reviews : SIGMA SI - Computer Active (October '01)

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



Buy It Award
Computer Active(October '01)

Stylish, svelte notebooks are prized accessories among city traders and high-flying business executives. Itís immediately obvious when you slide out the Rock Sigma Si Combo out of the box that it doesnít follow this trend. The Sigma is boxy where other are curvaceous, heavy where others are light and the sombre looks just wonít cut it in a West End wine bar. This is a notebook for the discerning computer user rather than the fashion victim.

For the Sigma, looks are less important than whatís under the bonnet. At just over 3kg, the sigma is no lightweight but as weíve already seen, thereís no point in buying this to pose with at parties. The mighty 1GHz Intel Pentium III processor and generous 256Mb of memory mark this out as a heavyweight computer. Itís no surprise at all that the performance of the Rock is barnstorming. The basic specification is topped off with a 20Gb hard disk which again, is a generous inclusion for a notebook computer of any price.

There is little point in having this power if you canít make use of it. Rocks know that there are plenty of notebooks on the market with that sort of specification, so it decided to make the Sigma a bit special. The key selling point is the DVD-ROM/CD-RW combination drive which is a feature normally found on desktop PCs. It allows you to use DVD-ROM software and watch DVD movies. The 14.1in TFT Screen operates at 1024 x 768 resolution. It isnít cinema quality but itís adequate for the odd film and excellent for normal everyday computing tasks.

DVD drives arenít that uncommon in a notebook PC but CD-RW drives are a different matter. They are more use than a DVD-ROM drive as they provide removable storage; the drive will back up data to CD-R and CD-RWs. The components Adaptec Easy CD 4 Software is also included. More modest removable storage is supplied in the form of the venerably floppy disk drive.

The Sigma is not shy of connectivity options either. It comes with a FireWire port, which is great if you fancy filling that generous hard disk with footage from a digital camcorder. Infrared and a TV-out connector mean that communication with IrDA mobile phones and handheld computers is no problem and neither is using your television as a display.

The only place the Sigma appears a little short changed is with the PC Card slots. There is only one Type II slot available and no Type III allocation at all. This may pose problems for notebook veterans with a range of devices such as a memory card readers and mobile phone modem. However, with a built-in network card and modem, Rock could argue that one slot is enough for all but the greediest buyers. Internet service provider selected by rock so its ready to surf straight out of the box.

If you choose to compute on the move, battery life will stretch to two hour, which is average for a notebook of this specification.

Other than Windows ME, Easy CD Creator and a copy of Internet Explorer alternative, Netscape Navigator 6, software is a bit thin on the ground. The package lacks bundled word processing and other office application, so be prepared to do some software shopping if you donít have any applications tucked away at home.

The Rock Sigma Si Combo is a practical machine that concentrates on doing everything well, rather than being a fashion victim. A midrange price tag and high-end features makes this a very tempting package.



MODEL Rock Sigma Si
PRO'S DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive, Big Screen, Plenty of ports
CON'S No office software
VERDICT This Rock ain't no crock, it's a belter
RAM 256Mb
DRIVES 8x DVD / 4x4x20x CD-RW Combo drive
OTHER Internal 56k modem
OTHER Internal 10/100mbps LAN
WARRANTY 1 Year Collect and Return
PRICE £1,409. (Inc. VAT)

Computer Active Buy It Award

Return to reviews index >>

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)

Return to reviews index >>