PC World August 2004 contents

What's On the CD


Fast-lane DVD burning: The best DVD drives and suites

With quicker drives and more-potent software, the time is right to take the rewritable DVD plunge. This month PC World tests 10 drives and eight suites for massive data backups, plus high-quality video and audio.

Web and you: Stress-free surfing

Browse the Web without worrying about prying eyes and ne'er-do-wells. PC World shows you how to minimise or disable pop-ups, as well as how to avoid dangerous viruses and irritating Trojans.

Security shoot-out: Ultimate protection

Combating today's stew of malware requires defence in depth - multiple barriers between the invaders and your system. PC World evaluated 16 firewalls, virus scanners, spyware removal tools and security suites to find the best arsenal.

Who knew you could do that? Cheap tricks

Get more from the tools you use every day. We unearth low-cost gizmos and free software that can help your current setup do more than you ever thought it could.

Hassle-free e-mail: Cut in-box crap

We looked at eight e-mail options - four desktop clients and four Web services - to find out which ones were easiest to use, and which offered the best features and the strongest spam protection.


Intel 925X platform
Unwired Australia wireless broadband
JNC Digital SSF-M3, TDK Tremor S-150R

Zone Labs ZoneAlarm Security Suite 5.0
Linspire OS 4.5
Ulead VideoStudio 8, MYOB JustInvoices

Quick Takes
Lexmark Z818, Epson PictureMate, Dell Photo All-In-One Printer 922, Intel Pentium 4 560, Intel 3.4GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition, Archos AV400, Navman PiN, Nova Art Explosion Scrapbook Factory Deluxe 2.0


Putting the squeeze on data

Sweet Spot
Graphics cards
System RAM
Optical drives
Hard drives

PCs: Over $3500
PCQuest 3D Guru
Plus Corporation Altera FX-530
APUS Universe Extreme 3200XE
Altech Computers GameForce Commander
Plus Corporation Inspire A73

PCs: $1500-$3500
Infocom Gaming Beast 3.2
i-Tech AMD Athlon 64 Award series
APUS Universe Pro 3200AR
Altech Computers GameForce Mercenary
i-Tech AMD Athlon 64 Award Pro series
ARC Elite Gamer 64
Trinity International AMD Super Power Pack
Pioneer Computers Digital Home
Acer Aspire RC900
Scorpion Technology Z Box

PCs: Sub-$1500
i-Tech AMD Athlon XP Award series
Pacstar Australia Elise
I-Tech AMD Athlon 2800+ XP Award series
APUS Universe 2800AX
Altech Computers GameForce Sniper

Notebooks: Over $4000
IBM ThinkPad T41p (2373 GEM)
ITC Millennia 7200
Acer TravelMate 8005LMi
Pioneer Power Athlon64 8355
Dell Precision M60

Notebooks: $2500-$4000
Dell Inspiron 9100
QDI Alacritas W730-K8
ITC Millennia 7100
Digital Star PowerNote 258SA
Asus M6S00N

Notebooks: Sub-$2500
Optima Centoris G595
ModTech CIVIC Diamond 1600XR
Astone Z9
Pioneer SOHO Notebook
ModTech CIVIC Diamond Pro

DVD burners
Diamond Digital DVDXRW848
Gigabyte GO-W0808A
HP dvd420i
Lite-On SOHW-8325
Pioneer DVR-A07XLA
Plextor PX-712A
Sony DRU-700A


IN DEPTH: Drive partitioning
Upgrader: Firmware fixes
WINDOWS XP: Windows dressing
Mac OS: Power tools
LINUX: Crossing over to Linux
PHP: PHP 5: New object model
AUDIO: Digital radio revolution
GRAPHICS: The clearer picture: Part I
DIGITAL VIDEO: VideoStudio walkthrough
CD & DVD: Back from the grave
HELP SCREEN:Windows All Windows - Shutdown slowdown; Stubborn files; Windows XP- Boot on the other foot; Lost search; Microsoft Office Sharing your Outlook; Internal errors with SR1; Miscellaneous Removal worries; Internet Error objects; Hardware CD/DVD ID; Purchase concerns; Ricoh installation error; Creative use of the System Tray


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

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PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

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