PC World September 2003 print edition contents

What's On the CD


The need for speed: Broadband special report

Got broadband, or just hungering for faster Net access? We have advice for choosing a service as well as tips and essentials for getting the most out of your speedy broadband account.

Part 1: You know you want it - the benefits of faster access plus info on the various types of broadband.
Part 2: Time to choose - advice on choosing a broadband service.
Part 3: Coming up to speed - securing and sharing your broadband account, troubleshooting tips, hardware options, and some great sites.


Web and you: Maximum Google

Google is fast, accurate, and fun to use, but you can get even more out of the boss of search engines. We've found more than 20 ways to customise your Google searches; locate the sites, images, and news you want more quickly; and train Google to work even more intelligently - more the way you do.

Best free stuff : Tools, sites, services

PC World uncovers over 85 essential sites, services, and tools you didn't know you couldn't live without: tools and services, browser add-ons, computer help, put yourself on the web, research and advice, arts and entertainment.

Tailor-made PCs: Custom upgrades

You may not be able to afford a bespoke suit or couture gown, but we've found loads of ways to simply and affordably give your PC a custom makeover. With just a few simple hardware and software additions, you can delve into digital photography, Web conferencing, audio editing and home networking.

Face to face: Video-conferencing workshop

Add a webcam to your Windows XP-based system and you have all the necessary hardware and software to make video phone calls through your PC. PC World puts a face to the voice with affordable video-conferencing.


Pioneer DVR-A06
HP Color LaserJet 1500L, Canon Digital Ixus 400
Samsung SyncMaster 172T, Gainward FX PowerPack Ultra/760 XP Golden Sample
Vodafone Mobile Connect Card
Epson Stylus Photo 935

Powerquest Drive Image 7.0
CorelPAINTER 8, ScanSoft Dragon NaturallySpeaking 7.0 Preferred

Quick Takes
HARDWARE: JNC SSF-302 sound device, Wacom Intuos2 graphics tablet, FujiFilm A210 FinePix, Pinnacle Studio MovieBox USB, Videologic 7.1-channel speakers, Neovo flat panel display, Apple iPod;
SOFTWARE: Adobe Premiere Pro, Steganos Internet Anonym 5


UPGRADER: Bullet-proof your PC with a software firewall
WINDOWS XP home: Top 10 XP Tips
WINDOWS XP pro: How to get true colours
LINUX: ADSL and Linux
AUDIO: Exploring FL Studio 4.0
GRAPHICS: Free graphics tools
PHP: A closer look at arrays: Pt II
DIGITAL VIDEO: Video compression


To find out more about how we test and rate products for the Best Buys section, check out the PC World Best Buys Legend.

Consumer graphics cards

Sweet Spot
Graphics cards
System RAM
Optical drives
Hard drives

PCs: Over $3500
Plus Corporation Inspire P32
Plus Corporation Astra H31
Xenon Atomic 675x
Dell Dimension 8300
Plus Corporation Astra H11

PCs: $1500-$3500
Infocom Gaming Beast 1.2
Trinity International AMD Deluxe Pack
Trinity International AMD Pro Pack
Plus Corporation Inspire A36
Trinity International P4 Super Deluxe
Infocom M-110
Acer Veriton 7600G
PC-XITE Xtreme Pro Series
SATO-Ritmo SN41G
HP Compaq d530 small form factor series

PCs: SUB-$1500
PC eXpress Avatar 2600
Trinity International P4 Deluxe Pack
Hotmicks Value 2083
Trinity International P4 Dream Pack
APUS Universe 2200

Notebooks: OVER $4000
Hi-Grade UltiNote M6600
Acer TravelMate 803LCi
Toshiba Tecra S1
Hi-Grade Notino W6700
IBM ThinkPad T40

Notebooks: $2500-$4000
Dell Inspiron 8500
Hi-Grade Notino R5400
Dell Inspiron 5150
Hi-Grade Notino C1000
Protac Excel G732

Notebooks: SUB-$2500
Targa Visionary XP
Dell Inspiron 5100
Hi-Grade Notino 4400
Hi-Grade Notino 3600

ADS USB Turbo 2.0
Creative PC-CAM 850
Creative Webcam NX Pro
Kritter USB
Logitech QuickCam for Notebooks Pro
Logitech QuickCam Pro 4000
Ritmo ePen Dual Mode Camera
Swann Opti-Viewcam


  • NEWS: 18 Broadband
  • READERS' FORUM Plus Dilbert
  • BACKBYTES: Book Review, Skills, Web Review, Gadgets and Gizmos, Games,
  • Bytesback

Coming up in the October issue:
  • Media Center PCs: how to tune your PC for home entertainment
  • Pain-free Windows tweaks: surprisingly simple Registry and batch-file tips
  • Music encoding: file compression formats compared
  • Web and you: new programs and Web services that help control your e-mail
  • Test centre: colour laser printers

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PCWorld staff

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PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

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.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

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.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

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.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

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.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

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!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

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.

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