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Rock Pegasus 335 - Rock Pegasus 335
Connection wise, the Pegasus 335 isn’t exactly brimming, but you’ll find all the essentials are there. On the left there is a modem socket, two USB 2.0 ports, a DVD writer, and an SD/MMC/MS/MS Pro card slot. Along the front there is a switch to turn the wireless networking on and off and headphone and microphone sockets.
On the right side you'll find a PC-Card slot, a third USB 2.0 socket, a mini FireWire port, S-Video out, and an Ethernet port. Finally, on the back is the DC input and VGA port. That's a fairly standard list of connections, but the lack of DVI-out and an ExpressCard slot may limit your options in the future.
The keyboard is a pleasure to use with responsive well-weighted keys. Most of the keys are where you expect them to be with just a couple of exceptions. I'd prefer to see the left Ctrl directly below the left shift, as I regularly use keyboard shortcuts (i.e. copy and paste) and found I kept on pressing the Fn key instead. I'd also like to see the Backslash key in its usual position - the left Shift key could quite easily be shortened to accommodate it. As for the touchpad, it is very sensitive and accurate and my only complaint is that because it isn't recessed I found it was easy to accidentally brush a thumb over it and send your cursor flying across the screen.
The integrated speakers are not great, with an overall lack of volume and obviously very little in the way of bass, but you can’t expect much from a notebook this size. More worrying is that the headphone socket has a constant background hiss that, if you’re using some sensitive earphones, can be quite annoying.
Next to the power button there are two buttons both with unfamiliar markings on them. They are in fact two features unique to the Pegasus 300 range. The first is the InterVideo InstantOn button. When the computer is turned off you can press this button to boot into a Linux based media centre. It features DVD, CD, MP3, and video players, as well as a TV – a USB tuner is supplied with the notebook. The idea is that you avoid having to boot all the way into windows to use all these features. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s instant on though, as it takes around 15 seconds to start up. The software looks quite slick but it’s not overly intuitive to use and seemed to have problems finding any media on my computer. Also, with Vista having an inbuilt media centre, you’d have to be really concerned about those extra 10-20 seconds that windows takes to boot, to bother using this. Having said that, there’s not actually any Vista drivers yet for the bundled TV tuner - I have been assured by Rock that the driver is on its way though.
The second button is the silence button that lowers the clock speed of the CPU so that the fan doesn’t need to turn on. The system is fairly quiet anyway but this feature is certainly welcome to avoid the fan kicking in while watching a movie or listening to music, and of course you’ll increase battery life while this is activated. When combined with the automatic overclocking, this notebook gives you a decent amount of control over your performance/battery life balance.