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Between a Rock and a Hardbook

UK notebook manufacturer shows off robust laptop

Rockdirect displayed its ruggedised Hardbook notebook today as the rockdirect Mobile Freedom Bus visited London.

The Hardbook’s outer casing is made of a magnesium alloy which Rock claims is up to 20 times stronger than ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastic, a material typically used in constructing notebook casings.

The hard drive is surrounded by rubberised foam to protect it from vibration and shock and the keyboard should be resilient to up to a litre of liquid. Aimed at users who tend to get a bit careless with their hardware, the Hardbook is available now from the Rockdirect website.

Starting at £997.58, the Hardbook uses a Pentium M processor, a 15.1in SXGA+ TFT screen with a resolution of 1,400x1,050 and integrated Wi-Fi facilities.

Also on display was the Pegasus 650, the first notebook to feature a switch that allows users to chop and change between the ATI Mobility Radeon X700 graphics card and the onboard Intel graphics chip, according to Rockdirect’s Managing Director, Nick Boardman. Though the notebook needs to be rebooted before the change is recognised by the system, it will enable users to save battery life.

The Rock Pegasus 650 will be available from 1st September and prices start at £1,174.

The Mobile Freedom Bus was originally a mobile library but, with the backing of Intel, now boasts a plasma screen and space for up to 10 networked notebooks. The initial plan for the Mobile Freedom Bus is that it will hold LAN gaming parties and be used for educational purposes at schools and universities throughout the country.

“Through our offering of the Mobile Freedom Bus, users can really experience and test out our products whilst seeing technology working at its best,” said Boardman.

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