CTS - What Laptop
Brief: An ultra portable at an ultra-affordable price
but can it safely go the distance?
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,
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