Ashampoo Office 2008
A cheap alternative to Microsoft Office
- Lightweight, cheap
- Doesn't have all the bells and whistles, faces competition from cheaper alternatives
For light users with even a passing knowledge of Microsoft Office, Ashampoo Office 2008 will be a decent buy that's familiar and easy to use (just as well, given the lack of documentation). In our tests we encountered no compatibility issues. But although $103 is a lot less than MS Office 2007's retail price of $690, similar products such as Star Office 8.0 ($69.95) are much less still. And if you're in the market for an inexpensive, stripped down productivity suite, OpenOffice.org and Google Docs, Spreadsheets and Presentations are so cheap they're, well, free.
Price$ 59.99 (AUD)
Ashampoo Office 2008 comprises word processor TextMaker, spreadsheet app PlanMaker and a brand new program — Presentations, which is designed to give Microsoft's PowerPoint a run for its money.
As well as that new program, upgrades to this most recent iteration of Ashampoo's Office productivity suite include export to PDF, and the ability to carry about your office software on a USB memory stick.
Indeed, lightness of touch is Ashampoo Office 2008's greatest calling card — full installation requires only 50MB. In the ultraportable era where users eschew bloatware, this can be no bad thing.
For home use, Ashampoo TextMaker 2008 will be a more than adequate replacement for Microsoft Word. Indeed, its user interface closely resembles that of Microsoft's word processor — albeit Word prior to Office 2007 and its ribbon interface. There are a variety of useful templates for such projects as business cards, faxes and letters, and TextMaker is compatible with a plethora of file formats: most importantly .DOC and .RTF.
Ashampoo TextMaker 2008 enjoys a decent number of formatting options, and useful tools such as a synonym button, as well as the usual suspects: tabs and spellcheck included. Import from and export to Microsoft Word and OpenDocument files is pain free.
For basic spreadsheets Ashampoo PlanMaker 2008 is a perfectly respectable alternative to Microsoft Excel. We were able to import and expert MS spreadsheets with no problems, and continue using what Ashampoo describes as 'countless formulae' (there certainly is a lot). Producing attractive-looking 2D and 3D diagrams is a cinch, too.
Ashampoo Presentations isn't going to give Microsoft PowerPoint any sleepless nights, but if sophisticated presentations aren't central to your working life, it might represent a useful addition to your software arsenal. Simple to use, and with all the basics covered, Presentations suffers greatly by comparison to Microsoft PowerPoint. It can't compete in terms of bells and whistles, but then it costs a lot less.
Join the PC World newsletter!
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Surface Pro 4
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 4 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 5 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
Latest News Articles
- LastPass is scrambling to fix another serious vulnerability
- New Google Home partnerships expand the smart speaker’s footprint in the smart home
- If Google Assistant isn't your thing, you can now talk to Cortana on the lock screen
- Razer’s updated Blade Pro is the first ever THX-certified laptop
- 10 powerful, obscure Windows keyboard shortcuts you should know
PCW Evaluation Team
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
- LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Forecasting SASNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst - Release ManagementVIC
- FTOrganisational Change Analyst (PROSCI/ ADKAR)VIC
- FTJava DeveloperNSW
- CCApplication Developer - FileNetQLD
- FTSenior Systems EngineerNSW
- CCInfosphere ConsultantACT
- CCDevOps Developer - TelcoVIC
- FTNBN Sales Consultant / Account ManagersSA
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTDrupal Developer - SeniorQLD
- FTDatabase DeveloperACT
- FTService Desk ConsultantACT
- TPBusiness Analyst - HealthQLD
- FTJava DeveloperNSW
- TPSenior Communications EngineerWA
- FTTechnical Writer - Reports EditorQLD
- FTAgile TesterNSW
- FTSecurity Manager (Adviser)ACT
- FTProject Manager Digital Archive ProjectVIC
- CCCloud Infrastructure SpecialistNSW
- FT.NET Developer -Australian Citizens with baseline clearanceNSW
- FTProject SchedulerACT
- FTSnr Security Architect - Permanent - IT Services - SydneyNSW