Features voice recording and an FM tuner. The device can be fiddly to operate, and the LCD screen doesn't display any track information other than the title. There is no playlist management, and no directory structure for your tracks. Voice recording allows the sampling rate to be set up to 48,000Hz.
For many years, After Effects (AE) was the only real choice for PC video compositing - everything else was in a different price/hardware league. But in the last couple of years, with the steady improvement of Pinnacle's Commotion and the huge price drop in Discreet's Combustion, AE isn't alone anymore.
There was a time when semi-professional video editors and home-video enthusiasts had little choice but Adobe Premiere. Back then, video capture and output depended on proprietary hardware, which often only worked with its bundled software.
While 64-bit computing has been around for a while (for the two of you who could afford Intel's Itanium, and now Itanium II processors), the dream of 64-bittery for the humble home system has been a long time coming.
The AOpen DRW4410 performed on average in both performance and features, dropping a few positions given its rather expensive price tag for a single format writer.
This player has its own speaker which would be handy for instant playback of voice recordings. There is 128MB storage on board, with a MMC card slot, located in the battery compartment. The headphones clip over your ear, and are quite comfortable to wear.
As the iPod continues to be enhanced, and storage capacity increased, we had a look at the latest from Apple.
According to a recent ACCC study, people are jumping on the broad-bandwagon in droves. In fact, the amount of people upgrading to broadband has doubled in the last 12 months. And as you might expect, the hardware community has responded by ramping up both Internet sharing and security devices for homes and businesses.
As the technology is getting more mature, there is now an abundance of 802.11b cards on the market.
TI's current workstation-class 3D graphics accelerators - dubbed X1 - are the company's latest effort to keep a hand in the high-end 3D graphics market. Consumer-level 3D hardware is now massively powerful, of course, but for all-out 3D performance and rock-solid driver integration you need a card dedicated to the purpose, and ATI claims the X1-128 is it.
One of only two DVD burners this month to come with a two year manufacturer warranty, the BenQ DW400A offers peace of mind should things go pear shaped.
The 20-30GB Nomad Jukebox Zen NX is Creative's latest hard disk-based MP3/WMA player; an evolution of predecessor, the Zen. The model we reviewed was a 20GB unit, which equates to around 667 hours of 64Kbps WMA encoding, or 333 hours of 128Kbps MP3 encoding.
HP is attempting to reverse the stigma associated with external drives being slower than EIDE counterparts by not only supplying both USB 2.0 and FireWire, but by burning at the same 4x speeds as fixed devices.
The SlimX imp-550, from iRiver left us speechless in terms of the quality and design of this MP3 CD Player/FM tuner. Being possibly the thinnest CD/MP3 player on the market, this is also one of the more feature-packed.
Now more than ever before bulk optical storage is available to the masses with the steadily falling prices of both the drives and media. This month we look at the feasibility of ditching that CD-RW drive in favour of updating to something with a little more room to grow.
Hard drives used to be the coolest thing - in the olden days, when all home PCs were slow, a hard drive was often a measure of how 'good' your computer was. For quite sometime, however, processor and graphics technology stole the limelight. Hard drives have been taken for granted - an ambient component that accompanies your sparkling graphics card and gi-normous heat sink.
Despite the wailing and gnashing of teeth that emanates from the bowels of music industry boardrooms, technologies and devices that enhance the portability of music continue to grow in popularity. The concern is not over the proliferations of the gadgets themselves, it's about the files that are loaded onto them, which have flooded peer-to-peer networks, cardboard boxes under flea market counters and the hard drives of computer users across the world.
There are three main types of MP3 players, which differ mostly in terms of their method of data storage. Each has its own pros and cons.
Identified during installation by the operating system as a Pioneer DVR-A06P, this unit was later confirmed to be an OEM version of the same drive. Both feature a circular air vent on the rear of the chassis, designed to allow for optimum airflow while in operation.
Boasting a two-year warranty, LG's offering to the DVD market is a mixed one in that what it lacks in burn speed it more than makes up for in its writable formats.
As you're probably aware, LindowsOS is an attempt at a consumer-friendly Linux that looks and works like Windows. It was even originally intended to run Windows applications, using the Wine emulator, although this only works well with certain high-profile programs such as Microsoft Office.
The Logitech QuickCam Pro 4000 is a CCD webcam with some grunt – it's capable of capturing video at 640x480, images at 1280x960.
Macromedia Contribute (March 2003, page 57) caused considerable excitement with its ability to keep site content up-to-date, under control and within budget.
This drive was the poorest performer in our roundup - but, as with its 200GB SATA cousin, the specifications were honest in pointing out the fact.
The performance of this 200GB SATA drive was average. However, despite a three-year warranty, this fell into the lower bracket when it came to value
The arrival of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 (ES2K3) is a significant event in the history of this product. First, it brings to a close the second era of the codebase. Released back in 1996 on the NT 4 wave, ES4 (there was no 1, 2 or 3) brought enterprise-level email, contact management, diary management and so forth to the Windows Server platform in a new and comprehensive BackOffice application.
It might seem like there's not that much to a keyboard or mouse. On the contrary, given that just about every interaction you have with your PC is through one of these devices, it's critically important to choose something that is comfortable and efficient.
The JNC has a reasonable range of features, including FM radio and voice recording, although no capacity for storage expansion. It can be also used as removable storage, for any file type.
The software includes a simple tool to format the device, a firmware upgrade utility and RealOne Player Gold. There is no support for playlists, however, unless created within the player itself.
Sold as an OEM drive, the NEC ND-1300A lacks packaging, writable media or anything in the way of included software, yet rated quite well in our performance testing and comes in at a reasonable price of $400.
Installing and configuring the NB1300 is easy - just plug it in, install the drivers, and you can use the web-based interface to change any necessary settings.
Well known for its dialup modem business, Australian manufacturer NetComm has made a significant push beyond its traditional boundaries, and is moving into the general networking, wireless and ADSL modem space.
Spam! spam! spam! spam! . . . if it had not been for Monty Python nobody would ever have thought there was anything funny about it. With almost 50 percent of the world’s email now junk mail, offering everything from unwanted penis extensions to stockmarket tips, spam has become as big a problem as viruses.
A bog standard CD/MP3 player, with a minimal feature set. Apart from the typical controls such as resume, shuffle, repeat and so on, this player also has 'Digital Dynamic Bass Boost' which provides minimal strengthening of the bass signal.
There is little to distinguish this from the EXP322, with the exception of a wired remote for basic track controls and the ability to play games on the LCD screen similar to black and white LCD mobile phone gaming. This model also buffers up to 420 seconds at 128Kb/s, providing a more exotic anti-skip protection than the 100 seconds of the EXP322.
Making it into the sub $500 price category, Pioneer offers a very competitive unit in its DVR-A06P DVD writer, supplied with a single -R and -RW disc and an excellent software package.
The second highest performer over all, the Plextor was the only submitted drive to support DVD writing higher than 4x, boasting an incredible 8x DVD+R burning capability
Even with falling hardware prices, the expense and yet to be finalised format war rages on with DVD writing technology deterring many a consumer. DVD+R/RW appear to be making headway gradually with both format flexibility and hardware integration into next generation platforms.
The Samsung SP1614N is our labs winner – and is a winner by a big margin. It scored strongly both SysMark2002 and Drivespeed to yield the pole position in performance, and following our current-labs-trend, it outperformed its SATA counterpart (only just). Its strong performance means that it is the drive able to come closest to the manufacturer’s specifications.
A $300 price tag makes this the most expensive of the 160GB drives we tested, but its cost per gigabyte is still well under $2.
The Seagate ST3160021A sits second last on the performance rankings, and in the specific Sysmark and Drivespeed scores. Though it might not appear valid to compare this 7200rpm 160GB drive to the 5400rpm Maxtor 300GB hulk, you can – they both only have 2MB caches.
The Barracuda ST3160023AS is a fair performer in our labs, ranking fourth and above average when it came to handling the binary.
Swiping the hardware from the PC Authority test bench, we went about putting together our Shuttle XPC. Immediately we were confronted by one of the idiosyncrasies of small form factor PCs: squeezing all the hardware in the tiny space inside.
One of only two external DVD writers submitted for testing this month, this multi-format drive has you covered for all your archive and burning needs.
For the price, this unit doesn't have a lot going for it. It is clumsy to operate, and the display is too small. It has a slot for a Memory Stick, although a 'MagicGate' adaptor is required.
We find this model hovering in the no-man's-land between desktop replacement and notebook. Its large form factor and huge screen come at the expense of weight, while the wireless and large battery do make it viable for users on the move.
The Targa TMU-401 MP3 player, whilst a little light in on-board storage, outperformed devices with larger storage capacities.
Priced at the budget end of the MP3 Player market, this device doesn't perform too badly. Sound quality is acceptable, considering the price, and the preset EQs come in handy. The bass is reasonably full, the high tones are clean and not harsh, although the mid-range was a little empty, with just a hint of background hiss at higher volumes.
The Caviar WD2500JB is a big 250GB, and is one of three drives to breach the $500 mark. It is $80 cheaper than the WD2500JD SATA drive. Despite the three-year warranty, it’s not exactly great value; in fact, like the W2500JD, this drive carries a high gigabyte-per-dollar value.
Western Digital markets this drive as a special edition drive for higher performance needs, but in our labs, not only has it been beaten by all other SATA drives, but its own IDE counterpart.