Rock Pegasus 210 review
Rockdirect is more commonly known for its monstrous gaming laptops, but the new Pegasus 210 sees a radical move to the opposite end of the size and power spectrum. It’s thin, weighs just 1.3kg and reminds us of Sony’s tiniest offerings design-wise, yet the £899 price is far below what you’d expect to pay for a top-end Sony model.
To get the worst point out of the way first, the 210 doesn’t have an integrated optical drive, so the low weight comes at a cost. An external USB DVD writer can be added for £85, but carrying that around will somewhat negate the impact of this model’s ultraportability.
This hiccup aside, the Rock is an impressive piece of kit. It’s built around an ultra-low-voltage CPU, but rather than the Core-based choices of the HP and Philips it uses an 800MHz Intel A110 processor more commonly found in ultra-mobile devices.
A hefty 6hrs 18mins of light use is longer than all but the Sony, and this ULV processor means that even under intensive use it still lasted nearly four hours. It’s strictly a single-task machine, though, as the single gigabyte of RAM and benchmark score of 0.32 suggest. Working normally it’s absolutely fine, but it won’t remain responsive if you open more than a couple of applications at once.
Our review sample was a pre-production model, so Rock needs to iron out a few kinks – the chassis had a few weak points – but it will eventually have a glossier finish and the erratic touchpad will be fixed. The keyboard was a bit bouncy but generally usable, and the presence of a fingerprint reader, TPM module and smart card slot is welcome for business users. Rock is also looking to add an optional 3G module and solid-state hard disk at some point next year.
The less memory-intensive Windows XP is a sensible choice for the Pegasus 210, and you also get an excellent insurance-backed, three-year collect-and-return warranty. We can’t say for certain that the build quality issues will be resolved by the time it’s released, and it does lack power, but the Rock’s portability is promising.