PC World - Apr2011 | Google Chrome | Tablet Computer

4G Is Here: Buy Now or Wait?

p. 87


How to Turbocharge Your PC
Rip your records, transfer your tapes, scan your photos, and more p. 71

$6.99 USA • Printed in USA


 Software speedups  Essential upgrades  Secret system tweaks

How to know when your PC is too slow
Lab tested: Here’s how the next-gen Core i5 and i7 CPUs stack up p. 81

p. 62




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APRIL 2011


62 Speed Up Your PC
We look at 24 hardware, so ware, and networking enhancements to give your PC new life. Also: which upgrades make sense nancially.

5 Techlog 7 PCW Forum 100 The Back Page

71 Digitize Your Analog Life
Here’s how to convert your legacy analog media (video, LPs, photographs, and more) into digital les.

11 The Tablet Revolution
2011 may indeed be the year of the tablet, but pitfalls lie ahead.

38 Portable Document Scanners
We test ve compact devices that can churn through piles of paper.

81 Inside Intel’s Next-Gen
e latest Core i5 and i7 CPUs, code-named Sandy Bridge, o er improved speed and e ciency. Our experts take an in-depth look.

14 Beta Watch 16 GeekTech

44 HP Pavilion dm1z 46 Top 10 Color Laser MFPs 50 Top 5 Big-Screen All-in-Ones 52 Dell Streak 7 54 Top 10 All-Purpose Laptops 60 Download This

21 Overpriced Tech Accessories
Don’t get burned on this gear.

87 4G Is Here: Buy Now, or Wait?
We examine the pros and cons of the four biggest U.S. wireless carriers’ 4G and 4G-like services.

22 Skeptical Shopper 24 On Your Side

27 Wireless Charging Systems
ree products promise to juice up your gadgets, sans cords.

28 Net Work 30 Tech Audit

33 Mobile Security
Your mobile devices may have vulnerabilities. Here’s what to do.

90 Build a 3D Home-Theater PC
Follow our advice to assemble a media center for your living room.

34 Bugs and Fixes 36 Privacy Watch

95 Answer Line 97 Rick Broida’s Hassle-Free PC




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. Rational. IBM.. This system is built on IBM Rational® and Tivoli® software and runs on Power Systems™ A smarter business is built on smarter software. WorldMags . Smarter Planet and the planet icon are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp. © International Business Machines Corporation 2011. so they can meet the growing demand placed on them as one of Europe’s largest transport hubs. Let’s build a smarter planet.ibm.shtml. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. It means Amsterdam Airport Schiphol will be able to accurately and efficiently move 70 million pieces of luggage per year—20 million more bags per year than they used to. Tivoli. Power Systems.com/luggage A data visualization of the flow of baggage traffic at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. ibm.com.com/legal/copytrade.Smarter technology for a Smarter Planet: What 3 million lines of code means to a piece of luggage. The airport’s automated baggage solution will allow Schiphol to increase their baggage handling capacity by 40%. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at www. ibm. registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. the IBM logo. systems and services.

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contesKen Jennings proved to be no match for his silicon-based opponent. ed question-answering computer—has “Dear Member: vanquished two human former champinot truly thinking. we knew that Deep Blue had simply crunching numbers (admittedly Clearly a human didn’t write that. quintessentially human So for now. humor. Watson was will result in further collection action. e following text is verbatim. as ever-smarter a computer that was a true helpmate— computers grab all the glory—running Don’t Offend the Computers one that could listen to your Englishthe world.COM . A computer’s landmark win against top human opponents at the Watson—IBM’s stunningly sophisticatTV game Jeopardy could herald a new era in artificial intelligence. continues to neath his Final Jeopardy answer. for one. please remit payment or a minute. at least.S. a computer would be dumb enough to back in 1997.” Sure. no. new computer overlords”—a sly paraobvious to the average human. without any further damIt’s a game that rewards age to my credit rating. still can’t ratchet upward (see “Inside Intel’s nings wrote: “I. Failure to respond computers in the same way again.” page 81). we talents—things like wordshouldn’t worry about play. Watson’s impressive and o eat references. smarty-pants Watson and its ative. Such a poscarbon-based bipeds fritter away our though I’ve altered the institution’s sibility may not be all that far away. desktop and the cloud tant Ken Jennings seemed eventually. Steve Fox is editorial director of PCWorld. In ty to catch subtle allusions fact.T echlog STEVE FOX Watson Wins! Is Humankind Toast? THE UNTHINKABLE has happened. and the abilicomputer overlords. ishing our masters’ robotic body parts? I’d hate for them to retaliate by emptyIn a word. able to talk to a human. 5 PHOTOGRAPH: BEN HIDER (GETTY IMAGES) WorldMags APRIL 2011 PCWORLD. Bespectacularly so.6TB of loan current. demanding calculating pi or retrieving a penny. and yet some generate a letter and send up any hope of trying to it o at some expense via outperform computers at the U. time watching Simpsons reruns and polname for fear of o ending its computers. Ponder this momentous victory for power of 90 IBM servers. In that Humans may still need to do the crephrase from e Simpsons. for all its horsepower. welcome our always grasp linguistic nuances that are Next-Gen Processors. And we’d long ago given at’s an impressive feat. and A recent letter from my bank reinforces language queries and retrieve exactly handling other crucial duties—while we the point. overseeing corporations. or for at least as long as your data. e same it’s worth asking: Is this multimillion-dollar techhumanity’s last gasp? Just nologies that power Watas he was about to go DESPITE HAVING ONCE won 74 games in a row. former Jeopardy champion son are sure to reach the down to defeat. at’s because Watarti cial intelligence. Fortunately I was strings of data. PC processing to be pondering mankind’s new posiof its answers were wrong—sometimes power. imagine how useful it would be to have second-class citizenry. It was simulating “Your loan is now 17 days past due in ons at the television quiz game Jeoparthought by harnessing the processing the amount of $0. computer users. Watson was still me to a winner-take-all trivia match. was and get the issue resolved supposed to be di erent. As impressive as the ing my savings account or challenging victory may have been. regard.01. Only beaten Homo sapiens’ best in chess a lot of them) to arrive at its answers. the information you want. out-of-the-box thinking. 21. showing is good news for Under the circumstances. because we may never think of so complex that they would make the ment arrangements. another critical component of tion in the global pecking order. mail. but So are we doomed to a grim future of computer brethren are quite dense. To bring your dy. Jenson. Meanwhile. and algorithms ed below to discuss acceptable paybear to. Jeopardy. average human head hurt. nonsilicon brain can processing so ware. state-of-the-art natural languagecontact Acme Bank at the number listesh-and-blood. Just don’t play it at Jeopardy. though.

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Illinois. Just because Google gets the geek love doesn’t mean it’s number one. Phil Marshall. And think of the satisfaction of heaving that sucker overboard. but that among informed geeks it’s top-of-mind. consider yourself very lucky. OpenOffice. a “Search Engine for Students. with 7 percent.com/71556. The company is free to say no. Transmission (torrents). But as your article suggests. When it was stolen she should have filed a claim with her in­ surance company.com forums Editor’s response: It was probably a poor word choice on my part when I said “dominance. On Your Side—the Heavy? Regarding the February On Your Side about Jen Hawkins of Peoria. It has almost all the programs a basic Ubuntu Linux user could want: Chromium.pcworld. perform an act of goodwill to help a customer. with 14 percent. You note that Bing is a bet­ ter video search engine.000 carefully reviewed sites.com forums Reusing an Old PC I took a 733MHz (256MB of RAM) eMachines system from 2001 [“11 Uses for an Old PC. but now they are out one comput­ er plus $300.” Here’s How. No company has any obligation to replace any item unless you return the item. CEO. Newegg is not responsible for the loss. Dulcinea Media “Conventional wisdom states that Google’s Gmail. and it is clearly more useful than Google in cer­ tain cases. which helps readers who have a problem with a tech vendor. with good reason [“Te Web’s Best Sites. any good researcher should know the “full toolkit” of options available. with 8 percent. who had planned to return a defective netbook but had it stolen from her apartment: I must say that I disagree with how this issue was resolved. Gmail has 5 percent.won the battle for e­mail dominance long ago. Outlook 2007. But February’s installment generated strong reactions. some of them presented below. Google Earth. and without that laptop to return to the manufacturer. Especially if it won’t boot. Read the column and contribute your own comments at find.” which searches only 40. RobertGapen. I can’t believe that OYS even both­ ered to plead your case.PCW Forum Our monthly On Your Side column. you would have never received anything from almost any company including Newegg.BryantIII PCWorld.0. Hawkins had made arrangements to have the item returned. and that should have never been done. PCWorld. February] and turned it into a mean machine run­ ning Puppy Linux 5. Express). period. which is awe­ some. it shouldn’t even have tried.com). Is this fair? I think not. If not for On Your Side getting involved. Michigan It was not Newegg’s fault the laptop got stolen.1. and use more than one tool for every search. we simply explain a reader’s situation to a company and ask if it can do anything to resolve the problem. and iPhone 3. Firefox. Opera. with 16 percent. with 23 percent client share. dreamerof.com ILLustRAtIon: hARRy cAmPbeLL WorldMags 7 . Cinelerra (video edi­ APRIL 2011 pcworld. Hotmail. On Your Side should know better— this is a case where it screwed the mid­ dleman. Mark Moran. We’ve created SweetSearch (www. rarely excites controversy. it is out of the money. February]. FranklinD. Novi. Yahoo. it returns several Holy Grail results that are hopelessly buried on Google and Bing. VLC Player. It’s a wrong message to send.” Really? Somebody should tell Outlook (2000.com forums Editor’s response: As with all On Your Side cases.” I hadn’t intended to suggest that Gmail was the most popular e-mail service. 2003.com forums Jen. we find that for 25 to 50 percent of research/academic queries. Regular readers of the column know that we discuss instances where a company has taken the opportunity to correct a mistake or. If an old PC gets too old for reuse [re: “11 Uses for an Old PC. sweetsearch. PCWorld. it makes a handy boat anchor. as in this case. —Robert Strohmeyer —Marla Miyashiro Productive Sites Google remains the principal search engine for Internet users. PCWorld. —MrFusion. You had a lot of nerve asking for a replacement afer it was stolen to start with. It is irrelevant that Ms. Wolfram Alpha is more of a search engine than a reference tool.” Febru­ ary].” Here’s How.

PCWorld. California fie manufacturer’s rebate game is another example of [stores’] pawning their customers to the bowels of hell. these mega­ retailers can better aford to absorb such costs. I have found that it’s better to shop for a lower net retail price than to buy under the illusion of getting a mail­in rebate that may never come. If a liberal return policy is the only parameter used to gauge excellent cus­ tomer service. PCWorld. PCWorld. As a retail business owner. Audacity. com/71555]. February] is a not­so­ disguised criticism of those retailers Product Returns IN MARCH’S “SOLVED! The 21 Greatest PC Mysteries.F. Send e-mail to letters@pcworld. Instead of being critical of retailers trying to protect their investment.com forums PCWorld welcomes your feedback. fiere is no excuse for throwing out a computer made in the last ten years. and so much more. Share your thoughts in the Comments area under each story on our Website.com.com APRIL 2011 . Dropmeo .” Consumer Watch.com/55165). corrEcTIoN I don’t think any social network should need third­party tools for its users. BaltimoreTechGuy.com forums that have stricter return policies. WorldMags 8 pcworld. It is the people in this crowd who are the rea­ son that more­restrictive return poli­ cies need to be in place. we’re in big trouble.” we should have noted that the Opera browser also has a Web of Trust extension.pcworld. as noted in your online story “fie Para­ noid’s Guide to Facebook” [find.com forums Facebook Privacy Yardena Arar’s article [“Tps for Trouble­Free Tech­Product Returns.pcworld. North. As far as Costco “reigning supreme” when it comes to returns. And for these companies. We reserve the right to edit for length and clarity. C. I get to see—up front and personal—the atro­ cious manner in which many people abuse return privileges. or visit our Forums (find.pcw Forum tor). it’s actually cheaper to take back the item in question than to have trained employees who can ofer help or advice. I’ve become so frustrated with the privacy issues that surround Facebook that I’m waiting for a safer social networking platform such as Mycube or the Fridge or Diaspora to launch so that I can switch to them. RishabhSinghvi. Jackson. per­ haps more criticism should be leveled at the folks who abuse returns.

WorldMags .

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versus 10. connectivity options. For a look at why the tablet market is booming. honeycomb is far and pcworld. the tablet is fast becoming today’s PC. illuStrAtion: AdAm mccAuley With 50 models set to be released this year.1.0. consumers will be using a tablet. according to Displaysearch.S. April 2011 pcworld. Perenson The TableT compuTer will undoubtedly revolutionize computing.3 million such users in 2010.com/71587). microsof. Te bad news: competing tablet platforms.com/products/tablets. prominent among them are hewlett-packard’s Touchpad. see “The Top 5 Reasons to Buy a Tablet” (find. apple. with about 92 percent of the market.com Browse to pcworld. and 2011 may be year one of this uprising. Its tablet-friendly oS. Here is an overview of some of the changes ahead. and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10. Forrester research estimates that by 2015. Google. apple’s market-leading ipad is the model that most people think of first. and wireless carriers’ subsidized pricing models mean that the path to the post-pc era will hardly be a walk in the park. but adobe Systems estimates that a dizzying 50 tablets will debut this year. 82 million u. Not surprisingly.pcworld. debuted in late February on motorola’s Xoom tablet.html for links to all of our latest tablet reviews. a market research firm. but competitors are hot on its heels. research in motion’s playbook. known alternatively as honeycomb or as android 3. motorola’s Xoom. hp.com WorldMags 11 . apple’s oS is the one to beat.Forward Let the Tablet Revolution Begin By Melissa J. Google is apple’s biggest rival. and rIm are all vying to offer consumers the tablet it’s the Software operating system of tomorrow.

each of which will appear on only one device. have created a library of 150. one thing’s for sure: If you’re thinking about buying a new tablet. Soulra Solar Boom Box eton’s stylish Soulra Xl Solarpowered ipod/iphone boom box features a flip-out solar panel for outdoor listening. solar-powered mouse? the Sole mio mouse first underwent testing in 2007 at the delft university of technology in the netherlands. (Will microsoT ofier a tablet-optimized oS? at this point we don’t know. a timer. Sole Mio Mouse What better companion for your wireless. but unfortunately we’ve heard no word about it since. respectively. blackberry Tablet oS will grace a single model: the blackberry playbook (due out in april). are the rumors that rIm is working on a way for it to run android apps. wait to see if the rumors of an ipad 2 release in april pan out—you may get more for your money. and earlier versions of android won the hearts of developers who. running WeboS.com April 2011 . the model shown here won’t be available until mid2011. it also provides remote texting (if something disturbs its operation. the oS’s support of hTml 5.Forward away Google’s most polished interface efiort yet. fle 3G version of motorola’s Xoom tablet will set you back $800 with no contract. promises to blur the line between hosted apps and cloud apps. but you’ll likely have to choose a wireless carrier if you want to spend less than $500 on a tablet. honeycomb will give ioS serious competition. Still. Google says. cases in point: fle Dell Streak 7 (reviewed on page 52) sells for $200 on a twoyear contract with a rebate through T-mobile. according to eton. but even more compelling have to decide which tablet operating system to commit to. and a pincode lock. adobe air. an antitheft alarm. if a tablet doesn’t run your favorite apps (such as angry birds) or stream your Netffix movies. this thin (one-third of an inch thick) keyboard features 2. the panel lets you charge your ipod or iphone as the speakers pump out music. and adobe Flash apps is intriguing and may allow it to break free of a reliance on mobile-specifc apps in favor of Web apps. If you’re thinking of going with apple. comes with an lcd settings panel. too. aTer all. WorldMags 12 pcworld. It also boasts tight integration with the company’s desktops. it will send your phone a text message) and automatic recharging. but it’s partly powered by the sun.) at launch. WeboS phones (pre 3 and Veer). Buying Advice purchasing a tablet in the post-pc era won’t be as easy waltzing into a computer electronics store and deciding which Windows desktop to buy. solar-powered keyboard than a wireless. A ruggedized version starts at $200. you’re probably not going to buy it. Despite the bumps. let the fun begin. whose solar panel extends its battery life on sunny days. hp’s Touchpad. and the Wi-Fi version runs $600. this march to a post-pc era feels a lot like the early pc revolution. the operating system will matter.4GHz wireless and gets power from both outdoor and indoor light—a capability that lets you do your computing under the sun. Husqvarna Hybrid Lawnmower not only does this gadget mow the lawn all by itself. they jump to $450 and $500. logitech has a product for you: its wireless solar keyboard K750 ($80). the challengers battling for third place include the hp Touchpad’s WeboS and the rIm playbook’s Tablet oS. the $3000 machine. Not only will you TECH SPOTLIGHT: GOING SOLAR Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 if you want to free your keyboard from both wires and batteries. and the frst-generation Samsung Galaxy Tab is $250. and printers.000 android apps. laptops. With a maximum output of 230mA. hp hopes that creating meaningful links between these devices will give the world’s largest pc maker a competitive edge. ofi contract. In the tablet oS war.

and the device will cost only $250. fe 3DS somehow pulls this trick oT. Nintendo claims that the 3DS will take 3D mainstream. from accelerometers and gyroscopes to wireless autocommunication algorithms to the eyewear-free 3D widescreen itself. When it comes to lifestyle technology—and especially 3D—people want products without head dongles. or just leave it closed and it’ll scan for other units to exchange information with anyway.) the app is free. microsoft says. while relatively minor. 2011. And Kindle e-books now have real page numbers that match those in printed books. comcast finished second with a speed slightly below 2600 kbps for the period.S. believe it. the average person maintains three different e-mail accounts. a gyroscope.99 to file the returns. a 3D widescreen. 3D is just the beginning. iSps with an average speed of over 2600 kbps from october 2010 to January 15. (previously. only california residents could use it. a separate touchscreen. Hotmail aliases make it a breeze to hand out a genuine e-mail address in awkward or shortterm situations while keeping your primary address private. “augmented reality”? here we go. illuStrAtionS: AdAm mccAuley WorldMags April 2011 pcworld.BRIEFS Kindle Gets an Update Amazon has announced a new software update for the latest version of its Kindle e-reader.” Welcome to a world in which pocket-size devices change how you see reality. an analog input nub. and memes create themselves. Nintendo announced that march 27 is D-Day (or ‘3D-day’) for the world’s first totable ‘glassesfree’ 3D handheld. wireless that works when the device is either awake or asleep. and a bunch of communication algorithms that allow two 3DS units to wake up when near each other and exchange information automatically? You get a device that transcends the label “video game handheld. The Nintendo 3DS: 3D Is Just the Beginning IN JaNuarY. delivers several enhancements that Kindle users have wanted for some time. Tax Return by Smartphone turbotax has released versions of its Snaptax app for ioS and Android that let taxpayers who file the 1040eZ form with the internal revenue Service do so from their mobile devices. in the feature’s first installment. a 3D camera. Hotmail’s Alias E-Mail you can now maintain multiple phony Hotmail addresses from your main Hotmail account. how about a chat with friends. notably. It’s a library of lifestyle features in an 8-ounce piece of plastic. netflix has launched a monthly feature that compares average bit rate speeds of major iSps in the united States and canada. —Matt Peckham Netflix Rates Broadband Providers by Bandwidth At its tech blog. the free upgrade. bristling with new tech. What do you get when you merge an accelerometer.com 13 . An estimated 22 million Americans are eligible to file a 1040eZ. charter led all u. or an opportunity to make new ones? pop the thing open and scan for nearby 3DS owners. What about fooling with reality itself ? aim the 3D camera at objects in your environment and watch the 3DS transform them into thingamabobs that you can fiddle with. but turbotax charges $14. a public notes feature will permit Kindle users to make book notes and highlights available to other Kindle enthusiasts. Nintendo’s 3DS is an epic step up from the $150 DSi in every way. Want a workout without a Wii? Try the preinstalled fitness app that converts the 3DS into a pedometer and hands out points for getting oT your duT and moving around. the alias service lets you create up to five different e-mail addresses per year that point directly to your primary Hotmail account.

but desktops continue to evolve in form and function. We’ve gotten accustomed to navigating devices by touch. but as long as we need ample raw power. the desktop—or something like it—will survive. performance. you can make limited videos for free. but allin-ones were more expensive than comparable tower desktops. this new Web service lets you create short vanity videos that put your name or other text into slicklooking templates. baking in their own fingerfriendly user interfaces to overcome the general awkwardness of navigating file systems via your hands. but i can’t.us’s mostly empty home page. the files are automatically uploaded and placed into a gallery that makes browsing images easy. thinner 14 chassis. pc makers like acer. you’ll need to pay as much as $7 for a 1920-by-1080-pixel version. or a versatile tool that we can upgrade to fit the latest trends. Tat’s changed.us Vipid: you ought to Be in pictures i’d love to tell you that Vipid has tremendous practical value. thanks to aTms. (For our current allin-one picks. vipidme. navigation systems. —Nate Ralph if you like the clean look of the Google search page. last year.Forward BETA WATCH EDWARD N. see page 50. the humble desktop will be with us for some time—we probably just won’t recognize it.) multitouch all-in-ones are becoming the norm. Facebook. you can share the files (up to 10mB for now) through e-mail. you’re going to love min. YoU can put your own text into replicas of the movie openers for studios like Twentieth century Fox or pixar. hp. ALBRO THE mINImAlIST dESIGN at min. and mSI have been addressing that issue. lenovo. and sluggish.com April 2011 . like replicas of the twentieth century Fox movie opening or of pixar’s bouncing desk lamp sequence. Stumbleupon. but to do everything you want with your video. all-inone systems—those melds of monitor and machine— sought to simplify desktop computing. that it’s cool and fun. i can say. and (perhaps most important) value. however. a file-sharing service that’s as minimal as can be.us. Tey were a svelte. and sometimes that’s enough. but the Windows 7 interface simply isn’t built for touch. while ofering substantial performance gains—for the same price.com wITH VIpId. Intel’s second-generation core processors (see page 81) have demonstrably lower power requirements. hassle-free alternative to the burdensome beige and black boxes we’ve known for so long. it encourages you to drag files you want to share right onto the browser window (you can also choose them through Windows explorer if you prefer). or models that are the same size as today’s allin-ones but packed with discrete graphics cards and neat extras. and cell phones. and twitter. including downloading it. WorldMags pcworld. reddit. or via digg. Tat means smaller. min.us: Supersimple Sharing How Desktop PCs Got Their Groove Back TableTS aND phoNeS of all shapes and sizes may be hogging the limelight. Driven by versatility. I can’t pretend to know what the future of computing holds. especially. When you open min.us reflects how easily users can upload and share files through the free service. min.

A * if u n c ti o lt o lo r M u d to n e r. 353 0 C aper an CM e r g y. th e S ess spe s e rJ e t ur b u s in HP L A e HP La e le s s yo Th r y e a r. WorldMags . p v in g e n lf b y s a ow at it s e v in g s n your sa te C a lc u la jet.P. /laser hp. Estimated energy savings based on typical electricity consumption (TEC) for HP and competitor products from energystar. m o re it ERJET n d s .008/plain paper sheet. K C INESS SHRIN BUS ATC H W C K. Actual results may vary. th * one r p a y s fo f te r ju s t n P r in te g r o w.095/kWh. OU BA S Y I T PA Y can .gov and the global average energy cost of $0. Estimated savings are not guaranteed to be accurate by Hewlett-Packard Company. L. Estimated savings on color products based on in-house marketing savings from printing approximately 10% to 15% of maximum RMPV double-sided and on special glossy media compared to average retail copy-shop pricing: Infotrends data September 2010.com/go/printcosts for more details.O S T S. and global average paper cost of $0. 30% reduction in paper use with two-sided printing. Toner and additional paper savings estimates based on the use of HP Smart Web Printing to reduce the number of pages printed from the Internet by 16%. *Estimated payback time frame assumes maximum recommended monthly print volume (RMPV) per product.com MFP S HP LA CM35 ERJET LO 30 CO R ©2011 Hewlett-Packard Development Company. Go to hp.

GeekTech: What was the inspiration and motivation for this project? Jason Brush: to make art accessible to more people around the world. and hardware news. since it had the technology needed. WebGl support brings hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to the browser. a virtual museum tour of famous art galleries. and youtube Apis. most Web pages will load as soon as you type a url in the search box (or “omnibox” in Google’s parlance). a speed enhancer that loads Web pages as you type a url. people can then learn more about the artwork they are viewing through content delivered through Google Scholar.com).S. With Instant enabled. To activate chrome Instant. but makes art accessible as never before. go to the Basics tab of GEEKTECH THE AdApTEd GooGlE Street View camera is pictured during the launch of the new ‘Google Art project’ website. and access to the new chrome Web Store. and was built using Google Apis. the museum “gallery view” employs Google Street View. without the need for additional sofiware. Art project is a Javabased Google App engine Web application. chrome options and check the box in the Search section. Webbased virtual museum tours. excerpts follow. —Je Bertolucci 16 —Nick Mediati Visit the GeekTech blog at go.Forward Google’s Chrome 9: What’s New GooGle haS launched version 9 of its chrome browser. Google’s Art Project: The Tech Behind the Scenes in FeBruAry. other notable upgrades include WebGl support for hardware-accelerated 3D graphics. GT: do you see any other practical uses for this sort of technology? JB: i think one of the most notable achievements of Art project is how it introduces a new model for viewing art. to share personalized collections of artwork. this location data allows people to see which artwork can be explored further and to link to that information in the site’s second main section. via a link on the New Tab page. chrome users can now access the chrome Web Store. providing a whole new perspective. in the same way that televised sports can’t replicate the thrill of the live game but gives a point of view you couldn’t have in person—with slow motion. which features chrome Instant. WorldMags pcworld. featured artworks are mapped to their longitude and latitude within the museum being shown by Street View. GeekTech conducted an e-mail interview with Jason Brush. and instant replay—Art project can’t replace the feeling of looking at a painting with your own eyes. an extension of Google street View enables interactive. the site exists entirely on Google’s infrastructure.gl url shortener. connected suite of Google technologies. they can then share unique links to their collections by e-mail. in each museum. based on Google’s Street View technology. using the integrated Goo. Google was in a great position to make this a reality. overall. at the Tate Britain gallery in london.com/ geektech for hacks. close-ups. lastly. chrome users don’t have to do anything to upgrade to version 9—it downloads and installs automatically. the artwork “microscope view.com April 2011 pHotoGrApH: leon neAl (AFp/Getty imAGeS) . the company Google worked with to develop Google Art project. Google docs. tips.pcworld. u. GooGle introduced Google Art project (googleartproject. GT: What tools did you use for the project? JB: powered by a broad. or to various Web services.” which uses picasa to deliver high-resolution captures of artwork. the executive vice president of user experience at Schematic. chrome 9 adds some compelling upgrades while retaining the browser’s speed and simplicity. people can log in with their Google account. rUSSIA’S STATE HErmITAGE museum is one of the world-famous institutions in the Art project.

allowing you to work through brief power outages or safely shut down your systems so you won’t lose valuable files— such as digital photos and media libraries. and Legendary Reliability are trademarks owned by Schneider Electric Industries SAS or its affiliated companies. Reliable power backup for 24/7 availability Whether DVRing your favorite show. equipment. and gaming application. Back-UPS. • 10 Outlets • 450 Watts / 750 VA • 70 Minutes Maximum Runtime • Telephone/Network Protection The best-value ES 550G The ES 550G uses an ultra-efficient design that consumes less power during normal operation than any other battery backup in its class. eliminating wasteful electricity drains. APC. or playing a live networked game.com/promo Key Code z984w • Call 888-289-APCC x8350 • Fax 401-788-2797 WorldMags ©2011 Schneider Electric. Schneider Electric. So you get two levels of protection in every APC Back-UPS unit! The energy-efficient ES 750G Energy-saving insurance for what matters most Our Back-UPS units protect your home office. Peace of mind protection on two levels When the power goes out. That’s why APC by Schneider ElectricTM has designed battery backup solutions that protect the constant availability and connectivity you expect…and depend on. The ES 750G boasts innovative power-saving outlets. They also feature surge outlets to guard your electronics and data from “dirty” power and damaging power surges—even lightning. our popular Back-UPSTM units go to work. saving you money on your electricity bill. all day. All Rights Reserved. • 8 Outlets • 330 Watts / 550 VA • 43 Minutes Maximum Runtime • Telephone/Network Protection Power up to WIN 1 of 7 APC BR 700G Battery Back-UPS units (a $130 value)! Visit www. and memories. West Kingston. DVRs. updating your Facebook® status.com • 132 Fairgrounds Road. Some power-saving models have been designed to actively reduce energy costs. you can realize true energy savings regardless of the applications you’re backing up. the APC Back-UPS is the cost-saving insurance you need to stay up and running and reliably safeguarded from both unpredictable power and wasteful energy drains.apc.What’s at risk if bad power damages your home network? All of the above. e-mail: esupport@apc. RI 02892 USA • 998-2509 . And since we now offer energy-efficient models that reduce electricity costs through unique power-saving outlets. APC Back-UPS protects your important data. you depend on your home electronics every day. digital living and home media applications. Keep your electronics up and your energy use down! ES Series The ever-popular ES models are priced affordably yet provide enough extended runtime to allow you to work through short and medium power outages. They instantly switch your home technologies to emergency power. notebook computers. Throughout your home. which automatically shut off power to unused devices when your electronics are turned off or asleep. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Ion Audio Turns Vinyl Vertical turntables are a dime a dozen. which could work for zooming in and out in a Web browser or 3d menu. a fingerprint recognizer. but it’s rare to find one that merges cool design and spatial efficiency. For text input. Fujifilm’s Elegant. philips’s uWand remote control contains accelerometers and a camera that communicates with an infrared sensor below the television. and supports Hd video. 16GB of storage. has a full Html 5 browser. as does the built-in speaker. and download apps directly to your Android phone or tablet. the first dual-core-processor phone from At&t. it’s also one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful cameras we’ve seen.com April 2011 . WorldMags 18 pcworld. a “gHd” display. the mountable turntable fits snugly against a wall and securely locks in any records. a large dSlr-size sensor without the bulky body. it runs Android 2. FeatureFilled FinePix X100 the recently announced Fujifilm Finepix X100 has extensive manual controls. the battery power keeps it from having too many wires. and it can play at either 33 or 44 rpm. it docks into a laptoplike base. ion Audio’s Vertical Vinyl puts a new spin on playing records. Web-Based Android Market Looks Good Android smartphone owners can now browse and shop online for apps instead of accessing the Android market only on their handset. share. the new browser-based Android market allows you to browse. this lets users point the remote while flicking or twisting it to scroll through long lists of information.2. the uWand has a full QWerty keyboard on its back side. and a bright F2. built-in lens filters that are usually available only as separately sold accessories. the uWand also detects pushing and pulling. it offers 1GB of rAm.0-aperture lens that lets you harness enough light to use very fast shutter speeds and achieve shallow depth-of-field effects.Forward Staff Picks: New Gadgets and Services Motorola’s Atrix 4G Offers Versatility the Atrix 4G may be a new concept that delivers the mobility of a phone and the superior usability of a laptop in one product. and a powerful battery. Philips uWand Remote: Wii-Style TV Controls like the now-iconic Wii remote.

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the research that you conduct Tese cables work just fine. that try shopping for cell-phone accessories—everything from doesn’t mean the necessary cables are thrown in for free. If you decide later days. cases and screen protectors to extra chargers. case something goes wrong. cables. as into a catch-all repair fund. car chargers. But you can find good-quality gear you don’t. or belt holsters. Extended warranties: When I bought a new laptop from Best Printer cables: Too ofen.” and buying a top-notch brand or you’ll find them for as little as model (based on reviews and $2 to $3 with free shipping. your free antivirus application and high-capacity. Don’t take the on cases. don’t buy the accessory bundles offered in the store. Need extra lenses. If that sells you the camera. and more.pcworld.com For money-saving tips on how to deal with tech expenditures ranging from long-term cell-phone service commitments to recurring bills. Camera accessories: Tese com/71542). see “Save Money. you can always ante up you’ll need come bundled with for a paid antivirus app then. together with some thoughts on how you can still Accessory Geeks. For more choices. before you enter the store) and minus the flashy packaging. get all of the extras you require without breaking the bank. well as Microsof Security you’ll probably have enough Essentials.pcworld.com/71572). flashes. by Todd R. one caveat: Before installing filters. You’re better off for “cheap uSB cables. $300 that the warranty costs I like AVG’s free program. putting the extended warranty Antivirus software: Antivirus money into a repair fund in sofware is a must for your PC.Consumer Watch Ten Tech Accessories You Pay Too Much For My cardinal rule: When you purchase a cell phone or smartphone. But you can find some great If you put the extra $100 to free antivirus sofware options. Welcome to But don’t let the salesperson talk you into buying a supersticker shock. the camera. software. the two programs could conflict with each other at a substantially lower price on Amazon or Newegg. run a Web search a good deal. You’ll also be surprised by how little comes expensive ($100 or thereabouts) HDMI cable that will make with the phone: no cases. the uSB cord to connect the printsalesperson informed me that er to your PC. Here’s how to get the best deals Well. Online and Off” ( find. and another $100 to $400 on a Blu-ray disc player. Instead. CellPhoneShop. HDMI cables: When you drop $700 to $4000 on an HDTV Cell-phone accessories: If you think cell phones are pricey. Extended warranties are rarely bait. Weiss illustrAtion: Edwin FothEringhAm pcworld. practically none of the on that you want fuller protecdigital camera accessories that tion.” charge $20 to $30 for that accessories. You can save a bundle of cash—50 percent or more on each HErE’S our lIST of ten tech accessories that you pay too item—by shopping online for accessories at sources such as much for. here’s the inside scoop: missing cord.com WorldMags 21 . high-speed on a new machine. for 2011” chart (find. And some stores don’t blow your budget on overpriced gadget “one in three laptops will fail. uninstall memory cards? You can buy these items from the same place any trial versions of other antivirus products lurking there. padded cases. a “free printer” comes without a Buy this past summer. April 2011 pcworld. to cover any out-of-warranty see our “Top 5 Free Antivirus repair expenses that arise. and slow your system’s performance to a crawl. and Wireless Emporium.

4 standards. a good site event of a return. If you’re sick of Amazon and eBay. in a 2010 here are some pointers to keep in mind: study conducted by electronics shopping never use a site without checking its site retrevo. McDONALD Sell Your Gently Used Tech Gadgets Online Fund a new phone.com valued my phone at $117. HDMI cables that are available online from Amazon. if the site agrees personal data. and handmade. when prompted. Creating a recovery disc set—so you can recover the computer’s original operating system in the event of a disaster—is straightforward. many consumers overesage cards and personal photos. three sites came back with offers: Buytry to sell gear just before its manumytronics. timate the condition of their equipment. Game controllers: Before you drop big dollars on name-brand controllers. is it free? is year after a Verizon rebate. tablet. Many are far cheaper than those that the game system’s maker sells—and work just as well.com April 2011 . rechargeable batteries are best. But la razr V3 that was my pride and joy in how can you tell which ones will send you 2004 is worthless today. facturer or vendor launches an updated nextworth. Recovery discs: Some stores charge $60 to $100 to have a store technician create recovery discs and remove junk sofiware (also known as “bloatware”) from the computer that you’re buying. consider third-party options. packaging for your item supplied? in the if your item still has value. who pays for shipping? will provide a mailing label or a prepaid if you’re selling a device that contains box to use in shipping it. be sure to wipe its hard with you about the item’s condition after drive (if it’s a pC).com. or Monoprice for less than $5 can do the job Tawlessly. For devices (such as digital cameras) that draw bursts of power. a 2010 htC droid incredible. or netbook As i wAs spring-cleaning my home office recently. And don’t pay extra to have the store “set up” your new system. fere’s no reason you can’t. you should receive payment tion (if it’s a phone).com put it at $147. if your item has no value. Again. take to the Web to flnd cheaper versions of the omitted accessories. 22 SKEPTICAL SHOPPER ANNE B. confirm that they will recycle it properly? i’m not the only dawdler. the motorodozens of sites buy used electronics. removing bloatware clears out harddrive space and may even free up rAM.com came in at $157. and remove all storwithin 10 days. which sites Can You trust? But i had waited too long. i by selling your current one. Again. how can you phones were fit only for recycling. i get back to the seller. eBay. instantly the Better Business Bureau review and rating. which are more stringent than typical HDMI (1. and said that i could supply its AC adapter. then i checked out what the three sites would pay for my current phone. make sure you understand how the considering that i paid $200 for it last service handles shipping. an offer price for desirable technology items in good repair. once you’ve shipped it to them? And if All three sites i tried told me the old you ship them defunct tech. i noted that the phone had normal wear and lIKE oTHEr SITES that buy used electronics. in which case a reliable site will whether the site will recycle it for you. Here’s how came across a cardboard to pick a site that will treat you fairly. battery. most vendors sell e-book readers without an appropriate case in the box.3) standards. as is the htC the money they say your item is worth tilt smartphone with the broken cover. And if you’re buying cables for a 3D system. It’s easy to do with the aid of the standard Windows uninstall tool. 26 percent of 7500 people surveyed said they never got around to reselling or recycling their older gadgets. Ten-year-old kids can flgure out how to update flrmware and install video game consoles. find out however. and you can do it by following a series of prompts from your PC. But for items (such as remote controls) that draw little power. usually by e-mail. It’s an important process. nonrechargeable alkaline batteries make more sense. Nextworth posts no water damage. Etsy is a great place to flnd e-reader cases that are inexpensive. reset it to factory condiit arrives. gazelle. WorldMags pcworld. not bad.74. Batteries: last year Consumer Reports magazine tested AA batteries and found that lithium batteries—despite initially costing more—ultimately provide more digital photos per set than nonlithium batteries do.consumer watch a “huge difference” in quality. box labeled “Cell phones of the last decade. unusual. punched the model numbers of those with a new offer and will send the item ancient phones into several of the online back if the revised price is unacceptable. so don’t skip it. just say no.” As an experiment. sites that buy used gadgets to see whether i could make any money off them. and original cables. and or replacement model in that category. too. make sure they meet the HDMI 1. E-reader cases: Annoyingly.

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Google reportedly is trying to muscle into Groupon’s turf. After waiting another couple of weeks. but be persistent. Have you run into a problem involving customer service. Te move represents yet another competitive threat to the popular online coupon service Groupon. a company representative told us that the system requirements listed on the product packaging were correct and that the issue might have been with the Cd. When I called to notify them of the mistake. if you call customer service. but no one ever did. Andrews turned to us for assistance. —Sarah Jacobsson Purewal unsatisfactory software phil Andrews of Fairfax. bought the mcAfee total protection security program from online retailer Amazon. a program that’s supposed to detect and remove spyware and adware. Tough not identical to the popular Groupon site. you can keep a deadline in mind as you try to resolve the matter. if not prior to making your purchase.” Groupon deals unlock afier a certain number of people pledge to purchase them.com. only to be told that someone will get in touch with you. you should eventually be able to find someone who can help you. that way. though he e-mailed the company (also named Adware pro) for the necessary information numerous times.com. I was assured that someone would get back to me. Facebook’s Groupon-Style Discounts FACEBooK IS TESTING a Grouponlike feature called Buy With Friends that encourages you to share special offers from e-commerce companies with Facebook friends for big discounts. he e-mailed mcAfee several times asking for an explanation but got no reply. we contacted Adware pro about rackers’s issue. if the retailer and the product manufacturer are different companies. missing license Key . Virginia. Bob rackers of Jefferson City. the service will offer a daily discount from a local business. At the moment. but it could easily apply to physical items as well.consumer watch ON YOUR SIDE MARLA MIYASHIRO I ORDERED A faux-leather portfolio case for my 7-inch Pandigital Novel e-reader. I called again but couldn’t get through. when he tried to install the software. when we contacted mcAfee regarding Andrews’s problem. Facebook’s version does entail “social buying. information in the product packaging led Andrews to expect the program to work with his version of windows (win 2000). missouri. and it sent him the license key. Te program works in conjunction with Facebook Credits and encourages people to purchase in-game goods that their friends have already bought. with Google offers. Bob Dooman. I didn’t get a reply. and I have received nothing. Meanwhile.com April 2011 illustrAtions: hArrY CAmpBEll (lEFt). downloaded Adware pro. the 30-day return period at Amazon expired. too. Chicago OYS responds: After we contacted pandigital about dooman’s problem. Pandigital shipped me a rubber shell slip-on cover instead. getting the help you need may take several attempts. a warranty. and details of the conversation. WorldMags 24 pcworld. we recommend checking a company’s return policy as soon as you have a problem. a rebate. call the company right away. meanwhile. or the like for your tech gear? E-mail us at onyourside@pcworld. so I filled out a customer service form on Pandigital’s Website. ask for specifics before hanging up: will the company call you or e-mail you? when should you expect the call or message? is there a service ticket number that you can refer to so you won’t have to it didn’t. Edwin FothEringhAm (right) repeat every detail of the problem? note the date you called. but he couldn’t get a license key for it. be sure to read the return policies of both. unable to obtain help from either company. since the program didn’t work for Andrews. a company rep had the correct e-reader case shipped to dooman by overnight delivery. it prompted him to upgrade his operating system. At any rate. whereas one person can unlock Facebook’s Buy With Friends deals and then share them. Facebook’s head of commerce product marketing Deb liu announced at a recent conference that the new feature will allow users to “unlock” deals and then share the unlocked deals with their Facebook friends. if you don’t receive the callback or e-mail by the promised time. like Groupon. an online coupon service that will similarly encourage users to share deals with friends. nobody responded to his requests. I’d appreciate your help. the person you spoke to. mcAfee sent him a refund. instead. the Buy With Friends program appears to be usable only for virtual goods in games. It’s been another week. Three weeks later I called again and was told they were ordering a replacement for me.

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exible rubber case. vendors demonstrated the potential of wireless charging—someday. will run just under $100. but the technology which uses a wire or contact still has some with batteries. charging mat and the phone sleeve. e total cost of any of these three systems can vary by $25 or so. and Nokia handsets. e iPhone 4 sleeve is smooth. but the mat is engineered so that it’s safe to touch. solid. a basic setup.com/71547. And you must have both the correct proprietary sleeve and the appropriate charging mat. Energizer Qi ($90): e Energizer Qi is compliant with the Wireless Power Consortium standard. e Wireless Power Consortium. the technology could even charge up a car. instead of lugging a with power mats is tangle of cables? In contrast to cool and convenient. e standard has existed for a few months. consisting of more than 70 companies. but it’s showing impressive momentum.pcworld. Hands On With Three Wireless Chargers I spent several weeks using three di erent wireless charging platforms. at’s a plus. Most of today’s gadgets don’t have inductive charging tech built in. e MyGrid uses conductive technology: Power transfers from metal strips on the mat to metal contacts on the sleeve or clip. For more. the other two models were PCWORLD. Also. Duracell also o ers a rechargeable portable battery that provides up to 35 hours of additional power. so for each device you need a charging sleeve or a connector to a charging module. Recharge times on the Duracell were comparable to plugging my iPhone 4 into the wall. inductive chargmaturing to do. But the charging mat occupies about as much space as a sheet of paper. As long as my Energizer Qi mat and my Energizer Qi iPhone 4 sleeve ($35) are all that I have to work with. It’s my favorite of the three. APRIL 2011 PCWORLD. assuming that other Qi-enabled devices or charging mats soon become available. but it does not o er a way to sync the phone while the handset is in the case. see the video at find.Business Center Wireless Charging Products Power Forward BY TONY BRADLEY WHAT IF YOU could travel Charging mobile with one charger for all your devices wirelessly devices. it’s really no di erent from a proprietary system. e Duracell iPhone 4 sleeve is a lightweight. is developing the Open Inductive Charging Standard. ing uses magnetic and electromagnetic energy to induce a transfer of power wirelessly. compliant devices from di erent vendors can charge interchangeably. DURACELL’S MYGRID SYSTEM can charge up to four devices easily. including the THE ENERGIZER QI is compliant with a new charging standard. also known as Qi. traditional conductive charging.COM WorldMags 27 . it adds just over an ounce to the phone’s weight. Duracell MyGrid Cell Phone Starter Kit ($57): e MyGrid kit has a power clip and adapters for BlackBerry. and it is not aesthetically pleasing. you have no way to sync the iPhone 4 with iTunes or your PC while it is in the sleeve. In general. however.COM At the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show. Motorola. and a nice t. depending on the number and types of devices you use it to charge.

if you want to support payments ViVOPay 4500 (around $150)—to your via NFC. However. but at the moment it isn’t more convenient. Chase Bank has been issuing credit and Fortunately. And unfortunately. But with the Android Apple is reportedly considering providOS supporting Near Field Communicaing free or low-cost NFC payment termitions technology. in the United States. Many businesses already have ON THE BLINK Website. for my iPhone 4. and with rumors that nals to retailers. Instead of linking the phone to my PC via USB cable and then charging. contactless from boosting their average sale amounts payments are typically for smaller purand improving efficiency. at might even require removing the sleeve. too: Users want NFC payments to be tied pcworld. Sleeves range in price from $20 to $40. Powermat’s tech is proprietary. e iPhone 4 sleeve’s ip-down top ts too snugly. charging at about the speed of a USB cable linked to a PC. ers with NFC-capable iPhones or iPads. The bank or credits Blink (find.com/71585 for more discussion. syncing. and backing it up simultaneously. Confusing Options The problem with trying to jump on the NFC bandwagon is that there are too many bandwagons. both contactless payments debit cards with Blink wireless-payment and NFC are based on open standards. Just as only some businesses accept Discover Card or American Express. the back end must be convenient and familiar. depending on the charging platform. and mobile waving their card at the register. have been using mobile phones as a method of payment for years. if Qi gains a foothold. Going Sleeveless Wireless charging has potential. Businesses that deal process NFC transactions. then smartphone. Users can pay at select stores by with various cards.Business Center a bit slower. niche novelty. but the their respective upcoming phones. concept is gathering steam. You can also nd a portable rechargeable Payment by Phone: What You Need to Know ALTHOUGH PEOPLE IN Learn how your business can get in on many parts of the world the NFC mobile-payment revolution. battery that you can charge wirelessly and carry as an emergency backup. so technology (www. Powermat 2x Mat with Powercube ($70): NET WORK TONY BRADLEY Powermat puts a Micro-USB connector in its iPhone 4 sleeve. I now have to charge the phone rst and then connect it to the PC.COM APRIL 2011 . You need a point-of-sale system that can usually under $25. weigh the options and choose existing POS system or replacing the POS one that your customers are likely to use. POWERMAT OFFERS CHARGING sleeves for a wide array of phones and other devices. I would rather invest in a standardized platform. (See find. A business some merchants by 40 percent more than could embrace the Apple system if it came cash purchases. possibly cost-prohibitive.) to existing credit cards or bank accounts. eliminating the need for charging sleeves.com/71533) with payment system processing transactions “increasing the average ticket sale for is a bigger hurdle than the tech itself. What’s the catch? chases that don’t require a signature. fragmentation exists with NFC—making it confusing for businesses to choose which option to support. Chase Bank explains how terminals that handle contacttransactions work. although I like the Powermat more than the Energizer Qi today. tablet. That means in higher average transactions probably either connecting a peripheral—such as won’t get much benefit from NFC. In fact. which makes getting the phone in and out a pain. Seeding the market that Apple and RIM will put NFC support in way would help to drive adoption. less transactions from cards like the Chase offerings. and provides a USB-to-Micro-USB cord so you can connect the encased phone to your PC. and they cover iPhones as well as Android and BlackBerry handsets. the OTI Saturn 5000 (about $170) or the For now.pcworld. 28 WorldMags PCWORLD.com) since different POS terminals are compatible 2005. but that would seemingly rethe frequency of everyday purchases” and strict the system’s usefulness to customreducing transaction times for consumers. key fobs.chaseblink.” as well as “increasing to fruition. The investment can the technology has been slow to catch on be significant. and laptop vendors will build Qi-compatible functionality into the cases of their devices. Most businesses can similarly benefit For maximum efficiency. Wireless charging everywhere could be great someday—but today it remains a cool. and don’t want to learn a new system Benefits and Drawbacks that complicates the purchasing process. and lists participating stores. system altogether. Chase devices regardless of vendor. it adds complexity.

And affordable technology helps build my dream practice.For Small Business Bigger smiles delivered by a network. Learn how at www. a smile is the ultimate measure of professional success. connects our patients to a state-of-the-art experience. © 2010 Cisco and/or its affiliates. In my small business.com/connect. I can do a lot to make teeth look their best. A Cisco Small Business Switch is at the heart of Skye Dental’s network. Digital records help staff be more efficient. WorldMags . All rights reserved. but a better office network helps me deliver bigger patient smiles. My Cisco network. Deliver more with your network connection. Streaming entertainment helps patients relax.cisco. together with my staff.

Data could be overwritten accibackup behind a backup sysdentally or left vulnerable to theft or tem. despite UPS protection. But realRachel Dines. or pledge that your data will be available more affordable and less time-consuming than it was a few years whenever you demand it? If you don’t use the service for some time. and ask what would happen if it were to fold. and virtual machines are you dealing with? BLUE SKY PLUMBING. databases. Unfortunately.COM APRIL 2011 . ago. but it is becoming place protects a business. automated disk-based system that a cloud-storage service has sends files to a distant data center each night. but sometimes forcific points in time. establishing a reliable storage and recovery system is cific data-recovery time. hardware-as-a-service arrangeent geographic locations. thousands of dollars. one-fifth of organizations will change the years to come. composed of became sluggish.” says a theft. going to NAS is that it will be much faster for data restores. It purchased a white-label backup and disasterredundant servers in differrecovery appliance. e-mail records. such as a disk-to-diskdisasters. Staffers were supout much human effort and posed to rotate the drives daily away let you restore data to spefrom the office. in suburban Backup systems ideally Denver. In addition to a $600 setup fee. backups to-cloud setup. plan.com. moving data across an Internet connection can be slow. as it requires only uploading data from your on backup products that work well for individual consumers but local machines directly to faraway servers that the provider hosts. Many In the past. What brand they use for backup this year. location. ment. automated. Many small and midsize companies are abandoning tapes or might the company cancel your account? Will your data be lumped hard-disk consumer systems in favor of appliances that attach to a in with other records? How does the service ensure privacy? local network and beyond. And make sure that Anchor Network Solutions stepped in to establish a reliable. age boxes—whether off the —Vince nnirello. a storage area networks have single server reboot happened after-hours. Start by determining how much data you need to C A S E S T U DY access: How many applications. files. izing that you need a new storage strategy can come more graduPurely cloud-based storage often appeals to small businesses ally. be sure to back it up on hardware in multiple locations.Business Center TECH AUDIT ELSA WENZEL Build a Better Business-Backup System to Guard Against Disaster EVERYONE KNOWS THAT storing records safely in more than one Backing up may never be fun. desk. send e-mail to techaudit@pcworld. step back and create a service. offering it to Blue Sky in an Anchor-branded. but many companies fail to establish more affordable. an analyst with Forrester Research. preventing the company from small businesses are finding servicing customers while employee salaries remained to be paid. don’t leave data exclusively in the hands of a Web-based Before you change your backup strategy. ongoing monthly costs dropped in price but still cost of several hundred dollars maintain the backup and recovery system. However. Now. Finally. Then a crisis hit: A snowstorm caused power surges and damaged the hardware in more than one company’s server. too. the company can dispatch plumbers and technicians to customers as normal. according to Gartner research. Look for got. had been saving critical data run in the background withto USB drives. often it takes a crisis—such as a natural disaster. ment and provide business continuity. and painless. and you’d like to compact enough to sit on a learn how you can contribute to PCWorld Tech Audit. level of service can it guarantee? Does the provider promise a speThankfully. relying with limited IT support. owner of Anchor Network Solutions shelf or customized by an IT pro—fit their budget and are If you’re an IT solutions provider serving the small to midsize business market. even if a server outage that network-attached storoccurs. or a system failure—to prompt a business to act. look for signs that it will exist for tures or difficult to use. Very small companies may be unprepared for success. backup systems that will keep them running if disaster strikes. so fewer records Web-based storage tied to ended up on the drives. can’t adjust as several months’ or years’ worth of records pile up. As the data grew. others are adopting cloud-based services. Point-in-time backups restore data as often as every 15 minutes into a virtual server environAmong the many options. The project took about 4 hours to set up without downtime. “The main benefit of Better Backup Pipeline Fits a Plumbing Company WorldMags 30 PCWORLD. A data rebuild cost Blue Sky half a day of operations. Frustrated by high costs or by technology that’s lacking in feaWhen choosing a backup provider. a server outage could have cost thousands of dollars.

QuietComfort 15 ® ® Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones Welcome to a better sounding world. We’re so sure you’ll be delighted. we’ll even pay to ship them to your door. To learn more: 1-800-760-2749.com/headphones ©2011 Bose Corporation. WorldMags . Patent rights issued and/or pending. Q8199 Bose. Quote reprinted with permission. Seth Porges reports in Popular Mechanics that “Compared to the competition…the QC15s are vastly superior. ext. where your music comes alive as never before. as distractions fade into the background. with Bose® technologies that deliver sound more naturally than conventional headphones.Your music never sounded so good. And a significant improvement in the noise reduction helps you focus on each nuance of your music.” It’s a difference you need to hear to believe. The distinctive design of the headphone oval ring is a trademark of Bose Corporation. The QC®15 headphones are our best.

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2.pcworld. Such networks are at many hotels that offer Wi­Fi services. In some cases. If one is.pcworld. Tis will prevent you from automatically connecting to networks (and it will also extend your device’s battery life). Tink it can’t happen to you? Tink again. “I recommend not going in to change brows­ er security settings—they’re pretty good already.com WorldMags 33 . on the other hand. April 2011 pcworld. or at least every few weeks. How to make sure I’d never had any problems. Fortunately. or other items known only to you. or even to access your e­mail. unless you see a firestorm of negative reviews from early adopters. I learned this the hard way recently on a cross­country trip.com/71550).pcworld.com/71537)—that can intercept unen­ crypted cookies from certain Websites on any open Wi­Fi network.” he says.com/56186) will do it for you. 4. and iPhone handsets are fairly secure out of the box. [use] acronyms for things like favorite songs.com Bad news: Cybercrooks are targeting mobile OSs (find. 5. Avoid unencrypted public wireless networks: Such networks require no authentication or password for access. of 8 characters or more. Facebook get hacked the next alerted me to some suspicious time you step out activity. Employ strong passwords: “Use some combination of let­ ters. passing through four cities along the route. Paying to access a Wi-Fi network doesn’t mean it’s safe: pcworld. Instead. Encrypted networks.com/ 71549). Make sure your software is up-to-date: Before every trip. 3. I had been hacked! of the house. bad guys set up an open network to snare victims. download it. numbers. And change the password frequently—at least once every six months. check the manufacturer’s Website (or conduct a Google search) to see if a sofware or firmware update is available. Tips for Keeping Your Mobile Device Secure 1. a combination of plain old common sense and some technolo­ gy can protect your devices—quickly and fairly easily.” If you don’t feel clever enough to create your own strong passwords. and/or special characters. says that most of the default browser settings in Android. an informa­ tion security expert and a principal with Pricewaterhouse­ Coopers.pcworld. Te second is more secure—but not invulnerable. Someone in Chicago had logged in to my Facebook account via a Firefox extension— Firesheep (find. Don’t mess with the security settings: Joe Nocera. restaurants. making it possible to steal login credentials for sites such as Facebook and Twitter. BlackBerry. Good news: New laws may restrict the use of mobile devices to surreptitiously track your location (find.” says Jeremy miller. require an ID or password for access. Even though I’m well aware of the potential for others to hack into my devices. Another precaution: Turn off Wi­Fi when you’re not using it. we’ve become ac­ customed to having ready access to the Internet—and it’s easy to forget how vulnerable that makes us to security threats. pro­ illuSTrATion: AnDrew DeGrAff grams like RoboForm (find. But your mobile devices there’s always a first time: When and your data don’t I got back home. and have one of two types of security: WEP (wired equivalent privacy) or WPA (Wi­Fi protected access). director of operations for Kroll Fraud Solutions. “Avoid using dictionary words.Security Alert Mobile Devices Pose New Security Hazards By lOGAN KUGlER FRom CoFFEE ShoPS to cruise ships.

ally. antivirus softcially crafted website that would run ware maker AVG released a malicious code on their computer.com/71524.com of January 11 contains one critical bulle(with Microsoft spelled incorrectly). a form of eaves­ dropping where the bad guy makes a connection independently with two parties. And be sure that all your mobile devic­ es have a remote­wipe or autowipe fea­ ture. about the apps you down­ load. make sure that you are both connected to a secured network and that sites use https: when you’re entering sensitive information. for more informaJanuary 4.com/71526 (norton) The update comes attached in an and find. in January. the attached file and to follow the fix vulnerabilities that could instructions on the screen. in27. The fake update seems to have on been released intentionally on Tuesday.pcworld. in an attempt to coincide with tion and to download the updates manuMicrosoft’s monthly patch Tuesday. or DATs open the file. most e­mail service providers have both a clear text option (unencrypted data) and an encryption option (SSl). To download and install the latDon’t Get faked out est security updates.com/71521. could allow remote execution and let the attacker gain the same rights to a pc as Antivirus Software updates the local user—if that user viewed a speon January 28. Te s means that you’re connected to the site via the Secure Socket layer (SSl)—so all data transmitted to that site is encrypted. you may still be subject to a man­in­the­ middle (mITm) attack. number of updates to its The important-rated vulnervirus definitions.pcworld. 10.pcworld. which update it by right-clicking the AVG icon in assists users in backing up and restoring your system tray and clicking on Update a system. you would McAfee released two Virus have to visit a remote file location and Definition updates. The upmessage tells the recipient to download dates. MS11-001 and MS11-002.com April 2011 Microsoft’s Latest Updates (and a Fake!) MicroSofT releASeD January’s Patch Tuesday proves minor. open norton and while downloading your Microsoft secuselect Run Live Update. which lacks the strict developer guidelines of Apple’s App Store. Use VPN: If you have access to a vir­ tual private network.pcworld. Watch your apps: Be selective. for more information As usual. 34 pcworld.) To get back some of the convenience that autoffll ofiers. in the event of an error. you should install the upand to manually update your McAfee dates as soon as possible using windows software. Turn off cookies and autofill: If your mobile device automatically enters passwords and login information into Websites you visit frequently. The patch Tuesday security update e-mail from no-reply@microsft. Backup Manager. be sure to avoid a fake update receive daily updates by clicking on the that comes packaged with a computer Avast icon in the system tray. It’s not foolproof. products. To learn more about each one— As for other antivirus tools.com/71548.pcworld. allow remote code execuMicrosoft never sends out tion by an attacker. URLs beginning with ‘https:’ are safer: BUGS & FiXES JAMES MULROY When accessing a site where you’ll share personal or conffdential data— your bank’s site. in case one is stolen. 8. including the oS. The tin and another rated important. for example—look for https: in the URl. the system to be harmed. use it. go to find. its scanner.pcworld. Always folnerability that the compalow the standard protony found in Microsoft Data col for updating Microsoft Access components (a products. and many of ability affects the windows its modules. To update McAfee. on January windows Backup Manager library. and Virus Definitions. for manually. (It’s a privacy risk. turn that feature ofi. on Update Now. documents. try one of the apps (and ffnd more information relating to this article) at find. that comes in various Microsoft for more info. now. and keep your framework for programmers virus definitions up-to-date. an eight-month low. 6. A vPN pro­ vides secure access to an organization’s network and lets you get online behind a secure layer that protects your info.” he advises. 7. If you still get hacked: ofen you can repair the damage simply by changing your password (to one much stronger) and sending a message via the afiected network explaining what happened. WorldMags illuSTrATion: hArrY cAMpBell .com/71523.pcworld. update.com/71525. database updates daily and weekly.Security Alert Access fees do not equal security. including windows and office) com/71522 and find. if you have AVG software. right-click on the fecting your system and potentially allowMcAfee icon in the system tray and click ing the attacker to gain remote access.com/71527 (Avast). or. The file would load into the (database files). visit find. visit find. visit find. though: on an un­ encrypted network connection. Avast users can rity updates. Nocera cautions. particularly in the Android mar­ ket. Also. such that both believe that they are talking directly to each other. and to download the two new patches Symantec’s norton releases manually—visit find.pcworld. To guard against this. to update your AVG software and settings. says Nocera. e-mail messages containThe critical-rated vuling updates. and then worm. 9. only two security updates Plus: new antivirus software updates. “make sure you have the SSl option enabled.

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thanks to purloin copies of potentially sensitive to the advent of both printer apps and or otherwise important documents that nascent cloud computing services such have been left on the scanner of unas Google cloud print (find. The exploit involves ferreting out unsepcworld. the real problem exists beheiland recently demonstrated praeda tween the chair and the keyboard: it’s and presented a few of the most comperfectly safe to launch your printers into mon printer security exploits at the sevthe cloud—just make sure to take the enth annual Shmoocon. Department of Commerce report in December that called for both the creation of an online privacy bill of rights and an enforceable code of con­ duct for Internet companies that han­ dle consumer data and track Web users. we’re not alone: Zscaler labs’ vice basis. mozilla’s head of pri­ vacy. robert lemos of MiT’s (find. ThE DEvEloPER of the Firefox browser. That means disabling the web-connected printers so far this year. webconnected printers that may offer an avenue for Though google cloud print—one of the new web-based printing services—may offer convenience. and never leaving sensitive data president of security research. rolling out the feature will be a challenge—both browsers and sites must implement it.pcworld. wrote in a blog post. than methods using cookies or blacklists. It would let users conffgure Firefox to tell sites and advertisers that they want to opt out of ads based on their behav­ ior. that promotes connected printer as you would with any discussion of information security.Security Alert New Firefox Feature to Block Behavioral ads mozIllA. Alex Fowler. heiland developed praeda.com April 2011 illuSTrATion: AnDrew DeGrAff . your most important documents in a flash.com/71529) that net. and simpler. new opportunities to steal your data— it can print. connect it to the interlast year (at find. privaCy watCh ALEX WAWRO Cloud Printers Rain on Security Parade The MoDern office Web-connected printers offer hackers printer has many talents. D. ing devices to become a serious security changing your password on a regular issue. sent with every click or page view in Firefox.pcworld. is working on a fea­ ture that will allow users to opt out of online behavioral advertising. however. Te feature wouldn’t block ads alto­ gether. mozilla’s announcement follows a U. in the course of network-penetration ple Google search strings like “estimated testing. published a lengthy blog post ry or on the scanner tray. But that same concured web-connected printers with simnectivity can make your printers prime targets for hackers and cybercrooks who seek easy access to your office. anywhere. the connectivity hackers to compromise it depends on also raises security concerns. a ink levels” and “hp photoSmart” and— simple program that seeks out network once again—taking advantage of poor vulnerabilities exposed by unsecured password security to remotely subvert printers running web servers with easya multifunction printer and scan docuto-crack default passwords—or worse. pcworld. other remotely accessible repository of The pcworld labs has tested several personal data.com/ secured all-in-one hp printers. a hacker consame security precautions with a webvention in washington. Michael (whether business or personal) in memoSutton. and scan but a few precautions will keep you safe. —Mikael Ricknäs 36 WorldMags pcworld. corporate networks and steal critical data.com/71528) recently spoke to security consultant Deral heiland about the security risks posed by modern.S. and it can do all those things and exposed how easy it can be for a hacker more from any device.c. ultimately. remote-access features (unless those and we’re expecting these cloud computfeatures are absolutely necessary). without any password protection at all.com/71535). ac­ cording to the blog post. only personalized ads. 71534) or hewlett-packard’s eprint (find. experts say. mozilla believes that the header­ based approach will be better for the Web in the long run. Te prefer­ ence would be communicated via a new “Do Not Track” hTTP header.. ments using hp’s webScan feature. copy. and an advertiser would have to exchange its personalized ad for a standard ad.

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and tested their optical character recognition capabilities for turning reports.7 inches. and can scan singleand double-sided pages from color and black-andwhite documents. IRIS.8 inches. If you’re looking for a portable scanner for your business or home o ce. and Fujitsu. 15-sheet. scanning a stack of documents required using he y equipment that gobbled up desktop space.COM APRIL 2011 PHOTOGRAPHS: ROBERT CARDIN . From left to right: models by iVina. monochrome text-and-graphics WorldMags 38 PCWORLD.7 by 3. at 200 dpi). the scanner module measures 11. spreadsheets. its extendable input and output trays add several inches to the height and depth. have a native resolution of 600 dpi (dots per inch). sport an automatic document feeder (ADF). business cards. Will Travel IN YEARS PAST. All of these scanners weigh less than 4 pounds. Visioneer Strobe 500 Priced at $400. the Visioneer Strobe 500 has a 20-page automatic document feeder capable of scanning 15 pages per minute (in monochrome or color mode. It also works as a lightweight mobile scanner that you can detach from the ADF dock. Plustek. To turn a singlesided. We also rated each unit’s image quality in making PDF. Detached from the ADF. and other documents into editable les. e Strobe 500 measures 11. speed (at default settings). and on the road. Today the latest scanners are mobile. yet just as capable.7 by 4.8 by 4.3 by 2. PORTABLE SCANNERS are compact yet efficient. We evaluated each model’s features. TIFF. doublesided nancial reports. All ve We test five portable sheetfed scanners for use at home. support both wall-powered and USB-powered operation. but fold up nicely. or JPEG images. consider these sheetfed models. so you don’t have to lug a power brick and cable around for eld use. in the office. Visioneer. and design and usability in scanning documents ranging from singlesided forms and magazine pages to multipage.Reviews& Rankings Have Scanner. In our tests it achieved the top overall speed rating of the group.

2pound mobile scanner that measures 11.INSIDE 44 HP PAVILION dm1z 52 DELL STREAK 7 56 MOTOROLA CLIQ 2 59 SONY INTERNET TV NSZ-GT1 document into a 200-dpi searchable PDF.9 pounds and measure 11. e S300 was tops in creating standard (nonsearchable) PDFs: For example. only 3 seconds longer than the fastest unit (the Strobe 500). reds. iVina BulletScan S300 e $350 iVina BulletScan S300 o ers a precon gured option to scan your documents to Google Docs automatically. Together the modules weigh 3. e S300 has the same basic hybrid-style design as the Visioneer Strobe 500 For complete reviews and test reports of the scanners we tested for this story. On USB power.5 seconds to scan two color and two monochrome (both single. In our tests of the S300’s OCR capabilities. For instance. and NewSo Presto BizCard 5 for business-card recognition. the other part is a detachable. e OCR so ware proved pro cient at reproducing complex textand-graphics pages and simple text-only pages.3 by 2.7 inches. 15-page monochrome PDF at 200 dpi. and blues frequently appeared noticeably darker than the original shades. you can create additional one-button functions for scanning and uploading documents to other cloud services such as Evernote. although its color-document scans were essentially pleasing. Nuance OmniPage 15 for optical character recognition. e S300’s scanner so ware uses a built-in optical character recognition engine (ABBYY FineReader). 20-page automatic document feeder.8 by 4. Bundled so ware includes NewSo PageManager 9 SE for document management and Presto BizCard 6.and doublesided) pages. the S300 ranked second in overall speed.6 for IVINA’S BULLETSCAN S300 lets you scan to Google Docs easily. As a USB-powered device. and subtle detail in color graphics. and YouSendit. it stumbled slightly on image quality. e so ware includes Nuance ScanSo PaperPort MORE ONLINE THE VISIONEER STROBE 500 offers excellent scanning speed. business-card recognition. Its color-document scans displayed sharp text. Its scans of monochrome and grayscale documents had solid. 11 for document management. readable text. in converting documents to TIFFs and standard PDFs. but complex layouts involving text and graphics or tabu39 WorldMags APRIL 2011 PCWORLD. readable text and ne details in line art and other graphics. iTunes iBooks.and doublesided) pages. but they also bore a slightly darker appearance that didn’t match the originals as accurately as the scans of other models (such as the Strobe 500) did. go online to find. it took 57 seconds (signi cantly less time than the group average of 92 seconds). e Strobe 500 received a Very Good rating for image quality. and some areas had less detail than what we saw from competitors. accurate color shades. to make a double-sided. it delivered very accurate results on several of our test documents.8 inches. greens. It took 307 seconds to scan all 13 test documents. e BCR so ware was equally adept at converting business cards into an editable database. and its scans of monochrome and grayscale documents had solid. it generally ran a few seconds slower than the iVina BulletScan S300 (which ranked second in overall speed). However. the top speed for that test series. Among this batch. it took 64 seconds (the group average was 103 seconds).com/71571. it was among the fastest of the models here: It took a total of 67. earning an overall rating of Good. One part is a 2. the S300 needed a total of 62 seconds to scan two color and two monochrome (both single.7 by 4.COM . only about 5.pcworld.7 by 3.5 seconds longer than the BulletScan S300 required. But if you don’t use Google Docs. and the IRIS IRIScan Pro 3 O ce. Unfortunately.

you’ll like the fact that IRIS also includes a copy of Roxio PhotoSuite 9 in the bundle. it needs a bit more space with its input and output trays unfolded.8 inches. achieving the secondfastest score for USB-power tests. taking less than 12 seconds to scan a full-page color document (one side. or Microsoft applications. paper-chute extension for holding a stack of pages.5 minutes to scan all 13 test documents. It achieved its best scores on one. 11. you can scan single sheets or multiple pages continuously by manually inserting them.7 by 1.5 minutes for the next-fastest model (the IRIScan). the scanner module measures 11.9 by 1.and double-sided) pages. Its color-document scans had solid. the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100 ($199. For overall image quality. After you push the Start button. readable text.COM APRIL 2011 . IRIS IRIScan Pro 3 Office e $400 IRIS IRIScan Pro 3 O ce portable scanner is one of the best models for optical character recognition tasks. In speed tests. Instead. If you need to use a basic image editor to polish scanned images on occasion. e IRIScan received a rating of Good for image quality.8 by 4. The paper guides support both straight-path feeding (in and out in a straight line) and turn-path feeding (paper exits upward). the S1100 rated as Very Good. but its slower page-per-minute speed WorldMags 40 PCWORLD.0 inches. it was a subtle distinction. FUJITSU’S SCANSNAP S1300 is easy to use and has good output. monochrome. you have to launch Readiris Corporate 12 and use its OCR options to produce searchable PDFs. versus about 5. a handy feature that all of the other scanners in this group provide. However. but exhibited a slightly lighter appearance that didn’t match the original images as accurately as the best models did. overall speed and fine image quality (accurate colors. since it comes with the fullU LT R A P O R TA B L E S C A N N E R featured and accurate Readiris Corporate 12 OCR application.pcworld. e scanner also ships with IrisFile Pro 12 for document management and Cardiris Pro 5 for businesscard recognition. Evernote. the S1300 got a Very Good rating. Although some scans were slightly lighter overall than the originals. the whole unit weighs only 3.3 by 2. without pressing or clicking anything. e BCR so ware was reasonably pro cient at converting business cards into an editable database. you can send the completed scan to Google Docs. When detached from the ADF.2 by 3. this involves more steps but ultimately produces the same end results. find.3 inches. com/71570) is a USBpowered. in almost all other tests it ran at least a few seconds slower than the Visioneer and iVina models.Reviews&Rankings lar material were not always as successful. I was FUJITSU’S SCANSNAP S1100 is barely impressed by the the size of a three-hole paper punch. In general it accurately reproduced color. the latter of which is handy when you’re in tight or cluttered quarters. On USB power.1 pounds and measures 11.7 by 3. Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 e $295 Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 handles up to ten pages in its automatic document feeder. It took about 7. After you finish scanning. e S1300 was the secondslowest scanner here. and it folds up when not in use.7 inches. Its scans of monochrome and grayscale documents had easily readable text. both of which perform impressively. e lid serves as a THE IRIS IRISCAN Pro 3 Office comes with full OCR software. and grayscale documents. It’s a smart choice if you do a lot of OCR work. Sporting the same basic design as the Strobe 500 and BulletScan S300. and provides good-looking images from a variety of documents.9 by 3. sharp edges) of the production unit I tested. at 300 dpi). and more manual correction was required here than with competing models that provided more full-featured OCR functions (such as text editing and proofreader tools). with clear text and ne details in shadows and highlights.or two-page documents. e IRIScan scanning so ware doesn’t include a oneclick option for creating searchable PDFs. faster than any other ultramobile scanner we’ve tried. e third-fastest scanner overall in this group. 600-dpi.7 by 4. but some colors were lighter and duller than the tones in the original materials. it required about 62 seconds to scan two color and two monochrome (both single. simplex (one-sided) page scanner. Equipped with a built-in ADF designed to travel with the scanner. the complete IRIScan unit measures Slim ScanSnap S1100 Offers Workhorse Performance WEIGHING BARELY 12 ounces and measuring 10. it took just under 12 seconds to scan a single-sided monochrome page at 300 dpi—the fastest score for that test.

IBM Power 730 Express systems include the cost of the systems. Comparison based on consolidating 36 unvirtualized HP ProLiant DL360 G5 servers to five virtualized HP ProLiant DL380 G7 systems and assumes the WebSphere licenses transfer to the HP ProLiant DL380 G7 systems.com/power7/claims.1 In addition.ibm. IBM. Contact IBM to see what we can do for you.2 Can systems be built to do more for less? On a smarter planet they can.shtml. Yet many organizations might not consider an 18:1 consolidation job because of the typical up-front cost associated with higher-end systems like Power. Today. virtualization and middleware subscription and support for 3 years. The math underlying that assumption has changed. Annual software maintenance costs on the 36 existing scale-out HP ProLiant DL360 G5 servers include Linux server support and WebSphere subscription and support.com. the two Power systems may cost up to 26% less than migrating to the latest HP x86-based servers. © International Business Machines Corporation 2011. Actual performance.com/power7 Smarter systems for a Smarter Planet. the IBM logo.ibm. cost savings and energy usage referenced in this ad will vary depending on client actual implementation. 2. WorldMags 1. ibm. while consuming up to 92% less energy and using up to 89% less rack space. Smarter Planet and the planet icon are trademarks of IBM Corp. registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. two Power Express systems can cost less than the annual software subscription and support on 36 HP ProLiant servers. . Two virtualized IBM Power® 730 Express systems can easily handle the workload of 36 existing scale-out HP ProLiant DL360 G5 servers. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at www. ibm. operating system.. Power.The new math of consolidation. See www.com/legal/copytrade.

—Richard Jantz WorldMags . considering that Plustek rates it as only a 6-ppm scanner (on singlesided color pages at 200 dpi). able text and good details in line art and other graphics. ScanSnap Manager 5. PowerPoint.9 pounds (mobile scanner 2. ADF = automatic document feeder. colorful images and ease of use are among the S1300’s strengths.5 seconds for the nextfastest unit (the Visioneer). e extendable output tray and paper guides are permanently attached. Plustek tosses in a carrying bag for taking it on the road. dpi = dots per inch. Its scans of monochrome and grayscale documents had easily read- THE PLUSTEK MOBILEOFFICE AD450 produces nice images. e AD450’s BCR so ware was reasonably useful in converting business cards.1). Plustek MobileOffice AD450 Weighing just 2. It took 193 seconds to scan a double-sided.Reviews&Rankings became more evident on lengthier documents.pcworld. its color images appear slightly dark.com/71518 VERY GOOD Weight: 3.1. e S1300 has the least amount of bundled so ware here. monochrome text-only document at 200 dpi. but it’s the slowest performer in this group. though its software bundle is smaller than the rest.and double-sided) pages.com/71517 VERY GOOD Weight: 3.1 pounds Resolution: 600 dpi ADF capacity: 10 sheets Vendor-rated color speed (200 dpi): 6 ppm u Sharp. though it wasn’t adept at replicating complex textand-graphics layouts. When not in use. but accuracy was an issue.0 inches. and NewSo Presto ImageFolio 4 for image editing.com/71520 GOOD Weight: 2.4 by 3.9 pounds Resolution: 600 dpi ADF capacity: 20 sheets Vendor-rated color speed (200 dpi): 6 ppm u The AD450 provides fine-looking images and a generous software bundle. ABBYY FineReader 6. 6-page. 2 iVina BulletScan S300 $350 find.2 pounds) Resolution: 600 dpi ADF capacity: 20 sheets Vendor-rated color speed (200 dpi): 15 ppm Visioneer Strobe 500 1 $400 find.pcworld. lets you scan to Microso Word. it did a satisfactory job of converting documents into editable text.1 for business-card recognition. In color-document scans it rendered accurate colors and solid. Hotcard BizCard Finder 3 for business-card recognition. ppm = pages per minute. Running on USB power. Options are limited in each case. color text-andgraphics document at 150 dpi. far behind the group average of 86 seconds.com/71519 GOOD Weight: 3. it required 46 seconds to scan a double-sided. readable text.pcworld. On USB power. In scanning color documents. and most settings are determined (or recommended) for you. e scanning so ware uses a built-in OCR engine (ABBYY FineReader for ScanSnap 4. the AD450 needed a total of 97 seconds to scan two color and two monochrome (both singleand double-sided) pages.87 pounds and measuring 11. 5 Plustek MobileOffice AD450 $270 find. In our tests of its OCR capabilities.COM APRIL 2011 us. PC WORLD TOP 5 DOCUMENT SCANNERS MODEL Rating Features and specifications Weight: 3. versus 67. In image-quality tests. the latter worked ne but didn’t seem to capture as much information as other BCR apps. we needed to x more typos here than we did with the BCR so ware for most of the other scanners in our test batch.9 pounds (mobile scanner 2. at didn’t surprise 42 PCWORLD.0 Sprint Plus for OCR. e scanning so ware.pcworld.1 for document management and CardMinder 4.8 by 3. though some areas containing graphics were slightly darker and had less detail than the original.2 pounds) Resolution: 600 dpi ADF capacity: 20 sheets Vendor-rated color speed (200 dpi): 15 ppm u The IRIScan Pro 3 Office is adept at optical character recognition. versus the group average of 24 seconds. IRIS IRIScan Pro 3 Office 3 $400 find. the AD450 scored much better. the S1300 was the slowest. CHART NOTES: Prices are as of 2/1/11. but its dullish color quality makes for mediocre images. though what it does o er is easy to use. Other programs include ScanSnap Organizer 4.pcworld. the collapsible AD450 folds up neatly.com/71516 SUPERIOR u The Visioneer Strobe 500 combines snappy speed and fine image quality with a bundle of top-drawer software. however. e large so ware bundle includes NewSo Presto PageManager 7 for document management. Excel. In our tests of the OCR so ware. receiving a Very Good score.2 pounds) Resolution: 600 dpi ADF capacity: 20 sheets Vendor-rated color speed (200 dpi): 15 ppm u Although the S300 is the smart choice for automatic scanning to cloud services. however. Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 4 $295 find. it produced reasonably accurate results—but we found more typos that required manual correction than we did with competing models that have more full-featured OCR functionality. the $270 Plustek MobileO ce AD450 is the least-expensive unit here. and other destinations. needing a total of 97 seconds to scan two color and two monochrome (both single. It was also the slowest model. 15-page.9 pounds (mobile scanner 2.

pcworld. video. 3 Edit your own videos with Windows Live Movie Maker 3 Share music. hands-on instruction for all of Windows 7’s most useful features. and more with every PC in your house. and pick up insider tips for organizing all your data! 3 Learn keypad shortcuts 3 Explore customization tricks 3 Find out how to manage your music.From the editors of SUPERGUIDES Android With PCWorld’s superguide for Android you can learn all about the coolest and most useful apps. movies. Get Your Superguides Today! $12. Windows 7 This superguide offers straightforward. and photo files 3 Get tips on installing apps. 3 Protect your data with BitLocker Drive Encryption. 3 Speed up your system with our performanceenhancing secrets.com/superguide WorldMags .95 Available in two formats: 1) Downloadable PDF 2) CD-ROM www.

—Jason Cross WorldMags 44 PCWORLD. e integrated Webcam worked well in various lighting conditions. and a gigabit ethernet port. extra batteries. high-def Bluray movies looked smooth. e keyboard provides full-size. e entry price covers 3GB of RAM. the E-350. Most Atom-based netbooks can’t do better than 35 to 40. e system earned a mark of 55 on WorldBench 6. an SD/MMC memory card reader. see page 83. e display is quite good for a minilaptop.4 pounds. ough AMD’s past processors have had problems with battery life. and awless.) e dm1z is fairly easy to carry around—it measures 1. colors looked bright. e small touchpad supports multitouch and o ers middle-of-the-road tracking. you won’t need a dedicated case or container for each gizmo in your repertoire.COM APRIL 2011 .pcworld. it also o ers better CPU. —Leah Yamshon formed quite well. is impressive. e Fusion processor in this system is small.com/71557 Laptop Bags That Hold a Gadget Fan’s Devices IN NEED OF a catchall gadget bag to schlep all of your new toys around? We’ve rounded up our favorite totes—messenger bags.0 ports. this model is so-so.Reviews&Rankings HP Laptop Is First With AMD Fusion Processor THE FIRST Fusion-powered laptop we’ve seen— the HP Pavilion dm1z (aka the “dm1”)—is based on the highest-performing member of AMD’s new CPU series. e construction feels reasonably sturdy. and a phone. a tablet or an e-book reader. cases. graphics. that can carry multiple mobile devices. 40 minutes in our rundown test. its favorable performance against other netbooks would have boosted its overall score to 4 stars. is lightweight. is small laptop’s ability to play processor-intensive games. The bags we considered can handle a laptop. it’s great. and more. and easy to work on. With one of these bags. plus all of their accompanying chargers. however. this 11. a headphone/ microphone combo jack. A Killer Netbook e 3-star rating of the Pavilion dm1z might make you think it’s run-of-the-mill. as a netbook. Test clips of 1080p Web video played without jitters and looked great. sharp.pcworld. ough o -center viewing was predictably limited. a compact camera. and backpacks—that are designed to hold several devices at once. vibrant. 7200-rpm hard drive. e integrated Radeon HD 6310M graphics chip per- IS THE HP Pavilion dm1z an ultraportable or a netbook? You decide. the dm1z ran for a creditable 6 hours. and accurate. attractive. low-cost system. Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit). List: $450 find. As a result. albeit with settings turned down. ( e system has no optical drive. (For more on Fusion. It’s not—except when measured against more-expensive and more-capable laptops. we knocked its nal rating down to 3 stars.4 inches thick at its bulkiest part and weighs only 3. As an ultraportable. and a 320GB. e Pavilion dm1z. HP clearly de nes the Pavilion dm1z as an ultraportable. and video performance than similarly priced Atom-based netbooks do. Go to find. but it blows the doors o virtually every netbook we’ve reviewed. $130 external USB Blu-ray drive. What HP has actually built here is a killer netbook that chips away at the compromises netbook owners have had to put up with for too long. e built-in Altec Lansing speakers sounded very good for such a small. On the optional.6-inchscreen PC straddles the line between a budget ultraportable laptop and a netbook. If we had evaluated the dm1z as a netbook. o ering full DirectX 11 compatibility. You get three USB 2. VGA and HDMI video outputs. GOOD Pavilion dm1z | HP As an ultraportable.) With a reasonable starting price of $450. nicely spaced keys that I found easy to type on. cool. it’s mediocre—pricier laptops run circles around it. com/71576 to see and read about all of THESE DAYS BUSY travelers need a bag our selections. in its base con guration. and power-e cient enough to enable a $450 machine to o er surprisingly strong performance.

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ethernet. output speed and features are limited. 2.com/71553 GOOD Text quality: Superior Photo quality: Good Tested speeds: 7.pcworld.9 cents for black.9 ppm photos USB.pcworld. MODEL Rating Performance Text quality: Superior Photo quality: Fair Tested speeds: 10. 1.4 cents for all four colors u The print quality is great for the device’s price.com/64132 VERY GOOD u This multifunction unit’s bargain pricing includes Wi-Fi. manual duplexing Lowest vendor-specified toner cost per page: 3.pcworld.4 ppm text. Toner costs seem low. parallel connectivity 400-sheet standard input. Toner costs are midrange. 3.8 cents for black.Reviews&Rankings Top 10 Color Laser Multifunction Printers These multipurpose office essentials are becoming more affordable. WorldMags 46 PCWORLD.0 cents for all four colors PHOTOGRAPHS: ROBERT CARDIN u Web and wireless connectivity are pluses.5 cents for black. Canon Color ImageClass MF8350Cdn 5 $699 find. 16. ethernet connectivity 350-sheet standard input. though.2 ppm photos USB.4 ppm photos USB.pcworld. which balance out its middling performance and toner costs.5 cents for black. 10.2 cents for all four colors u This big machine has minor problems: complex controls. this midpriced MFP wins on its mix of design.0 ppm text. Samsung CLX-6220FX 3 $699 NEW find.5 cents for black. HP LaserJet Pro CM1415fnw Color MFP 9 $450 NEW find. ethernet connectivity 250-sheet standard input. 2. automatic duplexing Lowest vendor-specified toner cost per page: 3. CHART NOTES: Ratings are as of 2/9/11. minimal Mac support. automatic duplexing Lowest vendor-specified toner cost per page: 2. features. wireless connectivity 150-sheet standard input. manual duplexing Lowest vendor-specified toner cost per page: 3. however. 1.com/62438 VERY GOOD Text quality: Very Good Photo quality: Good Tested speeds: 9. but the cost of replacement toner and its photo quality are disappointing.pcworld.9 cents for all four colors u Small workgroups will like this color MFP’s features and print quality. 16.7 cents for black.com/71573 to see in-depth reviews.com/70869 VERY GOOD Text quality: Superior Photo quality: Good Tested speeds: 11. ethernet connectivity 250-sheet standard input.4 cents for all four colors u A busy office will like this Canon MFP’s speed and features.pcworld.3 cents for all four colors u This MFP performs decently for the most part. 2.com/59860 VERY GOOD Text quality: Superior Photo quality: Fair Tested speeds: 16.9 ppm text.4 ppm photos Features and specifications USB.4 ppm photos USB. low-volume offices. 18. 10.pcworld.1 ppm text.com/71551 GOOD Text quality: Superior Photo quality: Fair Tested speeds: 12. and low toner costs are this model’s main strengths. this unit offers versatile connectivity. Dell 1355cnw 8 $340 NEW find.5 ppm photos USB. but you may find that its above-average toner costs will hit you on the back end. automatic duplexing Average toner cost per page (editorial research): 2.7 ppm photos USB. and expensive toner.1 ppm text. manual duplexing Lowest vendor-specified toner cost per page: 3.0 cents for all four colors u Speed. Lexmark x543dn 10 $599 find. and detailed specs for all printers on this chart. 18. ethernet. are sluggish speed. 2.4 cents for black.1 ppm text. manual duplexing Lowest vendor-specified toner cost per page: 3. 1.9 ppm text. ethernet connectivity 350-sheet standard input. MORE ONLINE Visit find. ethernet connectivity 250-sheet standard input. but it has limited features and pricey toner.pcworld. wireless connectivity 160-sheet standard input.8 ppm text. full test results. limited features. 15. but no model is ideal. 19. Xerox Phaser 6128MFP 7 $599 find. optional duplexing Lowest vendor-specified toner cost per page: 1. and toner pricing.1 ppm photos USB.com/62436 GOOD Text quality: Very Good Photo quality: Good Tested speeds: 12.5 cents for all four colors u Best suited for small. 3. ethernet connectivity 250-sheet standard input.1 ppm photos USB. ethernet.pcworld. 1.0 cents for black.5 ppm text.com/63540 GOOD Text quality: Superior Photo quality: Fair Tested speeds: 11. Output speeds are in pages per minute (ppm). making up for its subpar photos and design quirks.1 cents for all four colors u Despite some speed and output-quality issues.COM APRIL 2011 . wireless connectivity 250-sheet standard input. 10.pcworld. Ricoh Aficio SP C232SF 4 $799 find.4 cents for black. the trade-offs. 12. but the trade-offs are slow print speeds and mediocre graphics quality. automatic duplexing Lowest vendor-specified toner cost per page: 1. expandability. and mediocre photo quality. Dell Multifunction Color Laser Printer 3115cn 2 $899 find.com/62455 GOOD Text quality: Superior Photo quality: Very Good Tested speeds: 8. Canon Color ImageClass MF9220Cdn 6 $999 NEW find.pcworld. automatic duplexing Lowest vendor-specified toner cost per page: 2.1 ppm photos USB.4 ppm text.2 cents for black.4 cents for all four colors Brother MFC-9320CW 1 $450 find.com/71552 GOOD Text quality: Superior Photo quality: Good Tested speeds: 11. ethernet.

WorldMags .

On some metrics. it fell more toward the middle of the pack. fast. running RAID 1. e unit’s ruggedized aluminum chassis is designed to withstand vibration and shock. —Melissa J.0 on board (not USB 2.5-inch drives as well as external portable 2. the Duo uses two 500GB.COM APRIL 2011 .com/71561 eSATA. 5400rpm. with internal thermometers that show the drives’ operating temperature on the status LCD. work. performance seemed to be satisfactorily zippy. In our tests. they would have made the ToughTech Duo truly indispensable for media professionals. or on the go. on others.5-inch drives. Still. is two-line LCD also shows updates on RAID status and disk health. the device outperformed many external 3. its RAID 1 and drive-monitoring capabilities. with RAID 1 set. 2. e ToughTech Duo’s portability. I’d prefer to see USB 3. e ToughTech Duo is relatively small—it measures just 6. the Duo compared favorably with other drives. plus a USB port with camera connectivity and ash card reader slots.3 by 3. List: $669 find.65 pounds (not counting the charger).0). easy data backup. and its strong overall performance all make the unit a terri c photographer’s accessory.5-inch portable hard drives and eSATA and FireWire 800 connections to provide fast data backup. Perenson WorldMags 48 PCWORLD. At $669 for 1TB of total storage. We tested it over THE COMPACT TOUGHTECH Duo provides 1TB of backup and storage. VERY GOOD CRU DataPort ToughTech Duo WiebeTech Compact. as well as a useful tool for anyone who prizes safeguarding their data at home.Reviews&Rankings CRU DataPort ToughTech Duo for Backups THE CRU DataPort ToughTech Duo from WiebeTech puts data-redundancy capabilities into a sturdy and convenient box. as well as a onetouch backup feature.pcworld.5 by 1.4 inches —and weighs 1. Overall. It’s optimized for heat dissipation as well.

COM 49 . between PCs. Alas.iTwin: Secure File Sharing for Two PCs THE ITWIN IS a unique networking and peer-to-peer le-sharing gadget from the company of the same name. It spares you having to enter a password every time you use the iTwin. you simply run the setup so ware on each PC. VERY GOOD iTwin | iTwin Device lets you share files. e $99 iTwin separates into two units. the iTwin lets you access your drive remotely (the other computer will need to be on to access it). e rst time you plug it into a USB port. using hardware encryption. each of the halves to be plugged into a di erent PC. if the rm goes belly up. In addition. you’ll receive a deactivation code to use should you lose one of the halves. If you send your e-mail address to the service. which wirelessly forms a network connection that allows you to securely share les using hardware-based 256-bit AES encryption. you must install the so ware to each PC on which you wish to use the iTwin. except for the CD-emulating boot partition that they employ to install the iTwin client so ware. you are actually just creating a pointer to the shared le.com/71566 a unique encryption key that links them can be generated. you’ll be le with a pretty. but perhaps that’s in the future. device. It would be nice if the so ware were portable. the halves must be connected so EACH HALF OF the iTwin plugs into a separate PC. ese two modules don’t have any storage. your home PC and your laptop. It looks like nothing so much as a USB ash drive with a connector on each end. Note: As with any service that uses a portal. killing the service.pcworld. As you drag les to the iTwin virtual drive in Windows Explorer. so it’s best run only on your own machines—say. List: $99 find. too. but it’s not. A er that. —Jon L. Setting up the iTwin is a breeze. you can passwordprotect your access. but useless. Jacobi WorldMags APRIL 2011 PCWORLD.

Omni 100 | HP All-in-one desktop is very inexpensive.pcworld. It has limited connection options for external devices: two USB ports on the side.2GHz Core i5-650 4GB RAM. 1TB storage ATI Radeon HD5730 Blu-ray Disc MSI Wind Top AE2420 3D 1 $1800 find.COM APRIL 2011 . four more on the back.6GHz Core i7-720QM 6GB RAM.2GHz Core i3-550 4GB RAM.6GHz. WorldMags 50 PCWORLD.com/70856 VERY GOOD WorldBench 6 score: 104 WorldBench 6 rating: Very Good Overall design: Very Good 1.53GHz Core i7-860S 4GB RAM. List: $559 find. a 10/100 fast ethernet connection is on the rear. 1TB storage Intel integrated graphics DVD-RW u Acer’s 23-inch AZ5700-U2112 offers speed and an attractive touch-friendly display. 500GB storage Intel integrated graphics DVD-RW u Lenovo’s business-ready all-in-one brings the ThinkPad feel to the world of multitouch desktops—and it doesn’t disappoint. Lenovo ThinkCentre M90z 4 $1400 find. MORE ONLINE Visit find.2GHz Core i5-650 4GB RAM.com/71569 multiformat card reader and a DVD burner are on the sides. HP TouchSmart 600 Quad 2 $1800 find. A FAIR HP’S OMNI 100 is pretty much a bare-bones all-in-one desktop PC.pcworld. e Omni 100 comes with a 500GB hard drive and Wireless-N connectivity. but its lackluster features make it hard to recommend to anyone who isn’t operating on a tiny budget.com/71511 VERY GOOD WorldBench 6 score: 119 WorldBench 6 rating: Superior Overall design: Very Good 3. full test results.pcworld. but other models are better. 1TB storage Nvidia GT230 Blu-ray Disc u HP’s latest TouchSmart packs a punch. e 1. Gateway ZX6951-53 5 CHART NOTES: Ratings are as of 1/31/11.com/71578 to see in-depth reviews. Spend a bit more on a competing model and get a signi cantly better machine. Acer AZ5700-U2112 3 $1000 find.pcworld. Gateway’s 23-inch all-in-one desktop rarely stops delivering. MODEL Rating Performance WorldBench 6 score: 118 WorldBench 6 rating: Superior Overall design: Good Features and specifications 2. 1600-by-900-pixel display’s lack of strong saturation made images seem lifeless.com/71512 VERY GOOD WorldBench 6 score: 117 WorldBench 6 rating: Superior Overall design: Very Good 3. dual-core AMD Athlon II X2 250u CPU showed little oomph in our tests: e Omni scored a mere 70 on WorldBench 6. $1000 find.pcworld.com/71577 SUPERIOR u The MSI Wind Top AE2420 3D boasts impressive performance in an attractive shell—and is the first AIO with high-def 3D technology. 640GB storage Intel integrated graphics Blu-ray Disc u From its looks and sounds to its HD support and its speed. without breaking the bank.pcworld.Reviews&Rankings HP Omni 100: Low in Price—and Features HP’S 20-INCH OMNI 100 has a low price for an all-in-one of its size ($559). —David Murphy Top 5 Big-Screen All-in-One Desktop PCs No room for a tower? These models have screens 23 inches or larger—and still save space.com/71513 VERY GOOD WorldBench 6 score: 121 WorldBench 6 rating: Superior Overall design: Good 3. and detailed specs for all desktops on this chart. e nontouch. delivering strong media-center functionality and the line’s signature TouchSmart style.pcworld.

com/TPLINK Speci cations are subject to change without notice. Tilt: 125°) • Vivid video in the day and clear monochrome in the dark • Multiple remote viewing options via Internet (3G phone or Tablet) NEW TL-SC3430 H.8 feet) night vision distance Find these and other great TP-LINK products online through these vendors: www.5 Lux) • 2-way audio transmission HOT TL-SC3171G / TL-SC3171 Day/Night Surveillance Camera • Vivid video in the day and clear monochrome in the dark • 10 meter (32. promotions. LTD. TP-LINK is a registered trademark of TP-LINK TECHNOLOGIES CO.facebook... LTD. and a chance to win great free products! WorldMags www.264 Megapixel Surveillance Camera • High Definition Viewing at 1. Copyright © 2011 TP-LINK TECHNOLOGIES CO.3 Megapixel (1280x1024 resolution) • Advanced H.com ‘Like’ our page on Facebook for updates.264 codec achieves great fluency in HD Video streaming • Built-in Samba/NFS client for convenient video storage to NAS(Network Attached Storage) HOT TL-SC3130G / TL-SC3130 2-way Audio Surveillance Camera • Excellent low light sensitivity (Min illumination at 0. Other brands and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.tp-link.“The Best of CES 2011” — PC World Wireless Pan/Tilt Surveillance Camera TL-SC4171G • Wide-range motorized Pan/Tilt patrol (Pan: 354°. . All rights reserved.

45 inch thick.2 tablet. No Contract THE VIEWPAD 7. e capacitive multitouch DELL’S STAGE interface groups home-screen widgets by content type.com/71583 52 several times when I inserted any of four SD Cards. e successor to the 5-inch Streak. —Melissa J. Navigation buttons for back. MSM7227 ARM11 CPU. Images looked washed out and lacked punch. unites a subtly sharp design with an unimpressive display and clunky so ware implementation. and T-Mobile’s HSPA+ networks. And the tablet locked up ViewPad 7: Tablet. but the device’s numerous weaknesses may outweigh the value price.7 inches. Unfortunately.5 ounces. many Websites still recognize the OS as phone so ware. packs a number of features into its squaredo 7-inch frame. UMTS.3-megapixel video camera is at the top of the screen. Mediocre Display THE DELL STREAK 7. 802. it supports Adobe Flash 10. the Streak 7 measures 7. the tablet falls short in display quality.11b/g Wi-Fi. And though it sells service-contract-free. but via the MicroSD Card slot). As you’d expect from an Android 2. screen has a mediocre resolution of 800 by 480 pixels. Text looked distractingly pixelated. It also o ers a 3G colors appeared bright and vivid. books and documents for eo chat. ViewSonic’s rst tablet. Perenson FAIR Streak 7 | Dell Elegantly designed Android-based tablet disappoints in other respects. an OS that isn’t optimized for use with tablets. weak battery life. 7-inch capacitive multiIn my testing the lithium FAIR touch LCD screen. so your palm won’t accidentally brush the highly sensitive capacitive touch buttons when you hold the device in landscape mode with both hands. However. List: $250 with service contract find. e unit runs Android 2. a 600MHz Qualcomm THE 14-OUNCE ViewPad 7 is just 0.9 by 4. Multifeatured tablet hampered by too bright for reading As a speakerphone or for vidmediocre display.COM APRIL 2011 . button navigation. and weighs 15. the Streak 7’s front-facing 1. and home are aligned at the right (or along the bottom.2 (Froyo) and has 512MB of memory. the screen on my test model became unresponsive a number of times. it carries a daunting price of $430. menu. depending on how you hold the device). e subtle curves of the Streak make it comfortable to hold. e positioning is o set. It can handle 3G data and can double as a phone (if you pay for a voice plan and insert a SIM card into the slot). EDGE.1. For now. not a full-bore Web browser. In my tests.pcworld. e ViewPad 7 has a mini-USB connector e ViewPad 7 has a and can charge o a USB port. and the speakers are situated at the top le and right sides. In landscape orientation. List: $430 (no service contract) more than about 10 min—Leah Yamshon find. T-Mobile’s aggressive pricing ($200 a er a $50 mail-in rebate with a two-year contract) increases the Streak 7’s appeal. ough the on-screen keyboard supports two-handed thumb typing in the vertical position. with polymer rechargeable battery 800-by-480-pixel resolulasted for only about 2 hours ViewPad 7 | ViewSonic tion. radio. 802. Bluetooth 2. the 2780mAh battery drained to 48 percent a er 8 hours of sporadic light use (with the mobile broadband radio on). and 512MB of useraccessible ash memory (upgradable to 32GB utes. and support for 3G. e chief customization is the use of Dell’s Stage user interface on the home screens. I o en activated the Swype button inadvertently when holding the device in this orientation. Battery life was disappointing.11b/g/n Wi-Fi.1+EDR. and battery life. the Streak 7 comes with Android 2. Even worse. Phone.Reviews&Rankings Dell Streak 7: Solid Design. text had noticeable pixelation and a sparkly background. e 5-megapixel rear-facing camera (with LED ash) produced mediocre images. Even game graphics seemed blocky and pixelated on occasion. an Nvidia Tegra 2–based Android tablet. the tablet works well. too. and Bluetooth. I found the display of continuous use. e Dell Streak 7 has 16GB of memory.com/71559 WorldMags PCWORLD.2.pcworld.

DirectX 11 Support 24X DVD+/-RW Drive 1TB SATA-III 7200RPM HDD 120mm Radiator Liquid CPU Cooling System Hi-Definition Surround 3D Premium Sound 1TB SATA-II 7200RPM HDD 120mm Radiator Liquid CPU Cooling System Hi-Definition Surround 3D Premium Sound Optional: Nvidia® Glasses & Monitor (+$499) 3D Vision Optional: Nvidia® Glasses & Monitor (+$499) 3D Vision WorldMags .0 Card Intel® CoreTM i7-950 Processor $ 999 Windows 7 ® Windows 7 ® Sabertooth X58 12GB DDR3-1333 700W Certified Power Supply iBUYPOWER Premium Keyboard. Mouse & Speakers NZXT® Guardian 921RB Gaming Case + Corsair Memory Video Card .iBUYPOWER Recommends Windows® 7 Home Premium Gamer Paladin D875 • Intel® Core™ i7 Processor -980X Extreme Edition $2009 -970 $1874 -960 $1559 -950 $1269 Genuine Home Premium 64-Bit Edition Asus® USB3 + SATA3 Motherboard Intel® CoreTM i7-950 Processor $ 1269 Gamer Paladin D855 • Intel® Core™ i7 Processor -980X Extreme Edition $1749 -970 $1599 -960 $1289 -950 $999 Genuine Home Premium 64-Bit Edition ® Chipset Motherboard w/USB 3. Mouse & Speakers Thermaltake® Element G Gaming Case + Corsair Memory TRUE USB 3.0 SATA3 Intel X58 HD6950 1GB ATI® RadeonTM Video Card .DirectX 11 Support + GTX 560 Ti 1GB 24X DVD+/-RW Drive Nvidia® GeForceTM 6GB DDR3-1333 700W Certified Power Supply iBUYPOWER Premium Keyboard.

MODEL Rating Performance WorldBench 6 score: 106 WorldBench 6 rating: Very Good Overall design: Superior Tested battery life: 4:26 Features and specifications 2.6 pounds 500GB hard drive u The Aspire 5741G-6983 is a great all-purpose machine that also happens to possess superior gaming potential. Asus N53SV 2 $1219 NEW find. Gateway ID49C13u 3 $850 NEW find.0 pounds 500GB hard drive u Like others in Sony’s VAIO EA series.4GHz Core i3-370M 15.6-inch widescreen 6.pcworld. Toshiba Satellite M645-S4055 6 $1049 find.0 pounds 500GB hard drive u Three strengths—above-average sound.com/70962 VERY GOOD WorldBench 6 score: 104 WorldBench 6 rating: Very Good Overall design: Superior Tested battery life: 3:27 2.6-inch widescreen 5. an attractive screen. performance.4GHz Intel Core i5-520M 15. Samsung SF510 10 $1000 NEW find.com/69884 to see in-depth reviews. its input ergonomics are weak.53GHz Core i5-460M 14.com/70959 SUPERIOR u With a design clearly inspired by the MacBook Pro.com/71504 VERY GOOD WorldBench 6 score: 93 WorldBench 6 rating: Good Overall design: Very Good Tested battery life: 4:46 2.4GHz Core i5-450M 14.4GHz Core i5-450M 13.pcworld.27GHz Core i3-350M 14. Micro Express NBL26 9 $1200 NEW find.com/70964 VERY GOOD WorldBench 6 score: 107 WorldBench 6 rating: Very Good Overall design: Very Good Tested battery life: 2:57 2. MORE ONLINE Visit find.pcworld. the VPCEA22FX delivers excellent design and usability.5-inch widescreen 5.com/71502 VERY GOOD WorldBench 6 score: 106 WorldBench 6 rating: Very Good Overall design: Superior Tested battery life: 4:23 2.3 pounds 500GB hard drive HP Envy 14 1 $1289 find.com/71501 SUPERIOR WorldBench 6 score: 126 WorldBench 6 rating: Superior Overall design: Very Good Tested battery life: 3:47 2. Dell Latitude E5510 5 $1042 find.pcworld.9 pounds 500GB hard drive u Gateway finally racks up some style points with this mainstream laptop.5 pounds 750GB hard drive u If processing speed is your passion.com/70960 VERY GOOD WorldBench 6 score: 101 WorldBench 6 rating: Very Good Overall design: Superior Tested battery life: 3:45 2. and detailed specs for all laptops on this chart. justifying its modest price premium.2 pounds 250GB hard drive u Dell’s Latitude E5510 introduces new processor options in the company’s low-end 15-inch business line.0GHz Core i7-2630QM 15.27GHz Core i5-430M 15. CHART NOTES: Ratings are as of 1/28/11.pcworld.2 pounds 500GB hard drive u The Asus N82Jv has good graphics. Asus N82Jv 8 $999 find.com/70963 VERY GOOD WorldBench 6 score: 94 WorldBench 6 rating: Very Good Overall design: Superior Tested battery life: 3:37 2. Sony VAIO VPCEA22FX 7 $849 find.7GHz Core i7-2620M 15. which also delivers good performance.pcworld.6-inch widescreen 5.6-inch widescreen 6. full test results.0-inch widescreen 5.6-inch widescreen 5.pcworld.com/71503 VERY GOOD WorldBench 6 score: 124 WorldBench 6 rating: Superior Overall design: Fair Tested battery life: 3:15 2. Tested battery life figures are expressed in hours:minutes. you’ll appreciate this all-purpose unit from Asus.pcworld. Acer Aspire 5741G-6983 4 $850 find.0-inch widescreen 5. If only it weren’t so heavy for its size.6 pounds 500GB hard drive PHOTOGRAPHS: ROBERT CARDIN u Micro Express manages to ship a staggeringly average laptop configured with one of Intel’s new Core i7 (Sandy Bridge) CPUs.pcworld. and gaming—highlight this otherwise unexceptional midsize laptop. Listed weights do not include the power adapter.Reviews&Rankings Top 10 All-Purpose Laptops A new Core i7 model from Asus challenges HP’s Envy 14 for the top spot on the chart.4GHz Core i5-450M 14.4 pounds 500GB hard drive u This elegant-looking laptop comes with a great keyboard.pcworld.0-inch widescreen 5.com/70961 VERY GOOD WorldBench 6 score: 107 WorldBench 6 rating: Very Good Overall design: Very Good Tested battery life: 6:24 2. however. WorldMags 54 PCWORLD.0-inch widescreen 4.0 port.pcworld. and a USB 3. but even so the machine is overpriced for what you get. the Envy 14 is a powerful.COM APRIL 2011 . attractive laptop at a reasonable price.

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My photos—whether taken indoors or out—had a strange hazy quality. e 5-megapixel camera is okay. nicely designed. Measuring 4. VERY GOOD Cliq 2 | Motorola Excellent smartphone has a superb keyboard but a mediocre camera. and Search. A 3. I had no trouble quickly banging out a long message on it. and even 3G speeds were slow. Calls made indoors in quiet environments went well.7-inch 854-by-480-pixel TFT display takes up much of the phone’s real estate on the front. —Ginny Mies i Prolog WorldMags 56 PCWORLD. e Cliq 2’s keyboard sort of reminds me of a honeycomb: Rather than consisting of individual keys with space between them.com/71498 I had some trouble picking up a 4G signal in San Francisco. where T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network works only in certain locales. Call quality over T-Mobile’s network was average overall. THE CLIQ 2 lets you set up home screens for work. but nothing spectacular.COM APRIL 2011 In FR kg EE ar d! . List: $100 with two-year contract find.5 by 2. but ambient noise marred calls on a busy city street corner.57 inches.pcworld.4 by 0. with room below it for four touch-sensitive keys: Menu. Home. and (for a 4G 1GHz phone) incredibly a ordable. home. Back.Reviews&Rankings A Smartphone Ready for Business and Fun THE MOTOROLA Cliq 2 ($100 with a two-year contract from T-Mobile) is a bit less plasticky than the original Cliq and feels sturdier. the Cliq 2 is slightly chunky due to its slide-out keyboard. it’s a single solid piece. and play. e phone sports a 1GHz (non-dual-core) processor. e Cliq 2 is fast.

6-inch display and circular touch buttons for Home. particularly on indoor shots.2 with HTC Sense running over it.62 mbps. which lets you connect up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices. In place of the EVO 4G’s 8-megapixel camera. and play Flash-based games. the phone performed quite well. In my hands-on testing. e Shi 4G runs Android 2. List: $150 with two-year contract find. IN SPOT TESTS. My test photos were a bit grainy and washed out overall.pcworld. see Flash-enabled pages. color. with little background noise audible to the people I called.COM 57 . Included with the phone is Sprint’s Mobile Hotspot. Menu.HTC’s Fast. white balance. Back. e EVO Shi 4G is powered by an 800MHz processor and 512MB of RAM.6 by 2. ough the keyboard keys feel a little sti . and you get plenty of useful shortcut keys. e Shi 4G has a 3. e phone lacks a front-facing video camera—one of the EVO 4G’s biggest draws. the EVO Shift 4G downloaded data at 2. Affordable EVO Shift 4G THE EVO SHIFT 4G ($150 with a two-year Sprint contract) resembles a smaller version of last year’s EVO 4G.com/71499 Call quality was very good from the Strip in Las Vegas. including exposure. the Shi 4G o ers a 5-megapixel camera with a ash and autofocus. e OS’s Flash support lets you view Flash videos.4 by 0. and you get some advanced controls. and Search. e camera’s interface is simple to use. —Ginny Mies WorldMags APRIL 2011 PCWORLD. e Shi 4G is both attractive and solidly constructed. so backing makes it very comfortable to hold.6 inches. VERY GOOD EVO Shift 4G | HTC (Sprint) Android smartphone with a fullQWERTY keyboard is a bargain. they are nicely spaced. and various photo e ects. At 4. it is a bit chunky—due to the keyboard—but the curved.

e best you can do for recording high-def (720p or 1080i) content o a cable or satel- lite box is to use the included analog component cables. You connect the device to an HDTV via an included HDMI cable. But its inability to record all video in one high-def format and then downsize it as needed for phones meant that I had to choose a format in advance.Reviews&Rankings Place-Shifting Hardware Adds Time-Shifting Capabilities FOR SEVERAL YEARS. But it doesn’t accept digital inputs. with compromises.99 WorldMags 58 PCWORLD. List: $280 find. Finally. Monsoon Multimedia has been making place-shi ing set-top boxes—devices that let you watch your own TV remotely. the setup could use a sturdier. —Yardena Arar 2012 MRSP $79. the Vulkano did a pretty good job.pcworld.com/71515 comes with a 16GB SD Card that slides into a slot on the box.COM APRIL 2011 . video and audio recorded in high def won’t be as good as they would be over a digital connection. a DVR) so you can watch live HDTV and recorded shows on any screen wherever you are. Its Vulkano Deluxe line adds time-shi ing features (in other words. Overall. But it doesn’t entirely succeed. As a result. and of course I wish that it could use a digital connection in place of the analog hookup imposed by DRM technologies. more responsive remote. e Vulkano Deluxe ($280) FREE VULKANO player apps let you view TV programs remotely. VERY GOOD Vulkano Deluxe | Monsoon Flexible remote access to live and recorded TV.

Sony designed the nSZGt1 to control and stream content from your set-top box or DVr. Te nSZ-Gt1’s remote The Sony player’s remote is Good Internet TV NSZ-GT1 | Sony Computerlike features are great. the nSZ-Gt1 can handle CnBC real-Tme. Te nSZ-Gt1 has no LeD display to show you status information.com/71560 resembles a two-handed game controller with a trackball and a built-in keyboard. Te device is fast and responds quickly to commands while playing a disc. and the rest in back—and a slot rather than a tray for inserting a disc. the onion. HBo Go. and an infuriating remote control make this model a dubious choice. But lackluster image quality. Te unit’s small buttons are numerous. popping up a menu. It offers four USB ports—one in front for easy access.Blu-ray Player Comes Loaded With Google TV Sony’S Internet tV nSZGt1 Blu-ray player stands out thanks to Google tV. For text entry. For most chores you must hold a tiny Fn button with one thumb while pressing a second tiny button with the other. which is essentially Android for your television. —Lincoln Spector WorldMags April 2011 pcworld. it’s the best remote control I’ve ever used. but it stumbles as a Blu-ray player. and not backlit. closely set. and twitter. or ejecting a disc. Pandora. it’s the worst remote I’ve seen. Te unit’s Chrome browser allows you to surf the Web from your couch and stream otherwise unavailable videos such as ones from the Daily Show site (but not Hulu). list: $400 find. and youtube.pcworld. a high price tag ($400). In addition to streaming netflix. however.com 59 . some poor design choices. For pausing. programmable for hdTV control. which freezes out basic cable and over-the-air broadcasts. But the only video input connection on the player is HDMI.

but LabelTag works on any recordable disc’s data side.COM APRIL 2011 . and DVD-RAM). find. DVD±RW. a beta that organizes your media files and A CLEAN. appears. especially for novices. find.pcworld.pcworld. until you find ways to solve them. find. deadly dull text. Lite-On bundles Nero Essentials. and social app. either perple times. play. If the word or phrase appears multiLeo shows you how to do the task. LOGICAL interface and the promise of stability down the line make media organizer/player Libox appealing even in beta. showing you where and when to —Preston Gralla click and to enter information. Bugs spoiled much GOOGLE QUICK SCROLL doesn’t just help you find a Web page. Click that window. plays practically all of them.Reviews&Rankings Lightweight Burner Goes Anywhere LITE-ON’S SMALL and light eNAU608 burner supports both LightScribe and LabelTag laser-etching technologies for labeling discs. But Google Quick Scroll for Chrome pops up a small window at the bottom right of the screen. the only program I am aware of that supports LabelTag. it’s certainly worth a look.pcworld. Once you dig in. LightScribe requires special media. Jacobi Google Quick Scroll Normally. Libox’s interface is clean and logical. We’ve uncovered three free apps that make things work: a help utility that steps you through a requested process instead of sending you to a page of dense. multidevice sharing tool. Instead of sendjump to the spot on the page where the term ing you to a text-heavy page to fend for yourself.com/71580 —Jon L. you’ll see multiple listings in the forming the task itself or walking you through pop-up window.com/71581 the process. after clicking a search result in Google. and the app refines the results PERSONALIZE YOUR eNAU608 with a graphic insert on the top. with middling speed and wide format support (CD. e drive attaches to your PC via USB. List: $70 Libox Beta Libox is a photo/audio/video organizer and player. Jacobi eNAU608 is a standard portable drive. I like the approach even though the pro- Help by Leo Leo is a handy utility that could make working with software a lot easier. Though the program is not ready for prime time yet.com/71579 VERY GOOD —Liane Cassavoy eNAU608 | Lite-On Two labeling options rescue burner from undistinguished performance. you’ll see that Libox will eventually be a better way to organize. the DOWNLOAD THIS Three Free Files to Handle Perpetual Problems IT’S EASY TO accept minor PC problems. How well a LabelTag label shows up depends on the color of dye the disc employs (darker is better) and on the font size you pick.pcworld. your search term appears.com/71509 WorldMags 60 PCWORLD. a beta. Leo appears as a small query bar where you enter help requests. text on the Web page where and it walks you through the process of performing the action. it also helps you locate the search item that you requested on the page. you have to scrounge around for the search term you typed. Results appear as soon as you begin typing. find. —Jon L. DL. showing the HELP BY LEO returns help search results as you type your question. In every other respect. and a Chrome extension that saves you considerable scrolling effort of the effect and hindered my testing—but it is when you visit a page through Google search. and includes a mini-USB port. To handle burning chores. Bigger fonts require more room and reduce capacity further. and you as you finish typing your query. gram didn’t prove immediately useful. and share media.

WorldMags .

tricks. and upgrades to turbocharge your WorldMags 62 pcworld.SpeedUp 24 tweaks.com April 2011 .

We also asked the PCWorld Labs to benchmark our test computers before and afer we made various changes to our hardware under the hood. pc users haVe complained: “My computer is too slow!” We decided to do something about it. Our tips reflect years of experience and the latest tools to reach market. for decades.YOUR pC computer from startup to shutdown. From hardware upgrades to sofware tweaks to networking tricks.com 63 . we looked at the most common computer bottlenecks and found ways to fix them. Read on for the secrets of upgraders and performance tweakers! BY CHriSTOpHEr NUll TESTiNG BY TONY lEUNG illUSTrATiONS BY GArY NEill WorldMags April 2011 pcworld.

4GHz Pentium D CPU.8% 53.HARDWARE SpEED BooStS You want a faster sYstem? Put faster parts in it. 120GB solid-state drive ($435) 135 139 135 139 141 147 — 3. Upgrading the CPU: Bumping our Polywell’s processor from a Pentium D to a TESTED LAB effects of Various component upgrades POLYWELL SYStEm SPEcS WorldBench 6 score Overall system improvement Average graphics test improvement Average system and graphics improvement Stock Polywell PC (3.0GHz Core 2 Duo E8400. Radeon HD6870 ($685) DELL SYStEm SPEcS 76 77 82 76 104 115 116 127 WorldBench 6 score — 1. we separated our benchmark tests into two components: general system tasks (including oflce applications. 120GB SSD. We then ran tests on the systems using various combinations of the above upgrades to determine which configurations yielded the best return on investment. and graphics board.3% Average graphics test improvement — 0.2% 7.67GHz Core 2 Quad Q6700.4GHz Pentium D processor. and a one-year old Dell with a 2. fe results for individual PCs will vary greatly. a 1TB hard drive.8% 51.2% 119. 800MHz frontside bus. and a GeForce 8800GT graphics card. 2GB of RAM.3% 8.8% 0.1% Overall system improvement — 0.2% 135.0% 0. fen we divided our upgrades into four categories: CPU. 1333MHz FSB ($153) 3.0GHz Core 2 Duo E8400.com April 2011 .0% 3.0% 0. First. Radeon HD6850 ($225) Stock with 120GB solid-state drive ($210) 8GB RAM.8GHz Core i7 860 CPU.1% 116. We selected two primary test systems to represent the kinds of desktop PCs that users are likely to want to overhaul with hardware upgrades: a three-yearold Polywell with a 3.6% 61. 2GB DDR2-800 RAM. But replacement parts aren’t free. ATI Radeon HD 5670 1GB GDDR5 graphics board) Stock with 8GB DDR3 RAM ($45) Stock with Radeon HD6850 1GB graphics board ($180) Stock with 8GB RAM.0% WorldMags 64 pcworld.2% 121.4% 8. 4GB RAM. and gaming.7% Average system and graphics improvement Stock Dell XPS 8100 PC (2. RAM. 4GB of RAM.0% 36. hard drive.5% 40.3% 65.7% 13. photo editing. a 500GB hard drive.0% 4.6% 53. Radeon HD6870 ($791) Stock with 3. and an ATI HD 5670 graphics card.1% — 1.9% 43. fat’s the simple answer to a question that every PC owner asks from time to time. 120GB solid-state drive. GeForce 8800GT 512MB graphics board) Stock with 4GB DDR2-800 RAM ($97) Stock with OCZ 120GB solid-state drive ($210) Stock with Radeon HD6870 1GB GDDR5 graphics board ($225) Stock with 2.5% 166.8GHz Core i7 CPU. and cash-strapped computer enthusiasts know that the key is to put their money where it counts most. 500GB 7200-rpm hard drive.8% — 0. and movie encoding). 1333MHz FSB.0% 93.1% 18.7% 58.4% 14. Radeon HD6850. 4GB DDR3 RAM.6% 67. fat’s why the PCWorld Labs sought to identify which upgrades give PCs the best performance bang for the buck. but the data supports some general conclusions about which upgrades make the most sense—and our recommendations may surprise you. 1066MHz FSB ($259) Core 2 Quad.3% 117.3% 52.4% 2. 4GB RAM. 1TB 7200-rpm hard drive.

67GHz may flnd the outlay worth their while. but the Dell’s improved by just 3 percent when we extremely low $1. You don’t have to upgrade everything to see a boost. With improved even more for both upgrades. To flnd them. fie upgrade is easy to perform. and upgrade accordingly.91 for each performance. we got a paltry 1. all improvement was far greater than SSDs aren’t cheap. bit.general performance improvement and Core 2–class chip yielded instant and $11. RAM.9 percent.58 for each percentage point of making the four-component upgrade a surprisingly reasonable bargain. of $26. But if your PC already has even a moderate amount of RAM. Graphics performance mance improved 14. upgrading is a hassle.21 for each percentage point bargain. For example. When percent—probably due to the speedier we upgraded our old Polywell to an ATI frontside bus in the Core 2 Duo over the Radeon HD6870 card. you likely won’t see much of a speed increase from adding more. with a boost of 52. and it makes sense because RAM is cheap. But upgrade rated as one of our neither improved The windows experience best values in the entire study.0GHz Core 2 Duo was tery here. idea of the strongest and percentage point of general Mileage varies a weakest components in performance improvement. when we bumped our 2GB system up to 4GB.3 percent improvement on general apps and virtually no improvement on games.8 percent jump in performance on general apps. And in hard drive. selective upgrading would have been the wisest choice. Forklift upgrade: Does it make sense to perform a bunch of upgrades when you could simply buy a new PC? Even under the best conditions. Upgrading to newer graphics even more efective. of course. fie age point of gain makes the graphics limited beneflt that the upgrade providboard upgrade on that PC the most ed in our tests made investing in more cost-efective upgrade in our roundup.3GHz Core i5 PC with 4GB of DDR3 RAM and a 10.6 will do wonders for your gaming. We also spent more. in our individual upgrades. If you want better game performance than your current system provides. and graphics board—on our our tests. focusing on a new graphics card makes more sense than buying a new rig that uses integrated graphics. power users across the board.54 for each percentmoved from 4GB of RAM to 8GB. Still. Efort and risks aside. memory almost pointless.2 percent boost in gaming afordable.41 for each percentage point of obvious performance improvements graphics improvement. but the overcent speed jump on gaming. Ultimately we case) of your storage capacity in the spent $10. decrease in hard-drive latency. it still makes sense to upgrade in some instances. In that case. Focus on the lowest numbers listed in the panel’s Windows Experience Index. Performing all four of drive technology promises a dramatic the upgrades on our list—CPU.000-rpm hard drive to substantially improve on the gains we saw from our CPU upgrades alone. Graphics are a sore spot here. April 2011 pcworld. fie Polywell’s your current system. and you lose a the sum of the improvements from the large amount (nearly 75 percent. investing in a new PC would have made more sense. presented with prices of general performance improvement. General apps were a diferent story. we spent about $700 to $800 to buy the components for our Polywell upgrade—more than some new PCs cost. Upgrading the graphics board: No mysUsing an older 3. but for almost everything else. Core 2 Quad prompted a 36. visit the Windows Performance Information and Tools Control Panel. We had to spend $850 on an overclocked 3. and it gets expensive: Depending on the CPU. Simicost of $15. Moving to a 2.4 percent. moving from a 7200-rpm. old Polywell desktop improved its sys500GB traditional hard-disk drive to a tem speed by 67. general application index provides a rough costing a mere $2. gaming perforCore 2 Quad.1 percent and boosted 120GB SSD resulted in a 8. our CPU upgrades were gave us a 117. our year-old Dell’s performance improvement is high. your best bet is to focus on performance bottlenecks. fie Core 2 Duo on the machine. an ATI Radeon HD6850 Best of all.com WorldMags 65 .3 perboost on general apps and an 18. our newer Dell. Multiple upgrades: You’re likely to fare even better if you upgrade components Upgrading the hard drive: Solid-statein combination.10 for each percentage point larly.0 percent its gaming performance by 166. as new computers with integrated graphics fared extremely poorly in our gaming benchmarks. Upgrading RAM: Conventional wisdom has always held that upgrading your system’s RAM will give it an instant boost.

uninstall. themselves to open at startup. driver update. but if you leave cation listed there that you’re sure you Play window pops up. Trst create a apps in the ‘programs and stufl on your hard System Restore point that you Features’ control panel. in the window that opens. Apple alone accounted for six applicaYou can enhance your laptop’s perTry new drivers: According to conventions on our test PC. which to run a weekly scan during late night familiar platform. but why not make dows was designed to run thousands cheat your way to a modest speed sure? Schedule your antivirus program upon thousands of applications on a increase by using ReadyBoost. your hard drive. it will turn prove your PC’s performance. click the battery icon in the computer. Winolder PC with very little RAM. drive is a good Tt for ReadyBoost. disk isn’t a problem Uninstall. a large. then follow the instructions. type disk plenty of options for increasing its pep. high-speed USB drive. Depending on your system. and mice) that you system tray and select More power options. you still have installation programs. select Speed up your computer plugged in all the time.until the disk gets full and Windows has to work overtime to Tnd spare bits here and there to store your Tles on. Click Check for Updates. Select the boxes for simple sofware settings can lead to massive performance gains. Among other things. no longer use. To use this strategy Upgrade your power settings: By default. Typically Microsof SoFtWARE SpEED BooStS WorldMags 66 pcworld. but you are far more likely to immultiple times. Winpower plan proTle. fiis will create a safety net that you’ll have access to. Watch for toolformance by using a higher-end power tional wisdom. drivers if nothing is wrong with your (such as printers. no matter what happens. Click Uninstall to remove Select the drop-down next to Show Admittedly this undesirable result can each one. and uninstall any appliit when you plug it in. mance. fie problem is that lets you plug a USB thumb drive into hours so it won’t interfere with your every application occupies space on your computer and use it in lieu of true day-to-day computer activities. Your next stop in upgrading the drivers should be Windows Update. up something that worked Tne before. fiat setting strikes Visit the ‘Programs and Features’ dows will give you the option to enable a nice compromise between perforcontrol panel. clogging you’ll need a high-speed USB port and Windows sets computers with batteries system RAM whenever your PC is on. keyboards. When the Automance and battery life. You’ll likely have to reboot additional plans and choose High perforoccur. Offioad whatever you can to external hard drives or other archival storage. don’t use. sleep. then run Disk Cleanup to get rid of junk such as temporary Internet Tles. each type of Tle you’d like to get rid of. and let Disk Cleanup do its magic. laptops) to the ‘Balanced’ whether you use the program or not.com April 2011 . ofl options that put your computer to To minimize your risk of Clean up your hard To reduce system clutter. that are worth a try. and many take it upon RAM modules. and Recycle Bin junk. old if upgrading Your pc is out of the question. saving you signiTcant restarting breaking your PC with a bum regularly prune installed drive: Having a lot of time when you step away from your PC. Not using an iPod anymore? my system. WWAN modems. no shame in having installed lots of Give ReadyBoost a try: If you have an Run a virus scan: Your PC probably sofware on your PC. because doing so may mess cameras. battery life is irrelevant. uninstall: fiere is can go back to if anything goes wrong: Type create a restore point at the Start menu search box. changing a few and press <Enter>. To access Disk Cleanup. If the (that is. which Windows hides by default. and then click the text noting how many updates are available. Afer all. To access it. you shouldn’t install new bars and device drivers for products plan. you can doesn’t have a virus. Here are some suggestions cleanup in the Start menu search box. and click Create.

your startup queue by typing msconfig classifes driver updates as optional, so in the Start menu search box. Click the even if the Windows Update text indiStartup tab, and you’ll fnd a list of cates that you don’t need any critical everything that loads during boot time, updates, you should still click the link. probably including a number of profick the checkbox next to any updated grams (notorious examples include drivers, and click OK to install. Quickfime and anything Adobe makes) Next, visit the manufacturer’s Webthat clog it up. Uncheck the box next site for your computer and/or for the to each application that you don’t want devices you have attached to it. Check your PC to load during boot. the support page for your machine, and Another option is Soluto (find.pcworld. download any new drivers that appear. In most cases you’ll have to know the com/70486), a free tool that performs the particular piece of hardware that is insame operation on a crowd-source basis. stalled on your If you’re unsure machine (check what some of the the Windows applications in Device Manager the msconfg disif you’re not play are, Soluto sure what a can probably tell component’s you—along with model number exactly how is), and you much time each should downone costs you load only the during startup. drivers you Te catch: Soluneed. Install the to itself will slow new drivers as you down by a windows’ builT-in disk cleanup utility instructed; usufew seconds, so shows you how much hard-drive space your ally this step ininstall it only if pc is wasting and identifies the main culprits. volves running a you know your simple executable fle and then rebootsystem has a lot of stuffi loading at starting. Test your system thoroughly afler up that you can safely get rid of. each driver installation, and make addiTurn off search indexing: Te ability to tional System Restore points if you’re search your computer at Google-like upgrading more than a few drivers. Te speeds is one of Windows 7’s (and Vislargest performance gains result from ta’s) greatest strengths. But if you’re updating your BIOS, motherboard organized, you may not need to use drivers, and graphics card drivers. it—and no matter how orderly you keep your business, indexing services Kill splash screens: Splash screens will slow you down, sometimes heavily. don’t bog down your computer per se, To change indexing settings, type serbut they do insert a speed bump into your schedule whenever you launch an vices at the Start menu prompt, and run application, and that extra time can add the Services application. Scroll down up. You can turn offi many splash screens to and right-click Windows Search, and in the programs’ settings. Turning offi then choose Properties. Tere, change splash screens may not make your applithe ‘Startup type’ to Disabled, and fncation load signifcantly faster, but it ish by clicking OK. may make it feel that way to you. Clip Aero’s wings: Windows’ desktop display with translucent windows, variScrub startup apps: In all likelihood, an able backgrounds, and other trappings astonishing number of applications in certainly looks pretty. But those effiects your PC load junk at system startup can slow your system considerably. without your knowledge. Let’s cut ’em To turn them offi, open the Persondown. First, take a look at what’s in

Do You Know When Your PC Is Too Slow?
Just because Your pc feels slow doesn’t mean that it is. any number of things can cause your computer to slow down temporarily: a stuck print job, a badly coded web page, a hiccup at your isp, or something else. most users have a “gut feeling” about their computer’s performance. when booting up takes more than a minute, or apps start to load sluggishly, it’s time to put some effort into getting your system into shape again. but where can you look for quantitative data on which to base these decisions? the best thing you can do is to benchmark your computer to see whether it is really getting slower. pcworld offers its own benchmark tool, worldbench (www.worldbench. com), for purchase, though the $249 price tag is steep for an individual user. cheaper options abound: one good tool is the free version of pcmark Vantage (find.pcworld.com/71546), which will let you run a limited benchmark of your system to check for trouble spots. the difficult issue is figuring out what to compare your benchmark numbers with. after all, benchmarks in a vacuum are useless. with worldbench, you can compare your system’s score with those of various modern pcs, as reported in this magazine—or you can look for a review of your system (or a similar one) in our online archive. another option is to upgrade to pcmark Vantage basic edition ($7) so you can compare your score with those of other users who’ve submitted their numbers online. finally, you can use windows’ ‘performance information and tools’ control panel. the information there is rudimentary, but it’s better than nothing. if you see the numbers slip to 15 to 20 percent below what you’d expect, it’s probably time to take action.



April 2011 pcworld.com


alization control panel, and scroll down in the main window to ‘Basic and High Contrast femes’. fe Windows 7 Basic theme is attractive but uses much less graphics-rendering power. If you want to make more-granular tweaks, open the ‘Performance Information and Tools’ control panel and click Adjust visual e ects in the lefl-hand pane. Here you’ll Tnd two dozen speciTc settings that you can adjust for better computer speed; turn them ofi by clicking the Adjust for best performance button and then clicking OK. Delete the Peek: Aero Peek and Aero Snap each consume a relatively small amount of system resources, but disabling Aero Snap will likely save you time by eliminating accidental snaps that you have to undo manually. To access these features, type ease at the Start menu prompt and select Ease

upgrade bang for the buck

animations (when possible) option, as another minor timesaver. To turn ofi Aero Peek, right-click the taskbar and select Properties. fen uncheck Use Aero Peek to preview the desktop. Kill compression: If your hard drive is suitably large, you have no reason to compress folders on it that you regularly use. Decompressing Tles on the ffiy only slows your access to them. To uncompress a compressed folder in The personalizaTion control panel, (without third-party compression soflyou can turn down system visual effects by ware installed), right-click the folder switching to a basic and high-contrast theme. and choose Extract All. Follow the prompts to choose a destination for of Access Center. At the bottom of the the uncompressed Tles; then delete the screen, click Make it easier to focus on original, compressed folder. tasks. Put a check in the box that reads Prevent windows from being automatically Go thumbnail-free: If you’ve ever tried arranged when moved to the edge of the screen to view thumbnail images in a folder to turn ofi Aero Snap. While you’re in that holds several hundred images, you there, consider checking the box dihave probably seen Windows choke at rectly above the Turn o all unnecessary the task. To disable the thumbnailing option, open Windows Explorer and click Tools Folder Options. Click the View tab and check the box for the Trst option: Always Approximate dollar Approximate dollar cost cost per 1% system cost per 1% graphics show icons, never thumbnails. improvement improvement
Consider a Registry cleaner: $97 $210 $225 $259 $791 $153 $685 $74.62 $26.58 Not applicable $7.04 $15.42 $2.91 $10.21
Approximate dollar cost per 1% system improvement

4GB DDR2-800 RAM OCZ 120GB solid-state drive Radeon HD6870 graphics board Core 2 Quad Q6700 processor All of the above 3.0GHz Core 2 Duo E8400 processor 3.0GHz Core 2 Duo E8400 processor, 4GB RAM, 120GB solid-state drive, Radeon HD6870

$970.00 $11.41 $15.10 $6.00 $5.82 $2.86 $4.12
Approximate dollar cost per 1% graphics improvement


8GB DDR3 RAM Radeon HD6850 graphics board 4GB RAM and Radeon HD6850 OCZ 120GB solid-state drive All of the above

$45 $180 $225 $210 $435

$15.00 Not applicable $75.00 $47.73 $48.88

$150.00 $1.54 $1.88 $1050.00 $3.59

Registry cleaners are regarded as saviors by their supporters and as snake oil by their detractors, and neither side has shown any inclination to soflen its stance. We’ll add to the argument only that Registry cleaners may be of some value to some users, and that we’ve witnessed a thorough Registry scrubbing revitalizing a years-old PC, at least to some extent. (Of course, following the other tips in this story helps, too.) Worth a try are the free CCleaner (find.pcworld.com/ 71543), PC Tools Registry Mechanic (find.pcworld.com/ 71544, $30/year), and Iolo System Mechanic (find. pcworld.com/71545, $40), but results are not guaranteed.



pcworld.com April 2011

not all Varieties of slowness are created equal. If computerto-computer flle transfers or Web page loads are bugging you, consider focusing on your wireless network conflguration instead of mucking about in Windows or inside your computer case.
Here are some common ways to give your computer a boost by scrutinizing the network side of the equation. Upgrade everything to 802.11n: Upgrading to a newer router will help—but only if all of the equipment on your network supports it. A new router plus an old laptop won’t increase your performance much, unless you’re on the outskirts of the wireless connectivity zone, in which case you may achieve better performance simply because the new router’s signal is stronger. If you want to obtain the best throughput from an 802.11n class router, you must use WPA2 encryption (or no encryption at all): fe older WPA encryption operates at half the maximum theoretical speed that 802.11n ofiers.
Tinker with the antennas:

By far the easiest way to alter your network’s performance is by moving the antennas on your router, if it has visible ones. Try different conflgurations—all straight up, bent to 45 degrees, aiming to the side, or combinations of the above. Depending on your router, antenna tweaks can give you a boost of up to 20 percent on network throughput. You might move your router, too. Many users seem to think that once a router is installed, it needs to stay put. Not so: A cable modem can connect to any

functioning cable outlet, and a DSL modem can connect to any phone line. fe rule of thumb is to position the modem (and router) as close as possible to the location where computers will be used most frequently. If you have computers set up throughout your house, try to place your network equipment as centrally as you can. In too many installations, the modem and router are locked in the basement, where distance and interference combine to slow the network down. Check for interlopers: Network performance sufiers when numerous devices use the pipe simultaneously. You can monitor your own Internet usage, of course, but what if you aren’t the only person using your connection? To determine whether interlopers are freeloading on iF your dhcp client list your network, consult the includes entries you DHCP client list in your don’t recognize, uninrouter’s conflguration vited users may be hogtool. Most such lists idenging your bandwidth.

tify everything connected to the network, including MAC addresses and computer host names. Don’t be alarmed if you see more devices than just your laptops and desktops: Wireless printers, networked home-theater equipment, media servers, smartphones, and other wireless gadgets may appear in the list. But if you flnd something that shouldn’t be there, consider upgrading to a higher level of Wi-Fi security, and change your administrator password and encryption key. Get your traffic in shape: If you’re up for some advanced network tweaking, consider traTc prioritization for your router. TraTc prioritization—aka traTc shaping—is a technology that enables you to tell your network to let one form of traTc have precedence over another. For example, you may want to give voice and video the highest priority, so your video calls go through with no lag and stutter, while giving e-mail and flle downloads lower priority because they are less sensitive to delivery delays. fese days, more and more routers are adding Quality of Service features. Look for router models designed for gaming use or for “experts,” such as the D-Link DIR-655, and then venture into the QoS (Quality of Service) settings in the product’s conflguration menus. True experts may also consider downloading third-party flrmware for popular routers such as those in the Linksys line, to add QoS feature support to their network routers.


April 2011 pcworld.com


WorldMags .

Analog Life


Rip your records, transfer your tapes, scan your photos, and move your home movies onto your hard drive. We’ve collected some easy ways to convert vinyl, film, and other analog media into highquality digital files.
By jon L. jacoBi photogRaphs By RoBeRt caRdin


apRiL 2011 pcworld.com


player, an FM radio, a CD player, and auxiliary line-level stereo audio inputs memories, your creations, your collections—all your media memorafor other audio devices such as MP3 players—all of them recordable to bilia. But in analog form, the content is difficult and time-consuming your PC via a USB connection. Alas, to organize and access. It also takes up lots of space and is slowly the quality of the unit’s components (especially the turntable) was a tad degrading. Te answer is to digitize it, preserve it, and organize it. disappointing. Te digitized sound was decent, but again it did not approach audiophile quality. Te quality of the Ion Audio’s $299 LP 2 CD turntable, in contrast, was impressive, offering the antiskate and tracking pressure adjustments missing from the Crosley CR2413A. Te sound from its preamped analog line outputs was very good, In my lifetime, music has been but its USB output sounded little better than the Crosley’s. delivered on vinyl, cassettes, Another Ion product, its Tape 2 PC cassette deck, created eight-track tapes, CDs, and middling audio recordings in my tests, regardless of whether audio DVDs. How do I listen to it now? Usually with a PC or I connected it via the USB or via the analog line outputs. a smartphone, and occasionally with an MP3 or other media player. I downloaded much of that music or ripped it from CDs, but the rest of it came from LPs and cassettes. editing Your Sound Files If you have an analog turntable, digitizing 33-rpm LPs and Once you’ve connected your hardware, use a program such 45-rpm single records is straightforward. Old-school turntaas Audacity (free) to record, edit, and save your newly digibles require grounding and a preamp, so you can’t plug them tized music. Don’t bother trying to separate each song durdirectly into most PC audio interfaces. Instead, connect the ing the recording process—record wholes sides of records turntable to a stereo receiver’s phono jacks and the ground and cassettes. Any audio editor or recording app worth its salt wire to the ground screw on the receiver. Ten run the relets you select and save individual sections of an audio file. Te ceiver’s tape or line out to the line input of your PC’s audio start and end points of songs are easy to spot by the changes interface (normally the light blue mini-stereo jack on the in the visual wave form. Te editing sofware will let you seback). You’ll need an RCA-to-mini-stereo converter cable. lect and save each individual track to a file that you create on Tape players (aka tape decks)—whether they are cassette, your PC. You can ditch the larger file once you’ve split it up. eight-track, or reel-to-reel—have line-level outputs that you If you intend to apply noise reduction (see next page), can attach directly to the line inputs of your computer’s don’t trim your recordings until afer you’ve cleaned them audio interface. To convert music from these players, too, up. Noise reduction sofware can use the spaces between you must have an RCA-to-mini-stereo converter cable. tracks to “profile” noise for more effective processing with less loss of dynamic range throughout the spectrum. If you’re not especially concerned about the sound quality, uSB­Connected Audio recording saving your recordings to compressed MP3, AAC, or WMA is USB turntables and cassette decks make digitizing your LPs, 45s, and cassettes a bit simpler by performing the analog-to-digital conversion onboard, and then transferring the results to your PC via USB cable. If you’re not picky about audio quality, these devices work fine; however, none of the units that I tested could create sound files that were up to rigorous audiophile standards. Crosley Radio’s products have a distinctive, appealingly retro look. Te $400 CR2413A Cakewalk Memory Master pyro that I tested inaudio creator 1.5 ($40) cludes a turntable is a program designed (33, 45, and 78 specifically for digitizrpm), a cassette ing analog music.

It’s all there on vinyl, tape, film, and paper—your


pcworld.com April 2011

ion lp 2 CD
is a turntable with USB connections for analog-to-digital audio conversion; the unit subsequently transfers digitized recordings to your pc via USB cable.


rear ports accommodate both

USB and analog input and output.

fine. Experts diffier on which bit rate sounds best for each format. I use at least 192 kilobits per second for MP3 and AAC files, and 160 kbps for WMA files. For classical music, I bump those rates up to the maximum (320, 256, or 192 kbps, depending on the format) or use the free FLAC lossless codec. For devices that don’t support FLAC—and many do not—I use Windows’ or Apple’s lossless formats. If you want audiophile-quality sound and your audio interface supports doing so, you should record at something higher than the CD-standard 44.1kHz/16 bits, and then save your recordings as uncompressed WAV files. Recording at 24 bits or 32 bits, and at 48kHz or even 96kHz can alleviate the “sterile sound” that audiophiles complain about; it also yields better results when you apply effiects and noise reduction. You can always export the files later as MP3, AAC, or another format. If you don’t have enough drive space to accommodate these larger files, get a bigger hard drive. Despite manufacturers’ touting of high-definition, surroundsound, and high-bit-rate features, most PCs don’t output sound that’s audiophile quality. Nor do they handle the analog-todigital conversion of input content very well. For dramatically better analog transfers, use a USB audio interface such as Presonus’s $200 Audiobox USB, Avid’s $330 Pro Tools Mbox Mini, or Focusrite’s $200 SaTre 6. Internal sound cards are available, but USB devices are portable and are suitable for use with laptops. If the above-mentioned Audacity is a little too geeky for your taste, you can find a number of affiordable recording/ editing programs such as Cakewalk’s $40 Pyro Audio Creator 1.5 and Bias’s $50 SoundSaver that are designed specifically for digitizing analog music. Both of these products also offier easier, more-effiective noise reduction than Audacity.

apps such as Audacity include restoration features that can help remove the noise, but they’re diTcult to use and can kill the dynamic range of your music if you use them improperly. Most commercial high-end sound editors such as Adobe’s $399 Audition 3 provide effiective noise removal. If you want the best editing sofware, however, you should look to either Bias’s $129 SoundSoap 2 or iZotope’s $349 RX 2. In my tests, I found SoundSoap 2 simple to use, and the audio files that I created with it sounded great. Nevertheless, I got even better results from the RX 2, which created audio that blew me away, especially during quiet passages.

Media File Sizes
VIDEO GB per hour of video (approximate)
2GB–3GB 7GB–12GB 4GB 4.5GB

Good Superior Good Very good

DVD (480p, MPEG-2) Blu-ray (1080p, h.264 AVC) VC-1 (720p, 10 mbps) MP4 (1080p, 10 mbps)

MB per minute of music (approximate)
1MB 1.5MB 2.5MB 2MB

Medium Good Very good Very good

MP3, AAC, WMV (128 kbps) MP3, WMA (192 kbps) MP3 (320 kbps) AAC (256 kbps) FLAC, Windows lossless, Apple lossless 1 WAV 44.1kHz/16 bits


CD quality

10MB 30MB

CD quality Better than CD quality

noise reduction

ffe biggest problem with analog audio is noise, which gets digitized along with the music. Vinyl suffiers from clicks, pops, and scratchiness, while hiss plagues tape. Recording

WAV 96kHz/24 bits

CHART NOTE: Video file size is largely the result of the bit rate used, not the codec. FOOTNOTE: 1 Does not compress short files well.


April 2011 pcworld.com


depending on the format you’re working with. If you’ve recycled your VHS VCR. nor can you easily spread a recording over multiple discs. Before you head to the store. but the MPEG-2 compression that DVRs employ is perfectly adequate in most cases.Analog movies can be the easiest—or the hardest—medium to digitize. and then record using the latter’s sofware. and Dish are slowly being discontinued both because the market for them is shrinking and because other and filters for restoring and devices can’t decode the proprietary digital sigediting movies. While older camcorder and video formats such as 8mm and Hi8 or VHS and Betamax tapes are easy to transfer. USB devices dominate. Te VCR 2 PC device also has composite and monophonic audio outputs. but the results that I saw in HQ compressed mode were good.com April 2011 . Te drawback of this combo approach is that you can’t pause the recording. One other issue: DVRs other than those from media delivery companies such as AT&T. you’ll find dozens of affordable analog video capture products on the market. Digitizing Video With a DVr nals that the media delivery giants employ. and other buttons. DirecTV. but if you prefer a card. say) to the inputs on the capture device. a box quality recording. too. and capable. stop. it doesn’t control the transport functions on the VCR—you must still press the play. a combo VCR/DVR (which records and plays both VHS and DVD) like JVC’s $250 DR-MV150B. Digitizing via pC Capture If you plan to use your PC to digitize movies. did the redazzle Video creator plus Studio movieBox Hd ($100) cordings that I made with my old Toshiba VCR’s composHd ($89) captures video. especially if you record in HQ mode. You won’t get the near-lossless transfer of a PC capturing to an uncompressed DVI format. You simply run RCA or S-Video cables from your playback device (VCR or camcorder. allows direct dubbing from videotape to DVD. too). is a similar capture device. Still. check your PC to see whether it has a TV card—many models (newer ones. especially) support S-Video and composite input that will serve nicely for digitizing video. easy to use. Tis option does not permit uncompressed recording either. USB also rules the TV tuner market. My transfer recordings from these outputs looked every bit as good as The Avid pinnacle’s the ones that I rendered via USB. is excellent for digitizing movies. So. but you own VHS tapes that you’d like to transfer. especially one that plenty of used units should be available well into the future. Pinnacle’s unit even supports uncompressed digital video recording. Te included Arcsof-authored you can attach your VCR or camcorder for the transfer. digitizing film can be difficult at best. However. Nearly all that plays your videotapes and outputs the video to your comsuch devices have composite and S-Video inputs to which puter via a USB connection. editor with a range of tools Recording to DVD instead of to a hard drive enables you to easily transfer the video to your computer for any editing you deem necessary. a plus for extensive editing or restoration. Comcast. EZ Video Converter recording application is attractive. Options range from USB sticks such as Hauppauge’s $50 USB-Live2 to larger USB units such as Pinnacle’s $100 Studio MovieBox HD (both models bundle capable recording and editing sofware. At the consumer level. A DVD-capable DVR. ATI-based units such as Diamond Multimedia’s AMD ATI Teater HD 750 Avidemux is a free video PCIE also provide capture capabilities. 74 WorldMags pcworld. so it’s not as convenient as it could be. can record to dual-layer DVD+R discs for 4 hours of goodAnother option for VHS is Ion Audio’s $99 VCR 2 PC.

Betamax. Sony’s $45 Vegas Movie Studio HD. seconds of film. fix defects. Cyberlink’s your digitized video. but under a long-standing precedent.com’s Downloads. 8mm/16mm film scanner is available. magnetic fields.ite output running through an alternative analog video capture unit. you are breaking the law and could be prosecuted. dry) 1 Lifespan (ordinary storage) 1 Factors affecting media lifespans Film years degrades with use If you have a box of old 8mm or 16mm Heat. if you digitize analog media to sell it for profit. admittedly such prosecutions are rare. you could be convicted in a court of law for digitizing copy-protected commercial Vhs or Betamax movies that you legally own. as no consumer-level dedicated Magnetic tape (cassettes. data) It’s physically possible to scan 8mm FOOTNOTES: These numbers are subject to debate. I’ve done it with 5 feel for the various products before buying a full version. with excellent results—but I’ll never do it I generally use a freebie for my video editing—Avidemux. music. white papers. Media Lifespans (Estimated) MediuM Projected lifespan (cool. other types of analog media rarely use copy protection. light Film (plastic-based) ing. But this approach at PCWorld.264 for Blu-ray. Nero’s $80 Multimedia Suite 10. Setup tips involves quite a lot of tweaking. and perhaps add efects and a title. But doing the job yourself is hard and time consum100+ years 50 years Heat. but they’re not unheard of. which doesn’t specifically prohibit copying but does forbid you to break a product’s copy protection in order to copy material. the more popular and capable commercial video-editing If you don’t plan to do extensive editing or processing of packages are Adobe’s $99 Premiere Elements 9. But uncompressed video creates very large files. tination medium: MPEG-1 for video CDs. Te dead-simple option 30+ 5–20 Heat. or even to disseminate it for free so that it hurts sales of the genuine article. digitizing content that you created yourself is fine. or Blu-ray) you choose to store it on. requires more processing power. owners have the right to maintain a single backup copy of the software. Burned optical disc (CD-R. You record the resulting image with a digital video camera. h. digitizing it is either dead simple 75+ years 20 years Pressed optical disc (CD. some professional photos and copyrighted documents such as paid research are watermarked. rate application of efects and filters and is the best starting point for any subsequent encoding. and it’s a good idea to get a entails endless cropping and reassembly. this right. Its best feature. (claimed) years abrasion though mailing it does put it at risk of 10–30 Heat. chemical 75+ Film (nitrate—old Hollywood) years composition loss or damage en route. Among a time-consuming process even on a fast PC. is that it lets you Re-recording film to digital video is far quicker but involves trim video and save the results without re-encoding—a valua loss of quality. and numbers vary drastically depending on vendor and year. Tat’s a lot of work. The probable lifespan of burned optical 35mm slide scanner or a ffatbed scanner media is an especially contentious topic. as well as not very nice. compression format and the resolution suitable for your desRoxio’s $80 Creator 2011. the $89 Avid Dazzle Video Creator Plus HD. though. and Video editors must eventually be encoded to fit whatever physical medium Once you’ve digitized your movies. again. you’ll need soflware to (CD. that handles slides. Heat. 50+ years 20 years degrades with use reel-to-reel. however. MPEG-2 for super and Apple’s $199 Final Cut Express for the Mac. DVD. film. or other media they own. and the results will vary deRecording uncompressed digital video allows the most accupending on the quality of the equipment and your patience. light. 16mm projector to display the film—used models run $100 to $200—and a screen or whiteboard to project it on. for basic editing. Copying and Copyrights some media that you want to digitize may be copyrighted. You can download demo versions of each of these packages 1 2 Record (vinyl) 100+ years 100 Heat. dark.com 75 . you can save time by recording in the $70 PowerDirector 9. You’ll need a decent 8mm (plain or super) or able time-saver that many for-pay programs still don’t ofer. video CDs and DVDs. conflicts with provi- sions of the digital millennium copyright act. and so on. Encoding is trim. abrasion. light. DVD) oxidation or very difficult. and the opinions (often conflicting) of several experts. and digitizing single copies of media that you bought to enjoy is probably okay. the legality of making such digital copies is a bit of a gray area. A maximum 18 frames per second for 8mm film means which has a ton of filters for restoring video as well as tools 1080 images per minute of movie. VHS. abrasion. WorldMags apRiL 2011 pcworld. DVD-R) 2 is to send the film to a transfer service. digitizing them and removing the watermarks is illegal. The figures given here are best guesses that represent personal or 16mm film frame-by-frame using a experience. Under the dmca.

Note: ffiough you can scan multiple slides held in place by a tray. it’s easy to digitize and even restore some of the original luster of your film. Sometimes they were processed into transparent 35mm slides and projected onto white screens for everyone’s enjoyment (or boredom.com/71575. You’ll find some inexpen­ sive mom­and­pop Websites. and let some­ one else take care of digitizing it.com April 2011 . but one high­end new York City facility offered a quote of $150 an hour. go to find. and insure your shipment. ffiose images were. as I did.pcworld. slides. though these integrated scanners are generally rather slow.Today the digital camera is ubiquitous. nobody else will handle your media with the love and care that you will. plus appropriate soTware. scanning multiple photos scattered about the deck isn’t eflcient. and film. Detail: Scanning TrayS keep your film and slides in place. Fortunately for posterity’s sake. albeit far more slowly than you might medium­ format film imagine. film—the ode to photosensitive chemical reactions that produced all of the pictures made before 1990 or so. using today’s fatbed and film scanners. make sure that it uses its own well­maintained equipment. If you have a ton of slides to digitize. video.) pcworld. or Epson’s $200 Artisan 725 or $300 Artisan 835. a less expensive option will be fine. such as Canon’s $300 Pixma MG8120. pack your stuff up. but photos used to be taken by momentarily exposing something called “film” to light. come with integrated fatbed scanners that are perfectly viable for photo scanning. The main problem with using such a ser­ vice is the risk inherent in shipping your me­ dia to it (unless it’s local). And with the right tools. and the scanner soTware does the cropping and separating for you. photos. and tips—as de­ scribed here—you should be up to the chal­ lenge of digitizing your media yourself. Yelp and other user review sites are invaluable in this regard.com)—digitize documents. For anything else. A fatbed scanner can scan multiple slides at once. but digital transfer services for music cassettes and vinyl remain largely the province of local facilities or recording studios. Yes. a dedicated slide scanner from Pacific Image or Plustek. Most print/copy/scan multifunction printers (aka MFPs). and it degrades with time and exposure to the elements. if you do decide to ship. and quite oTen still are.com) and ScanCafe (scancafe. (For links to products and programs mentioned in this article. to a Service? You CoulD ignore this article. ffie amount of time you spend editing and splitting images into 35mm film > > Send it WorldMags 76 > 35mm slides Canon CanoScan 900F This dedicated flatbed scanner can handle slides and film (mFp scanners may handle prints only). I’ve gotten great results with both. Still. Dedicated slide scanners are fast—they scan each slide in a fraction of the time that a fatbed scanner takes—but they’re also slow in that you must insert or feed each slide individually. depending). only you know its true value. techniques. if you use a local service. but the processing time for each scan is a bit longer. These services are generally expensive due to the monitoring and posttransfer noise reduction that the process requires. use something more reliable than uSpS media mail (which lost several valued books of mine recently). After all. Most local studios charge around $50 an hour. if you have a rare and valuable recording that you want to copy. Dedicated fatbed scanners such as Canon’s $200 CanoScan 9000F offer greater resolution. and that it doesn’t simply subcontract the job to some unknown (to you) third party to do the work. consider the latter. or a filmscanning fatbed such as the aforementioned CanoScan 9000F is a necessity. and features than MFP scanners—including the ability to scan slides and film. quality. But film isn’t digital. transferred to photo paper and pasted into coffee table albums. numerous services—such as Digi­ tal pickle (digitalpickle.

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pixel-level editor. But don’t hold them in place with household adhesive tape—it’s too strong and may damage documents.com April 2011 www. JPEG is the most commonly used. currently at version CS5. If you must tape. so don’t skimp on the dpi when scanning 35mm film or slides. so finer details might not survive. 1600. or even 1200 dpi may be in order for fine prints. but 300 to 600. the better the scan and the less time you’ll have to spend fixing problems. Adobe’s Photoshop. fey make good backups and are irreplaceable. but think before ditching analog media. JeT Berlin. produces good results. For normal pictures and magazine photos.photoshop elements 9. striking a balance between reasonable file size and image quality.) separate files will negate any time you save while scanning. (But consider the free GImp program. and be gentle—better dirty than ruined. is the choice of professionals for such work.com/71575. relies on for fixing image ffiaws. however. it’s a powerful program that has nearly the same tool set as Photoshop. from adobe. Adobe’s $99 Photoshop Elements 9 provides the same tools for fixing noise. But to correct ffiaws in the original media such as water damage. Generally 1200. You can actually add distortion or artifacts such as cross-hatching or moiré if you exceed the optical resolution of your scanner. too. Nonabrasive wipes and film-safe cleaning solutions for cleaning slides may be found at photo supply stores. With today’s capacious hard drives. and products. provides a wide range of tools for fixing photos. Despite the unfortunate acronym and a somewhat clunky interface. Higher isn’t always better. Offen you can remove dirt from photos with a slightly damp washcloth. as well as color. and is easy to remove.PCWorld. only to the frame surrounding it. Try previewing at several dpi settings and see what works for you. contrast. You can save your scans in any number of formats. debris-free cloth. or for situations where fine detail needs to be preserved. or higher dpi is in order. and scratches. but test the viability of this approach on an unimportant photo or area of the photo. dust. for original art. As a rule. take a look at the free Gnu Image Manipulation Program (GIMP). and it carries a much lower price than does the full version of photoshop. For additional digitizing tips. take it slow. Which resolution? Most scanner drivers or utilities select the best dots-per-inch resolution for a task according to the type of medium. 150 to 200 dpi is generally fine. leaves no residue. use artist’s or tack tape. All scanners ship with utilities that provide basic kinds of corrections such as deskewing (rotation) and cropping. Scanning Tips fe better the condition of the original media and scanner. and brightness corrections. A final note: Digitize. Before you buy anything. and then convert those files to JPEG when the need arises. Keep the glass scanner 78 pcworld. rips. bed clean with a static-free. though at $599 it’s not for casual users. before you buy. Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 is a compact scan- WorldMags . both of which increase as the dpi resolution goes up. and—as I said—is free. you’ll need an advanced. lint-free. please browse to: find. these features work very well. And never tape a photo or document to the scanner glass. and fold marks. but it relies on a lossy compression scheme. it’s a better bet for home use. fe air displaced when you lower the scanner lid disturbs the alignment of lighter and smaller documents and photos.pcworld.com Have documents to make digital? ner that can help make the job easy. Film is a high-resolution medium. plus the sophisticated tools that PCWorld’s in-house photo-editing guru. tricks. it’s easy to save your scans as compressed TIFF files that use lossless compression. which is pH-balanced.

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1GHz Core i5-2500K Micro Express MicroFlex 25B 1. Now. Te company optimized and enlarged the caches for “micro-ops” used in the CPU.7 188 78. Te divide widens when vendors overclock the CPU. chances are good that it’ll be a Sandy Bridge model.com April 2011 . as well. How much of a difference can a new CPU generation really make? If our tests of the first systems to use these revamped CPUs are any indication.2GHz Core i7-950 155 139. What you need to know as a consumer is this: Performance should be better in just about any application that relies heavily on the CPU. we saw a 13 percent increase in performance between a system with the new Intel Core i5-2500K and a similarly equipped six-month old PC sporting Intel’s first-gen Core i5-650. Intel’s new hardware remains a force to be reckoned with. so if you’re looking to upgrade aging hardware. with support for 3D Bluray and smooth playback of 1080p content. and at palatable prices.9 109 35. According to Intel. the answer is “quite a lot. If you’re considering a new desktop or laptop with an Intel processor.93GHz Core i7-740QM encryption and SHA-1 hash operations is improved. you must also factor a motherboard purchase into your budget. An $850 desktop with an overclocked Core i5-2500K cruised through tests 20 percent faster than a $2000 PC with an overclocked Core i5-655K. if conditions are right. lower is better) Micro Express MicroFlex 95B 4. But video game fans shouldn’t toss out their discrete graphics cards just yet—the graphics processors built into the new CPUs stumble on many modern titles. Despite those concerns.” Te new processors— formerly code-named Sandy Bridge—deliver stronger performance than their predecessors did. and it can also boost the speed of the graphics processor a bit. this flaw in the motherboard chipset would cause performance of the SATA ports to degrade eventually.4 151 30 Idle power consumption (watts.3GHz/3. most of which are of interest only to coders and compiler developers. and improved energy efficiency. Enhancements to Intel’s Turbo Boost technology will let the new Core CPUs run at higher clock speeds more ofen. better graphics capabilities. Bad news for upgraders. too: Intel has reworked the socket for the platform. Intel has made technical changes within the CPU cores. Performance for AES Enhanced Performance Here’s a look at a desktop and a laptop we’ve tested lately that carry Intel’s second-gen Core processors. Our initial testing demonstrates that the new Core processors allow users to do quite a bit more for less. and a drop in power consumption. In comparing the PCs with a sandy Bridge CPU against older counterparts. faster handling of tasks. Te second-gen Core launch was not without hiccups. Intel’s integrated graphics have come a long way. if necessary. allowing for more-efficient. once they have been optimized to use the new instructions. and aren’t simply a revision. For instance. In late January Intel issued a recall of Sandy Bridge’s 6 Series chipset due to a design flaw. too. promising vastly supe- rang in 2011 rior performance. but the naming scheme is a bit misleading: Tese processors have a whole new architecture.73GHz/2. A new set of vector extensions (called AVX) promises to rev up performance in some data-intensive applications. we saw greatly improved performance on our WorldBench 6 suite. We’ll help you understand the strengths and weaknesses. and Core i7 monikers that Intel has used for a few years. Te automatic speed-boosting feature used to work only if one or two of the cores were active while the others were idle. and performance will only get better as tools and libraries are updated to allow applications to make better use of the features. And a new ring bus enables faster communications between cores and the integrated graphics processor. you’ll be thrilled to know that this is probably Dell XPS 17 3D WorldBench 6 score (higher is better) WorldMags 82 pcworld. TESTED LAB DESKTOPS 3. New CpU Features Te new CPUs retain the Core i3.with its second-generation Core processors. PCWorld Labs results showed considerable performance gains when comparing Sandy Bridge systems with first-gen Core PCs that are only a few months old (see the chart on this page).4GHz Core i7-2820QM Better Graphics and Video If you were disappointed with the integrated graphics and video performance of past Intel processors. LAPTOPS Dell XPS 17 2. it can operate even when all cores are busy. Core i5.

fe revamped integrated graphics consistently Tnished the task at rates between 50 percent and 70 percent faster than the older Core processor. Intel incorporated integrated graphics directly into the CPU package. for “Accelerated processing Units”) are aimed at low-power laptops. In our testing. but you’ll likely find it in lower-priced desktops and all-in-ones as well. It was technically a separate chip on a diffierent piece of silicon. All of the laptop versions of the new chips have a graphics processor with 12 execution units. High-deTnition video plays well. the ability to handle such games at all is a big step forward for Intel. In desktop PCs and all-in-ones. it is also dramatically faster than previous Intel integrated graphics. the GPU can take advantage of Turbo Boost. Competitors to intel’s Atom processor and lowpower pentium line. Video processing is signiTcantly improved with the new CPU. which combine the CpU and GpU on one piece of silicon—but unlike sandy Bridge. Intel has incorporated the graphics processing unit onto the same silicon as the CPU cores. and the results lefi us unimpressed: High-def video ofien stuttered. Too AMD rElEAsED thE first of its Fusion products. makes for superior performance in converting Tles from one video format to another. fis GPU is compatible with Microsofi’s DirectX 10. and VC1 video codecs and fully supports 1080p Blu-ray playback (even 3D Blu-ray movies) at smooth frame rates. they’ll appear in netbooks and inexpensive ultraportables. as well as in a few “nettop” desktop pCs. Unfortunately. resulting in smoother and more fluid Web browsing on cutting-edge sites. the new chip’s results were also just a few seconds behind those of a $300 graphics card. GPU-accelerated features in upcoming Web browsers (such as Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer 9) work. plus all-in-one desktops with smaller screens and lower prices. but it’s still not good enough to please seasoned gamers. i5. it means longer battery life. we converted a 10-minutelong video clip into various formats on a wide variety of PCs. which offiers better decoding of the MPEG-2. How much power a PC consumes depends on everything from the power supply to the key components to the brightness and effciency of the display. And as noted. that translates to cooler and quieter systems and a slightly lower power bill.com WorldMags 83 . Performance of the new graphics chips is impressive compared with what we’ve seen from Intel. later this year AMD will introduce an enhanced Fusion (code-named llano) with more-powerful CpU cores and a dramatically more powerful integrated DirectX 11–capable GpU. AMD’s Fusion Blends CPU and GPU. you can play modern titles such as Starcrafi II smoothly. provided that you don’t turn the resolu- Video processing is improved with the new cpU. along with the improvements to the CPU cores. this setup means full DirectX 11 compatibility and great video processing. With Sandy Bridge.1. fe GPU communicates with the CPU cores along the highspeed ring bus and shares the L3 cache with the CPU cores. the Fusion E-series and C-series processors (or ApUs. MPEG-4. the E-series and C-series are dualcore processors with integrated graphics based on AMD’s radeon 6000 series. and PC gaming was pretty much a lost cause. too. impressive Energy Efficiency Despite the remarkable performance of the new processors. you have no immediately obvious way to distinguish the two. but don’t worry: fe processors with fewer execution units are meant for either very low-cost systems or highperformance systems that will use a dedicated graphics card and circumvent the integrated graphics entirely. which fully supports 1080p playback. AMD will aim it at ultraportable and midsize laptops. fis enhanced video decoding. in laptops. It’s therefore hard to draw direct comaPrIl 2011 pcworld. but we’re impressed by the balance of CpU and GpU power. We’ve just started to test Fusion-based pCs (see our review of the hp dm1z on page 44). given that the focus is on laptops priced under $500 with battery life of 6 hours or more. With the previous Core i3. and the 3D graphics are fast enough for modest games. For example. tion up too much or enable the highest graphics settings. they tend to sip less power than the older CPUs do. Any gamer will want to pair their new Intel CPU with a good Nvidia or AMD graphics card. and i7 processors. giving you a little extra graphics kick right when you need it most. Still.the most improved aspect of the new chips. while some of the desktop versions will use a cut-back version with 6 execution units and others will have the full 12.

It earned a score of 223 on WorldBench 6.8GHz. In the graphically intensive Just Cause 2. make sure that it carries one of Intel’s new Core CPUs.7 frames per second on Unreal Tournament 3 (at 2560 by 2100 resolution. Maingear The Vybe Super Stock offers a lot of power in a small case. coupled with 8GB of RAM and a speedy 60GB SSD (with an extra 1TB drive for storage).R. —Nate Ralph Dell Xps 8300 Te Dell XPS 8300 (find. and Core i7.T.L. Te new CPUs are still called Core i3. Still. including a pair of 128GB solid-state drives in RAID 0. inexpensive ultraportable laptops—the Sandy Bridge chips aren’t aimed at that PC category. You’ll be able to play games. Te exceptions are netbooks and small. Maingear has crafed a ffine machine in the Vybe Super Stock.L. What to Buy If you’re in the market for a new PC. and the results speak for themselves. In Call of Duty 4. reached 203 on WorldBench 6—and cost $8000. while a Core i7-970 is older. earning a score of 162. it hit an average of 101 frames per second. But thanks to that atypical arrangement. for example.1TB of storage. we saw an average of 47 fps. S. and we’re satisffied with the results from AMD’s Fusion processors in such PCs (see the sidebar on the previous page). Although the aging AMD Radeon HD 5870 GPU is very good. Te Vybe Super Stock variant slaps a 140mm fan on the top for additional cool-air intake. Gaming performance comes courtesy 84 pcworld. It’s a powerful graphics board. its average frame rate of 120. you can bet that Origin’s behemoth won’t be bested anytime soon. Core i5. which means they’ll ffit into smaller and moreafiordable laptops and desktops. at a great price. Only the quad-core models were out at this writing.R. but those names are followed by four digits starting with a “2. we saw 79 fps. —Nate Ralph ath the fastest PC we’ve seen to date. No pre–Sandy Bridge system can top the price-to-performance ratio of this inexpensive little powerhouse. $6399 Genesis (find. In gaming it was equally strong.A.A. Te 2TB hard drive is an excellent Origin Genesis (2011) Te updated. A bit of perspective: Maingear’s last entry.E. On our Unreal Tournament 3 benchmark. the XPS 8300 made short work of our WorldBench 6 tests.pcworld.com/71507) carries a Core i5-2500K overclocked to 4. When we compared PCs based on their WorldBench 6 scores. helped the PC earn a score of 207 on WorldBench 6.pcworld.” A Core i7-2600K is new. those with older Core CPUs used 57 percent more energy than our Sandy Bridge test platforms did to achieve the same results.K. Everything runs silently.pcworld. You’ll find plenty of speed and storage in the XpS 8300. with room for the liquid-cooled CPU’s massive radiator. In S. our initial lab results are promising. Tat system had a ffirst-gen Core CPU. And the motherboard? It’s upside down. thanks to three Nvidia GTX 580 cards arranged in SLI. Dell parisons. com/71506) packs a Core i7-2600K CPU overclocked to a stunning 5GHz and kept stable with liquid cooling.E.: Call of Pripyat.com April 2011 of an Nvidia GTX 570. making this Goli- WorldMags phOtOGrAphs: rOBErt CArDiN . beneath the hard-drive bays.Origin The Genesis is the fastest pc we’ve tested to date. the system hit 31 fps. Desktops Maingear Vybe super stock Te $1849 Maingear Vybe Super Stock (find.K.T. but the dual-core versions should arrive around the time you read this.com/ 71508) is priced at an eye-poppingly low $1399. they should be less expensive and require less power. Despite its being only the ffirst of many Sandy Bridge–based desktops to pass through the PCWorld Labs. It ofiers plenty of muscle.: Call of Pripyat is a bit more strenuous: In that game. Tat CPU. the Vybe Super Stock hit 130 frames per second. a full ATX motherboard can ffit into the small Vybe chassis. the Shif Super Stock. high quality) is hardly a category-leading mark.4GHz Intel Core i7-2600 and 8GB of DDR3-1333 memory. With a 3. Pull ofi the case side. and you’ll see that the power supply is up front. but its results are among the lower scores of all the performance PCs we’ve tested over the past year. Origin has further outffitted the PC with 16GB of RAM and just over 2.

a mark of 151. If the keyboard issues don’t bother you. ffie new CPU. On those occasions the laptop was still active. while possible. and several ofi-used keys such as <Delete> are in nonstandard locations. From its ample storage to its ample connectivity to its ample speed. the XPS 8300 is one of the newest stars on our desktop charts. but only a hard reboot would bring the screen back. were no doubt major factors.0GHz Core i7-2630M CPU. under DirectX 10 mode.93 frames per second. and the price-to-performance ratio is nice. plus 4GB of DDR3 memory. It hit one of the highest scores for a laptop on WorldBench 6. a 750GB. sit in the sweet spot. and an 8X DVD burner. ffie keyboard annoys with an odd layout: ffie placement of the cursor keys Micro Express NBl26 Micro Express’s $1200 NBL26 (find.) All conTgurations have an Nvidia GT 540M GPU.4GHz. which gives the PC more versatility.3GHz but capable of 3. Dell on the speedy XpS 17 3d. had a 2. 1366 by 769 display supports. —Loyd Case Micro Express An average laptop. 7200-rpm hard drive (5400-rpm drives with less capacity are available in some models). the 555M needs to drive 44 percent more pixels than the older laptop’s 1600 by 900 display had. it’s worth a look. pcworld. coupled with a staggering 16GB of main memory. will be performance limited. In Far Cry 2. —Loyd Case Laptops Asus N53sV Our test Asus N53SV (find. ffie NV53SV has excellent features. but gaming performance is dismal.pcworld. ffie PC has a discrete Nvidia GeForce GT 540M GPU. Standard Blu-ray movies look great. At 1080p. ffiat means lower frame rates in games.4GHz in Turbo Boost mode. the XPS 17 3D ran Far Cry 2 at 49. the NBl26 is good for general tasks. as is the Blu-ray combo drive. WorldMags aPrIl 2011 pcworld.pcworld. Other components include 4GB of DDR3-1066 memory. And Just Cause 2 refused to respond to keyboard input. (You can save money at the expense of speed by ordering the laptop with an i5-2410M or i3-2310M. One other glitch: Afier the NBL26 entered sleep mode.com/71505) desktop replacement laptop has a Core i7-2820QM clocking in at 2. But at its price. Intel’s Core i7-2620M scales from 2.addition. however: ffie XPS 17 3D starts at $1450. Stereoscopic 3D gaming. Playing 3D Blu-ray movies works well aside from the reduction in brightness and contrast.6-inch.3-inch screen is now true 1080p.com/ 71501). and the conTguration we reviewed will run you $2389. —Jon L. which pushed the laptop to an excellent WorldBench 6 score of 126. however. One feature that stands out is the choice of Wireless-N networking as a supplement to the gigabit ethernet.com/71503) ofers surprisingly robust performance for a dual-core laptop. you’ll need to reduce the resolution considerably. In all cases.com 85 . pushed the laptop to a solid WorldBench 6 score of 126.6-inch display would sometimes stay dark when the unit woke. You’ll pay for this power.7GHz to 3. Asus The N53SV is excellent in overall performance. you can Tnd better alternatives. the 15. ffiat CPU. which makes for good gaming. priced at $1219. Unreal Tournament 3 topped 100 frames per second in all the resolutions that the 15. Since the 17. it managed only a bit over 10 frames per second. ffie Micro Express NBL26 is decent for general use. ffiis PC’s Nvidia GeForce GT 555M GPU is newer than the 445M that Dell used in its last-gen XPS 17 L701X. since the color shifi and brightness drop-of are noticeable as viewing angles change. —David Murphy shortens the length of the right <Shifi> key. while in both the racing game F1 2010 (in DirectX 11 mode) and the DX10 title Just Cause 2 it eked out 18 fps. Jacobi Dell Xps 17 3D ffie XPS 17 3D (find. you can enjoy 3d Blu-ray.

WorldBench is currently used in over 30 countries by Fortune 500 corporations. the automated test scripts that run in WorldBench 6 are designed You can purchase one of three different licenses for WorldBench 6.com Visit www. The results play an important role in PCWorld’s computer reviews—the reviews you trust. • A Corporate license ($2499) allows you to install and use the software for your internal business purposes on up to 25 computers at a time.worldbench. government agencies. the suite can report errors and restart failed tests without user input. WorldBench 6 delivers. and Windows XP. Refined over the past decade. including the final WorldBench 6 score as well as the individual results of each application’s workload. Automatic Testing From Web browsing to file encoding to general tasks.worldbench. it’s important to have benchmarks that can accurately assess—and challenge—systems with a wide variety of configurations.worldbench. WorldBench 6 runs on all editions of Windows 7. To assess and compare system performance across your organization. it is an excellent barometer of PC performance outside the lab and on your desk. Real-World Performance WorldBench is the core set of applications that PCWorld uses to test desktop and laptop PCs. It then records the results. WorldMags . including all 64-bit and 32-bit versions. Although multicore processors and larger amounts of RAM are appearing even in budget PCs. and international media outlets. Windows Vista.com W Test Your PCs The PCWorld Labs Way Your company’s bottom line depends on the performance of its PCs. www. Because our benchmark uses actual programs performing common functions. use the benchmarking software developed by the experts at PCWorld Labs.com today and secure your DVD of WorldBench 6. to deliver a tough evaluation of today’s top computers.owld N or Av PC bl aila rom eF www. according to your needs: • A Single User license ($249) allows you to install and use the software on a single computer at a time. • A Small Business license ($999) allows you to install and use the software for your internal business purposes on up to 5 computers at a time. Since it’s automated. in both text and graphs.

Really.S.” Wireless carriers mean different things when they say “4G. T-Mobile. and Verizon) have adopted new technologies to improve performance dramatically over the past 18 months. A network’s speed and reliability are far more important than the label the provider attaches to its service. Verizon 4G-modem users are reporting download speeds of up to 14 megabits per second. Is 4G?” on page 89). by relentlessly using it as a synonym for “new” and “faster. Here’s what we know so far about the 4G offerings of the major U. Time will tell whether the network continues its impressive performance as additional data-hungry devices—such as smartphones—connect to it. of course. The carriers. wireless providers in 2011. WorldMags APRIL 2011 PCWORLD. the marketing departments of some wireless carriers have drained the term of most of its significance. carriers (AT&T. and the pros and cons of each. AT&T expects to begin selling LTE service in a few cities this year. Both AT&T and T-Mobile plan to move to LTE. T-Mobile may wait until 2015 to build its LTE network. which is faster than many premium home broadband connections.COM 87 . Verizon’s new LTE network appears to be winning the speed race. recognizing that their current HSPA+ technology lacks the network capacity to satisfy skyrocketing future demand for mobile broadband.Is Here: Buy Now. including technology details. watch for a feature in next month’s issue containing the full results. or Wait? Every major wireless carrier is pushing 4G hard this year. though it has yet to offer an LTE smartphone. AT&T and T-Mobile call their HSPA+ services “4G. Verizon began connecting USB-modem users to its 4G LTE network in late 2010. but is the technology ready for prime time? BY MARK SULLIVAN THOUGH THE TERM 4G once had a real technical meaning (see “What. PCWorld is currently testing the performance of 4G networks around the United States. Today.” too.S. though. are as eager as ever to sign up subscribers and sell them new plans and devices. Sprint.” Sprint began selling its 4G WiMax service two years ago. and the four biggest U. and for now they deliver “4G-like” download speeds.

network. With only USB modems connected to it. Verizon’s LTE service won’t work on older CDMA devices. cities. AT&T has not yet announced new plans and pricing for its forthcoming LTE service. LTE phones are coming in 2011. Sprint’s WiMax network should get much faster and support far greater capacity as the technology matures. Houston.S. meanwhile. airports. increasing their data service cost to $80 per month.5GHz band will let it continue to expand its U. Will it cost more? Sprint’s unlimited data plan costs $70 per month. AT&T subscribers don’t have to buy a new AT&T smartphone to get the faster speeds of HSPA+. and uploads will average 2 mbps to 5 mbps.S. WiMax infrastructure. and Charlotte [North Carolina]. Motorola Droid Bionic. Eventually the company must complete its LTE network. covering 110 million people. CONS HSPA+ latency numbers are higher than those of LTE networks (but about the same as today’s WiMax service). AT&T offers the Motorola Atrix 4G.COM APRIL 2011 . plus two years of experience operating it—and developing. Where is it? Sprint’s WiMax service is available in 71 U. so subscribers must buy a new phone to use LTE. Where is it? Verizon o ers LTE service in 39 cities. HSPA+ may not deliver the network capacity needed to serve AT&T subscribers. and devices may cost more than the morepopular LTE technology. In the long term. Future adoption of LTE technology by most wireless carriers worldwide may improve roaming options. PROS AT&T’s HSPA+ service produces speeds that are roughly equivalent to those of 4G services like WiMax. cities. and it currently lags behind other carriers in building its LTE network. Where is it? AT&T has upgraded its network with HSPA+ in all U. e company expects to reach 220 million people with LTE service by mid-2012. upload speeds. Or it may apply the plan it uses for USB modem users: $50 for 5GB of data usage per month.” Will it cost more? HSPA+ devices are covered under AT&T’s existing smartphone data plans. and will be more than 80 percent complete by the end of 2013. CONS Verizon’s LTE service is available in limited areas of the United States.Verizon 4G technology: LTE AT&T 4G technology: HSPA+ Sprint 4G technology: WiMax PROS Verizon’s LTE network currently delivers faster speeds than do other U. or $80 for 10GB of data. HTC EVO 4G. PROS Sprint has a more mature 4G network in place. wireless networks.S. selling. will expand during 2012. and supporting devices for it. CONS WiMax hasn’t consistently delivered the high data speeds and low latency numbers we expect of a 4G service. and Samsung Infuse 4G. long term. Sprint may eventually convert to LTE. AT&T says its LTE network will launch in some cities during 2011. How fast is it? Sprint claims average download speeds of 3 mbps to 6 mbps with 10-mbps peak speeds. and Samsung Epic 4G. How fast is it? AT&T says only that its HSPA+ service o ers download speeds of “up to approximately 6 mbps” in “key markets such as Chicago. Sprint’s three WiMax-capable phones are the HTC EVO Shift. Will it cost more? Verizon may apply to 4G phones its $30 unlimited data plan for 3G smartphones. and in 60 U. WorldMags 88 PCWORLD.S. e company’s plentiful wireless spectrum in the 2. HTC Inspire 4G.S. chips. the LTE network is still untested. so subscribers should see lower latency times and better in-building reception. Motorola Droid Bionic HTC ThunderBolt Motorola Atrix 4G HTC Inspire 4G HTC EVO Shift HTC EVO 4G Verizon says that by mid-2011 it will sell three 4G phones: the HTC ThunderBolt. How fast is it? Verizon says downloads will average 5 mbps to 12 mbps. Others are due this year. top out at 1 mbps. and Samsung 4G LTE. Its LTE service runs over its nationwide 700MHz spectrum. Sprint hasn’t said how many previously unserved WiMax cities it will light up this year. all using HSPA+. but all smartphone subscribers who activate phones a er January 30 must pay a $10 “premium data” fee.

Ranges represent carrier estimates of the “average” download speeds subscribers should expect from their respective 4G networks. The term 4G originally referred to a new generation of wireless network technology designed to deliver fast wireless broadband service to mobile devices. All of this byplay renders current informal usage of 4G effectively meaningless. 4G Wireless Estimated Speeds Notes: mbps = megabits per second. while its Samsung Galaxy S 4G can hit 21 mbps.COM 89 . Subscribers don’t have to buy a new device to get the faster HSPA+ speeds. Moreover. “3G” networks. How fast is it? T-Mobile says its service averages 5 mbps for downloads. Average speed (mbps) 16 5-12 6 3-6 5 HTC MyTouch 4G Samsung Galaxy S 4G T-Mobile’s HTC MyTouch 4G and HTC G2 connect at speeds up to 14. Is 4G? Do 3G and 4G differ? And if so. So is 4G service better and faster than 3G? Well.” The reality.5 mbps to 2 mbps. 4G networks also use an encoding method called OFDM (orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing) to jam more data packets into less wireless spectrum. Comcast users’ average speed is based on 1.S.4 mbps. Over time.T-Mobile 4G technology: HSPA+ What. not exactly and not yet. which should translate into signi cantly higher actual speeds than its existing service can manage. HSPA+ may have a lower theoretical speed maximum than LTE. Uploads. AT& TH + + E e) ax om SPA t WiM SPA n LT izo t (H le H Ver prin -Mobi cas S T Com WorldMags APRIL 2011 PCWORLD. their late-stage 3G networks are indeed achieving network speeds comparable to those managed by the early-stage 4G WiMax and LTE networks of Sprint and Verizon. T-Mobile plans to double the theoretical speeds of its network this year. Where is it? T-Mobile’s HSPA+ service is available in roughly 100 U. and may not start until 2015. not just voice. T-Mobile hasn’t begun building a pure 4G network (such as LTE or WiMax). CONS HSPA+ latency numbers are higher than those of pure 4G services like LTE (but about the same as for WiMax). And so far. They hope to wring additional performance and capacity from these older networks before building 4G (LTE) networks of their own. Long term. Whereas previousgeneration networks rely partly on older circuit-switched technology.4 million speed tests conducted by Comcast customers at Speedtest. The test of any wireless technology— regardless of what it’s called—is still its real-world performance in the areas where you live and do business over the two-year term of your service contract. covering about 200 million people. all four major carriers have solid technology road maps in place to continue ramping up their systems’ speeds—at least in the near future—and all seem willing to spend the money needed to make their networks faster and bigger.net (Ookla) between August 2008 and February 2011. is that even Sprint’s and Verizon’s networks aren’t yet fast enough to satisfy the IEEE’s definition of a 4G network. And no clear winners and losers are likely to emerge in the 4G speed derby in the next two years. all-IP wireless network would need to be built. and they use multiple antennas in the radios to improve signal reception and decrease latency. T-Mobile may have to rely on strategic partners to acquire enough wireless spectrum to deliver 4G LTE service over its entire coverage area. on the other hand. however. PROS HSPA+ produces speeds similar to those from 4G services like WiMax. have their roots in second-generation cellular voice networks. Will it cost more? T-Mobile’s HSPA+ data plans cost no more than plans for its previous-generation technology. and not until Sprint upgrades to WiMax 2 and Verizon upgrades to LTE-Advanced will such speeds be possible. markets. the new networks are simpler and they operate using Internet protocol (IP) only. The 2G networks became 3G networks after carriers began using CDMA encoding technology to permit the delivery of Internet access. it soon became clear that 3G networks would not be able to fulfill demand for wireless data over the long haul. CDMA encoding became more efficient and 3G networks began to deliver reasonably fast Internet access. Really. and that an all-new. But with the advent of bandwidth-hungry mobile devices like the iPhone. The good news is that it doesn’t matter much right now. The marketing departments at AT&T and T-Mobile have seized on this convenient fact as justification for labeling their network service and devices as “4G. average 1. with peaks of 12 mbps. But others—AT&T and T-Mobile—have chosen to soup up their existing 3G networks with advanced encoding technologies such as HSPA+. does the difference matter? The answers are yes and no. it says. Some wireless carriers (Sprint and Verizon) have moved to build 4G networks from the ground up. from 21 mbps to 42 mbps.

the video engine is vastly improved over previous Intel efforts. you’ll need a Blu-ray drive. and other devices. the thought of plugging a boxy PC into an entertainment center seems unappealing. the video engine fully handles Blu-ray playback while the CPU idles. memory needs to be reliable (and low-voltage memory is preferable. make one of Intel’s Sandy Bridge CPUs the key ingredient (see page 81 for more about the new processor technology).4 and dual video blocks. in order to use the pC as a media repository. But as living rooms become more theaterlike. to minimize heat and power). However. the company built a graphics engine right onto the CPU chip itself. B e f o r e Y o u s ta r t so it can run four threads at once. though not absolutely silent (the case itself has two . As a result. and H. Te processor in our hometheater PC project is an Intel Core i3-2100S. enter the home-theater PC.0. as well. Intel’s Hd Graphics supports HdMI 1. A home-theater PC also lets you play 3d Blu-ray movies (as well as standard Blu-ray and dVd movies). Although it isn’t a great graphics processor 90 pcworld. you should use a fairly roomy chassis for this project. so intel’s sandy Bridge If you want to build such a system. Consider several factors when you create the parts list for your home-theater pC. Your system’s case must blend into your AV component rack.Here’s How Build a 3D Home-Theater PC BY LOYD CASE TOdAy’S PCs COMe in various designs and sizes. Te graphics processor’s dual video engines enable picture-in-picture and other features without getting the CPU involved. you can view your home video and photos on the big screen and hear digital music on high-quality speakers. the power supply has to deliver robust power without generating a lot of noise.1GHz dual-core CPU (with 3MB of L3 cache) that supports Intel Hyper-Treading technology. Follow our advice to construct your own 3D-ready home-theater computer based on Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processor line. a 3. Intel has beefed up the video engine to permit full hardware acceleration of decoding and encoding highdef video. When Intel designed Sandy Bridge. slightly hotter CPU will work fine.25V. which is the socket that Sandy Bridge CPUs require. so it can manage stereoscopic 3d Blu-ray playback. if you plan to play Blu-ray discs. covering all commercially used codecs (such as Microsof VC-1. MPeG-2. WorldMags HArDwAre pHotogrApHs: roBert CArDin AnD loYD CAse The Sum of the Parts the faster. It can be the repository for your entire digital media library.com April 2011 A Cpu Alone does not make a system.264). and the overall combo is pretty quiet. the motherboard is Asus’s current top Micro ATX Socket 1155 model. As for other components in the PC that I built for this article (see the parts list on the facing page). which is specially built and designed to look like it belongs in the same rack as a multichannel receiver. or share everything with other computers over your home network. Tis motherboard also supports SATA 6 gbps (two ports) and USB 3. Tis is the lowest-end 65W Sandy Bridge CPU. the motherboard should be compact and support HDmi-out. a satellite or cable set-top box. Te Kingston LoVo memory supports voltages as low as 1. for games. Te nMediaPC case will look at home in an AV rack. which is rated at 35W but runs at a somewhat slower 2. with multichannel speaker systems and high-definition TVs. Toss in the Seasonic power supply. Intel also offers the 2100T. which is fanless. you’ll have to include an extremely large hard drive to store everything on.5GHz. for less heat.

Install the optical drive and hard drive. Silverstone’s NT07 CPU cooler fts in the same space as the standard Intel cooler. which makes installation easier. Windows 7 Home Premium (the 64-bit version) is the OS of choice. and it doesn’t support stereoscopic 3d. you’ll need to take this step because the frst two SATA connectors point toward the back of the motherboard. Finally. tHe silVerstone nt07 greatly resembles a standard intel cooler. so you’ll need that for 3d Blu-ray playback. fie Asus motherboard is simple to confgure. fie Seasonic X460 is very efficient when the system is idle as well as when it’s running Tat out. with buttons in the usual places. you’ll have to install the network driver before you can run Windows Update tHe nmediapc 1000B accepts a micro atX motherboard. fie Asus combo drive plays Blu-ray movies and can burn dVds (and play dVd movies) as needed. note tHe modular connectors and the lack of a fan on the seasonic X460 power supply. Afler installing Windows 7.com 91 . the fan has more blades and is quieter. and even full-height graphics cards. However. WorldMags April 2011 pcworld. you’ll need soflware. Home-Theater PC Parts List COMPONENT CPU CPU cooler Motherboard Memory Case Power supply Blu-ray drive Hard drive Operating system Blu-ray playback Total cost Model Intel Core i3-2100S Silverstone NT07 Asus P8H67-M EVO 4GB Kingston HyperX LoVo nMediaPC 1000B Seasonic X460 Fanless 460W Asus BC-06B1ST Western Digital WD20EARS Windows Home Premium x64 CyberLink PowerDVD 10 Ultra 3D Price $150 $25 $130 $95 $70 $159 $78 $100 $100 $86 $993 CHART NOTE: Prices are as of 1/26/11. fie result is less power consumption and heat generation—critical characteristics for a power supply that lacks a cooling fan. too. CyberLink’s PowerdVd 10 Ultra 3d worked well in our 3d HdTV testing. so you can attach only the power connectors you actually need. but the fan has more blades and runs more quietly. fie driver on the motherboard installation Cd isn’t the latest version. and then preattach the power cables before reinstalling the bay. Install the power supply into the case before you install the motherboard. attaching the SATA cable to either of the frst two connectors is awkward. fie 2TB Western digital hard drive won’t win performance awards. Socket 1155 motherboards now use eFI (extensible frmware interface) instead of the old BIOS setup routines. which means that you can use your mouse during the setup. the pcie slots permit expansion. rather than up from the motherboard.60mm fans in the rear). you’ll want to download the latest Intel Hd Graphics driver to ensure stereoscopic 3d Blu-ray playback. the storage bay is removable. tips for Building Your Home-theater pC every computer build is slightly different. I used one cable (with multiple SATA connectors). asus’s p8H67-m eVo motherboard has four memory sockets and lots of usB ports. If you install the storage bay frst. which minimized cable clutter. If you choose a different optical drive. so you can then run them to the power supply. Attach the SATA cables— in particular the hard-drive cable—to the motherboard prior to installing the nMediaPC chassis’s removable storage bay. but it is quiet and cool. fie power supply is modular. Some Blu-ray drives have oddly shaped bezels that may look cool but won’t work with the Tip-out door on the nMediaPC case. fie removable storage bay extends across the width of the case. but here are a few tricks that helped me as I built this machine. fiese cables are modular. make sure that it has a standard bezel.

and it handles 3d Blu-ray beautifully. so you’ll have to rely on the graphics card’s own video-decoding capabilities. fie HdMI port fully supports audio. for ongoing use. Place drives 7. SATA cables 3. Since you’ve set up Blu-ray playback on a computer. you can easily conffgure Logitech Harmony remotes to support Media Center IR receivers. any card capable of high-end gaming adds heat and noise. fie system I built is working ffne. you can add HdTV tuner capability. Insert CPU next steps One purpose of this PC is to play stereoscopic 3d Blu-ray movies. and enjoy the show. fie motherboard Cd does have all necessary drivers for the motherboard itself (also known as the “chipset INF driver”). Intel reps told me that 3d Blu-ray would work ffne with 3d HdTV sets. you may want to add a wireless keyboard and mouse combo to the system. that spify Intel video processor simply won’t work with another graphics card installed. Slot drives into bay 8. fie easiest option is USB. To play anything serious. Insert memory 6. Although current Nvidia and AMd GPUs have fairly robust video blocks of their own. and you’ll want something fairly standard if you plan on gaming or doing a lot of typing. put on your 3d glasses. you used a keyboard and a mouse to install Windows. you could add plenty more tricks and features to your home-theater PC.Here’s How or activate Windows. your PC in your entertainment center.com April 2011 4. you’ll want to add IR-remote support. updates to the playback soTware can add new features. Almost any current wireless keyboard and mouse will work. For instance. the on-board audio. WorldMags pHotogrApHs: roBert CArDin . ATer we downloaded and installed the latest Intel Hd Graphics driver. what About gaming? Intel’s Hd Graphics technology is ffne for very light-duty gaming. something like Logitech’s diNovo Mini is very handy if you need only occasional character entry. For one thing. But it won’t work with existing shutter glasses for 120Hz PC displays. so you don’t need audio cables if you’re routing HdMI to your HdTV or through an AV receiver with HdMI inputs. assembling a new pc with home-theater capabilities should be a straightforward exercise. and the network driver. First. Intel will enable stereoscopic 3d for PC monitors when 120Hz displayPort panels ship later this year. I attached the PC to a 42-inch Panasonic TC-P42GT25 plasma 3d TV in the PCWorld Labs. Attach power cables since tHe interior of the nmediapc 1000B case is fairly roomy and all of the components are standard. you can also create a robust digital media server with tools such as the free VLC (find. 1.) When you set up the PC. Or you can just kick back and relax. However. using whatever glasses and built-in HdTV technology are available. setting up a programmable remote is relatively straightforward. various IR dongles support Windows Media Center. turning your PC into a high-def dVR. IMax Deep Sea 3D (which looked spectacular). we enjoyed glorious stereoscopic 3d. If you use one of those. Position CPU cooler 5. Install power supply 2. Now that you’ve built your home-theater PC.com/71567. you have a platform for exploring digital media on the big screen. However. It’s now sitting in my AV rack (I’m tempted to add a 3d HdTV to my home theater). and a sampler of disney 3d animation clips. And if you still want support for stereoscopic 3d on your HdTV.pcworld. you’ll need to add a discrete graphics card— which could lead to other problems. you’ll need cards using the latest Nvidia 500 series or AMd 5000 or 6000 series graphics processors.pcworld. Add motherboard. We tried Ice Age 3 3D. For example. if you plan to use 92 pcworld.com/70237). (Check to see if your 3d TV works with 3d Vision glasses on Nvidia’s compatibility chart at find. Once I got Windows up and running and PowerdVd Ultra 10 installed.

and all donations to Smile Train are tax-deductible in accordance with IRS regulations. and unwashed vegetables. it has been proven to reduce the risk for neural tube defects by 50 to 70 per cent. © 2011 Smile Train. Government. Foods to avoid may include raw or undercooked seafood. visit www. women should take sufficient levels of folic acid (400 micrograms/day) during pregnancy to help prevent neural tube defects and reduce the risk for cleft lip and palate.org. fish that contain high levels of mercury. can give desperate children not just a new smile—but a new life. Be sure to receive proper prenatal care.SmileTrain. For more information. raw shellfish or eggs. fish exposed to industrial pollutants... soft cheeses. Smile Train is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit recognized by the IRS. smoked seafood. quit smoking and drinking alcohol and follow your health care provider’s guidelines for foods to avoid during pregnancy. pâté. beef.S. unpasteurized milk. In 5 minutes you can save her. “ .org or call: 1-800-932-9541 WorldMags According to the U. . delicatessen meats. caffeine.smiletrain. ” — The New York Times Z11041121ZFXY13 Donate online: www.Waiting For Surgery: 10 Years. Free cleft surgery which takes as little as 45 minutes and costs as little as $250. When folic acid is taken one month before conception and throughout the first trimester. pork or poultry.one of the most productive charities— dollar for deed—in the world.

As the instructions at the beginning of the MHTML file explain. direct the user to start PSR and then re-create the process that leads to the diTculty. with just a few buttons. the user can click the Add Comment button and insert notes. Using this utility can help support techs operate more eTciently. ffink about some of the most common help-desk calls—problems connecting to a VPN. the user should click Stop Record and indicate recording events typed the WPA security key. ffe Problem Steps Recorder tool in Windows 7 simplifies remote troubleshooting. and develop a library of tutorial files. and it can reduce the time and costs involved in going on site to troubleshoot and resolve problems. For more-complex matters. PSR simply takes screenshots and has no means of discerning passwords. but this is just one example. you can’t isolate the problem over the phone because the user claims to be performing every step and following your guidance explicitly. as well as the files and processes involved. the bottom of the MHTML file contains details about the application versions being used. so the file may not render properly in browsers other than Internet explorer. you can open that attachment compiles the MHTML file as a single Web page. leading to better-satisfied. I recommend placing it on the desktop. and realize that they misread it: Whereas the user entered “7742415625. you probably could have handled this particular issue over the phone if the user had told you character by character what they were entering. during recording. account numbers. then press <Enter>. ffe utility compiles the shots into an MHTML file that the user can send to the person providing support. you could review the image where the user proBlem steps recorder provides some basic details and information above each screenshot. One note: Although many browsers support MHTML. A training tool not contain sensitive or confidential information.” the correct key was “77424lS625”—with a lowercase L in place of the 1 and with an uppercase S in place of the first 5. you can use PSR to record these tasks. tHe proBlem steps recorder interface is simple and straightforward. —Tony Bradley WorldMags 94 pcworld. reviewing the File Once the user has e-mailed you the MHTML file. you can use the Next and Previous links. the user should review the file to ensure that it clearly captures the events in question. you know how frustrating it can be to fix other people’s PCs. more-productive users. If you click on a shot. or other sensitive data that might be displayed.com April 2011 .Here’s How troubleshoot from afar with a windows 7 tool WHeTHeR yOU’Re a support specialist or the tech guru for family and friends. so you can scroll through the shots. PSR To launch Problem Steps Recorder. you’ll get a larger version. configuring e-mail. Afer the tool captures the event. and you have to rely on verbal explanations from a nontechie. each screenshot has a label with the date and time. the format has not been standardized. a user can add comments to psr screenshots to provide a more detailed explanation of what each captured image is showing. True. Let’s say that someone is having diTculty connecting to a wireless network. click the Start button and type problem steps recorder or psr in the search box. PSR captures screenshots whenever the PC’s user moves or clicks the mouse. along with a magnifying-glass tool that you can use to zoom in. Problem solved. In our wireless-network scenario. To make the file easy to locate. and that it does and view the events. you can also use PSR as a training tool. where to save the MHTML file. Rather than waiting for people to encounter such issues and then call you for help. alternatively. plus brief explanatory text. adding a printer. ffe task is even more diTcult when you’re not sitting at the machine.

I can understand why. Out with the old.pcworld. the conclusion? if you upgrade your netbook to a more powerful version of windows 7. not to speed up the performance of the operating system. 2. the ideapad with windows 7 starter scored 31 points. p c w o r l d. it’s really time to move forward—time to put Windows XP out to pasture. all of this is merely my opinion. Seriously. but i suspect that the Aero glass transparency effect. Home Basic. windows media Center. you might reasonably assume that the operating system is stripped down so as to not burden cheap hardware. Windows Media Center is awesome: And can be a major pain when it comes to connecting networked PCs.com WorldMags 95 . 3. Windows 7 is more like a battleship. 4. your machine will probably lose some performance—but not much. made premium a little slower. All 32-bit windows 7 editions have the same minimum hardware requirements. I’m running nothing more than Windows 7 and a couple free third-party security tools. I know that a lot of people out there are still using Windows XP. it’s like a comfortable old shoe.com/71493. the result is better than flVo.. c o m Should I upgrade my netbook’s OS from Windows 7 Starter? Ericuse165. —Rick Broida a s k Y o u r Q u e s t i o n at f o r u m s . thanks in part to HomeGroups. and the like. I say this based on experience. at 33 points. but Windows 7 is packed with all sorts of little conveniences that can make your computing life easier. and the ability to personalize the desktop. (the score with windows Xp beat all three. (see “windows 7: Can Your netbook Handle it?” at find. and Home premium. you no longer have to waste (as much) time hunting for your documents. when i examined those test results closely. which comes with every edition of windows 7 except starter and Home Basic. read the original “windows 7 starter or Home” forum discussion at find. in with the new. the labs discovered that although starter was speeder than the other editions.better! is like a leaky balsa-wood boat ffoating in a sea of malware. 5.pcworld.com/71565 for a complete discussion. namely multiple-monitor support. pCworld labs evaluations conducted upon the os’s release in 2009 came to much the same conclusion. Tat said. For more opinions about this topic. —Lincoln Spector April 2011 pcworld. It’s just. XP is bought and paid for. But that’s not quite true. It’s significantly more secure: Windows XP that’s especially true if you pair the media-playback sofware with the Ceton InfiniTV 4 card. i noticed that windows 7 Home Basic performed a tad faster than Home premium did. Plus. Windows 7. in addition to omitting Aero glass. But microsoft eliminated those features to justify the lower price. I hope you’ll trust that I’m not shilling for Microsof here. but rather nudging you toward better overall computing. answer line Here are five reasons why I think it’s time you switched over to Windows 7. windows 7 starter lacks several other functions. in our world- illustrAtions: gorDon stuDer Bench 6 benchmark tests. with both Home editions it managed a very close 30 points. DVD playback. it wasn’t faster by much. It makes finding your stuff easier: Tanks to practical features such as Libraries and the ubiquitous Search box.Five Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 7 in 2011 CAN We TALK? Based on the e-mail I receive every day. and it’s not as if Microsof is handing out free upgrades to the latest version of the OS. It will solve your networking headaches: Windows XP photos. on the Windows forum BeCAuse winDows 7 starter—the cheapest and least powerful edition of windows 7—is available only on very inexpensive computers. Remember. makes it easy as pie.) running a lenovo ideapad s10-2 netbook with windows 7 starter. Windows 7 probably seems stiffi and scary in comparison. 1..) i should mention that. microsoft maintains that most netbooks can run windows 7 ultimate just fine. why? i don’t know for sure. MP3s. If you’re an XP holdout. you won’t fully appreciate them until you switch back to an XP-based system and your productivity nose-dives.

they may as well steal your passwords and credit card numbers.com/ 71564 for boot-problem advice. i checked with author and security expert Bruce schneier. an entirely new PC. If your machine is just as old.com. early in 2010. but trust me when I say this: It’s time for a new (or at least newer) PC. and far more sinister than anything you could see. a microsoft kernel patch rendered computers that were infected with the Backdoor. see find. If you don’t mind used gear.com/71563 and find. if your pC carried leonardo (which spread via floppy disks). practice extortion. so no one writes malware that intentionally causes a catastrophic failure. ordinarily it has a Celeron processor. sure. I’m guessing that Rick’s T2893 is seven to ten years old. But when you’re done.pcworld. today. booting on march 6 appeared to wipe everything off the hard drive (although someone with reasonable technical skills could retrieve most of the data). —Lincoln Spector WorldMags 96 pcworld. I found a motherboard replacement. launch distributed denial-of-service (DDos) attacks. But that event was an exception—and one that did nothing to benefit the criminals who spread Backdoor. they are either incompetent or defrauding you. or perhaps the pC shuts down before windows finishes loading.com/71494) inspired me to write this item. if a computer repairman claims that you need a repair or replacement due to virus damage. —Rick Broida a s k Y o u r Q u e s t i o n at f o r u m s . His question: Where could he find a replacement—or better yet. I’ve seen nicely equipped systems (that include Windows 7) for as low as $279. trend micro’s global director of education: “the work of today’s malware is invisible.pcworld. 512MB of RAM. writing malware was a cruel hobby. It’s not that replacing a motherboard is terribly diffcult (though it can be if you are not accustomed to monkeying around inside a computer case). i often hear from folks who have unbootable pCs. sometimes an error message says that no operating system exists on the hard drive. it’s an evil profession.” that isn’t to say that today’s malware will never crash your system—just that it probably won’t do so on purpose. But judging from what I have learned about the T2893. complete with CPU and fan.tidserv trojan horse unbootable. According to David perry. fere are other considerations. your PC’s actual configuration may vary (or perhaps you’ve upgraded certain components over the years). According to the specs I found on eMachines’ Webanswer line site.pcworld. I think Rick should consider a diflerent kind of upgrade— namely. this belief is a leftover from the 1990s. p c w o r l d . for $110. And as long as they secretly control your pC. you’ll be leT with the same slow. and an 80GB hard drive. Back then. out-of-date machine you have now. and infect other systems. an upgrade? In a quick Google search. or that no drive exists at all. maybe they get a Blue screen of Death with every boot. c o m Could a malware infection render your computer unbootable? i’m not Answering a reader question this time. it’s useless to them.Here’s How Is Your Motherboard Worth Replacing? A ReAdeR By the awesome name of Rick told me that the motherboard died in his eMachines T2893 desktop. plus my contacts at superAntispyware.tidserv. silent. Crooks want to use your pC to send spam. fat’s not a bad price. so if your pC fails to boot. don’t look for a virus—the culprit is likely something else. if your pC can’t boot. but I’d think twice before putting time and money into an old PC.com April 2011 illustrAtions: gorDon stuDer . A great many of these users assume that some “virus” must be to blame. when viruses such as leonardo might render your pC unbootable and your data inaccessible. they all told me the same thing: the people writing today’s malware aren’t interested in crashing your computer. My advice: Look for deals on refurbished desktops. and trend micro. symantec. you might get an even better deal on Craigslist or eBay. And that’s not just my opinion. but a forum discussion (find.

A few squeeze in VgA. newer consoles sporting HDmi outputs pair pretty well with newer monitors (those that have HDmi inputs and built-in speakers). (note to microsoft: that should not happen.com 97 . while many desktop video cards offer dual VgA or DVi outputs. one last option is to repurpose a spare laptop or even desktop. two of windows’ own tools were broken. You have a few options. has three monitors with VgA and DVi inputs only. and using an old video game console with a TV-tuner-equipped computer. those consoles were designed for Crt televisions. First. it’s a simple method of figuring out how deeply rooted in windows the issue is. if not. well. although it is possible to connect a game console to a pC. in short. reader Dave. And that will help as you google for an actual fix (if there is one—sometimes these things can be resolved only by reinstalling windows). the other. try switching to a new user account and then seeing whether the utility works. Come on!) usually. Dave. effectively using the latter in place of a tV. Can’t load windows explorer? switch to any number of even better explorer replacements (find. if it does. You see. it’s rare to find one that has three of them. either way. consider a usB adapter. and HDmi. You can buy a reasonably powerful video card for as little as $30. maxiVista sells for $40. you wouldn’t actually be playing “on your computer. Keith. back to square one. uninterrupted display. noting that many of his games “don’t have comparable versions for pCs. But what about a third display? that might require a little more doing. of course. it’s hard to know how your games will end up looking. search for “usB to DVi” or “usB to VgA. which have a maximum output resolution of 640 by 480. the bottom line: Computers—in particular. next. but that’s not mandatory.com/71496) to add its screen to your primary system. but i’ll bet my lunch they won’t run at a satisfactory size or aspect ratio. ideally. one was having trouble getting internet explorer to run. should consider moving to a new user account permanently). troubleshoot with a spare user Account recently a couple of readers wrote to me with similar problems. However. internet explorer won’t work? install Firefox or Chrome.” You’d simply be routing the console’s video output to your monitor. the good news is that your particular tV tuner can accommodate the consoles’ composite audio/video connections. to fix the broken tool.” His desktop has a Hauppauge tV-tuner card. who asked about this possibility. DVi. windows explorer. Your monitor undoubtedly runs at a much higher resolution. you’ve narrowed down the problem (and WorldMags April 2011 pcworld. but even in that arrangement you’re bypassing the pC entirely. you can install a second graphics board—assuming that your desktop has an available expansion slot.pcworld. my initial reaction is to wonder why you don’t just plug the consoles into your tV the way you did back in the day.com/71497). prices start at around $50. that doesn’t really solve the problem. i suggest switching to (or creating) another user account. which poses its own set of potential problems. in any case. computer monitors— aren’t a good match for older video game consoles. to diaGnose a problem with a built-in windows tool. Plus: Learn about fixing problems in Windows’ built-in utilities. which is half the battle. maXiVista software allows you to treat the monitors of two computers as if they were one single. i recommend an endrun around the issue.pcworld. And let’s not forget the audio. Connect an old game Console to Your pC reader Keith wants to squeeze some extra life out of his old sony playstation and playstation 2 systems.” interesting question.pcworld.” and you’ll find plenty of plug-and-play products that provide a standard monitor input. to deal with situations like these. the second card should be the same make as the first. and then seeing whether explorer runs properly.RICK BROIDA’S HASSLE-FREE PC Three Simple Ways to Connect a Trio of Displays to One PC As i’Ve written previously (find. You might also encounter some lag between your controller actions and what appears on the screen.com/71495). but graphics performance isn’t always great (so this isn’t the best choice if you’re looking to play games across all three monitors). but that kind of setup would require at least one HDmi monitor. you need to do a little troubleshooting. so he wants to know whether he can connect either console and “play these games on my computer. adding a second monitor to your pC is a pretty simple matter. using software such as maxiVista (find.

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Maybe next time he’ll skip the hot-house variety and just go for regular cukes. Isn’t that called the off button? —Steve Fox and Steven Gray Have an idea for The Back Page? Send us your suggestions at TheBackPage@pcworld. Do you have any additional comments or recommendations regarding your experience? Warning: Expensive Veggies Peter Tal’s local King Kullen supermarket is moving to self-checkout machines. Malware Be Gone Intel is working on radical new security technology that could stop all zero-day attacks. Please read this manual carefully before using your new player. If nothing else. it seems. you can visit our website for latest product information. 3. Please feel free to use this survey to provide feedback to us on the service we provided. We predict that follow-up research will pin the blame on food. But Tal wonders. the inconvenient place begs press to open the machine key the square can show. you have to admire the simplicity of Microsoft’s search algorithm. Contents in this manual may change possibly for better service.com/PCWorld. ‘ WorldMags 100 PCWORLD. We have the right to make changes to this manual without notice. The professionalism of the technician that helped you. 5. 1. The overall experience of the service. We’ll print our favorites here and on our Facebook page at www.com. ‘ Our Customer Service Gets Top Marks! Tech Support. In fact. 2.” Thanks for nothing. The time it took to resolve this case or request. The only catch? “No numbers or scale above the radio buttons.facebook.The Back Page FROM OUR READERS Plugged In Want to see more Plugged In? Follow us on Twitter (@PCWPluggedIn). Where Have I Seen This Before? Google accuses Microsoft of stealing its search results and displaying them in Bing. Matt Metz was eager to provide feedback to FedEx Office’s tech support. 2. If the actual operations of your player is not the same as the instruction in this manual. 95 percent of children have never fallen off a PC. Gaming ≠ Gaining Michigan State University study concludes that playing video games won’t make you fat. The technical knowledge of the technician. Oops! We suspect most people will save $20 million and just hold the mic in their hands. 1! The U. press to open the machine key the square can show. .com. the inconvenient place begs your pardon. 4. Take a Stand Thang Nguyen caught this whopper on PCWorld. retains its title as world’s leading producer of spam. Our next big objective: to challenge Nigeria for fee-scam supremacy. “Can these machines be trusted?” Not for cucumbers. Declaration: Thank you for your purchase.COM APRIL 2011 ‘ ‘ We Beg Your Pardon? The manual for the tiny Naxa NX-145 MP3 player didn’t prove all that helpful to reader Patrick Kerr. The time it took to make initial contact with a technician. No Training Wheels Needed A survey by security firm AVG finds that today’s kids master computers easier than bikes. We’re No.S.

CDW•G ® and PEOPLE WHO GET IT™ are trademarks of CDW LLC. WorldMags . It’s a day off for everyone else and a weekend in for you. We also know how to keep your network working. Our Solutions and Services Team has earned four dozen CCIE certifications and the Cisco 2010 U. CDW® . and Canada Partner of the Year award.com/network ©2011 CDW LLC. solved.the network stopped workInG and so dId everybody else. Get back to business at Cdw. Again.S. It crashed. Just what it takes to prepare your network for whatever your carefree coworkers throw at it. We know life’s not fair.

Smarter Planet and the planet icon are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp. Sweden). registered in many jurisdictions worldwide.000 HIV case histories. It means doctors in Ethiopia will be able to instantly compare this blood sample to over 41.com/hospital A data visualization of 41. The EuResist Network is a nonprofit partnership composed of Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm. ibm. systems and services. Germany). Italy) and University of Cologne (Germany). The tool is built on an IBM analytics solution that integrates a variety of disparate databases onto a flexible IBM DB2® platform to process complex metadata more effectively than anything else on the market.com. © International Business Machines Corporation 2010.Smarter technology for a Smarter Planet: What database integration means to this blood sample.ibm. IBM. (Rome. ibm. the IBM logo..r. DB2.com/legal/copytrade. Informa s. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies.shtml. The EuResist Network is helping doctors predict patient response to various HIV treatments with over 78% accuracy—outperforming 9 out of 10 human experts in a recent study. The EuResist project has been cofunded by the European Commission. Max Planck Institute for Informatics (Saarbrücken. WorldMags .l. A smarter organization is built on smarter software. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at www. University of Siena (Italy).000 HIV treatment histories to help their patients receive the best treatment regimen possible. Let’s build a smarter planet.

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