DTS - PC Pro
Business notebooks are rarely the most glamorous machines, but
Rock has hit on the perfect compromise with the Attractive Pegasus
DTS. True, it doesn’t have the lust- inducing allure of,
say, and Apple PowerBook, but it will win admiring glances on
smartness is the theme, and you wouldn’t be ashamed to take
this machine out in a meeting. In fact, the 15.4in widescreen
display makes it perfect for such occasions, although you might
find the horizontal viewing angles a problem if presenting to
a large group.
the good contrast, adequate backlighting and excellent definition
make the Pegasus ideal for work and presentations. It’s
a sham that the native resolution is only 1,280 x 800, but this
is still sufficient for two applications on-screen at once.
TFT is also good for DVD movies, and not just because of the wide-aspect
ratio. There were no problems with artifacts or dragging, and
it handles action impressively too. Our only complaint is that
the colour balance it a little too red on flesh tones. Film buffs
will also be excited by the Rock’s integrated 4.1 surround-sound
system, although the overall effect is a little disappointing.
Despite the subwoofer, there’s little bass response and
high frequencies sound muddled. There’s a reasonable amount
of volume, though, as well as a conveniently located headphone
socket for more discreet listening.
the Pegasus DTS isn’t exactly a home cinema replacement,
but it offers enough to watch a DVD movie when you’re on
the move and has the power you need when you get back to work
too. With it’s 1.7GHz Pentium-M, the Pegasus scored a nippy
1.49 in our 2D performance benchmarks, which is more than enough
for any office applications plus some serious number crunching.
There’s also 512MB of PC2100 memory to keep things running
smoothly, although this does take up the only SODIMM socket and
is shared by the integrated Intel graphics.
this point it’s also worth noting that this machine wasn’t
built with 3D gaming in mind. Scraping a score of 1,581 in 3Dmark2001
SE in 32-bit XGA, some older games will still tick along with
no problems but it simply won’t cut the mustard with recent
3D gaming is hardly a selling point for a business notebook, and
the Rock otherwise comes with everything you need. This includes
well though-out storage, with not only a 80GB hard disk but a
2x/1x DVD-RW and 16x/10x/24x CD-RW combo drive burner to boot.
keyboard layout is excellent as well, including separated cursors,
page navigation and function keys, not to mention sensibly sized
keys. It’s also comfortable to use, with a pleasingly light
touch and good depth of travel. It doesn’t make too much
noise, and you can happily type away without feeling self-conscious.
Best of all, it’s set in a solid chassis and exhibits virtually
no flexing or dipping even if your typing hard. The only real
area of concern with build quality is the lid, which, although
lockable by a switch, doesn’t offer fantastic protection
to the screen. A padded bag would be a sensible precaution if
you plan on moving it around a lot, especially as it’s 362
x 261 x 36mm (W x D x H) dimensions mean it’s not the most
convenient machine to slip into a rucksack.
looks can be deceiving, and the 3Kg weight is much less than you’d
expect. The occasional train journey or trip home is certainly
feasible too, with our extensive battery-use test yielding nearly
two-and-a-half hours away from the mains. Light use was more disappointing,
lasting just half an hour more - possibly due to the lack
of difference between highest and lowest brightness settings,
although its still adequate given the screen size and power on
despite the large chassis, it’s worth noting that there
are no serial or parallel ports, which is a problem if you need
to use an elderly peripheral. The ports are well laid out, though,
with the infrared port sitting at the front and the S-Video and
VGA outputs on the left. There’s also a single Type II PC
Card slot free, three USB 2 ports split between the side and back,
as well as a four-pin FireWire port. As an unusual finale, the
Pegasus also includes a camera nestled inconspicuously above the
screen, which can stake still or moving images at 640 x 480 -
great for videoconferencing.
widescreen notebooks are beginning to hit the market, and a 15.4in
widescreen TFT is an excellent compromise between size and portability.
This is also shared by HP’s Compaq nx 7000 (see issue 108,
p59), which offers more design verve, better 3D performance and
a higher- resolution screen for £1,229, but you’ll
have to settle for a 40GB hard disk and no DVD burner. That said,
you can compromise on the DTS’s specification to find a
price more suited to your budget - as low as £999.The
extra money on the Pegasus is difficult to justify, although -
as with all Rock notebooks - it does come with a tree-year,
collect-and-return warranty. If you’ve got the money, though,
this is a well put-together business notebook that’s certainly
worth a look.