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McAfee VirusScan Home Edition 7.0

McAfee VirusScan Home Edition 7.0

Like its arch-rival Norton AntiVirus (NAV) 2003, McAfee VirusScan 7.0 automatically downloads up-to-date virus definitions from the Internet; provides a cogent, lucid interface that's quick to navigate; squashes malicious scripts, worms, viruses, and other digital miscreants; and is reasonably priced at £31 (ex. VAT). Unlike NAV 2003, VirusScan 7.0 has superior technical support and faster scanning times, and it comes with a firewall -- essential for anyone with an always-on DSL or cable Internet connection. Although it's a tad less slick-looking than NAV 2003, VirusScan 7.0 is a fine first-time anti-virus choice for any Windows user.

January 20, 2003 by in Security

Acer n20w

Acer n20w

Acer has entered the handheld market with two products. There’s nothing unusual about that -- most handheld manufacturers now have a range of devices aimed at different sections of the market. Where Acer is unique is that its first two products use different operating systems. This one, the n20w, uses Microsoft’s Pocket PC 2002; the company’s other handheld, the s60, runs the rival Palm OS.

January 20, 2003 by in Mobility

LapLink Everywhere 1.5

LapLink Everywhere 1.5

Despite positioning itself as a close competitor to GoToMyPC, LapLink Everywhere 1.5 is not at all the same type of software. GoToMyPC lets you operate a computer from a distance, whereas the low-cost LapLink Web service only lets you transfer files and read email between a Windows host and another Web-enabled device -- be it a computer, a handheld or a cellphone. If that's all you need to stay productive on the road, then LapLink Everywhere is a great deal at $10 (~£6.25) per month or $90 (~£56) per year for up to three host PCs, as opposed to $20 (~£12.50) per month for one PC running GoToMyPC. But if you need true remote-control capabilities to run, say, Microsoft Word from a computer that doesn't have Word installed or collect email using a client other than Outlook or Outlook Express, then you’ll need the pricier GoToMyPC or a more traditional remote-access package.

January 16, 2003 by in Developer

Sony VAIO PCV-RXG408

Sony VAIO PCV-RXG408

Having reviewed several of Sony's VAIO desktops, we've generally been impressed with them. The PCV-RXG408's hardware is an evolution of the RX series, adding a newer processor, a larger hard disk and a rewriteable DVD drive. However, the accompanying software is where this PC really differentiates itself from both its predecessors and its competitors: for Sony has set this system up to be a turnkey personal video recorder (PVR) solution.

January 15, 2003 by in Hardware

Acer TravelMate TM273X

Acer TravelMate TM273X

Every now and again a notebook arrives for review whose design suggests that those behind it haven't simply opted for the cheapest and easiest way of doing things. Usually, products like this are encumbered by an eye-watering price tag, so the arrival of Acer's TravelMate TM273X was something of a welcome surprise. Despite its air of above-average quality, the TM273X costs an unexpectedly reasonable £849 (ex. VAT).

January 14, 2003 by in Laptops

Dell Axim X5

Dell Axim X5

Until recently, one of the main criticisms of Pocket PCs was their high price. But this is not the case with Dell's Axim X5, which will be available in early February at £229 (ex. VAT; £269.08 inc. VAT) for a 400MHz version; an even more affordable 300MHz version will cost just £169 (ex. VAT; £198.58 inc. VAT). Impressively, both identical-looking handhelds are also well stocked with features, the top-end 400MHz version including a docking cradle. The Axim X5's one shortcoming is its size: this isn't the sleekest or the most compact Pocket PC that you'll find. But for the price, Dell's first Pocket PC is very enticing.

January 13, 2003 by in Mobility

Ygnius

Ygnius

Some people swear by mind mapping, a technique for visually representing concepts and ideas. Newcomers may find the concept a little difficult at first, but converts say they could never go back to note taking methods. Several products provide mind mapping tools for use on a computer, and Ygnius is a functional and flexible offering.

January 13, 2003 by in Developer

Panda Antivirus Platinum 7.0

Panda Antivirus Platinum 7.0

With familiar drop-down menus, helpful wizards and a Web-like Home screen, Panda Antivirus Platinum 7.0 is sure to please anti-virus beginners. Like its competitors, Panda scans incoming and outgoing mail for viruses, prevents malicious Visual Basic and JavaScript files from running amok, and updates its virus definitions via the Internet. Version 7.0 also features a personal firewall to prevent Internet interlopers from accessing your computer, a tool found in McAfee's VirusScan 7.0 but not Norton AntiVirus 2003. However, Panda falls short on its virus-detection skills and telephone technical support. Nevertheless, current Platinum 6.0 users will want to upgrade for the improved interface and new firewall, but everyone else should opt for either McAfee or Norton.

January 9, 2003 by in Security

AlphaSmart Dana

AlphaSmart Dana

Take an operating system designed for handhelds (Palm OS), and put it into a roughly A4-sized casing. Add a few neat features such as dual SD card support and a wide screen, and throw in a little ‘software stretching’ to take advantage of the width. Out of this mix of hardware and software features comes AlphaSmart’s Dana, a system that, the company says, is a true alternative to the notebook.

January 8, 2003 by in Mobility

Nokia 7650

Nokia 7650

The 7650 is Nokia's breakthrough product, offering an integrated camera, a large colour screen and multimedia messaging service (MMS), among other high-end features. With this phone, Nokia is selling more than a handset -- it's evangelising a new way of using mobiles.

January 6, 2003 by in Mobility

SatDrive

SatDrive

If you live in one of the many (mainly rural) parts of the country marked ‘here be no terrestrial broadband’ on the map, and you’re frustrated by that, then you’re likely to be interested in SatDrive from Interactive Satellite Services. Launched in September this year, the £14.99 a month SatDrive is a one-way service that provides download speeds of up to 4Mbps via a satellite link, but relies on a conventional upload link, or ‘back channel’, using a dial-up modem or ISDN connection. This makes it much cheaper than two-way satellite services such as BTopenworld’s Business 500, although it does mean that your Internet connection is severely asymmetric, will generally require a dedicated phone line, and isn’t ‘always on’ in the conventional sense.

December 13, 2002 by in Cloud

Sony CLIE PEG-NX70V

Sony CLIE PEG-NX70V

Following up on its groundbreaking but slightly flawed NR70V, Sony has delivered the NX70V, which has a design similar to that of its predecessor but offers an improved interface, better performance and additional features. The result is a more polished device that is arguably the most capable -- if not the most compact -- handheld on the market. Is the NX70V perfect? No, but it is that rare piece of expensive technology that seems to merit its price tag.

December 10, 2002 by in Mobility

Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop for Bluetooth

Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop for Bluetooth

Microsoft’s upmarket solution to the problem of desktop clutter is the Wireless Optical Desktop for Bluetooth. In the box you’ll find a substantial keyboard with an eye-catching selection of additional keys, a rather chunky optical mouse with an IntelliPoint wheel, and a pair of Bluetooth adapters -– all tastefully co-ordinated in subdued shades of blue and black.

December 10, 2002 by in Hardware

Red Hat Linux 8.0 Professional

Red Hat Linux 8.0 Professional

With superb support for the GNOME environment and a wealth of included applications, Red Hat 8.0 continues its run at or near the top of the growing list of commercial Linux distributions. It has better font control than SuSE Linux 8.1 and comes with a superb email client. But Red Hat 8.0 Professional, at £136 (inc. VAT), costs more than double the £59 (inc. VAT) SuSE Linux 8.1 Professional, although both Personal versions cost about the same. It's also tougher to install. Besides, Red Hat suffers more hardware-recognition quirks than SuSE. If you're looking for a Linux distribution to put on your Windows desktop system, look to SuSE instead.

December 9, 2002 by in Enterprise Software

SuSE Linux 8.1 Professional

SuSE Linux 8.1 Professional

SuSE Linux 8.1 offers the best-looking desktop Linux distribution around. Easy to use and well organised, it also performs adequately. The installation process is so smooth and uncluttered, in fact, that this alone merits consideration by Windows die-hards. With two versions -- the £59 (inc. VAT) Professional package or the £39 (inc. VAT) Personal version -- SuSE 8.1 is far cheaper than Windows and is even more economical than the $129 (~£82) LindowsOS 3.0. We'd like to see better support for the GNOME desktop environment, but SuSE makes Linux palatable for any experienced Windows user and surpasses Red Hat 8.0 in both installation and interface. If you're ready to switch to Linux, switch to SuSE.

December 9, 2002 by in Enterprise Software

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