PC Plus Magazine (August '03)
The Pegasus CT is the first laptop from Rock based
on Intel’s impressive technology, but can it live
up to the Intel sale sheet?
As Centrino continues to make an impact, more manufacturers
are rolling out laptops based on Intel’s technology.
The Pegasus CT is the first such machine from Rock,
positioned alongside the Company’s existing P4-M-based
Xeno, and P4-powered Quaddra models. With the entry-level
Pegasus CT packing a 1.3GHz Pentium-M, 256MB RAM, and
a 30GB HD, the new range steps up through 1.4GHz and
1.5GHz portables to a CT with a 16GHz chip, 512MB Ram
and a 40GB HD.
This review model slots in £200 cheaper than
the PCT-1.6, featuring the slightly slower 1.5GHz Pentium-M
processor. Comparable to a 2GHz P4-M, the 1.5GHz chip
has enough grunt to handle most business and multimedia
applications you care to throw at it. With 512MB of
RAM and a 40GB hard disk, it forms the heart of a solid
specification. Want more? Up to 1GB of RAM can be fitted
if required, while the HD can be boosted from the standard
40GB drive supplied here, up to 80GB.
With a 1MB L2 cache and the lower voltage/high -
power Pentium-M, the Pegasus CT should deliver excellent
all-round performance. Especially if its Centrino guts
live up to their potential. In benchmarking tests with
MobileMark 2002, it doesn’t disappoint, posting
a score of 143. To put this number in perspective, Rock’s
blue-tinged portable is a better-balanced system than
some of the higher-end P4-M systems we’ve seen
recently. It’s also on a par with the Asus M2N,
thanks in no small part of battery life of over four
hours and a MobileMark rating of 149.
Working faster for longer….
Measuring 315x275x25mm, the Pegasus CT is certainly
portable. It’s also lightweight, tipping the scales
at only 2.4kg. But despite its thin 25mm height, it
still feels surprisingly chunky. This is a shame, because
one of the biggest draws of a machine like the Pegasus
CT is its ability to work faster for longer.
The 14.1 inch XGA TFT display (1,024x768) is undoubtedly
crisp and clear, and there’s room for a combo
QSI DVD/CD-RW drive on the right-hand side. We’ve
come to expect two USB 2.0 ports as standard, but Rock
go one better and incorporate three. A 4-pin Firewire,
LAN and modem jacks, plus a single Type II PCMCIA interface
complete the main features. And, of course, as a proud
Centrino-badged laptop, the Pegasus CT comes with Intel’s
Pro/Wireless 2100 chipset for 802.1Ib wireless networking.
But far from ‘Extreme’
If anything lets this machine down, it’s the
graphics performance. True, laptops rarely impress under
testing. They often ‘tolerate’ multimedia
applications and games rather than running them with
any enthusiasm. Using Intel’s 855GM board, Rock
has opted for the unimpressive power that the integrated
Intel Extreme Graphics 2 chipset can provide. It’s
a cheaper but less powerful option than a dedicated
graphics processor such as the GEForce4 Go or Mobility
Radeon. Consequently, it musters a poor 1,843 in 3Dmark
Running Windows XP Pro, the PCT-1.5 package also includes
a copy of Ability Office 2002, Panda Antivirus software,
and a leatherette carry case - a minimum suite
to get you started. Alongside a row of CD control buttons
on the slim front edge (complete with electric blue
LEDs), its also worth noting that Rock has also added
a 4-in-1 card reader, that can access data on MS, SM
and SD/MMC flash media formats.
Despite the fact that it boots up with an ear-splitting
beep and lacks the smooth style of some other laptops,
the Pegasus CT proves a good mobile performer. Good
basic speed is combined with a decent battery life,
and 802.1lb for extended mobility. The combo DVD/CD-RW
drive and flash card reader, complement this, giving
it a multimedia edge in short: a good configuration,
at a competitive price.
||Rock Pegasus CT 1.5
|| Good system performance. A four hour battery
life. 4-in-1 flash card reader.
||Chunky Design. Poor Graphics Performance.
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