The demand for high performance computing in laptops has never been greater.
Although not a high-end product, X1 is a powerful program that'll let you create polished vector drawings in minutes, even if your creative skills are limited.
Price$ 319.00 (AUD)
Even if you're an experienced digital illustrator, you may find Xara X1's ease-of-use a refreshing alternative to Macromedia's FreeHand, Adobe's Illustrator or even Corel's CorelDraw. In addition, it promises to be up to 500 per cent faster than other leading vector software and its photo and bitmap-handling tools are second to none.
There's no symbols feature for repetitive graphics or a spelling checker for text, but it's still excellent value for money.
Targeted at print and Web designers, Xara X1 supports real-time bitmap anti-aliasing, offers smoother feather and shadows, pressure-sensitive brush stroking and multi-stage graduated fills as well as real-time interactive transparency controls.
This aggressively priced package comes with full 32-bit alpha channel bitmap support and CMYK for print illustration work including onscreen plate preview.
Xara X1 is packed full of video tutorials, wizards and a context sensitive help system. Its clean interface is also free from the excess of floating palettes and dialogue boxes that plague high-end tools. Thanks to Xara's NavBar tool, image-slicing capabilities and Dreamweaver integration, you can easily create Web-ready graphics or animated GIFs as well as prepare vector art for animation in Flash format. What's more, all Xara's features and tools work in real-time - updates are shown before you release the mouse button to make them permanent. For instance, drag the eyedropper tool on an image and the colour of your selected object alters continuously.
You can create and export frame animations to multiple PNG files to be imported into Adobe Photoshop or ImageReady as layers or frames for further editing.
Other new tools include Picture Editor, which you can use for basic photo-editing operations such as cropping, rotating, enhancing and sharpening. You can also adjust contrast, brightness, sharpness/blur and saturation.
Unfortunately, there's no support for third-party filters, but this is promised as a free update later in the year. There's also no local pixel editing (painting or retouching), unlike Macromedia's Fireworks which lets you paint on artwork as easily as you draw.
Photo and bitmap handling is still faster and more powerful than any other vector graphics application, however. In addition, almost anything you can do to vector shapes you can do to bitmaps.
Images files (such as JPEGs, GIFs, TIFFs and so on) are embedded in a separate Xara file, cutting down on file size in the process. For instance, an uncompressed 20MB photograph would double in file size every time you copy it. As a result, you may end up with a file that's as big as 60MB. Xara uses a proprietary "zero-memory footprint" approach, which means that each new copy and edited copy requires no additional memory or file space. This technology makes Xara X1 an ideal platform for creating compositions that mix native vectors and imported bitmaps.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P30 Pro review: A photography powerhouse that leans into and elevates its natural strengths
- 2 Samsung Galaxy S10 review: Messy decisions mar smart evolutions
- 3 Nokia 8.1 review: The more things change, the more they stay the same
- 4 Huawei Watch GT review: Battery life isn't everything
- 5 Oppo AX7 review: New looks, same old budget buy
Latest News Articles
- Windows Lite: what it is and when it might be released
- CBA capitulates, will support Apple Pay next year
- Intel unveils the Intel Neural Compute Stick 2
- Fetch TV expands with Aussie Broadband
- Adobe announces next generation of Creative Cloud
PCW Evaluation Team
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
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
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.)
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!
- Huawei P30 Pro: Full, in-depth review
- Panasonic Lumix S1 review
- Want to play Apex Legends?
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?