Unlike humans, PCs are getting thinner and faster with more memory. Witness the Rock Xeno-m, so packed with features and accessories you'd expect it to look like Bernard Manning. But it is Twiggy-esque slender and its language is far from profane.
How does this pack a 2.2GHz Pentium 4 et al at 3cm thick (lid closed)? It's not like the Rock has cut back on the rest either - with 512Mb of memory and 40Gb hard disk. It oozes features.
A real bonus for the hard-working teacher is the wireless network capability. You are no longer just a teacher, but someone at the heart of the zeitgeist!
With a DVDCD-RW combo and standard 56K modem and 10100 internal network facilities built in, FireWire and three USB ports, this little monster weighs in at 2.4kg. And the combo drive can make way for a battery (pound;99) for six hours' more power.
Obviously out of our budget? Not so! Prices start at pound;999 with wireless card an extra pound;69 and a floppy drive at pound;49 extra.
Rock claims it is the only company to offer a three-year collect and return warranty. The sound is great, and the built-in volume control was a nice addition. Picture quality was good, but... now comes the only beef. While its 14-inch screen is excellent for my DVDs, the notebook's 3D performance is sluggish.
The Xeno-m is cracking value with plenty of features, but be aware of which ones you want. If you deal with 3D graphics, think twice, otherwise stroll along to the Rock stand at BETT (E134).
Rock Xeno-m with Intel Pentium 4 processor (up to 2.2Ghz). pound;1,173.83 (pound;1,254.90 withintegrated WiFi). Tel: 08709 909090
Fitness for purpose 4
Ease of use 5
Value for money 5