Reviews / Pegasus 710 - PCW-
» PCW says 4/5
Full HD quality from a fast notebook
The main draw of the Pegasus 710 is that it comes with a HD DVD drive (read only) as standard in all configurations.
The one we’re looking at also includes a high-end, Santa Rosa Intel Core 2 Duo T7700 processor running at 2.4GHz along with 2GB of DDR2 memory.
For all the power it contains, the Pegasus 710 is surprisingly free of bulk. It’s no lightweight, but it’s fairly easy to carry around at a reasonable 3.15kg excluding power supply. And the 17in widescreen monitor (with a resolution of 1,440x900 pixels) is contained inside a fairly compact case, compared with others we’ve seen.
The screen is clear, but we noticed some backlight bleed and it’s nowhere near as bright or as pleasant as the Acer Aspire 7720G’s LCD.
Nvidia’s Geforce 8600M GS with 256MB of dedicated memory provides the visuals, which is fairly powerful for a mid-range notebook and has some impressive video decoding abilities so HD content will look great. It scored highly for processor speed and memory - the PCmark05 score of 5,587 and a huge 6,245 in the CPU section is very respectable indeed and indicates this is one of the fastest designs around. Its 3Dmark05 score of 3,899 is on the low side, but still leaves it capable of playing recent games, albeit at lower detail levels.
All this power doesn’t affect battery life too much. The Pegasus 710 lasted two hours during our DVD playback test and a reasonable two hours 41 minutes in the less demanding Reader test.
The 250GB hard disk is huge for a notebook, and there is of course the ability to burn CDs and DVDs for extra storage. The keyboard is well designed, with deep keys that mean it’s reasonably pleasant to type on, even for long periods of time. The keys are quite tightly packed together, but that does mean there’s room for a numeric keypad at the right-hand side. The trackpad sits below the centre of the keyboard and works well, although the mouse buttons are a touch flimsy.
In a minimalist touch, there are no extra buttons in the keyboard area, such as for media or volume control - everything needs to be done in software. A 1.3-megapixel webcam is included, mounted on top of the screen.
HD performance is impressive and the Pegasus 710 is HDCP compliant, which means that in addition to having the HD DVD drive it also has an HDMI port on the rear panel, so that protected HD DVDs can be played on an external screen. It also has DVI connectivity, which can be used to hook it up to an external monitor.
Other sockets include headphone and microphone jacks situated at the front, along with an optical S/PDIF port to output sound to home theatre systems. There are also two USB sockets along one side and two on the back, plus Ethernet, modem and Express Card sockets on the other side.
It also has both Bluetooth and Wifi, including the latest Draft-N standard which means better reception and faster transfer rates, and the three-year collect-and-return warranty, valid across Europe, makes this a good-value package.
Windows Vista Home Premium is installed along with an ‘LE’ version of Roxio’s Easy Media Creator that’s useful for basic disc creation tasks.
The Pegasus 710 is more portable than most desktop replacement notebooks and when you consider the features it includes, it’s a good-value notebook fit for the purpose of playing HD DVDs.