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Quaddra DTS Pro

Laptop Magazine (May '04)

A third outing for a now familiar-looking chassis rings the changes. Where AJP and Mesh offer machines that deliver the basics and a little more for under £1,500, Rock is packing the same core design with plenty more features while adding over £200 to the cost. There’s more to make the Quaddra DTS Pro stand than its choice of colour - black and grey rather than white - though.

The single enhancement that accounts for the bulk of the price difference is a rewritable DVD drive, also found in HP’s similarly priced zd7050. The use of a recent Sony supplied mechanism means this drive cannot only write DVD-RW but also DVD-RAM, a format that will be familiar to many through its distinctive protective shell. Moore demanding users will also appreciate the provision of a full gigabyte of memory in this configuration, although the base model offers 512MB instead.

The main processor configuration is near the top of the line, combining a 3.2GHz Pentium with a Mobility Radeon 9600 and exploiting 128MB of dedicated memory. The set-up serves the Quaddra Pro well: our 3Dmark test yields a rating of 10,192 - second only to the HP zd7050 - although the MobileMark score of 159 is less impressive. Battery life in our testing clocks at a respectable 2 hours and 10 minutes.

It’s a standard feature of this chassis to offer five speakers, including a subwoofer to add audio ballast, but the Quaddra Pro goes a little further by offering an S/PDIF output for connecting the laptop to a surround sound system. As the name suggests, the machine’s DVD output supports the superior DTS playback format as well as Dolby 5.1.

Combine this with a set of speakers from someone like Creative and you’ve got an ideal second surround system away from the living room. Other common chassis features, such as the built-in video conferencing camera and the selection of media card slots are also included.

However, where the Quaddra DTS Pro does lose out against it most direct competition is in its lack of a wireless link, which has become especially important in the type of home to which this laptop is otherwise well suited. But capable performance married to an enviable set of features means that you wouldn’t miss your old desktop PC were you to import this instead.

VERDICT: Add a Wi-Fi link and the Quaddra DTS Pro could come out top of its class.
FOR: Feature-packed with webcam and media slots
Excellent DVD output for home cinema use
DVD burner with DVD-RAM support
BUILD: 8/10
VALUE: 7/10
POWER: 8/10


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All Quaddra DTS Pro reviews

Quaddra DTS Pro - Laptop Magazine (May '04)
Quaddra DTS Pro - 3D World (Feb '04)

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