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Rock Xtreme 770 X770-T7700 - Rock Xtreme 770 X770-T7700
The X770 offers a choice of either 1,680 x 1,050 and 1,920 x 1,200 resolution screens, with the larger resolution available at a premium of only £42.55, which seems very reasonable. So, combining the higher resolution screen with an optional HD DVD drive, for a much more wallet straining £199, you can enjoy full 1080p video wherever you are. However, as we've noted before, the merits of having a very high resolution screen on a gaming laptop are debatable because even though mobile graphics are improving, they still tend not to be powerful enough to play games at the highest settings and resolutions (and you should know by now that using LCD panels at below their native resolution makes them look rubbish). Indeed, without wishing to oversimplify things too much, you could say the choice of screen size really comes down to whether you'll be watching HD Video or gaming, or if both, which one is more important to you.
Either way, our review sample shipped with the 1,920 x 1,200 screen and it certainly is an impressive display. At the optimal viewing angle, it's bright and sharp with wonderfully vivid colours, and the X-Glass glossy coating really brings out the dark areas. Moving away from perpendicular, the screen does suffer from the usual darkening, lightening, and colour distortion that all but the best of displays exhibit but it's still very pleasant to use. Games and video were all coped with admirably and the extra desktop real estate is great for simultaneous word processing and web browsing. In fact, I'll just out and out say it's a cracking screen.
Given the x770s ability to playback HD video, it would be a shame for you to be limited to a pair of crummy little speakers to enjoy all that high bit-rate audio. Therefore, it's good to see a decent four speaker system being employed to keep you entertained. Two subwoofers are on the underside and there's a tweeter on each of the left and right edges. Together they create quite an impressive surround sound effect when watching movies or playing games. However, unless I was sat next to someone else at the time, I'd be inclined to just use a decent set of headphones.
Speaking of which, along the front you not only get the usual headphone, and microphone mini jack sockets but pleasingly you also get line-in and S/PDIF out, as well. There's also an inbuilt microphone in the right front corner, so VoIP, in-game chat, and the like will be available from the off. I would have been nice to see a digital output on the back of the device so if you plug your laptop into a HiFi you don't have cables draped over you desk, but this is a minor quibble.
On the right edge there is an ExpressCard slot, multi-format flash card reader (MemoryStick Pro/Duo, SD, Mini-SD, MMC & RS-MMC), two USB ports, a four-pin Firewire port, Gigabit Ethernet, a software Modem, and the aerial socket for the optional TV tuner, which covers pretty much all your connections in one fell swoop. You'll find DVI and S-Video connections on the back along with two more USB and a serial port. The left edge is home to only an optical drive and a cable locking point.