Better known for its desktop replacement gaming laptops, Rock also makes a range of smaller machines. The Pegasus 670 (£899 inc. VAT) weighs in at a semi-portable 3.1kg, yet still packs cutting-edge components.

The 15.4-inch display lacks a Super-TFT coating, which is unusual for a consumer laptop. It helps to reduce reflections, and is easy to view in any conditions, but the images are less vibrant as a result.

The Rock is a useful multimedia machine. A series of buttons on the palm rest, neatly arranged in a circle, can be used to control your movies and CDs. Applications can also be launched at the touch of a button.

The use of Intel's fourth-generation Centrino chipset enables a cutting-edge graphics card to be fitted - in this case Nvidia's mid-range GeForce 8600M GT GPU. Everyday applications proved no problem, and you'll be able to play most games with ease.

This machine was a pre-production sample, so it's difficult to judge final build quality. Like the other 15.4-inch laptops, the keyboard was large and well-spaced, but it lacked responsiveness and flexed under pressure. The plastics around the keyboard also lacked rigidity, but these are things that may change on the final production model.

The silver strips around the display also need to be more firmly attached, rattling under the slightest pressure, and the edges of the display were coarse and sharp. On the plus side, heat dissipation of the dedicated GPU is managed efficiently - the palmrests remaining cool to the touch even after playing games for long periods.

Anti-theft alarm

The Rock's most unusual feature is an integrated anti-theft alarm. Sensors within the chassis can be set to monitor movement, setting off the alarm if the laptop is picked up. It may not stop anybody from stealing your laptop from your home, but it will stop anybody picking it up in crowded places.

There's a webcam and microphone above the screen, so you'll be able to chat to and see friends over the internet. An HDMI-out port lets you output HD (High Definition) movies to external displays, along with S-Video and VGA-out ports for connecting to older equipment.

There's a lot on offer here in terms of performance, but on this showing it's impossible to recommend the Rock over other laptops. Build quality needs to improve drastically on production models, and the keyboard also needs to be more responsive.