Encyclopaedia Brittanica Ultimate Reference Suite 2006
- Comprehensive, well presented
- Huge footprint
Encyclopaedia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2006 is undeniably of value to school students, but equally for adults looking to further knowledge on a range of subjects – or even to more deeply understand how the world works.
Price$ None (AUD)
The Australian edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2006 is an impressive resource. Available as a single DVD or multiple CD set, it's actually three products rolled into one. Primarily, it includes the Encyclopaedia Brittanica (replete with over 75,000 articles), a Student Library with 15,000 articles aimed at school-age children, and Britannica Elementary Library, which is pitched at primary school students and designed to foster an early habit of looking up information.
As expected of such a comprehensive resource, installation demands a fair chunk of hard disk space. The minimum footprint is around 1.1GB, and a complete installation will swallow 4.3GB. The latter is recommended if you can spare the drive space, as it dramatically reduces search times and increases responsiveness over relying on the DVD. Mac and Windows platforms are supported from the box.
The kit also includes the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus, an interactive world atlas that links to articles, images and timelines, and Britannica BrainStormer - a mapping feature that allows you to run through subjects and view all the related topics on screen at once. It works much like a brain map that shows relationships between topics - type in a search query to bring it up on screen, with all related topics appearing as small links around the original subject. From here you can click on other 'nodes' and view all articles and entries related to them. It's a great way to research an unfamiliar topic, as it clearly shows how one subject relates to another.
The application relies on a browser-style interface with links presented in a column on the left of the screen. Tabs along the top of the pages allow you to move quickly between the encyclopaedia itself to the Student and Elementary libraries. The interface is quick and easy to use and is a snap for anyone that's ever used a web browser. It's possible to search by keyword, and articles offer Related Topic boxes on the right hand side of the screen to link to other relevant articles. It speeds browsing for information, as you can start out with generic search terms and use the Related Topic sidebars to drill down into other fields.
Another handy feature is the Timelines. The disc includes detailed timelines plotting significant historical advances in a particular field like architecture, religion or medicine. A chart is presented along the bottom of the screen, showing dates running from left to right. Click on a date to see what happened in a particular field at a certain time, and the visual presentation style makes it easy to understand how human knowledge has evolved.
Articles are well written, and the suite overcomes one of the biggest problems with presenting so much information in the one place - how to illustrate relationships and show "the big picture". The BrainStorm feature is especially useful for this as its interface allows the user to visually make connections between subjects. The disc is undeniably of value to school students, but equally for adults looking to further knowledge on a range of subjects.
Join the PC World newsletter!
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Smart LED Bulb LB130
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Surface Pro 4
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 5 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Village Roadshow aims to block 40 pirate sites
- Analysts peer into Microsoft's rumored Windows 10 Cloud
- Google lets users get social with Maps
- Microsoft unveils a bonanza of security capabilities
- Google might be gearing up to remove millions of Play Store apps next month
PCW Evaluation Team
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.
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.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCProject ManagerSA
- FTFront End DeveloperQLD
- TPTechnical Business Analyst - DigitalQLD
- FTBI Developer l Microstrategy , HadoopNSW
- FTTechnical Support RepresentativeNSW
- CCTechnical Support AnalystACT
- CCIT Procurement OfficerNSW
- TPDesktop Support OfficerQLD
- TPDigital Project ManagerVIC
- CCSenior Infrastructure EngineerNSW
- TPIT Project CoordinatorVIC
- CCSenior Life 400 DeveloperNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst - PeopleSoft HR/Payroll ProjectVIC
- FTSenior Java DeveloperNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystVIC
- FTSecurity Solutions Architect - Consultancy - Permanent - Sydney CBDNSW
- CCApplication Services Administrator (Linux)NSW
- TPAgile CoachNSW
- FTDigital Sales Account Manager - Global BrandNSW
- CCSenior Networks Specialist - DNS PlatformVIC
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)WA
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- FTApplications DeveloperACT
- FTIT Project Coordinator - Mascot/AlexandriaNSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW