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

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PC Home (May '04)

Rock Extreme comes out on top with the bad boy Xtreme

Plenty of Rock notebooks have passed through the PC Home offices and we’ve yet to be disappointed as they are among our favourite manufacturers. This fancy new system continues the trend with its classy looks and powerful components.

First Impressions
Rock is extremely proud of the treatment given to the distinctive finish of the Xtreme. Available in three colours of automotive paint (‘bad boy’ black, metallic green and red), it is put through an extensive process of buffing and sanding. This means that both the outer casing and inside of the machine are smooth, glossy and attractive compared to the standard grey and blue of other notebooks. The keyboard is large and easy to use and tilted for comfort when typing. The touchpad is good, but the buttons look a little cheap and out of place.

It’s amazing how much Rock has managed to squeeze into the diminutive casing of the Xtreme. The 3.2GHz P4, 1GB DDR RAM and 60GB HDD gave a very impressive 285 points in SysMark and gaming is made possible thanks to 128MB RAM assisting the 9600 Mobility graphics card and sharp monitor. While a 15” display may be a little on the small side for some, it’s capable of an impressive 1400 x 1050 resolution. The quality is spot on and is among the very best here - it’s impossible to notice any difference between this and the excellent Sony displays. The only downer is the battery life, which was around 45 minutes during heavy use, no doubt due to the power requirements of the P4 CPU.

The Xtreme was the most powerful notebook we tested and Rock has managed to fit a slew of useful extras in a relatively small (but heavy) package. It has everything you’d need in one place and is more portable than the similarly specified Toshiba and quieter than the ACi, (although both of these include 17” displays that dwarf the 15” monitor of the Xtreme).

Rock provides its usual package of applications with the Xtreme, which includes Ability Office 2002, WinDVD and Panda Anti-Virus. Also thrown in is a copy of the Bad Boys 2 computer game (for a limited time only).
Expansion and communication options are impressive, with PCMCIA, four USB2 ports, 802.11g wireless LAN, Gigabit LAN, modem, firewire, parallel and TV-out. There’s also and optional card reader to replace the standard floppy disk drive and a built in CD player function that works without the system booting into windows.

VERDICT: It’s pricey but the Xtreme makes up for this with a great performance. One of the best gaming and high performance notebooks money can buy

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All Xtreme reviews

Xtreme - Stuff Magazine (Sept '04)
Xtreme - What Laptop (Sept '04)
Xtreme - Computer Shopper (Sept '04)
Xtreme - Computer Buyer (July '04)
Xtreme - PC Home (May '04)
Xtreme - Personal Computer World (Jun '04)
Xtreme - Computer Active (Apr '04)
Xtreme - Computer Shopper (Apr '04)
Xtreme - PC Pro (Jan '04)
Xtreme - What Laptop (Dec '03)

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