Stories by Neil Bennett

Blow Up 2

Enlarging images is something every designer and illustrator has to do on a regular basis. From incorporating low-resolution photos or video stills into your page designs to using a high-res image on an even larger poster, there is a whole range of c...

Red Giant Magic Bullet Steady

Shaky footage may be associated with amateur video, but it’s something professionals have to deal with on a regular basis. Whether it’s user-generated footage, something captured on the sly, a quick and dirty shoot or just a momentary case of shaky h...

Lightbox Photo

Lightbox Photo is a server-based software tool that allows you to create your own image-sales site. It was originally designed to allow photographers to set up their own stock libraries rather than signing with Corbis or Getty – but it will interest ...

Simulate: Illuma

Lighting is one of the hardest real-world phenomena to replicate with VFX. The intricate play of photons across surfaces is something five-frames-an-hour 3-D rendering engines have trouble with, so few compositing suites or their plug-ins can do it p...

Boris Continuum Complete 5

Boasting over 180 filters, Boris Continuum Complete (BCC) covers many bases, including traditional image processors, texture and animation generators, and compositional tools covering areas like keying and motion tracking.

Netbooks for business

The original Asus Eee PC took the hardware world by storm. Small, lightweight, inexpensive, yet running a full-fledged OS, this tiny device offered laptop capabilities at near-PDA pricing. Asus has since expanded its Eee PC line with models of varyin...

Universal Type Server

Universal Type Server isn't --- as it sounds - a particularly poor Dolph Lungren movie about the perilous journeys of someone who delivers fonts for a living

Thecus N3200

The Thecus N3200 is a RAID drive that offers good performance at a reasonable price.

Iomega StorCenter Pro 150D NAS

The StorCenter Pro 150D is what you expect of a business-focused NAS device: a big boxy chassis that dwarfs its rivals, dull looks, a noisy fan, and support for enterprise-level technologies such as Microsoft's Active Directory.

Acer Aspire EasyStore

While clearly aimed at home users, the Aspire EasyStore, a network-attached storage (NAS) device, offers much that will appeal to small studios

LaCie 2big network

Encased in dull grey metal like much of LaCie's line of larger hard-drive systems, the 2big network -- a network-attached storage device -- would sit well next one of Apple's pro-level Macs. However, on its own it looks a little like an air-condition...

Konica Minolta Magicolor 8650DN

The Magicolor 8650 is an A3 colour laser printer with exceptionally high-grade output that would make an ideal proof printer for many design studios.

Daz 3D Bridge for Photoshop

Many illustrators and artists would like to include 3D elements in their artwork, but are often put off by the deeply technical aspects of 3D modelling and rendering.

Sapphire Radeon HD 4870

Sapphire's HD 4870 is the first board we've tested to feature ATI's brand-new flagship Radeon HD 4800 series chips

3dconnexion SpaceNavigator for Notebooks

3Dconnexion's line of input devices for 3-D suites -- which it calls 3-D mice -- are tools that aim to make it easier to work in animation tools such as Maya, 3DS Max, LightWave and Cinema 4D than traditional '2D' mice.

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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Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

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Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

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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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