So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Adobe Systems Photoshop Express
- It's free; the ability to work with Facebook, Picasa and PhotoBucket; 2GB online storage
- Officially Photoshop Express is only available to those in the US
The combination of 17 professional photo-editing tools, 2GB online storage and the ability to publish pictures straight to Facebook makes Photoshop Express an excellent piece of software. The fact it's free is just the icing on the cake.
Photoshop Express is a scaled-down, Web-based version of Adobe Photoshop that won't cost you a penny.
Adobe is currently only officially offering the Photoshop Express service to those in the US, but we successfully accessed and used it from Australia (although we did have to claim to be from the US to do so).
Adobe has warned that those using the Photoshop Express service from outside the US will find it painfully slow, but we found it fairly slick. Plans are in place to officially launch Photoshop Express in other locations later in the year.
We started by uploading photos to the My Photos section, which offers 2GB of space. We were then able to organise images into albums or leave them loose in the library. Then it was on with the editing.
Photoshop Express offers 17 editing tools from the full version of Photoshop, split into three categories. The Basic category includes tools such as red-eye removal, auto correct and exposure while the Tuning tools allowed us to alter the white balance, focus and sharpness of our images. Finally we used the Effects tools for fun manipulations, such as picking out pop colours in the images or converting them to black and white.
We were very impressed with Photoshop Express's ability to work with Facebook, Picasa and PhotoBucket. Just one click on the appropriate link on the left-hand side of browser windows allowed us to log in to our account and access all the images saved there.
Plus, Adobe Photoshop Express takes the hard line on security. When we tried to log in to Facebook, we were first warned to log out of Photoshop Express at the end of our session to protect our Facebook account.
We also found that we could drag-and-drop any of our albums into My Gallery. From here we could create a slideshow of the albums that we could then e-mail, create a URL to or embed in a document so we could share the images. We were also warned by Adobe before we imported any pictures that My Gallery is public and can be viewed by anyone with a Photoshop Express account. In turn, a browse function ensured we could see what other users were putting in their galleries.
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