Photoshop Creative Suite 5 roared out of Adobe's coding lab with a slew of feature changes that spell out actual improvements (unlike the last release's mostly visual overhaul) in this decades-old premium powerhouse of an image processor.
Features that automatically correct your lens and improve the way the editor processes high dynamic range (HDR) are two significant additions. Enhanced 3D image tools and a more effective algorithm for filling in image holes with information taken from neighboring parts of the photo are two others that help make this version of Photoshop a must-have for serious image-manipulators. Get a … Read more
"Good enough" audio is the order of the day, but here at The Audiophiliac it's all about great sounding gear, which can get really expensive. Usually, but not always, so here's a Top 10 list of great gear that won't break the bank. Prices run from $8 to $1,995, and seven of the ten are under $650. All are truly exceptional performers, affordably priced. (Just note that these are my personal picks; see CNET's list of best home audio products for the editors' official recommendations.)
Grado SR60i headphones ($79). Grado long ago set the standard for unbelievably great-sounding, full-size budget headphones with the original SR60. The SR60's sound had weight, detail and punch far beyond the capabilities of most under $100 'phones. Jim Austin, over at Stereophile magazine, recently reviewed the SR60i, and he thinks Grado's upgraded design surpasses the original SR60.
Ikea Lack hi-fi component stand ($7.99) It's made of particleboard and ABS plastic, and it comes in a variety of painted colors (and "birch effect"); it's 21.3 inches wide and deep, and 17.75 inches high. Ikea doesn't present the Lack as audio furniture; it's a side table, but audiophiles all over the world have used it to support their prized possessions. Build quality is surprisingly sturdy.
Sony XDR-F1HD HD Radio ($100). I guess most of you don't listen to radio anymore, but if you're lucky enough to still have a great NPR or college station nearby, you gotta hear this radio. Plug it into your computer or hi-fi and it'll sound better than Internet radio by a long shot.
Samsung HT-C6500 home theater in a box system ($649, pictured at top). I've probably reviewed more HTIBs than anybody, but this new Blu-ray Samsung HTIB really stood out from the crowd. First because it doesn't have the feeble, thin sound I associate with the petite speakers that come with most HTIBs. The sound is rich, full, and thanks to the HT-C6500's potent subwoofer, powerful.
Altec Lansing Expressionist Ultra MX6021 PC speaker-subwoofer system ($200). I checked out Altec's mighty PC sound system when David Carnoy was working on his CNET review. Wow, this thing rocks! It's remarkably clean-sounding, and the subwoofer goes really deep, without the boom and bloat so common to computer speaker systems. Face it, you're never going to get great sound out of pipsqueak speakers, the Altec system's subwoofer is 15.8 inches tall by 15.1 inches wide by 10.2 inches deep, and the satellites sport 3-inch midrange drivers and 1-inch neodymium tweeters. It's easily the best sounding $200 speaker/subwoofer package on the planet! … Read more
The 17-inch MacBook Pro has always been the domain for a special subset of people: desktop-replacement connoisseurs, fans of higher-res screens, and graphic designers in particular. The spring 2010 17-inch MacBook Pro retains nearly all of the design features from the 2009 version, but the internal components have at last received a significant boost.
As we had expected and hoped, Apple's new 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros have made the shift to Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, matching a move that the rest of the industry has rapidly made. The 17-inch Pro comes in a single 2.53GHz … Read more
Motorola announced the Motorola H17txt today, and no, it's not an April Fools' joke. The Bluetooth headset has MotoSpeak, Motorola's name for its text-to-speech technology. It is designed to read text messages to you so you never have to take your eyes off the road. Funnily, it also promises to read out acronyms like "lol" and "l8r" as actual words. It will also read out incoming caller/texter ID, plus it comes with a list of autoresponse messages.
Other features include A2DP streaming so you can listen to your podcasts or your phone's … Read more
Google is polishing its Chrome browser with the help of open-source extensions similar to the add-ons that have made Mozilla's Firefox the Web browser to beat when it comes to versatility and options. Lex1's AdBlock+ Element Hiding Helper is a good example. As the name suggests, it blocks various kinds of animated elements, typically advertising, in Google's Chrome. If you haven't tried Chrome yet, here's your chance, and you can do worse than to make AdBlock+ one of your first extensions.
AdBlock+ is easy to use, with a few simple keystroke combinations controlling all the … Read more