Pegasus CTS - What Laptop (Oct '04)

In Brief: An ultra portable at an ultra-affordable price but can it safely go the distance?

The rockdirect Pegasus CTS (£998 inc. VAT) may at first glance not be considered to be your average budget laptop as the 2.6kg machine looks more than an ultra portable. The slimmer form factor means that the Pegasus needs to use a mobile processor. rockdirect has opted to use Intel 1.7GHz Pentium M processor, which up until the release of the smaller Dothan chips was Intel’s flagship mobile processor. So, the use of it in a budget machine is something of a boon. Supported by 512MB DDR SDRAM and fitted with a 40GB Fujitsu hard drive, we were expecting a reasonable MobileMark 2002 score from this system. Therefore, we were disappointed by the 117 scored by the Pegasus.

Along with the processor, the Pegasus comes with the Intel 855 chipset and the use of the PRO/Wireless 2200 adapter, which offers connection to wireless networks using the 54Mbps 802.11g but is also backwards compatible to sit with 802.11b systems running at the slower 11Mbps data rate. These three elements together form the Centrino branding of the Pegasus. Weight is kept down by the use of a 14.1-inch TFT screen, which is the smallest panel size in this review but we found it more than usable. The use of the Intel chipset for integrated graphics is an obvious choice in such a laptop as this. Under test, the Extreme 2 adapter scored a 3D mark 2001 of 2372. This is poor in comparison to dedicated graphic cards but is a high score of an integrated solution.

Being an ultra portable machine, users will be expecting to use their laptop wherever they can. Therefore, battery life is an important part of the equation. The 192 minutes registered by the Pegasus offers over three hours and was the second highest score in this group test.

The build quality of the Pegasus was above average for what we have come to expect from a sub-£1000 machine. The single hinge connecting the screen to the main body was firm and held the panel in place. A degree of flexing on the back of the panel was evident but not enough to draw concern. The build quality of the main chassis was robust and should stand up to the rigours of mobile life. Less appealing was the loose rattle of the keyboard, most noticeable in the centre of the keyboard where there is less support. The touchpad and mouse buttons were of good quality, though.

Depending on how you intend to use your laptop, the addition of a webcam cam either be an advantage or merely an unused feature. However, we found it easy to use and it offered reasonable, if not outstanding quality.

The Pegasus is a two-spindle machine and offers the addition of a DVD/CD-RW combination drive located on the right-hand side of the chassis. rockdirect has bundled InterVideo Win DVD and Roxio Easy CD with the system, which allows for the Playback of DVD movies or making CD-Rs, respectively.

When people consider a budget la0top, their first thought is of a system that is reaching the end of its lifespan, with an ageing specification to match. With the aggressive pricing of UK companies such as rockdirect, this fallacy is constantly being proven wrong. The rockdirect Pegasus CTS (£998 inc. VAT) is a lightweight laptop that can effectively double as either a main computer or second machine.




< Go Back
  Go to