So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Jasc Paint Shop Pro 9
A well-priced application for users wanting a more robust feature set than most mid-level image editors, without paying for Photoshop CS.
Price$ 269.00 (AUD)
Paint Shop Pro 9 is the only serious competitor to Photoshop CS when working with images at the professional level. It presents a user interface and workflow that is clean and efficient, without the gimmicks and wizards that define many entry-level digital imaging applications.
Increasingly affordable digital SLR cameras such as the Canon 20D (reviewed on page 22) or Nikon's D70 have led to an explosion in digital image collections. Paint Shop Pro 9 targets this interest in digital photography with a range of new features to help you get the best out of your collection.
Photography filters for removing noise, chromatic aberrations, and correcting exposure, as well as selective undo, allow you to work more effectively with your photo files. Image meta data is also better managed, with EXIF information supplied in the image browser. Although PSP9 does support RAW file importing, the models included are not nearly as extensive as Adobe Photoshop CS or even Photoshop Elements 3.0. So check the site www.jasc.com for specific models before buying.
New art media tools provide some creative options for users wanting to work with natural media. Working in a similar way to Corel's popular Painter, you can smear and dabble using virtual oil or acrylic brushes without having to get a full-blown paint program.
Recent history shows that strong opposition is needed or the incumbent starts to believe it is invincible; so hopefully Corel's recent purchase of Jasc software means the current release of Paint Shop Pro will not be the last.
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