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Sigma Di

3/5 Stars
Computer Shopper (July '03)

The SDI-C2D is a new entry in Rock’s range of Sigma Di notebooks. It is designed to be a general-purpose system with reasonably portability and performance and, most importantly, a price that puts it within reach of those on a tight budget.

The Sigma Di’s chassis is compact, weighing 3.2kg and measuring 37x308x245mm,. Although this is not ultra-portable territory, the figures are respectable. The notebook also looks smart, with its silver chassis and the black inset housing the keyboard touch pad and screen. The keyboard is colour-coded into character and function keys and is responsive and well built, as is the touch pad. The speaker outlets are situated below the keyboard, and there is also a volume control wheel at the side and three hot keys for quick application launching.

The core configuration consists of a 2GHz Celeron processor, 256MB DDR RAM, a 20GB hard disk and the SiS 650 graphics chipset. Floppy and DVD/CD-RW combo drives are built into the chassis, and the 14.1” screen is without fault. The notebook does not have the strongest core configuration, as the benchmark results of 1,003 in the 3D Mark 2001 SE and 73 in the SYSmark 2002 show. However, if you don’t plan to play 3D games or run other demanding applications, this performance is reasonable. Battery life proved respectable in our Mobile Mark 2002 test as the Sigma lasted for around 130 minutes.

If you are looking for better performance and storage capacity, Rock offers a variety of hardware configurartions. For example, the same machine with a 30GB hard disk and Pentium 4 2.4GHz costs £998 including VAT. Visit the website for details of other configurations.

In addition to a carry case, Rock supplies copies of Ability Office, and Panda Antivirus Titanium. A comprehensive three-year collect and return warranty comes as standard. Connectivity options come in the shape of headphone and microphone sockets, infrared, a PCMCIA card slot, PS/2 parallel, modem, VGA, Ethernet, TV out, two USB ports and a six-pin IEEE-1394 (Firewire) port.

This is one of the cheapest notebooks around, due primarily to the core hardware configuration, which is about as basic as modern notebooks get. The SiS 650 graphics chipset is a common choice for budget notebooks and, while it isn’t powerful enough to handle 3D action games, it is nonetheless adequate for applications such as Office. Simarlily, the 256MB RAM allocation and 20GB hard disk are sparse. The 2GHz Celeron does keep the price down, but it simply doesn’t compare to the modern generation of Pentium 4 processors. The fact that the core processor isn’t a dedicated mobile chip also decreases the machine’s potential battery life.

Rock’ Sigma Di notebooks are reliable, and anyone looking for a basic Office productivity platform will be more than happy with this model. Those with more specific needs, such as gaming, should try one of the others in the range.

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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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