PC & Tech Authority Magazine Issue: March 2009
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Issue: 136 | March 2009

About PC & Tech Authority Magazine:

Australia's premier computer magazine, PC Authority gives you the facts, opinions and insight to make informed PC and tech purchasing decisions. Every issue is packed with the latest products, reviewed by an expert team of technical writers and guarantees more Aussie exclusives and first looks than any other Australian PC magazine.

Trusted for its reliable & objective product reviews, the foundation of the magazine is the comprehensive and thorough evaluations of every product tested by the tech team in our Labs. Its readers are both PC enthsusiasts at home and small-medium business decision makers at work.

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TV over the internet and media streaming isn’t the future anymore, it’s here, and trying to figure out how to get all the parts working can be incredibly frustrating. Our TV Anywhere feature in the March issue gets you on the road to connecting all your TV bits together, and we’ve got a monster networking guide planned for later in the year as well as how-to articles to get you up and running.

We’re also finally able to reveal details of the AMD’s new Phenom II – it’s impressive and once the price drops a bit, we reckon it’ll go gangbusters.

We’ve also had a good length of time to finally sort and sift through the features of Windows 7 – we think you’ll love it as much as we have, especially once you check out our pick of the best bits.

With the clean feed looking possible this year, we thought we’d see how well a similar system protects children in the UK, where a clean feed has been up and running since 2004. Discover the disturbing truth only in the March issue.

Last but not least, we got Acer and Altech i7 systems head to head. Acer aims for affordable power, while Altech goes all-out power assault: which one is worth your money? We have the answers.

We’ve had requests for Phenom II vs i7 matchups, and we’re asking manufacturers for systems to make it a reality, so keep a look out for upcoming issues of PC Authority!

What's on the Disc?

• 12 months subscription to PC Tools Desktop Maestro 3
• Pyroblazer demo
• Drakensang demo
• Fedora Linux 12

Articles in this issue

AMD Phenom II vs Intel Core i7: benchmark results

As you can see from the performance table, Core i7 is still a safe bet in terms of sheer speed, though the case for AMD is not as simple as that.

Apple iPhone 3G

A highly desirable device that still leads the way for ease of use, even if it isn’t the most rounded phone around

Asus Eee Top ET1602, a new type of desktop PC

An impressive touchscreen all-in-one PC for an equally impressive price, but the single-core Atom holds it back

Asus N10J, high on our list of favourite netbooks

Neither fish nor fowl, the N10J nonetheless manages to command both graphics and portability

AVG Internet Security 8.0

A fierce protector when it comes to web threats, but merely middling elsewhere

Avira Premium Security Suite, why it's an undiscovered gem

See why this relatively unknown, but simple, efficient and affordable package holds its own against the likes of AVG, Norton, Kaspersky and McAfee.

Belkin N1 Vision Wireless Modem Router

Respectable performance and a security assistant makes the Belkin N1 Vision a good contender for a small office.

Belkin VoIP 802.11g Gateway F1PI242EGau (iinet co-branded)

Although the basics of this router are somewhat low spec (no 802.11n or Gigabit Ethernet), the extras do make it interesting.

Billion BiPAC 7300G RA

An older router missing a couple of key features, but worth considering for a small office equipped with older and slower Wi-Fi and Ethernet equipment.

Billion BiPAC 7300N, a good value ADSL2+ modem router

Although its design is no more exciting than a grilled cheese sandwich, the Billion BiPac 7300N is functional and easy to set up.

Billion BiPAC 7404VNOX

The especially full feature set of the 7404VNOX makes it stand out from the crowd.

BitDefender Total Security 2009

A comprehensive package, but not the most usable or effective

BullGuard Internet Security, a worthy rival to Norton and McAfee

A do-it-all package that detects an exceptional range of malware

D-Link Xtreme N Duo Media Router DIR-855

The DIR-855 is among the fastest wireless routers in our tests and would be particularly attractive to all-Windows networks.

Eset Smart Security

Breathtakingly lightweight, but detection rates could be better.

F-Secure Internet Security 2009, credible but a big RAM footprint

A credible contender, but F-Secure Internet Security 2009 is neither the lightest nor the most effective security suite for your PC

HP iPAQ 612c Business Navigator

Durable and laden with features, but let down by average
performance and poor battery life

HTC Touch Diamond

Slim, sleek, powerful and good value, but poor battery life rules this phone out of the running

HTC Touch HD, immensely impressive battery life

Sumptuous design, a fantastic screen and a high-quality feel. Not as easy to use as an iPhone, but far more powerful

HTC Touch Pro

A powerful phone with a superb keyboard, but it’s simply too costly to win an award

Kaspersky Internet Security 2009

Our former champion loses its crown but remains a strong contender.

Linksys N Ultra Rangeplus Simultaneous Dual-N Band Wireless Router WRT610N

Although it’s not a screamer at short range, the good long-range performance (at 5GHz at least) makes the Linksys WRT610N an attractive choice

McAfee Total Protection 2009, capable but not world-beating

A capable package, but McAfee Total Protection 2009 is conspicuous and expensive.

NetComm Powern+ gigabit Wireless Router NP802n

A good demonstration of the benefits of 802.11n, and a good choice for offices requiring a basic router.

Netgear Prosafe SRXN3205 Wireless-N VPN Firewall

An expensive route, but the Netgear Prosafe SRXN3205 provides the reassurance of of an SSL VPN along with a long warranty.

Netgear ProSafe Wireless ADSL Modem VPN Firewall Router DGFV338

The DGFV338 is a combination ADSL modem/router packaged in Netgear’s traditional metal case and powered by a particularly large and heavy mains adaptor.

Nokia E71

A gorgeous phone with impressive battery life, good features and a very tempting price

Nokia N96

A great multimedia phone with surprising business features, but it feels clunky

Norton Internet Security 2009

Lighter than ever, but its all-round performance isn’t quite first class.

Palm Treo Pro

A good effort by Palm, but it’s a long way behind the best both ergonomically and functionally

Panda Intenet Security 2009

An improvement on last year’s package, but sadly still flawed.

PC Tools Internet Security 2009

A dreadful performer in almost every regard.

RIM BlackBerry Bold 9000

Brilliant ergonomics and admirable ease of use make this a great choice for those who need business email on the move

Samsung Omnia i900, why it's no match for the iPhone

This phone can do it all, but it’s exceedingly frustrating to use, and that counts it out

Security Suites: 15 packages go head to head

Fifteen security packages go head to head in our labs test, including Kaspersky, Norton, ZoneAlarm, McAfee, F-Secure and AVG. Find out which will keep you safe and which could let you down.

Smarter Smartphones: 12 high-end mobile handsets tested and reviewed

Jonathan Bray and Alex Bradner put 12 high-end handsets through our gruelling tests to find the best one for you.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X1

Costly and fiddly to use, despite a decent keyboard and high-resolution screen.

The 30 best features of Windows 7

After the disappointment - perceived or otherwise - of Windows Vista, many are pinning their hopes on a revival with Windows 7. And from our first impressions of the pre-beta code, that's exactly what they can expect.

The Investigator: can palm sweat void your phone warranty?

Investigator turns its attention to a rather tricky issue with a Nokia mobile phone - water ingress - and how this can occur

TP-Link Wireless N Router TL-WR941ND

Not a great performer in testing, but a firmware update that delivers the performance we saw with the TL-WR841ND would make it great value.

Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security Pro 2009

A broad and likeable package, but needs better malware detection.

Watch TV anywhere

From watching iView on your mobile to live Australian TV while overseas, to Freeview, Foxtel IQ2 and TiVo, Stuart Andrews and Zara Baxter perfect the menu for takeaway TV.

Webroot Internet Security Essentials

A solid, usable package with online backup to boot.

Windows Live OneCare

An irritating package without a future.

ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite 2009, the good and bad

A suite with some nice features but slow startup times made us disappointed with ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite 2009

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