reviews : SIGMA 500 - PC Advisor (April '00)

rockdirect are the UK's No1 Award Winning specialist Notebook manufacturer.

 

SIGMA 500

Recommended Award
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 model.

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.

MODEL Rock Sigma PIII 500
RATING 9/10
PRO'S very fast; high specification; good DVD drive.
CON'S doesn't have rock-star looks; inadequate sound chip.
VERDICT 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.
PROCESSOR Intel Mobile Pentium PIII 500MHz
RAM 128Mb
HARD DISK 6.4Gb
DISPLAY 14.1 XGA TFT
DRIVES 32xCD-ROM/6x DVD
OTHER Internal 56k modem
OTHER  
OTHER  
WARRANTY 1 Year Collect and Return
PRICE 1,499
WINSTONE N/A

PC Advisor Recommended

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All Sigma reviews

SIGMA SI - Interactive Magazine (April '02)
SIGMA SI - .net Magazine (December '01)
SIGMA SI - PC Utilities (December '01)
SIGMA SI - Computer Active (October '01)
SIGMA SI - PC Pro (September '01)
SIGMA SI - PC Advisor (July '01)
SIGMA SI - PC Basics (July '01)
SIGMA SI - Computer Active (June '01)
SIGMA SI - PC Home (June '01)
SIGMA SI - What Laptop (June '01)
SIGMA SI - PC Advisor (June '01)

SIGMA - What PC? (April '01)
SIGMA - PC Direct (September '00)

SIGMA 750 - Computer Shopper (August '00)
SIGMA 433 - Computer Shopper (August '00)
SIGMA 650 - PC Direct (July '00)
SIGMA 466 - PC Home (July '00)
SIGMA 500 - PC Advisor (April '00)

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