Pegasus TL - What Laptop (Jan '05)
IN BRIEF: Great portability but poor graphic performance makes the rockdirect a good choice for mobile business users
Set up in 1992, UK based rockdirect has built a good reputation for itself through the manufacturing of a range of laptops, aimed at business, home and educational consumers. With the rockdirect Pegasus DTS desktop replacement system grabbing a silver award last month, this month we take a look at the Pegasus TL (821 inc. VAT), rockdirect’s newest budget model.
Built around a similar set of specifications as the Hi-Grade Notino C7000 1600, the Pegasus TL manages to squeeze all of its technology into a much smaller chassis. This makes it by far the most compact and portable system in the group. Weighing a mere 2.1kg, this is a laptop built with mobility in mind, and won’t represent any hindrance while working on the move. In comparison to the rest of the group, this puts it leaps and bounds ahead in some areas, since many people will be buying a laptop purely for its mobility factor.
With the same Intel 1.6GHz Pentium M 725 processor and 2MB of Level 2 Cache as the Hi-Grade Notino, the Pegasus TL also packs 256MB DDR SDRAM and a 40GB Fujitsu hard drive, to make it the equal of its nearest rival. However, the rockdirect is not lucky enough to benefit from ATi Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics support, so the shared Intel 855 chipset was bound to highlight a difference between the two machines. This was noticed in both our benchmark tests, and in one more than the other. To assess mobile performance, our MobileMark 2002 tests produced a score of only 143; not the most impressive display in the group, but certainly adequate for accomplishing basic laptop based tasks. Only 17 points below the almost identical Hi-Grade, this deviation in ability could only have come from the less capable graphics adapter, since MobileMark 2002 focuses on graphics capabilities in only the most basic way. Under 3Dmark 2001 SE graphics tests though, the difference in specifications couldn’t be more obvious. While the ATi Mobility Radeon 9700 of the Hi-Grade Notino helped the system attain a score of 10040 - enough to ensure contemporary gaming ability - the Intel 855 chipset of the rockdirect was only able to amass a mere 2642 points. While this is a satisfactory score for a laptop with an integrated solution, it is not powerful enough to be able to cope with modern gaming or multimedia applications, this performance limits the Pegasus TL to tasks that don’t require any significant graphical ability, and makes it more suited to work than play.
In terms of build and usability, the rockdirect adds more credence to its status as a truly mobile system, by incorporating a study build quality and good user interface into its portable chassis. Only the mouse buttons draw points away from the system’s usability, since they are recessed from the body of the main unit, making quick access more tricky than would be preferable. However, the keyboard is a pleasure to use, and again surprises for such a small laptop.
With graphical abilities languishing far below the standard set by every other system in the test, the new rockdirect is completely out of its depth in direct comparison. However, as a portable work system, there is still much to recommend the Pegasus TL. A decent level of mobile performance, as well as the most portable design in the test, means that the Pegasus TL makes a great choice for small business users with one foot constantly on the road.