Any innovation that extends a laptop’s battery life is welcome and the Rock Pegasus 650 packs one such feature. You can squeeze more out of the unit’s battery thanks to a switch that turns off the graphics chip.
This isn’t as drastic a measure as it sounds, as many designers will find the laptop perfectly usable when the ATI Mobility Radeon X700 chip is turned off. The motherboard has a built-in Intel graphics accelerator that takes over when you turn off the ATI, and this set up is fine for graphic design work as long as you’re not trying too many 3D transforms. Switching off the X700 drops the Pegasus 650’s Cinebanch score from a respectable 3011 to 1175 – a drop of almost two thirds- but increases the battery life by about half an hour.
The only problem with the boost is that even with it the Pegasus 650’s battery life is pretty mediocre next to more modem laptops with Intel’s latest processors. That the 650 offers Pentium M processors when creatives will get so much more from Core Duo chips is also a flaw. The fast clock speed of the 2.26GHz processor means that the 650 doesn’t lag behind as much as AJP’s M560A, but it’ll still be up to 50 per cent slower in Photoshop compared to a laptop with a Core Duo chip.
The 650 is almost as light as the MacBook Pro. though it’s larger and thicker. The Rock model is still thinner than other models we’ve looked at here, though. The 1680x1050 resolution, X-Black style screen provides ample space for your creative applications.
If Rock gave the Pegasus 650 a Core Duo makeover, it would be a serious contender – but as it is it’s a little out of date.