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

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Sigma Di

Silver Award
What Laptop Magazine (February 03)

Rockdirect serve up a combination of reliability and power in a familiar style.

Made from toughened plastic,rather than
magnesium alloy, the Sigma is well constructed.

rockdirect ’s Sigma range of laptops is the company ’s entry-level offering and manages to mix processing power and storage into a chassis that offers a number of appealing features. The Sigma Di (£1056 inc.VAT) shares a chassis design with two other laptops in this review, the sdIT Benton and the Viglen Dossier,and has proven to be a popular chassis for the past 18 months. While the chassis is beginning to show its age in terms of design, its connectivity options and performance are still impressive. Made from toughened plastic, rather than magnesium alloy, the Sigma Di is well onstructed.We expect that the casing should readily be able to stand up to the rigours of mobile life. Less impressive, though,was the support for the display. Held in place by three hinges, the Sigma ’s screen, unfortunately, tended to bounce rather aggressively when typing.The 14.1 inch TFT display is bright, even when running on battery power, and has a native resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels. The display is supported by the integrated SiS 650 graphics adapter, which uses system memory in order to run applications rather than using its own dedicated mem- ory.The adapter is adequate for 2D use, as shown by a 2D graphics benchmark of 173.1, which was well above the average for the group. Its 3D performance was less satisfactory and well below the average for the group of 155.7. The keyboard is firmly mounted in the chassis but being a membrane board there is a good deal of bounce,especially in the centre, where it is least supported.That said,we found the keyboard of the Sigma Di to be of better
quality than those of the sdIT SD Benton and the Viglen Dossier. The laptop ’s motherboard can support a maximum processor speed of 2GHz ,in this case a desk- top Pentium 4. While this offers no future upgrade path for the processor, many will find that this is sufficient. Under test, the Sigma scored a processor benchmark of 285.5, just above the average for the group. However, this was to be expected, given that all processors in this review were Pentium 4 chips but with speeds ranging between the 1.8GHz of the Samsung V20 XTC to the 2.6GHz of the Advent 7012.A large fan on the right-hand side of the chassis prevents the air inside the chassis from getting too hot. The processor is supported by 256MB of DDR SDRAM that is more than sufficient to run applications. The supplied operating system is Windows XP Home. Rockdirect has opted to bundle a selection of applications with the Sigma Di. Panda is an antivirus package that protects users who download files from the internet or receive email attachments.The 30GB Fujitsu hard drive offers plenty of space for stor- ing files and extra programs.For playing DVD videos there is a copy Intervideo ’s WinDVD,while for copying and recording CD-Rs,a ver- sion of Roxio ’s Easy CD Creator 5 has been installed. Being an older design of laptop, the Sigma Di is a three-spindle machine with a combination DVD/CD-RW drive located on the right-hand side of the chassis. Rockdirect is one of only two companies in the group, the other being MESH, which offer a three- year warranty at no extra cost. This covers the collect and return of the laptop but excludes the battery. Even so, considering that most manufacturers offer in excess of ten percent of the laptop ’s original cost or a warranty upgrade, this is a worth while addition. e found the Rockdirect Sigma i to be a very usable and powerful laptop while the movement of thedisplay pointed us, the clarity of the screen and action of the key-board were more than satisfactory, proving that while the Sigma maybe based on an older chassis design, it is still capable of offering good, all-round performance.

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All Sigma reviews

Sigma Di - Computer Shopper Magazine (July '03)
Sgma Di - What Laptop Magazine (February '03)
Sgma Di - PC Home Magazine (February '03)
Sigma SI - Interactive Magazine (April '02)
Sigma SI - .net Magazine(December '01)
Sigma SI - PC Utilities (December '01)
Sigma SI - Computer Active (October '01)
Sigma SI - PC Pro (September '01)
Sigma SI - PC Advisor (July '01)
Sigma SI - PC Basics (July '01)
Sigma SI - Computer Active (June '01)
Sigma SI - PC Home (June '01)
Sigma SI - What Laptop (June '01)
Sigma SI - PC Advisor (June '01)
Sigma - What PC? (April '01)

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