Macromedia Studio 8.0
- Useful new features, Tighter integration
- FreeHand drawing program absent, Few reasons to upgrade from previous versions
Flash Pro 8's new video features are the biggest change, but the lack of knockout new tools leaves you with few reasons to upgrade.
Price$ 1,510.00 (AUD)
Macromedia has overhauled its Studio 8 Web suite, but many of the changes are outside the individual applications. Overall, the suite features tighter integration. If you work primarily in just one of the suite's big-name programs (Dreamweaver 8, Flash Professional 8, or Fireworks 8), however, you'll likely find few reasons to upgrade from Studio MX 2004.
Studio 8's rejigged lineup adds Contribute 3 for updating site content and FlashPaper 2 for converting files to Flash or PDF. Absent is the FreeHand drawing program, which was part of the two previous Studio releases.
Flash Professional 8 has the biggest changes. The vector-graphics program adds a new video encoder plug-in that gives you more ways to control how video plays. Flash Player 8 also gets an upgrade by way of On2 Technologies' new VP6 video codec, which promises improved playback.
Dreamweaver 8, the suite's Web-design program, features new tools that make it much easier to design and use Cascading Style Sheets. Fireworks 8, the suite's Web image editor, also adds CSS support, but more important are its tighter hooks to Dreamweaver and Flash. For example, Fireworks now imports Flash vector objects with colors, blends, and other attributes intact.
Despite the useful new features in Dreamweaver 8 and Fireworks 8, both feel more like point releases than major updates. However, the tighter links between the apps themselves could make the new suite worth the price.
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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.
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