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Rock Xtreme 685 review

Tom Morgan
19 Jul 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,399
inc VAT

By placing gaming performance above everything else, the Xtreme 685 loses out to more well-rounded laptops from other manufacturers, which makes it difficult to justify such a high price

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Specifications

15.6 in 1,920x1,080 display, 3.1kg, 2.6GHz Intel Core i5-2540M, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Rock laptops have always been aimed squarely at the high-end; their no-compromise approach to performance in a portable package can give desktop PCs a run for their money, and the Xtreme 685 is no exception. A Full HD screen, Blu-ray reader and fast graphics card make this a formidable machine, but this list of components alone isn't enough to justify its high price.

Rock Xtreme 685 right ports

In order to squeeze such high-performance hardware a laptop, the Xtreme 685 is much thicker than average. It’s not exactly easy on the eye, or on your shoulder. At 3.1kg you won’t want to be lugging it far, especially with its oversized power supply. However, it’s easy to forget all this once you start using it thanks to the gorgeous high resolution screen. At 1,920x1,080, text can be incredibly small, but this is less of a problem once you've increased its default size in Windows. Colours were mostly accurate, but only when we sat directly in front of the screen: viewing angles were very poor, with a shift in colour and contrast even at shallow angles. There’s a reasonable amount of screen tilt to compensate for vertical viewing angles, but the glossy finish picked up lots of light reflections.

Sound quality is decent (and loud) enough to be able to listen to music from across the room. At maximum volume, there was a noticeable amount of bass from the 'subwoofer' built into the underside of the laptop, although the speakers above the keyboard tray produced mid-range notes that were slightly muddy.

Rock Xtreme 685 keyboard

Using the Xtreme for some everyday tasks like word processing, we immediately noticed how noisy the keyboard was. In spite of this, each flat, isolated key was a good size and had plenty of tactile feedback. A dedicated number pad has been squeezed in without having to reduce the size of the keys, which makes data entry much easier. The expansive touchpad is made of the same rubberised plastic as the rest of the upper chassis, which is slightly resistive to finger movement, but still responsive. A fingerprint reader has been dropped in between the two touchpad buttons, which are a decent size and have crisp actions.

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