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Reviews / Pegasus 665 - PC Plus
» PC Plus Hot List and Value awards

February 2007

Mobile Vista

Rock’s Pegasus 665 handles Vista with Style


We’ve been reviewing Vista-clad machines for a few months now, and the overriding shared factor has been the bugs. In terms of compatibility with older software – particularly games and 3D apps – the rock Pegasus 665 we received was in the same rather disappointing league.

It’s powerful GeForce Go 7600 stumbles through 3DMark06 with graphical glitches and sluggishness abounds, both as a result as Vista’s extra overheads and it’s less-than-complete graphics drivers. Doom3, one of the last OpenGL holdouts, is its usual jerky, clearly incompatible self. But all this is about to change. Once direct X 10 adds decent graphics support to Vista’s ready capable desktop, the big graphics cards manufacturers dish out updated drivers, we’ll be away. For everything else, the 665 is in a class of its own.

So what of rock’s first Vista attempt? Visually we’re quite excited. While rock as a small-scale system builder doesn’t have the budget to spring for the custom cases that make Dell and Sony machines so unique, it does have an eye for class. The OEM chassis is a perfect example of a well chosen design. It eschews the sprayed silver configuration, seemingly ubiquitous over the last few years, in favour of a much more subtle carbon grey. The trackpad is flush with the rest of the case, and there’s even a button to switch it off. Disabling the secondary mouse pointer while playing games is a pretty essential task. It’s not just for games; any laptop user who has tried to type a long document in Word will tell you.

Rock hasn’t dropped the ball on the screen, either. We’re tiring on seeing our own reflections in the massively reflective, deeply black display, but there’s no arguing with high contrast and extremely bright colouring. However, X-black style screens usually mean compromises have to be made, and we’re in similar territory here. Pressing a couple of fingers onto the top of the case leads to significant image bleed, and the viewing angle is a few degrees short of more expensive panels.

Slick OS handling
But it’s Vista that we’re here for, not quibbling about viewing angles. And we’re pleased to report that the 665 handles the Home Premium edition with grace and aplomb. With a performance index score of 4.5 ( one of the highest we’ve seen on any PC), the 665 proves itself as a responsive, clever machine. With it’s combination of Core 2 Duo T7200 (running at 2GHz) and 1GB RAM, it’s an absolute wonder to use, with none of the stuttering or glitching we’ve seen out of many other machines as we’ve followed Vista through it’s infancy. It feels faster than a MacBook Pro, slicker than Evesham’s first desktop efforts; this is the most impressive Vista experience we’ve had, at least up until the writing of this review.

Many of our fears have been put to rest after seeing the 665. even if you buy a PC in the next couple of weeks, it’s likely that Vista will run happily and give you no more hassle than XP, at least from a clean install. It’s not a system-hungry monster it could have been. With everything configurable it can be cut down, and that extra OS layer dealing with 3D hardware makes a massive difference to your affinity with Vista. We feel connected by Vista’s myriad visual improvements. Results might not be quite as sweet if you upgrade – that has been our experience thus far – so a new, certified machine seems to be the way to go. For £1,000, you really can’t go wrong.
Alex Cox.

PC Plus Verdict
4/5


Features 4/5
Performance 4/5
Value 4.5/5

© rockdirect 2006 | Descriptions and prices subject to change without notice. | | | ::
Rock Group PLC, 1 Collins Road, Warwick, CV34 6TF