What Laptop Magazine (Sepember
In brief: A clean-looking
compact chassis that manages to disguise how powerful
it really is.
rockdirect is a UK-based company that
specialises in laptops, offering a range of machines
from entry-level to gaming specific (for the latest
Xtreme review see page 93).
The rockdirect Pegasus Ti (£1761
inc. VAT) is the latest addition to its desktop replacement
range. The casing of the Pegasus Ti has a simple clean
look that comprises black and silver toughened plastic.
Build quality is satisfactory, but not as good as some
of the other machines in this review group. Considering
this is the most portable machine here, the protection
behind the screen could have been better.
The system has a 15.4-inch widescreen
display that supports a native resolution of 1280 x
800 pixels. As you would expect from a laptop that is
intended to be used as a desktop replacement, the graphics
subsystem is at the top end of the market with an Ati
Mobility Radeon 9700 and 128MB of dedicated VRAM. In
this machine its test score sits narrowly above the
average with 10187, and it will handle the latest DirectX
9 compliant games.
The basic design is proving a popular
choice with manufacturers, as the same casing is also
available from AJP and Evesham. That said, the Pegasus
Ti is the first version of this chassis that we have
seen fitted with Intel’s fastest Pentium M processor,
the 755, which has a clock speed of 2GHz. The processor
is supported by 1024MB DDR SDRAM and the laptop comes
with a 60GB Hitachi hard drive that runs at a fast 7200rpm.
Such a specification is more than capable of handling
tasks previously restricted to a desktop PC. This was
borne out by a MobileMark 2002 score of 232, the highest
of the group. One reason why new mobile processors are
gaining such high benchmarks is that they have a large
amount of high-speed cache memory on-board (2MB in the
Pentium M 755 chip), which speeds up data fetching.
They are also very power-efficient, helping this machine
to gain third place in the battery life tests with 174
minutes. At just less than three hours it won’t
let you work all day away from mains power, but when
combined with the 3kg weight = which is modest for a
widescreen laptop - the Pegasus Ti is relatively
Thanks also to the mobile processor,
the Pegasus is a quiet machine, due to very little fan
activity. We found that the fan would activate for no
longer than a second whenever the system was taxed,
such as when transferring large files.
The keyboard is of a good size with
the keys well spaced. However, over prolonged use we
found that they proved to be slow and unresponsive -
quick touch typists will certainly be disappointed by
the overall quality of the keyboard, this is Pegasus’s
weakest feature. Speakers are located either side of
the keyboard, with one on the bottom of the unit to
give better bass. While playback is still tinny it seems
that audio is something that manufacturers are at least
trying to address. S/PDIF, min-FireWire, microphone
and headphones sockets are located on the front of the
case along with memory card reader that accepts SD/MMC
and MJS-format cards.
The optical drive bay of the Pegasus
feels as though it was designed for a try drive as opposed
to the slot-loading DVD-RW/RAM drive that is fitted.
This is because the drive bay is recessed, creating
an overhang that can make slotting a disc in rather
awkward. The drive itself proved quick and responsive,
although it was quite noisy.
The rockdirect Pegasus Ti is a fast
machine. It’s specifications and performance certainly
tell a convincing story, and it’s the fastest
machine in this group. However, the build quality wad
a little below par and we didn’t like the unresponsive
nature of the keyboard. It is early days for this chassis
and we expect that these problems will be resolved,
making this a powerful, compact package.
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