PC Pro Magazine (May
Verdict: The compact Rock is one of the most feature-packed
notebooks here and it comes with an excellent warranty.
Only the hard disk and keyboard layout count against
Rockdirect bases the Pegasus CTS on a small chassis
manufactured by Clevo, the same Taiwanese company that
AJP and ACi use for their notebooks this month. This
chassis, the M3C to be precise, is much better than
the D410 used by the other two. Not only is it considerably
slimmer, but the keyboard is more solid. And the XGA
screen might be the same resolution as the ACi’s,
but it has none of the grain and is slightly brighter
Even when the two fans are running, the Pegasus is
one of the quietist machines on test. Like several
others, the wristrest gets warm after a little use,
but it’s not uncomfortable. The fan cools a 1.4GHz
Pentium M chip, which managed 1.19 in our benchmarks - practically
the same as the identically equipped Hi-Grade. However,
note that the 512MB of PC2100 RAM takes up both slots.
Also counting against the Rock is the 30GB hard disk.
Most of the other manufacturers have fitted 40GB units,
while Dell goes one better at 60GB. That said, rockdirect’s
combo drive can re-write CD-RWs at 24x, which is as
quick as the best on test. If you need to write to
higher capacity DVD disks, rockdirect offers a DVD
writer for £100. This is about average for the
upgrade with NEC and ACi charging over the odds, while
Mesh and Evesham are £11 and £15 cheaper
respectively. Although currently fitted with an 802.11b
wireless radio, the Pegasus CTS will be upgraded for
free to Intel’s new 802.11b/g version of Centrino
by the time you read this. The current wireless solution
hardly affected the intensive battery test at all,
and the machine lasted a colossal two hours, 24 minutes - a
good 19 minutes longer than anything else. The DVD
test and light use battery lives weren’t quite
so impressive, but it still lasted over three hours
in the latter.
Like the AJP, Rock has a camera fitted above the screen.
This captures video at 640 x 480 and is ideal if you
regularly use video conferencing. Unfortunately both
the camera and wireless connection share the same power
button, so can’t use one without the other. The
power for both is on by default, and a trip to the
BIOS is necessary to swap the option over - important
for extending battery life.
The only reason you might want to avoid the Rock is
because of the keyboard layout, which takes a bit of
getting used to. Thankfully the three-year, collect -and-return
warranty easily makes up for this: it’s the best
cover on test, and it’s insurance backed. Considering
the reasonable software bundle as well, the Pegasus
CTS is a good choice if you need a more portable machine
than the Dell.
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