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Dell SmartPC 250N

Dell SmartPC 250N

The first thing you notice about Dell’s SmartPC 250N is that it is silver - or rather, the plastic casing has a silver-effect finish. But the differences between the new SmartPC range and Dell’s dark-grey mainstream Latitude and Inspiron notebooks are more than skin-deep: like most manufacturers, Dell has now succumbed to the temptation to build notebooks around desktop rather than mobile processors -- in this case, a 2.2GHz Pentium 4.

August 14, 2002 by in Laptops

FileMaker Pro 6.0

FileMaker Pro 6.0

Database programs let you store, retrieve, organise and analyse all sorts of data -- from complex billing records to home-video collections. FileMaker Pro 6.0 lets you manage vast quantities of such information and also allows you to share this information quickly with other applications. FileMaker's attractive, straightforward interface and relatively low £219 (ex. VAT) price make it easier and more economical than Microsoft’s Access. We heartily recommend this database program for everyone: although it's simple enough for novices, it also supplies sophisticated, higher-end features that will suit database veterans.

August 12, 2002 by in Developer

HP LaserJet 4600hdn

HP LaserJet 4600hdn

Hewlett-Packard's latest A4 colour laser has all the things you'd expect from HP -- speed, manageability and connectivity -- but succeeds where many lasers fail: photo printing. While not your first choice as a photo printer, the ability to get good quality images in your reports and presentations can only be a good thing.

August 9, 2002 by in Printers

Epson Perfection 2400 Photo

Epson Perfection 2400 Photo

In Epson's new scanner line-up, the reasonably priced Perfection 2400 Photo strikes a comfortable balance between the entry-level Perfection 1660 Photo and the professional-level Perfection 2450 Photo. Its improved design and interface make it almost as easy to capture transparencies as to capture opaque documents; in addition, its USB 2.0 interface boosts performance noticeably. But some quirks in its capture quality may disappoint hard-core photo enthusiasts.

August 8, 2002 by in Hardware

Motorola V70

Motorola V70

The Motorola V70 is by far one of the sleekest mobiles we've seen to date. Its innovative design; silver casing; compact size (9.5x3.8x1.8cm; 83g); and inverse screen (black background, white letters), five-line circular display all contribute to this mobile's "wow" factor. But the real eye-catcher is its 360-degree rotating keypad cover.

August 7, 2002 by in Mobility

Apple PowerBook G4

Apple PowerBook G4

Apple's slim, trim Titanium PowerBook G4 is now in its third generation. In the notebook's most recent revision, Apple has kept the eye-catching, elegant form factor but added a faster processor with 1MB of DDR L3 cache, a bigger hard drive, a more powerful graphics card, and a higher price. Combined with a bright, crisp, 15.2-inch, wide-screen display, this package makes the PowerBook a compelling alternative to a desktop computer, not to mention a Windows desktop-replacement notebook.

August 7, 2002 by in Laptops

InDesign 2.0

InDesign 2.0

Adobe created InDesign to woo you away from QuarkXPress, which currently dominates the high-end desktop publishing (DTP) niche. The first InDesign releases had a lukewarm reception; the program was underpowered and not worth the trouble of converting files from QuarkXPress. InDesign 2.0 is a different story, however. Adobe has supercharged this program with tables, transparency controls, long document features and output in both HTML and XML (a coding language for documents similar to HTML but far more flexible). We think that the new features make InDesign 2.0 the top choice for producing four-colour magazines, books and corporate identity material, as well as on-screen documents such as PDF files, e-books and Web pages. In fact, InDesign's multi-purpose output and fabulous typography tools finally push it through Quark's glass ceiling. Move over, QuarkXPress -- InDesign has finally beaten you.

August 1, 2002 by in Developer

JVC Mini Note MP-XP7210

JVC Mini Note MP-XP7210

JVC, the well-known electronics company, has added ultraportable notebooks to its portfolio of VCRs and hi-fi equipment. Weighing just under a kilogram, the Mini Note MP-XP7210 is the lightest ultraportable we've seen to date. It's built around an ultra-low-voltage 800MHz Mobile Pentium III-M processor, has 256MB of memory, a 30GB hard drive and runs Windows XP. A second model, the MP-XP3210, features a 650MHz Mobile Celeron processor, 128MB of RAM and a 20GB hard drive.

July 31, 2002 by in Laptops

Dell Inspiron 4150

Dell Inspiron 4150

Dell’s Inspiron 4150 caters for people who are prepared to sacrifice a certain amount of portability, so long as, in return, they get a well-featured and fast notebook that can handle most applications with ease. Therefore, although this 2.85kg Mobile Pentium 4 system cannot be described as ultraportable, nor is it anything like as bulky and heavy as the 3.5kg-plus Inspiron 8200 series of genuine desktop replacement systems.

July 30, 2002 by in Laptops

Pinnacle Edition DV

Pinnacle Edition DV

Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro have got new competition. Pinnacle Edition DV is the first offspring of Pinnacle's acquisition of Fast Video, a German company primarily known for professional video-editing software. Edition DV sports a revolutionary contextual-menu interface (you right-click for everything, with no pull-down menus anywhere), a diverse feature set and bundled programs that make it solid competition for any other video-editing program. At £382.13 (ex. VAT; £499 inc. VAT), Pinnacle Edition DV represents incredible value to intermediate or advanced movie-makers. But despite its consumer packaging, this program's unique features and precise editing controls make it too tricky for beginners, who should turn to Pinnacle Studio DV or Video Explosion Deluxe.

July 29, 2002 by in Developer

HP Jornada 928 WDA

HP Jornada 928 WDA

Hewlett-Packard’s Jornada 928 was well into development before the Compaq merger, and will retain its HP design and badge, although it may be the last handheld to do so. HP has pulled out quite a few stops in its attempt to both end the Jornada range with a bang and come up with an xda-beater.

July 26, 2002 by in Smartphones

MP3 Jukebox Programs

MP3 Jukebox Programs

Today software jukeboxes programs do a lot more than play music. They let you work with multiple audio-file formats, create and save playlists, copy files to a CD or portable MP3 player, and even print CD covers and inserts.

August 31, 2001 by in Enterprise Software

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