PC Advisor (April '00)
The Rock shares nearly all the same components and features
as the Pico but still manages to totally outclasses it - and
all the other Budget notebooks - mainly due to its sheer speed.
It flew through our WorldBench testing suite like a bat out
of hell, and picked up an excellent score of 224, which is
something the manufacturers of a number of the pricier Power
models should take heed of if they wish to stay competitive.
At £1,499, it only just sneaks into our Budget category (we've
lowered the cut-off point to £1,500 this month) but when you
consider the Sigma's specs you'll realise that it's well worth
the investment. The Pentium lll CPU runs at 500MHz and it
has a main memory of 128MB that can be upgraded to a sizeable
256. In fact, in typical fashion, every facility on the Sigma
demonstrated the manufacturer's commitment to well-placed
bits and bytes. The hard disk has a capacity of 6.4GB, the
dedicated video memory is 8MB and the CD/DVD-ROM drive operates
at 32x/6x, all of, which are great reasons to buy this Recommended
It did prove a little temperamental when we were installing
the software, and it's severely let down by having the Crystal
SoundFusion as its audio controller. However, the well-placed
audio speakers make up for the tinny sound. They're sensibly
placed out of palms reach, rather than, as is often the case,
either side of the trackpad where the hands rest on them and
cut out the sound during typing.
Mirroring a Power notebook, it has a USB port among its myriad
of other connectors, Internet capacity and a good inclusive
software package. If we're to be really picky - and a review
is the obvious place to do so - we noticed that the Rock didn't
exactly have Philippe Starck on the design team.
That said, while it might not look like much, the Rock offers
great functionality; never in a hundred years could this notebook
be accused of sitting there looking pretty but vacant. This
comparatively weighty (3.2kg) notebook offers heavy-duty equipment,
with the looks and performance to match.
||Rock Sigma PIII 500
|| very fast; high specification; good DVD drive.
||doesn't have rock-star looks; inadequate sound chip.
||The best feature of all is the price and, at just £1,799,
the Agenda should prove almost as light on your wallet
as your briefcase. An excellent deal.
||Intel Mobile Pentium PIII 500MHz
||14.1 XGA TFT
|| Internal 56k modem
||1 Year Collect and Return
PC Advisor Recommended
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