"Rockslides"... geddit?! (I'll just ignore that fact that the company changed its name to rockdirect, since it allows for more puns)
rockdirect, formerly Rock, is renowned for producing high end notebooks. The kind that speeds Half Life 2 along at 60fps with full AA, but a change is as good as a holiday so they say, and consequently the company has expanded its portfolio by producing a ruggedised machine.
Aptly called the Hardbook, the device’s case is made from magnesium alloy, a material claimed to be 20x stronger than the ABS plastics used in standard machines. Inside the hard drive is encased in rubberised foam to protect it from vibration and shock, while the keyboard adheres to the IP31 ruggedised standard, making it resilient to up to 100cc of water spillage.
A 15.1 SXGA (1400 x 1050) display comes as standard, as does an 8x dual layer DVD writer, wireless g, 3x USB ports and one FireWire. From here the machine can be customised to your heart’s content, though rockdirect does offer a higher end spec model and a budget option as guidelines.
The former (code HB-1.7) features a Pentium M 735 1.7GHz processor, half a gig of DDR400 RAM and a 60GB HDD and will set you back £1173.82 including VAT (that’s £999 ex). This isn’t cheap, but it is good value for a ruggedised device.
By contrast, the latter (code HB-CEL) comes in at £150 less and features exactly the same spec, except it trades down the Pentium M CPU for a Celeron M360 which is clocked at 1.4GHz. That said, if you have the dough, the Hardbook can be cranked up all the way to 2.13GHz, courtesy of a Pentium M 770.
rockdirect is taking orders for the Hardbook now, so if you have a job that’s tough on your hardware or perhaps you just happen to be a complete klutz then you may well want to check it out. Naturally, I don’t need such a notebook because I never break anything… apart from a mobile phone, two keyboards, three joysticks, one flight stick, two PSUs, one processor, a memory key, a ”’ruggedised”’ PDA, a…