Corel VideoStudio Pro X2
A great video editor for those with underpowered PCs.
- Good for underpowered PCs
- Playback issues
Corel VideoStudio Pro X2 has a slightly better range of features than Adobe's Premiere Elements 7, and VideoStudio's tools are easier to see than Elements'. Elements still has a few unique features that we like — for example, better timeline features. We'd say VideoStudio X2 is the better choice if you have an underpowered PC, and Elements gets the nod for those with fast PCs.
Price$ 249.95 (AUD)
Create with paint
A new tool called Painting Creator lets you create and record amusing, moving overlays for your movies. Within a window, you choose from 11 types of paint brushes (you can customise their size and orientation), 38 different textures, and a full colour palette, and then click a button to start recording.
You then paint on the canvas (which is either blank or one of your clips) while the tool records. Once you drop the result into the timeline, the recording will play back as an overlay. It's a fun, easy-to-use tool, but it's not terribly sophisticated. You can, for example, stop drawing, change the colour and size of the brush, and resume drawing, but the transitions are abrupt, because in this tool, you can't use keyframes, the selection of a specific video frame where an effect begins to work and another frame where it stops.
Corel VideoStudio Pro X2 also includes some fun Flash animations that you can drop in over the top of your video. The application has an import function, but you can't download new animations from within the program, and Corel doesn't offer any on its site, either.
Dialogue boxes and filter and effects controls have been enlarged, making them more accessible and easier to see than the controls in Premiere Elements; you can adjust the size of some thumbnails, too. But some controls still seem a bit small. The interface also lets you resize some windows - about the same level of customisation afforded by Elements, but nothing too exciting. For the most part, the interface is pretty functional; however, you won't see many options in the timeline. We prefer seeing, for example, a representation of the transparency level for video tracks and the volume level in audio tracks, and keyframes in each so that we can see exactly where those levels change, as Elements provides; VideoStudio makes you open a dialogue box. This is one area where we consider Elements easier to use.
But we did find one timeline feature in VideoStudio that we really like: When you drag one clip into the timeline on top of another, VideoStudio will automatically insert your default transition, and you can set the length of the transition by adjusting the clips' overlapping points. It's a neat new time saver.
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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.
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.
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.
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