This issue of PC Authority is all about making more of what you’ve got. If you’ve only $50 to spare, what should you buy? We’ve got 50 suggestions, and they run the gamut from peripherals through to ways to make travelling easier, and applications that you shouldn’t be without. There’s no rubbish: it’s all good, solid, useful gear, and all under $50.
If you’re after a new LCD, you can’t go past our massive test of 16 screens. They’re all under $500, and you can really tell the difference between this year’s crop and the models we tested just six months ago. See the results only in this issue.
The other thing I’ve been busy with this month is trying to find new and improved ways to manage my email. It’s amazing how much unproductive time you can spend trying to find ways to spend your time more productively. Fortunately, experts like David Allen, author of the Getting Things Done system, is on hand to help all of us get on top of our inbox. Read the secrets to inbox success only in PC Authority.
And who doesn’t want more battery life for their gadgets? Read our tips on maximizing the time you can eke from your PDA, phone, MP3 player, laptop and more.
It doesn’t stop there – we’ve got a super guide to securing your computer from threats both within and without, a test of 7 Network Attached Storage devices, a preview of the Kogan Agora Netbook, and a swag of our usual comprehensive reviews. Go to your nearest newsagent and sink your teeth in!
• Ashampoo Winoptimizer 5
• Magix Music Maker 15 Silver
• Feedghost Professional 1.0.274
• Raxco Perfectdisk 8 Pro
• Laplink Everywhere 5
The move to a new platform brings credible new challengers to Intel’s Core 2 processors
Can’t handle gaming, and beaten by cheaper media cards too.
The ATI HD 4800s hit a sweet-spot of performance and price. If you're after high-end performance at a few hundred dollars less than the 4870, then this is your card
Fast and blessed with some truly useful features - a router that's well worth investing in
Dell's 12.1in netbook could have been good, but you'd have to buy one in the US to realise its true potential
Empire: Total War is a game that’ll appeal to history nerds and fans of previous Total War titles.
Are "free laptop" deals like Vodafone's Dell Inspiron mini 9 offer a great way to save money on a new PC, or a cleverly disguised con? We reveal the truth
We put seven NAS drives from the likes of Maxtor, Netgear, Synology, Thecus, Western Digital and Iomega to the test to find out which is best for storing your files
Iomega’s latest shows promise, but it’s outclassed by others
This feature is for anyone who's finished a working day with the horrible sense of dissatisfaction that things didn't go to plan, that you've been ineffective. That you just didn't do all the things you wanted to.
Inexpensive, but a frugal assortment of features
Welcome to the first zombie movie we’ve seen that’s actually any good. Left 4 Dead finally gets gaming away from the trigger-point mechanic: you have no idea if a dozen zombies are around the corner, or one, or none.
Looking like it's been plucked straight out of a sci-fi film, you're unlikely to find a gameboard with this much style
The Logitech Harmony 1100 has enough bells and whistles to attract the biggest home entertainment enthusiasts - but it doesn't come cheap, and will it work with older Harmony models?
Fans of the films will probably get a kick out it, but it's probably not the greatest use of the franchise.
Plenty of storage, but average performance and limited features
More than just a new coat of paint, the new Wind adds mobility with 3G. While the design and features don't look as cutting edge as they once did, this is still a great netbook
With more homes served by their own wired and wireless networks, there’s no better way to store all your music, movies and documents than a NAS box like this
A comprehensive set of features and good performance
Cheap and functional, but rivals perform better.
Can't handle gaming and beaten by cheaper media cards too.
On its last legs, it costs as much as faster cards.
Lightweight, resilient laptop with reasonable performance at a price tag that doesn’t break the bank.
Would you pay more for headphones than your Mp3 player? You might, if you had a pair of these to hear your favourite tunes through.
Expensive, but the ds209+ is very fast – the NAS to aspire to
A fast, sensibly designed three-bay NAS device with RAID5
We tour several of the leading tech research labs in the US to discover which 10 research projects could soon change the world
You might expect Dawn Of War II to follow in traditional sequel style, offering a real time strategy experience with more Orks than you can throw a Bolter at.
Oodles of storage and middling performance, but found lacking
What are you really getting yourself into when you click 'I agree' during software installations? We delve into the hidden world of End User Licence Agreements (EULAs).