Rock Pegasus TL 1.7 review

£699
Price when reviewed

While the Toshiba M300 looks big but weighs only 1.7kg, the Rock Pegasus is smaller than average and weighs a surprising 2.1kg. Although its 40mm height puts it into ‘slim’ territory, its weight means you might think twice before getting out your credit card.

Rock doesn’t use a Low or Ultra Low Voltage processor, but the 1.7GHz Pentium M 735 supplies plenty of raw power. In our 2D application benchmarks, the score of 1.58 was helped by 512MB of PC3200 RAM and means the Pegasus should handle several applications at once. The RAM is split over two 256MB SODIMMs, though, and there are no free sockets for adding more.

A welcome sight at this price is the integrated (and speedy) NEC optical drive. It writes to all types of DVD media (except DVD-RAM), including dual-layer discs. DVD-R and DVD+R discs can be burned at 8x, making this one of the fastest writers on test. Removable storage continues with a card slot on the side, which can accept SD, MMC and Memory Stick cards. Unfortunately, the hard disk has suffered in the budget and there’s only a 40GB 4,200rpm unit.

There are three USB 2 slots on the sides of the Rock, with another hidden beneath the optical drive. On quizzing Rock, we discovered this was for attaching the optional £19 Bluetooth module.

Aside from the weight, the Pegasus is a pleasure to use. The keyboard has only the faintest amount of flex and all of the keys are full-sized. The 12.1in TFT has a native resolution of 1,280 x 800 and, although we have misgivings about its reflective surface, it offered decent image quality. Uniform brightness and decent viewing angles mean it’s one of the better glossy screens on test.

We measured a maximum temperature of only 28.8C on its base while it was working hard, and battery performance was acceptable at one hour, 42 minutes under an intensive load. Three hours, 54 minutes under light use is a decent result for this price.

Being heavier and bulkier than most, the Pegasus was always going to struggle in comparison to the sylph-like creatures we see elsewhere in this Labs. However, it does have other factors in its favour: it includes 802.11g Wi-Fi and a three-year collect-and-return warranty, which is also insurance-backed. The warranty easily beats that of the cheaper NEC, which only has a combo drive to the Rock’s DVD writer and doesn’t come with a carry case. If you can live with the weight, the Pegasus is a solid budget choice.

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