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ViaVoice Pro USB Edition 10

ViaVoice Pro USB Edition 10

If you want the best that money can buy in speech recognition, IBM's ViaVoice Pro USB Edition 10 is it. The program's improved speech-recognition engine records dictation accurately more than 96 percent of the time, and reacts to voice commands faster than the competition does. So if you're serious about consumer-targeted voice recognition, upgrade now for £39.67 (ex. VAT; £46.61 inc. VAT). If you're new to speech recognition, put your money down (£80.54 ex. VAT; £94.64 inc. VAT) for this best-of-breed speech engine. It's worth every penny.

January 31, 2003 by in Developer

Belkin Bluetooth USB Adapter

Belkin Bluetooth USB Adapter

Belkin's Bluetooth USB Adapter adds comprehensive Bluetooth functionality to any desktop or notebook PC. It's easy enough to use, although there's a balance to strike between security and usability, and it's also affordable.

January 30, 2003 by in Hardware

Safari 1.0 Beta

Safari 1.0 Beta

Why build a new browser? That's the question on everyone's lips since Apple released Safari 1.0 Beta in January. The OS X-only browser shares its open-source foundations with Konqueror, a standalone browser and the file manager for the Linux KDE Desktop Environment. Apple says it improved on the tiny Konqueror kernel to meet its goal -- a lightning-fast browser. Even in beta, we found Safari acceptably fast. But Safari lacks compelling innovations and doesn't offer the advanced customisation or security features of Internet Explorer for Mac, Opera or even open-source Chimera. Try Safari if you're really sick of Internet Explorer (it's free, after all), but we're hoping Apple fattens Safari up a bit before it feeds this browser to the lions.

January 30, 2003 by in Developer

NEC Versa C150

NEC Versa C150

To judge from the Versa C150, the workaday corporate notebook is going up in the world. Despite an enticingly low price of £649 (ex. VAT) for the bare-bones model, the C150 not only looks slicker than many far more expensive portables, but it's also solidly put together.

January 29, 2003 by in Laptops

Chirson PC Immobiliser

Chirson PC Immobiliser

The Chirson PC Immobiliser provides extra security for PCs and notebooks by blocking access except to someone who knows the system password, or who has the correct encrypted token. Installation may be daunting for novices, but it includes features that will make it simple for IT managers.

January 28, 2003 by in Security

Sony Ericsson P800

Sony Ericsson P800

The past year has been a difficult one for Sony Ericsson. Rocked by losses and a largely indifferent 2002 portfolio, the company has nonetheless persisted into 2003. But perhaps things are looking up as the company introduces its flagship P800, a camera-phone/PDA that rivals the best on offer from Nokia and Motorola.

January 28, 2003 by in Smartphones

ConceptDraw MindMap Professional 2

ConceptDraw MindMap Professional 2

At first sight, the need for a computer-based mind-mapping tool is not apparent – after all, what’s wrong with a pencil, paper and an eraser? When you first start working with ConceptDraw MindMap Professional 2 (MindMap Pro 2), a positive answer to this question doesn’t exactly leap out of the screen: the workspace feels cluttered; the user manual has a ‘techie’ style, and lacks both an index and a hands-on tutorial; and the on-line help system isn’t context sensitive.

January 28, 2003 by in Developer

Acer s60

Acer s60

Acer recently entered the handheld arena with two products -- the Palm OS device reviewed here and the Pocket PC-based <A href="http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/review/2/1/2503.html">n20</A>. Acer is the first company to try its hand at both markets, and its products are interesting for that fact alone. But the Palm OS market is dominated by Sony's CLIE range, and is being driven along by version 5 of Palm's operating system -- which the s60 eschews in favour of version 4.1. So, is there a niche for Acer's £229 (inc. VAT) s60?

January 27, 2003 by in Mobility

Buffalo AirStation WBR-G54

Buffalo AirStation WBR-G54

If you want wireless networking, but think 11Mbps isn't enough for you, read on. Buffalo Technology is one of the first manufacturers to produce faster wireless networking equipment based on the new 802.11g standard. Although this won't make your Internet browsing faster, as this depends on the speed of your connection, it does make the streaming of video or multiple audio tracks possible without needing wires.

January 24, 2003 by in Reviews

PGP Personal for Windows 8.0

PGP Personal for Windows 8.0

Ever since its introduction in 1991, PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) has reigned as the preferred method for encrypting email and files. Many versions and improvements later, PGP Personal for Windows 8.0 is now a full-featured encryption suite that integrates with Windows XP and most popular email programs. This version includes features such as PGP Mail, which encrypts and digitally signs email messages, as well as the new PGP Disk feature, which allows you to set aside an encrypted area of disk space for storing your sensitive data. Although PGP can be daunting for those unfamiliar with Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) programs, it remains the <I>de facto</I> standard in encryption technology. Whether you choose the free version or the 50-euro (~£33) Personal edition, PGP 8.0 is a must-have for anyone who is truly serious about keeping data and email communications private.

January 22, 2003 by in Security

VideoWave Movie Creator 1.5

VideoWave Movie Creator 1.5

Looking for an affordable and usable video editor? Roxio’s VideoWave Movie Creator, a £50 program from the makers of the well-known Easy CD Creator, comes closer than any product we've seen to date to simplifying the process. If you just want attractive results in a hurry and don't plan to make complicated edits, it's a good buy. But if you want a more advanced video editor, check out <A href="http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/review/40/1/279.html">VideoStudio 6.0</A> or NeoDVD 4.0.

January 21, 2003 by in Developer

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

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