PC Advisor (August
There’s no other way to put
it: the Quaddra Ti is simply the best notebook money
can buy. But boy do you need a lot of money. It’s
a no-holds-barred combination of the very best features
and specifications on the market. In fact, it laughs
in the face of budgetary requirements. Sadly, here
at PC Advisor we have to factor in such mundane things
when we test systems so the Quaddra Ti doesn’t
get our unqualified approval. But for anyone with bottomless
pockets, it comes highly recommended.
Rock’s Quaddra has exactly the same chassis
as AJP’s D870P (opposite) and is laden with a
similarly impressive feature set. This classy, black-and-silver
home-entertainment model is designed to cope with anything
you throw at it. The widescreen 17in TFT is the best
notebook display we’ve seen for watching DVD’s,
supporting a maximum resolution of 1,440 x 900.
There’s four card-reader slots supporting seven
formats, a built-in video camera and the Sony DVD-RW
DW-U54A drive - the best DVD writer ever to grace
a notebook. Built-in network and Bluetooth support
as well as superfast 802.11g Wi-Fi take care of connectivity.
In fact, the only area where the AJP D8700P genuinely
beats the Rock Quaddra Ti is in terms of hard drive
storage. That said, the Quaddra Ti’s 60GB is
about par for our Power notebook chart.
Another brilliant addition to the Quaddra Ti is ATI’s
256MB Radeon 9700 Mobility graphics setup. This is
the latest ATI graphics platform for notebooks, and
its inclusion future proofs the Rock for next-generation
gaming. We particularly enjoyed seeing the Radeon 9700
Mobility in action when combined with the clear 17in
screen, and we got some impressive frame rates on our
Quake III test - even at 1,600 x 1,200.
As a travelling companion the Quaddra Ti won’t
satisfy. It’s too heavy to carry around and the
processor isn’t equipped with mobile technology
so battery life is minimal. We tested this model with
MobileMark and it returned an average battery life
of 100 minutes. Its forte is as a desktop-replacement
system and here it excels, largely because Rock has
packed the Quaddra Ti with sheer power.
Combining a 3.4GHz Pentium 4 processor with 1GB DDR
RAM, the Quaddra returned a WorldBench 4 score of 127.
This may not be much faster than other Power notebooks
in our chart, but it’s good proof that the Quaddra
Ti is commited to good performance.
At this price you would expect to see your investment
protected by a solid guarantee, so we were pleased
to note that Rock’s costly Quaddra Ti is covered
by a generous three-year collect-and-return warranty.
When Rock’s technicians came up with the Quaddra
Ti they probably knew it was a model built for wish
fulfilment rather than common sense. We can but commend
their bravado. This notebook is unlikely to be a huge
seller but if you can afford it we’re green with
The little things that matter
If you don’t know your onions when you decide
to purchase a new notebook, it’s easy to miss
some of the specifications that go towards making a
model a worthy buy. Even semi-literate IT consumers
can bypass some of the hidden specifications, but it’s
the little extra’s that demonstrate how much
manufacturers have out in to their models.
Take the Quaddra Ti, for example. We’ve listed
the main specifications in the review, but take a closer
look and you’ll see that this model is tweaked
to perfection. While the 60Gb hard drive has an average
amount of storage, the spindle speed is an impressive
7,200rpm (rotations per minute). Most notebook hard
drives can only spin at 4,200rpm, meaning they can’t
access data as quickly. Ditto the DDR memory, which
has a bandwidth of 400MHz - currently the best
available for notebook memory.
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