Stories by Neil Bennett

Boris Continuum Complete 6

Boris Continuum Complete isn’t quite the bargain it once was. When we reviewed Boris Continuum Complete 5, the collection of almost 200 filters for After Effects

Topaz Adjust

Topaz Adjust offers a quick way to make images more dynamic, by manipulating their exposure, contrast and saturation. It doesn’t offer any creative tools that Photoshop CS4 doesn’t already have, but its swift workflow and more complete preset system ...

Alien Skin Bokeh

Bokeh is the real-world photographic technique for creating images where the subject is largely in focus and the background is blurred. The effect is usually caused by using a shallow depth-of-field with a large aperture lens (such as Canon’s EF 85mm...

Imagenomic Portraiture 2

Portraiture is a plug-in that automates skin smoothing and blemish removal – and it’s one that most digital artists will want to get their hands on, as it’s powerful, effective, and full of nifty extra functions.

Nik Silver Efex Pro

Silver Efex Pro efficiently produces great black-and-white effects that are fiddly to create in Photoshop alone.

Digital Anarchy ToonIt Photo

Like Akvis’ Sketch, Digital Anarchy’s ToonIt Photo replicates a hand-drawn style well that almost all plug-ins do very badly indeed. In ToonIt’s case, it’s comics – covering techniques from black-and-white outlined cartoons to full graphic novel-styl...

Akvis Sketch 8.5

There are many plug-ins that claim to turn your photos into pencil art – and most do a worse job of it than a chimp with a blunt 2B. Akvis’ Sketch is the only plug-in we’ve seen that produces decent pencil drawing from images, though it’s let down by...

Apple LED Cinema Display

Following the addition of well-received LED screens to its laptops, Apple's first desktop display - the Apple LED Cinema Display - boasts great styling (as you'd expect) and some innovative functions.

Adobe InDesign CS4

Adobe’s cross-fertilisation of tools and functions across its Creative Suite line is a source of both joy and frustration.

Adobe Premiere Pro CS4

Beyond being available for the Mac once more, the last version of Premiere Pro was low on new features – so more than any other CS4 product, it’s due an upgrade. This is particularly so as it faces strong competition from Apple Final Cut Pro and Avid...

After Effects CS4

The combination of powerful motion and graphics toolsets –- along with a relatively low price –- has made After Effects the most popular compositing software on the market. The CS4 version is still the best application available for high-end motion-g...

Edius 5

Edius aims to be the plucky little video editor that could. Going up against three major competitors -- Adobe’s Premiere Pro, Apple’s Final Cut Pro, and Avid’s Media Composer -- Edius 5 aims to outperform its rivals and offer a faster and more flexib...

Blow Up 2

Enlarging images is something every designer and illustrator has to do on a regular basis. From incorporating low-resolution photos or video stills into your page designs to using a high-res image on an even larger poster, there is a whole range of c...

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

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Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

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Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

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Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

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Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

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Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

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HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

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Budget

Back To Business Guide

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Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

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