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Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro

The most surprising aspect of the latest version of Premiere is that it’s a Windows XP/PC-only product, with Adobe appearing to surrender its ground to Final Cut Pro as the non-linear editor (NLE) of choice for Mac users. However, Adobe’s recent attention to the creative sector is quite daunting, with new product launches for every aspect of media production, including not just Premiere, but also After Effects, Encore, Audition, GoLive and Photoshop.

October 27, 2003 by in Developer

Poweroid.com 8202

Poweroid.com 8202

These days, £2,000 gets you a lot of computer, and the 8202 from Poweroid.com -- a system builder specialising in high-end hardware -- is definitely a lot of computer. There may be a vogue in some circles for small-form-factor PCs, but the 8202 is more Leviathan than Lilliputian. Inside the 8202's impressive black-and red liveried case lurks a 3.2GHz, 800MHz-FSB Pentium 4, a gigabyte of memory, a 128MB Radeon 9800 Pro graphics card, dual hard disks providing 286GB of storage and much more. If you want a well-engineered PC that'll run a wide range of demanding applications with ease, then you should give the Poweroid.com 8202 a look. It may not represent the very leading edge of desktop PC technology (for that, you're looking at a 64-bit Athlon 64 FX-51 system), but you do get plenty for your money.

October 23, 2003 by in Hardware

ScanSoft PDF Converter

ScanSoft PDF Converter

PDF (Portable Document Format) is a very widely used format for sharing largely text-based material. There are many reasons for its popularity, not the least being that reading PDF files requires nothing more than a freely distributed application. Also, the format allows documents with complex, graphics rich layouts -- such as those found in magazines, financial reports or product data sheets -- to be easily shared. This is fine if the shared materials are intended only for reading, but what happens if you need to access some of the text in a PDF file -- to amend, or to quote in your own document for example? Until ScanSoft’s PDF Converter, your options were limited to creating (static) graphics of the text portions required, or copy-typing.

October 23, 2003 by in Developer

OpenOffice.org 1.1

OpenOffice.org 1.1

Twenty years ago Microsoft told the world about Multi-Tool Word, the first 'what you see is what you get' word processor for the PC. Although big names like WordStar and Word Perfect already had their feet under the table, over two decades Word grew into Microsoft Office and now has over 90 percent of the market.

October 20, 2003 by in Developer

Psion NetBook Pro

Psion NetBook Pro

The NetBook Pro is a mobile computer that sits somewhere between a clamshell handheld like Sony’s new <A href=" http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/hardware/handhelds/0,39023880,39117089,00.htm">CLIE PEG-UX50</A> and an average-sized notebook. Psion Teklogix is targeting it as a device for corporate markets -- notably sales force automation, field service management and field inspection or data collection. These are very much ‘behind the scenes’ activities; mobile executives and individuals need not apply -- at least, not officially.

October 16, 2003 by in Laptops

Plantronics CS60

Plantronics CS60

We're getting used to the idea of cordless headsets for mobile phones, but Plantronics has applied the same principle to the office phone. The CS60 is a cordless headset that attaches to a standard phone to provide wire-free conversations for land line calls.

October 15, 2003 by in Hardware

LG 7100

LG 7100

If you find that photos from your current camera phone are too dark, then the LG 7100, with its integrated flash, could be for you. This dual-band GPRS clamshell unit is available exclusively on the <A href="http://shop.orange.co.uk/shop/show/handset/lg_7100/details">Orange network</A> and costs £79.99 with a monthly contract. It’s a compact yet chunky 94g camera phone with a good range of features, including the aforementioned flash unit and a neat twisting screen, However, it also misses one or two tricks.

October 15, 2003 by in Mobility

HP Compaq NX9005

HP Compaq NX9005

There’s something rather reassuring about the HP Compaq NX9005. It took us a while to put our finger on just why: it wasn’t the double-barrelled tier-one brand name, nor the reasonably tasteful silver and dark grey trim -- although these no doubt helped. No, the reason why the £769 (ex. VAT) NX9005 feels comfortable to be around is its traditional approach.

October 14, 2003 by in Laptops

Motorola A920

Motorola A920

The A920 is Motorola’s second phone for 3G networks, and as such Motorola needed to address criticisms of the first generation of phones -- particularly their unwieldy size and weight, and poor battery life. Unfortunately, although the A920 has plenty of features and 3G networks promise much, it’s currently something of a disappointment.

October 9, 2003 by in Mobility

Sony VAIO PCV-W1

Sony VAIO PCV-W1

Most people who need a PC for work or home use already have one -- and sometimes more than one. But manufacturers are now hoping to persuade us that PCs belong in the living room, as well as the office and the study. Much of the impetus stems from the recent release of Microsoft’s Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004, but Sony, as ever, is doing things its own way. The elegant VAIO PCV-W1 runs regular Windows XP Home and uses a bundle of Sony’s own software to access its TV and other multimedia features. The result is an undoubtedly desirable PC/TV hybrid, but there are enough drawbacks to give pause for thought.

October 8, 2003 by in Hardware

InFocus LP120

InFocus LP120

It's not often that something impresses us by going unnoticed in the ZDNet office. Yet most people walking by the labs assumed the image on our projection screen was being rear-projected, or magically appearing out of thin air -- until the entirely un-projector-sized LP120 was pointed out to them. They hadn't seen it until that point.

October 1, 2003 by in Hardware

Navman GPS 3300 Terrain

Navman GPS 3300 Terrain

Navman is known for its range of in-car navigation systems that combine GPS receivers and handhelds to provide route planning without a paper map. Now the company has come up with a solution for people who like to travel off-road, in the shape of the Navman GPS 3300 Terrain.

September 29, 2003 by in Mobility

Dell Inspiron 8600

Dell Inspiron 8600

If you're looking for a notebook on which to watch DVD movies, play games or edit video, then Dell's new Inspiron 8600 should be at the top of your shortlist. On the other hand, if you want something portable and affordable on which to run your business productivity software, then this £1,599 (ex. VAT) system is seriously over-specified. Featuring a 1.7GHz Pentium M processor, 512MB of 266MHz DDR RAM, a 15.4in. wide-screen display, Nvidia's new GeForce FX Go 5650 graphics chip with 128MB of video RAM and an 80GB hard disk, the Inspiron 8600 is a state-of-the-art notebook that takes no prisoners.

September 18, 2003 by in Laptops

QuarkXPress 6

QuarkXPress 6

When QuarkXPress ruled desktop publishing, it could afford to make users wait...and wait...for each new version to come out. But in the long interim between versions 5 and 6, Adobe's InDesign had plenty of time to convert QuarkXPress users. Despite the new threat, Quark XPress 6 adds only a few new features -- some useful, others long overdue. We didn't see the stability issues that many have reported, but we did have some trouble opening legacy XPress files. Its new support for Mac OS X will be crucial to many who've held off updating their OS just for this. Unless you or your business is tied to Quark, however, InDesign's progressive features and integration with Photoshop, Illustrator and InCopy could be worth investigating.

September 11, 2003 by in Developer

Sony VAIO PCG-TR1MP

Sony VAIO PCG-TR1MP

Ultralight yin and yang blend perfectly in Sony’s VAIO TR1MP. This 1.45kg ultraportable is small enough to take a permanent place inside your briefcase, yet large enough to include all of the features that frequent travellers need. For example, it has an integrated 56Kbps modem and a wired Ethernet connection for sending email and surfing the Web; two USB 2.0 ports for connecting external peripherals such as keyboards and printers; and a relatively big battery. Sony has even squeezed in extras such as a slimline DVD/CD-RW drive, 802.11b wireless networking, Bluetooth and a tiny digital camera. Considering all that the VAIO TR1MP offers, even for £1,531.06 (ex. VAT; £1,799 inc. VAT), it’s one of the coolest ultraportables to ship this year.

September 10, 2003 by in Laptops

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