Stories by Michael Burns

Daz 3D Bryce 7

Able to design terrains, water and oceans, skies, clouds, fog, vegetation and architecture, along with strong animation and rendering tools, Bryce is a venerable 3D suite now being developed by Daz As to be expected, Bryce 7 Pro offers close integra...

Adobe Premiere Pro CS5

Adobe is aiming high with the newly native 64-bit Premiere CS5, offering a range of cutting-edge features for the professional video market. First among these is the GPU-accelerated Adobe Mercury Playback Engine (MPE). This allows you to open and wor...

Maxon Cinema 4D R11.5

Maxon’s modelling, animation and rendering software fills a technical and economic niche between the likes of quick modellers, such as SketchUp, and the full-blown power of Maya. The application now runs faster, offering a quick, fluid modelling expe...

QuarkXpress 8.1

QuarkXPress 8 was a fairly thorough restructuring of the venerable DTP application. This update, free to registered users of version 8, is mainly concerned with addressing bugs and sorting out the workflow. However there are some new capabilities, es...

Luxology modo 401

Already a well specified modelling tool, modo gets stronger in animation and particularly rendering with the 401 release. There’s now a preset library, packed with models, textures, environments and materials.

Bonzai3d 1.0

AutoDesSys’ Bonzai3d is a brand-new 3D sketching tool aimed at two camps: illustrators and digital artists who want to mock up scenes in 3D to create accurate-looking arrangements and perspectives for compositions, and 3D artists who want to quickly ...

Adobe Director 11.5

Director, Adobe’s tool for creating interactive content, for both online and standalone applications, gains several key features with version 11.5. High-def has arrived for Director and the Shockwave player, in the form of support for H.264 video.

E-on Software Vue 7 Infinite/xStream

The latest version of E-on’s Vue line of landscape-generation applications doesn’t add any new types of elements to its collection of tools for creating landscapes, skies, trees, plants and volumetric clouds – so the new version’s features are largel...

Autodesk 3DS Max 2010

The newest version of Autodesk’s 3D suite contains some major interface changes. On opening 3DS Max 2010, you’ll immediately be aware of the new Graphite Modelling toolset. This allows you to directly select and manipulate polygon objects.

Google Sketchup Pro 7

Google’s 3D sketching software SketchUp offers a great way to lay out an initial design for a 3D scene or artwork. Illustrators and digital artists can use the free version for occasional work, then take their sketches into Photoshop and Illustrator ...

Story Planner Pro 3.1

Story Planner Pro offers a quick way to break the story behind an animation or video sequence down into key scenes.

Autodesk ImageModeler 2009

ImageModeler 2009 extracts 3D information from still images to construct accurate 3D models and scenes, to which you can apply realistic textures taken from the image.

Daz Carrara 7 Pro

The seventh version of Carrara, which is available in Express, Standard and Pro editions, aims to offer a fully featured 3D suite at an affordable price. We’ve looked at the Pro version here.

Toon Boom Animate

In terms of both features and price, Animate sits between Toon Boom Studio and the more expensive Toon Boom Digital Pro. There are some anomalies, however. For example, you can’t directly scan in bitmaps and convert them to vectors as you can with th...

iClone Pro 3

In its two previous iterations, iClone was a low-end 3D animation suite, pitching itself at enthusiasts who were happy to work primarily with pre-built components. With the release of version 3, Reallusion has added a Pro version for quickly putting ...

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

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Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

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Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

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Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

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Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

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Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

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HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

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Budget

Back To Business Guide

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Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

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.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

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.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

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.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

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