Rock is a UK-based manufacturer, best known for its high-powered gaming laptops. The Pegasus 320 (£880 inc. VAT) is compact and well-specified, but fails to match its rivals in performance or mobility.

The slim and sturdy chassis weighs just 2.2kg, and is easy to carry regularly. Despite the huge battery protruding 19mm from the rear of the chassis, it delivers just 187 minutes of power, the least amount we expect from a modern laptop.

The glossy and curved lid features a patterned imprint design and the look suits both consumer and business use. Strength and quality of materials are impressive but the shiny coating is easily smudged and scratched if not suitably protected.

Usability is strong, but flawed. The keyboard is large and comfortable, but rattles when typing. The large touchpad is cut from the same material as the main chassis. It is also smooth and comfortable to use, as are the glossy mouse buttons.

The 13.3-inch Super-TFT is certainly a key strength, and is both bright and vibrant. Despite the (average for 13.3-inches) 1280 x 800-pixel resolution, images are also surprisingly sharp. The only flaw we noticed was that the screen appeared to be slightly brighter at the bottom than at the top.

Pentium Dual-Core

Where the Rock fails is in its poor performance. Sadly, Rock chose not to use an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and instead put in a lower powered Pentium Dual-Core chip.

Graphics performance is more pleasing. The dedicated nVidia graphics card is designed for slim and light laptops, and provides enough power for basic photo and video editing, as well as entry-level gaming and watching videos and DVDs.

Storage space is exceptional, however. The 320GB hard drive is fantastic for such a small laptop. This is backed by a dual-layer DVD rewriter, so you can save up to 8.5GB of data to compatible discs.

Lacking in connections

Unfortunately, connectivity takes a step backwards. A VGA-out port is provided for connecting to analogue monitors and projectors, but there are no digital or HD connections. Bluetooth connectivity is provided for wireless access to peripherals.

While the great screen and impressive storage of the Rock Pegasus 320 may suit some users, the poor performance and battery life, as well as the mixed usability, are far too noticeable flaws. For this price, there are much better laptops you can spend your money on.