Cyberlink Powerdirector 8 Ultra
A powerful, versatile video editor for people who like to work in full-screen mode
- Powerful for the price, easy to use
- Interface makes multitasking tough, occasional crashes
PowerDirector 8's excellent price-to-power ratio is undeniable, so if you aren't bothered by having to work in full-screen mode, go for it.
Price$ 159.95 (AUD)
PowerDirector 8 Ultra is a powerful video editor, and its interface is stylish and friendly--when you work with it in full-screen mode. This latest version of the program introduces a number of usability improvements and new features, most compellingly the TrueTheater video correction and enhancement tool. On the other hand, the upgrade fixes none of the previous version's interface faults, such as its tendency to obscure tools when you run the program at less than full-screen. Since I like to multitask, these drawbacks have begun to grate on me a bit.
I was pleased with the newly resizable panes for Media (where you add files), Preview (where you watch you your movie), and Timeline (where you assemble the movie) in version 8's Edit window. Cyberlink nicely revamped the Produce window (where you select the output format and the location) as well. Formerly presented over a series of three step-through dialog boxes, all options now appear on a single page that fills the main window. Version 8 also reworks the 'Create disc' pane so that you can view the content of the disc--and the menu structure--in tree-diagram form.
Regrettably, due to a lack of scrollbars, if you don't run the program at full-screen, you won't be able to see some critical components. Also, when you set the Windows task bar to hide automatically, PowerDirector blocks access to it, forcing you to click Ctrl-Esc to display it. I gave version 6 and even version 7 a pass on these and other interface problems, expecting Cyberlink to fix them in free updates. The company has assured me that corrective code will finally be available within the next month as a free update.
Welcome new features include TrueTheater HD up-sampling, video stabilization, audio and video denoise tools, motion frame interpolation, three music tracks (up from one in version 7), and nine picture-in-picture tracks (up from six). You also get a new particle FX library for overlaying such elements as snow falling.
PowerDirector 8's excellent price-to-power ratio is undeniable, so if you aren't bothered by having to work in full-screen mode, go for it. Your decision to move up to the latest edition should depend on your need for video enhancements, extra tracks, and particle FX--the usability improvements, while nice, aren't worth it.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 2 Sony Xperia XZ review: turbo-charged last-gen phone
- 3 Sony X9300D and X8500D UHD 4K TV review
- 4 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 5 Moto X Force review: Leading features from a mid-range phone
Latest News Articles
- Here’s how Photoshop will work with the new MacBook Pro Touch Bar
- Hands-on: Paint 3D Preview remixes Paint for the HoloLens generation
- Windows 10's new Paint 3D app drags physical objects into digital worlds
- Buggy Windows 7 cumulative update? Just tell us, says Microsoft
- Microsoft fleshes out seismic change to Windows patching
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
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.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- Japan Robot, gadget and car expo slideshow
- Panasonic DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review: Best all-round TV ever?
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Technical ArchitectACT
- FTService Desk AnalystNSW
- TPData Business Analyst | Data MigrationQLD
- CCTesting Capability LeadNSW
- TPSenior Automation Test EngineerQLD
- CCWCEM/ Java DeveloperACT
- CCKofax DeveloperQLD
- FTAutomated Test ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Business Analyst - General Insurance experience requiredVIC
- TPICT Solutions EngineerSA
- CCServiceNow ConsultantNSW
- FTSoftware DeveloperQLD
- FTCRM Business Process AnalystVIC
- FTSystems ArchitectACT
- CCNetwork Capacity PlannerVIC
- FTSoftware Developers - .Net 4.6NSW
- FTBusiness Analyst - PIMAsia
- CCSenior Front End DeveloperQLD
- FTDevOps EngineerVIC
- FTProject Manager - Intelligent Transport SolutionsNSW
- CCMultiple Opportunities - Baseline, NV1 or NV2SA
- FTDynamics CRM DeveloperWA
- CCNetwork DesignerVIC
- TPSenior Finance Systems AnalystVIC
- CCProject Manager- Procurement & Government BackgroundNSW