Business Education
* reviews : SIGMA SI - What Laptop (June '01) Login
Reviews - Current section
About us
Contact us
Job Vacancies
Did you know?

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

* * *
* * *


Gold Award
What Laptop (June '01)

The Sigma Si PIII is cast in magnesium alloy and finished in sliver and black and therefore has an appealing look. Powered by an Intel PIII 850Mhz processor, which is supported by 256KB of on-die level 2 cache, this is the fastest processor, along with the Pico Systems’, under review. The Sigma offers specifications that are what you would expect from an Entry Level Laptop, having 128MB of SDRAM, which is upgradeable to a maximum of 512MB and a 10GB hard drive. Under test, these components gave reasonable test results, ending with an over-all benchmark score of 49.6, the second highest result within this group, making this more than suitable machine for general use.

The screen is a 14.1-inch TFT panel and has a native resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels. For office-based tasks, such as word processing and spreadsheets, we found it to be very clear and bright. We envisage that users would also be able to use this machine for mobile presentations. Supported, like many of the machines in this review group, by the SIS 630 graphics adapter, the display offers reasonable performance. Users wishing to take advantage of 3D games will be able to do so using the onscreen setup menu, which is particularly user friendly and very reliable.

The keyboard is of exceptionally high quality and is particularly pleasing to use. The keys are a good size and have a smooth action with a good deal of travel. The touchpad is rather small, as are the mouse keys, which are conveniently sculpted into the chassis. Sitting below the screen are three small programmable hotkeys that allow for instant access to e-mail, the Internet and a user-specified program. The setup utility for this is extremely easy to use.

The lithium-ion battery, under test, gave a respectable result of minutes. At just over two hours, this offers a degree of life away from mains power and should suit those requiring a machine suitable for presentations or, alternatively, for students with lectures to attend. Less appealing, thought, is the Sigma’s weight of 3.2kg, which tends towards the heavier end of the group review. The overall build quality of the Sigma Si PII 850 is good and it is a solid piece of kit that should survive a degree of wear and tear. To aid mobile workers, a carry case is included.

Sound is handled by the SiS 7018 sound adapter and offers reasonable quality. The Stereo speakers situated on the palm rest of the chassis are tinny in playback. In keeping with most of this month’s review models, the Sigma is supplied as a three-spindle machine, having internal floppy disk and 24X CD-ROM drives. Expansion is supplied using the standard legacy ports or the single Type II PC Card or two USB ports. The Sigma also features an IEEE 1394 port for fast data connection to such devices as external hard drives or digital cameras. We particularly like the inclusion of the Sigma’s Ethernet Adaptor, allowing users to connect to either a corporate or home network. Sharing the same housing is an internal 56kbps modem. At £1291, including VAT, we feel that the Sigma Si PIII 850 offers good value for money. Its specifications will meet the needs of most users, while the overall build quality is high enough for it to withstand the rigours of mobile life. Therefore, we find recommending the Sigma an easy task.

MODEL Rock Sigma Si
RATING Good specifications. IEEE 1394 port. Decent battery life
PRO'S .......
CON'S No obvious flaws
VERDICT A well specified, fast and extremely user friendly machine that is ideally suited to general office duties.
PROCESSOR Intel Pentium PIII 850MHz
RAM 128Mb
DRIVES 24 x CD-ROM Drive and Internal 3.5" 1.44Mb Floppy drive
OTHER Internal 56k modem
OTHER Internal 10/100mbps LAN
OTHER IEEE 1394 Firewire
WARRANTY 1 Year Collect and Return
PRICE £1,291. (INC. VAT)

What Laptop Gold Award


Return to reviews index >>

All Sigma reviews

Sigma Di - Computer Shopper Magazine (July '03)
Sgma Di - What Laptop Magazine (February '03)
Sgma Di - PC Home Magazine (February '03)
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)

Return to reviews index >>