Business Education
* reviews : Xeno-m - PC HOME Magazine (April '03) Login
Reviews - Current section
About us
Contact us
Job Vacancies
Did you know?

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

* * *
* * *


PC Home Issue 133 (April '03)

Rock prove that size isn’t everything

Out of all of the computer and technology companies we know, Rock has to be the most under-rated. They have been making laptops for many years, made the first commercially available full-colour laptop monitor and yet still have not gained the following they deserve. The Xeno-m, as well as being the thinnest and lightest notebook in our test, is allegedly the thinnest P4 laptop in the world. Not having the opportunity to check this out completely, we are going to take Rock’s word for it, but it is easy to believe when you see the Xeno-m. Next to the Hi-Grade Notino, it is perhaps the most attractive model we’ve seen recently, with a dark blue, almost purple, lid, grey inside and titanium buttons throughout. The touch-pad is a good size and well placed, and the main inputs are large enough not to cause problems.

Compact but powerful
Of course, a good looking laptop is nothing without the power to back it up, so it’s fortunate that Rock have put some thought into what is driving the Xeno-m. Inside its diminutive case is a mobile Pentium 4 2.0GHz processor, assisted by a hefty 512Mb DDR-RAM and 40Gb Hitachi hard disk. Graphics are provided by the SiS 650 chipset, which isn’t surprising for a device of this price and dimensions, but mildly disappointing nonetheless. If nothing else, Rock has always given their laptops a high-quality display, and there’s no change with this. With all of its 14.1” clear and well defined, it’s easily among the best of this round-up. Because of its smaller size, there’s no floppy drive included, but a DVD/CD-RW combo is tucked into the side. The Xeno-m comes pre-loaded with a copy of PowerDVD for playing movies, but strangely lacks any kind of CD-burning software, something that is essential given there is no other convenient way of transporting files off of it. Protection of your system is supplied by the inclusion of Panda Anti-Virus, which is standard for all Rock models.

Perhaps the most pleasant surprise we had when testing the Xeno-m is the fact that it still manages to pack in quite a few connection options. There are in fact three USB ports (two on the right hand side and one on the left), a Firewire connection, S-Video, PCMCIA slot, PS2, external monitor, LAN and modem, as well as headphone and microphone socket on the front casing. Giving its smaller size, it easily stands up to, and embarrasses, some of the other models in this test. Almost matching the biggest notebook, the Pico, for connection methods and power.

If you’re looking for a powerful business machine that is incredibly compact, then the Rock comes out on top by some way.

Best for Business
If you want a laptop for business use, you not only need a reasonably high powered system for your office applications, but something that is easily portable. The Rock Xeno-m is the hands down winner here with its 2GHz processor and large HDD all of which is in one of the slimmest and sexiest packages we’ve seen for a long while. It’s a pricey system though, so if you’re looking for something a little less damaging to your bank balance, the Hi-Grade Notino 4400 also comes highly recommended.

MODEL Rock Xeno-m
PROCESSOR Intel 2.0Ghz P4-M
HARD DISK 40GB Hitachi
DISPLAY 14.1-inch TFT LCD (1024 x 768), SiS 650 (64Mb VRAM)
PORTS 1 x Type II PCMCIA, 3 x USB, S-Video, Monitor Out, IEEE 1394, IEEE 802.11b wireless LAN
OTHER 56K Modem, 10/100 Ethernet, Prism Wireless
DRIVES Slimline Matsushita DVD/CD-RW
OS Windows XP Professional
WARRANTY Three years RTB

Return to reviews index >>

All Xeno reviews

Xeno-m - Computer Shopper (August '03)
Xeno-SP - PC Plus Magazine (July '03)
Xeno-m - Computer Shopper (July '03)
Xeno-m - Computer Shopper (June '03)
Xeno-m - Computer Shopper (April '03)
Xeno-m - PC Home Magazine (April '03)
Xeno-m - PC Plus Magazine (April '03)
Xeno-m - Computer Shopper (March '03)
Xeno-m - What Laptop Magazine (March '03)
Xeno-m - PCW Magazine (March '03)
Xeno-m - PC Pro Magazine (March '03)
Xeno-m - Computer Buyer Magazine (February '03)
Xeno-m - What Laptop (February '03)
Xeno-m - TES (January 03)
Xeno-m - PC Plus Magazine (January 03)
Xeno-m - PC Pro Magazine (December '02)
Xeno-m - What Laptop (November '02)
Xeno - PC Advisor (June '02)

Return to reviews index >>