Serif PhotoPlus X2
- Uncluttered and intuitive interface, excellent selection of helpful wizards
- Speed could be improved further
Considering the excellent set of features, Serif PhotoPlus X2 remains very good value for money at $79.99. In a few places it isn't as professional as Photoshop, but it does cost considerably less, and given the excellence of the batch tools and smart filter layers (amongst other things), Serif PhotoPlus X2 really is a great deal.
Price$ 79.99 (AUD)
Given the excellence of its batch tools and smart filter layers (amongst other things), Serif PhotoPlus X2 really is great image-editing software.
When we've looked at previous Serif products, we've been very keen to play up the value for money afforded by the likes of PagePlus, DrawPlus and, of course, PhotoPlus. At the same time, though, we've perhaps been guilty of being slightly condescending.
In a strange sense, though, this is part of Serif's success. Take Serif PhotoPlus X2, the brand new version of the best-selling digital image-editing package.
With Serif PhotoPlus X2's uncluttered and intuitive interface and excellent selection of helpful wizards, you can be polishing off your first project within minutes. And yet, this ease of use shouldn't detract from a feature's set that, in many respects, now rivals that of the high-end Photoshop.
Initially, some of Serif PhotoPlus X2's features sound a little tacky. Makeover Studio, for instance, sounds rather fluffy. In use, though, it works pretty well, letting you remove blemishes, make skin look smoother, or brighten teeth.
You can get previews to see how things will look, and while Serif PhotoPlus X2's results aren't flawless, you do now have a few extra tools for airbrushing the odd imperfection.
Of more practical use are Serif PhotoPlus X2's vastly improved smart filter layers. You get full undo and redo facilities, and you can see a before-and-after preview so that you can get an idea of what you'll be unleashing.
Speed is improved, although we would like to see this cranked up once more. New filter effects cover a decent range, from the hand-drawn look cast by Serif PhotoPlus X2's Comic Book filter to the reshaping created by Vignette.
Serif PhotoPlus X2's batch tools have received less hype but, in many respects, are one of PhotoPlus's most resounding successes. Allowing you to set one of 200 different macros (changing the resolution or adjusting the colour saturation, for instance), or to record your own set of functions, these can perform a variety of different tasks in very little time. As a way of applying the same tools to multiple files, they're excellent.
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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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