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 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 BlackBerry Priv review: When old habits die hard
- 4 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 5 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Mozilla Firefox update fixes several vulnerabilities
- Like Chromebooks, thumb-size PCs will bloom
- Windows Phone can now work on smartphones with Intel x86 chips
- Dell's OS10 aims to open up networks, then whole datacentres
- iOS 9.2.1 and OS X 10.11.3 are now available
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.
- FTDigital Marketing Specialist | Media BuyerNSW
- CCSenior Agile Business Analyst - Online/Mobile experienceNSW
- FTManual Software TesterNSW
- FTPrograme ManagerNSW
- CCData Stage DeveloperNSW
- CCApplication Support AnalystNSW
- CCSharepoint AdministratorVIC
- CCAEM DeveloperNSW
- FTSystems Administrator/Engineer | $60-90K package | ChatswoodNSW
- CCUX DesignerNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Life InsuranceVIC
- CCSolution Design EngineerACT
- CCContract System Analyst (SQL/.net) 160205/SA/561Asia
- FTJunior Project Manager | Permanent role in Canberra | NV1/2 clearedACT
- CCSAP Business Intelligence SpecialistQLD
- CCiOS DeveloperNSW
- FTJava Full Stack Developer - MelbourneVIC
- FTBusiness Analyst (SCADA / CSI)VIC
- CCSharePoint AdministratorACT
- CCIT Service Improvement SpecialistNSW
- CCSenior Project Manager - ComplianceVIC
- FTProject Manager | Permanent position | NV1 NV2 cleared | Defence | Great cultureACT
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW
- FTInfrastructure Project Manager - NV1 clearance mandatoryNSW