PC & Tech Authority Magazine Issue: April, 2009
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Issue: 137 | April, 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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Not so long ago, broadband meant a landline and sitting at your desktop PC or laptop at home. Increasingly, however, mobile broadband speeds, caps and prices are looking like an affordable alternative to the old fixed-line approach. It’s not for everyone, of course, but we outline whether fixed or mobile is right for you in our feature in April PC Authority.

Mobile internet is a killer app for consumer smartphones. This month, a new rival to the iPhone, the HTC Dream, has excited the whole office. If you’re already a subscriber to the world of Google in its many guises, then read our review in this issue.

If you’re on the lookout for a good graphics card deal, we recently put 22 of the latest and greatest GPU’s through their paces. It’s a huge comparison of the current options and all you need to do is look check your local retailer for a great bundle.

If you’re a visitor to our website, you may have noticed that we’ve introduced a business section. Check it out at PCA Business

We’ll be including business-related how-to’s, features and reviews in the magazine over the next few months, and we hope you like them – check out our business security roundup in this issue.

Last but not least, we’ve uncovered the ugly side of software – the terms and conditions. If you’ve run into some horrors of your own, let us know your experiences

What's on the Disc?

• Ashampoo Burning Studio 2009
• ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5
• F.E.A.R. 2 Demo
• Paragon Drive Backup 9.0 Personal SE

Articles in this issue

Acronis True Image 2009, still a superb way to backup

The same excellent software under a new interface, but worth the price only if you didn’t buy it last year.

AMD Phenom II vs Intel Core i7: the full bechmark results

AMD’s next generation of CPUs brings 45nm technology and higher clock speeds - but is that enough to compete with Intel’s latest and greatest?

Asus F6V Green, solid performance at a budget price

Smells like green spirit, and offers performance at a budget price. The ASUS F6V Green is a laptop with something a little different

ATI Radeon HD 4350, best value graphics card at budget prices

Impressive Blu-ray performance from the cheapest card on test.

ATI Radeon HD 4650

Not particulary quick, but a resonably priced media card.

ATI Radeon HD 4670

A cheap card, with the bonus of reasonable gaming ability.

ATI Radeon HD 4830, can't match the 4870 but it's significantly cheaper

A capable card – decent performance without a high price.

ATI Radeon HD 4870, why it's our new A-List graphics card

A powerful card at a competitive price – a deserved victory to cap ATI’s remarkable turnaround

AVG Internet Security SBS Edition 8.0

Easy to use, logical and powerful. This is a security solution that will work for most small businesses

BitDefender Small Office Security

Excellent value for so many features, though BitDefender Small Office Security could be easier to use

Broadband Buyer's Guide: Fixed vs Mobile

Could you really replace your home or business broadband with a mobile dongle? Our broadband buyer's guide names the best plans, the most attractive deals and the best value for money.

Coolermaster NotePal Color Infinite Notebook Cooler

The Coolermaster NotePal Color Infinite comes in a finite range of colours – six to be exact.

D-Link DNS-343

D-Link offers a well-built desktop NAS appliance that looks good value, but for business users it’s short of features

Dell Studio 17, it's a close call between this and the XPS

Looks and feels great, but a hefty price – once you’ve tweaked its specs – means that rivals offer better value

F-Secure Anti-Virus Small Business Suite 8

The power and flexibility of an enterprise product, but F-Secure Anti-Virus Small Business Suite 8 also comes with a good deal of the complexity of one.

FileMaker Pro 10

Script triggering and interface changes headline an upgrade that’s good for developers and users alike

First Look: HP Mini 2140, still the style king of netbooks?

The HP Mini 2140 injects a little prestige back into netbooks, blending style with decent performance and respectable specs.

First Look: iNQ Phone, great value social-media mobile under $250

Dubbed the 'Facebook phone', this small and stylish social-networking phone will connect to you to your favourite net apps including MySpace and MSN.

First Look: Sony HDR-XR200VE handycam stands out with GPS, Active SteadyShot

The Sony HDR-XR200VE mini cam uses gyros to provide image stabilisation, and has an inbuilt GPS receiver

Fujitsu Lifebook M1010 Netbook - cramped keyboard lets it down

A couple of nifty gimmicks and an extended warranty help give this netbook the boost that its ergonomics don’t.

Fujitsu LifeBook S7220

A standard-issue corporate laptop with suspect ergonomics.

Google SketchUp Pro 7

Existing export capabilities and new support for dynamic components make this a must for professional users

InFocus IN3106 Projector

A wonderful high-end projector, with support for DisplayLink technology

Kaspersky Small Office Security

Solid client security applications, though lack of centralised management puts Kaspersky Small Office Security in a different league.

Logitech Illuminated Keyboard, so you want to type in the dark?

It’s something we use all the time, but compared with the hours we spend deliberating over the merits of different processors, memory, graphics cards and monitors, the time we devote to picking a keyboard is minimal.

Massive Graphics Cards Roundup: 22 tested and reviewed

Great gaming performance has never been so affordable. We test 22 current cards from Nvidia and ATI to find what works and what doesn't

Maxtor Blackarmor 320GB, a USB drive with US-grade military encryption

The Maxtor Blackarmor has one thing that other USB hard drives don’t - military grade data security in a very stylish package

McAfee Total Protection Service, why hosting is a godsend for small business

McAfee actually hosts the Web management for its security package, making it perfect for small businesses that don't run their own servers.

Mitsubishi HC5500, excellent price for a 1080p projector

A personal movie theatre projector with astonishing quality, though we wished for audio outputs

Nero 9, not as polished as Roxio but solid HD burning

A convenient all-in-one media package, but many of the applications can be had for nothing elsewhere

Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT, still almost on par with ATI's HD 4670

Not the perfect value card it once was, but still worth a look.

Nvidia GeForce 9800 GTX

Hard to find, and not worth the typical price at all.

Nvidia GeForce 9800 GTX+

Decent power, but bigger, dearer and noisier than the HD 4850.

Nvidia GeForce 9800 GX2

Nvidia’s card is fast, but ATI’s is still faster.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 260

A step behind ATI’s HD 4870 on price and performance.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 260+ (core 216)

A minor performance boost isn’t enough to fend off its rivals.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 280

It’s fast, but not quite fast enough for the huge price.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 295

The fastest card we’ve seen, but the performance boost doesn’t justify the price.

Samsung Series 9 LCD TV, solves the LCD vs plasma argument

Big screen HDTVs are beautiful, but if you’re looking for an upgrade at the moment, you will have come across the killer question: LCD or plasma?

Small Business Security Group Test: Symantec, McAfee, Kaspersky, Trend Micro ...

When you're a small business without an IT department you need easy-to-install, easy-to-manage security. We've reviewed eight small business security packages.

Sophos Security Suite SBE 2.5

Unlike most business security solutions, you don't need to be running a server to set up Sophos Security Suite SBE 2.5.

Symantec Multi-tier Protection Small Business Edition 11.0.4

Powerful and flexible, but also a little complicated for small business.

The Investigator: when your account is suspended

An eBay seller who has his eBay account suspended after a dispute over Direct Debited fees, and finds that contacting someone on the phone to get things fixed isn't easy

Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security Advanced

Easy to setup, easy to use, and very powerful - perfect for small business

Xerox Phaser 3125N, a phenomenal 20,000 pages per month duty cycle

The Xerox Phaser 3125N isn’t much to look at, with a design not unlike business lasers from the early nineties. Unlike its ancestors, however, it’s only a fraction of the size and significantly more powerful.

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