With the poorly selling SC 430 on the chopping block, Lexus found itself in need of a sexy luxury convertible to generate some excitement around the brand.
The IS sedan is about the same size as the SC and much better-looking. In IS 350 trim, it also extracts more horsepower from its 3.5-liter V-6 than the SC can from its 4.3-liter V-8. So, rather than update the aging SC, Lexus transplanted an updated version of its three-panel aluminum folding roof onto the IS sedan and, with a little massaging, the IS C was born.
The IS C goes from hardtop to topless in 20 seconds, which is 5 seconds faster than the SC 430.
With the exception of the new roof and two fewer doors, the IS C looks identical to the sedan. Upon closer inspection, we can see that the aesthetics have been tweaked to better fit the IS C's sporty open-air attitude. In fact, we're told that the IS and the IS C share almost no sheet metal. Of course, this is most notable around back, where the IS' tail lamps have been reworked and its rump raised to accommodate the retractable hardtop.
On paper, IS C still seats four passengers. In reality, passengers will find that the rear seats have been shifted forward by 5 inches, compromising leg room.
In the cabin, an optional Mark Levinson audio system sounds fantastic, thanks to a tweaked version of Automatic Sound Leveling that not only adjusts volume for vehicle speed, but also adjusts the equalizer to compensate for the loss of bass that comes with open-air listening. Perhaps it was our ears playing tricks on us, but the IS C's stereo actually sounds better when the vehicle is rolling than it does at a stop, which is quite an impressive feat.… Read more
9-Toolbox is a collection of ten calculators, converters, and other mini-tools (nine tools plus one bonus) that can help you with everything from divvying up a restaurant bill to measuring an incline while you're rappelling down an icy precipice.
9-Toolbox provides a utilitarian but surprisingly friendly interface for each of its tools, which include a Currency Converter (straightforward and automatically updating), Date Calc (to help you track the distance between dates), Days Until (a simple countdown tool), Holidays (major holidays by year for seven countries), Inclinometer (a flexible leveling tool with results in degrees, slope, and pitch), Loan (lets … Read more
The minor quibbles we have with Free YouTube to MP3 Converter have nothing to do with its functionality. This effective freeware is ready to go right out of the box, but can be easily customized by the user.
No effort has been made to dress up the program's utilitarian interface, which consists of seven large buttons, a few fields, and a drop-down menu. A plain text box advises users to paste URLs in the field, and this is all the onscreen guidance you'll need. Once you see the video title in the field, you click Download and the … Read more
Today only, freebie-software site Giveaway of the Day is offering Wondershare Music Converter, normally $29.95, free.
True to its name, the program converts music files from one format to another--great if you have, say, some WMAs you want to turn into MP3s. But it can also remove the DRM protection from AAC, WMA, and other popular protected formats.
Now that stores like Amazon, Rhapsody, and even iTunes sell DRM-free music, this is less of a big deal than it used to be. But if you still have DRM-infested tracks in your library, here's your chance to liberate them … Read more
Photo Manipulation software can be a lot of fun for digital picture fans. However, some of the programs can be overwhelming and confusing. BatchPhoto offers a unique twist that should help users change their snapshots in a hurry.
BatchPhoto presents itself as an easy-to-use, three-step wizard. The primary screen, and the first step, is dedicated to finding pictures you wish to alter. File paths are listed individually on a long central screen for all chosen pictures. The second step offers a simple way to apply changes to all the pictures selected. Here the first picture selected is shown in the … Read more
PDF files are a common format for most businesses today. However, altering and creating fresh PDFs remains a mystery for many people. PDFill PDF Tools hopes to make this process simpler with a number of options, but the busy interface may overwhelm less experienced users.
This freeware program has a cluttered interface that will take some studying and experimentation to master. However, all the elements serve a purpose, and many will look familiar to those who have used a word-processing program. The screen looks very much like Microsoft Word's display, with a ruler running down the side and familiar … Read more
Digital photography is a fun hobby for many computer users. One of the great pleasures is tinkering with all the elements to create a perfect photo. 36-Image Converter offers all these tools, plus a unique way to convert your file types. Less experienced users will need to spend some time getting familiar with the numerous conversion options, but the basic photo editing tools are very easy to use.
This freeware program has a unique interface that doesn't attempt to mimic more successful programs. 32-Image Converter has a black interface with a sleek series of icons at the top. Each … Read more
Horas gives users an opportunity to keep an eye on the world's different times with a simple tool. This program may be just what people with international ties have been looking for.
This program comes to life as a moveable blue strip across your desktop featuring several different cities from around the globe with the local time for each. The cities are easy to decipher and the times move every second. Adding and removing cities is a simple process. The clock automatically calculates the city's time after selecting it from a drop down menu. In addition, users can … Read more
Ultra Document to Text Converter promises to make it easier to convert files from one format to another, but it fails to even get off the ground.
This program's interface appears simple and user friendly upon first glance. There's a large screen for displaying selected files and file type. Along the bottom, several buttons offer help getting files, getting folders, loading lists, saving lists, clearing lists, and converting. Regardless of how simple the display appeared, we had absolutely no luck with this program. When we tried placing a Word document on the list for conversion, it failed to … Read more