = 11.99 oz / 0.75 pounds)

 

Case

As stated above, the overall chassis is largely identical to the previous Clevo W840SU-T. Surfaces are brushed aluminum with a smooth texture on the outer lid and a rougher texture for the palm rests. Its design is otherwise insipid and both the bottom base and bezel are largely plastic.

When compared to most other Ultrabooks on the market, the Armadillo 2 feels thicker and stronger. After all, it's called the Armadillo for a reason. Spots that are normally susceptible to warping on a notebook, such as the center of the keyboard or outer lid, are rigid and hardly depress from applied pressure. The hinges themselves are stiff and twisting the lid from its front corners shows no creaking.

The strong chassis comes at the cost of weight and size. While its thickness is the same as most 14-inch Ultrabooks, its footprint (length x width) is generally larger and its weight (1.9 kg) is much heavier. The Lenovo X1 Carbon, for example, is 500 grams lighter than our Armadillo 2 and even the business-class Latitude 14 E7450 is about 300 grams lighter and just slightly thinner in comparison. This Eurocom is one of the heavier 14-inch Ultrabooks in the market.

Connectivity

Available interfaces aren't plentiful due to the small size of the notebook. Even then, the Armadillo 2 features less ports than many other 14-inch notebooks including the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and the recently released mainstream Lenovo U41. Competitors tend to offer at at least one more USB port and video-out option (mDP, VGA) than the Eurocom. Additionally, the two USB ports are found on the right edge only.

Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Right: SD reader, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4, Gigabit RJ-45, Power adapter
Right: SD reader, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4, Gigabit RJ-45, Power adapter
Rear: No connectivity
Rear: No connectivity
Left: Kensington Lock, 3.5 mm microphone, 3.5 mm headphones
Left: Kensington Lock, 3.5 mm microphone, 3.5 mm headphones

Communication

An Intel dual-band Wireless-AC 7260 card provides up to 802.11ac with both Bluetooth 4.0 and WiDi. Transfer rates are up to 867 Mbps, so this is not a Gigabit WLAN card. The half-mini PCIe card can be easily removed and replaced.

No SIM or WWAN options are available on the Armadillo 2.

Maintenance

Like all Eurocom notebooks, access to the internal hardware is as easy as removing just a couple of Philips screws on the bottom of the unit. This gives direct access to core components such as both storage bays, both SODIMM slots, the half-mini PCIe slot, and the system fan. Space for a potential soldered GPU and its VRAM chips can also be seen underneath the single heat pipe.

Accessories

Included extras outside of the 65 W AC adapter are the Quick Start guide and Drivers disc. Eurocom sells optional Kensington Lock cables as well. Otherwise, no special accessories exist for this particular model.

Warranty

The standard one-year warranty applies for new purchases. Eurocom provides extensions for up to two years and three years for $175 and $375, respectively.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The typing experience is similar to the Clevo W840SU. That is, we find the travel to be very shallow with light feedback. The Chiclet keyboard here (29.5 x 10.5 cm) is definitely inferior to the larger and gutsier Clevo models such as the P770M and its beveled layout. There is disappointingly no backlight, either. On the bright side, we do like the full-size Directional keys and quiet stroke that this particular Clevo chassis offers. Most other 14-inch Ultrabooks have louder clatter and smaller arrow keys in comparison.

Touchpad

The reasonably sized (10.25 x 5.5 cm) touchpad utilizes the same roughly textured brushed metal surface as the palm rests. This rough surface will take some time to get used to since most other notebooks have smooth touchpads in comparison. Otherwise, responsiveness and cursor movement are free of bugs. The Elan software recognizes up to three-finger inputs and other customizations.

The two dedicated mouse keys are as quiet as the keyboard. Unfortunately, the plastic buttons feel mushy and the feedback is very light. They certainly do not feel as firm as they could have been.

Display

The display on our Armadillo 2 is a vast improvement over our previous Clevo W840SU model. Our matte panel is brighter with a much deeper contrast compared to a few other 14-inch notebooks as seen in our comparison table below. Subjectively, colors appear deep and text is sharp on the native 1080p resolution. However, the panel here is grainier than many other matte displays on higher-end gaming notebooks. This is most obvious when displaying a white background, so brighter images and web pages do not appear as clean as they could have been.

We also noticed a moderate amount of backlight bleeding on the bottom corners of our test unit. Eurocom assures us that the display may have been pinched during shipment. Regardless, the eDP display in its entirety is end-user replaceable as with most other Eurocom notebooks.

301
cd/m²
335.3
cd/m²
322.2
cd/m²
291.8
cd/m²
314.6
cd/m²
301.9
cd/m²
278
cd/m²
291.7
cd/m²
308
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 335.3 cd/m² Average: 304.9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 83 %
Center on Battery: 258.1 cd/m²
Contrast: 1070:1 (Black: 0.294 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.68 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 3.34 | - Ø
92.7% sRGB (Argyll) 60.3% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.16
Eurocom Armadillo 2Lenovo U41-70Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2015Acer TravelMate P645-S-58HKDell Latitude E7450
Screen
-71%
-14%
-15%
-5%
Brightness
305
222
-27%
246
-19%
309
1%
257
-16%
Brightness Distribution
83
84
1%
95
14%
82
-1%
75
-10%
Black Level *
0.294
0.42
-43%
0.426
-45%
0.4
-36%
0.3
-2%
Contrast
1070
583
-46%
592
-45%
828
-23%
933
-13%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.68
9.55
-160%
3.8
-3%
4.07
-11%
3.45
6%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.34
10.73
-221%
2.92
13%
4.86
-46%
3.35
-0%
Gamma
2.16 111%
2.34 103%
2.08 115%
2.49 96%
2.37 101%
CCT
6548 99%
12167 53%
6070 107%
6109 106%
6940 94%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
60.3
38
-37%
50.41
-16%
59
-2%
60
0%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
92.7
60
-35%
90.6
-2%
92
-1%

* ... smaller is better

Color coverage from the WLED backlight is 92 percent of sRGB and 60 percent of AdobeRGB. This is better than most mainstream displays where roughly 60 percent of sRGB and 40 percent of AdobeRGB are common. The wide gamut ensures deeper colors are possible on the Armadillo 2 should users demand it for professional graphics work.

vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. Lenovo U41
vs. Lenovo U41
vs. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
vs. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Further display measurements with an X-Rite spectrophotometer reveal a generally accurate grayscale, but colors at tested saturation levels are very inaccurate out-of-the-box without calibration. After performing our calibration, however, both grayscale and color improve across the board. The data shows that colors become increasingly more inaccurate at higher saturation levels, which indicates a less-than-perfect sRGB spectrum coverage.

Grayscale pre-calibration
Grayscale pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
Grayscale post calibration
Grayscale post calibration
Saturation Sweeps post calibration
Saturation Sweeps post calibration
ColorChecker post calibration
ColorChecker post calibration

Outdoor visibility is limited despite the wide viewing angles from the IPS panel and matte display to reduce glare. Maximum display brightness drops by roughly 50 nits when disconnected from an AC power source, so users cannot take full advantage of the backlight when outdoors.

Display under direct sunlight
Display under direct sunlight
IPS panel for wide viewing angles
IPS panel for wide viewing angles
Backlight bleeding on bottom edge
Backlight bleeding on bottom edge

Performance

Turbo Boost up to 2.5 - 2.7 GHz
Turbo Boost up to 2.5 - 2.7 GHz

It has been almost two years since we published on the Clevo W840SU, so it's only natural that Eurocom outfits the Armadillo 2 with updated specifications. Our test model houses a Broadwell 2.2 GHz Core i5-5200U with integrated HD 5500 graphics. This is a common ULV core on many newer Ultrabooks including the XPS 13 and ThinkPad T450s. The only other option for our Eurocom is the slightly more powerful 2.4 GHz Core i7-5500U. There are no dedicated GPU options as this is not meant to be a gaming notebook.

RAM is configurable up to 32 GB via two SODIMM slots. LatencyMon shows no recurring latency spikes when wireless radios are active.

Processor

The ULV i5-5200U shows a clear lead over the previous generation i5-4200U by at least 10 percent according to CineBench. The advantage is slightly higher for multi-core processes since the newer Broadwell core is better able to maintain higher Turbo Boost speeds than its predecessor.

Is the higher-end Core i7-5500U worth the upgrade? CineBench scores between our Armadillo 2 and HP ProBook 850 G2 show a performance gain of roughly 15 percent in favor of the HP. The single-thread Super Pi and multi-thread wPrime tests also finish just slightly faster by about 5 or 6 percent. This is good for users who can take advantage of the additional headroom, but we think these users would be better off looking for notebooks with more powerful standard voltage cores.

For more benchmarks and details on the Core i5-5200U, see our dedicated CPU page here.

CineBench R10 64-bit
CineBench R10 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15 64-bit
CineBench R15 64-bit
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
4407 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
11423 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
5546 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
4466
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
5704
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4180
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
26.56 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
2.85 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.24 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
31.81 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
262 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
100 Points
Help
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit (sort by value)
Eurocom Armadillo 2
5546 Points ∼61%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
4951 Points ∼55% -11%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2015
5987 Points ∼66% +8%
HP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EA
6187 Points ∼68% +12%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
6493 Points ∼72% +17%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit (sort by value)
Eurocom Armadillo 2
11423 Points ∼28%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
9835 Points ∼24% -14%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2015
11069 Points ∼27% -3%
HP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EA
13267 Points ∼32% +16%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
18887 Points ∼46% +65%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Eurocom Armadillo 2
1.24 Points ∼56%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
1.14 Points ∼52% -8%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2015
1.32 Points ∼60% +6%
HP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EA
1.41 Points ∼64% +14%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
1.46 Points ∼66% +18%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Eurocom Armadillo 2
2.85 Points ∼14%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
2.49 Points ∼12% -13%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2015
2.76 Points ∼14% -3%
HP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EA
3.25 Points ∼16% +14%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
5.29 Points ∼26% +86%
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Eurocom Armadillo 2
100 Points ∼45%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
99 Points ∼44% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2015
118 Points ∼53% +18%
HP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EA
122 Points ∼55% +22%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
125 Points ∼56% +25%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Eurocom Armadillo 2
262 Points ∼14%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
223 Points ∼12% -15%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2015
250 Points ∼13% -5%
HP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EA
303 Points ∼16% +16%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
490 Points ∼26% +87%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m (sort by value)
Eurocom Armadillo 2
573.245 s * ∼7%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
790 s * ∼9% -38%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2015
627.9 s * ∼7% -10%
HP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EA
538.202 s * ∼6% +6%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
323 s * ∼4% +44%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - --- (sort by value)
Eurocom Armadillo 2
714.557 Seconds * ∼3%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
849 Seconds * ∼4% -19%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2015
679 Seconds * ∼3% +5%
HP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EA
674.062 Seconds * ∼3% +6%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
569.349 Seconds * ∼3% +20%

Legend

 
Eurocom Armadillo 2 Intel Core i5-5200U, Intel HD Graphics 5500, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF mSATA
 
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614 Intel Core i5-4200U, NVIDIA GeForce 820M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
 
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2015 Intel Core i5-5300U, Intel HD Graphics 5500, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
 
HP EliteBook 850 G2 J8R68EA Intel Core i7-5500U, AMD Radeon R7 M260X, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
 
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50 Intel Core i7-4700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache

* ... smaller is better

System Performance

Synthetic PCMark benchmarks place our Armadillo 2 alongside other popular ultrathins including the latest MacBook Pro Retina 15 and Dell XPS 15. The high scores can be attributed to the primary SSD, which has a larger influence on PCMark numbers compared to a high-end GPU. Thus, our Eurocom is able to achieve similar scores to gaming notebooks like the older Alienware 17 and Qosmio X70.

For day-to-day use, programs launch quickly with little latency or significant delays as expected from SSD-based notebooks. OS navigation is smooth and error-free.

PCMark 7
PCMark 7
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 7 Score
5520 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3019 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
3204 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
3807 points
Help

Storage Devices

The primary mSATA and secondary 2.5-inch SATA III bays allow for easy upgrading. Our particular test model is equipped with a 256 GB Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF SSD and 1 TB Hitachi HGST HTS541010A7E630 HDD. Eurocom configures up to 1 TB for each bay, but RAID compatibility does not appear to be supported despite the dual SATA III slots.

SSD performance according to CrystalDiskMark is as expected from a standard SATA III drive with sequential read and write rates hovering around 500 MB/s. Overall results are almost identical to the 2.5-inch version of the same Micron M600 SSD. Meanwhile, the secondary 5400 RPM 1 TB HDD returns an average transfer rate of just over 83 MB/s according to HD Tune. This is good considering its slow rotation, but most 7200 RPM drives have transfer rates over 90 MB/s and slightly faster access times (18 ms vs. 16 ms).

See here for our growing benchmarks table of HDDs and SSDs.

CDM primary SSD
CDM primary SSD
CDM secondary HDD
CDM secondary HDD
HD Tune primary SSD
HD Tune primary SSD
HD Tune secondary HDD
HD Tune secondary HDD
Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF mSATA
Transfer Rate Minimum: 220.9 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 403.5 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 373.9 MB/s
Access Time: 0.1 ms
Burst Rate: 207.8 MB/s
CPU Usage: 2.3 %

GPU Performance

The Intel HD 5500 has been heavily benchmarked and tested across various notebooks. According to 3DMark 11, the graphics power on the Eurocom is similar to older dedicated GPUs like the GeForce GT 635M or GeForce 710M. The synthetic scores are in the same ballpark as most other notebooks we've tested with the same integrated GPU, if not better. This is due to its ability to maintain higher core clock rates in the Armadillo 2 under stress as detailed in our stress test section below. For example, the average HD 5500 in our database scores ~4842 points in 3DMark Cloud Gate while our Eurocom finishes with 5314 points.

For more comparisons, benchmarks, and technical data on the HD 5500, see our dedicated page here.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme
3DMark Cloud Gate
3DMark Cloud Gate
3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark 06 Standard
7790 points
3DMark 11 Performance
1224 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
56957 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
5314 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
767 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
351 points
Help
low med. high ultra
Guild Wars 2 (2012) 42.614.36.1fps
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (2013) 114.644.125.29.1fps

Stress Test

We run synthetic stress benchmarks to gauge the stability and performance of the notebook under extreme processing conditions.

With just Prime95 active, the i5-5200U CPU in our Armadillo 2 is able to operate at a consistent 2.5 GHz Turbo Boost clock rate and at a maximum core temperature of ~70 C. With just FurMark active, the integrated HD 5500 GPU runs at a stable 700 to 750 MHz range and at a maximum core temperature of ~72 C.

With both Prime95 and FurMark active simultaneously, the system begins to throttle. More specifically, the CPU remains constant at just 1.4 to 1.5 GHz, while the GPU is unfazed at 700 to 750 MHz. Core temperature maxes out at 75 C.

The system throttles under Unigine Heaven stress as well, although not as severely. The GPU, for example, remains at the 850 to 900 MHz range. The CPU runs at the 2.5 to 2.6 GHz range initially for the first minute or so into the test, but will quickly drop to the 1.4 to 1.5 GHz range once core temperature hits 70 C. This suggests an imposed performance limitation based on core temperature to prevent any permanent damage to the hardware.

GPU performance throttles when running on battery power. The GPU is at a constant 450 MHz clock rate and temperature averages 55 C when running Unigine Heaven. A 3DMark 11 run returns CPU and GPU scores of 3497 points and 795 points, respectively, compared to 1091 points when on mains.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Full stress
Full stress
Unigine Heaven stress
Unigine Heaven stress

Emissions

System Noise

50 mm system fan
50 mm system fan

The cooling system consists of a single fan and heat pipe. While this sounds unsubstantial, the heat pipe itself is especially large for a non-gaming 14-inch Ultrabook.

Fan noise is unfortunately always audible. The built-in fan settings allow for Custom, Automatic, and Maximum modes. We were able to get fan noise down to about 33 dB(A) at the very minimum, but this would cause the fan to pulsate between 33 and 36 dB(A) more frequently even when the notebook is idling on desktop. On Automatic mode, minimum fan noise is more consistent at 36 dB(A). Even so, this is quite loud compared to most modern 14-inch notebooks where 30 dB(A) is the norm when under similar conditions. Thus, the Armadillo 2 is less than ideal for classroom or library work.

Gaming will slowly bump fan noise to over 40 dB(A) and up to almost 47 dB(A). If Maximum fan mode is enabled, fan noise will remain consistent at 48 dB(A). These maximum values are quite high for a notebook with no dedicated graphics.

Noise Level

Idle
33.3 / 35.9 / 36 dB(A)
Load
44.4 / 48 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Much of the generated heat is concentrated on surfaces adjacent to the heat pipe. Since the heat pipe is mostly on the right side of the notebook, one side of the Armadillo 2 will always feel warmer than the other when under high processing loads. We were able to measure almost 55 C on the hottest spot on the bottom of the notebook. Meanwhile, the right-hand side of the keyboard can be almost 10 C warmer than the left-hand side. Competing notebooks like the X1 Carbon or Latitude 14 E7450 tend to have much lower surface temperatures under similar conditions.

Otherwise, surface temperatures on the Armadillo 2 are generally flat when under typical daily loads. The bottom rear will become warm quite quickly, but not alarmingly so.

Max. Load
 36.8 °C44.2 °C44.6 °C 
 34 °C39.6 °C43.4 °C 
 30.6 °C28.8 °C32.8 °C 
Maximum: 44.6 °C
Average: 37.2 °C
46.6 °C54.2 °C44.2 °C
48.2 °C54.2 °C37.8 °C
34.8 °C32.4 °C30.4 °C
Maximum: 54.2 °C
Average: 42.5 °C
Power Supply (max.)  46.6 °C | Room Temperature 24 °C | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer

Speakers

Speaker grilles
Speaker grilles

Sound quality from the 2 Watt stereo speakers are good for the size, but lackluster overall. Sounds are loud and clear with no static or distortions regardless of volume. Of course, bass is severely lacking, so external 3.5 mm solutions are recommended for a better audio experience.

Battery Life

The 4-cell 2950 mAh Li-Ion battery pack is of the same capacity as the one on the older Clevo W840SU with no other sizes available. The module is easily removable from the rear of the unit unlike on many Ultrabooks today.

Runtimes are slightly below average compared to the 14-inch ThinkPad X1 Carbon, TravelMate P645, and Latitude E7450 under similar testing conditions. All notebooks have ULV Haswell or Broadwell processors, but these competing models also have higher capacity batteries than our Eurocom by about 20 percent.

Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
WLAN test
WLAN test
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
10h 28min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
4h 06min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 25min
Eurocom Armadillo 2
44.6 Wh
Lenovo U41-70
30 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2015
50 Wh
Acer TravelMate P645-S-58HK
54 Wh
Dell Latitude E7450
54 Wh
Battery Runtime
-16%
23%
59%
22%
Reader / Idle
628
544
-13%
984
57%
1143
82%
714
14%
Load
145
100
-31%
141
-3%
113
-22%
115
-21%
WiFi
401
459
WiFi v1.3
246
233
-5%
285
16%
535
117%
422
72%

Pros

+ Strong chassis
+ 2x Internal storage bays
+ Up to 32 GB RAM
+ Easy end-user maintenance
+ Deep and accurate colors
+ Removable Li-Ion battery
+ Thin

Cons

- Only 2x USB and 1x video-out
- No keyboard backlight
- CPU throttling on Unigine Heaven
- Larger footprint (length x width)
- Roughly-textured touchpad; Soft mouse keys
- Loud system fan
- Heavy

Verdict

In Review: Eurocom Armadillo 2. Test model provided by Eurocom.
In Review: Eurocom Armadillo 2. Test model provided by Eurocom.

Clevo is at its best when offering large, high-end barebones with enthusiast-level hardware and expandability. The Eurocom Armadillo 2 is on the opposite end of the spectrum as its small Ultrabook form factor has taken away most of what make Clevo notebooks attractive.

Of course, comparing the 14-inch Armadillo 2 to mobile workstations and gaming notebooks would be unfair. However, even competing Ultrabooks of similar screen size can offer more USB ports, more video-out ports, WWAN options, quieter fans, backlit keys, and longer runtimes than our Armadillo 2. Not only that, but most 14-inch Ultrabooks are both smaller and much lighter than what we have here.

The Armadillo 2 is a tough recommendation as thinner and lighter Ultrabooks tend to offer more basic features while dedicated business notebooks are about the same size and just as strong with wider options.

The appeal of the Armadillo 2 lies in its rigidity and accessibility. Its chassis is very tough for the size and is almost as rigid as the magnesium-clad Latitude E7450. The display covers nearly all of the sRGB spectrum and hardware maintenance is generally painless. The dual storage bays, SODIMM slots, quiet keyboard, and removable battery are all especially appreciated. Lastly, support for 32 GB RAM is uncommon for a notebook this size.

The Armadillo 2 is a tough recommendation as thinner and lighter Ultrabooks tend to offer more basic features while dedicated business notebooks are about the same size and just as strong with wider options.

Eurocom Armadillo 2 - 07/30/2015 v4(old)
Allen Ngo

Chassis
85 /  98 → 87%
Keyboard
82%
Pointing Device
83%
Connectivity
58 / 80 → 73%
Weight
64 / 78 → 67%
Battery
87%
Display
86%
Games Performance
76 / 68 → 100%
Application Performance
79 / 87 → 91%
Temperature
83 / 91 → 91%
Noise
68%
Audio
70 / 91 → 77%
Average
77%
79%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Eurocom Armadillo 2 (Clevo W840AU) Notebook Review
Allen Ngo, 2015-07-30 (Update: 2015-08- 3)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.