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IBM xSeries 346 SAP SD 2-tier benchmark result: 2-processor Intel® Xeon®, 3.60 GHz, L1 Execution Trace cache, 1 MB L2 cache, 8 GB main memory, OS Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition (32-bit), DB2 UDB 8.2 (32-bit), SAP R/3 Release: 4.70 (32-bit), 470 SAP SD benchmark users, SAP Certiﬁcation #: 2004071 vs. IBM System x3650 M3 SAP SD 2-tier benchmark result (SAP Enhancement Package 4 for SAP ERP 6.0), 2 processors/12 cores/24 threads, Intel® Xeon® Processor x5680, 3.33 GHz, 64 KB L1 cache and 256 KB L2 cache per core, 12 MB L3 cache per processor, 96 GB main memory, OS Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition, DB2 9.7, 5100 SAP SD benchmark users, SAP Certiﬁcation #: 2010025. Source: www.sap.com/benchmark. Results current as of 12/13/10. 2TBR 3Q10 x86-based Servers: Buying Behavior and Customer Satisfaction Study, November 2010. 3Global Financing offerings are provided through IBM Credit LLC in the United States and other IBM subsidiaries and divisions worldwide to qualiﬁed commercial and government customers. Monthly payments provided are for planning purposes only and may vary based on your credit and other factors. Lease offer provided is based on an FMV lease of 36 monthly payments. Other restrictions may apply. Rates and offerings are subject to change, extension or withdrawal without notice. IBM hardware products are manufactured from new parts or new and serviceable used parts. Regardless, our warranty terms apply. For a copy of applicable product warranties, visit http://www.ibm.com/servers/support/machine_warranties. IBM
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makes no representation or warranty regarding third-party products or services. IBM, the IBM logo, System Storage and System x are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. For a current list of IBM trademarks, see www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. Intel, the Intel logo, Xeon and Xeon Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. All prices and savings estimates are subject to change without notice, may vary according to conﬁguration, are based upon IBM’s estimated retail selling prices as of 1/25/11 and may not include storage, hard drive, operating system or other features. Reseller prices and savings to end users may vary. Products are subject to availability. This document was developed for offerings in the United States. IBM may not offer the products, features, or services discussed in this document in other countries. Contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner for the most current pricing in your geographic area. ©2011 IBM Corporation. All rights reserved. IBM_ES_0028
AWARD GOLD August 17. 2009 BitDefender Total Security 2010 WorldMags .
security. news.com Features 58 Make Your TV Smarter Transform your HDTV into a Web-connected. PC-like home theater—and do it without putting a big dent in your wallet. travel. productivity.com 3 . We asked real-world ofﬁces to use rival inkjet MFPs for their everyday tasks and let us know which ones they liked better. 81 Cleanup Utilities System-scrubbing tools claim to speed up PC performance by getting rid of clutter. 75 Essential Apps for Every Smartphone Here’s our collection of the best mobile software for handling social networking. subscriber cover photography by robert cardin.August Volume 29 | Number 8 pcworld. 67 Do-It-All Printers newsstand cover illustration by bryan christie design. We tested four. and got surprising results. community 9 techlog 67 11 PcW Forum 96 the Back Page WorldMags auguST 2011 pcworld. and more.
17 GeekTech 20 Staff Picks 23 Consumer Watch Ways to Pay Online: Don’t put your credit card at risk. 30 Net Work 32 Tech Audit LAB TESTED DO IT YOURSELF 35 Security Alert Facebook Scams: Learn how to avoid or recover from them.com DEPARTMENTS 40 15 Forward Windows 8: The revamped OS emphasizes touch interaction. 36 Bugs and Fixes 38 Privacy Watch 42 Reviews & Rankings Tablet Roundup: We survey today’s tablet landscape. 91 Answer Line 93 Hassle-Free PC 46 Seagate GoFlex Satellite 48 Top 10 Pocket Megazooms Only the cover is different: Here are PCWorld’s two covers this month. 86 Here’s How Upgrade a Motherboard: It isn’t too difﬁcult to pull out an old board and install a new one.August Volume 29 | Number 8 pcworld. 50 Motorola Droid X2 52 Top 10 Ultraportables 55 Top 10 Performance PCs 56 Adobe Dreamweaver 57 Sony VAIO VPC L218FX/W Newsstand Subscriber 86 WorldMags 4 PCWORLD.COM AUGUST 2011 . and rank the ﬁve best contenders. 24 Skeptical Shopper 26 On Your Side 29 Business Center Stay in Sync: Cloud services can make data syncing simpler.
Limited apps are compatible with this model.pioneerelectronics. For more information.com/appradio PIONEER is a registered trademark of Pioneer Corporation. Certain functions such as video playback and keyboard input are only available while parked.com/appradio. ©2011 Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.pioneerelectronics.AppRadiointhecar A revolutionary way to use apps ™ RETHINKING CONNECTIVITY www. AppRadio is a trademark of Pioneer Corporation. WorldMags . see www.
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Then the lab guys built a testing plan from scratch. with an assist from the rest of the lab staff. on location (from left): William Wang.” explains Leung. Development Analyst William Wang and Lab Manager Tony Leung. I wonder if I can persuade him to take my old Walkman off my hands. “We needed PCs that showed the battle scars of constant use. updates. But I will tell you that after hearing the results. circa-2006 Dell Latitude on my son. There. even your 13-year-old kid doesn’t want it? I confronted this problem when I tried to pawn off a slow. underpowered. Jim Galbraith. preferring to commandeer my wife’s shiny new laptop for doing homework. Not shown: James Motch. The testing process was agonizingly slow. and Thomas Luong. and Alex Cocilova. my old laptop had a higher calling: It—along with four other time-worn machines—became a test subject in the PCWorld Labs. it to work testing the efﬁcacy of speedup software (see “Cleanup Utilities: Can They Speed Up Your PC?” on page 81). we ﬁrst needed to round up a bunch of crusty old PCs. Mauricio Grijalva. WorldMags PHOTOGRAPH: ROBERT CARDIN PCWORLD LABS staff. My Latitude qualiﬁed. Alex Wawro. put To learn whether popular speed-up utilities really work. my son remains uninterested in my laptop.COM 9 . Tony Leung. while relying on his iPod for the rest of his digital activities. Steve Fox is editorial director of PCWorld. Then there was all the tedious hand-timing. which intern Alex Cocilova presided over. Each system had to be restored up to six times and rebooted at least ten times per utility. He turned up his nose. AUGUST 2011 PCWORLD. bombarded with years of old software. Fortunately. I won’t spoil the story by revealing our conclusions here. and drivers—something that would feel like a Pinto racing in the Indy 500.Techlog STEVE FOX Five-Year-Old Laptop Makes Good WHAT DO YOU do with a laptop that’s such a clunker. using our WorldBench 6 application-based benchmarks to measure performance before and after installing each of four cleanup utilities.
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PCWorld. PCWorld. Why would I Android. tating very quickly. PCWorld. you can see that you’re better off.” to “I see how that would do everything I’m currently doing on my travel-ready slimand-light laptop..com forums do with their PCs. And the wonderful Adblock Plus [ﬁnd. ers don’t have the same awareness and care about their mobile security as they villanim.9 percent of ads on Websites. PCWorld.com forums starts looking at the tablet as an ultraportable device for information. Consumother than gaming and Web surﬁng. com/71898]—it is Which tablet is best for no matter whether coming. Leave your own thoughts on tablets at ﬁnd. iOs. It the keyboard missing? the tablet. it’s increasingly clear that tablets are here to stay.com/71899. and communications.” Forward.com forums I think that until Microsoft stops looking at tablets as computers without keyboards and trying to optimize Windows 7 or 8 for that format. mobile devices are their primary Securing Your Life communication tool.pcworld. Updated Regarding “Which tablet Is Best for You?” [June]. Toulinwoek.com/60781] takes out 99. with less to carry. PCWorld. and various add-ons can block ad/tracking networks from setting cookies on your computer. One addendum to “secure Your Life in Our phones will become our wallet.com: this site allows 11 Your article showed clearly the advantages of Android over iOs.com/70213] can block Java from being sneaky and tracking you.pcworld. but once you do.com forums Ready for Google Wallet? Have you ever tried composing a I don’t think [google’s wireless paylengthy document or a long e-mail ment system] is avoidable [“google message on a touchWallet Reality screen? It gets irriCheck.com forums Stopping Tracking Options to combat online tracking by advertisers [“the Battle Over ‘Do Not track’. however. I’ve been doing it this way for years. RetiredGeek. and it prome? None.PCW Forum June’s “Which Tablet Is Best for You?” inspired a new round of reader debate on the usefulness and appeal of tablets (see March’s PCW Forum for the ﬁrst round). June] have been around for a long time. it will hardly be a signiﬁcant competitor in the tablet market..com forums improved security keyboard add-on—is mindset and traina necessity if you want to do something ing for consumers. so if you get a report from a different service every four months (instead of all three reports once a year). reor. multimedia consumption.” It does take a while to transition your thinking to something new. you can keep a very close watch on your credit for free. my slant on tablets has evolved from “How could I [possibly] use that?” to “Hmmmmm. ILLustRAtION: gARY NeILL QUADICON. Tablet Debate. A slideJamesajue will also require an out keyboard—or a PCWorld. or vides convenience want to own a laptop with WebOs is powering for consumers. Noscript [ﬁnd.com . and yet for some of them.” ﬁnd.pcworld. 12 steps” [June] and the item on Annuand awareness and consumer trainalCreditReport.com forums you one report from each of the three credit agencies each year. pcworld. PCWorld. and instead WorldMags August 2011 pcworld. All the same. Keinichn. only better in some ways. that the iPad sells in a single model over every other model of tablet demonstrates one thing: It demonstrates that people are just buying what is popular.
the price of the HP Photosmart Premium e-All-inOne C310a should have been listed as $200. PCWorld regrets the error. June]: Yes. chief information security ofﬁcer. really. But what happens when their phone is lost or stolen? google is very good in pioneering technology ideas. and worthless for consumers.pcworld. blanddragon. Not many people have turned on encryption features on their phones yet. Only time will tell how well consumers are prepared for their mobile devices to store their ﬁnancial treasures. really need a color printer?” You can buy a monochrome laser printer for the price of two or three factory inkjet reﬁlls. and perhaps at the beginning.com/55165). But I fear that banks and services will add fees and restrictions to the point that they will make a great and useful idea become a money stream for them.com) Paying by Smartphone Regarding “six easy Ways to Pay by smartphone” [Consumer Watch. For some consumers even password protection doesn’t play well. June]: I like the concept. but ask yourself.com August 2011 In FR kg EE ar d! .com forums need a color print? Just put the ﬁle on an inexpensive usB stick and take it to your local chain drugstore. those monochrome laser reﬁlls seem to last forever! And if you CorreCtion In JUne’S Top 10 Inkjet Multifunction Printers. Identity Theft 911 (idt911. PCWorld. stories of fraud will have to circulate in the media before consumer awareness around mobile-device security will get more attention.com forums PCWorld welcomes your feedback. or visit our Forums (ﬁnd.com. unfortunate but true. mcsedave. “Do I really. PCWorld. or even installed antivirus software. i Prolog WorldMags 12 pcworld. Share your thoughts in the Comments area under each story on our Website. Ondrej Krehel.PCW Forum ing will be important. Printer Ink: Less Is More? Regarding “Printer Ink Reﬁlls Can save You Money” [Reviews and Rankings. and this application may bring good consumer beneﬁt and convenience. Send email to letters@pcworld. We re serve the right to edit for length and clarity.
a taskbar.com . tapping an icon with a ﬁnger launches the application and allows it to take up the entire screen. Within a particular applica tion. At the conference. the company says that Windows 8 is designed not only for laptops and desktops. a start menu. and it will be a departure from the Windows we know and love today. without the usual Windows menus. its smartphone operating system—complete with touchfriendly live tiles.Forward Microsoft Introduces Windows 8 offering a radically different. and scroll bars at the edges. hardware. By Nick Mediati aNd JaMes Niccolai WindoWs 8 is on its way. Micro soft’s corporate vice presi dent of Windows planning. and ecosystem. and tablets. touchoriented interface. Tile-Based Interface Microsoft has posted a video (ﬁnd. and so on. but 15 WorldMags iLLustrAtion: AdAM McCAuLey August 2011 pcworld.pcworld.” said Michael Angiulo. system tray. Most notably. Microsoft demonstrat ed an interface that looks reminiscent of Windows Phone 7. showing several prototype devices on stage running the software. who demonstrated the new software at Computex. or swipe from the left side to switch between open applications. Micro soft presented a radically re designed Windows interface: instead of the traditional desktop with windows. Microsoft also discussed features of the new Windows operating system during a press event at the Computex tech conference in taiwan. for example. laptops.com/71921) that shows some of the os’s new features. the upcoming operating system is designed for desktops. that was the message Microsoft sent in a presentation given at the annual d: All things digital Conference held near Los Angeles in early June. users can swipe a ﬁnger in from the right edge of the screen to make menu items for that program appear. “the application comes quickly to life as Windows fades to the background.
the video also shows regular Windows pro grams running in a separate. California. the Wi-Fi–equipped Libre Air ($130) has a nonbacklit 5-inch LCD screen intended to achieve a glare-free result that. says. called Build. given its big. WorldMags 16 pcworld.Forward also for tablets (which makes sense. as well as a Wi-Fi connection. there will probably be Windows 8 is that it’s anoth programs will be based some resistance to these er step toward making PCs entirely on HtML 5. and other Web tech wait and see how everything making Mac os X more iPad nologies. it remains to be seen in merging the tablet and the What’s interesting about whether Windows 8–speciﬁc PC. but Amazon is on to something with its ad. like electronic paper. the Libre Air can accommodate up to 50. developers will have much to learn. the Libre Pro. the software will be com patible with all Windows 7 applications and peripherals. the Kindle with Special Offers isn’t anything new. traditional desktop mode that you can switch to with just the press of a button. AMAZON KINDLE WITH SPECIAL OFFERS Hardware-wise. and customer requests prompted Amazon to launch a 3G version for $164. but the like with Lion’s iosinspired also have tieins to more writing is on the wall. features.” departs from the windows-and-menus desktop design of its predecessors.com August 2011 . where they can ﬁnd out more about the new os.MX508—that Kobo says boosts the speed of page turns. lighter. and Microsoft announced a new confer ence. Weighing only 6 ounces. completely redesigned Nook ($139) introduces a 6-inch E-Ink Pearl display with Neonode’s zForce infrared touch technology to simplify navigation and access. or whether they’ll turns out in practice. is comfortable to read and kind to the device’s battery. Priced at $114—$25 less than the ad-free version—it emerged as the most popular e-reader on Amazon’s site. the tilebased interface replaces the tradi tional start menu. the company says. and we’ll have to more tabletlike. KOBO EREADER TOUCH EDITION Offering the same display as the new Nook. though Windows 8 traditional appdevelopment TeCH sPOTLiG HT: FoUr hoT e. this model ($130) has an updated processor—the Freescale i. tapping into the native capabilities of Windows using standard Java BearIng a STrong resemblance to windows Phone 7.r e a DerS BARNES & NOBLE NOOK (SECOND GENERATION) The original Nook (now called Nook First Edition) had a clunky LCD screen for navigating the E-Ink display above it. Apple is script. the company seems to go one step further tools that Microsoft offers. It supports 802. Java changes.and discount-subsidized e-reader. ALURATEK LIBRE AIR Similar to its predecessor. touchfriendly buttons and visual style). Applications made speciﬁcally for Windows 8 will be a some what different beast: they’ll “use the power of HtML 5. still.11b/g/n Wi-Fi. it also has 1GB of internal storage and a MicroSD card slot. provides an on-screen keyboard. The new. and builds in Kobo’s Reading Life social-networking features. according to Microsoft. the new windows 8 script and HtML.000 books thanks to its expanded MicroSD card slot. that will take place in september in Anaheim.
Chicago. High def? deﬁnitely. and Roku plans to bring three versions of the game to its settop boxes this summer. Now Rovio is selling the original and Rio versions of the game for Windows.Nintendo’s Wii U Breaks the Mold Once Again iMAgine A gAMe console that isn’t really a console. and you can play games with someone else in the same room. the USBConnect Adrenaline by LG. AT&T Rolls Out LTE Sometime this summer AT&T’s new LTE wireless service. Photobucket servers will host tweeters’ images. in fact. Angry Birds Games Migrate to Windows PCs A browserbased beta version of Rovio’s überpopular Angry Birds game is in Google’s Chrome Web Store. and Wii DrawIng on The controller is just one of the actions possible on the wii U. a tabletstyle gamepad about When can you buy one? the size of a trade paperback sometime in 2012. Angry Birds Seasons. WorldMags iLLustrAtions: AdAM McCAuLey August 2011 pcworld. sometime in the future. AT&T re leased one LTEcapable device last year. and runs on XP SP2 or better. will roll out in Atlanta. it isn’t designed to supplant nintendo’s ds and 3ds por the new system is a set tables. the Wii u will be backward compatible with all Wii games. the game top box like the original Wii. nintendo is keeping mum about the specs at this writing. and retail pointofsale transactions. Twitter is also securing deals with mobile carriers to allow users to send photos via MMS messages. and stereo thing is certain: the coming speakers on either side of a years will see an allout con 6. Visa says it will honor cross channel payments. you”) allows you to switch from playing games on your —Matt Peckham Briefs Twitter Brings Photo Sharing in House Twitter is partnering with Photobucket to offer photo attachments to tweets directly from the Twitter homepage. At e3 nintendo demonstrat ed various ways of using the Wii u con troller in concert with a tV screen. said to be ten times faster than 3G. Texas. Dallas. such as when someone walks into the room and wants to watch tV. But one trigger buttons. or a game controller that isn’t really a controller.S. It’s unclear what new devices will be able to connect to the service at launch. but its demo of the system’s processing prowess was impressive. an inwardfacing nintendo’s and sony’s “you camera. that’s all turned sideways. you can also use a stylus to draw on the controller’s touchscreen. at this point we’re still not sure what to call the Wii u—which nintendo unveiled at its e3 2011 press event in early June—besides “fascinating. Visa has announced a mobile wallet service that includes near ﬁeld communication and other technologies for retail purchases and persontoperson transactions from wireless devices. and rumble support. Visa to Launch Mobile Wallet in U. just a the Wii u (pronounced “we. using the controller as the game board. Rovio plans to release a third Windows edition. as well. Wii remote controllers. and San Antonio. social network. which will get a software upgrade. however.com 17 . the feature should be out by the time you read this. a gyro ler” Kinect approach and scope. the game we know for now—no word pad has dual thumbsticks. really cool one” philosophy. soft’s “you are the control an accelerometer. consolidating Visa and nonVisa pay ment accounts that can be used in mobile. but Twitter seems set to man age the service. ecommerce. Houston.2inch touchscreen—and ceptual war between Micro it also boasts a microphone. accessories. Each is $5. The project will launch in the United States and Canada in the fall. on the price yet. still need a controller. pad is usable only in proximi but it’s linked wirelessly with ty to the Wii u box.” tV to playing on the con troller itself. AT&T CTO John Stankey says the company will roll out LTE in ten additional markets by the end of this year.
. A geeky tee (or two. If you know the HTML basics—plus a little about CSS and how it works—you get bonus points. A home-built PC: Nothing shouts geek cred like a homemade computer. plus safari bookmarks and iBooks books. congratulations. Flash drives: Not just one or two—you should have an entire collection. especially if your mouse stops working and you need to shut down. device settings. and itunes in the Cloud (for downloading purchased music to up to ten devices). How to code: Depending on what coding you ﬁnd most interesting—be it computer program ming or Web design—you should be able to lay down the basics from memory. or something to do with geek culture.threadless. and in Web browsers too. Apple has made three new apps: documents in the Cloud (for syncing Pages. a geek Should Know. Not only does it prove how well you can navigate around a PC. plenty of places online. calendars. and app data.com) and Threadless (www. are a great way to express your geek pride. it syncs contacts. you have or know at least a few of the following things. such as this one from stance. and hardware news. You should know how to partition your ﬂash drives properly. and books. and books. (A special thanks to those readers who contributed ideas via our Facebook page!) a geek Should own. and Keynote ﬁles). Macs. For instance. third party apps can store ﬁles in iCloud and sync them. is legitimate and potentially cool. and PCs. your Cam era roll photos and videos.. the free iCloud replaces the $99ayear MobileMe. as well as Photo stream images. If you don’t. consider this a shopping list of the items you need. keyboard shortcuts save a ton of time on the desktop.pcworld. you can upload ﬁles for songs it can’t identify. or twenty): Any kind of geek slogan or motif. and mail. com). each user gets 5gB of free storage for mail. tips. across devices. iCloud will also back up purchased music.com/geektech for hacks. Purchased apps. documents. once a day. don’t count against that total. you really ought to know your ‘img src’ from your ‘a href’.. Lots of cables: Keeping a box of miscellaneous cables is a great idea.com August 2011 . If you’re looking for a geeky tee. but it means that you got to choose what went inside. What about music not from the itunes store? Apple’s $25ayear itunes Match service scans your library and tries to match it with the 18 million songs that Apple sells. And of course. If selfrespecting geek should have. Plus.. You should have almost every screwdriver imaginable. iCloud will ship at the same time as ios 5 in the fall. numbers. it never hurts to add some geeky buttons. since you’ll have them handy for pretty much any unforeseen circum ShIrTS BearIng wITTY slogans. but a decent supply of that type is good for wiring up your whole house. music. A soldering iron: You never know when you’ll have to hack together some hardware. too.Forward G eeK TeCH Apple Unveils iCloud Data Sync Service APPLe HAs announced the iCloud wireless data sync service for ios devices. box will end up holding main ly ethernet cables. but just about any day is a of basic objects and skills that any great day to bask in being a geek. Photo stream (for syncing pictures). if HTML is your thing. and they should contain system utilities and perhaps a Linux installation or two. WorldMags 18 pcworld. such as Pop + Shorty (www. More than likely the Pop + Shorty.popandshorty. apps. and antistatic wrist straps. have good ones. —Jonathan Seff 7 Things Every Geek Should Know or Own GEEK PRIDE DAY comes along every What deﬁnes a geek? Here’s our list May 25. —Elizabeth Fish Visit the GeekTech blog at go. in applications such as Photoshop. and backup. Don’t forget to put a cable in your bag (be it a USB or a speciﬁc charger cable) just in case your latest gadget or laptop runs out of juice or needs hooking up to a desktop PC. Keyboard shortcuts: Knowing your way around a keyboard is pretty useful.
SunGard solutions optimize every aspect of backup and recovery. natural disasters — or even pesky gators. SunGard provided backup and recovery equipment and facilities.worstcasescenarios. Learn how to wrestle an alligator — and survive nearly any other worst-case scenario — with a free Survival Handbook. and other countries. SunGard and the SunGard logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of SunGard Data Systems Inc. running on a X86 server environment. All other trade names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders. www. 10Tb of backup data. More than 3. Get yours today at sungardas.Te Worst-case Scenario backup and Recovery Handbook How to backup & REcOVER YOuR DaTa While Wrestling an alligator. * Savings based on comparison data of customer vs. you’ll never need to worry about hardware failures. Based on The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook. or its subsidiaries in the U. But with SunGard® Availability Services online backup and recovery. a backup failure is one worst-case scenario you’ll never have to face. ©2011 SunGard. published by Chronicle Books. WORST-CASE SCENARIO ® trademark and elements of WORST-CASE SCENARIO ® trade dress are used under license from and with the exclusive permission of Quirk Productions.com.com/WCSSB1. power outages. Stuﬀ happens. no matter what. and cost up to 70%* less than traditional tape-dependent solutions.000 small businesses depend on us to keep their critical applications and data available. WorldMags . Inc.S. With SunGard’s expertise behind you.
T O . ﬁnd. but you’re not a Luddite—you still want a digital version of your notes. The Livescribe Echo smartpen ($99 for a 2GB model) is perfect for you: Take notes the old-fashioned way.Staff Picks Livescribe Echo 2GB You might not want to schlep a laptop to your classes.S C H O O L P R O D U C T S T H AT H AV E O U R E D I T O R S D R O O L I N G WorldMags 20 PCWORLD. your smartphone. or your iPad.com/71917 B A C K . Google Docs.COM AUGUST 2011 . and then upload them to Evernote.pcworld.
and you can save the page (or a portion of it) and share it with your research group.com/71920 HTC Evo 3D Justifying the Evo 3D ($200 with two-year contract) to Mom and Dad could be tricky.Toshiba Thrive The Thrive costs less than the iPad ($429 for 8GB). an actual ﬁle-management system.com/71918 Memonic Memonic (free and premium plans available) is a great way to collaborate on a research project. Android Honeycomb. Whenever you discover a good Web resource on your topic. but it’s also fatter and heavier. But why do you need a glasses-free 3D phone at school? Your answer: “Think how much worse my grades would be if I wore 3D glasses in class!” ﬁnd. ﬁnd.pcworld.pcworld. ﬁnd. pcworld. simply hit the Memonic bookmarklet in your browser.COM 21 .com/71919 WorldMags AUGUST 2011 PCWORLD. and a (gasp!) removable battery. It has a dual-core processor and a qHD screen. and via the docking station shown below). So why buy one? It has tons of ports (on-board.
(The vendor won’t know the difference. you open a new browser window and sign in to your Bank of America account. which you use on the vendor’s site in lieu of your reg- ular number. however. you can shop online and guard against fraud. And credit card information is one of the most common types of personal data we volunteer online.com/us/cards) and EntroPay (ﬁnd. you can’t stop the break-ins. your liability typically ends at the ﬁrst $50. according to the U.com/71872). you follow the ShopSafe instructions to create a 16-digit credit card number.) The temporary number has its own expiration date and security code.S. If a vendor accepts Google’s payment service. and is valid at only one online vendor. So what can you do to minimize credit card fraud? Well.citibank. And many card issuers now have zero-liability policies. Both sites will reimburse any unauthorized purchases in full.pcworld. given how common security breaches have become. where you won’t have to pay a penny. For instance. and EntroPay.com/shopsafe) is a free service for Bank of America Visa and MasterCard holders who bank online with the ﬁnancial giant. as long as you report the fraud within 60 days. The venerable PayPal (www. you can make a purchase simply by clicking the Google Checkout button on its site. You may reuse the number when you buy from that vendor again. Next. have similar services.google. com) is another option.bankofamerica.paypal. including Citibank (www. ShopSafe (www. temporary card number for each online purchase. Bank of America. If someone uses your card without your permission.com/71873 ). you’ll have to sign in to your Google account to complete a transaction. When you want to make a purchase online. Even if you don’t use a disposable number. Federal Trade Commission (ﬁnd. Other institutions. Four Safer Ways to Pay Online Worried about hackers snagging your credit card info? Taking a few precautionary steps can go a long way in protecting your account. and it won’t charge you a fee to buy stuff online.Consumer Watch WITH VIRTUAL credit card numbers from institutions such as Citibank. particularly those you’ve never heard of? Many major banks let you create a unique. BY JEFF BERTOLUCCI WHO HAS YOUR private info? Who knows.com) stores your credit card details and doesn’t share your full card number with merchants. Prepaid credit cards: Personal ﬁnances shaky? Can’t 23 WorldMags AUGUST 2011 PCWORLD.COM . you’re protected from unauthorized credit card purchases. Disposable credit card numbers: Why share your 16-digit number with online merchants. but here are four ways to keep your funds out of the hands of the bad guys. Naturally.pcworld. Online payment services: The free Google Checkout service (checkout.
One last important rule of thumb: Never use wire transfers. if Auction sniper bids $100 on an item for you.Consumer Watch Skeptica l Shopper obtain a regular credit card? you still have online-shopping options. instance. the downside: the low price you see on many auction-only items is rarely the price you’ll pay at the end of the auction if you win. you can often ﬁnd things a lot cheaper at this online marketplace Megan geuss than in a brick-and-mortar store. here are some tips that should help you get onto the winning side of more eBay contests. When you buy a prepaid card. using any of these methods can help you signiﬁcantly reduce the chances of being duped by a malicious seller or site hacker. or money orders. using an extra layer of security could help throw potential fraudsters off your tracks. set the maximum price at only a small amount more than the next-highest bidder. but the next-highest bidder bid $85. because eBay will set the On AuctiOn Sniper. and click Conﬁrm Bid on the next page. cashier’s checks.com) you enter your maximum bid for an item. if you’re sick of that disappointment.com/71874). But with a little vigilance and extra effort. $50. leaving in the dust novice bidders who thought they had spotted a oncein-a-lifetime deal. For example. open two browser windows. in one window.com). Chances are.com August 2011 . then. in the last 2 or 3 hours of an auction. Just remember that these cards are often loaded with sneaky fees. EBAy is A great resource if you’re looking to buy things at a discount—with everyone competing to sell their tchotchkes and castoffs. Bidding manually is always a possibility. if someone else submits a higher bid than your Auction sniper maximum before the auction is over. for instance. then move back to the ﬁrst window. plane tickets on British Airways. both showing the same auction. Visa’s zero-liability policy applies to prepaid cards. say. com/71877) and Veriﬁed by Visa (ﬁnd. albeit pricey ones. on Auction sniper (www. usually you can get a Visa Prepaid card without a credit card or bank account (ﬁnd. the lists of participating vendors are short. as you buy stuff. Of course.” Secure cards: For additional protection online. if so. in the second window. you can stay one step ahead of cybercriminals without losing the convenience of shopping in your pajamas. consider services such as MasterCard secureCode (ﬁnd. “it’s just like sending cash—once it’s gone. it’s well worth submitting your absolute maximum bid with Auction sniper. they’ll still win. you’ll pay only $86 for the item if you win. you should regularly check your accounts to spot fraud more quickly. Both require you to enter a password to complete a transaction.westernunion. Bidding Assistance and Strategies if you’re too busy to keep up with auctions. and it will input that bid 5 seconds before the auction closes.com/71878). a “sniping” service can submit your bid to eBay in the last few seconds of action. click Continue. WorldMags 24 pcworld.auctionsniper. A Western union Prepaid Visa Card (www. to buy online is wise only if you’re familiar with the seller. unfortunately. it’s gone. watch as the auction closes to the last 10 or 20 seconds. For amount you’re willing to pay for an item. Buying a $50 herbal supplement from a dubious siberian pharmacy? say nyet to cash. you load it with the cash amount you want. as well. but don’t click Continue. seasoned eBay bidders tend to wait until the very last second to place their bids. pcworld. you’ll beat your competitors.pcworld. hunker down and think of the maximum price you would bid—say. personal checks.” the FtC’s Consumer Alert site warns.pcworld. Don’t Be a Loser on eBay Following just a few simple tips and tricks can make your auction bidding more successful—and more fun. check the bid history to see if it includes any aggressive bidders who might drive the price up. too. you can’t get it back. the goods’ purchase total is deducted from the balance. enter your max bid and click Place Bid. has a $10 “non-refundable activation fee” and a $5 “load fee. including debit cards. the agency also points out that using cash equivalents. even if you take steps to disguise your ﬁnancial information. but if you regularly buy.
com/giveaway Enter Code PC World to Double Your Prizes ©2011 TRENDnet All rights reserved WorldMags .4GHz Band 5GHz Band 450Mbps Dual Band Wireless N USB Adapter TEW-684UB 450Mbps Dual Band Concurrent Wireless N Gigabit Router TEW-692GR 450Mbps Dual Band Wireless N USB Adapter TEW-684UB Win a Wireless N Gaming Adapter at www.2.trendnet.
but your research shouldn’t stop there: Find out whether the service comes via Wi-Fi or ethernet. Claremont. Louisiana. Novatel Wireless’s MiFi routers are barely larger than a credit card. Customers have said that contacting Cell for Cash is difﬁcult.com August 2011 illustrAtiON: gAry NEill . my son accidentally ran over his MacBook with his car after leaving it on his trunk. Problems with tech customer service? E-mail us at onyourside@pcworld. Several readers have complained that they never got payment for their phones. which the company had veriﬁed to be in working order. Lo and behold. we repeatedly asked the company for answers. because an associate had said that a credit would be issued. the typical reply is an automated e-mail response. the Tech Audit column cited CellForCash.11n standard. and an associate advised me to purchase another computer. but you have to make your own data-plan arrangements. in the past three years. WorldMags 26 pcworld. Before you buy a warranty plan. don’t consider placing a laptop on a car trunk and driving off “normal daily usage. I ﬁled a claim with Best Buy. Cradlepoint makes a Wi-Fi router intended for use with selected usB Wi-Fi modems. programs such as Gazelle and NextWorth have proven more stable. Follow-up: cell for cash In our November 2010 issue. and I added a two-year extended warranty with “Accidental Damage From Handling” coverage. California OYS responds: Best Buy’s accidental-damage plan covers the costs of repairing your product after “an unexpected and unintentional external event (drops and spills) that arises from your normal daily usage of the product as the manufacturer intended. you can probably share it by creating a hotspot with a travel router.com as a service that buys old smartphones. unfortunately. however. But we can no longer recommend the company. currently you can buy one for $100 with a Verizon Wireless data plan. The Better Business Bureau has received 430 complaints about Cell for Cash and its subsidiary. Best Buy offered a $500 credit toward Vora’s next computer purchase. Thus far the only one we’ve gotten is: “Cell for Cash handles thousands of cell phones and other devices per month and we do occasionally make an error. some hotels have lobby computers that you can use for brief tasks—but be cautious in using a public PC. get a check for her iPhone.” Given that reply. or $150 for Virgin Mobile’s pay-as-you-go service. But Best Buy eventually denied the warranty claim on the grounds that this type of incident isn’t covered in the accidental-damage plan. I thought that my extended warranty covered all accidents. We will continue investigating. if you need online access in a pinch.” A Best Buy resolution specialist veriﬁed that the Leah YaMshon MacBook in question suffered vehicle damage. Can you help? —Milan Vora. you can’t use the same MiFi router in both North America and Europe—each continent’s 3g (HsPA) networks operate on various frequencies. —Yardena Arar on Your Side IN 2009. unlocked MiFi models for use with gsM networks cost about $230. you don’t want your accounts hacked because you left login information or cookies behind. RMS Communications Group. several vendors offer compact routers that support 802. but make sure your modem is on the supported list before you buy. so Novatel has different models for Europe and North America. saying the company would issue a credit if the original MacBook couldn’t be ﬁxed. usually you can check online to see whether an establishment offers internet access.com. if you’re stuck with a wired connection.Consumer Watch Get Online Anywhere HigH-sPEEd iNtErNEt ACCEss has become fairly ubiquitous in hotels. Finally. and not just major chains. but noted that the incident does not qualify for coverage under the warranty because the laptop was not being used in the intended manner. try to ﬁnd a machine that reboots and cleans up between guests. conﬁrm what kinds of accidents it covers. and whether it’s included with the room charge or costs extra. we can’t know why some customers haven’t seen payment. Another option is to buy a mobile broadband Wi-Fi router to tap into your smartphone’s data network.” Most people. I bought my teenage son a MacBook from Best Buy. in the meantime. As a compromise. trendnet’s tEW654tr (about $50) is one of the ﬁrst to back the faster 802. After helping Christine Dunn of Lafayette.11g.
since users can’t tell by looking at a shortened Web address whether it’s authentic. “Is this you? LOL!”. they do. Many scams pose as links in posts from people you know. But of course.t. originally referred to deceptive carnival sideshow attractions. senior threat researcher for uk-based gFI software. proceed with caution. most scams are designed to generate reve35 WorldMags ILLustRatION: MICHaEL BYERs august 2011 pcworld. you’ll probably click it. associate professor of sociology at Drexel university in Philadelphia. also watch out for pages that unexpectedly ask you to enter your Facebook login information. the key element in a successful scam is its ability to exploit the victim’s trust. Barnum. a delayed load may mean that you’re being bounced between proxy servers to hide a hacker’s location. they can use it to spam your friends. for instance—are new. Resisting the urge to click can be difﬁcult. But it may be a scam or a link to a malicious site posted by a crook using a hijacked Facebook account. and on their own ability to disguise scams as legitimate online promos. widely attributed to P. or it takes much longer to load than you’d expect. None of the common Facebook frauds—the “Facebook dislike button. Facebook scams—today. so if someone posts a shortened link to your wall or by using a Facebook message or Chat. ultimately. Once scammers manage to gain access to your account details. they prey on a combination of users’ curiosity and trust. some messages are so persuasive that victims may provide personal information such as credit card or phone numbers.” that quotation. or if you suspect foul play of any kind.com . If that happens. says Dr.” the “stalker tracker” (which purports to tell you who’s visiting your proﬁle). You’ve heard about the scams False Friends One ploy that Facebook scammers use is to encourage people to click a compelling uRL. “these schemes are coming from people in our network. and scammers know it. that’s a very tough thing to police against.” If a friend posts a link to what appears to be a video on your wall with the comment. Here are practical ways to ensure that you won’t become the next victim.Security Alert Spot and Avoid Facebook Scams By lOGAN KUGlER “tHERE’s a suCkER born every minute. Even shortened uRLs may pose risks. and our guard is already down. change your password immediately. the deceived person inadvertently spams friends with links to the same uRL.” he says. and “watch this video” tricks. Fortunately. which the scammer can then exploit to run up unauthorized charges. says Chris Boyd. but it’s just as relevant to online scams—in particular. “You’d think that people wouldn’t continue to fall for them. instead of being sent directly to the destination. Robert D’Ovidio. you have some clues to watch for. But instead of seeing the promised site. and you may have seen some of the lures. Here are two red ﬂags to watch for when you click a link: It doesn’t take you to the page promised.
pcworld. Look for anything that seems odd or unprofessional. log in to Facebook and click Account in the top right. skype says that this bug isn’t being exploited. but the company urges users to update to the latest version of skype for mac (5. meanwhile. Google plans to keep the details about a number of these patches private until the majority of Chrome users have updated to the latest version of the browser.2. then select under ‘apps and Websites’ at the bottom left.com/71916 for more information. The security ﬁrm vupen recently discovered a bug that could allow attackers to bypass Google Chrome’s sandbox and enable them to execute dangerous code on your system. then delete any posts that the app has made in your name. skype has ﬁxed an extremely dangerous vulnerability in skype 5 for mac that a knowledgeable attacker could easily exploit to gain complete James mulroy control over your system. For more information on these updates.0. Parker. a healthy skepticism is critical. run software Update on your mac to ensure that you’re up-to-date. In addition. This vulnerability could allow an attacker to take remote control of a shell—an interface feature for an application (in this case. GooGle made several updates to its Chrome browser to address various recently uncovered bugs. Updates for Mac Users a recently discovered vulnerability in skype 5 for mac could cause skype to crash if an attacker sends a specially crafted message. social networks depends in part on the security-mindedness of the other people who belong to your network. too. version 10.Security Alert BUG S & FI X E S nue for the scammers through pay-perclick schemes or through access to information that can lead to unauthorized charges on credit cards or phone bills. and two more are rated critical. and see ﬁnd. Google says that. mac users should also install security Update 2011-003 for mac os X snow leopard. What to Do If You Fall Victim If you ﬁnd that you’ve been scammed.pcworld. Here are some speciﬁc tips: name and follow it to the app’s home page. He recommends tying down all privacy settings and restricting what apps can do with your information or your Facebook page. it’s fundamentally an adobe bug. Run a google search on both the app name and the author. and click next to ‘Info accessible through your friends’.” Google Chrome Fixes recent patches for Google Chrome correct an assortment of bugs.com august 2011 ILLustRatION: gaRY NEILL .com/71902. security experts say it’s your best protection: “Be careful what you click on. LLP. Chrome automatically updates whenever it detects that a new version of the browser is available. alert your friends to what happened. But if your browser has not applied the updates for some reason. and apple has responded to persistent mutations of macdefender scareware by altering the way the malicious-ﬁle quarantine system in mac os X functions. not a Google bug. WorldMags 36 pcworld. This patch modiﬁes the malicious-ﬁle quarantine system in mac os X to check for malware deﬁnition updates daily to identify new mac malware such as the recent macdefender fake antivirus. perhaps the graphical user interface of skype). simple search can yield results indicating what’s legit and what may not be. visit ﬁnd. and change your Facebook account password. of the 13 ﬁxes. unless you’re certain of the recipient’s legitimacy and the distribution channel’s security. click the wrench icon in the toolbar and select Update Google Chrome from the resulting menu.1. J. says the key to not getting scammed is to be vigilant. Cutter & Ratinoff.R. to modify these settings. Google Issues Chrome Browser Fix Plus: an update to skype for Mac 5 and a change in Os X malware monitoring.922 or later) to ward off any possible attacks. only three are rated high. ﬁrst delete the offending app (go to [under ‘apps and Websites’] [under ‘apps you use’]. since the bug requires Flash to run. (including your Facebook login name and password) to anybody. Google’s latest update dealt with the problem by installing an updated version of adobe’s Flash Player. an attorney with kershaw. skype released two separate updates—one for mac and one for Windows—after a bug prevented users from logging on. and click the X next to the app you want to delete).
com august 2011 ILLustRatION: gaRY NEILL . consider supporting groups that promote civil liberties and privacy rights. Few virtual attacks are capable of causing this kind of harm. The amendment would require the government to treat that data as if it were private property.Security Alert Cyberattacks May Constitute Acts of War tHE PENtagON Is set to establish as ofﬁcial u. which should be public by the time you read this. the government must obtain a warrant for records that are less than 180 days old. leahy’s amendment would require a search warrant (or a court order under the Foreign Intelligence surveillance act) to track individuals via real-time GPs data transmitted by their devices to a service provider or device manufacturer. where that person has been online. experts and ofﬁcials have been debating how best to respond to cyberterrorism for years.pcworld. section 4 permits the government to delay notifying you that they’ve accessed your electronic communication records for up to 90 days if they can secure a court order.” the company has stressed that no sensitive information was exposed during the attack. and what that person may have seen. WorldMags 38 pcworld. though. “Updating this law to reﬂect the realities of our time is essential to ensuring that our federal privacy laws keep pace with new technologies and the new threats to our security. and even data stored by a remote computing. Today. government agents need only a court order to access such data.” and will respond to them with real-world force. Regardless of ofﬁcial strategy. Currently. the strategy. entities like the electronic Frontier Foundation have been ﬁghting to modernize the eCPa.” you’ll ﬁnd the full text of the proposed amendment at ﬁnd. that’s not to say military-employed hackers won’t assert the right to respond to an attack by taking down an enemy’s computer system. when a military response is warranted and when one is not.s. Cyberterrorism is certainly a big issue for ofﬁcials. however.com/71881. Facebook posts. “Today. terrorism experts often warn that the next terrorist attacks could be virtual—though. the announcement comes just a few days after Lockheed Martin. federal agents would need a search warrant to access any archived electronic communications stored on a remote server. If you care about data privacy. policy that it will consider cyberattacks to be “acts of war. or electronic communications service provider. injury. The bill is far from perfect.s. but a prosecutor can subpoena data older than that and access it without the subject’s knowledge if government agents demonstrate reasonable grounds for concluding that the records could prove useful in an investigation. Have yoU ever heard of the electronic Communications Privacy act of 1986? I hadn’t either—until senator Patrick leahy (d-vermont) moved to amend it this year to make it more difﬁcult for government aleX WaWro agents to access data on remote servers that contain information about who an individual has been talking to. military ofﬁcials disagree about how the nation should handle cyberattacks—speciﬁcally. text messages. will provide guidance to our country’s armed forces and put potential enemies on notice. and section 5 allows government agents to access remote repositories of historical GPs data with just a court order. defense contractor. ensuring that the Fourth amendment (which protects U. Under the proposed law. all actual cyberattacks have been minor in scope. a major u. Securing Geolocation Data leahy’s amendment would also create privacy protections for geolocation data recorded by mobile devices and stored remotely. or death.s. so far. as increasing portions of our country’s infrastructure are online.com/71882).” said leahy in proposing to amend the existing statute. [the eCPa] is signiﬁcantly outdated and outpaced by rapid changes in technology. citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures) covers electronic data—including e-mail. and they need public backing to succeed. the reports (ﬁnd. geolocation. was the subject of a “signiﬁcant and tenacious [cyber]attack. PRIVACY WATCH Electronic Data as Private Property Lawmakers work to strengthen privacy rights by reining in warrantless search powers granted by a 25-year-old law. the says that ofﬁcials seem to favor responding aggressively to cyberattacks that cause physical damage.pcworld. according to the . so few cyberattacks would justify bruteforce retaliation under such a standard.
LIFEBOOK and “shaping tomorrow with you” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Fujitsu Limited in the United States and other countries. Life without Walls™. Fujitsu recommends Windows 7. We’ve made sure every little part is durable to the max. Intel. LIFEBOOK® notebook and Tablet PCs. Fujitsu. With the 2nd gen Intel® Core™ i7 processor. Microsoft.com Copyright ©2011 Fujitsu America. Intel Core and Core Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.Windows®. WorldMags shaping tomorrow with you . the Intel logo.” LIFEBOOK as robust as a notebook should be. Windows. Give performance. are tested over and over again to ensure that they will keep up with the challenges of daily use. IT intelligence — and the bottom line – a boost. powered by the 2nd gen Intel® Core™ i7 processor.S. Inc. Intel Inside. www. Here’s the end of: “ Sorry. and the Windows logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. you have to wear gloves to use this notebook.shopfujitsu. the Fujitsu logo. and other countries.
HTC’s Flyer.COM AUGUST 2011 . Most use Google’s Android 3. did PHOTOGRAPHS: ROBERT CARDIN not ship in time for us to include them in this roundup.7 to 10. Acer Iconia Tab A500. Apple’s iPad 2.1. and T-Mobile’s G-Slate. most of them running Android.Reviews & Rankings High-Noon Tablet Showdown We looked at the latest challengers to Apple’s iPad 2. For this article. Samsung’s 7-inch Galaxy Tab Wi-Fi and Galaxy Tab 10.2. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10. Dell’s Streak 7.1. For consuming TABLETS IN THE 10-inch class have screen sizes of 9.3. impressively svelte Apple iPad 2 competes with an array of challengers. and found some worthy contenders. WorldMags 42 PCWORLD. Asus’s Eee Pad Transformer TF101. Motorola Xoom. this time—as the hugely popular.1 inches.1 tablets from Lenovo and Toshiba. and HP’s WebOS-based TouchPad. I test-drove ten tablets: Acer’s Iconia Tab A500. and USB ports for adding peripherals and USB mass storage—are very strong. For creating content. Android Honeycomb models— especially those equipped with memory card slots for expanding storage. From left: Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101. but the Streak 7 and the 7-inch Galaxy Tab rely on Android 2.x Honeycomb operating system. Which tablet came out on top? THIS YEAR SHAPES up as the year of the tablet—for real. and the Flyer uses Android 2. Motorola’s Xoom. Still more slates are on the way: Android 3. Apple iPad 2. RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook. Apple and RIM each have their own proprietary mobile OSs.
7inch screen produces balanced. The iPad 2’s bright 9.COM 43 . For now.1 parlays its design and its Android 3. At 0. A PAIR OF Android tablets with 7-inch screens—the Samsung Galaxy Tab Wi-Fi (left) and the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook (right)— ﬂank yet another Android model. but its 1024-by-768-pixel display could be even sharper.1 and the iPad 2 received matching four-star ratings. MORE ONLINE For complete reviews of the tablets tested for this story. But all four stumbled on display quality—and primarily for that reason. go online to ﬁnd.34 inch deep. it’s one of the thinnest tablets available. the G-Slate captures 3D video. thanks to its display’s more-natural colors and its vast selection of reasonably easy-to-ﬁnd tablet-speciﬁc apps.1 Wi-Fi is the ﬁrst Android tablet to mount an effective challenge to Apple’s iPad 2 in the area where Apple does best: design. accurate colors. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1). None of the tablets I auditioned hit every mark.com/71929. Tapered edges make its proﬁle appear even more svelte.9-inch T-Mobile G-Slate. the Iconia misses our Top 5 list altogether.33 pounds. and it’s easy to hold. pcworld. the 8. mobile broadband costs $130 extra. the Wi-Fi version is the secondlightest 10-inch tablet (to the Galaxy Tab 10. the iPad 2 retains a slim lead. The Tab 10. and its vast array of apps tailored for tablet use helps it remain at the top of our rankings. Overall. bezel colors (black or white).000 tabletoptimized apps to date. or 64GB). Weighing 1. the iPad 2 is an evolutionary upgrade. Apple iPad 2 With a slimmer proﬁle and less heft than the ﬁrst iPad. and Wi-Fi-only and 3G (AT&T or Verizon) versions. and jump by $100 for each increase in capacity.1 operating system into a tablet that vaults to the head of the Android pack. Apple’s iOS platform remains king. including apps. The iPad 2 comes in 36 variants with different capacities (16GB. the Galaxy Tab 10. Several other units offer unique features: The Eee Pad Transformer has a keyboard dock that transforms the tablet into a netbook. Prices start at $499. the Xoom supports a software upgrade to 4G LTE. WorldMags AUGUST 2011 PCWORLD. and the Iconia has a full-size USB A port. The iPad 2’s simple interface is superb. with 90.INSIDE 51 SONY ERICSSON Xperia Play 54 PLEXTOR PX-LB950UE 57 SONY VAIO VPC L218FX content. 32GB.
9-inch display 1280 by 768 resolution 1.pcworld. SD Card.1 Gains keyboard.com/71911 VERY GOOD 10. Sad to say.0 AT&T and Verizon 3G versions available Optional HDMI dongle and camera connector kit for SD Card and USB access Apple iPad 2 1 $499 (16GB Wi-Fi) $599 (32GB Wi-Fi) ﬁnd. Perenson Rating Performance 9. So no matter how you hold the G-Slate. the speakers’ volume is woefully inadequate.9-inch-diagonal G-Slate splits the difference between netbook-size slates and the tablet models that feel like oversize phones. though. Two 5-megapixel cameras at the back are spaced for recording 720p high-def video in 3D. The power button is at back (alongside the 5-megapixel camera). eye-catching iPad 2 remains ahead of the pack thanks to its extremely large selection of easily ﬁndable. It’s the ﬁrst tablet to compete toe-to-toe with the iPad 2. but poor speakers and a high no-contract price limit its reach. T-Mobile G-Slate T-Mobile’s 8.com/71910 VERY GOOD 10.25 pounds 9.5 inches Android 3.toward blue. and one SD Card slot via $150 Mobile Docking Station u This aggressively priced tablet from Asus gains productivity points with its optional keyboard dock.3. the 3D recording worked well if I recorded my subjects head-on.7-inch display 1024 by 768 resolution 1.1 4G Verizon LTE version ships this summer Optional HDMI.31 by 0. too heavy for comfortable one-handed use. T-Mobile tosses in a pair of anaglyph glasses for viewing. The G-Slate’s dimensions are modest (9. You’ll have to install Flash on your own. next to the small power button.com/71912 VERY GOOD 8.9 by 0.5 inches).pcworld.9 by 0. but it felt thicker and heavier (at 1. upgradable to LTE Future upgrade to support built-in MicroSD card slot Micro-USB port. If you’re not recording in 3D. In my hands-on informal testing. The Xoom is optimized for landscape use. but its heft holds it back.7 by 6.pcworld. the power button is on the underside of the tablet.5 by 7.pcworld. it’s the heaviest model in our Top 5. the G-Slate lacks a memory card slot for extra storage. but it’s worth the investment only if you’re willing to lock into a contract. $750 sans contract) has appealing features.7 by 0. tablet-optimized apps. WorldMags AUGUST 2011 PCWORLD.9 by 0. and USB port dongles u The Galaxy Tab 10.6 by 5.1 T-Mobile 4G HSPA+ Dual rear-facing cameras for 3D video capture Micro-USB port.1’s slim. two USB ports.37 pounds 9. but the display’s colors are off.34 inches Features and speciﬁcations Apple iOS 4. Unfortunately.1-inch display 1280 by 800 resolution 1.37 pounds) than I would have liked.pcworld.1-inch display 1280 by 800 resolution 1.57 by 0. Oddly. The G-Slate’s big differentiator T O P 5 TA B L E T S MODEL besides its size is that it has twin cameras for 3D video capture.1-inch display 1280 by 800 resolution 1. The Xoom runs on the same Nvidia Tegra 2 platform as the other Android tablets here.com/71909 VERY GOOD 10.6 pounds.51 inches Android 3. The volume rocker THE HTC FLYER’S 7-inch display supports both ﬁnger and stylus input. The contoured sides make holding the tablet easy. Micro HDMI port u The in-between size and 3D video capture capability add to the G-Slate’s appeal.8 by 6.5 inches Android 3. —Melissa J. sits at the right side (or top edge) of the tablet. yet it provides a pleasing amount of screen real estate. which you can play back on the display. lightweight plastic design feels well balanced in the hand.33 pounds 9. and Adobe Flash is not preinstalled (though a link is available). Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 3 $399 (16GB) $499 (32GB) ﬁnd. Motorola Xoom 4 $599 (32GB) NEW ﬁnd. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Verizon 3G version available. along the bottom are MicroUSB and Mini HDMI ports.com/71908 VERY GOOD u Apple’s svelte. upgradable to iOS 5. At 1. T-Mobile G-Slate 5 $530 (with two-year contract) NEW ﬁnd.34 inches Android 3. CHART NOTE: Ratings as of 6/10/11.6 by 5. The G-Slate ($530 after rebate and with a two-year T-Mobile contract. Two speakers run along the bottom edge (when the tablet is vertical).7 by 6.1 2 $499 (16GB) NEW $599 (32GB) NEW ﬁnd.5 pounds 10. you’ll get stereo audio. and one is at the opposite edge.6 pounds 9. the camcorder captures in 1080p. next to the rear-facing camera.COM 45 . Micro HDMI port u The ﬁrst Honeycomb model to market feels solid. touchpad.
On the outside are a port for the included power cable (DC input to USB 2. Oddly. select all ﬁles. or download a ﬁle locally. Photos. For the present. you can choose whether to select individual ﬁles. You have to preformat videos. when I played the same video via the browser. a button to turn the Wi-Fi on and off. it displays one pane at a time. It relies on iOS for ﬁle handling.pcworld. Music. play all ﬁles (for The GoFlex Satellite works ﬁne in Windows Explorer.) Seagate also includes handy Media Sync software. and the appropriate ﬁles show in the main pane. My iPhone 4 videos played in the app. audio was ﬁne. The device has integrated 802. (You can’t use it wirelessly while it’s linked to a PC via USB. (On the iPhone. but its iOS app feels rushed. though. but only in the Web browser.com/71883 WorldMags 46 PCWORLD. I tested the drive in conjunction with Seagate’s GoFlex Media app on the Apple iPad 2. The app does nothing to ﬁles. the GoFlex Satellite earned a score of Good. Perenson GOOD GoFlex Satellite | Seagate Drive enhances tablet storage. you must ﬁrst press a button to overlay little checkboxes atop your images or documents. or up to 25 hours of standby use. nor can you zoom in to a picture or do anything with it. its companion app struggles. Unfortunately. It performed comparably to the Seagate GoFlex Pro. but you have no control over its settings or transitions. you can view a ﬁle only if iOS supports that type. clips played fairly smoothly. —Melissa J. from there. albeit with minor pixelation and macroblocking in some scenes.0 hard drive. for PC and Mac. Once you open a photo. and even on iOS or Windows—but the experience is rougher there. initial button press? The photo component is clearly restricted. music.0). You can initiate a slideshow. The 500GB drive comes with a battery rated for up to 5 hours of continuous streaming (assuming a single stream). But although the hardware is adequate. protected video could play. you can’t move among other images with next and back swipes. at this time the app is very limited. the app starts off well with a pleasing twopane interface that shows shortcuts at the left and a viewer/access pane at the right.11b/g/n wireless. The idea underlying the Seagate GoFlex Satellite is clever. Documents. to help you move content over to the drive. The app handles video well—with some peculiarities. SEAGATE’S GOFLEX Satellite is slightly thicker and larger than a typical portable hard drive. but the implementation leaves much to be desired.Reviews & Rankings GoFlex Satellite Drive: A Wireless Tablet Companion THE SEAGATE GOFLEX Satellite hard drive gives your tablet lots of storage capacity— without needing any pesky wires.) On the left are Videos. but other drives were incrementally faster on our tests. You can also use the drive through a Web browser—on Android tablets and phones. this Poor iOS App Design Primarily. eliminating that extra. List: $200 ﬁnd. but not onerously so. where it appears as just another USB 3. which in turn diminishes the usefulness of the drive itself. and Folder View sections. gadget is best left to people who need to transport lots of video to a tablet—and who aren’t concerned about contending with glitches and poor app design. or select videos bought from iTunes. Why not just give the user direct access.COM AUGUST 2011 . but I couldn’t get audio over the speaker. In PCWorld Labs performance tests. and it has no built-in Another example of poor app behavior: When you’re in the individual folders. photos. viewers. and status lights for the wireless function and the battery’s charge. Streaming worked surprisingly well for highdef (720p) and standard-def video. my iTunes-purchased. tap one. On the iPad. and videos).
0 SATA3 Windows 7 ® Sabertooth X58 12GB DDR3-1333 800W Coolermaster® Enforcer Gaming Case + Certiﬁed Power Supply iBUYPOWER Keyboard.5GB 24X DVD+/-RW Drive NVIDIA® GeForceTM Video Card . .iBUYPOWER Recommends Windows® 7 Home Premium Gamer Paladin D875 • Intel® Core™ i7 Processor -990X Extreme Edition -980X Extreme Edition -960 -970 $2199 $2049 $1734 $1449 Intel® CoreTM i7-960 Processor $ 1449 Gamer Paladin D855 • Intel® Core™ i7 Processor -990X Extreme Edition $1759 -980X Extreme Edition $1629 -960 -970 $1299 $999 Intel® CoreTM i7-960 Processor $ 999 Genuine Home Premium 64-Bit Edition Asus® USB3 + SATA3 Motherboard Windows 7 ® Genuine Home Premium 64-Bit Edition Asus® USB3 + SATA3 Motherboard TRUE USB 3.DirectX 11 Support + GTX 560 Ti 1GB 24X DVD+/-RW Drive Nvidia® GeForceTM 6GB DDR3-1333 700W NZXT® Guardian 921RB Gaming Case + Certiﬁed Power Supply iBUYPOWER Keyboard.DirectX 11 Support + Premium Premium 1TB SATA-3 7200RPM HDD 120mm Radiator Liquid CPU Cooling System Hi-Deﬁnition ® Surround 3D Premium Sound 1TB SATA-3 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 Intel.0 SATA3 Video Card . Mouse & Speakers Corsair Memory TRUE USB 3. Mouse & Speakers Corsair Memory Sabertooth X58 GTX 580 1. Intel Core and Core Inside are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. the Intel logo. All content and prices are subject to change without notice or obligation.
the SX230 HS adds a new sensor.pcworld.pcworld.com/71891 FAIR Image quality: Fair Video quality: Good Battery life: Poor Optical zoom: 10X Video resolution: 1080p u Despite some fun and useful features. Nikon Coolpix S9100 2 $300 NEW ﬁnd. Casio Exilim EX-FH100 6 $233 ﬁnd.COM AUGUST 2011 .pcworld.pcworld. Canon PowerShot SD4500 IS 10 $245 ﬁnd. poor battery life. Casio Exilim EX-H20G 5 $265 NEW ﬁnd. but its confusing menu system and poor video quality knock it down a peg.pcworld.com/70160 VERY GOOD Image quality: Good Video quality: Good Battery life: Good Optical zoom: 10X Video resolution: 1080i Manual controls GPS u Don’t call the feature-packed DSC-HX5V a gimmick camera—it also offers good image quality and terriﬁc shooting modes. practically anyone will ﬁnd this camera a pleasure to use. and low-light performance hurt its standing. WorldMags 48 PCWORLD. and detailed specs for each camera on this chart. Kodak EasyShare M580 9 $156 ﬁnd.pcworld.pcworld. CHART NOTE: Ratings are as of 5/31/11. the SD4500 IS has disappointing image quality.com/71885 VERY GOOD u Building on an already-excellent camera. It’s a top performer in daylight. and GPS. full test results.pcworld.com/71888 GOOD Image quality: Good Video quality: Poor Battery life: Good Optical zoom: 15X Video resolution: 720p Manual controls u The F300EXR offers a boatload of features.com/71886 VERY GOOD Image quality: Very Good Video quality: Good Battery life: Good Optical zoom: 18X Video resolution: 1080p u Thanks to the S9100’s great image quality and creative controls. Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10 8 $380 NEW ﬁnd. but it suffers from indifferent image quality and mediocre battery life.pcworld. at the expense of manual settings and exciting extras.pcworld. high-quality stills. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V 3 $225 ﬁnd. sharpness.com/71887 VERY GOOD Image quality: Very Good Video quality: Good Battery life: Superior Optical zoom: 10X Video resolution: 720p GPS u The EX-H20G has great GPS functions and mapping. noisy zooming and laggy autofocus are drawbacks.Reviews & Rankings Top 10 Pocket Megazoom Cameras MODEL Rating Performance Image quality: Very Good Video quality: Good Battery life: Fair Features and speciﬁcations Optical zoom: 14X Video resolution: 1080p Manual controls GPS Canon PowerShot SX230 HS 1 $350 NEW ﬁnd.com/70162 VERY GOOD Image quality: Very Good Video quality: Fair Battery life: Not available Optical zoom: 15X Video resolution: 720p Manual controls GPS u The GPS-enabled HZ35W produces sharp. but subpar video quality.com/70163 VERY GOOD Image quality: Good Video quality: Good Battery life: Superior Optical zoom: 10X Video resolution: 720p Manual controls u Although this pocket megazoom has superb battery life and good image quality. but it lacks manual controls and a few key features. and a lack of manual controls. Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR 7 $243 ﬁnd.pcworld. M O R E O N L I N E Visit ﬁnd.com/71890 FAIR Image quality: Very Good Video quality: Very Good Battery life: Fair Optical zoom: 8X Video resolution: 720p u The M580 serves up great exposure quality and easy-to-use controls.com/71889 GOOD Image quality: Fair Video quality: Good Battery life: Good Optical zoom: 16X Video resolution: 1080p Manual controls GPS u The GPS-enabled Lumix DMC-ZS10 is a nice camera for travelers.com/71892 to see in-depth reviews. 1080p video capture. Samsung HZ35W 4 $327 ﬁnd. high-speed shooting.
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especially on fast action. with ample volume.pcworld. Its 4. or if you don’t want to pay a premium for 4G. you’ll be happy with the Droid X2. bright colors. The 5. and my contacts were pleased with how my voice sounded. ﬁnd. Flash 10 videos played superbly.Reviews & Rankings Motorola Droid X2 Offers Dual-Core Power THE MOTOROLA DROID X2 ($200 with a two-year Verizon contract) has a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor and a beautiful qHD display.3 (Gingerbread). My callers sounded clear and natural. but details weren’t sharp. even at an angle. —Ginny Mies VERY GOOD Droid X2 | Motorola The display doesn’t disappoint. it misses out on Verizon’s 4G LTE network. Since it’s a 3G phone. Verizon says the phone will be upgraded to Android 2. too.com/71897 WorldMags 50 PCWORLD. 5. Call quality over Verizon’s 3G network in San Francisco was very good. and YouTube videos looked great played in HQ (High Quality) mode. Games ran smoothly. The X2 runs Android 2. Video capture was dismal.COM AUGUST 2011 . however.2 with the Motoblur interface. In outdoor shots. but you can’t get 4G data speeds. The 8-megapixel camera took good photos. Web pages loaded quickly for me over 3G. If you lack 4G in your area.3-inch Quarter High Deﬁnition display (960 by 540 pixels in a 16:9 aspect ratio) offers crisp details. but the carrier hasn’t speciﬁed when. colors were bright and natural. List: $200 (with 2-year contract) THE DROID X2’s qHD screen is vivid and crisp. and even faster on Wi-Fi.4-inch.6-by0. and great viewing angles.5-ounce phone feels solid.0-by-2.
Xperia Play: A Step Forward in Phone Gaming SONY ERICSSON’S Xperia Play Android smartphone ($200 with a two-year Verizon contract) features a slide-out gamepad. voices and the 4-inch capacitive should look elsewhere.com/71900 PLATINUM BEFORE AFTER *Visit VersaCheck.com/pc2 for details or call 303-532-4738 WorldMags AUGUST 2011 PCWORLD. appeal to mobile gamTHE XPERIA PLAY has decent game controls. out QWERTY keyPhotos taken with the boards. but ter but were a bit quiet. The buttons dark. and I didn’t touchscreen shows colors notice any static or hissing. but it may not appeal to everyone else. but no more so than playing games depletes phones with slidethe battery much faster. sounded clear. List: $200 (with 2-year contract) ﬁnd. they felt stiff and a The Xperia Play will little too sunken in.pcworld. At 4. A 3G model. it’s the ﬁrst Verizon phone to ship with Gingerbread (Android 2. —Armando Rodriguez VERY GOOD Xperia Play | Sony Ericsson A great phone for gamers.3). The game5-megapixel rear campad worked fairly era weren’t especially well with the games sharp. it’s bulky. phone use on a charge. and colors were I tried. Videos looked betwere responsive. Shopand text nicely. and it can run PlayStation games from the Android Market.COM 51 . Call quality things running smoothly.2 almost a whole day of ounces. pers who aren’t into gaming was reasonably good. The 1GHz Snapers who are sick of poor dragon processor keeps touchscreen controls.4 by The Play lasted for 0.6 inches and 6.7 by 2.
com/71589 SUPERIOR WorldBench 6 score: 118 WorldBench 6 rating: Very Good Overall design: Superior Tested battery life: 6:20 2.6-inch widescreen 3. and touchpad will wow you. and detailed specs for each laptop on this chart.com/71759 SUPERIOR u Fast and light.pcworld.53GHz Intel Core i5-460M 13.pcworld.pcworld.53GHz Intel Corei3-380M 13. Asus U31JG 6 $800 NEW ﬁnd.com/71596 GOOD WorldBench 6 score: 55 WorldBench 6 rating: Fair Overall design: Superior Tested battery life: 6:41 1. Listed weights do not include the power adapter.0 pounds 128GB solid-state drive u In the R700-S1330.com/70405 GOOD WorldBench 6 score: 76 WorldBench 6 rating: Good Overall design: Very Good Tested battery life: 6:30 1.pcworld.9 pounds 128GB solid-state drive u If you can afford it.com/71593 VERY GOOD WorldBench 6 score: 75 WorldBench 6 rating: Good Overall design: Superior Tested battery life: 4:13 1.5GHz Intel Core i5-2520M 13.pcworld.pcworld. but mobile movie and music buffs should look elsewhere.3-inch widescreen 3.1-inch widescreen 3.pcworld. but its style.1 pounds 256GB solid-state drive u Ultraportable laptops don’t get much better—or more expensive—than this slightly larger-than-average model. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 4 $1300 NEW ﬁnd. with great input ergonomics and battery life.com/71876 VERY GOOD WorldBench 6 score: 109 WorldBench 6 rating: Good Overall design: Very Good Tested battery life: 7:30 2. Sony VAIO Z-Series (VPCZ137GX) 2 $2300 ﬁnd. CHART NOTES: Ratings are as of 5/31/11.3-inch widescreen 3.pcworld. full test results.5-inch widescreen 3.8 pounds 500GB hard drive u If you’re more interested in power and features than in polish.Reviews & Rankings Top 10 Ultraportable Laptops MODEL Rating Performance WorldBench 6 score: 122 WorldBench 6 rating: Very Good Overall design: Superior Tested battery life: 7:15 Features and speciﬁcations 2.0 pounds 500GB hard drive u Acer’s affordable Aspire TimelineX ultraportable is long on workaday performance but iffy on input ergonomics.2 pounds 500GB hard drive u The U31JG is ideal for getting work done on the road.6GHz AMD Fusion E-350 11. WorldMags 52 PCWORLD. M O R E O N L I N E Visit ﬁnd. superthin laptop will make you the envy of friends encumbered with bulky PCs. Samsung’s high-style. this ultraportable laptop could be a good choice.3-inch widescreen 3.COM AUGUST 2011 .com/71871 SUPERIOR WorldBench 6 score: 124 WorldBench 6 rating: Very Good Overall design: Superior Tested battery life: 3:41 2.5-inch widescreen 3.3-inch widescreen 2.pcworld. Lenovo IdeaPad U260 8 $1199 ﬁnd.0 pounds 320GB hard drive u The U260 ultraportable provides only moderate performance. and it excels.3-inch widescreen 4.9 pounds 320GB hard drive u If the battery lasted only a couple of hours longer. think of it as a premium netbook. Asus U36JC B1 7 $1000 NEW ﬁnd.6GHz Intel Core i5-480M 13.3 pounds 320GB hard drive Lenovo ThinkPad X220 1 $1299 NEW ﬁnd. HP Pavilion dm1z 10 $450 ﬁnd.67GHz Intel Core i7-620M 13. the Pavilion dm1z is inexpensive but mediocre.com/69510 to see in-depth reviews.com/71760 VERY GOOD WorldBench 6 score: 103 WorldBench 6 rating: Good Overall design: Superior Tested battery life: 5:30 1.4 pounds 320GB hard drive u As an ultraportable laptop.33GHz Intel Core i5-470UM 12.com/71875 VERY GOOD WorldBench 6 score: 111 WorldBench 6 rating: Very Good Overall design: Fair Tested battery life: 6:42 2. Acer Aspire TimelineX 1830T-3721 9 $700 ﬁnd. Samsung Series 9 5 $1649 NEW ﬁnd.4GHz Intel Core i5-2537M 13.com/70871 SUPERIOR WorldBench 6 score: 128 WorldBench 6 rating: Superior Overall design: Superior Tested battery life: 5:58 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-2520M 12.pcworld. Tested battery life is expressed in hours:minutes.pcworld. this powerhouse ultraportable is best-of-breed. the X1 would be a business traveler’s must-have laptop. Toshiba has assembled a great lightweight machine marred only by a few annoying ﬂaws.2GHz Intel Core i5-430UM 11. Toshiba Portege R700-S1330 3 $1599 ﬁnd. keyboard.6-inch widescreen 3.
but even Angry Birds from the Chrome Web Store is a choppy mess in HD mode (which isn’t actually high def). but oddly enough. and resuming from sleep takes a second or two. it doesn’t tell you about <Ctrl>-M (to open the ﬁle browser). or some other intuitive visual feature in Windows. The nonbacklit keyboard’s large keys are well spaced and easy to type on. the Series 5 is not dramatically less expensive than a Windows laptop. Google has tossed in a rudimentary ﬁle browser and media player—but both are so badly designed and feature-poor that they are practically unusable. ﬂexible. clickable touchpad tracks nicely. no swiping. You’ll ﬁnd no ethernet port. the Series 5 suffers from the sluggishness we’ve come to expect of Atom-based netbooks.COM 53 .Samsung Series 5 Chromebook: Chrome OS Underwhelms SAMSUNG’S SERIES 5 is the ﬁrst of the so-called Chromebooks. though 3. Frankly. maximize the window. I can’t tell you how many times I was frustrated by my inability to drag something from one window to another. no Bluetooth. full-featured native desktop programs. or Linux. The matte-ﬁnish display gets fairly bright.1-inch netbook carries an Intel Atom N570 dual-core CPU. Just launch the Chrome browser. Modest Hardware At $499 (Wi-Fi and 3G) or $429 (Wi-Fi only).3 pounds may not sound like a lot. Regrettably. Web apps may acquire the power and sophistication necessary to replace most of what you do on a computer. a 16GB solid-state drive. and everything has a slightly bluish tinge. Want to print something? Google Cloud Print is your only option. The Series 5 boots fast: It goes from cold off to usable in 12 seconds. but the color gamut and contrast are unimpressive. you can hold <Alt> and press <Backspace> to delete PRESSING <CTRL>-<ALT>-? brings up an on-screen diagram that explains all of the keyboard shortcuts available on the Chromebook. and 2GB of RAM. Fonts look somewhat soft. The unit feels heavy. Sometime in the not-toodistant future. Even Android 3. too. though it’s hard to locate a comparable benchmark when all the system does is run a Web browser. you can ﬁnd Windows laptops in the $430-to-$500 range that offer such superior functionality that I can’t imagine recommending a Chromebook instead. The big. and no digital video output. List: $499 (Wi-Fi and 3G) ﬁnd. The battery seemed to last at least 8 hours in my testing. Although you get neither function keys nor a <Delete> key. we may not have made such a big deal about Google’s creating its own operating system. You can press <Ctrl><Alt>-? to view a neat diagram identifying keyboard shortcuts. The high-deﬁnition Webcam works well. OS X. Lighter Web applications such as Evernote run ﬁne. The only supported touchpad gesture is two-ﬁnger scrolling— no pinch-tozoom. and useful.com/71927 WorldMags AUGUST 2011 PCWORLD. Most of the shortcuts exist to give you access to the kinds of things for which you would click an icon.0 tablets feel more powerful. but I kept wishing for my faster. when Google announced Chrome OS. I’m not sure we knew what to expect two years ago. I also tried using Web apps to edit pictures and spreadsheets. so you need either an HP ePrint–capable printer or a printer hooked to a Windows or Mac computer running the Chrome browser. —Jason Cross FAIR Series 5 Chromebook Samsung Chrome OS is so limited that this netbook is hard to recommend. a laptop this small and thin looks as if it should weigh less. But if someone had told us back then that the ﬁrst Chromebook would be a large and simple netbook that does little more than run the Chrome browser. Living on the Web I don’t need to detail what it’s like to use Chrome OS. Google has dumped <Caps Lock> in favor of a <Search> key.pcworld. Until then. a taskbar. and try to live your entire computing life right there. This sleek 12. characters in front of the cursor. but of course you’re limited to using it in Web apps (no Skype).
It isn’t cheap. ethernet. and data discs. matching an internal drive. and wireless connectivity. simple photo at a middling 4. and one that will actually play a Bluray movie with ease. Jacobi VERY GOOD PX-LB950UE | Plextor This external Blu-ray drive is pricey but does a ﬁrst-rate job. 19 seconds. While the toner and drum components are separable. PowerDirector 7 helps you create and edit your own movies.COM AUGUST 2011 . A standard-size replacement costs $38 and lasts for 1200 pages (a steep 3.0 is doable (just barely). List: $200 ﬁnd. the HL-2280DW printed monochrome text pages at a subpar rate of 15. but its toner is expensive. That’s about 32MB per second. and you get a host of other apps for creating video.and singlelayer rewritable BD. Connected to a PC. The CDbased installation is well documented and smooth. —Jon L. Its simple control panel includes a twoline. but okay. Plus THE BROTHER HL-2280DW is a monochrome laser printer with copying and scanning capabilities.0 and eSATA buses was smooth as silk. The HL-2280DW ships with a 700-page starter cartridge. Graphics quality was slightly rough and grainy. The HL-2280DW supports USB. List: $240 ﬁnd.pcworld.pcworld. responsive experience while watching Bluray Disc movies. The letter/ A4-size color scanner has a you must remove them together to replace the toner alone. 16-character monochrome LCD and a handful of labeled buttons. as our tests showed. and 250-sheet and 100sheet input trays. The PX-LB950UE ships with the very competent CyberLink BD Suite of Blu-ray/ DVD/CD applications. And I enjoyed a trouble-free. The unit has automatic duplexing (two-sided printing). so a small ofﬁce might live with its above-average toner costs.0 and eSATA ports. and 12X for DVD-RAM. PowerDVD 9 does movie playback. So how does the drive perform? Quite well.9 ppm. —Melissa Riofrio telescoping lid. and writing approximately 22GB to 6X-rated BD-R media took 11 minutes. It sells for just $200. But the $240 PX-LB950UE has both USB 3. as well as print. consider Plextor’s PXLB950UE. still higher than average. the PXLB950UE is what you want. an extra step that is somewhat annoying.Reviews & Rankings Brother’s HL-2280DW: A Basic Laser Printer. and 8X reading of BD-ROM. or 2GB per minute— average for a 12X-rated drive.1 cents per page. WorldMags 54 PCWORLD. music.6 pages per minute. but if you want the best external optical drive going. 2600-page cartridge is $55—2.com/71903 PLEXTOR’S BLU-RAY drive comes with disc-writing apps. 8X dual-layer BD-R writing. You can scan or copy to your computer. 6X for DVD-RW. GOOD HL-2280DW | Brother Monochrome printer can scan.com/71853 Play Blu-ray Movies on Plextor’s External Drive AS AN EXTERNAL drive for adding Blu-ray to your computer. 2X writing of dual. Blu-ray movie playback across the USB 3. A highyield.2 cents per page). The PX-LB950UE’s Blu-ray performance specs include swift 12X writing of BD-R. and a small. THE HL-2280DW CAN scan and copy to a PC. DVD write speeds top out at 8X for DVD-R. Playing Blu-ray movies via USB 2.
V3 Convoy 2 $2499 NEW ﬁnd. Origin’s Genesis Midtower has one of the best price-to-performance ratios on our chart. Origin Genesis Midtower 2011 8 $1999 ﬁnd. you’re in luck.com/71867 VERY GOOD WorldBench 6 score: 188 WorldBench 6 rating: Very Good Overall design: Very Good Graphics: Superior 3. and it delivered the fastest results we’ve seen. 1.pcworld. M O R E O N L I N E Visit ﬁnd.COM 55 . and detailed specs for each desktop PC on this chart. Polywell Poly X5800A3 10 $4500 ﬁnd.7GHz Core i7-2600K 4GB RAM. but its premier components and fast speed make it a compelling performance PC.pcworld.pcworld. 1. WorldMags AUGUST 2011 PCWORLD. Digital Storm Enix 4 $3627 NEW ﬁnd.1TB storage Nvidia GTX 590 BD-R drive u The Chimera XLC’s great case and premium components are attractive.2GHz Core i7-980X Extreme Edition 12GB RAM. 2.1TB storage Nvidia GTX 580 (3) BD-R drive Origin Genesis 2011 1 $6499 ﬁnd.4GHz Core i7-2600K 8GB RAM.com/71864 SUPERIOR WorldBench 6 score: 198 WorldBench 6 rating: Very Good Overall design: Very Good Graphics: Superior 4.1TB storage Nvidia GTX 580 (2) BD-R drive u The Enix’s selling point is its alluring chassis. however.33GHz Core i7-980X 12GB RAM. Maingear Shift Super Stock 3 $8000 ﬁnd. CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 5000 7 $1450 NEW ﬁnd.3GHz Core i7-2600K 8GB RAM. 2. 2.1TB storage Zotac GeForce GTX 570 (2) BD-R drive u Looking for a top-tier performance PC.com/71865 SUPERIOR WorldBench 6 score: 188 WorldBench 6 rating: Very Good Overall design: Very Good Graphics: Superior 4.com/69879 VERY GOOD WorldBench 6 score: 175 WorldBench 6 rating: Good Overall design: Good Graphics: Superior 3.Top 10 Performance Desktop PCs MODEL Rating Performance WorldBench 6 score: 223 WorldBench 6 rating: Superior Overall design: Very Good Graphics: Perfect Features and speciﬁcations 5GHz Core i7-2600K 16GB RAM.pcworld.com/71866 VERY GOOD WorldBench 6 score: 175 WorldBench 6 rating: Good Overall design: Superior Graphics: Very Good 4.com/71863 SUPERIOR WorldBench 6 score: 206 WorldBench 6 rating: Superior Overall design: Very Good Graphics: Perfect 4. 2TB Nvidia GTX 580 (2) BD-R drive u We love just about everything in iBuyPower’s Paladin XLC. limits this desktop’s appeal. Digital Storm SpecialOps Dreadnought 9 $2905 NEW ﬁnd. CHART NOTES: Ratings are as of 5/27/11.com/69881 to see in-depth reviews. 1TB storage Nvidia GTX 570 BD-R drive u CyberPower’s Gamer Xtreme 5000 delivers strong performance and a top-notch conﬁguration for its sub-$1500 price.pcworld. DVD-RW drives u This monolith is fairly priced for the performance it offers. it doesn’t set out to break benchmarks. full test results.pcworld.pcworld.4GHz Core i7-2600K 4GB RAM. but not quite ready to part with a kidney? With this boutique vendor.5TB storage ATI Radeon HD5970 BD-R drive u The Poly X5800A3 may not be a beauty. but its timid overclocking holds back its performance. iBuyPower Paladin XLC 5 $3999 NEW ﬁnd. Systems with more than one GPU have the number of cards in parentheses.7GHz Core i7-2600K 8GB RAM.com/71168 SUPERIOR WorldBench 6 score: 203 WorldBench 6 rating: Superior Overall design: Very Good Graphics: Perfect 4. its commanding price.pcworld. DVD-RW drives u In a category satiated with impressive performance—and daunting price tags—this Maingear may stagger you both ways.com/71862 SUPERIOR WorldBench 6 score: 204 WorldBench 6 rating: Superior Overall design: Superior Graphics: Perfect 5GHz Core i7-2600K 4GB RAM. 128GB SSD (4) Nvidia GTX 580 (3) BD-R.pcworld. 640GB storage Nvidia GTX 570 DVD-RW drive u Updated with an Intel Sandy Bridge CPU.com/71169 VERY GOOD WorldBench 6 score: 186 WorldBench 6 rating: Very Good Overall design: Superior Graphics: Superior 4.1TB storage Nvidia GTX 580 BD-R. iBuyPower Chimera XLC 6 $2700 NEW ﬁnd.pcworld. 2.com/71506 SUPERIOR u Origin’s Genesis has an imposing 5GHz overclock on its Intel Sandy Bridge CPU. however.35GHz Core i7-980X Extreme Edition 6GB RAM. but the system also delivers great performance for a (relatively) good price.pcworld.
It ships with a wireless mouse and keyboard. but you can ﬁnd competing AIO models that have similar sets of features. and Bluray support. Because both the free Basic and the $40 Advanced licenses forbid use of the tool in a commercial environment.COM 57 . which has four cores. The paid PCMark 7 Advanced allows you to export your results as detailed XML ﬁles. Multiple results from the same machine can be helpful if you want to compare performance over time (maybe it’s not your imagination that things are running slower since your cousin turned off your ﬁrewall and visited some “Hot Gaming Cheat Codes” site that ﬁlled the PC with malware). while PCMark 7 Basic stores your results online. performing each one three times so that the results are less likely to be distorted by a momentary glitch or random event. PCMark 7 is not useful for tracking the performance of machines in a corporate network.pcworld. Once you have your score. a multiformat card reader. and capacities at lower prices. such as slow disk access. the 2GHz Core i7-2630QM.Sony VAIO VPC L218FX/W Is First-Rate but Expensive SONY’S LATEST 24-inch allin-one desktop—the $2049 VAIO VPC L218FX/W—is a beauty.9GHz of power. or other bottlenecks or errors. and turns the results into a numeric score. One unusual feature is a thick black bezel surrounding the display: Depending on where you touch the black strip. Free ﬁnd. Web speed.com/71907 various system functions. PCMark 7 runs a battery of tests. or if you’ve swapped out a graphics card and want to VERY GOOD PCMark 7 Basic | Futuremark Performance-testing utility does the job well—at no cost.pcworld. It tests many aspects of performance. Automatic overclocking via Turbo Boost can raise the CPU to a mighty 2. PCMark 7 Basic will give most home users what they want: a number that expresses the overall power of a system. although what your take a look at a “before and after” report. The L218FX/W also comes packed with connections. Its CPU is one of Intel’s latest Sandy Bridge chips.com/71915 WorldMags AUGUST 2011 PCWORLD. speeds. Real-world performance is affected by many things. number actually means may not be easy to determine.com and see how well your system did. excessive background processes.) —David Murphy PCMark 7: A Tool for Testing PC Performance PCMARK 7 BASIC is a free benchmarking tool for systems running Windows 7. (You can opt for a 1TB version that is $200 cheaper. VERY GOOD VAIO VPC L218FX/W | Sony This all-in-one is near perfection. The system scored 116 on our WorldBench 6 test suite—not a performance leader. you can go to PCMark. —Ian Harac PCMARK 7 BASIC is a benchmarking tool for Windows 7 systems. List: $2049 ﬁnd. an integrated TV tuner. including video. and 2TB of storage. and disk access. Two big pluses: The unit offers both a great display and appealing built-in sound. but certainly nice. you can launch applications and perform SONY’S PRICEY NEW 24-inch all-in-one is packed with features. However. but it costs a pretty penny.
com auguST 2011 .Smarter Make Your TV WorldMags 58 pcworld.
run apps. watch what you want.How to browse the Web.com 59 . by patrick miller illustration by bryan christie Design WorldMags auguST 2011 pcworld. when you want it. play music and games— and most important.
CinemaNow. Toss in social networking. music. you’re used to watching connected tVs WorldMags 60 pcworld. in. Connected-television features have since advanced quickly. often with options exclusive to the manufacturer. It means never needing to settle for anywith a set-top box or a home theater PC. tions to speciﬁc services such as Hulu Plus or Netﬂix. But choosing may not be easy: all the major TV manuother PCs on your network—handy for the times when the facturers now have some package of Internet-connected feavideo you want to watch is sitting on your PC in the den. as the Internet features are mostly on-demand video only. maybe even sneak in a cat video Cost: You’ll have to pay for the or two (or a dozen) on YouTube during your lunch break at work. pay a premium for an Internetconnected TV: Some manufacturers.and a few video-rental services like amazon Instant Video. tures built into their midrange and high-end models. though. You don’t have to purchase a point the remote at the TV to move your cursor). and many HDTV sets thing less than having what you want to watch (or hear. and Intercaught up on your favorite TV shows with Hulu.com auguST 2011 . don’t have to let your cable-TV subscription hold your eyeVizio’s high-end sets include a Bluetooth remote with a slideballs (or your wallet) hostage with hundreds of channels out keyboard to facilitate typing. tune end models that are priced in the $750 to $830 range. which lets brand-new PC or yet another set-top box. Future-proof? Yes—but only if you choose wisely. sell lowThe moment you’re home. go buy a new one. photos. and Vudu. but you won’t be able to do such a thing so easily with a big. Imagine. and a hundred kinds of Web content. Lg’s Magic Motion remote is a gesture-oriented smarter. The good news: You don’t necessarily have to when you want to watch it. Instead. or include built-in Wi-Fi support (so you don’t even need to plug play) running in big-screen glory right now. can use your TV’s own remote. What’s more. what a standard set-top box could offer. also. and zone out—no interaction or Internet required. although In early Internet-connected TVs. such as Vizio. ucts and services (links at ﬁnd. you’ll still need your cable-TV subscription. Advanced tips: Most connected TVs include uSB ports and Looking to buy a new HDTV? Choose the right TV—one that DLNa support (see the glossary on page 65). games. You have many ways to make your existing TV example. Nothing The cost of an HDTV will generally depend on the set’s size on? guess you’ll watch some Law & Order: Criminal Intent and on its panel technology (a 50-inch plasma set will cost reruns. For however. more than a 50-inch LED one). access to the smart-TV service itself—just for the subscrip“Smart TV” is the new hot buzzword these days.pcworld. that your HDTV combined the simplicity of the as the video-download rental fees. That Vincent D’Onofrio—whatever happened to him. controls that make it easier to use the Internet features. You on the Web. and music Web features and apps without having to buy any add-ons or from a uSB drive by plugging it straight into your TV or from boxes. as well for a moment. enjoy a movie or net video channels. normal TV-and-remote experience with the powerful search features and video-on-demand libraries you’re accustomed to Advantages: Connected TVs are simple and elegant. you don’t need to worry about gaming. meaning that connects directly to the Internet—and you can enjoy loads of you can watch your locally stored video. expensive HDTV. the universe from the couch with your all-powerful remote. you can feed the Web through your TV—without breaking the bank. YouTube. while you master an ethernet cable into the back). television ($1000 to $2000 for midYou’re used to searching the Web to ﬁnd what you want to watch range to high-end sets). That’s what running extra power cords or audio/video cables as you do “smart TV” means. other than just buying a new connected TV with all remote control similar to the Nintendo Wii controller (just the bells and whistles built in. packages included only a early Internet features in HDTVs looked pitiful compared with few additional “channels”—Netﬂix Instant Watch. if you’re big on live TV. newer TV sets often come with new remote Don’t let all the TV and tech companies out there fool you. photo sharing. the big players in the by now. you’ll never watch. you turn on your TV.com/71913) that can If your set-top box doesn’t have a channel you want. we’ll walk you through the prodDisadvantages: Connected TVs aren’t particularly versatile. New connected TV sets come all kinds of video via the Web. You get packed with apps. two with Netﬂix Instant Watch. and you won’t have to pay for anyway? If only your TV was a little bit more like your PC. and you you more easily use the built-in Web browser of Lg sets. either.
HDTV market (Lg, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, and Vizio) are each looking to make their Web-connected TV sets your entertainment hub by adding new features, video channels, and even their own app stores. For example, Panasonic’s “Viera Connect” Internet features include Facebook, Skype, Twitter, and even downloadable games from gameloft in addition to a whole host of media-streaming services like amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, Netﬂix, and Pandora.
a relatively inexpensive, simple, and easy-to-install way to add more channels to your TV, set-top boxes vary in size, shape, and content selection. They rely on your home Internet connection to stream media from Internet sources such as Hulu, Netﬂix, YouTube, and many other video-on-demand channels. Consider them a supplement to your cable LG’S MAGIC MOTION controller subscription, rather than moves a pointer on the screen to a replacement, since they choose a viewing or app option.
won’t have much in the way of live TV programming. Right now, Roku’s box leads the pack with a very broad channel selection, but since it doesn’t support DLNa, you can’t use it to access the music, photos, or videos stored on your network’s PCs. Some other contenders in the ﬁeld, such as Western Digital’s WD TV Live series, do support DLNa. If you’re already heavily invested in music and movies from the iTunes Store, go for an apple TV box—you’ll be able to stream your existing iTunes content from your home network’s iTunes libraries. For both the versatility of a full Web browser in your HDTV and a search feature that could cover your satellite-TV listings, locally stored recordings, and the Web, grab a google TV set-top box like the Logitech Revue. also in this category are game consoles (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii) and Internet-connected Blu-ray players. While not dedicated Internet TV gadgets, they have Hulu Plus, Netﬂix, DLNa support, and other Internet-connected features. Cost: $60 to $250 plus subscription fees (when applicable). Advantages: Set-top boxes are very easy to set up and use, and they typically don’t cost very much. also, new services tend to be added to the selection over time—the longer you
auguST 2011 pcworld.com
own the box, the more content it should be able to deliver. Disadvantages: Most set-top boxes don’t include a full Web browser, so you can’t always watch the videos you want, especially if your favorite shows are found only at live streaming sites or from the TV networks. and, as noted, you don’t have many options for streaming live TV with a set-top box. Advanced tips: You can hack most set-top boxes, including the apple TV and the Roku, to add new features, channels, and applications. For example, you can jailbreak your apple TV and install the XBMC media-center app to enable 1080p video playback, which the stock apple TV doesn’t support. Future-proof? The set-top box’s place in the future of smart TV is iffy at best. You can’t really do much besides watch the ported Web video. That may be okay for now, but we expect Web video to continue proliferating—and standard set-top boxes will struggle because they lack Web browsers. While the Web video services that run on set-top boxes often add new channels, you have no guarantee that your set-
top box developer will add the ones you want when you want them. But the boxes are relatively cheap, so buying a new one every few years could be one way around that problem. apple TV and google TV have two different approaches to the set-top box. apple’s turns your TV into an extension of your iTunes Library—great if you own a bunch of other iOS devices, or if you prefer to pay the TV/movie rental fees over a subscription fee. google’s offers many of the beneﬁts of a home theater PC, such as a Web browser and (future) access to apps via the android Market, without the expense or hassle of a full-blown media PC. also, the search function on google TV could radically change the way you watch television simply by making it far, far easier to ﬁnd what you want to watch. However, even these forward-looking set-tops won’t get far unless the various networks and content providAPPLE TV TURNS your HDTV ers open some doors for set into an extension of your them. Hulu, for example, is existing iTunes library.
pcworld.com auguST 2011
currently blocking the google TV browser. all the same, the apple TV and google TV platforms are still in their formative period and may both be around long enough to see the day when content owners have come to accept the model these devices use for distributing video. We expect that these two set-tops will be the ones to watch over the next few years.
home theater pcs
Home theater PCs are typically high-end, expensive systems designed to ﬁt in with a true home theater enthusiast’s fancy audio/video equipment rack. Obtaining one usually involves paying extra for a special PC case and high-end, low-heat components, but any system capable of playing back 1080p video and connecting to your set through HDMI or another audio/video input can be your TV’s connection to Web video. Cost: You can build a high-end do-it-yourself home theater PC for under $1000. But any modern computer—even a netbook or a nettop mini-PC with the right hardware—could cost you as little as $350, and if you simply repurpose an old machine, your cost could be effectively nothing. Advantages: a home theater PC is extremely ﬂexible. You can use your computer to play downloaded or streamed video, screen home movies, access shared video from your network, play DVDs and Blu-ray discs, and play PC games on your HDTV. and the cost is hard to beat. Disadvantages: PCs are complicated. using one is not nearly as spontaneous or as instantly gratifying as simply pressing the power button on a remote. and you have to deal with the additional hassle of maintaining another computer—security, updates, broken components, upgrades, and so on. You must also consider content limitations: For now, at least, you can’t get much live TV (news and sports), so you would still need an antenna or cable-TV subscription for that. Advanced tips: Pair your home theater PC up with a decent media-center application, such as XBMC or Windows Media Center, and an advanced remote control like the Lenovo N5901, which has a built-in keypad and trackball instead of a keyboard and mouse. also, you can plug an RSS feed of the shows you’re watching into a BitTorrent client to automatically download new episodes as they come out. Future-proof? Yes. Other smart TV options may someday catch up to the ﬂexibility of the media center PC, but until then, you can bet that most of the apps, features, and services you want will come from the open Web. and much of that content relies on PC-friendly Flash to run. a desktop PC also lets you add new hardware for more features, such as a Blu-ray drive or a CableCard for watching movies and viewing/recording cable TV via your PC.
HERE’S A QUICK guide to the major streaming services you should look for in your next set-top box or connected TV—or should have bookmarked in your home theater PC’s Web browser. Hulu Plus: Since its launch in 2008, Hulu has made waves by offering a (legal!) way to get episodes of current television series free on the Web. To access Hulu from a set-top box or connected TV, you’ll need a subscription to Hulu’s premium service, Hulu Plus ($8 per month, one-week free trial). Your Hulu Plus subscription also gets you access to a catalog of movies (including a Criterion Collection set) and over 29,000 episodes of older TV archives, though you’ll still have to watch the occasional ad. Netﬂix: It’s not just a DVD rent-by-mail service. In fact, its Instant Watch streaming service (which provides both television and movies online) is now the primary source of Internet trafﬁc in North America, and if you’re tired of DVDs, you can opt for the streaming-only subscription plan for $8 a month. But only a portion of its catalog is available on Instant Watch. Online video rental: Besides subscription services like Hulu Plus and Netﬂix, you’ll want access to at least one video-rental service—Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster, CinemaNow, Vudu, and so on. Each service has a slightly different selection, but the basic idea is the same: Rent a movie by download for up to $4 for a new release, or purchase a desired download for around $15. YouTube: The Web’s largest video-sharing site, YouTube is widely available on most set-top boxes and connected TVs for free. But YouTube navigation and search can be particularly laborious unless your remote is Internet-ready (keyboard, motion features, touchpad, and so forth). Also, some older YouTube client apps have problems playing high-deﬁnition videos, and in that case you might end up with a horribly pixelated, lowres video on your HDTV if you’re not careful. Sports: You may be able to stream the game you missed via an on-demand streaming app that keeps box scores, highlights, and sometimes the entire game. Pick your favorite mobile device, install the app, and you can catch sports whenever and wherever you want. Other media apps: Plenty of the streaming media services you likely already use on your computer have apps available for your connected TV or set-top box—Napster, Pandora, and Slacker Radio for music, Flickr and Picasa for photos, and social media apps such as Facebook.
Your Smart TV program Guide
auguST 2011 pcworld.com
aT&T has no Web video in its u-verse service. and only a few providers are actively trying to develop the Internet-content aspect of their offerings. Cost: Services are pricey—and can vary from $50 a month to $150 a month. You can use them to access whatever video-on-demand libraries your network offers. Verizon is a little better. cable & cablelike services High-end services such as Comcast Xﬁnity. Dish Network may be the most progressive of all. Dish Network. They typically connect to your TV via a specially designed set-top box from your cable. and very little nonvideo Web content—just a couple of “interactive” Web apps (weather. But the boxes don’t yet have the smart TV chops of the setups described previously. Its FiOS TV “widgets” are a simple way to get Facebook. and Verizon FiOS TV are still the gold standard for premium TV and live TV. or telephone company. depending on your plan and whether you’re DISH NETWORK’S set-top box works with a Logitech Google TV box to pull in Web material.com auguST 2011 . and weather on your TV. Three of the company’s DVRs are compatible with google TV’s search features through the Logitech Revue set-top box. recorded. DirecTV. sports) and photo sharing via Flickr. satellite. YouTube. which Dish Network resells to its subscribers at a reduced rate. and Web content on your TV. local trafﬁc.MICROSOFT’S Windows Media Center organizes live. WorldMags 64 pcworld. the boxes also have built-in digital video recorder features to help you make sure you don’t miss anything. The FiOS Media Manager app lets you watch FiOS videos on a PC and view locally stored media on the TV.
at present. Some TVs have a DVI port. These two terms describe the same humble 15-pin monitor port still found on most laptops and desktops. Disadvantages: Don’t expect any deeply integrated Internet features in your cable TV service anytime soon—no Web browser or fancy remote with a keyboard for quickly searching for Web content. but that’s $840 each year (not counting taxes or installation fees)—enough to buy a budget 42-inch TV. and blue) for high-def video. The apps can also run on other devices. and a Netﬂix subscription. If you use DVI. That is. An HDMI cable carries both audio and video from a device to a TV. and video) into the curated cable content. and more. a Roku. but using it to download TV shows and movies that were released under the usual copyright protections generally is. If widely adopted. However. or another digital video format to deliver video on your TV. If you use an analog signal (VGA. The DVI video signal is identical to the HDMI signal. green. Advanced tips: While the cablelike services don’t offer much Web content. which can be useful. services can get fairly expensive: $70 per month might not seem so bad at ﬁrst. avoid using composite-video ports whenever possible. For example. VGA cables can deliver a full HD video to your TV. however. BitTorrent: A popular ﬁlesharing protocol that people often use to distribute copyrighted video. photos. though it may not look as good as it would over component or HDMI. smartphones. you can play back HDCPencrypted video at full resolution without a problem. you might also have a few neat features that connect the two. TV providers haven’t gone a long way toward realizing that potential. chat. HDMI: High-Deﬁnition Multimedia Interface is currently the preferred standard for connecting devices to a TV— PCs. If you get landline phone service from your TV provider. also. With the exception of Dish Network’s google TV offering. but they’re likely to look very good. Media center: Any application that makes it easier to navigate the music. Future-proof? The great advantage of the triple-play services is that the TV programming usually rides into the home on the same pipe as the Internet service (and the phone service). so if your PC supports only DVI video-out. and other gadgets to talk to one another and share media over a network. and you don’t have to deal with troubleshooting equipment or updating buggy software—everything (usually) works. MHL: Mobile High-Deﬁnition Link—a new connection standard that allows smartphones to connect to HDTVs. component). Component video: A common set of analog ports (red. The BitTorrent protocol itself isn’t illegal. HDCP: High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection—a form of digital video copy-protection technology developed by Intel. all of the major TV providers offer android and iOS mobile apps that let you browse TV listings and schedule DVR recordings. PC. DLNA is a standard that enables your HDTV. But don’t expect to use it to connect your PC to your TV—at least not at this point. an Xbox 360 hooked up to your HDTV can stream video located on your desktop PC in your home ofﬁce. such as voicemail management or caller ID through your TV.com 65 . DVI: The current standard for most desktop PC displays. a cheap adapter can connect your PC’s DVI port to your HDTV’s HDMI port. because composite video (an analog format) cannot deliver high-def video. Video on demand: Video services that let you choose what you want to watch from a video library. so it takes up less space. and videos in your local media library. podcasts. music.IF YOU WONDER what HDCP or a dozen other terms mean. the limited Web content the various services offer won’t cost you extra. WorldMags auguST 2011 pcworld. most are focusing on the “TV everywhere” concept. here’s a quick guide. Technically. including set-top boxes and game consoles. DisplayPort: A newer display connector employed primarily for connecting laptop and desktop PCs to computer displays. HDMI. they’re moving to make their material viewable on a ﬁnite number of stationary and mobile screens. composite. You may not need (or even want) all 250 channels. Most media-center apps are designed to make home theater PCs more user-friendly so that you can navigate your various media using a remote control rather than a keyboard and mouse. Composite video: The ubiquitous red-white-yellow ports are A Glossary of Smart TV Terms still getting a new-subscriber promotional rate. Advantages: Cable services are the go-to source for premium and live TV. and technicians are available to help with serious problems. This setup creates a huge potential for integrating Internet features (such as apps. you pay a small fee for downloads or streams. for composite video. game consoles. VGA/D-Sub: Practically every PC you’ve ever owned has a “VGA” or “D-Sub” connector. a component-video connection can deliver video up to 1080p resolution (“Full HD”). and on many HDTVs. DLNA: Digital Living Network Alliance. and some have apps that let you stream video (generally both live TV and DVR recordings) to your tablet or smartphone. you may have to watch your video at a lower resolution. digital cameras and camcorders. MHL can let your smartphone charge while it is connected to your HDTV—and you can watch videos streaming or downloading from the phone.
67 .Pt rn i WorldMags Do It All BY MELISSA RIOFRIO er s That AUGUST 2011 PCWORLD.COM We installed six popular inkjet multifunction printers in three different ofﬁces to see how they would perform in the real world.
pcworld. Some ofﬁces look for a topnotch scanner and precise color reproduction. The star rating for each model is PCWorld’s assessment. wide-format scanner platen Dual paper trays Mediocre color quality Construction felt ﬂimsy HP Officejet 7500A Wide Format $300 ﬁnd.com/71048 Fast. based on lab testing of the MFP. pcworld.pcworld.pcworld.com/71923 OUR TESTER’S PICK Full-size.com/71056 Great print quality Wireless connectivity Touchscreen seemed oversensitive Printed slowly OUR TESTER’S PICK Lexmark Genesis $200 ﬁnd. who develops online and print content for the Oakland-based nonproﬁt.pcworld. Wouldn’t it be great if you could test-drive a few MFPs to see which one was the best match for your needs? PCWorld set out to do just that: We identiﬁed three different kinds of users.com/71856 Fast printing and scanning Fairly accurate Pantone matching Noisy operation Tweaking required for best quality Lexmark Pinnacle Pro901 $300 ﬁnd. MODEL BUSY SMALL OFFICE What our testers liked What our testers hated OUR TESTER’S PICK Epson WorkForce 840 All-in-One $300 ﬁnd.com/71056) and the Lexmark Genesis (ﬁnd. Others need to print unusually wide documents.pcworld. (ﬁnd. and printing.com/70031). and (some- times) fax. for the 440 Brannan boutique in San Francisco’s trendy South of Market district. Read on to ﬁnd out which printers they liked better. different users want different things from an MFP.com/70031 MEDIA CENTER Easy installation Five-year warranty Mediocre scan quality Inaccurate Pantone matching Brother MFC-J6710DW $300 ﬁnd.pcworld. Brother’s MFC-J6710DW (ﬁnd. pcworld. precise. a sustainable building ﬁrm whose design and promotion needs entail a lot of copying. gave them two MFP models that promised to meet their speciﬁc needs. and let them use each one for a week. scan. And still others want a printer that can be displayed in public without looking like a plastic box of ugly.com/ 71048). pcworld. scanning.pcworld. MFPs’ Inﬁnite Variety The models we chose for our users to audition reﬂect the wide variety of MFPs that are currently available—and the users were just as distinctive. we supplied the HP Envy100 e-All-in-One (ﬁnd. went to Steven Newton.com/71923) and HP’s Ofﬁcejet 7500A Wide Format e-All-in-One (ﬁnd. we assigned two small-ofﬁce printers. camera-based scanner Useful Web-based apps Inks can be pricey Printed slowly CHART NOTES: Prices are as of 5/27/11.pcworld.You might think that pretty much any color inkjet multifunction printer would satisfy pretty much any user—after all. and why— and to learn how you can ﬁnd your best ﬁt. Two wide-format units that can print and scan media at sizes up to 11 by 17 inches. WorldMags 68 PCWORLD.com/71924). an Epson WorkForce 840 All-in-One Printer.com/71924 PUBLIC RETAIL SETTING Great print quality Touchscreen control panel Bloated software installation Long processing time before printing HP Envy100 e-All-in-One $250 ﬁnd. But just as some people favor ﬂip-ﬂops and others wingtips.pcworld. the point of these printers is that a single fairly compact machine can do it all: print.COM AUGUST 2011 PHOTOGRAPH: ROBERT CARDIN . To San Francisco– based Zeta Communities. copy. National Center for Science Education (NCSE).com/71856) and a Lexmark Pinnacle Pro901 (ﬁnd. Finally. too. A bustling environment where people come in and go out Head-to-Head in the Wild: Inkjet Multifunction Printers Here’s what real-world users liked and disliked about MFPs we selected to suit their workplace.
But she preferred the Epson MFP because it did a better job of matching the Pantone colors used by designers and printers that work with Zeta.COM 69 . In her work. a San Francisco ﬁrm that develops multifamily housing and mixed-use structures. and easy-to-use touchscreens as highlights. Windows XP Pro. and a service pack update for Windows 7 64-bit conﬂicted with the Epson CD installer. and Windows Server 2008. SoRelle liked both of them. wireless connectivity.A Busy Small Ofﬁce Sarah SoRelle is a marketing associate for Zeta Communities. (A ﬁx is available from Epson’s Website or in the CDs that ship with newer units. Zeta’s IT service provider. so Tierra’s technician used Windows 7’s Found New Hardware function to set up the MFP. and it provided clear descriptions of extra features. The MFPs installed here had to work with PCs running Windows 7 Ultimate.) Once they were installed. Tierra Technology. set up both MFPs and found that the Lexmark Pinnacle Pro901 was the easier unit to install. Windows 7 Pro. citing their speed. scanning and color printing are very important. The CD-based process was fast. it let Tierra’s technicians check Lexmark’s Website for driver updates. The Epson WorkForce 840’s CD-based installation process seemed slower than the Lexmark’s. WorldMags AUGUST 2011 PCWORLD.
HP’s Ofﬁcejet 7500A Wide Format prevailed. Steven Newton develops a variety of print and online materials.” And following installation. Newton needs printing hardware that can reproduce graphics reliably. texture. and requiring more time to install from disks than software such as Adobe Photoshop. The MFP’s installation.Scientific Media Center As Programs and Policy Director for the National Center for Science Education. and faithfully.COM AUGUST 2011 PHOTOGRAPH/ILLUSTRATION: CREDIT . He resolved an issue involving a ﬂaky wireless connection by rebooting the printer. In contrast. An avid photographer. To win Newton’s approval. rapidly. A replacement unit worked perfectly. the Brother’s output looked washed-out and sometimes grainy. though pages appeared rapidly once it got going. Newton liked the HP’s photo quality enough to make framed prints of his work from it. but then the scanner stopped working.3GB. was “excessive. producing markedly better-looking prints than the Brother MFCJ6710DW. the Ofﬁcejet 7500A sometimes took an inexplicably long time to prepare to print. and font challenges. He put both of his test-unit MFPs through an exhaustive series of color. Newton thought. WorldMags 70 PCWORLD. the HP Ofﬁcejet 7500A Wide Format had to overcome a bad ﬁrst impression. consuming 0.
certain features are not available via wireless. it fell 71 PHOTOGRAPH: ROBERT CARDIN Web Apps Expand Reach The Web is expanding printers’ horizons with new applications and connectivity.COM . airports. only the Brother MFC-J6710DW lacks a touchscreen. Epson’s WorkForce 840 employs a hybrid screen. Lexmark’s Web-based apps are part of its SmartSolutions platform of customizable apps. Printer touchscreens are getting bigger. and print a digest of current stories. The Best Features Now What should you look for in one of today’s multifunction printers? Here’s a rundown of features worth considering. and print photos posted to your Facebook wall. however. the news feeds supthe ﬁrst cloud-printing service to launch.5inch LCD by using backlit. maps. adding a wireless printer to it can make sharing among multiple home or smallofﬁce users surprisingly easy. and copying shops. The Genesis scans nearly instantaneously. however. Though some people prefer the positive feedback of pressing a real button. or news feed to appear on the LCD. While traveling. Epson’s WorkForce 840 scans to a Mac via USB only. Newer models of HP printers that have ePrint capability are tied to a speciﬁc e-mail address to which you can send e-mail messages or jobs to be printed. HP’s Web-based apps typically emphasize home and family use. One model—Lexmark’s Genesis—takes this feature a huge step beyond the ordinary: Its Flash Scan feature. and tickets that you can print through free. You can ﬁnd MFPs in every price range that offer wireless connectivity. An MSNBC app lets you choose among news categories ranging from business to entertainment to sports. not wirelessly. not all of the SmartSolutions options require you to print something out. ESPN. more common. This new approach to image capture elevates the Genesis above its ordinary-printer foundation. or MSNBC. in which the user controls a regular 3. For instance. downloadable apps from HP’s Website. that currently offer cloudbased apps). weather. Assuming that you already have a wireless network installed. you can set up an RSS. wireless printer performance is subject to the same factors that challenge all wireless networks: physical obstacles. and other Wi-Fi trafﬁc. though you’ll need an ePrint-enabled HP printer to enjoy it. On some machines. it’s getting more interesting all the time. In our initial tests of HP ePrint. you may ﬁnd ePrint-enabled public printing locations in hotels. touchscreens feel more natural to most people. focusing on kids’ activities such as coloring pages and paper dolls. Of the six models used in our real-world tests. All inkjet MFPs combine a printer base and a scanner— usually one that is designed for letter/A4-size paper. uses a built-in 10-megapixel digital camera to take a picture of whatever you want to scan. distance between the PC and the printer. though you can ﬁnd units with legal-size or even wideformat scanning platens. Though cloud-based printing is still in its infancy (HP and Lexmark are the only vendors WorldMags AUGUST 2011 PCWORLD. and they can reduce button overload by showing only the controls that you need at a particular time. Also.constantly. rather than employing a device that moves across the page to capture image data. and more sophisticated. ply headlines from the BBC. 440 Brannan needs an MFP that can juggle a multitude of tasks and look good while doing it. You can also monitor your Twitter feed or your Facebook page. Choosing color imaging or a higher dpi (dots per inch) setting causes traditional scanners to slow down. it’s getting more interesting all the time. Unlike HP’s apps. as well as coupons. Cloud Printing’s Promise Cloud-based printing aspires to work someday with pretty much every printer out there. That novel approach gives the Genesis a huge advantage in speed. other advantages include its large touchscreen and Lexmark’s growing collection of proprietary SmartSolutions automated tasks and Web applications. Who wouldn’t want to be able to print from their cell phone or tablet without driver or connectivity hassles? Hewlett-Packard’s ePrint is Though cloudbased printing is still in its infancy. which allow you to automate tasks that you perform regularly. for instance. such as scanning or faxing a speciﬁc form to a speciﬁc destination. context-aware “buttons” that appear on the surrounding touch-sensitive panel. regardless of the complexity of the data. sometimes to a crawl.
student. and computers. but it remains in beta at this writing. but it’s still a hassle. You can’t miss an MFP that’s equipped with an automatic document feeder. the printer has to be slightly WorldMags 72 PCWORLD. consider buying a dedicated machine for that particular function. because the printer has to turn the paper over to print on its other side. you needn’t worry. In addition. This awkward-looking mechanism sticks out the top of the device (or sometimes folds neatly into the top when it’s not in use). second scanning head (usually a slim bar located to one side of the main scanner platen) for scanning legalsize documents via the ADF. With regard to faxing. if you regularly send faxes and will continue to do so. larger to accommodate the duplexing mechanism. The Pinnacle Pro901. but whose high-yield options are reasonable. most home.Ink costs are as important a factor in choosing an MFP as the price of the machine itself. e-mail services. saving both trees and money. it’s faster and more secure than faxing. If you don’t send faxes now but wonder whether you might need to someday for some reason. We tested Google Cloud Print earlier this year (see ﬁnd. a printer that is constantly churning out jobs can’t stop to make a copy or scan to PDF. however. especially for longer documents. Assisted manual duplexing— where on-screen or controlpanel prompts show you how to refeed the pages so you can print on the back—is better than nothing. too. Scanning documents to PDF and then e-mailing them has replaced a great deal of faxing. The service aims to let you send jobs remotely to any printer linked to a Web-connected PC. but it does slow printing speed somewhat. called ePrint Enterprise. is supposed to be a more ironclad program. The majority of the six MFPs that we used for real-world testing have reasonable ink costs. So if you do a lot of any one thing. com/71534). only about 9 out of 10 of them actually printed. whose standard and high-yield inks are expensive across the board. Google’s Cloud Print was announced about year ago. a bit short on reliability. Paper Savers and Time Savers Automatic duplexing (twosided printing) halves paper usage. its goal of admitting even older printers to the cloud-printing club bodes well for future adoption. Most ADFs have a dedicated.COM AUGUST 2011 PHOTOGRAPH: ROBERT CARDIN . On the other hand. especially. buy a multifunction printer with fax capabilities. even printing. It makes all the difference when you need to scan or copy multipage documents. The only models that require a little caution here are the HP Envy100. but we haven’t tested it. and the two Lexmarks—the Genesis and the Pinnacle Pro901—whose standardsize cartridges are exorbitant.pcworld. When we sent jobs via ePrint from various phones. and smallofﬁce users who want a printer that can branch out and do a few other things. is notable for its high-yield. The corporate version. Remember the Ink Costs Ink costs are as important a factor to consider in choosing an MFP as the price of the machine itself. and it saves paper. some models even scan in duplex. Since MFPs can’t multitask (at the inkjet level. though it’s still very limited. anyway). penny-per-page black (a truly budget-friendly cost). can probably ﬁnd more than one very serviceable inkjet multifunction printer that meets their needs.
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