First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
Artlandia SymmetryShop 2
- Flexible tools to create patterns; Smart Object support boosts options
- Pricey; steep learning curve
If you create enough patterns to make the price and time taken to learn the toolset worthwhile, then SymmetryShop is an excellent tool.
Price$ 295.00 (AUD)
Buy now (Selling at 8 stores)
SymmetryShop is a plug-in for creating patterns in Photoshop, based on the popular SymmetryWorks 2 plug-in for Illustrator. It's a niche tool and seems pricey -- but if you regularly create patterns for textiles or fashion, it can make a huge difference to your work.
The first version took a lot of time to master, partly because a deep understanding of how pattern aesthetics is necessary -- though this is true whether you're creating patterns with a plug-in or by hand. It was also due to a slightly tricky interface, which hasn't changed.
Version 2 adds function largely based on the Smart Object feature introduced in Photoshop CS2 -- so you'll need that version to access these. By combining layers into a single Smart Object, you can create patterns in SymmetryShop 2 from multiple layers/images -- such as from the flower image and grass brush stroke (as seen in one of the images above).
Building patterns this way gives you a lot more flexibility over how two or more elements combine in a pattern, compared with having to merge layers as you did in version 1.
By using Smart Objects, you can go back and alter the original elements (or 'seeds') without having to apply settings all over again. You can also combine symmetry types to create interesting patterns.
Other welcome additions include support for editable text and vector layers -- again making altering designs easier and quicker.
Installation is fiddly -- you have to manually copy files to your plug-in folder and it crashed a few times during setup. We also saw a few crashes in use.
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GGG Evaluation Team
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.