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Pointer manipulation is taken care of by a silver touchpad, and the movement proved to be smooth and accurate. However, the buttons are slightly recessed which makes them harder to access than buttons that stand proud of the surface. Also, there is no shortcut for scrolling through documents, which means that you have to move your pointer over to the scroll bar on the window you’re using which soon becomes somewhat laborious. Ideally I would have liked to have seen scroll buttons, or a section of the touchpad dedicated to scrolling.
The chassis is quite good looking, finished in dark grey and silver. I was glad to see that Rock has decided to mount its badge the right way round on the lid this time, so that it’s not upside down when the notebook is open. There’s a dizzying array of indicator lights at the front of the wrist rest for hard disk, optical drive, keylock, capslock, shiftlock, wireless and memory card.
At the front of the case you’ll find a four-pin FireWire port, an S/PDIF, line-out and mic ports. There’s also a card reader that will accept SD/MMC, SmartMedia and MemoryStick cards - interestingly the card reader is protected from dust by two velvet lips, similar to those seen on slot loading optical drives. Talking of slot loading optical drives, on the right of the chassis you’ll find a slot loading DVD writer that will burn DVD+R/RW, DVD-R/RW and DVD-RAM discs. Of course it will also write CD-R/RW discs, so you can use the full complement of rewritable media while on the move.
On the left of the chassis there’s a single Type II PC Card slot, a D-SUB port, a single USB 2.0 port and an S-Video socket. You’ll also find the modem and Ethernet sockets on the left, but these are bizarrely positioned nearer the front than the back – I prefer to see these ports either at the rear of the notebook, or at the back edge of the chassis in order to keep all your cables tidy. The power socket is located at the rear of the chassis, but again rather strangely, the power adapter has a right-angled head, making it more suited to a socket located on the side of the chassis. This isn’t really a problem, but it just looks a bit inelegant. Finally at the rear, there are two further USB 2.0 ports.
Although this Rock differs from the Evesham in many key areas, there’s one area where it unfortunately seems identical, and that’s the noise department. When using the Rock Pegasus Ti plugged into the mains, there is a very loud whirring noise from the fan. The fan spins up and down intermittently, which tends to cause more of an audible intrusion than if it was just a constant drone. If you’re running anything remotely demanding like Media Player, the fan will stay on – however, as soon as you unplug the notebook from the mains the fan will stop, regardless of what’s running.
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