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Gmate Yopy

Gmate Yopy

Gmate’s Yopy, which is being sold via the French Tuxmedia Web site, is attractive in terms of design but difficult to use due to lack of a backlight for the display. This clamshell-format, mini-keyboard-equipped device uses a Linux-based operating system, and offers an alternative to Palm OS and Microsoft’s Pocket PC.

October 17, 2002 by in Mobility

Norton Internet Security 2003

Norton Internet Security 2003

Keeping your PC safe from hackers and virus-writing cranks is simple with Norton Internet Security 2003 (NIS 2003). The software isn't free; so, if money's tight, the no-cost version of ZoneAlarm 3.0 remains your best bet. If you're willing to spend a few pounds, however, NIS 2003 will make it worth your while. Now with intelligent intrusion detection that sniffs out suspect data transmissions (the sneaky hack popularised by Nimda and Code Red), NIS 2003 protects you from backdoor break-ins. It has also added several other security and privacy tools, which let you, for instance, map the locale of hack attacks and stop pop-up ads. For £42.54 (ex. VAT; £49.98 inc. VAT), this firewall/virus-killer combo is the best deal around.

October 16, 2002 by in Security

Evesham Technology E-scape Li

Evesham Technology E-scape Li

The £250 PC hasn't been part of the British computing landscape since the days of the eight-bit micro. Evesham Technology has changed that, with the launch of the E-scape Li -- no monitor or speakers, but everything else you need for a working computer. It includes, for the first time in the UK market, a version of Linux aimed at the consumer.

October 11, 2002 by in Hardware

ViewSonic VG800

ViewSonic VG800

ViewSonic's VG800 is aimed at graphics professionals, but a lack of both physical positioning adjustment and digital inputs means it's probably better suited to less demanding users. Other features like the built-in speakers aren't of sufficient quality to add value.

October 10, 2002 by in Hardware

HP PSC 2210

HP PSC 2210

By definition, all multifunction devices (MFDs) print, copy and scan, and they often fax too. But only a handful, such as HP’s PSC 2210, also read memory cards from digital cameras, and very few manage to cram these abilities into a compact, easy-to-maintain unit. The PSC 2210 does all of the above, with performance that rivals that of standalone printers, both in speed and output quality. For a small office or a home requiring a convenient, space-saving unit, this is an excellent choice -- unless you intend to send a lot of faxes. In that case, you'd be better off with Canon's MultiPass F50, which has a sheet feeder that allows for speedy, multi-page faxes.

October 9, 2002 by in Printers

OmniPage Pro 12 Office

OmniPage Pro 12 Office

The twelfth version of ScanSoft's OmniPage Pro Office shows the competition just who's boss. Other optical character recognition (OCR) programs, such as Abbyy’s FineReader 6.0, can't quite keep up with OmniPage's simplicity and power. OmniPage can easily retain complex page layouts, for example, where other OCR applications cannot. What's more, OmniPage Pro is designed to help you publish converted information to paper, electronic files or even the Web. The program reads and writes PDFs and a long list of other formats, and it contains powerful network features that let you share scanners and install the program from a server. It's arguably the best OCR package available today, well suited to small and large businesses alike. However, if your budget can't spare £435 (ex. VAT), consider the slightly less accurate but much less expensive FineReader 6.0.

October 9, 2002 by in Developer

Palm Zire

Palm Zire

Palm's latest handheld is a budget device targeted at newcomers. Other manufacturers may be adding more memory, larger screens and faster processors, but the Zire has just 2MB of RAM, a small monochrome screen with no backlight and a relatively low-power 16MHz processor. So the attractively designed Zire is about as basic as a Palm gets, but if you're looking for a no-frills personal organiser, it will certainly do the job -- as long as you're not trying to read the screen in a dimly lit location.

October 8, 2002 by in Mobility

NavMan GPS 3400 Voice

NavMan GPS 3400 Voice

NavMan’s GPS 3400 Voice is an upgrade to its GPS 3000 navigation product, which we reviewed back in January. Based on the same iPAQ-jacket GPS hardware, the 3400 introduces NavMan’s new SmartST Professional route-finding software, which adds several long-awaited features, including spoken instructions, a redesigned interface, dynamic routing and street-level mapping for ‘door to door’ routing. At £379 (inc. VAT), not including the iPAQ handheld itself, the GPS 3400 is more flexible and a lot cheaper than a built-in satellite navigation system for your car, although it’s not without drawbacks. Existing GPS 3000 users can upgrade to the SmartST Professional software for £139 (inc. VAT).

October 7, 2002 by in Mobility

Jadetec MicroPC4

Jadetec MicroPC4

Jadetec's MicroPC4 offers a fully featured PC in a very compact casing. This allows you to use a PC in situations where a large beige box isn't practical or desirable, such as your living room. Unfortunately, reduced size also means reduced performance, and the MicroPC4 isn't likely to replace the gamer's PC or console, or cut it as a heavy-duty computing platform.

October 3, 2002 by in Hardware

NEC MultiSync LCD1880SX

NEC MultiSync LCD1880SX

Why settle for a paltry 17 inches of screen size when you can get an 18.1in. LCD instead? Well, it all depends on how much you're paying for the extra inch. In the case of NEC's MultiSync LCD1880SX, you get plenty of space, but it'll cost you almost twice as much as otherwise comparable 17in. LCDs. NEC's policy for replacing dead pixels is also one of the less acceptable examples we've seen.

October 3, 2002 by in Hardware

Sony CLIE PEG-SJ30

Sony CLIE PEG-SJ30

Sony's CLIE PEG-SJ30 has a lot to offer users who are looking for an expandable, colour Palm OS handheld. The SJ30 uses the standard Palm OS 4.1, but adds a few flourishes to the basic theme: a high-resolution colour screen; 16MB of RAM; a Memory Stick slot; and extra software for viewing or editing images. Sure, you'll find CLIEs with more features, but this model will appeal to those who don't need all the extra bells and whistles and are simply looking for a well-designed, moderately priced, colour handheld.

October 2, 2002 by in Mobility

Microsoft Project Standard 2002

Microsoft Project Standard 2002

Project management (PM) software doesn't make a project manager more effective -- it just makes him or her more efficient. For that task, Microsoft’s Project 2002 is one of the best packages available. Because it integrates fully with Office XP, it lets Office regulars get up and running with relative ease in an application that would otherwise take a lot of learning. Managers who don't use Office XP may prefer a package tailored for their businesses, such as construction, sales or manufacturing. But for general use, you can't go wrong with Project 2002.

October 2, 2002 by in Developer

Norton SystemWorks 2003

Norton SystemWorks 2003

SystemWorks 2003 is the heir to a package of Norton utilities that dates back to the PC's DOS-based days in the mid-1980s. This suite has always been a classy, do-it-all, Swiss-Army-knife-like program, bundling a powerful disk defragmenter, an automated PC diagnosis and repair utility and, more recently, Norton AntiVirus. If you rely solely on Windows' own utilities, such as ScanDisk, to accomplish these tasks for you, it's time to invest in your PC's future. No matter what version of Windows you use, you'll find Norton SystemWorks 2003's powerful extra features indispensable, and the suite will soon pay for itself -- it costs around £50 (ex. VAT). But if you already own SystemWorks 2002 or even SystemWorks 2001, don't bother upgrading: the improvements in this version are purely cosmetic.

October 1, 2002 by in Reviews

Rock Xeno-m

Rock Xeno-m

Intel’s latest 2.2GHz Mobile Pentium 4 processor has been a little slow to catch on – partly because of its high price ($562), but also due to the technical challenges associated with very fast processors. Like all souped-up silicon, the 2.2GHz Mobile P4 needs to be approached with care by designers wishing to get the most out of it. The twin issues of power consumption –- with its direct effect on battery life -– and heating need to be addressed properly, or real problems can arise.

September 30, 2002 by in Laptops

Netgear DG814 DSL Modem Internet Gateway

Netgear DG814 DSL Modem Internet Gateway

With the advent of ‘wires-only’ ADSL services such as Pipex Xtreme, ADSL modems are going to have to be very easy to use. With a wires-only service, the line is activated remotely, with no visit from an engineer. You get sent a micro-filter through the post to split the data from the phone traffic, and you choose your own ADSL modem.

September 27, 2002 by in Reviews

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