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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

Intel PRO/Wireless 5000 Access Point

Intel PRO/Wireless 5000 Access Point

If you're interested in the latest, fastest wireless networking systems, read on. Intel's PRO/Wireless 5000 Access Point uses the 802.11a standard, aimed at providing high-speed cable-free network connections. Intel is the first vendor to submit 802.11a equipment to us for review, although other manufacturers are due to release products soon. The 802.11a standard uses the 5GHz radio band -- called the UNII spectrum in the US -- and has a raw data rate of 54Mbps. This is almost a five-times improvement over 802.11b wireless networking, in theory at least.

September 26, 2002 by in Reviews

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 11

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 11

Looking to establish a digital-graphics studio? Consider an all-in-one graphics solution. CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 11 has applications for professional-level illustration, image editing and Web graphics. CorelDRAW 11 serves as the main course of Graphics Suite 11, but the side dishes are certainly worth a look. Photo-Paint (image editing) and RAVE (Web graphics animation) pack enough features to satisfy most home users who want to edit digital photos or create simple flash animation. Best of all, you get these applications for just £377 (ex. VAT; £443 inc. VAT) -- a great bargain for an all-around, well-integrated solution. However, for top-of-the-line image editing and animation, professional graphic designers should shell out the extra cash for Photoshop and LiveMotion.

September 25, 2002 by in Developer

Dell Inspiron 8200 (2.2GHz Mobile P4)

Dell Inspiron 8200 (2.2GHz Mobile P4)

Dell's Inspiron 8200 range of desktop replacement notebooks is regularly the first to showcase a new flagship Intel mobile processor, and the latest 2.2GHz Mobile Pentium 4-based model is no exception. Another first with this particular Inspiron 8200 is its leading-edge graphics accelerator -- ATI's Mobility Radeon 9000. Previous high-end Inspiron 8200s have used nVidia's GeForce4 440 Go chip, to good effect. However, the Mobility Radeon 9000 takes notebook 3D graphics performance to another level. If you're looking for a no-holds-barred notebook performer, and you don't mind its considerable bulk and 3.74kg weight, look no further than this Inspiron 8200 model.

September 24, 2002 by in Laptops

Handspring Treo 90

Handspring Treo 90

Handspring's Treo 90 may lack the cellphone and wireless-data features of the more expensive models in the line, but its thumb keyboard provides a unique alternative for those looking for an affordable colour Palm OS handheld. Some of the Handspring faithful may cry ‘foul’ when they learn that there's no Springboard expansion slot. But if you don't like Graffiti, the slim Treo 90 is a great choice.

September 24, 2002 by in Mobility

ACT! 6.0

ACT! 6.0

ACT! 6.0 doesn't look much different from ACT! 2000, but underneath you'll find lots of new customer relationship management (CRM) features. Its increased Outlook integration and Outlook-like email client eliminate double entries or repetitive cutting and pasting for Outlook users. ACT! 6.0's beefed-up scheduling skills also make tracking tasks simpler than ever. Unfortunately, it still lacks the more sophisticated sales tools and e-commerce connections offered by competitors like GoldMine and Maximizer. But if your contact management tasks have outgrown Outlook and you want to ease into CRM, we recommend ACT! 6.0.

September 23, 2002 by in Developer

Dell TrueMobile GPRS Solution

Dell TrueMobile GPRS Solution

Wireless technology has now permeated the computing landscape at all spatial scales: Bluetooth for local cable replacement within 10 metres or so; 802.11b for LAN and Internet access up to 30m from an access point or gateway; and GPRS for remote access to corporate networks and the Internet wherever you can get a signal. Data rates range from up to 56Kbps for GPRS to a maximum of 11Mbps for 802.11b, with Bluetooth slotting in at just under 1Mbps. Companies with flexible, mobile workforces will be interested in all of these technologies, but GPRS, with the potential to wirelessly connect remote workers pretty much continuously, is likely to top the list.

September 20, 2002 by in Hardware

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