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IN BRIEF: This versatile gaming laptop has switchable graphics and a customisable lid
UK manufacturer Rockdirect offers a portfolio of business and consumer machines featuring cutting-edge specifications and affordable pricing, which it distributes online with a three-year collect-and-return warranty. The Pegasus 650 (£1285 inc.VAT) is a portable gaming laptop with switch able integrated and dedicated graphics, as well as instant-on for quick access to digital media. The processor is overclocked by five percent for an extra performance boost, and buyers can choose from a myriad of lid colours.
Rockdirect offers style-conscious users a free choice of lid colours, including red, blue, black, pink, and chameleon blue/green or plain old silver. At 3.4kg, the Pegasus 650 can readily be moved from room to room and taken on the occasional journey. The 15.4 inch widescreen display has a sharp 1680 x 1050-pixel resolution to make viewing DVDs and games a pleasant experience. There is a bit more flex in the lid than we would·ve liked, but the firmly mounted keyboard and accurate touchpad make for a comfortable use over long periods.
Dedicated graphics are in place with an nVidia GeForce Go 6600 GPU sourcing 256MB video memory, although users can save battery life on the road by switching to integrated Intel 915GM graphics using the slider on the front of the chassis. A 3Dmark score of 6276 makes this machine suitable for all but the most intensive gaming, and places it first in the group. The use of integrated graphics resulted in a 3Dmark score of 1120. which is in-keeping with such a solution.
This well-rounded laptop proved to be a workshouse under performance testing, achieving the second highest MobileMark 2005 result with an impressive 238 points. It will handle intensive 3D multimedia tasks, and anything else you throw at it, with ease.
A 2GHz Pentium M 760 processor powers the system, supported by 1024MB of memory and a 80GB hard drive running at 7200rpm, the highest speed available. A trade-off for the overclocked processor is the rapid build-up of heat on the top right side of the chassis, although the laptop ran quietly without excessive fan noise.
We tested battery life with both integrated and dedicated graphics. The battery lasted three hours using integrated graphics. The only machine that lasted longer was the slim and light Toshiba. With dedicated graphics, the battery lasted just under two hours.
Networking is to the fore, with IEEE 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi for worldwide compatibility and Gigabit Ethernet for high-speed fixed networks. A DVD writer with dual-layer support burns high-capacity disc, while a S/PDIF digital audio output and 4-in-1 memory card reader are situated on the front panel. A mini-FireWire and three USB ports are sensibly lined up on the side of the chassis for easy access.
The Rockdirect Pegasus 650 is a compelling blend portability and raw power, ideal for gaming enthusiasts requiring versatility for everyday use.