Pegasus DTS - Computer Active (Nov '03)
An impressive widescreen notebook, perfect for watching films on the move, with a few novel extras thrown in too.
The advent of DVD-ROM has led to many notebooks being designed with widescreen displays. These not only allow you to view DVD films as they were meant to look in the cinema but are also great for Windows tasks. For example, you can see far more data on a spreadsheet or have two Word documents or web pages open side by side.
As well as a 15.4in widescreen, the Rock Pegasus DTS has a 1.4GHz Intel Pentium M processor. This may seem a little slow by today’s standards, but this kind of mobile processor is designed to offer a balance between performance and battery life. Boosted by Centrino technology, which also helps to extend battery life, this notebook lasted for three-hours before needing a recharge. This isn’t the best we’ve seen for a Centrino notebook but considering the screen size, which is responsible for about a third of the power requirements in a notebook, it’s not bad at all.
Like the processor, the 256Mb of memory also doesn’t seem that much, especially considering the notebook’s price. Windows XP needs at least this amount to run smoothly, but 16Mb is immediately gobbled up by the integrated graphics, which suggests that 512Mb would have been a better option. Subsequently 3D Games will struggle as the graphics memory is almost non-existent.
The 30Gb hard disk is big enough for most, but if you do run out of room then the DVD/CDRW drive can be used to archive files. However, the Rock’s main selling point is its multimedia hardware. As well as the widescreen display and DVD drive, it’s also designed with surround sound audio and five on-board speakers, which is very rare for a notebook. Two speakers sit either side of the keyboard and a further two are built into the top half of the notebook. A small subwoofer is built into the bottom. Sound quality isn’t stunning but it’s far better than most and a nice extra for anyone wanting to watch films on the go. As previously mentioned, the Rock is equipped with Centrino technology, which means this notebook comes with integrated Wi-Fi, When you’re connected to a wireless network, a light is illuminated, which is a nice touch. There’s also a new e-mail notification light and three shortcut keys for access to the internet, e-mail and wireless networking. The latter provides a quick easy way to search for any wireless hotspots in your vicinity. A webcam is also integrated into the lid, allowing for simple video conferencing and the whole system isn’t that heavy either, weighing only 2.5kg.
If you want to connect the notebook to a TV or external monitor, you can do so with the included ports. There are three USB 2 ports and a FireWire socket. Rock has included some software to get you going as well. These include Ability Office, which makes a nice change from Microsoft Works and Panda Anti Virus, which is a necessity if you are going online. It also comes with a three-year, collect-and-return warranty and a carry case.
All in all, the Rock Pegasus DTS is a notebook built for multimedia fans. Memory and graphics have been traded for the surround sound speakers and a top-quality widescreen. There are cheaper Centrino notebooks around but not many that come with such a good display.
|| A nice system for multimedia but a little unbalanced.