There’s a decent amount of connection options around the chassis with the right side sporting three USB 2.0 ports, a four-pin FireWire port, a TV-Out port and the power socket. At the front is the switch for the graphics chips, a line-out/S/PDIFF socket, a line-in socket and a microphone socket. Here you’ll also find a memory card reader that will accept SD/MMC and MemoryStick formats.
The left side is dominated by the DVD-Writer that will burn DVD+R/RW, DVD-R/RW and CD-R/RW media. Next to the drive is a modem socket and an Ethernet port for the integrated Gigabit network interface. The rear is barren apart from the D-SUB port allowing you to hook the Pegasus 650 up to an external monitor.
Rock also bundles a Vodafone Mobile Connect 3G data card with the Pegasus 650. This is a great bit of kit and something that I simply can’t live without – if you ever need to work on the move, you need a 3G data card. The card comes with £10 of credit, but do be careful because the pre-pay data charges can get steep. At £4 per megabyte charges can soon mount up, although if you don’t do too much downloading and limit email attachments you should be ok. If you are going to be a regular mobile data user, you might try to convince Vodafone to put you on a contract where £23.50 per month will get you 75MB of data per month. It’s worth mentioning though that the Vodafone card is actually an Intel promotion, so you’ll find that many notebook manufacturers will be bundling them with Intel Centrino based notebooks.
When it comes to price, the Pegasus 650 is pitched pretty much where I’d expect to find it. At £1,350 including VAT you’re getting a decent amount of hardware for your money. However, the aforementioned Acer Ferrari 4000 can be had for £1,199 including VAT these days, if you’re happy with an AMD platform. But if peace of mind is important to you, the three year collect and return warranty offered by Rock will be a very welcome feature – something that the Acer can’t boast; a three year warranty is an extra cost.
On the whole, the Rock Pegasus 650 is a well equipped and reasonably priced notebook. The dual graphics solution is clever, but I would prefer to see a faster discrete graphics card installed to make the whole thing more worth while. Hopefully Rock will squeeze one of nVidia’s 7xxx series chipsets in the Pegasus 650 eventually – even if it costs more, it will be worth it. If you’ve got a choice between long battery life and top notch 3D performance, you really will have the best of both worlds.
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