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First Looks: Dell’s Groundbreaking XPS 15 Our PC Security Forecast for 2011 Make Your Own Ethernet Cables (and Save Money, Too!)
27th ANNUAL AWARDS
We recognize the most significant advances in tech— from displays to processors to graphics to social networking, and much more!
vol. 30 no. 1
PC MAGAZINE’s TEChNICAL ExCELLENCE AwArDs For 27 years, PC Magazine has recognized groundbreaking technologies and products in our annual Technical Excellence awards. This year, we honor innovation in 15 areas, including chip architecture, product design, graphics technology, and social networking. Expect to hear more about these winners for quite some time to come.
PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION january 2011
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8 hArDwArE Dell XPS 15 apple MacBook air 13-inch Samsung nF310-a01 HP omni 100 Dell Inspiron Zino HD (Inspiron 410)
5 FrONT sIDE What’s ahead for mobile apps; a self-healing plastic invention; the solar-powered nature of hornets; an app for pee breaks at the movies.
2 FIrsT wOrD: LANCE uLANOFF 26 JOhN C. DvOrAk 28 sAsChA sEGAN 30 LArry sELTZEr
14 CONsuMEr ELECTrONICs Motorola Droid 2 Global (verizon Wireless) Barnes & noble nook Color Panasonic lumix DMC-FX700 18 BusINEss HP Compaq 6000 Pro all-in-one Business PC Dell vostro v130 Xerox ColorQube 8870Dn 22 sOFTwArE Google Chrome 8 Cyberlink PowerDirector 9 Hulu Plus 48 ThE BEsT sTuFF
40 FACEBOOk PrIvACy TOOLkIT Worried you’re accidentally sharing information you want to keep private to Facebook? read on. 44 MAkE yOur OwN CABLEs Store-bought Ethernet cables are often too expensive and too short (or too long). Here’s a quick and relatively simple way to make your own.
PC Magazine Digital Edition, ISSn 0888-8507, is published monthly at $12 for one year. Ziff Davis Media Inc., 28 East 28th Street, new york ny 10016-7940.
january 2011 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 1
FIRST WORD LANCE ULANOFF
WikiLeaks Teaches Us No Data Is Safe
s the press and pundits pored over the thousands of documents (cable communications) released recently by WikiLeaks—the non-profit media organization that says it strives to “bring important news and information to the public”—I find myself pondering the other lessons this new breach teaches us. The biggest and most obvious is that the digital world is a porous place. Our secrets are only safe for as long as we share them with no one, in no fashion. I’m not just talking about government and diplomatic secrets. The government’s WikiLeaks problem is really the same one we all face: your digital information could become grist for a rumor mill among your friends, family, co-workers or the world at large. Obviously, there’s a difference between what you store locally (on your home computer) and everything you post online in, say, Facebook, MySpace and your online e-mail provider. It’s harder, though not impossible, for hackers to get at your
2 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION january 2011
home network. However, if the incentive is there, they might try and do it anyway. according to a report on the BBC, WikiLeaks’ diplomatic data came by way of a government network that was expanded in the early part of this century so government intelligence agencies could more effectively share critical information. Stovepipes of information may have hurt us prior to the 9/11 attacks and it was assumed that these more fluid information-sharing capabilities would protect us from another attack. My guess is that they have, but they also, naturally, leave that data more open to outright theft. networks connected to the Internet can be hacked in many ways. Sometimes it’s malware that comes through e-mail and can surreptitiously mail network-bound data to e-mail accounts without your even knowing it. In the case of the WikiLeaks, it’s unclear if someone physically downloaded the data to a portable drive or accessed it all through the network. What isn’t in question is where the data came from or its veracity.
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If no digital data is bullet-proof, should the feds pull all their data off the network and go back to paper binders with red “ToP SeCreT” stamps?
If we accept that no digital data is truly bullet-proof, what is our government—or anyone for that matter—to do? Should the feds pull all their data off the network and go back to paper binders and giant, red “TOP SECrET” stamps? I’m not sure they’ve done away with that, but I also don’t think an all-paper intelligence system is going to help anyone. Likewise, I don’t think terrified americans should stop posting data online or storing it on their home PCs. Facing Up To Realities of the Digital Age For better or worse we live in the digital age. Perhaps it’s time we started to embrace the benefits and consequences and maybe even modify our behavior. a more transparent government and diplomacy means that whatever people learn from the digital world will essentially support what they’ve heard in the real world. Likewise, people who like to post secrets and compromising images and text could start acting online as they do in the real world. yeah, right. This all makes sense, except when you consider that people purposely compartmentalize (who acts the same in their personal and professional lives?) and that there will always be secrets. People can avoid posting embarrassing information online, but they still need to keep personal, sensitive information about their lives somewhere safe. The home computer should be the spot, but the reality is that system has very little in common with the steel, singlekey-access, safety deposit box. If you store a piece of paper with all your secrets in a bank’s safety deposit box, it’ll be virtually impossible for anyone but you to access it. The boxes are in a guarded location, the box number is known only to you and the bank, and only you have the key. your home computer is accessible to everyone in your home. a password can protect the system, but the reality is that most home computers are not password protected. They’re also usually on the network, which connects out the broader world. The most secure government computers have a bit more in common with safety deposit boxes. They can only be accessed from certain physical locations, they have complex passwords, their ports are either blocked or restrict data downloads. Despite all of that, regular people are now reading thousands of classified documents that came from a government computer. I don’t really have an answer, but I do know the lesson of WikiLeaks: no data, no matter how carefully guarded, is ever truly safe.
FoLLoW me oN TWITTer! Catch the chief’s comments on the latest tech developments at twitter.com/LanceUlanoff.
january 2011 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 3
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storemags & fantamag . with enormous opportunities for virtually every business sector. vice president of mobile and wireless at IDC. “Mobile app developers will ‘appify’ just about every interaction you can think of in your physical and digital worlds. or a financial adviser.” said Scott Ellison.magazines for all Front What’s New from the World of Tech The Decade Ahead: An Epic App Explosion Mobile app sales to grow more than 60 percent by 2014. “The extension of mobile apps to every aspect of our personal and business lives will be one of the hallmarks of the new decade. Mobile apps can transform a phone into a cookbook. The number of mobile apps has grown to 300. and a report last month from IDC said revenues from mobile app sales are expected to grow more than 60 percent by 2014. growth that is expected to continue with connected TVs january 2011 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 5 . a personal trainer.” IDC said that market growth has been driven by increased demand for devices like tablets and smartphones.000 in just three years.
called xanthopterin. In October. IDC predicted that the number of downloaded apps will grow from 10. like Lock 2.9 billion in 2010 to 76.19 million iPads last quarter. and that app revenues will surpass $35 billion in the same year. and after its first month. app stores for various platforms have reported positive growth this year. reaching 208 million by 2014.9 billion in 2014. and this new research explains why the oriental hornet is different: It stays out during the day because there’s more sun. that helps with the process. “Xanthopterin works as a light-harvesting molecule transforming light into electrical energy.—Leslie Horn BEST of our BlogS The insect also features a special pigment. 6 PC MAGAZine diGitAL edition january 2011 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . When you return. which is soon getting an update. and tends to become even more active as the temperature rises. —Terrance Gaines GeArLoG Solar-powered Hornets! The oriental hornet is more active during the day. Google said that the android Market.frontside and connected homes. It turns out that the distinctive yellow stripe on the hornet’s abdomen is actually full of tiny protrusions that gather sunlight and harness it for energy. the runPee app can help you find the best time to take a pee break without missing out.5 million in 2010.” Dr. apple confirmed that the app Store had surpassed 300. apple sold 4. Marian Plotkin told the BBC. Tab sold more than 1 million. Here’s how it works: after you’ve decided what movie to see. Earlier this year. had hit 100. The new popularity of tablets such as the apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab have further pushed growth for mobile apps.000 applications in its catalog. a Gartner study predicted tablet sales of 19. are growing steadily.0. and now scientists have discovered the reason: the hornets are solar-powered.000 apps. Last month. you can read what happened in the summary portion of the movie you are timing. the number of android apps. —Andrew Webster APP sCout RunPee App for the Movies If you have an over-active bladder and always have to “use it” during what seems to be the best part of the movie at the theater. simply open runPee and find the movie in its directory. start the runPee timer and it will vibrate to let you know when and for how long you can go potty without missing anything important. after the opening credits are done and the movie officially has begun. Samsung’s Galaxy Android APPs In addition to apps for apple devices. Wasps and hornets tend to be more active during the morning.
lending the displayed image some physical texture. The surrounding plastic then absorbs the lost light.storemags & fantamag .magazines for all Scientists Develop Self-Healing Plastics real-life Transformers just got a little closer to reality. or the insides of satellites or wind turbines. that prevents the MOrPhING PLAsTIC When heated. the plastic material called shape memory polymer retains its original shape. which could usher in a new generation of touch screens. In turn. called shape memory polymer. Imagine an on-screen keyboard with individual raised “keys” that depress when you touch them. such as the Mars rovers. The u. The material. the journal of applied Physics published the results last month. national Science Foundation funded the work. Laboratory testing has shown the material is capable of restoring up to 96 percent of an object’s original strength. the report said. Extreme Tech crack from spreading. individual pixels can be raised or lowered. Microsoft is also working on a shapememory polymer display that offers genuine tactile feedback.S. Products could be manufactured using the new material within as little as two years. Here’s how it works: The fiber-optic network inside the plastic transmits infrared light from a one-watt laser. Its patent covers a touch screen design that includes a “shape-memory layer. according to a report by australia’s IT news. resarchers at arizona State university have now figured out a way to build plastic material that heals itself. contains a fiber-optic “nervous system” of sorts that can detect and address cracks over time. this highlights any loss of light due to cracks in the plastic. heating the material and making it 11 times tougher. according to the report.” When activated via a specific frequency of ultraviolet light. —Jamie Lendino january 2011 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 7 . researchers said the material could be used in composite structures that humans can’t normally reach.
The screen itself can take images into another color space. and mouse buttons offer a nearly flawless typing and navigating experience. Covered in luxurious aluminum. Bluetooth. 4GB DDR3 memory.0 combo port). Nvidia GeForce GT 420M graphics chip is also a first. touchpad. Many Times Over The Dell XPS 15. Excellent keyboard. and undoubtedly contribute to the XPS 15’s I SPECS 2.3 pounds. Top-of-the-line components. and an HD Webcam. most of its parts are customizable. The XPS 15 also has a Skype-certified HD webcam—a laptop first—as well as floorthumping speakers. Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Edition. Intel GMA HD and nVidia GeForce GT 420M graphics. 500GB hard drive. 6.6-inch widescreen that will blow you away. DisplayPort. or priced to meet a certain budget. The 6-cell battery alone won’t cut it. 15.53-GHz Intel Core i5-460M processor and 4GB of DDR3 memory. as it’s based on RGB LED technology.11n wireless. 802. 8 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JANUARY 2011 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . the other an eSATA/USB 2. and every wireless technology imaginable. Has Optimus technology. Long list of processor options. The XPS 15 comes with 3 USB ports (two of which are USB 3. There’s no shortage of wireless features either.53-GHz Intel Core i5-460M processor.11n Wi-Fi. Its keyboard. PROS 1080p resolution. It is simply one of the best laptops I’ve tested. INSIDE 8 HARDWARE 14 CONSUMER ELECTRONICS 18 BUSINESS 22 SOFTWARE First Dell XPS 15 $1. so the XPS 15 can be completely over-the-top if you want.115 direct L l l l h Dell XPS 15 Groundbreaking. HDMI and DisplayPort. is a wonderland of lavish features and cutting-edge components. Reasonably priced.0.6-inch widescreen. WiMAX (4G). a desktopreplacement laptop. the XPS 15 has a 15. And it can fit like a glove. providing a wider color gamut. complement many of these high-end features. First HD webcam on a laptop. such as a dual-core 2. CONS Thick and heavy. including 802. and mobile broadband (CDMA and GSM 3G technologies). with its 1080p resolution. HDMI.
an overall performance test that takes advantage of yet another component—graphics.426). It emerged the victor in tests like Handbrake (2:45) and Cinebench R11. It’s as impressive as desktop replacements laptop gets. It also earned top marks in PCMark Vantage (6. components and customization. The XPS 15 takes the cake when it comes to features.5 (2.magazines for all Our raTINGS kEy: l l l l l EXCELLENT l l l l m VERY GOOD l l l m m GOOD l l m m m FAIR l m m m m POOR strong performance.—Cisco Cheng >> CLICk HERE FOR MORE JANUARY 2011 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 9 .storemags & fantamag .3). and that’s why it’s our new Editors’ Choice pick.
an SD slot.6 10 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JANUARY 2011 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . Intel Core 2 Duo processor based on two-year-old technology. Stunningly beautiful design. period. But for those bound by a budget. 802. it takes a lot longer to transcode a video using Handbrake (4:28) or render a photo with Adobe Photoshop CS5 (10:50). Zippy wake-from-sleep times. 2GB DDR3 memory. The 13-inch version adds an extra USB port and an SD slot—features it desperately needed to compete as a laptop. Dell V130. differences are negligible when it comes to surfing the Web. or working in Microsoft Office. and bigger battery. Best clickpad implementation. 13. CONS Pricey.—Cisco Cheng >> CLICK HERE FOR MORE I SPECS 1. nVidia GeForce 320M graphics. the MacBook Air 13-inch isn’t going to set the world on fire in terms of performance. Apple has addressed the complaints Air users have had for the last two years. Twice as much battery life as its predecessor.299 direct l l l l m PROS Added SD slot and extra USB port.FIRST LOOKS HARDwARE Apple MacBook Air 13-inch Sleek. Mac OS X 10. It completely transitions to flash storage (SSDs). which made room for a bigger 50Wh battery and its over 5 hours of battery life. Thin And Full of Features W hile its predecessor was thin and beautiful but a disappointment in terms of features. But the Apple MacBook Air 13-inch $1. With its extra USB port.86-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo L9400 processor and just 2GB of DDR3 memory. and the Sony Z1390X.11n wireless. playing a high-definition movie. With a 1.3-inch widescreen. it’s fast enough to tackle any number of tasks.86-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo L9400 processor. 2. the Editors’ Choice Toshiba Portege R705-P35 doesn’t cost nearly as much and is a better overall ultraportable. 128GB hard drive.9 pounds. Compared with laptops like the Toshiba R705-P35. yet Apple still found a way to shave some extra fat off the frame. But if your demands aren’t outrageous. Starting memory configuration only 2GB rather than 4GB. the new Apple MacBook Air 13-inch has added features and performance this time around that set the precedent for what’s to come.
Features are fairly standard: a 250GB (5. the NF310-A01 scored as well as every other netbook in this group (with 38). Reasonably priced.—Cisco Cheng >> CLICK HERE FOR MORE I sPECs Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Starter Edition Processor Speed: 1. Atom-processor netbooks is the Samsung NF310-A01. Over 7 hours of battery life. Full-size keyboard.11n wireless.” spruced-up marketing lingo to describe its reflective plastic. and a nice price. High-resolution screen. The NF310-A01’s lid is dubbed “Titan Silver. but the NF310-A01 is our new netbook winner because of its dual-core Atom processor and high-resolution screen. It offers a great user experience.366-by-768 resolution.48) matched that of the Asus 1015PEM and Acer AOD255-1203. Wide touchpad and soft mouse buttons. and is as comfortable as typing on a full-size laptop.storemags & fantamag .8 pounds. Battery life lasted 7 hours 5 minutes—nice for a small laptop. 1GB RAM. and an SD slot. 802. three USB ports. Ethernet.1-inch widescreen. a rare find in the 10-inch space. which measures overall performance. Samsung NF310-A01 $400 street L l l l h PROs Dual-core Atom.400-rpm) hard drive. At 2. a webcam. The NF310-A01 ships with a great keyboard that is 95 percent of full size. Its Cinebench R11.5 score (0.8 pounds. netbooks are still key products. a high-resolution screen. The Toshiba NB305-N410 is still a great netbook. Easy to upgrade memory. it is lighter than the HP 5103 (3 pounds) and Toshiba NB305-N410 (2. 2. VGA.9 pounds).5-GHz Intel Atom N550 processor. 250GB hard drive. 10. for the same price. On SYSMark 2007 Preview. CONs Glossy top is a little dated. The 10-inch widescreen has a 1. Microsoft Windows 7 Starter Edition JANUARY 2011 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 11 . Standing out from the latest batch of dual-core. Intel GMA 3150 graphics.magazines for all FIRsT LOOKs HARDwARE samsung NF310-A01 The Best Netbook Experience Around Despite claims that tablets are eating into sales. more than 7 hours of battery life.
600-by-900 resolution—not quite 1080p “True HD” but enough to display 720p online videos and 480p videos from DVDs. Only 60-day Norton Internet Security. —Joel Santo Domingo >> CLICK HERE FOR MORE I sPECs AMD Athlon II X2 processor. and decent performance. And Under $600 The HP Omni 100 has something that most other all-in-one desktop PCs lack: a price under $600. bright 20-inch LCD panel. CONs Not true 1080p HD. and on Photoshop CS5. The system’s widescreen has a 16:9 aspect ratio and 1. it scored a respectable 5:31. a Webcam. Dual-Layer DVD+/-RW optical drive. Therefore it is our new winner for entry-level all-in-one desktops. Unlike the iMac. the HP Omni 100 is an attractive all-inone entry level PC with a large hard drive.FIRsT LOOKs HARDwARE HP Omni 100 All In One. Speedier than Atompowered desktops. the Omni is made of black plastic. scoring 3. and audio ports on the system. 3GB RAM.0 ports. The Omni 100 is fast enough to keep up with the general PC user. it held its own at 10:48.99 direct l l l l h PROs Compact all-in-one. six USB 2. the features you’d want in an affordable all-in-one PC. 500GB hard drive. a 6-in-1 digital media card reader. Attractive design. If you’re looking to stay below $600. Great bang for the buck. and a dual-core processor. if not all. It has most. 20-inch LCD widescreen. The Omni 100 is well-equipped at this price point: 3GB of memory. On the Handbrake video-encode test. the Omni 100 is a screen suspended by an arm with a single tilt point. The Omni 100 has adequate. and it doesn’t feel like an underpowered nettop.066 on our PCMark Vantage test. built-in speakers. 500GB hard drive. Ethernet port. Tool-less.000-point scores of Intel Atom-powered HP Omni 100 $559. ATI Radeon HD 4270 graphics. A bit of bloatware. easy-to-access chassis. Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 12 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JANUARY 2011 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . Like the Apple iMac. it topped the 2. Wired keyboard and mouse. which is made of aluminum. nettops like the Lenovo IdeaCentre Q150 and Giada Slim-N20.
And since it has full Windows compatibility. it’s more powerful on the Web and more flexible than Google TV adjuncts like the Logitech Revue or Sony’s Blu-ray player with Google TV. 6GB of memory. The Zino HD’s outer appearance is essentially unchanged from the Inspiron 400 version. and a plethora of ports in the back. decent discrete graphics. Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition JANUARY 2011 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 13 . a VGA port. 2. and two eSATA ports for external hard drives. It has a quad-core processor. Blu-ray player. DVDs. a tray-loading optical drive and 4-in-1 media card reader in the front. Most notable. It has a full-sized wireless keyboard and mouse. Two eSATA ports. Thicker than Mac mini. Quadcore power.storemags & fantamag .11a/b/g/n. a large 750GB. even though it’s a bit taller. External power brick. Included MCE remote. HDMI port. 750GB hard drive.magazines for all FIRsT LOOKs HARDWARE Dell Inspiron Zino HD (Inspiron 410) The Perfect Companion To HDTV Here’s the ideal centerpiece to your home-theater setup.99 direct l l l l m PROs Wireless keyboard and mouse. This compact desktop takes up about as much shelf space as the recent Apple Mac mini. and a Blu-ray drive. ATI Radeon HD 5450 graphics. Blu-Ray Disc optical drive. No HDTV tuner. 7. The Zino HD (Inspiron 410) is certainly fast enough to support HD viewing on an HDTV or large-screen monitor. Quiet and compact. Assuming that you already have a cable-company DVR. Not user serviceable. the Zino HD has an HDMI-out port for connections to large monitors or HDTVs.4-GHz/5-GHz WiFi. It is the best compact entertainment PC available to hook up to an HDTV or large-screen monitor. a S/PDIF port for digital audio.200-rpm hard drive. 6GB RAM. CONs Only 30-day trial to McAfee SecurityCenter. The only thing missing is a TV tuner. and Blu-ray movies. Dell Inspiron Zino HD (Inspiron 410) $849. 6GB of DDR3 memory. so the system can work as a DVR. Discrete graphics. and that’s why it earns our Editors’ Choice for compact PCs. The system smoothly displayed Web videos.—Joel Santo Domingo >> CLICK HERE FOR MORE I sPECs AMD Phenom II processor. the system becomes the perfect HDTV companion. Built-in IR receiver. MCE remote. integrated IR sensor for the remote. 802.
If you’re picky about your voice quality. Just like the Droid 2. you may want to shop around. But it isn’t perfect.fIrsT LOOks CONsuMEr ELECTrONICs Motorola Droid 2 Global (Verizon Wireless) Verizon’s Premiere Business Phone The Motorola Droid 2 Global is Verizon’s premiere business phone. 854-by-480 screen. GSM or HSPA 900/2100 networks abroad. though it’s a touch heavier. but voice quality on the earpiece isn’t great. The Droid 2 Global connects to Verizon’s CDMA EVDO Rev A network here in the States and to CDMA. The four-row QWERTY keyboard is quite good.1 ounces. The handsets have almost exactly the same body. the Motorola Droid 2.2 modem without making the phone any larger. Reception on the Droid 2 Global is fine. It also has Wi-Fi 802/11 b/g/n.2 GHz and folded in a world-ready HSPA 7. but the Droid 2 is more powerful. Attaching an Aliph Jawbone Icon Bluetooth headset helped. Voices sounded muddy and indistinct in my tests. If you’re a corporate customer and your company doesn’t require you to get a BlackBerry. There’s a SIM card slot and MicroSD memory-card slot under the 14 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JANUARY 2011 sliding metal back. Motorola has clocked the TI OMAP 3640 processor from 1 GHz up to 1. this is the cell phone you need. which was frustrating. the Global is a sliding-keyboard smartphone with a 3.7-inch. at 6. True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . and voice dialing worked through the headset as well. The Droid 2 Global is very similar to our previous Editors’ Choice.
Good keyboard. The Motorola Droid X has a bigger screen.magazines for all The Droid 2 Global is our Editors’ Choice as the top smartphone with a keyboard on Verizon Wireless.storemags & fantamag . a better camera. JANUARY 2011 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 15 .99 direct l l l l m PrOs Global capability. no-nonsense business folks will still want to go for the global BlackBerry Bold 9650.—Sascha Segan >> CLICk HErE fOr MOrE Motorola Droid 2 Global (Verizon Wireless) $199. with its unparalleled battery life and excellent voice quality. Fast processor. That said. CONs Muddy voice quality. Truly old-school. It is pretty much like the Droid 2 but better. and higher voice quality. there are reasons you might want other Verizon smartphones. but you lose the keyboard and global capability. Long battery life.
but overall. 7-inch LCD screen with 16 million colors. consumers have been begging for color displays. Now Barnes & Noble has released the Nook Color with a 7-inch color LCD display to satisfy this need. Reading on the Nook Color is very intuitive.5-pound Apple iPad. Deep social integration.1 by 5 by 0. the Nook Color is both bigger and heavier than the Kindle or the original Nook. Runs third-party apps. It’s not a tablet.— Dan Costa and David Pierce >> CLICK HERE FOR MORE True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . CONs No 3G. you can read it without a light.8 ounces). With the original Nook and Kindle selling for just under $200 each (less than $150 each if you forgo 3G) and the Apple iPad starting at $500. Also. The one significant downside is the battery life—Barnes & Noble rates the battery life at “up to 8 hours. Lots of periodicals available. and we were able to comfortably use the Nook Color with one hand. just Wi-Fi connectivity. the $250 Nook Color occupies a place right in the middle. sive. At 8.” Pretty weak compared with the weeks of use you can get out of one charge with most E-Ink-based ebook readers. and it needs to be charged frequently. which really isn’t possible for long periods with the 1. Rapidly flipping through pages is possible in a way that would be unthinkable on E-Ink displays. Proprietary AC adapter. You can move forward or back in books by swiping the touch-sensitive screen or tapping. Intuitive touch-based navigation. though.FIRsT LOOKs CONsuMER ELECTRONICs Barnes & Noble Nook Color More Than Just An eBook Reader Ever since the ebook reader boom began. and the display is pretty respon16 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JANUARY 2011 Barnes & Noble Nook Color $249 direct L L L L m PROs Bright.5 inches (HWD) and nearly a pound (15. The color and contrast on the Nook Color’s LCD blows monochrome E-Ink (used on the Amazon Kindle 3G + Wi-Fi and the original Nook) away. It’s still light enough to tote easily. the Nook Color makes a perfectly amiable reading companion. Battery life is short for a dedicated ebook reader. because the LCD is backlit.
4 seconds of shutter lag. The 3-inch touch screen is a joy to use. the FX700 features manual. go with the Sony WX1 or the Canon SD4000. don’t hesitate to pick up the FX700—if you can afford it.storemags & fantamag .95 list L l l l m PROS Great still images. Recording video is one of the areas where the FX700 shines. And with a bright f/2. Dull LCD.4 seconds between shots (without flash). you have to be really listening for it. Proprietary USB port. If you want something faster. The FX700 can power up and shoot in an average of 2 seconds. strong video-recording capabilities. speed. and aperture priority modes. and spends an average of just 1. Marginal high-ISO performance. Touch-screen interface. an option T Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX700 $399.magazines for all FIRST LOOKS CONSUMER ELECTRONICS Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX700 Impressive Camera With a Hefty Price he 14.1-megapixel Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX700 is extremely fast and can deliver great still images and surprisingly high-quality 1080i HD video. Powerful video recording options. —PJ Jacobowitz >> CLICK HERE FOR MORE JANUARY 2011 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 17 . Bright lens (f/2. Fast burst mode. Negligible shutter lag. It also averages just . Automatic and manual shooting.2). fast for any compact camera. CONS Expensive. You can use optical zoom and refocus while recording. shutter priority. competitors like the Sony Cyber-Shot WX1 and Canon PowerShot SD4000 actually deliver better highISO performance. you’ll have to move to a D-SLR. and even shoot using the touch screen instead of the standard shutterrelease button. Panasonic slows down zooming during recording so the noise is extremely faint. You can tap your subject on the touch screen to focus.2 lens with a 5x optical zoom. many digital cameras don’t allow because of noise from the lens motor. If you can’t. The drawback is its hefty price tag ($399.95 list). and a bright lens. it shoots very well without a flash. Besides automatic shooting mode. If you want good-looking pictures.
and screen sharing. The 6000 Pro was a solid performer on our multimedia benchmarks. including seven USB 2. It has the power to produce everything from Web sites to Word docs to digital photos. If you’re looking for an all-in-one desktop to spruce up or save space in your office. our I sPECs Intel Core 2 Duo processor.5-inch widescreen display with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Encased in a black plastic chassis. the 6000 Pro sports a 21. 320GB hard drive. thanks to the system’s Core 2 Duo E7600 processor and 4GB of DDR3 memory. and puts it on an enterprise-class PC. The desktop comes with HP’s sourced and customized software. The HP Compaq 6000 Pro All-in-One Business PC takes some of the iMac’s most distinctive design features. PS/2 mouse and keyboard ports.5-inch (Core i3). 21. The Apple iMac 21. The open design of the arm allows you to place the wireless keyboard under the screen for easy storage. and HP ProtectTools. and HP TouchSmart 310 on our Handbrake video-encode and Photoshop CS5 tests. Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 18 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JANUARY 2011 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . then take a long hard look at the HP Compaq 6000 Pro. coupled with great performance. which manages your network and client security. Ethernet. audio. dual-layer DVD+/-RW optical drive. The desktop has the usual businessfriendly ports. Among the software are HP SkyRoom.5-inch widescreen. a high-resolution collaboration tool that combines video conferencing. It handily beat competitors Lenovo IdeaCentre B305. Sony VAIO VPC-J113FX/B. The screen has tilt movement on a single-piece arm. and a DisplayPort. most of which should be useful if your business regularly buys HP Compaq business systems. just like on the iMac.0 ports. Intel GMA X4500 graphics. 4GB RAM.fIrsT LOOks busINEss HP Compaq 6000 Pro All-in-One business PC An All-in-One PC That’s Fit For An Enterprise T he HP Compaq 6000 Pro is an attractive. There’s no doubt that the Apple iMac (Core i3) and its brothers have affected allin-one desktop design. all-in-one business PC with enterprise-class features. instant messaging.
is still our reigning champion. Easy serviceability. thanks to faster performance and a higherresolution screen. if you’re looking to equip your workers with an all-in-one desktop that takes advantage of HP’s enterprise-class business features. Editors’ Choice for mid-priced all-in-one desktops.—Joel Santo Domingo >> CLICK HERE FOR MORE JANUARY 2011 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 19 . anti-malware. CONS Only 60-day McAfee Total Protection (Antivirus. the HP Compaq Pro 6000 should be first on your list.magazines for all HP Compaq 6000 Pro All-in-One Business PC $1. However. 3-year warranty. etc.109 direct l l l l m PROS Attractive all-in-one form factor. Integrated graphics.storemags & fantamag . vPro. TPM. including FireFox for HP Virtual Solutions. and HP business software.). Back port cover.
Sturdy.6 pounds. though.3inch widescreen. Its full-size keyboard is comfortable to use. Dell calls it a 6-cell.3-inch. 4GB DDR3 RAM. so we can’t recommend this laptop over our current Editors’ Choice ultraportable. and its pair of soft mouse buttons and wide touchpad make the navigating experience one of the best in the laptop world. The Vostro V130 lasted 3 hours 2 minutes in MobileMark 2007. 13 in Handbrake (4:37) and PCMark Vantage (4. Fast hard drive. Intel GMA HD graphics. The Vostro V130 is a light 3.—Cisco Cheng >> CLICK HERE FOR MORE I sPECs 1. Fantastic keyboard and mouse buttons. The 1.228) tests. Battery is not removable. Three hours of battery life simply isn’t enough for a business ultraportable. Fairly priced. but that’s what you’d expect from a new generation of processors. Better-than-expected feature set.33-GHz Intel Core i5-470um processor is a major leap forward for the Vostro line. the Toshiba Portege R705-P35. which will give you a lot more mileage and power. Though previous models in this line suffered mediocre performance.6 pounds and is as thin as two magazines stacked on top of each other. The potential dealbreaker. 13. The metallic top is made of a hardened magnesium alloy. 802. 3. The 13. It’s thinner than the Lenovo ThinkPad X301 and Sony VAIO VPC-Z1390X. the V130 is the first to get the latest Intel Core i5-470um processor instead of the dated Core 2 Duos.FIRsT LOOKs BUsINEss Dell Vostro V130 Its Battery Could Break The Deal ell’s Vostro V130 is a razor-thin ultraportable geared toward small-business professionals with an interest in style. is that the V130’s small 30WH battery lasted a mere 3 hours. Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Edition 20 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JANUARY 2011 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . As for the battery. matted screen offers 1.366-by-768 resolution.11n wireless. but its watt-hour rating is a mere 30. 500GB hard drive. CONs Small battery yielded short battery life.33-GHz Intel Core i5-470um processor. or the equivalent of a small netbook battery. and the V130 powered past the Latitude D Dell Vostro V130 $928 direct L l l m m PROs Exquisitely thin.
—M. More than half the fonts in our text suite were both well formed T Xerox ColorQube 8870DN $2.9 ppm. Even with the speed issue. That’s a savings of at least 6. It’s A Bargain his color laser printer is Xerox’s latest answer to anyone who complains that printers follow the razor industry’s model: give away the razor to sell the blades. Print enough pages and the savings on ink will make the printer itself effectively free. can fully pay for the printer itself. which don’t need much processing time. and easily readable at 8 points and smaller. which may have been a problem specific to the particular printer I tested. so the overall speed for a 50-page file was a much slower 12.6 cents per color page compared with other color laser printers. particularly for color.9 cents per monochrome page and 3. CONs Text quality is below par for a laser class printer. if you print just 250 color pages per week for three years. For text files.magazines for all FIRsT LOOKs busINEss Xerox ColorQube 8870DN For Heavy Printing Needs. Based on that per-page savings. As for the 8870DN’s print quality. but it has the same crisp edges and is fully waterproof. The claimed cost per page for the 8870DN is 1. the savings in running costs will cover the entire initial cost of the printer. is another issue. Conversely. paper handling. the 8870DN is worth considering for its combination of output quality. however. the 8870DN asks you to lay out a lot of money for the printer in exchange for cheap ink. However. the first page in every test run took more than 80 seconds.499 direct L l l h m PROs Low cost of printing. David Stone >> CLICK HERE FOR MORE JANUARY 2011 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 21 . and low running cost. although good enough for most business needs. text is a touch below what I expect to see from a typical laser.5 cents per color page.storemags & fantamag . Print speed. the printer came appropriately close to its 19 page-per-minute rated speed in my tests.
—Michael Muchmore >> CLICk HErE fOr MOrE JANUARY 2011 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 23 . and it’s our new Editors’ Choice for Web browsers. it may give Chrome a real run for its money. As for maintaining your browsing privacy. though we’re still eager to see how and when Internet Explorer 9 comes out in a final version. built-in Flash and PDF reading.storemags & fantamag . and so much more make it a compelling choice for everyday use. Chrome’s blazing speed.magazines for all MINIMAL INTErfACE BOOkMArk MANAGEr MENU sTrUCTUrE sECUrITY IN ADDrEss BAr matically update it. Chrome’s Incognito mode (much like IE8’s InPrivate feature) lets you move around the Web without leaving traces of your activity.
If you’re looking to do more professional editing. keyframing. and time codes. overlay. Pow24 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JANUARY 2011 CyberLink PowerDirector 9 $99. including a capable sound editor. making it our consumer-level video editing software Editors’ Choice. In terms of sheer features.FIRsT LOOKs sOFTWARE CyberLink PowerDirector 9 Breaking New Ground In Video Editing PowerDirector 9 includes nearly every video effect and output option you could ask for.95 list l l l l h PROs Fast startup. Blu-ray and AVCHD authoring. PowerDirector is taking a lead in the field. you can dump the movie into the timeline for further tinkering. No search for effects. For basic video editing. And by being the first consumer video-editing software to support 64-bit Windows. And as the first full. it is second to none.—Michael Muchmore >> CLICK HERE FOR MORE True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . CyberLink’s PowerDirector has all the speed and all the advanced features an enthusiast video editor could want. Fast rendering. Pinnacle Studio. Tons of effects and transition. Up to 100 simultaneous video and audio tracks. use the Magic Movie feature. PowerDirector was also one of the fastest to start up: A cold start after a reboot took just 15 seconds. At 4:07 minutes. erDirector beat Premiere Elements. Advanced editing features such as keyframes and time codes. 64-bit native code. using a 4:34-second movie. 64-bit Windows videoediting app.16-GHz dual core with 4GB RAM. CONs No tagging or face tagging. PowerDirector 9 offers all the techniques you could hope for in a consumer video editor—up to 100 video and audio tracks that avail you of picture-in-picture. and Nero Vision. PowerDirector 9 makes it easy to fix lighting and color. We tested rendering performance on a 3. Or if you just want the program to create a wrapped-up movie for you without much fuss. and to stabilize your video. Uses graphics card acceleration and multiple CPUs. Once it’s done. Fast interface. its response.and renderingspeeds are the best among consumer video-editing software.
iPad. including full seasons of shows. 720p HD quality video. Works beautifully on iPhones and iPad. and other media devices.99. go with Hulu Plus.storemags & fantamag . PS3. Wilson and Errol Pierre-Louis >> CLICK HERE FOR MORE JANUARY 2011 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 25 . we were hoping for fewer ads and quicker access to shows—episodes available an hour after they air on TV. CONS Netflix offers a better variety of content for a dollar less.magazines for all FIRST LOOKS SOFTWARE Hulu Plus More Shows On More Devices f you love the free streaming-TV service Hulu. Hulu Plus removes most of the content limits you face with the regular Hulu service. You can stream content to your iPhone 4. It also offers a lot of content. I Hulu Plus $7. as opposed to a day later. in up to 720p. as it lets you watch a full-season or series worth of episodes for some of your favorite shows. Same amount of ads as in the free version. a subscription service that offers a deeper catalog of shows and compatibility with more devices. Since Hulu Plus is a paid service. you’ll love Hulu Plus. and full series or multiple seasons of classic shows such as X-Files and Lost. and Glee. and some Internet-enabled TVs. Doesn’t work with Hulu Desktop. If deep content is your top priority. But if easy navigation and better video quality is more important. Family Guy.99 per month L l l h m PROS Deep catalog of content. Subscribers enjoy over 120 seasons and 2. But Hulu Plus doesn’t offer these things. from providers including HBO and Showtime. Competitor Netflix has a similar streaming option for $8. TV.000 episodes of rich content. however. Netflix is probably a better fit. Xbox 360. It doesn’t offer content from premium cable providers like HBO or Showtime. This includes current shows like 30 Rock.—Jeffrey L. PlayStation 3. Wii. Lets you watch Hulu on a growing number devices. in which you can watch episodes instantly on your computer.
Onerous spyware and the incessant tracking by advertisers trying to get an edge just adds to the mess. as weird as that sounds. everyone would have been up in arms. The Chinese censorship stories abated in 2010. and misguided hacker retribution on top of out-of-control botnets. after all. This attitude has actually evolved into a worldwide theme. after all. it is something of a nuisance. a universal conspiracy to throttle the Internet began in earnest in 2010. Why should anyone have to put up with the Internet? Except for the e-commerce aspect of the net. that is what China does. the FCC is about regulating communications. the world seemingly had grown to accept China’s censoring the Internet. a Takeover: not So Far-Fetched I think the Internet is more susceptible to government take-over than cable TV because people will stand up for their TV viewing habits with more enthusiasm than they will the Internet. dvorak Creeping Ever Closer To Regulating the Net iven the events of 2010. it is a communications mechanism. boycotts and condemnations would have been underway. no big deal. Ten years earlier. The idea of regulating the Internet is evolving more and more. In the united States the agency that wants to get its mitts on the Internet is the FCC. For one thing there is no “mustwatch” anything on the Internet. Twenty years earlier. Combine the WikiLeaks site with government meddling.john c. right? and if the Internet is anything. with better and better arguments 26 Pc MaGaZInE dIGITaL EdITIon january 2011 G against the free-for-all nature of the net. There are Web sites and e-mail and youTube clips and other forms of non-linear shotgun entertainment. and you can see the concern. it looks like 2011 will be a turning-point year for the Internet. What would change for the average Internet user if the content was all licensed by the government? There has always been complaining in the united States about the press and its special True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . The number of people who are pushing back on regulation and eventually policing the Internet is diminishing day to day.
and everything in between. It was at the top of the list of the Bill of rights for a reason. and no WikiLeaks. How hard would it be to push back on the First amendment just to minimize the showcasing of government idiocies and stupidities? Of course. though if someone told them it is a series of tubes that need licensing. The Internet itself is today’s free press. the major media will hardly squawk about it. except there will be fewer bloggers. incompetence. let’s license these tubes and stop all the crazy WikiLeaks and viruses and denial-of-service attacks. You can download back episodes whenever you like. I can assure you that when the FCC decides to begin a process of licensing people to post on the Internet. and while some people do not like the news. rights contained in the first and foremost amendment to the Constitution. OK. hypocrisy and the rest. More than a few grandstanding Congressmen and women actually stood up before Congress and condemned WikiLeaks and terrorist organizations as if they were blowing up buses in jerusalem. Having a free press is not the greatest thing in the world when you are running a corrupt operation. They ranted about how the operation supports terrorism. which is embodied in the Internet. But a more aggressive press is necessary to reveal petty corruption.com.storemags & fantamag . tamer content. The Government and the Inner Webs It was years go when the old-timers said that the worst thing that could ever happen to the Internet would be to let the government boneheads get involved. with better and better arguments against the free-for-all nature of the Net. In the end. scaling anything back is just step one in a process. So will the denial-of-service attacks and the botnets. pretty much every TV show ever produced supports terrorism. The process usually leads to no free press. since they will get the first licenses and it will help them beat the competition. january 2011 Pc MaGaZInE dIGITaL EdITIon 27 . Even a mediocre media such as we have in the uSa can prevent that from happening with little effort. that is no reason to end the First amendment. that’s for sure. Getting words on paper or words on a screen are the same thing. It’s a virtual printing press. nobody in government even understands how the Internet works. nothing much will really change. DvoRak LivE oN ThE WEb John’s Internet TV show airs every Wednesday at 3:30 ET on crankyGeeks. By their logic. which is part of the Bill of rights. they’d say. The interesting thing about the WikiLeaks drama for the past few months is that it showed the true colors of a lot of politicians who apparently have something to fear. the viruses will still be there.magazines for all The idea of regulating the internet is evolving. Problem solved.
sure. Except for apple.. after acquiring Palm. with a killer. no traditional PC company other than apple has so far been able to lead in mobile. But Dell is not alone.SASCHA SEGAN Can Dell Sell Cell? re Dell’s mobile aspirations doomed? The head of Dell’s mobile division was kicked out yesterday and the whole thing was folded into the company’s various PC groups as Dell faced one too many failures in the cell-phone biz. Toshiba’s mobile business is a rounding error. HP has basically blown a lot of smoke at us but not shown any impressive new products. but the real question is: where does Dell go from here? Dell’s mobile products so far were all visionary. Garriques obviously needed to go. Dell’s attempts to build phones were marked by high ambitions and really. That sells in China. really bad execution.000 units to its own employees. That’s the way the market is going. portrait-sliding-QWErTy form factor.S. but in the u. the aero got awful reviews. it looked like the best of the Windows Phone 7 units. and ran 28 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION january 2011 A an unforgivably ancient version of android. you’re going to have to be a big player in mobile. as opposed to what Google or consumers wanted. and that Dell has in fact built enough of them to sell. When announced. all of the top PC makers are having serious trouble cracking the fast-growing mobile market. To the company’s credit. But I’m not convinced the Venue Pro actually exists. asus’s joint venture with Garmin just imploded. and then there’s the Dell Venue Pro. Lenovo has decided to hunker down in China. under ron Garriques. acer struggles. but the visions were often bad. PC Makers Fail in Mobile Dell knows that to be a big player in the 2010s. I still want one. Dell even committed to handing out 25. True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . The Streak was a stab at an android tablet. but the Streak was too small. Truly embarrassing execution. as it agreed to approve the device but wouldn’t commit to selling them in T-Mobile stores. too early. T-Mobile certainly doesn’t. abysmal execution. The aero was designed as an android phone that could be built completely to a mobile carrier’s spec.
But the company also needs to clean out its tin ear.magazines for all Dell may have had to fail a few times before it could succeed. it’s still early days for smartphones. One of apple’s brilliant moves there was to create an arM-based OS that had elements in common with its PC OS.storemags & fantamag . If Dell really wants to. As Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer said recently. The Venue Pro looked like a product hitting its stride. Then Dell started distributing Streak review units before aT&T had fully approved the product. lackluster smartphones we saw HP barely bring to market before it got wise and bought Palm. at least in the u. Sales channels are also very different between PCs and mobile. Dell’s three products show a very uncomfortable relationship with the carrier sales model. and especially for tablets. Knowing x86 product design doesn’t translate into comfort with arM chipsets. it’s still early days for smartphones. a subsidiary product created by PC-centric teams and then tossed out into the market because of a sense of obligation. First the aero tried to fulfill carrier demands too slavishly. I hear Motorola’s phone division is for sale. now Dell and T-Mobile seem to be in an edgy standoff over retailing the Venue Pro.com/segan. The aero and Streak were drastic misreadings of what the market wanted. If Dell really wants to. and people like to try them out in person. a big part of the problem is acquiring competencies. january 2011 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 29 . I’m not convinced Dell has the internal competencies to do this.S. So what’s its best bet? I’d say it should start by going back to where it got Garriques from. What did apple. Knowing Wi-Fi PCs doesn’t translate into knowing cellular rF engineering—see apple’s perpetual struggle with antenna design. although we won’t truly know until there are enough Venue Pros to test out.pcmag. it can start over and produce some great phones. STAY PHONE-SMART Keep up with the latest on smartphones by reading Sascha’s column at go. That guarantees the sort of dull. mobile phones are usually sold through carriers. PCs are sold at retail or online.. the apple Stores. do right? It’s the only major PC vendor that controls a powerful brick-and-mortar retail channel. sure. it can start over. Give Them What They Want Dell needs to fix its execution. of course. What Dell can’t do is just retreat into making mobile phones a poor cousin. Dell’s engineers may have had to fail a few times before they could succeed—and as Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer said recently. once again. possibly showing some sort of tension in the relationship. that’s obvious.
We’ve moved past the era when PC users seemed to be in a constant state of panic over one vulnerability or another. So how about 2011? Here are what security vendors predict. because it does.” actually. “Exploding smartphone market and growing tablet demand lead to more mobile malware.” There were takedown attempts against botnets last year.. smaller botnets will become more prevalent. “Botnets will thwart future takedowns. some were successful. The first. perhaps through physical theft. The second was a version of Zeus. FrOM syMANTEC “Spam will become more global.LArry sELTZEr Computer Security: How It Looks for 2011 ooking back on 2010. and such private key 30 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION january 2011 theft is beyond the capabilities of all but a very small number of malware writers.” The population with Internet access in places like Brazil is growing so large that spam in True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . I think we had a generally good year in terms of computer security. you get the idea. but not a whole lot. not that the prediction doesn’t make sense. FrOM M86 sECurITy LAbs L “Malware will increasingly use stolen digital certificates to bypass whitelisting and code-signing requirements.. but it also made sense last year and the year before that and. “the year of mobile malware” has reached running joke status in the computer business.” There’s something to this. Stuxnet. it’s sui generis. but it wasn’t genuinely signed. any idiot can do the Stuxnet trick and look idiotic doing it. The “trend” is based on two bad examples. M86 notes this and suggests that command and control structures will become more layered and complex and the botnets themselves smaller (“botiques”?). so the hash didn’t match and the file generated conspicious errors. in which Kaspersky’s certificate was attached to the executable. Stuxnet is not a trend. involved two legitimate certificates in which the genuine private keys had been stolen. and my thoughts on their predictions.
Keep up wItH Larry Read his security posts at blogs.pcmag.magazines for all Internet access in places like Brazil is growing so large that spam in languages other than english will rise above 10 percent of the total. but I don’t know how they can predict such a thing.” It certainly sounds possible. Zeus will end . although I would think the aV companies know what it is. Webcam-logging and audio-logging will become just as popular as keystroke-logging. The growth of spam from developing nations will also grow. and it only makes sense that it will continue to grow. “Human mules will be replaced by malware that does the equivalent job of transferring balances between accounts using keystroke-logged credentials. Watch out for your own webcam! FrOM TrEND MICrO “Increased Global Collaborative Takedowns.” Symantec says that social networking sites will introduce virtual currencies. FrOM NEIL DAswANI OF DAsIENT “Some security vendors will run into trouble with their inability to store all the threat information with local signatures. “Rogue Marketplace Vendors Exploit Online Digital Currencies. I don’t think I’ve heard it before. Why now? They don’t say.” Fortinet also predicts an increase in coordinated efforts to take down botnets and other organized Internet crimes. but sharply. FrOM FOrTINET up winning and holding its ground against other botnets that try to attack it.” This is not completely new of course.” The number of 64-bit systems has grown quietly. “There will be more advanced IM threats directed at the use of webcams and audio.” Has this already happened? If so. rootkits and other malware targeting these systems should be more common in 2011. I can see it being a good change of tactics. “64-bit Malware.com/securitywatch.” There has already been some of this going on. “Hackers Exploit Router Vulnerabilities.storemags & fantamag . a la gaming sites. january 2011 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 31 “A large botnet cyberwar. resulting in scams and black-market trading of the currencies. abusing link results. There is a lot of old malware still circulating.” They expect to see malware-abusing known vulnerabilities in Internet-facing routers. languages other than English will rise above 10 percent of the total. but Symantec says attackers will get more ambitious and perhaps take over an entire service. and I can see it happening. Makes sense.” This is a fascinating idea. “Cybercriminals Usurp URL Shortening Services. They will retire old signatures which will lead to infections from old/outdated malware.
Innovation in graphics. GPS is in everything. That’s why every year we take a breather from the hardware and software testing to consider what we’ve seen as a whole and compile a list of the year’s most amazing inventions and creations in computing. design. By Eric Griffith and the PCMag. In fact. Sometimes the best doesn’t even make it to end users. and pocket-sized projectors we found so thrilling just five years ago. We’ve definitely come a long way from the dot-matrix printers 32 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JANUARY 2011 that made an appearance in the first year of these awards. and design continue. and be sure to let us know what you think the most promising computing strides were of 2010. A very long way. graphics. and while we don’t yet have a full-blown computer that projects its display. software. True PDF release: storemags & fantamag .Technical Excellence Awards Our 27th annual look at the best advances of the year includes amazing innovations in wireless. the staff at PCMag. its time is coming. This is the 27th year we’ve given out our Technical Excellence Awards. multiple-core chips are the norm. the industry has come a long way since the dual-core processors. the very coolest technology is behind the scenes. com tests the newest and best technology in our labs and then tells you about all the juicy product details in our reviews. powering those products. Now.com Staff Throughout the year. traverse through these pages for a look at this year’s Tech Ex Award winners. So without further ado. and they take not only the world by storm but also the hearts and minds of your humble editors and analysts here at PC Magazine. but it’s still well worth talking about. and social networking. But sometimes. displays. networking. Expect it before you get your jetpack. GPS chips.
The first APU for notebooks. was demoed in October.storemags & fantamag .magazines for all Apple iPad What more is there to say about the Apple iPad? How about this: It’s a triumph of design that single-handedly established tablets as a worthwhile platform. It takes everything that worked for the iPhone and iPod touch and puts it on a grand scale. codenamed Llano. Releasing an APU (accelerated processing unit) that combines the graphics with the CPU is a natural progression after the company bought ATI. its next-gen microprocessor architecture. JANUARY 2011 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 33 . AMD Fusion AMD will soon debut Fusion.
You can forget about SSIDs and passwords. on its own.Technical Excellence Awards Wi-Fi Direct Feel like connecting portable devices to Wi-Fi is more hassle than it’s worth? The Wi-Fi Alliance agreed and. With a pair of these. yet it will be inherently secure. maybe watching Avatar on the phone wouldn’t be so bad. Sharp 3D Phones You don’t see a lot of phones made by Sharp in the U.S. but that could change in 2011 when the company brings its glasses-free 3D screens to handsets. it created this peer-to-peer wireless protocol (in other words. 34 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JANUARY 2011 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . Wi-Fi Direct lets newer devices automatically find and communicate with each other—no router needed.. it didn’t wait for some muchdelayed IEEE spec). They may even come with a 3D camera built in. Think of it as Bluetooth on steroids.
Version CS5 came out this year and featured Content-Aware Fill. a method of (almost magically) removing certain items from an image while leaving the background preserved." The desktop and laptop versions of Sandy Bridge should be out early this year. JANUARY 2011 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 35 . but indeed it does. Intel promises it will "revolutionize PCs again. Intel Sandy Bridge Intel and AMD think it's time the CPU and graphics processor (and even power management) all live on a single die. It relies on the application the laptop is running.magazines for all Content-Aware Fill Hard to believe a product as mature as Photoshop could have any surprises left. That should mean four or five times faster throughput when data is in the cache. If an Nvidia chipset isn’t in use. the laptop reverts to the Intel integrated graphics for power savings. This technology is similar to Apple’s Automatic Graphics Switching (AGS) that’s found in the MacBook Pro.storemags & fantamag . Nvidia Optimus This automatic-switching graphics technology is a clever way of bypassing Intel’s restriction of having third-party integrated solutions on its platform.
and have 80 percent less sunlight reflection glare. 36 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JANUARY 2011 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . and that.Technical Excellence Awards Samsung’s Super-AMOLED Screens Since its debut on the Wave phone. PowerDirector 9.95. Samsung has moved its Super Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode (Super-AMOLED) screens to the entire Galaxy S line (our choice for best smartphone of the year. is the first to go native 64-bit. CyberLink PowerDirector 9 CyberLink’s consumer-based video editor. the Ultra65 edition is a steal for serious HD video-philes. coupled with its use of graphics hardware and multiple CPU cores. and for good reason). use 20 percent less power. They’re 20 percent brighter than the first AMOLEDs. For $99. means it leaves competitors in the dust with its encoding speed.
Sugru One designer’s quest to have a material suitable for “hacking” products that needed a fix or patch has led to Sugru. a polymer that sticks to almost anything and cures into a flexible silicon overnight. JANUARY 2011 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 37 . The number of things it can fix—from shoes to sinks to USB drives and even the cracked case on your laptop or phone—may be as infinite as the imagination it took to create it.storemags & fantamag . Here’s hoping it becomes more than just a concept.magazines for all Power-Aware Cord This design by Static Energy+ Design Network for a Swedish nonprofit organization uses light to show you exactly how much power you're consuming. The cord glows and pulses when it’s plugged into your electronics. It will be hard to ignore. and it might clue people in to their power usage enough to get them to unplug vampire appliances. pulsing brighter when more power is consumed.
Technical Excellence Awards Sony NEX Cameras Micro Four Thirds changed the way we look at digital cameras by giving us interchangeable lenses on small body cameras. Sony one-upped that tech with NEX. sans cables. which uses a larger APSC size image sensor—the kind used in mid-range D-SLRs from Canon and Samsung—in a camera body that’s half the size and weight of Sony’s own D-SLRs. Intel showed WiDi. the screen instantly becomes your super-sized monitor. While other companies have done something similar. notably Wisair. 38 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JANUARY 2011 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . short for Wireless Display technology. This year. Intel’s WiDi would come built in to computers rather than requiring a dongle to send signals to a receiver on a monitor or HDTV. Intel’s Wireless Display (WiDi) We’re still waiting for this sleeper technology to hit it big: At this year’s CES. When activated.
they're only going to get more visually dazzling on future handsets and tablets.magazines for all Apple’s Retina Display The display experts say that Apple’s new screen tech (currently available on the Apple iPhone 4) may have exaggerated specs. JANUARY 2011 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 39 . Considering that both are in their first generations. By August. it’s the best mobile display currently available. combining XML documents with conversations about and around them. But it lives on as a server-based development by Apache Software Foundation for good reason: It’s a paradigm of a new communications platform for the Internet. Google said it was no longer going to develop it as a standalone product. Google Wave Google Wave went public in May of this year. It just didn’t catch on. but nevertheless. even compared to the amazing SuperAMOLED screens.storemags & fantamag .
But maybe not with everyone. so your data doesn’t become available to apps you’re not even playing—it happens when your friends use them! 3) Limit Who Finds You At the top of the Privacy Settings page. other people can pass on what you said (just bask in the glory of Lamebook for proof). or friends of friends). if you post something on the Internet. and best of all. name. For example. block applications you never want to hear from again. you like to share. And let’s face it. block invites to applications from certain users. Rotten Tomatoes. Click the Edit Settings button for “Info accessible through your friends” and uncheck most of those. 2) Limit Application Data Use On that same Privacy Settings page. the Instant Personalization feature is great if you want sites like Bing. This also prevents that app from using your information. But you can still try to maximize your privacy on the leading social network by following these tips. This page lets you control who can 1) Create Block Lists Go into your Privacy Settings from the Account menu (this is easiest on a desktop or laptop system. Here you can block individual users by name or e-mail. or Pandora to instantly know you based on your Facebook settings. but everything else can be limited so apps can’t get the data (nor can your friends. invites to events from certain users. 40 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JANUARY 2011 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . click View Settings under Connecting on Facebook. there’s no guarantee it will stay private. You can’t limit who can see your picture. gender or networks you belong to. not on a phone) and look for Block Lists at the bottom. click the edit link for Applications and Websites. and that includes Facebook.Solutions S Your Facebook Privacy Toolkit By Eric Griffith ure.
it limits who can comment JANUARY 2011 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 41 .but maybe you don’t want any more friends. your biographical and contact information. The choices are to let everyone see these things. 4) Make Your Sharing Private It flies in the face of the social aspect of social networking. or friends and other members of your network.magazines for all 1) CREATE BLOCK LISTS 3) LIMIT WHO FINDS YOU 2) LIMIT APPLICATION DATA USE 4) MAKE YOUR SHARING PRIVATE find you on Facebook through search. friends of friends. and you can limit who sees your status updates and photos. but it’s possible you don’t want everyone to read or see everything you post.storemags & fantamag . And of course. and even whether they can see what town you live in.. Click the Custom button under Sharing on Facebook (still on the Privacy Settings page). that’s the smallest group that can interact with you and limits people finding or asking to be your friend. who can send you messages or friend requests. If you go with friends only.. friends only. even pictures you’ve been tagged in by others.
unless you want to be wide-open to contact by anyone and everyone. However. there were some controversies when people found their pictures from Facebook showing up as part of advertisements on the service. Friends of Friends. or at most. all the way down the scale to Friends Only. Go to the Customize Settings page.” This is also where you specify whether others can post on your Facebook wall. The less they can. Then click Save Changes for each selection. 8) Don’t Advertise for Facebook In the past. If you click customize. IM name. Go to Account Settings and click the Facebook Ads tab. 7) Pick Viewing Permissions Per Post When you update your status in Facebook. street address. Make sure all of the above are set to Friends Only. for example). under Things Others Share. the less exposed you are to non-friends. 5) Don’t Let Them Say Where You Are Places is for Facebook users to specify where they are when updating (a la FourSquare). choose “no one” from the drop-down menu. you can set it so Everyone can see them. For both choices. below the box you fill in there’s a little icon of a padlock with a down-arrow next to it. or can tag you in videos and photos. 6) Limit Your Contact Info Chances are slim that anyone outside your circle needs your phone numbers. or e-mail—if they’re really your friends. and take the time to edit the “Friends can check me into Places. you can 42 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JANUARY 2011 5) DON’T LET THEM SAY WHERE YOU ARE 6) LIMIT YOUR CONTACT INFO 7) PICK VIEWING PERMISSIONS PER POST specify that it also gets shared with certain networks you belong to. This is a dropdown menu that lets you choose who can see this status. they already have it. You can also make that a default setting. with either third-party applications or ads on Facebook. from everyone down to Friends Only. Again. or block individual people from seeing it (so that your ex who said you had commitment issues doesn’t read that you’re engaged. True PDF release: storemags & fantamag .SOLUTIONS SOCIAL NETWORKING on all of the above. You can make sure this doesn’t happen. It’s all fun and games until someone says you were at a brothel when you were actually visiting your grandmother. they can also tag you as being with them—even if you’re not.
and it’s like you never left. Click the “deactivate” link on the Account Settings page and your Facebook account is put in stasis. ■ JANUARY 2011 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 43 9) LOOK FOR TRESPASSERS 10) TEMPORARILY DEACTIVATE 9) Look for Trespassers Of course you know how to create a strong password and use one on your Facebook . Fortunately. and click “change” next to Account Security. no one can friend you. This page also provides a rundown of recent account activity. but it’s a good idea. When your account is deactivated. you can track if and when other devices and computers access your account. which is right above the Deactivation link—it’s not necessary. Unlikely as it may seem.storemags & fantamag . the only true safety is never taking a chance. Go to the Account Button. Deactivation doesn’t delete anything. no one can find you. no one can see anything you’ve posted (albeit some pictures and videos with others tagged in them will likely stick around). First. Deactivation can be handy when you’ll be away from the online world for an extended period of time. 10) Temporarily Deactivate This is the ultimate security step short of totally doing away with your Facebook account. You can set it so you get an e-mail or SMS message when a new device signs on with your Facebook credentials. If not. you simply reactivate the account.magazines for all 8) DON’T ADVERTISE FOR FACEBOOK account. someone might have figured out you “cleverly” used the name of your dog or your birthday as your password and is accessing your account. after all. to Account Settings. you can download your whole Facebook history with the new downloader tool. it can happen. When you’re ready to come back.
usually measuring no more than 4 feet. you can reach the break-even point and pay off the small investment you’ll need to make your own Ethernet cables. patch. and naSes. Buying pre-made Ethernet cables is the most practical option if you have just a couple of devices to set up on a small or home network. That length doesn’t present many placement options for devices that aren’t portable and are usually hard-wired to a network. depending on the quality and additional features you want the tool to have. Follow these fairly simple steps. for example. and you'll have Ethernet cables exactly the way you want them in no time. But what if you are responsible for a large network. at Best Buy. a 50-count bag will cost you under $10. such as routers. you can purchase longer Ethernet cables from Best Buy and other electronic/computer stores. These prices are for just one cable. and modular plugs. and for a 50-foot cable. you can quickly make the exact size cable you want.” the modular plugs used to terminate an Ethernet cable. you can buy one online or at a store like radio Shack. a 6-foot. switches. only to find that it is far too short—or too long—for your needs. Even with modest cabling needs. what if you need a super long cable that you just can’t find in the store? The answer is simple: Make your own cables. the price is $43. By Samara Lynn t happens too often: you unbox the networking device you just bought and pull out the included Ethernet cable. you can buy a 1. servers. as a small-business tech con44 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION january 2011 I sultant? Or. Of course. and the crimping tool you’ll also need will cost you anywhere from $10 to $50. a crimping tool.sOLuTIONs NETwOrkING Make Your Own Ethernet Cables Tired of paying through the nose for cables that are either too long or too short? with a spool of Cat5e. Most cables are at a fixed length. a 25-foot cable is priced at around $33. Ethernet cables (also known as rj-45. If you’re up for the challenge of making cables yourself. you’ll also need “heads.000-foot spool of Cat5e online for between $65 and $120. and network cables) are easy to make with a little practice and the right tools. or several networks. True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . But this is a one-time startup cost. Cat5 network cable costs $19.
which can automatically sense on network ports whether a straight through or crossover connection is needed and will make the appropriate connection. This is the type of Ethernet cable that generally ships with today’s networking devices.storemags & fantamag . and an rj-45 crimper. It’s easier to work with because the wiring is not as soft as a Plenum cable’s. However. The crimper is used to secure the heads at each end of the wire. sTEP 3: Cut the wire to the desired length and strip about an inch of the jacket off. for example). it releases a toxic smoke if it catches on fire. Cat5 or Cat6 cable can have plenum or PVC jackets. so some building codes prohibit it. switches and routers are connected with what’s called a straightthrough cable. newer networking hardware. cable and plugs from a slew of online stores or radio Shack. you’ll also need rj-45 heads that terminate both ends of the cable. sharp pair of scissors). january2011 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 45 . check your device’s documentation to see if the connection requires a cross-over cable. adapters. thanks to a technology known as auto-MDIX. Cross-over cables are rarely needed for networking hardware that’s only about three or fours years old. But if you’re new to making Ethernet cables and your building allows it. In some cases you’ll need a cross-over cable for connecting older devices or connecting two hubs (a technique called daisy-chaining). you will need a spool of Cat5 (Cat5e is now the standard) o r C at 6 ( i f yo u r n e t wo r k i s G i g a bit Ethernet) cable. your best bet is to start with PVC-coated cable. or connecting two older laptops to each other (for file transferring. but unlike plenum. PVC cable is cheaper. you can purchase crimpers. a wire cutter (or a good. sTEP 2: Get the right tools. a wire stripper.magazines for all sTEP 1: Determine which type of cable you need. naSes. if you want to link older equipment.
brown. blue. 46 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION january 2011 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag . brown. or “crimping. white-brown. Trim the wires down evenly to about a quarter of an inch. you want just a bit of the jacket going into the plug. arrange your wires based on whether you need a straight-through or crossover cable. brown. holding them sTEP 4: Prepare your wire for termination. orange. white-blue. which may take some practice: Slip the wires inside of the rj-45 plug with the clip side down. sTEP 5: Terminate the cable at both ends. at the other end. white-brown. and middle fingers. white-green. blue. the wire arrangement is different between your thumb. Get the wires as close to one another as possible.” untwist the wire. blue. When stripping the cable. index. arrange the wires.sOLuTIONs NETwOrkING at both ends. green. white-green. For a straight-through. For a crossover cable. white-orange. pressing the crimper firmly. at one end. arrange as follows: white-green. This can cause problems with the connection. but not too hard. This should expose the four twisted pairs of inner wiring. orange. Here’s the tricky part. be careful not to nick the wires. Don’t try to jam the wires in. they should slip inside the clip and fit snug. Take the crimper and crimp down on the plug. white-blue. green. from left to right: white-orange. green. arrange as you would for a straight-through cable: white-orange. you don’t want to see any wires between the plug and the jacket. Do this at both ends of the cable. white-blue. white-brown. it will make them easier to place inside the rj-45 plug. you also want to make sure each wire is making contact with the gold leads in the plug. Straighten the wires out as much as possible. on both ends as you are holding and looking at the cable. orange.
With a steady hand.com/GoWithIt january 2011 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 47 . Ensure you are getting a strong signal. use the cable to connect a networking device with an LED indicating network activity to your network.magazines for all sTEP 6: Get out your crimper. Zinio. crimp down on the plug. PC Magazine for iPhone Zinio’s iPhone App Have fun reading your favorite magazines (and get access to them on your pc and mac too). you’re done! n go with it.storemags & fantamag . pressing the crimper firmly. but not too hard. sTEP 7: Test the cable.
99 list BusINEss Lenovo ThinkPad usB Portable secure Drive $319 list DEskTOP Western Digital MyBook studio Edition II $430 list NETWOrk-ATTACHED sTOrAGE Dell Optiplex 780 usFF $1.com/editorschoice Bes DEskTOP rEPLACEMENT ALL-IN-ONE NEW DEskTOPs MAINsTrEAM Dell XPs 15 $1.999.999 list LED NEW Toshiba Portege r705-P35 $899.5 $39.411 direct Epson stylus Photo r2880 $799.99 list ENTry-LEVEL Dell Latitude E5510 $884 direct BuDGET Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8700 uB $2.99 list GAMING Dell 1350cnw Color LED Printer $299 direct Xerox Phaser 7500/DN NEW Mitsubishi unisen LT-55265 BLu-rAy PLAyErs $3.099 direct Lenovo IdeaCentre Q150 $399 direct samsung PN58C8000 $2.99 list Toshiba satellite T235-s1350 $630 direct uLTrAPOrTABLE Brother HL-2240 $120 street COLOr LAsEr samsung LN52A750 $3.99 direct HDTVs PLAsMA HP Touchsmart 310-1000z $1.99 list 3.99 direct Panasonic Lumix DMC-Ts2 $399.99 list sMC sMCGs8P $300 street Cisco Network Magic Pro 5.999.199 direct sCANNErs Asus Essentio CM1630-05 $479.349 street Dell Inspiron Zino HD (Inspiron 410) $849.99 list GAMING/MuLTIMEDIA sony VAIO VPC-EB33FM/BJ $629.099 direct ALL-IN-ONE Apple iPad (Wi-Fi) 64GB $699 direct Canon Canoscan LiDE110 Color Image scanner $59.99 list DIGITAL CAMErAs COMPACT direct PHOTO PrINTEr Dell studio 17 (Multitouch) $1.99 list LCD LAPTOPs & NETBOOks MAINsTrEAM sharp Aquos LC-52D85u $2.99 direct Asus u45Jc-A1 $867 street CONsuMEr uLTrA-LOW VOLTAGE PrINTErs MONOCHrOME LAsEr NEW sony Bravia kDL-46XBr8 $3.99 list TABLET NEW Acer Aspire Predator AG7750u2222 $1999 list Cyberpower Gamer Dragon $1.99 direct DOCuMENT sCANNEr sTOrAGE POrTABLE Canon imageFormula Dr-2020u $645 list NETWOrkING 8x8 Virtual Office Pro $50 direct Cisco Valet Plus $129.115 direct NETBOOk NEW HP Photosmart estation Dell studio XPs sx81002777NBC $1.pcmag.99 list BuDGET/VALuE $399 direct samsung NF310-A01 $400 street BusINEss HP Officejet 6500A Plus e-All-in-One $199 direct PrOJECTOrs NEW sony VAIO VPC-EB33FM/BJ $629.99 list MuLTIMEDIA Epson stylus NX625 $149 samsung BD-C6500 $249.299. $1.99 direct NETTOP LCD MONITOrs Asus VW266H $309 list HP LP2275w $349 direct Dell ultrasharp u2711 $1.149.95 list 48 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JANUARY 2011 True PDF release: storemags & fantamag .484 direct COMPACT DEskTOP Netgear readyNAs ultra 6 6TB.Editors’ Choices in Key Categories For the complete reviews of these products and more Editors’ Choices check out go.159 direct NEW! HP Omni 100 $559.099.99 direct sTANDArD INkJET NEW Toshiba Portege r705-P35 $899.199.
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