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Laptops Reviews
15,669 Reviews

Rock Xtreme CTX Pro

£1,599 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Rock

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The Rock is a good-looking system, and its games performance was blistering.

Completing our pair of Merom-based laptops this month (click here for our review of the Hi-Grade UltiNote D6000-2102) is Rock's Xtreme CTX Pro.

See our Laptop Advisor website for expert reviews of today’s best laptops, plus read our essential advice to make sure you choose the right specs

There are several models in the Merom family. We know of five currently, but expect more to surface soon. The T7400 is angled towards the higher end of the collection, and it's also the version that both Rock and Hi-Grade have opted for in their latest models.

In fact, looking at the respective specifications of the Rock and the Hi-Grade, you could be forgiven for wondering why the price difference between the two laptops is more than £300 – either Hi-Grade is shooting itself in the foot or Rock is charging over the odds.

It's true that the Rock's screen is bigger and can stretch to a higher resolution, while the graphics card offers better frame rates in our graphics tests. But we're not entirely sure this is worth the extra cash.

The Xtreme CTX Pro scored 111 in our WorldBench 5 processing-speed suite, two points behind the Hi-Grade – but a difference like this wouldn't be noticed by your average user. The Rock is certainly a good-looking system, and its games performance was blistering. Framerates of nearly 150fps (frames per second) in both Doom3 and Halo at a resolution of 1,024x768, dropping to around 130fps at a resolution of 1,280x1,024, are absolutely staggering.

The other specifications are industry-standard for the desktop-replacement market, from 1GB of DDR RAM and a 100GB hard drive to 802.11a, b and g wireless facilities. You get Bluetooth too. The warranty is generous at three years, even if it doesn't include onsite cover.

Rock Xtreme CTX Pro Expert Verdict »

2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7400 processor
Windows XP Home
100GB hard drive
17in 1,680x1,050 TFT display
256MB nVidia GeForce Go 7900 GTX graphics card
8x/8x/8x/4x/4x/4x/4x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW) 24x/24x/24x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW) drive
3-year collect-and-return warranty
  • Build Quality: We give this item 9 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 9 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 7 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

To be fair, if we hadn't seen the Hi-Grade we wouldn't question the high price of the Rock. But we have, and so it's difficult to recommend something this expensive when a near equivalent exists at a much lower price.

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