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					              microsoft office tips    july 2010


                   first looks:
                   Apple iPhone 4
                   Build a PC in Only
                   30 Minutes, Seriously
                   The Best Ways to Use
                   Your iPad on the Road


america’s
 fastest
  mobile
networks
• AT&T                             Pc mag
• Cricket                             labs
• Verizon                        tests 3G
                                   and 4G
• T-Mobile
                                networks
• Sprint 3G                    in 18 major
• Sprint 4G                     U.s. cities
july 2010                                                            vol. 29 no. 7




42      CovER SToRy
        AMErICA’s fAsTEsT MObILE NETwOrks
        Ever wonder how your cell service in your hometown stacks up against
        the rest of the country? Well, wonder no more. We tested six carriers’ 3G
        and 4G networks in 18 cities to find out which companies really deliver
        on their claims of speedy service.




PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION july 2010
                  12                                                                            16
     FIRST looKS                                                                          TECh nEWS
12 CONsUMEr ELECTrONICs                                                             5 frONT sIDE
     Apple iPhone 4                                                                   Tech CEos run for political
     Sprint Evo 4G                                                                    office; inside the Aliens vs. Preda-
                                                                                      tor benchmark; a netbook dock
     Sony Alpha nEX-3
                                                                                      station; productivity apps for iPad.
     Kodak Playsport video Camera
     Plus Quick looks                                                                     oPInIonS
                                                                                    2 fIrsT wOrD:
20 hArDwArE
                                                                                      LANCE ULANOff
     Dell optiplex 780 uSFF
                                                                                  36 JOhN C. DvOrAk
     Samsung nB30
                                                                                  38 sAsChA sEGAN
     Dell Inspiron 1464
                                                                                  40 DAN COsTA
     Plus Quick looks

26 bUsINEss
                                                                                          SoluTIonS
                                                                                  60 bUILD IT: ThE 30-MINUTE PC
     Canon imageFormula P-150 Scan-tini
                                                                                     Got a half-hour? Build your own
     Epson WorkForce 1100
                                                                                     computer. We show you how.
     QuickBooks online Plus
                                                                                  64 OffICE: TIPs fOr OffICE 2010
30 sOfTwArE                                                                          learn the shortcuts and little-
                                                                                     known features of the new suite.
     Windows live hotmail (Wave 4 Beta)
                                                                                  68 wOrk: OffICE 2010
     ubuntu 10.04 (“lucid lynx”)
                                                                                     ALTErNATIvEs
     netflix (for iPad)                                                               you’re not stuck with Microsoft.
     Plus Quick looks                                                                There are other options—even
72 ThE bEsT sTUff                                                                    some free ones.
 PC Magazine Digital Edition, ISSn 0888-8507, is published monthly at $12 for one year. Ziff Davis Media Inc., 28 East 28th Street, new york ny 10016-7940.



                                                                                                      july 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 1
                                FIRST WORD LANCE ULANOFF




Storage Evolution

S
              ony’s decision to end 3.5-inch     Memory is Not a Mountain
              disk production is just another    In my house, I have a computer with an
              signal that local storage media    old 3.5-inch floppy drive (my only one), an
              and platforms cannot be            Iomega jaz drive, and a ZIP drive. Packed
              trusted with your precious data.   away somewhere in a box, I also have a com-
   It’s worth noting the demise of any popu-     puter with a 5.25-inch floppy drive. I keep all
lar format, because it has a ripple effect on    this on hand in the futile hope that I’ll finally
the technology world. In 2003, when Dell         get around to recovering all that data that’s
decided to stop putting 3.5-inch floppy          trapped on the various extinct storage for-
drives in its computers, we were already         mats at home.
seeing the proliferation of uSB drives. Back       The fact is that storage media and the
then, they had capacities that, while many       drives that read and write them are not
times greater than the best floppy disk, were     permanent, like Mount Rushmore. In 2003,
still miles away from where they are now.        CD-Rs seemed pretty permanent, but it
   Personally, I don’t know anyone who still     was only a few years later that I was actu-
uses 3.5-inch floppies, but I’ll bet if I asked   ally recommending that manufacturers
you or anyone else, you’d admit to still hav-    stop putting optical drives in laptops. No
ing a box or two stashed somewhere. Most         manufacturer has pulled optical drives
are probably filled with data that you always     from desktops, but many laptops are sold
promised yourself you’d migrate to another       without them.
medium. you probably did the same thing            As space on uSB keys and flash media,
with the old truly “floppy” 5.25-inch disks.      such as SD and Micro SD cards, reach the
That data is trapped on its obsolete format      storage levels of traditional hard drives,
as well. Perhaps that’s the real story today:    optical drives’ fortunes may come tumbling
Another once-popular format plays dodo           down. Blu-ray drives still outstrip by a coun-
and we start worrying about what happens         try mile the storage capacities of all other
when there are no more drives available to       consumer optical mediums and most flash
read the medium.                                 media, but the cost for the discs is prohibi-

2 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION july 2010
        Consumers usually don’t change storage
              methods until it’s too late.
tive, and most computers do not come with          aging storage platforms out of the hands of
Blu-ray writers.                                   consumers and individual businesses. It’s
   I think it’s fair to say that optical storage   time for everyone to consider cloud-based
will someday meet the same fate as the 3.5-        options seriously. I know that people fear
inch floppy. uSB drives and SD and Micro           the cloud. They think, “What if the Inter-
SD cards could, someday, too.                      net goes down?” Okay, maybe you’d lose
                                                   access for an hour or even a whole day. It’s
The Data Dilemma                                   highly unlikely you’ll lose access for any lon-
Consumers and businesses face a tough              ger than that.
decision: Where do you put your data?                 What’s more, I’m not proposing that all
Keeping outmoded technology can                    data be stored in the cloud—just backups.
become expensive and is usually a losing           Instead of people and companies using ad-
game. Even hard drives have a technology           hoc media and putting it in a drawer, let’s
nipping at their heels: solid-state drives         back it all up to companies whose job it is to
(SSD). like their flash-based cousins, SSDs         store data. Amazon’s S3 business, for exam-
don’t spin, and they cost more per gigabyte        ple, has to keep up with the latest storage
than traditional hard drives. Theoretically,       technologies and will always migrate your
we could all be using SSD-only PCs by 2020.        data to the next best thing. So will online
Then again, maybe we’ll be storing data in a       backup companies like Mozy and Norton
completely different medium altogether—            Online Backup. Consumers and businesses
like holographic storage.                          would never again have to worry about los-
   The only sure thing in technology is, as we     ing critical files because they can’t find a
all know, change. So what should compa-            drive to read the data or they’ve learned,
nies and consumers do? The former, at least,       to their horror, that the software they use
probably have the resources to upgrade             to read an old drive has just corrupted the
their storage methods continually. Consum-         entire thing because of compatibility issues.
ers usually don’t change storage methods              Putting all of your data in the cloud may
until it’s too late. Sometimes they never          sound crazy, but it’s certainly much smarter
do at all, and they end up leaving data on         than storing on eventually-to-be-obsolete
all sorts of orphaned storage media. I think       media, which is akin to putting your memo-
there’s a better way.                              ries in a lock box and throwing away the key.

                                                   Follow mE on TwiTTEr! Catch the chief’s
Climbing Into the Cloud                            comments on the latest tech developments at
As I see it, it’s time to take the task of man-    twitter.com/LanceUlanoff.

                                                                july 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 3
                                                                                                                                 ®
Editor-in-ChiEf, pC magazinE nEtwork                       Lance Ulanoff
Editor     Stephanie Chang
dirECtor of onLinE ContEnt, EXECUtiVE prodUCEr                Vicki B. Jacobson
EXECUtiVE Editor      Dan Costa
pC Labs dirECtor, managing Editor (Laptops, dEsktops)  Laarni Almendrala Ragaza  www.pcmag.com
managing Editors   Sean Carroll (software, security, Internet, business),
Tony Hoffman (printers, scanners), Matthew Murray (ExtremeTech),
Sascha Segan (mobile), Wendy Sheehan Donnell (consumer electronics)
fEatUrEs Editor Eric Griffith
sEnior Editors Brian Heater (PCMag.com), Carol Mangis (blogs, community),
Erik Rhey (Digital Edition)
pC Labs LEad anaLysts Cisco Cheng (laptops), Tim Gideon (consumer electronics),
Samara Lynn (business, networking), Michael Muchmore (software), Neil J. Rubenking
(security), Joel Santo Domingo (desktops), M. David Stone (printers, scanners)
anaLysts Dan Evans (DIY, hardware), PJ Jacobowitz (consumer electronics)
inVEntory ControL Coordinator Nicole Graham
staff photographEr Scott Schedivy
pCmag.Com managEr, onLinE prodUCtion Yun-San Tsai
prodUCErs Mark Lamorgese, Whitney A. Reynolds
nEws Editor Mark Hachman
nEws rEportEr Chloe Albanesius
staff Editors Jennifer Bergen (blogs), Gregg Binder (printers, scanners), Zachary Honig
(consumer electronics), Errol Pierre-Louis (software, security, Internet)
assistant Editors Sean Ludwig (mobile), Natalie Shoemaker (hardware)
CommErCE prodUCErs Iman Edwards, Arielle Rochette
UtiLity program managEr Tim Smith
CrEatiVE dirECtor Chris Phillips
ContribUting Editors Helen Bradley, John R. Delaney, Richard V. Dragan, John C. Dvorak,
Craig Ellison, Galen Fott, Bill Howard, Don Labriola, Jamie Lendino, Jim Louderback,
Bill Machrone, Edward Mendelson, Jan Ozer, Neil Randall, Matthew D. Sarrel, Larry Seltzer
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ChiEf EXECUtiVE offiCEr         Vivek Shah
                                                Neil Glass
ChiEf finanCiaL offiCEr and sEnior ViCE prEsidEnt
ChiEf opErating offiCEr Steve Sutton
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dirECtor Nyasha Bass (Licensing)




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Front
           What’s New from the World of Tech




Ms. Chip Goes to
Washington
Two tech titans enter the political arena in California
First, they climbed to the top of the corpo-    Jerry Brown for the office of governor this
rate ladder in the tech industry. Now they’re   November, while Fiorina will challenge
hoping to capture the same success—             incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer for her
and votes—in California politics. Former        Senate seat in 2010. Both candidates won
Hewlett-Packard chief Carly Fiorina (above,     their primary battles to represent the GOP
right) and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman          in their respective races.
(above, left) are hitting the campaign trail.
   Whitman is taking on former gover-           ‘Buy It Now’ Politics?
nor and current state Attorney General           Whitman spent an estimated $71 million of

                                                           JuLY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 5
                                             FRONTsIDE


her own fortune on the campaign, prompt-              goes into the Internet.”
ing some wags to make comparisons to                     As a senator, Fiorina says her top priori-
the “Buy It Now” option that eBay offers to           ties will be economic recovery and fiscal
supersede a public auction. Whitman com-              accountability. “I will not settle for a jobless
bated that claim by saying financial inde-            recovery and we must start the important
pendence freed her campaign from special              work of getting our financial house back in
interests. “Here’s the really good news: I            order,” Fiorina said in a statement.
don’t owe anyone anything,” Whitman said,
according to the Los Angeles Times.                   From Board Room to Ballot Box
                                                      For those using history to predict the out-
Fiorina’s Track Record                                come of these races, the record shows
In the Senate race, Fiorina faces an 18-year          mixed results for executives who run for
incumbent in Boxer, but the former HP head            office. Success stories include Bloomberg
is not exactly a political novice. She served as      L.P. CEO Michael Bloomberg, who is cur-
an economic adviser to former presidential            rently in this third term as New York City
hopeful John McCain during the 2008 elec-             mayor and Virginia senator Mark Warner,
tion. She played a less prominent role during         who made a fortune in telecommunications
the campaign, however, after she suggested            in the 1980s. On the other hand, there are
in an interview that neither McCain nor his           examples such as former executives and
VP choice, Sarah Palin, had enough experi-            failed presidential candidates Ross Perot
ence to run a major corporation.                      and Steve Forbes. Time will tell if these tech
   On her campaign Web site, Fiorina did              magnates have the skills and political will
not list technology among her top issues,             to win their races. As Karen Tumulty of the
focusing instead on small businesses and              Washington Post put it in a recent story,
jobs, taxes, energy, and healthcare. Within           “CEOs, used to getting their way and having
the taxes category, however, she said                 underlings jump at their commands, can be
she would make sure “every federal bud-               ill-equipped for the slow, frustrating grind of
get goes up on the Internet” and “every bill          politics.”—PC Mag Staff


   BEST of ThE InTErnET
   PRIvACyDEFENDER                    THUMBA                          UNHUB
   This free Facebook app not         This free Web-based image       Part personal landing page,
   only examines your current         editor has some high-end        part quick-access to your
   privacy settings, but also         features to tweak your photos   presence on the Web, unhub
   adjusts them based on your         from any computer. Along        is a Web service that allows
   preferences. It can even           with basic image editing, you   you to create a “landing
   warn you when you’re mak-          can also automatically adjust   strip” that points to your
   ing something personal open        color levels, brightness, and   social networking profiles,
   to the public.—Alan Henry          so on.—AH                       blogs, and other data.—AH


6 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JuLY 2010
BEST of our BlogS

                                    GEARLOG
                                    NetDock Has What Your Netbook Lacks
                                    There are a few trade-offs in getting a netbook or ultraportable note-
                                    book, but the Apricorn Aegis NetDock has it all covered. This compact
                                    $189 package includes 500GB of storage, a dual-layer DVD burner, and
                                    a four-port uSB hub. All that with a footprint no bigger than a stapler. If
                                    you want the portability of a netbook but are tired of the limited storage
                                    or lack of an optical drive, this is for you.
                                       The NetDock comes in candy-red for visual flair. It also ships with syn-
                                    chronization software so you can keep all your data backed up. It turns
                                    on automatically when connected to your netbook and shuts down by
                                    itself when not in use. If you ever need to add more storage, the easy
                                    open enclosure lets you change the hard drive in no time. You can also
                                    buy the NetDock without a hard drive for $89.—Troy Dreier


sECURITy WATCH
Update: Leak Exposes Apple
iPad E-mails, IDs
A security breach has
exposed 114,000 e-mail
addresses and ICC-IDs of vari-
ous iPad owners, including
some big names, AT&T has
acknowledged.                                                                 AT WORK
   Gawker.com received a tip           GOODCLEANTECH                          Dropbox Adds Apple iPad
from Goatse Security, which            Visualizing the Gulf of                and Android support
provided the data from the             Mexico Oil Spill                       There’s a reason why we rec-
alleged leak, as well as the cul-      Never mind the slightly sac-           ommend Dropbox as one of
prit: AT&T.                            charin title; www.ifitwasmy-            our favorite cloud services for
   Goatse told Gawker that it          home.com is a simple but               small businesses: it’s a superbly
was able to obtain the e-mails         effective way to visualize the         implemented cloud-based,
via a script on the AT&T Web           current state of the BP oil            automatic, file-synchronization
site, which returned the e-mail        disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.        service. Now, courtesy of a new
when the ICC-ID was entered            The Web site superimposes              mobile API, you can access
as part of a script address. The       NOAA’s current image of                important files from even more
ICC-ID refers to the unique            the spill onto whatever geo-           locations. Dropbox’s reach has
ID assigned to each SIM card.          graphic location you want.             expanded to include the Apple
iPad owners exposed in the                We all know it’s a huge             iPad and Android handsets.
breach include Harvey Wein-            disaster, of course, but most          Dropbox’s appearance on
stein and Michael Bloomberg.           of us aren’t so good at visual-        these platforms means that it’ll
   AT&T also acknowledged              izing size or scale over water.        be far easier to access impor-
the breach, apologizing, and           There aren’t many landmarks            tant files from virtually any
saying that it would notify            on most maps except the                Web-connected device.
customers. AT&T said it cor-           shoreline, and for those of us         — Jeffrey L. Wilson
rected the flaw immediately             who don’t know the Louisiana
after it learned of the prob-          coast, seeing the spill centered
lem, Reuters reported.                 over your hometown does give
—Larry Seltzer                         you an idea of how big this is.
                                       —Katherine Montgomery

                                                                       JuLY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 7
                                          FRONTsIDE

ExtremeTech


PC Labs
Goes
Galactic
Test driving the Aliens
vs. Predator benchmark
The film Alien and its sequel, Aliens, still     gram Files folder and then reference by
stand out today for their devotion to dimly      adding the proper string to the shortcut you
lit creepiness, giving you the impression in     use to run it. If you don’t want to pass it your
almost every frame that certain doom lay         own config file, it will run at whatever reso-
within every shadow. And though we never         lution Windows is currently using. When the
found Predator quite as unsettling, it also      benchmark finishes, it deposits a results file
was a solid alien-action flick.                   in your Documents folder that reminds you
   Fans have known for about 20 years            which settings you used. This file sums up
that the two franchises go great together,       your performance by including the number
especially on the video-game front. But          of frames run, the average frame time, and
it’s only been recently that the technology      the average frames per second (fps).
has caught up to the visions of the origi-
nal films—with the help of DirectX 11. The   The Benchmark in Action
Aliens vs. Predator benchmark—based on       We played around a bit with the benchmark
the popular game—is a good-looking, easy-    to get an idea of what to expect. We tested
                                             it on a decently beefy machine, loaded
to-run app. It’s a fairly hefty download (just
over 300MB), and it won’t run unless you’re  with an Intel Core i7-975 CPu, an ATI Rad-
using DX11 video hardware, but it’s smoothly eon HD 5870 video card, and 6GB of RAM,
configurable, and it’s easy to document and   and got pretty good results. With all the
share the settings you use in case you want  settings maxed, we achieved a reasonable
to test multiple systems.                    31.4 frames per second (fps) on the bench-
                                             mark. Given this benchmark’s ease of use
settings and Configuration                    and ease of setting up ahead of time, we’re
Rather than using in-app settings, the video planning to integrate it into our video card
options for the benchmark are controlled testing procedures at the earliest opportu-
with a configuration file you drop in its Pro- nity.—Matthew Murray

8 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JuLY 2010
All computers
are not created equal.
Double your processor performance1 and save time with the
smart multitasking of the all-new Intel® Core™ i5 processor.

   Intel, maker of the classic Intel® Pentium® processor, unveils the new standard in processor
   power and performance—the all-new 2010 Intel® Core™ Processor Family.


                                                                                           VELOCITY MICRO EDGE Z30
                www.velocitymicro.com
                                                                                                                                        • Intel® Core™ i5-750 processor
                      800-303-7866
                                                                                                                                        • Winner of multiple Editors’
   At Velocity Micro, we set our own standards.                                                                                           Choice awards
   Then we surpass them.
                                                                                                                                        • 100% US based support
   Assembled by master craftsmen, Velocity Micro PCs use
   only the finest parts. No detail goes untouched. That’s how                                                                           • Free shipping and $100 off
   we create PCs that raise our own bar for excellence again                                                                              when you mention this ad
   and again.
   Intel is not responsible for and has not veri ed any statements or computer system
                                                                                                                                        Starting at $1,069.00
   product-speci c claims contained herein.

1. Claim based on tests using current IntelŠ CoreŒ i5 processor compared to typical three- to four-year-old installed base products as defined by IDC (Dec’08). PCMark Vantage
is a collection of various single- and multithreaded CPU, Graphics, and HDD test sets with the focus on Windows Vista* application tests. Tests have been selected to represent
a subset of the individual Windows Vista Consumer Scenarios. For more information go to http://www.intel.com/performance.
© 2010, Intel Corporation. All rights reserved. Intel, the Intel logo, Intel Core, and Core Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.
*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.
Velocity Micro is a registered trademark of Velocity Micro, Inc. EDGE is the trademark of Edge Games, Inc. Used under license.
                                            FRONTsIDE

Connected Traveler



iPad as
Travel
Workhorse
yes, it’s fun, but your tablet can also
keep you productive on the road.

By now, iPad owners probably know about          app, l l l l m ), Apple’s tablet answer to
most of the entertaining apps offered on the     Office. Here you can get the Pages word
platform, such as Netflix, Rhapsody, Marvel       processor, Numbers spreadsheet app, and
Comics, and more. But there are also a slew      Keynote for creating presentations. While
of programs that can keep you productive         Pages is for basic documents, Numbers and
on the road. Such apps can make the iPad         Keynote have powerful, advanced features
the perfect tech travel companion—slim,          that rival their PC counterparts.
light, powerful, and easy to use. Here are a       Google Docs users can’t be without Light
few of our favorites for iPad road warriors.     Room’s GoDocs ($3.99 direct). This handy
   First of all, no worker’s iPad is complete    app lets you view Google Documents both
without iWork for iPad ($9.99 direct per         online and offline. GoDocs has folder sup-




iWork for iPad                  Air Sharing HD     Citrix Receiver for iPad

10 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JuLY 2010
Roambi                  Fax, Print & Share          Bento


port, and files can be sorted by type, name,      Excel spreadsheets to Salesforce.com data)
or creation date. The app also has a “revi-      into stunning, interactive visualizations
sions” button for accessing older versions       designed for the iPad’s screen.
of a file, so you can always turn back the          Faxing, printing, and sharing docs on
clock when needed. And when you’re in            the road can be tricky, especially since the
Wi-Fi range, you can access files from a         iPad doesn’t have this functionality built-
Linux, Mac, or Windows system on the same        in. However, Ndili Technologies’ Fax Print
network with Air sharing HD ($9.99 direct).      & share for iPad ($5.99 direct) can get the
This app mounts as a drive, so it supports       job done without installing drivers or addi-
drag-and-drop file transfers between a           tional software. You can also fax paper-
desktop and iPad.                                work and e-mail colleagues as well as open
  If your organization is running Citrix         documents (PDFs, Microsoft Office, Open
XenDesktop or XenApp software, it’s pos-         Office), and images (BMP, GIF, TIFF).
sible to turn the iPad into a full virtualized      Finally, if you love FileMaker, then you’ll
desktop. Citrix Receiver for iPad (free) pro-    definitely want FileMaker’s Bento for iPad
vides secure, one-touch access to corpo-         ($4.95 direct). This app includes 25 built-
rate desktops, Windows applications, and         in templates for uses like notes, to-do lists,
complex database and 3D applications.            projects, selling, expenses, and home inven-
For number-crunchers, Roambi (free) has          tory. But there’s also an online community
an iPad app that provides a graphically rich     that has built and shared about 600 more
way to access, store, manage, and refresh        templates for specific uses. The app works
mission-critical business data by trans-         standalone, not requiring syncing with a
forming enterprise data (everything from         computer.—Samara Lynn and Erik Rhey

                                                             JuLY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 11
	 	 INSIDE
12 CONsuMER ELECTRONICs
20 HARDWARE
26 busINEss
30 sOFTWARE                                      First
PREVIEW: APPLE IPHONE 4



iPhone	Ups		
Its	Game
A
              t t h i s ye a r ’s Wo r l d w i d e   The phone has volume buttons and an ori-
              Developers Conference,                 entation lock switch on the side, as well as
              Steve Jobs unveiled the new            a MicroSIM card slot. It also has a stainless
              Apple iPhone (dubbed the               steel band running around its edge, which
              “iPhone 4”). Among the new             is part of the antenna system for Bluetooth,
features on this phone are a gyroscope, a            Wi-Fi, GPS, UMTS, and GSM. Apple is offer-
video-editing app, retina display, iBooks, a         ing the iPhone 4 in black and white.
video calling feature known as FaceTime,                This iPhone’s high-resolution screen is
and more. So how does it compare to the              960-by-640 pixels, which is four times
previous 3G model? Read on to find out.               more pixels than that of the 3GS. Display
                                                     quality is a major focus of the iPhone 4,
Form Factor                                          as evidenced by a technology in this new
The first thing you’ll notice about the new           iPhone known as retina display. The boost
iPhone is that it is sharp—and we don’t              in quality means that Apple can fit four
mean just good looks. This model is actu-            times as many pixels in the same amount of
ally physically sharp, with hard edges that          space. In our time with the phone, we had
you’re just not used to finding on an Apple           trouble perceiving the difference between
product. The body is stainless steel, with a         the super-high-res screen and the 800-by-
smooth glass back. It’s a little less comfort-       480 screens.
able to hold than a classic, rounded iPhone,
but it feels more expensive. The iPhone 4            Features
is 9.3-mm thick, which is 24 percent thin-           The iPhone 4 has an Apple A4 processor,
ner than its predecessor, the iPhone 3GS.            a 5-megapixel camera with HD video cap-

12 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JUly 2010
                                                                            oUr	ratINGS	kEy:
                                                                            l l l l l EXCELLENT
                                                                            l l l l m VERY GOOD
                                                                            l l l m m GOOD
                                                                            l l m m m FAIR
                                                                            l m m m m POOR




                                                apple	iPhone	4
                                                With subscription, $199 direct (16GB) and
                                                $299 (32GB)
                                                Not yet rated
                                                PROs Amazing high-resolution screen.
                                                Video calling. Potentially better battery
                                                life and call quality than previous models.
                                                CONs Still an AT&T exclusive.



ture and an lED flash on the back. There is      eter to provide six-axis motion sensing to tilt
also a bigger battery—welcome news for          and rotate when you turn your body. It joins
iPhone users who have complained about          three other sensors included in the iPhone—
dwindling power supply. With the iPhone         compass, proximity, and ambient light.
4, Apple claims up to 40 percent more talk      The iPhone 4 can record in high-definition
time, 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing, 10 hours of   video—full 720p at 30 frames per second.
video, 40 hours of music, and 300 hours of      Videos can be exported to 360p, 540p, or
standby.                                        720p. It will also support one-click sharing.
   Apple has also included a gyroscope on         One of the most touted new features is
the iPhone 4, which is tied to the accelerom-   FaceTime, a technology that lets you place

                                                             JUly 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 13
                          FIRsT LOOks CONsuMER ELECTRONICs


video calls over Wi-Fi between two iPhone                                      MINI MOVIE
                                                                               The iPhone 4
4 devices. FaceTime can be accessed using                                      runs the new
the front or back of the camera, and is view-                                  iOS version of
able in portrait or landscape mode. There is                                   iMovie, which
                                                                               gives you full
no buddy list required—just make a phone
                                                                               video-editing
call. The feature will be Wi-Fi only in 2010,                                  power on your
he said, because Apple needs to work out a                                     phone.
few details with cellular providers.
  W h e n we t r i e d o u t Fa ce Ti m e, we
found that the quality isn’t as sharp as we
expected. Although the technology is easy
to use, frame rates were just a bit jerky,
about 15 frames per second, and the video
looked pixilated.
                                                Pricing
New Apps and software                           So how much will all this new power cost
like the iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4 will run      you? Well, the 16GB iPhone will retail for $199
iOS 4, which adds more than 100 new             and the 32GB version will sell for $299 for
user features to Apple’s well-known plat-       current iPhone users (and AT&T subscrib-
form. Most notable are features for limited     ers). Without a contract, the new iPhone will
multitasking, folders for apps, a univer-       cost $599 (16GB) and $699 (32GB). If you
sal inbox for mail, wireless keyboard sup-      are switching from another carrier, AT&T
port, and new iBooks and iMovie apps. The       will offer its new tiered data plans: DataPlus
new iMovie will let users edit clips, record    is 200MB for $15 per month and DataPro
directly into a timeline, and choose from       gives you 2GB per month for $25. If you are
clips and photos stored on the phone. We        an existing AT&T smartphone user, you don’t
edited bits of a movie with iMovie, and it’s    need to switch to a new plan.
a surprisingly complex and powerful pro-
gram—not the kind of thing you can pick up      Worth the upgrade
in a few seconds.                               The new iPhone 4 will probably convince
   Also, the iBooks e-reader features, first    iPhone owners to upgrade, if only because
announced for the iPad, are now available       it looks different and feels expensive—it’s a
on the iPhone. you can sync content with        new thing, and it’s fashion-forward. As for
other devices and make notes that will          how it will stack up against other top smart-
show up on e-books. Apple has also added        phones, we will be running comprehensive
three new apps so far: a free Netflix app, a     tests in PC labs this summer. Stay tuned.
FarmVille app from Zynga, and a $2.99 Gui-      —Chloe Albanesius and Sascha Segan
tar Hero app from Activision.                                      >> CLICk HERE FOR MORE

14 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JUly 2010
                       FIRsT LOOKs CONsuMER ELECTRONICs



HTC EVO 4G (sprint)



The First U.S.
WiMAX Phone
           Want more Internet? The HTC
           EVO 4G, the nation’s first WiMAX
           phone, has more Internet than any
           phone in America today. All that
           Internet, however, takes a toll on
the EVO’s battery, so you’ll need to recharge
it often when using 4G. But if you live online,
the EVO offers a big, beautiful, and power-
ful window to the world.
   The EVO is a big black slab with a 4.3-
inch LCD screen that is very reflective and
                                                  HTC EVO 4G (Sprint)
therefore barely usable outdoors. Indoors,
                                                  $299.99 list
though, it’s gorgeous. The phone doesn’t          L l l l m
have a physical keyboard, so you’re reliant       PROs First WiMAX phone. Excellent Web
on HTC’s touch keyboard, which is not as          browser with some Flash. Terrific 4.3-inch
                                                  screen. Two cameras. Wi-Fi hotspot mode.
accurate as an iPhone’s. One other neat fea-
                                                  CONs Not a great voice phone. 4G coverage is
ture is a kickstand on the back for propping      very limited. 4G-only battery life is unflattering.
it up to watch videos. HTC also packs in lots
of useful software, such as an FM radio, a        of talk time on the EVO in 3G mode. That’s
Twitter client, two GPS navigation options,       pretty good, but the story is quite different
Microsoft Office and PDF document read-            with 4G WiMAX. Also, though we couldn’t
ers, and more. Such apps run quickly on           make any calls using Philadelphia’s WiMAX
the 1-GHz processor. On our tests, bench-         network, Web surfing yielded impressive
mark scores were on a par with its competi-       response times.
tors, the Google Nexus One and HTC Droid            Despite the fact that 4G is available only
Incredible phones.                                in a handful of places in the u.S., and this
   Call quality on the EVO 4G with Sprint’s       phone has its flaws, the EVO 4G is nonethe-
3G CDMA network wasn’t great, with calls          less impressive enough as an early 4G entry
often sounding harsh—loud, but not clear.         to earn an Editors’ Choice.—Sascha Segan
As for battery life, I got 7 hours 24 minutes                            >> CLICK HERE FOR MORE

                                                                 juLY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 15
                          FIRsT LOOKs CONsuMER ELECTRONICs



sony Alpha NEX-3



A Compact
Game-
Changer
          Sony makes a solid entrance into        Sony Alpha NEX-3
          the relatively nascent compact          $549.99 list
                                                  L l l l h
          interchangeable lens camera
                                                  PROs Competitive price. Superb image qual-
          space with its Alpha NEX series.        ity, low-light performance, and speed. Smallest
          The 14.2-megapixel NEX-3 is unlike      compact interchangeable lens camera currently
                                                  available. Beautiful, tilting 3-inch LCD. Digital
any other camera currently available, com-        accessory port.
peting with D-SLRs that fetch twice its           CONs Limited E-Mount lens selection. No EVF
price, offering superb image quality, speed,      option. No manual control over shutter speed
                                                  and aperture while recording video.
and a robust feature set in the smallest body
I’ve seen in this class of camera.
   The 11-ounce NEX-3 measures just 2.4 by          Thanks to its D-SLR sensor, the NEX-3
4.4 by 2.4 inches (HWD, with kit lens), mak-      did well on our tests. It has a speedy start-
ing it a bit too large to tuck into your jeans,   up, averaging 2 seconds, and snaps 2.3
but small enough to stow comfortably in           frames per second in continuous shooting
a coat pocket or purse. Unlike the Olym-          mode. The NEX-3 also scored stellar sharp-
pus E-P2 and Panasonic GF1, which feature         ness results that were comparable to the
Micro-Four-Thirds image sensors, the NEX-3        larger, more-expensive Canon EOS Rebel
uses a larger APS-C sensor. Currently, Sony       T2i. It captured low-noise images at up to
offers only two lenses made for the NEX-3,        and including ISO 3200, so you can shoot
but with a $200 mount adapter, you can use        crisp photos without flash. And shooting
Sony Alpha lenses (and adjust aperture, but       HD video is a treat, but there is no manual
not autofocus). The NEX-3’s 3-inch LCD is         control over aperture and shutter speed.
the sharpest of any compact interchange-          Overall, it’s hard not to recommend this
able lens camera I’ve tested. The display sits    camera—and award it an Editors’ Choice.
on an articulating arm and can tilt as far as     —PJ Jacobowitz
90 degrees up or 45 degrees down.                                     >> CLICK HERE FOR MORE

16 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION jULY 2010
                     FIRsT LOOKs CONsuMER ELECTRONICs



Kodak Playsport Video Camera



Beachbound
Video Cam
           Priced at just under $150, the
           Kodak Playsport Video Cam-
           era is among the most afford-
           able pocket camcorders you’ll
           find. Unlike many of its competi-
tors, this versatile HD video camera offers
a variety of video capture modes includ-
ing full 1080p HD video, snaps 5-megapixel
stills, and it works underwater. The beach-
friendly Playsport lacks advanced features
like a microphone input, a headphone jack,
or macro focus, but if it’s just the basics    Kodak Playsport Video Camera
                                               $149.95 direct
you’re looking for, this is it.                L l l l m
   Waterproof cameras are typically bulk-      PROs Excellent value. Versatile video-capture
ier than their land-limited counterparts,      options. Takes 5-megapixel still images. Water-
                                               proof up to 10 feet. Simple user interface.
but that’s not the case with the 4.4-by-
                                               CONs Small, 2-inch LCD. No macro focus. No
2.3-by-0.8–inch Playsport (though it is        microphone input or headphone jack.
slightly heavier, at just under 5 ounces).
The Playsport is comfortable to hold, with     spectacular low-light performance, how-
a rugged, rubbery case that comes in pur-      ever, and the lens doesn’t include stabili-
ple, blue, or dark charcoal gray. The menus    zation. For underwater shooting, you can
and navigation buttons are pretty simple       switch to Kodak’s H20 mode, which adjusts
and straightforward, and at first glance, the   the contrast and saturation for underwa-
Playsport’s 2-inch LCD screen seems com-       ter—which makes such videos look great.
paratively small, but nearly the entire dis-     So if you’re looking for an affordable,
play is usable in recording mode.              easy-to-use compact video camera that
   Thanks to the Playsport’s 1/2.5-inch        performs well, the Playsport fills the bill.
CMOS image sensor, image quality is excel-     Being able to take it to the beach without
lent. Well-lit 5.3-megapixel stills looked     worry is a nice bonus. —PJ Jacobowitz
great to my eye, too. You shouldn’t expect                         >> CLICK HERE FOR MORE

                                                           JULY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 17
                                       QuICk LOOks CONsuMEr ELECTrONICs



               SMARTPHONES                                                                                   MEdiA HubS




               LG Rumor Touch                    Microsoft kin Two             droid incredible by HTC       Logitech Squeezebox
               $79.99 to $279.99                 $99.99 list                   $299.99 list                  Touch
                                                                                                             $299.99 direct


               l l l l m                         l l l m m                     L l l l h                     L l l m m

               • Well-designed touch UI          • Built-in Zune               • Great-looking screen        • Streams music from com-
               • Roomy, five-row QWERTY           • Good Web browser            • Lots of power                 puters and Internet radio
                 keyboard                        • Web-based interface for     • Good call quality             via Wi-Fi
               • Good voice quality                your photos                 • Gorgeous interface addi-    • Sleek, minimal design
 PROS




               • E-mail and social net-          • Easy to share information     tions                       • SD card slot
                 working built in                  with your friends                                         • Ambient light sensor




               • Subpar Web browser              • Not really a smartphone,    • Camera doesn’t live up to   • Lacks built-in speakers
               • No instant messaging              but priced like one           8-MP billing                • Does not support video
                 client                          • Limited account integra-    • No voice dialing over         files
 CONS




                                                   tion                          Bluetooth                   • No internal storage
                                                                               • Android still lacks many    • Apps are limited
                                                                                 apps compared to iPhone

               LG scores with the Rumor          The Microsoft Kin Two isn’t   HTC and Verizon Wireless      Logitech’s latest touch-
               Touch, a capable messag-          quite a smartphone, but       have released the best        screen-enabled Squee-
 bOTTOM LiNE




               ing device with plenty of         it’s a heady drug for the     Android phone so far with     zebox works well, but for
               thoughtful design touches.        Facebook-obsessed.            the Droid Incredible.         $300, it’s light on extra
                                                                                                             features.




               Sprint; 3-inch LCD; 2MP           Verizon Wireless; 3.4-inch    Verizon Wireless; 3.7-inch    802.11g; Internet radio;
               camera; Bluetooth; 4.2 by         LCD; 8MP camera; Blue-        LCD; 8MP camera; Blue-        wireless remote; Ether-
 SPECS




               2.2 by 0.6 inches (HWD);          tooth; 4.25 by 2.5 by 0.75    tooth; 4.63 by 2.3 by 0.47    net; 3.6 by 5.9 by 3.1-inch-
               4.7 ounces.                       inches (HWD); 4.7 ounces.     inches (HWD); 4.6 ounces.     es (HWD).


               Product name in REd indicates Editors’ Choice.



18 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JUly 2010
HdTvS                         E-bOOk REAdERS                  HEAdPHONES                         SPEAkERS




Toshiba 55uX600u              Sony Reader daily               bowers & Wilkins P5                bowers & Wilkins MM-1
$2,399.99 list                Edition (PRS-900bC)             Mobile Hi-Fi Head-                 $499.95 list
                              $399.99 direct                  phones
                                                              $299.95 list
L l l m m                     L l h m m                       L l l l h                          L l l l m

• GreenTech Approved          • Integrated 3G radio for       • Excellent audio perfor-          • Stellar audio performance
• High contrast ratio           wireless book downloads         mance                            • Laudable bass response
• Solid HD- and SD-image      • Classy design                 • Extremely comfortable            • Pulls audio from USB port
  quality                     • Touch-enabled display         • Relatively lightweight           • Remote can control
• Large assortment of Web     • Supports many file for-        • Equipped with iPhone/              iTunes on your PC
  apps                          mats                            iPod in-line remote
• Very energy efficient for                                      control
  its size

• Uneven backlighting         • High price                    • Expensive                        • Expensive
• Poor screen uniformity      • Glossy screen coating         • Despite the claim, offers        • Remote control is awk-
• Thicker than competing        makes dim display dif-          no noise isolation                 ward to hold
  LED edge-lit models           ficult to read                                                    • Cables could be longer
                              • Touch screen requires
                                very firm presses

Toshiba’s 55UX600U is an      The Sony Reader Daily Edi-      With the P5, Bowers &              Hardly an overpriced
energy-efficient, 55-inch,     tion offers a slick design,     Wilkins gracefully enters          design piece, the Bowers &
LED-backlit HDTV that         but it suffers from a high      the consumer headphone             Wilkins MM-1 is a fantastic
delivers good high- and       price and a dim display.        market with a stunning de-         pair of high-end PC speak-
standard-definition image                                      sign that is both comfort-         ers worth saving up for.
quality along with a wealth                                   able and sonically superb.
of Web features.

55 inches; 1,920 by 1,080     5.0 by 8.1 by 0.6 inches        Supra-aural; 26-ohm im-            0.5 by 11 by 4.5 inches
native resolution; 120-Hz     (HWD);12.8 ounces.              pedance; 6.9 ounces.               (HWD).
refresh rate; 16:9 aspect
ratio; 2 USB ports.


                                          Visit pcmag.com for the full reviews of these and other consumer electronics products.



                                                                                        JUly 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 19
                                     FIRSt LOOKS HaRDwaRE




Dell Optiplex 780 USFF



A Tiny Business Desktop
             T he Dell Optiplex 780 is an                rate policies allow them. For maintenance,
             ultra-small form factor (USFF)              removing one screw gets you into the sys-
             desktop PC that can fit virtu-              tem, and the drives are under a simple-to-
             ally anywhere your business                 pop-out panel.
             requires. If you don’t have any                In testing, the 780 completed the Win-
             expandability needs, this Intel             dows Media Encoder test in a relatively
Core 2 Duo–equipped system has enough                    quick 45 seconds and the Photoshop CS4
power to run all your business apps, and                 test in 1 minute 41 seconds—both decent
even light multimedia tasks.                             numbers for a mid-priced business system.
  The 780 measures a dainty 9.5 by 2.7                   You can also configure the system with the
by 9.5 inches (HWD), and has an optional                 more cost-efficient Pentium Dual Core,
mounting kit for a monitor to make it an all-            Celeron Dual-Core, and single-core Cel-
in-one. In order to power up the monitor and             eron CPUs. The Core 2 Quad is limited to
the PC and connect to the Internet, you only             the larger Optiplex 780 chassis types (SFF,
need to plug in one power cable and one                  Desktop, Minitower). The 780’s PCMark
Ethernet cable. This convenience makes                   Vantage score was 4,910, which is aver-
for less clutter and more space around the               age for a dual-core system with integrated
work area.                                               graphics.
  The system also comes with a lock-                        Overall, the 780 is an excellent choice for
able cover to secure the back connectors,                the main-line business worker. It has the
including an eSATA port, DisplayPort, five                usual SFF, desktop and minitower configu-
USB ports, and a VGA port. You also get a                rations, plus an innovative USFF chassis and
notebook-style DVD burner and a 160GB                    monitor stand combo. While not perfect,
hard drive. The back of the system has a                 it’s a neater and more secure solution than
jack for the 802.11n Wi-Fi external antenna.             the ones we’ve seen in the past. Therefore
There are two USB ports on the front of the              I can award the Optiplex 780 USFF with
system, next to the optical drive and the                our Editors’ Choice for business desktops.
audio ports, so you can still hook up USB                —Joel Santo Domingo
keys and hard drives, provided your corpo-                                     >> CLICK HERE FOR MORE


I   SpECS 3.0-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 processor; 4GB SDRAM; 160GB hard drive; Intel GMA 4500 graphics;
    dual-layer DVD±RW drive; 22-inch widescreen monitor; Windows 7 Home Premium.


20 pC MaGaZINE DIGItaL EDItION JULY 2010
Dell Optiplex 780 USFF
$1,484 direct
L l l l m

pROS Compact form factor. Quiet. All-in-
one-like monitor stand. Relatively simple
to service. VPro. DisplayPort and eSATA port.
Lockable. No bloatware.
CONS Monitor stand requires too many
cables and connections. Locked down
desktop has no access to eSATA. Wireless
requires external antenna.


pERFORMaNCE tEStS                                                                      MULTIMEDIA TESTS
                                                               pcMArk                  3DMArk           WInDoWS MEDIA             cInEBEncH
L High scores are best. M Low scores are best.                 vAnTAgE L               vAnTAgE L        EncoDEr M                 r10 L         pHoToSHop cS4 M
Bold type denotes first place.                                                                                 min:sec                           min:sec

 Dell Optiplex 780 USFF                                        4,910                   n/A                    0:46                6,301         1:41

 Apple iMac 21.5-inch (Core 2 Duo)                             5,453                   3,996                  0:49                6,995         1:32

 Lenovo ThinkCentre M58p Eco Ultra Small                       4,740                   n/A                    0:48                6,626         2:30

rED denotes Editors’ choice. n/A—not applicable: The product could not complete the test, or the test was not compatible.
* This test was run at 1,024 by 768 resolution.



                                                                                                                        JULY 2010 pC MaGaZINE DIGItaL EDItION 21
                                      FIRSt LOOKS HaRdwaRE


                                                           Samsung NB30
                                                           $340 street
                                                           l l l h m

                                                           PROS Scratch-proof. Rugged-like
                                                           features. Inexpensive. Good bat-
                                                           tery life.
                                                           CONS Small hard drive. Plain-
                                                           looking. Small touchpad and
                                                           mouse buttons.




Samsung NB30



This Netbook Talks Tough

C
             arving a unique niche in this cha-            to repel unsightly marks. The touchpad
             otic netbook market is almost                 and mouse buttons are too tiny for adult
             impossible these days, but you                hands and make the navigating experience
             have to give Samsung credit for               uncomfortable.
             trying. The company has come                    Despite its ruggedized exterior, the inter-
out with the NB30, which it’s selling as a                 nals are as weak as every other 10-inch net-
ruggedized netbook. Though it’s not meant                  book. Its SYSMark 2007 score was actually
to sustain 3-foot drops and underwater                     two points lower than other netbooks in its
dives, the NB30 has a hard-drive sensor, a                 class, and its video encoding score (4 min-
scratch-proof lid, and a spill-resistant frame.            utes 56 seconds) came in dead last. The
Everything else—from components to per-                    NB30 uses a 48-Wh (6-cell) battery, result-
formance—is pretty run of the mill.                        ing in 7 of hours life on MobileMark 2007.
  The hard, jagged exterior of the NB30 is                 Overall, the NB30 is priced aggressively
smudge- and scratch-proof and can with-                    and is a good fit for those who are rough
stand minor bumps against a hard surface,                  on their electronics. However, it does not
but it’s not what I’d call aesthetically pleas-            replace military-certified rugged laptops,
ing. The NB30 has a 10-inch widescreen,                    and there are others with a better feature
and the palm rest area and 93-percent                      set.—Cisco Cheng
(of full size) keyboard are also designed                                         >>CLICK HERE FOR MORE


I   SPECS 1.6-GHz Intel Atom N450 processor; 1GB SDRAM; 160GB hard drive; Intel GMA 3150 graphics; 10.1-inch
    display; Atheros 802.11g Wi-Fi; 2.7 pounds; 48-Wh battery; Windows 7 Starter (32-bit).

22 PC MaGaZINE dIGItaL EdItION JuLY 2010
                                       FIRsT LOOKs HARDwARE



Dell Inspiron 1464



A Solid
Mainstream
Laptop

W
                      hen the Dell Inspiron                Dell Inspiron 1464
                      i1464-4382OBK first                  $670 direct
                                                           l l l l m
                      came on the scene, it
                                                           PROs 500GB hard drive. Good performance.
                      was one of only a hand-              Excellent keyboard and navigating experience.
                      ful of mainstream lap-               Over 200 designs to choose from. Lightweight.
                                                           Inexpensive.
tops that bundled an Intel Core i3 processor
                                                           CONs The 6-cell battery alone isn’t going to
while tempting performance enthusiasts                     cut it.
with a sweet price. Now that the market is
saturated with Core i3 laptops, Dell’s next
logical step was to drop the price. The                    500GB hard drive, dual-layer DVD burner,
Inspiron 1464 is about $80 less than it was                and all the essential connectivity ports.
before, and it still has that fantastic user                  On our video-encoding tests, the Inspiron
experience and well-rounded feature set.                   1464 finished in 59 seconds, over 30 seconds
The only setback is that its battery capacity              faster than the HP Pavilion dv4-2153cl. It also
took a minor hit in the process.                           beat the dv4-2153cl in both Photoshop CS4
   The Inspirons may not use fancy metals                  and CineBench R10 tests, albeit by a minimal
in their cases, but they have more than 200                margin. The 1464 fared the worst in Mobile-
designs to choose from, including custom-                  Mark 2007 tests, however, scoring 3 hours 5
ized options. The 1464 is very portable, and               minutes. Luckily, Dell sells an extended bat-
yet it doesn’t sacrifice screen real estate.               tery with this laptop, and I wouldn’t recom-
Its 4.8-pound frame houses a 14-inch wide-                 mend leaving home without it. So for those
screen with a 1,366-by-768 resolution and                  who have a hectic travel schedule and aren’t
a traditional keyboard with a comfortable                  willing to give up screen real estate, the 1464
typing experience. Other features in this                  is a solid choice.—Cisco Cheng
system are very respectable, including a                                          >> CLICK HERE FOR MORE

    sPECs 2.13-GHz Intel Core i3-330M; 4GB SDRAM; 500GB hard drive; Intel GMA Core i3 graphics; 14.1-inch display;
I   4.8 pounds; 46-Wh battery; Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit).

                                                                          JULY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 23
                                                   QuICk LOOks HARDWARE



               DESKTOP caSES                    DESKTOPS




               nZXT Vulcan                      acer aspire X1301-b1812        Dell Inspiron 580s            HP Pavilion Elite
               $69.99 list                      $530 street                    $618 direct                   HPE-257c-b
                                                                                                             $1,400 list


               L l l l m                        L l l m m                      L l l l m                     L l l m m

               • Compact size                   • Small form factor            • Compact and quiet           • Good performance num-
               • Lightweight when empty         • Plenty of ports              • No bloatware                  bers
               • Removable handle               • Inexpensive                  • Fast Core i3 processor      • Two-year warranty for PC
 PROS




               • Can house long video           • Monitor bundled with PC      • HDMI port                     hardware
                 cards                                                         • Some expandability
               • Good cable-routing
                 features

               • Can be hard to open            • Lackluster performance       • 320GB hard drive            • No eSATA
               • Little wiggle room inside      • Very limited expandability   • Weak 3D performance         • No Blu-ray
                 the case can make wiring                                      • No eSATA or FireWire port   • No 5-GHz Wi-Fi support
 cOnS




                 difficult                                                      • Could use wireless con-     • Bloatware
               • Designed for MicroATX                                           nection                     • HD video is online only
                 motherboards

               It won’t house a full-size       The X1301-B1812 is an inex-    The 580s is a good upgrade    The HPE-257c-b has a
 bOTTOM lInE




               motherboard, but if a            pensive, small form-factor     for people performing         bunch of nice features,
               smaller MicroATX system          PC that might make a good      everyday light to moderate    but some missing features
               is all you need, the Vulcan      second PC if you can accept    multimedia tasks.             keep the combo from scor-
               is a solid choice.               its limitations.                                             ing higher.

               15.25 by 7 by 18.5 inches        2.7-GHz AMD Athlon II X2       2.9-GHz Intel Core i3-530     2.8-GHz Intel Core i7-860
               (HWD)                            215 processor; 3GB SDRAM;      processor; 4GB SDRAM;         processor; 8GB SDRAM;
                                                640GB hard drive; DVD          320GB hard drive; Intel       1TB hard drive; ATI Radeon
                                                Super Multi Drive; 20-inch     GMA graphics (Core i3);       HD 5570 graphics; dual-
 SPEcS




                                                display.                       dual-layer DVD±RW drive;      layer DVD±RW drive; 25-
                                                                               Windows 7 Home Premium        inch widescreen monitor;
                                                                               (64-bit).                     Windows 7 Home Premium
                                                                                                             (64-bit).
               Product name in RED indicates Editors’ Choice.


24 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JUly 2010
laPTOPS                                                         nETbOOKS




lenovo ThinkPad Edge 15         HP Pavilion dv6-3013cl          asus EeePc 1005PR                  MSI Wind U160-007US
$650 direct                     $799 list                       $400 street                        $380 street



L l l h m                       L l l m m                       L l l m m                          L l l m m

• Inexpensive                   • Quad-core processor           • Broadcom chip improves           • Nine hours worth of
• Fabulous user experience      • Big, fast hard drive            HD playback                        battery life
• Dual pointing devices         • Two-year warranty             • High resolution                  • Reasonably priced
• Big screen                                                    • Easily accessible memory
                                                                  slots




• Drab aesthetics               • Integrated graphics           • Bigger keyboard would be         • Plain design
• Only 2GB of RAM in the        • No ExpressCard slot             nice                             • Noisy mouse buttons
  base configuration             • So-so battery life            • Mouse buttons are not            • Battery bulges out from
• Low screen resolution                                           click-friendly                     the bottom
                                                                • No HDMI port



If you could care less about    The Pavilion dv6-3013cl is      The 1005PR may not be the          The U160-007US’s only
the looks of a small business   a moderate performer with       perfect netbook, but Asus          perks are that it ships with
laptop, the Lenovo ThinkPad     average battery life, but       makes it hard to turn down a       a big 65-Wh battery and it’s
Edge 15 is user-friendly and    capable of handling most        good bargain.                      reasonably priced.
cheap.                          everyday tasks.

2.1-GHz Intel Core i3-330M      2.0-GHz AMD Phenom II           1.6-GHz Intel Atom N450            1.6-GHz Intel Atom N450
processor; 2GB SDRAM;           X4 N930 processor; 4GB          processor; 1GB SDRAM;              processor; 1GB SDRAM;
250GB hard drive; 15.6-inch     SDRAM; 500GB hard drive;        250GB hard drive; Intel GMA        250GB hard drive; Intel GMA
display; Intel 802.11n Wi-Fi;   ATI Radeon HD 4200; 15.6-       3150 graphics; 10.1-inch dis-      3150 graphics; 10.1-inch
5.5 pounds; 57-Wh battery;      inch display; 5.4 pounds;       play; Atheros 802.11n Wi-Fi;       screen; Atheros 802.11g
Windows 7 Professional          Windows 7 Home Premium.         2.7 pounds; 63-Wh battery;         Wi-Fi; 2.7 pounds; 65-Wh
(32-bit).                                                       Windows 7 Starter (32-bit).        battery; Windows 7 Starter
                                                                                                   (32-bit).
                                                Visit pcmag.com for the full reviews of these and scores of other hardware products.


                                                                                     JUly 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 25
                                      FIRST LOOKS buSINESS




Canon image Formula P-150 Scan-tini




Serious Scanning
for the Road
          T he Canon Scan-tini isn’t the        scanning a 25-sheet document to image
          smallest scanner I’ve ever seen,      PDF format in simplex mode, and 19.2 ipm
          but it’s small and light enough to    for scanning the same document in duplex
          earn its designation as a portable.   mode. The combination of scanning with
          More important, it may be the         the P-150 and moving the file to Word for-
smallest scanner possible that offers both      mat using PaperPort scored reasonably well
portability and the conveniences you’d          on accuracy, reading our Times New Roman
expect in a desktop scanner.                    test page at sizes as small as 10 points and
  Though the P-150 is almost double the         our Arial test page at sizes as small as 8
size and weight of some other portable          points without a mistake.
scanners—at 1.6 by 11 by 3.7 inches (HWD)         The scanner didn’t score particularly well
and 2.1 pounds—it’s not limited to manual       on business cards, however, with the bun-
feeding, simplex scans (one side of a page),    dled software making at least one mistake
and barely tolerable scan speeds. Canon         on more than half of the cards in our stan-
has managed to shoehorn a 20-page auto-         dard test suite. However, the P-150 itself
matic document feeder (ADF) into the            did a great job of feeding stacks of multiple
P-150, along with duplexing capabilities.       cards.
  The Scan-tini’s speed scores were com-          Despite the wimpy business card soft-
parable to a desktop scanner’s, meaning         ware, the P-150 offers an impressive bal-
that they were impressive for a portable. In    ance of speed, capability, and price, giving
my tests in the default scan mode, at 200       this fast, well-designed scanner a seat at the
ppi and color, the speed was close to the       Editors’ Choice table.—M. David Stone
10 ppm and 20 ipm ratings, at 10.3 ppm for                         >> CLICK HERE FOR MORE

26 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION juLY 2010
Canon imageFormula
P-150 Scan-tini
$295 direct
L l l l m

PROS Automatic document
feeder. Rated at 15 pages per
minute for black-and-white
and grayscale scans. Du-
plexes.
CONS Relatively large and
heavy for a portable scanner.
Initial setup is a touch harder
than it should be.

                juLY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 27
                                      FIRsT LOOKs busINEss



Epson WorkForce 1100



Print Big—
And Cheap

I
         f you’ve been itching for a printer
         that can handle tabloid size (11-by
         17-inch) paper or larger but didn’t
         think you could justify the high
         price, the Epson WorkForce 1100 is
made for you. Not only is it the least-expen-
sive tabloid-size printer I’ve seen, it also
prints on supertabloid paper up to 13 by
19 inches and on banner paper up to 13 by
44 inches. And it doesn’t hurt at all that the
output quality is above par for text, graph-     Epson WorkForce 1100
ics, and photos.                                 $199.99 direct
                                                 L l l h m
   As you might expect from an inexpensive
                                                 PROs Better-than-par output quality. Prints at
tabloid-size printer, the 1100 doesn’t offer     tabloid, supertabloid, and up to 13-by-44-inch
a lot of extras. You won’t find any photo-       banner size.
centric features like printing from memory       CONs Highly limited paper handling, with a
                                                 100-sheet capacity and no duplexer. No Ether-
cards, cameras, or USB memory keys, and          net or Wi-Fi connection.
it’s even short on office-centric features.
And aside from the ability to print on large-    The good news is that whatever extra time
size paper, the 1100’s paper handling is mea-    the 1100 takes for printing pays off in bet-
ger at best, with only one tray, a 100-sheet     ter-than-par output quality. Both text and
input capacity, no duplexer, and no ports for    graphics quality are a small, but noticeable,
printer sharing.                                 step better than typical ink jets can manage,
   On our tests, the 1100’s speed was accept-    and photos are in the top tier for ink jets. So
able but not stellar, turning in a score of 13   although the 1100 is limited by its low paper
minutes 49 seconds (13:49) on our business       capacity and lack of a duplexer, it is a very
applications suite. The 1100’s photo speed       reasonable choice for a small office that
was also on the slow side, averaging 2:25        wants to print big.—M. David Stone
for each 4-by-6 and 5:23 for each 8-by-10.                          >> CLICK HERE FOR MORE

28 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JUlY 2010
                               FIRsT LOOKs busINEss



Quickbooks Online Plus



Balance
Your Books
Online

S
            mall business accounting and
            QuickBooks are practically syn-
            onymous these days. Quick-          QuickBooks Online Plus
            Books is the clear market leader,   $34.95 direct per month
                                                L l l h m
            and has won several Editors’
Choice awards through the years. Quick-         PROs Intuitive interface and navigation. Good
                                                selection of features. Some exceptional func-
Books Online was introduced a few years         tionality. Activity log. Inexpensive payroll fea-
ago, and it didn’t come close to matching       tures. Free support. Mobility.
the accounting acumen of QuickBooks Pro         CONs No online bill-pay. Skimpy customer-
                                                vendor records. Only one payroll option. Little
and Premier. Intuit continues to work on        outside integration. Weak inventory features.
QuickBooks Online, however. I looked at the
recently launched QuickBooks Online Plus,       gets. you can also import customers from
and I was impressed with the progress the       Outlook, Excel, and Gmail, and build your
company has made.                               own client records. Setting up gateways to
  This version is surprisingly robust, offer-   accept credit cards is also simple. The Ven-
ing advanced features, such as automatic        dor module focuses on purchase orders
invoicing and location tracking, as well as     and bills. you can also access tools that help
a good amount of customization. Its real        you create paychecks, and the complex
advantage over the online competition is        Banking module contains account regis-
that it is much more comprehensive. This        ters, a checkbook, and a funds transfer tool.
QuickBooks divides its financial tools into        QuickBooks Online Plus is a pleasure
several standard areas: Company, Custom-        to use, and its feature set keeps building.
ers, Vendors, Employees, Banking, and           Though it’s not equal to the desktop version
Reports. The Company module contains            of QuickBooks Pro, many businesses don’t
the typical backbone information, includ-       need all those extras, and are better served
ing your Chart of Accounts, a log of user       with this Web-based version.—Kathy Yakal
activity, recurring transactions, and bud-                           >> CLICK HERE FOR MORE

                                                            july 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 29
                                     FIRsT LOOKs sOFTWARE



Windows Live Hotmail (Wave 4 Beta)




Hotmail Gets
Hotter
H
                otmail remains the second-         beats having to search your inbox. To use
                most popular webmail ser-          the new photo, video, and Office doc-view-
                vice after Yahoo Mail (with        ing features, I had to install Silverlight, Micro-
                Gmail nipping at Microsoft’s       soft’s lightweight Flash-like plug-in. When
                heels), according to the latest    I clicked the Office docs icon, the doc was
numbers from Hitwise. But Microsoft isn’t          saved to my SkyDrive. From here, I viewed
content to maintain the status quo; Red-           and edited the document in the new Office
mond has added a number of big changes             Web apps—pretty slick. I also watched You-
aimed at giving Hotmail a competitive edge.        Tube clips in my inbox.
Windows Live Hotmail (Wave 4 Beta) now                In my testing, I configured my Hotmail
has new ways to share and view content             account to receive a lot of dubious notices,
like photos and video easily within the mail       and Microsoft’s SmartScreen spam blocker
reader, connect with social networks, and          did an excellent job keeping my inbox clean.
clean out the clutter. It’s a slick, fast e-mail   It caught more spam than did Yahoo, and
solution that does a good job of keeping           takes you right to your messages without
your inbox free from junk.                         adding an extra click to get past news and
   Hotmail’s new design is somewhere in            updates. As for speed, Hotmail is snappy
between that of Yahoo’s rich application,          and desktop-like, but Gmail is a tad faster.
complete with buttons and resizable col-           I could read e-mail in any of the current
umns, and Gmail’s minimalist aesthetic.            browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and IE),
Hotmail now offers a Conversation view             but the calendar didn’t work in Chrome.
similar to Gmail. But Gmail’s inbox has one           Though there are still some snags in this
nifty trick that’s still missing in Hotmail—live   version and Yahoo still wins on interface,
updating without the need to hit “Refresh.”        Hotmail’s handling of inbox clutter, photo
Hotmail does have a nice new Quick Views           and document attachments, and integration
feature, which lets you view only e-mails          with social networks make a strong argu-
containing photos, Office docs, shipping           ment to switch.—Michael Muchmore
dates, or messages you’ve flagged—and                                  >> CLICK HERE FOR MORE

30 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION juLY 2010
Windows Live Hotmail
(Wave 4 Beta)
Free
Not rated
PROs Good junk e-mail tools.
Clean, customizable user inter-
face. Integrates with other e-mail
services and social networks. Nice
mobile Web version. View photos,
videos, and documents within the
mail site.
CONs Still some beta quirks. Can’t
sort by columns as in Yahoo Mail.




            juLY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 31
                                     FIRst LOOKs sOFtwaRE


       Ubuntu 10.04
       Free
       L l l l m

       PROs User-friendly redesign. Inte-
       grated chat and social-networking
       capabilities. Good preinstalled soft-
       ware selection. Fast boot times.
       CONs Ubuntu One music store is
       limited compared to Apple and
       Microsoft offerings. Finding and
       choosing new software may intimi-
       date less-experienced users.



Ubuntu 10.04



Linux Gets a Makeover

O
             ne of the long-standing prob-      a strong software selection. For example,
             lems with Linux is that even the   you can now access the Ubuntu One cloud-
             varieties that aim for accessi-    based music store. Similarly, the new “Me”
             bility often look like something   menu coordinates popular social-network-
             ordinary people wouldn’t want      ing features by putting all your accounts in
to use. This has been true of even the most     one convenient place—you don’t even need
populist free flavor—Ubuntu, which visually      to open your browser. And access to the
seemed like an afterthought even though         vast library of free, open-source apps avail-
its innards and interface were smartly con-     able on the Internet has improved with an
ceived and constructed. But with Ubuntu’s       updated version of the Software Center app.
newest long-term support (LTS) release,            On our tests, this version took only 32 sec-
10.04 (nicknamed “Lucid Lynx”), developer       onds to boot to the desktop screen. Ubuntu
Canonical seems to be changing for the          10.04 achieves this with the help of Upstart,
better.                                         which uses events to start and stop tasks—a
   Gone are the muddy look and question-        better solution than the traditional System
able color scheme that have defined Ubun-        V. And although this release is still not about
tu’s default appearance for a long time.        to unseat the far more popular—and expen-
Instead, you now get a Gnome KDE desktop        sive—Microsoft and Apple OSs, it finally
that’s both smooth and striking. Of course,     seems to be making significant strides
Ubuntu also needs substance behind its          toward attracting and keeping a wider audi-
good looks, which it has in the form of ease    ence.—Matthew Murray
of use, relatively unfettered features, and                        >> CLICK HERE FOR MORE

32 PC MaGaZINE DIGItaL EDItION JULY 2010
                               FIRsT LOOKs sOFTWARE




Netflix (for iPad)



iPad Goes to the Movies

N
                etflix may just be a killer app
                for the iPad. The streaming,
                all-you-can-eat movie ser-
                vice shows one great reason
                why you would want a big-
screen iPad rather than a smaller, handheld
iPod: to soak up hours of video while you’re
propped up in bed or on your couch.
   Netflix for iPad’s interface feels like a
spinoff of the Netflix Web site instead of a
true iPad app. You can tap Watch Instantly,
Browse DVDs, and Your Queue tabs to              Netflix (for iPad)
browse and select movies to watch. Above         Free (with Netflix subscription)
                                                 L l l h m
the movie is a navigation bar that lets you
                                                 PROs Streaming videos look and play great.
skip to any point in the film. The iPad sta-     Easy to browse and find new movies.
tus bar that displays Wi-Fi signal, time, and    CONs A few bugs. Can’t rate movies. Collection
battery life does not go away while you are      of streaming movies is limited.
viewing a video. That hurts, because it ruins
the theatrical effect of watching a movie.       ing in the background with no apparent way
Hopefully an option to hide the status bar       to get back to what you’re viewing. But the
will be added in future releases.                videos we tested look good and play eas-
   A control panel appears when you tap the      ily—especially over a fast connection.
screen while watching a video. The panel            So while there might be a few issues and
has four icons, which let you play/pause,        it doesn’t take full advantage of the touch
go 30 seconds back, skip to the end, and         interface, it’s a fairly smooth experience,
minimize the movie. The minimize button          especially for a first version.—Sean Ludwig
is buggy; it leaves the video’s sound play-                          >> CLICK HERE FOR MORE

                                                             juLY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 33
                                                   QuICk LOOks sOFTWARE



               BACKUP                            PARENTAL CONTROLS             ANTI-MALWARE                  ACCOUNTING

               MozyHome 2.0                      Bsecure CloudCare             Malwarebytes’                 Peachtree by Sage Pre-
               $54.95 direct per year            Version 6.0                   Anti-Malware 1.46             mium Accounting 2010
                                                 3 computers, $49.95 direct    Free for noncommercial        $349.99 direct
                                                 per year                      use


               L l l m m                         L l l m m                     L l l h m                     l l l l m

               • Simple, helpful setup           • Fully Web-based for         • Free for noncommercial      • Impressive overall
                 wizard                            multi-computer house-         use                           accounting prowess
               • Well-designed user                holds                       • Small download and          • Can have multiple compa-
                 interface                       • Per-child configuration        superfast install             nies open simultaneously
               • Windows Explorer                • “Safety Lock” disables      • Simple settings             • Exceptionally detailed
                 integration with right-           Internet on abuse           • Especially effective at       people and item manage-
 PROS




                 click menus                     • Can send e-mail or            removing rogue security       ment
               • Mac version                       SMS alerts                    products                    • Robust inventory func-
               • Private encryption key                                                                        tionality
                 available




               • Only one PC per account         • Content filtering disabled   • No blocking of malicious    • Interface not as clean
               • Won’t back up network             by simple hack                Web sites                     as AccountEdge’s
                 or removable drives             • Can’t handle secure         • Not effective against       • Navigation and interface
               • Private encryption option         anonymizing proxies           commercial keyloggers         could improve
                 easy to miss                    • IM monitoring only gets       or rootkits                 • No Mac compatibility
 CONS




               • Web restores took too             half the conversation       • Rudimentary help system
                 long                            • No social networking
                                                   management




               Mozy improves ease of use         CloudCare handles all         Malwarebytes’ Anti-           Peachtree Premium 2010
               and setup, but still sup-         necessary parental control    Malware does a good job of    is a solid competitor with
               ports just one computer           tasks, but competing prod-    cleaning up malware, espe-    its robust accounting
               per account and doesn’t           ucts do those same tasks      cially those annoying rogue   functionality, exceptional
 BOTTOM LINE




               let you back up network           better and include innova-    security programs, though     inventory-tracking, and
               or removable drives. That         tive features.                it’s not effective against    powerful people and item
               keeps it a step behind the                                      commercial keyloggers or      management.
               competition.                                                    rootkits.




               Product name in RED indicates Editors’ Choice.


34 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JULY 2010
                                E-BOOK SOFTWARE                  IPHONE APPS                         GAMES

AccountEdge 2010 for            Kindle for iPad                  Rhapsody 2.0 (iPhone                Alan Wake
Windows                         Free                             OS)                                 $59.99 list
New users, $299 direct;                                          $9.99 per month
upgrade, $159


L l l h m                       L l l h m                        L l l l m                           L l l l h

• Clean, simple interface       • Huge book selection            • Offline playback mode and          • Engaging, mysterious
• Fast                          • Read on multiple devices         unlimited downloads                 storyline
• Web-store integration         • Reverse text display           • Access to more than 9 mil-        • Unique episodic storytell-
• Thorough to-do list           • Hides iPad’s status bar          lion tracks                         ing
• In-depth financial manage-                                      • Excellent, easy-to-use UI         • Dark and mysterious atmo-
  ment                                                                                                 sphere and environments
• Multiple currencies                                                                                • Tense and well-designed
                                                                                                       combat




• No standard online bill-pay   • Closed book format             • Both audio and artwork            • Somewhat awkward
• Fewer online tools than       • Bookstore not integrated         quality could be better             character modeling and
  QuickBooks                      into app                       • Music doesn’t play in the           lip sync
• No company dashboard          • No color illustration            background
                                • No dictionary                  • Offline mode can’t down-
                                • No in-text search                load individual songs
                                • No periodical subscriptions




AccountEdge is a formidable     The Kindle for iPad gives        The addition of offline play-        Alan Wake finds the sweet
competitor with speedy          you access to Amazon’s           back to the already good            spot that many horror
navigation and an excellent     huge e-book selection, but it    Rhapsody for iPhone app             games miss: a slick combi-
interface.                      lacks iBooks’ color capabil-     makes it the best music app         nation of action sequences
                                ity and dictionary.              in the iTunes store.                and genuine frights.




                                                  Visit pcmag.com for the full reviews of these and scores of other software products.


                                                                                       JULY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 35
                                           john c. dvorak




Why Facebook Privacy
Settings Don’t Matter

I
        find it endlessly amusing how so          may not be successful, but it doesn’t mat-
        many articles are written about           ter since most users have so little regard for
        Facebook and its cavalier lack of         their own privacy. They’re too busy publish-
        concern over privacy issues (case in      ing humiliating pictures of themselves on
        point: Read Dan Costa’s column). A        Facebook, Flickr and elsewhere. It always
large community is up in arms over the fact       seems to be a good idea at the time.
that Facebook consistently changes the              And why do American continue to do
way it operates and constantly resets the         these dumb things? It’s a unique reflection
privacy settings of the users to nil, as in NO    of the short-term thinking that plagues the
PRIVACY.                                          culture. We always hear about this phe-
   This amuses me because it seems as if          nomenon regarding the activities of Ameri-
the majority of Facebook users don’t even         can corporations, which always seem to be
know about or care about the privacy set-         thinking short-term to appease the inves-
tings. Once in a while some old lady is flab-      tors. They do things quarter by quarter
bergasted by the fact that anyone can write       instead of thinking toward the long future.
on her wall, sure. And once in a blue moon
some teenage girl says she “didn’t know”          Thinking ahead—a Thousand Years
her teachers could see her comments. All          Often Americans are told to look at Asia.
the while the users of Facebook are increas-      That’s how to do it! Think long-term.
ing by the millions as the complaints are         The Chinese think thousands of years
increasing by the thousands, thus amount-         down the road, but Americans cannot
ing to nothing of consequence.                    even comprehend that concept. We like
   Now there is a movement to create an           concepts like “live for today!” and “live
open-source version of the social network         as if it’s your last day on earth.” So what
to address all these concerns, and it may or      if you post a picture of yourself tongue

36 Pc MaGaZInE dIGITaL EdITIon JULY 2010
  americans like concepts like ‘live for today!’
So what if you post a picture of yourself on Face-
book tongue-kissing someone while wearing face
         paint and holding a bud Light?

kissing someone’s ear while wearing face        new hire came in telling us how great it was
paint and holding a Bud Light, obviously        working there. A cohort quickly found his
plastered? Who expected a prospective           blog or LiveJournal entry with him saying. “I
employer to dredge up that old pic and          just got hired at TechTV. This is the dumbest
change his mind about you? Oops.                place I’ve ever worked. I’m going to quit as
  I’m constantly reminded of the early days     soon as I can” followed by an excoriation of
of daily blog diaries, when dumb bloggers       the staff. What an idiot.
would profusely apologize for skipping a           And yes, this is a function of short-term
day of blogging. No matter that the blog        thinking as well as idiocy. He reckoned his
was about a mostly banal life and what the      message would go out to his few pals and
cat was doing, or what they ate that day with   that would be the end of it.
the catch-all eponymous descriptor, “Yum!”         So where does this sort of thinking come
You know, those people who have since           from? The American penchant for fear mon-
moved on to Facebook or onto real lives.        gering. Scaring the public, as a whole, into
                                                thinking they are going to be killed any min-
Busted by Blogs                                 ute. I grew up during the duck-and-cover
  Every few weeks one of them would make        era, when a nuclear holocaust seemed immi-
a huge fuss in the “blogosphere” about how      nent. People built fallout shelters.
he got fired from his job because of some-          It has always been something. Now people
thing he wrote in his blog. One woman,          are freaked out by a terrorist attack. We’ve
working in some horrible cubicle environ-       been on Orange alert permanently!
ment, as I recall, wrote some of the most          Why bother thinking ahead when the end
catty and mean descriptions of all the peo-     is near! Well, the end hasn’t come, but it will
ple in the office including the boss. She was    for those who don’t consider the long-term
stunned when the blog ended up on the           effects of what they are doing online today.
boss’ computer and the guy fired her.            Advice: stop it!
  A similar fate was meted out to the flight
                                                Dvorak Live on the Web John’s Internet TV
attendant who posted silly pictures of her-
                                                show airs every Wednesday at 3:30 ET on cranky
self. One of my favorites happened when I       Geeks.com. You can download back episodes
was working at TechTV and some chipper          whenever you like.

                                                            JULY 2010 Pc MaGaZInE dIGITaL EdITIon 37
                                           SASCHA SEGAN




Afraid of Microsoft Kin

T
               he Microsoft Kin phones           they’re selling fast to kids who want to
               have been smothered in their      connect with their friends—without giving
               beds. Poor kids. When Veri-       their parents a stroke when the monthly bill
               zon launched Microsoft’s two      arrives.
               new messaging phones, it
was met with a resounding chorus of nega-        No Kinship
tive reviews.                                    The Kin could have had more appeal if Ver-
   I complained about the lack of apps and       izon had given it a cheaper data plan. But
games on our reviews of the Kin One and          Verizon didn’t because the company is
Kin Two, but I was actually pretty kind. If      actually afraid of these little guys, because
you click over to Engadget or Phonescoop,        Kin users, with their full Internet Explorer–
you’ll see phrases like “I haven’t been this     based browsers and automatic photo
disappointed in a phone in a long time.”         uploads, will consume too much Internet.
   But here’s the thing: the Kins are misbe-     And rather than encouraging mobile Web
gotten, crippled creatures compared to           use by making it more affordable, carriers
pretty much every smartphone on the mar-         are steadily raising rates.
ket. They’ve been priced as smartphones,           In january, Verizon slapped a $9.99 man-
with smartphone data plans, and they’re          datory data plan on many of its texting
being sold as smartphones, so the compari-       phones, even for people who hardly use
sons are fair.                                   the Web at all. Verizon also tries to upsell
   But the Kins are actually interesting when    those users onto $30, smartphone-esque
compared with texting phones, otherwise          data plans if they do choose to surf often.
known as “QMDs” or quick-messaging               Verizon did lower its smartphone data plan
devices. Texting phones like the LG EnV          from $45 to $30 about two years ago, but
series have Web browsers out of the 1990s,       back then the vast majority of their phones
awful e-mail programs, and no social-            didn’t require a data plan at all.
networking skills at all. Because they cost        Verizon’s not alone here. Long ago,
$20 less per month than smartphones,             T-Mobile had a “T-Zones” plan for mobile

38 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION juLY 2010
 Carriers are raising prices because they’re terri-
 fied of mobile-phone owners using the Internet.
phones which cost $2.99 per month. Then          users in New York and San Francisco.
the company raised the fee to $4.99. Now            New 4G networks may take some of the
its minimum phone data plan costs $9.99.         pressure off of 3G next year, but carriers
The Sidekick data plan used to be $19.99.        need to look at optimizing their data flows,
Now it’s $30.                                    too. Opera and RIM, most notably, are doing
   On AT&T, you may be familiar with its         a lot of work to provide full mobile experi-
iPhone plan. Once it was $20; now it’s $30.      ences using less data. AT&T has been load-
For texting phones, AT&T now requires you        ing Opera Mini onto many of its texting
to buy at least $20 worth of texting and data    phones recently, and that’s a win for every-
per month. Their chief executive, Ralph de       one, especially iPhone users; it provides a
la Vega, has been hinting for a while at the     much better Web experience than did pre-
possibility of even more expensive, usage-       vious browsers, and it transfers up to 90
based monthly data fees. Only Sprint has         percent less data than a truly full browser.
held the line with a $15 data plan for most of   A version of Opera Mini exists for Verizon’s
its phones.                                      BREW platform, but so far Verizon has
   And that’s not mentioning the many addi-      ignored it.
tional monthly charges that carriers tack
on. Want to use an e-mail client on a Veri-      Requiem for a Kin?
zon phone? That’ll be $5, thanks. How about      RIM, meanwhile, has been ringing the bell
GPS? $10 per month, please.                      for server-side optimization with smart-
                                                 phones—but the company needs to explain
The True Motivation                              how that’s going to save consumers not
I don’t think the carriers are solely greedy.    just time, but money. If RIM’s browsers and
I think they’re scared. Carriers are raising     e-mail clients deliver less data than compet-
prices because they’re actually terrified of      ing smartphones, maybe carriers should be
mobile phone owners using the Internet.          giving them a break on the data plans.
They fear they don’t have enough Internet          So take a moment to pity the Kin. As fea-
to go around. At conference after confer-        ture phones, they flew a little too close to
ence this year, I keep hearing about mobile      the sun with their browser and Studio, and
Web scarcity—how there’s not enough              they got burned by the fearful, jealous gods
spectrum, not enough capacity, not enough        who ultimately rule the mobile universe.
buildout. After all, we’ve seen what “exces-
                                                 STAY PHONE-SMART Keep up with the latest
sive” demand can do to one carrier, watch-       on smartphones by reading Sascha’s column at
ing AT&T’s struggles with all of its iPhone      go.pcmag.com/segan.

                                                             juLY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 39
                                           DAN COSTA




Facebook:
Privacy Enemy?

F
             acebook made some notable            tion of links and objects that can be easily
             announcements recently. They         shared and repurposed among sites; except
             range from a holistic vision of a    on the Social Graph, all the lines eventually
             seamless, semantically enabled       run through Facebook.
             Web of human relationships to           Part of Facebook’s plan is the universal
a simple “like” button, which will soon be        “like” button. It may seem like a minor intro-
omnipresent on the Internet. The moves are        duction, but it isn’t. Sure, there are lots of
ambitious, giving even fast-moving rivals         ways to indicate that you like a story online:
like Twitter reason to worry. Still, the simple   Digg, Buzz, Twitter, Reddit, and countless
fact that gets lost in the rush towards ubiq-     others, but those are mostly about getting
uitous social connectivity is that Facebook       people to read something. What if you just,
users still don’t know what they are shar-        well, like something? until now, the most
ing, with whom, or why it matters. In short:      granular measure of our human intent has
Facebook remains a privacy minefield.              been our search terms, and Google has
                                                  done an exceedingly good job of connect-
Tracking Your Tastes                              ing that intent with advertisers who want to
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has                  capitalize on it.
described what he calls the “Social Graph.”
It’s basically a map of all of our social rela-   Facebook’s Flaws
tionships and the things that we care about.      As much as I love Twitter and even Four-
The Graph isn’t just about whom you know,         square, Facebook has always been among
but also what you want. Sharing photos            my least-favorite social-media sites, and
with friends is great, but sharing camera         its graduation to “platform” status hasn’t
recommendations is monetizable. This is           done anything to change my mind. It truly
the promise of the Semantic Web, a collec-        is an application platform; there are more

TK PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION july 2010
       Make something ‘public’ and it will appear
         throughout the Facebook ecosystem.
than 550,000 applications on Facebook,              In the past, Facebook would ask you to
accessed by more than 70 percent of users.       share your data with each app that wanted
   I find Facebook’s interface cluttered, the     to access your profile. But now, make some-
applications moronic, and the Terms of Ser-      thing “public” and it will appear throughout
vice opaque—at best. It is AOl, circa 1996—      the Facebook ecosystem.
without the service fees. Clearly, I am in the      In other words, be careful about who
minority. Facebook has more than 400 mil-        you friend because your information will
lion active users worldwide, and 50 percent      show up when you visit one of these pre-
of those users log on every day. These users     approved sites. Indeed, the Graph API
create and share more than 25 billion Web        makes it possible to pull all sorts of personal
links, news stories, blog posts, notes, and      data directly into third-party sites. If you
photo albums. Facebook considers such            want to know what you are sharing, go to
items “objects”—bits of code that can be         graph.facebook.com/markzuckerberg, but
created, shared, exported, imported, syn-        replace Zuck’s name with yours. Or try your
chronized, and monetized.                        friend’s username, just for kicks.
   As Zuckerberg has modestly put it: “This
is the most transformative thing we’ve ever      A New Reality for Users
done for the Web.” Transformative, for sure,     Facebook will say that all of this is opt-
but I would humbly suggest it will be better     in, and it is. Hell, no one is making you use
for Facebook than the Internet as a whole. I     Facebook at all—yet. But the truth is that
agree these products go a long way towards       Facebook users don’t really understand
creating “instantly social and personalized      their privacy settings. This is the same prob-
experiences on the Web,” but it will come at     lem Google had when it launched Buzz, and
a price. And that price is privacy.              for which is has now been criticized by ten
                                                 European countries. But Google and Face-
A World of Likes                                 book are very different. For Google, having
“like” a movie on IMDB, and all of your          users share private information is a constant
friends will get updates to that effect. For     risk and an unfortunate side affect of its ser-
that matter, every time you look at a movie      vices. For Facebook, it is a business model.
on IMDB, you will see a list of friends who         And the average Facebook user? For
have “liked” that page. It is a powerful tool,   better or worse, they are going to get a lot
but my bet is most Facebook users will have      more exposure as well.
no idea where, when, or how their likes will     TALK bAcK To DAn E-mail your thoughts to
show up on the Web. Or for how long.             dan_costa@pcmag.com.

                                                            july 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION TK
AmericA’s FAs
      Netw
 Portland

                                             Boise




                             San Francisco                 Denver




Los Angeles                                      Phoenix

                                                           Dallas



PC Magazine tested six 3G and 4G networks
in 18 cities across the U.S., searching for the
fastest and slowest mobile networks. Is yours
a speed demon or a slug? Find out in our exclusive report.
by sascha segan
42 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JULY 2010
Astest mobile
works
                                                            Boston


    Chicago                                        New
                                                   York City

                                           Baltimore
                                        Washington D.C.
                                        Raleigh
        St. Louis

                              Charlotte



                    Atlanta




 San Antonio

                                      Miami


                                  JULY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 43
                                      NATIONAL WINNER l AT&T
                                      With its HSPA 7.2 3G network, AT&T was the fastest
                                      (albeit the least consistent) of the four nationwide
                     2010             carriers. The network’s dropouts don’t erase the fact
                     FASTEST
                     MOBILE           that AT&T’s nationwide reach and relatively current
                     NETWORk
                                      technology deliver faster average 3G speeds than the
                                      competition.



It’s a boom time for 3G. Where Americans             cities. We had to throw out two cities, Las
were once happy with hotspots, now they’re           Vegas and Philadelphia, because of tech-
demanding to be connected anywhere—                  nical problems, but overall our testing pro-
whether it’s with their smartphones, iPads,          duced consistent, repeatable results. Two
or laptops. And 3G is beginning to turn into         of our networks, Sprint 4G and Cricket,
4G, as wireless carriers start to install faster     weren’t available in all the cities we tested.
technologies that can match or beat many             That made them ineligible for regional and
home Internet connections.                           national awards, though we rated them for
   There’s more mobile data competition              the individual cities they served.
than ever before, and more people are surf-             Bear in mind mobile networks are con-
ing the Internet on the move. So PCMag               stantly changing, and almost always for the
.com decided to take a snapshot of Ameri-            better. And because speeds vary based on
ca’s mobile networks and see who’s doing             tower location, network load, device used,
the best in 18 cities. Using more than a             and even the weather, we can’t predict per-
dozen staffers and freelancers with soft-            formance in a specific location; rather, we’re
ware of our own design, we cruised streets           giving a snapshot of a specific day’s usage
from Boise to Miami checking AT&T, Cricket,          in several locations across a metro area.
T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, Sprint 3G, and              As we were editing this article, T-Mobile
Sprint 4G against each other.                        rolled out its new, faster HSPA+ technology
   In testing 3G and 4G across the continen-         in more of the Northeast, Memphis and Las
tal USA, we wanted to do things differently          Vegas. Sprint promises more and better 4G
from the competition, with more cities and           WiMAX coverage over the next few months,
more control—blanketing as many places as            too. But for now, the speed crown goes to
we could with our tests.                             AT&T.
   We didn’t test voice quality, dropped
calls, or coverage areas; while those are            Making a Date With Data
very important measurements, our tests               We used laptops, not phones, to test the
were all about mobile Internet. We ran               carriers’ data networks. (For more on this,
approximately 1,000 rounds of tests (total-          see How We Tested.) That meant giving
ing more than 10,000 individual tests) in 20         up on some measures like dropped calls

44 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JULY 2010
   NATIONAL + REGIONAL

                                                                                                                          DOWNLOAD sPEED                           UPLOAD sPEED
                                        PCMAG.COM                                CONsIsTENCY                              Megabits per second                      Megabits per second     TIME TO FIRsT bYTE
                                        MObILE sPEED INDEX                       percent                                  AVERAGE              MAX                 AVERAGE           MAX   seconds

NATIONAL

AT&T                                    93                                       86.20                                    1.79                2.75                 0.28             0.36   1.00

Cricket                                                                          95.32                                    0.94                1.54                 0.34             0.43   1.06

Sprint 3G                               76                                       95.90                                    0.99                1.26                 0.30             0.37   1.12

T-Mobile                                83                                       92.78                                    1.17                2.26                 0.34             0.63   1.21

Verizon                                 77                                       88.22                                    1.01                1.40                 0.35             0.47   1.02

Sprint 4G                                                                        84.27                                    2.11                3.14                 0.40             0.50   1.00

NORTHEAST

AT&T                                    84                                       78.87                                    1.57                2.20                 0.30             0.31   1.04

Cricket                                                                          87.59                                    0.98                0.98                 0.36             0.36   0.76

Sprint 3G                               69                                       92.87                                    0.96                1.24                 0.28             0.33   1.20

T-Mobile                                94                                       89.18                                    1.42                2.01                 0.51             0.63   2.01

Verizon                                 67                                       89.20                                    0.88                1.05                 0.34             0.36   0.84

Sprint 4G                                                                        92.59                                    3.09                3.09                 0.46             0.46   0.77

SOUTHEAST

AT&T                                    95                                       96.25                                    1.79                1.95                 0.35             0.36   0.67

Cricket                                                                          93.33                                    0.76                0.80                 0.35             0.37   1.22

Sprint 3G                               72                                       93.04                                    1.02                1.26                 0.30             0.32   0.76

T-Mobile                                77                                       92.12                                    1.11                2.05                 0.34             0.52   0.96

Verizon                                 72                                       89.43                                    0.89                1.21                 0.30             0.41   1.44

Sprint 4G                                                                        83.33                                    2.27                3.14                 0.40             0.48   0.76

CENTRAL

AT&T                                    93                                       82.91                                    1.58                2.08                 0.24             0.36   1.26

Cricket                                                                          97.50                                    0.93                1.54                 0.29             0.34   0.98

Sprint 3G                               80                                       98.67                                    0.94                1.13                 0.28             0.34   1.10

T-Mobile                                81                                       95.49                                    1.24                2.26                 0.22             0.38   1.02

Verizon                                 80                                       90.96                                    1.02                1.40                 0.30             0.36   0.98

Sprint 4G                                                                        85.66                                    2.94                2.94                 0.32             0.35   1.09

WEST

AT&T                                    87                                       87.32                                    2.11                2.75                 0.25             0.28   1.01

Cricket                                                                          98.89                                    1.04                1.13                 0.39             0.43   1.12

Sprint 3G                               72                                       97.84                                    1.04                1.14                 0.33             0.37   1.34

T-Mobile                                71                                       93.48                                    1.03                1.33                 0.35             0.61   1.15

Verizon                                 75                                       83.71                                    1.16                1.26                 0.42             0.47   0.87

Sprint 4G                                                                        79.42                                    1.55                2.08                 0.49             0.50   1.29
* National: Cricket in 10 of 18 cities; WiMAX in 9 of 18 cities. Northeast: Cricket in 2 of 4 cities; WiMAX in 1 of 4 cities.
  southeast: Cricket in 1 of 4 cities; WiMAX in 3 of 4 cities. Central: Cricket in all 5 cities, WiMAX in 3 of 5 cities. West: Cricket in 2 of 5 cities, WiMAX in 2 of 5 cities.




                                                                                                                                                          JULY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 45
   Testing the Carriers: How W
   Testing the nation’s wireless networks is     upload and download tests including:
   the largest project PCMag.com’s mobile        FILE DOWNLOADS: The script downloaded
   desk has ever undertaken. It involved four    1 MB and 5 MB ZIP files via FTP from
   staffers, 10 freelancers, two laptops, 10     ftp.apple.com and Limelight Networks
   modems, and 18 cities.                        respectively, using curl 7.20.1 for Windows.
     We equipped two identical HP Elite-         FILE AND PACkET UPLOADS: The script
   book 2540p laptops with modems from           uploaded TCP data to an iperf server on
   each of the six networks that provide         a 50/20 Verizon Fios connection and
   relatively widespread 3G or 4G service in     uploaded a 1 MB ZIP file via FTP to Lime-
   the U.S. We picked the Elitebook 2540p        light Networks.
   because we wanted a Windows 7 laptop          WEB ACTIvITY: Using curl, the script down-
   with good power and battery life.             loaded the entire Web pages PCMag.com
     For the modems, we took suggestions         and cnn.com and recorded both the “time
   from each carrier and chose the AT&T          to first byte” and the speed of the whole
   USBConnect Lightning, the Cricket A600,       complex download.
   the Sprint U301, the T-Mobile WebCon-         SPEED TEST: The script ran the Ookla
   nect Rocket, and the Novatel U727 and         Speedtest available at speedtest.net,
   U760 for Verizon. (We have reviews of         which is the official speed test chosen by
   many of these modems in our Cellular          the FCC to measure broadband speeds.
   Modem Reviews section.)                       The Ookla Speedtest measures both
                                                 upload and download speeds.
   PCMag.com’s Testing Script                    CONSISTENCY: Any FTP test that took
   To test the networks, we used eight to        more than 60 seconds to transfer a mega-
   ten locations in each city. At each loca-     byte was recorded as failed. That trans-
   tion, we ran an automated test script with    lates into a speed of 134 Kbps, which is
   each modem. The script, written in Win-       below the ITU 3G standard of 144 Kbps.
   dows Powershell, performed a number of        If the Ookla speed test did not return a



and voice quality. Why focus on data? Here      require a solid mobile data network.
at PCMag.com, we’ve always seen smart-            Data is also where the growth is. Accord-
phones as the next evolution of the PC. Our     ing to an April 2010 report from consultant
readers are most interested in data-heavy       Chetan Sharma, data traffic just began to
devices like the iPhone, Motorola Droid, and    outstrip voice traffic on mobile networks,
HTC EVO 4G. They want to surf, watch, and       and the U.S. has become the top mobile
play on the road—and all of those things        data market in the world. Although Ameri-

46 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JULY 2010
We Did It
 valid download speed, that test was also       cities we tested.
 recorded as failed.
                                                Frequently Asked Questions
 How We Calculated the Speed Index              WHAT DOES ALL THIS TELL YOU? Our tests
 The PCMag.com Mobile Speed Index is            will tell you about Internet connections
 a weighted average taking into account         from smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
 several factors. Of 100 points, 20 were for    The results tell you which networks are
 consistency; 40 were for FTP and speed-        the fastest and which are the most con-
 test downloads; 10 were for Web-page           sistent. The “time to first byte” is espe-
 downloads; 10 for Web-page time to first        cially relevant with Web pages, as it tells
 byte; and 20 were for FTP, iperf, and speed    you how long it takes before things start
 test uploads. The HTTP-based speed test        appearing on your screen.
 simulates the kind of traffic you’d see in      HOW DID WE PICk THE CITIES? We wanted
 either Web streaming or Web-page view-         a mix of larger and smaller cities, distrib-
 ing, so it got a lot of weight. The index is   uted over regions of the country, includ-
 normalized against the best result in each     ing several cities with Cricket and Sprint
 category for the geography being mea-          4G service. We tested in 20 cities, but had
 sured. (In other words, the best carrier in    to throw out two (Philadelphia and Las
 a given comparison for each test got the       Vegas) because of technical problems. Of
 maximum score for each test.)                  the 18 cities we ended up with, ten have
    Awards went to the carrier with the         Cricket and nine have Sprint 4G.
 highest Speed Index in a given city or         WHAT ABOUT DROPPED CALLS? We didn’t
 region. Sprint 4G and Cricket were not         test anything involving phone calls. Yes,
 eligible for regional and national awards,     it’s important, but there are too many
 and were not included in the regional          variables involved. Whether a call drops is
 and national Speed Index calculations,         about the individual phone as well as the
 because they weren’t available in all the      network.



 cans are still talking on their phones—the      McAdam once called “500 percent pene-
 CTIA says that Americans dialed 2.3 tril-       tration.” That means McAdam wants every
 lion minutes of calls in 2009—data usage is     American to own five different devices that
 growing much faster than voice usage.           connect to Verizon’s network. Since almost
    Data networks will get even more impor-      everyone has a cell phone now, wireless
 tant as cell-phone carriers fight their way      carriers need to start selling more and dif-
 toward what Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell         ferent kinds of gadgets to expand their

                                                             JULY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 47
businesses (like AT&T’s Apple iPad, for          are investing so heavily in “4G” technologies.
instance.) These are going to primarily be       While there’s no real, scientific definition of
data, not voice devices.                         4G, it’s used to refer to new, incompatible
   Today’s 3G data net-                                              networks that are much
works let you download                 The fastest                   faster than 3G.
at around a megabit per                                                The two 4G camps, for
second (Mbps). That’s               connection we                    now, are WiMAX and LTE.
slower than most home                                                Sprint started working
cable and DSL connec-
                                      found was a                    with WiMAX three years
tions. But the latest tech-        blazing 9.11 Mbps                 ago, and they have a few
nologies, such as HSPA+                                              dozen cities covered.
21 and WiMAX, are deliv-          down on Sprint 4G                  Everyone else has cho-
ering much faster speeds,                                            sen LTE. Verizon Wireless
with averages above 2
                                      in Atlanta’s                   and MetroPCS will roll
Mbps and peaks up to 9                  Midtown                      out their first LTE cities
Mbps in our tests. That                                              this year, with AT&T fol-
means mobile connec-                neighborhood.                    lowing in 2011. Sprint has
tion speeds could leap-                                              murmured about possi-
frog some home connections within the            bly switching from WiMAX to LTE, but they
next few years.                                  haven’t made any official announcements.
                                                 For now, they’re sticking with WiMAX.
3G, 4G and More G                                   The highest speeds we saw in the whole
Our results show the difference between the      country were on 4G WiMAX, with 8 and 9
3G and 4G technologies different wireless        Mbps downloads. Unfortunately, these
carriers are using. AT&T and T-Mobile use a      results were very uneven, and in many loca-
faster technology than Cricket, Verizon, and     tions the 3G networks were actually faster.
Sprint do, and it shows. Recently AT&T and       We’re hoping to see better results from Ver-
T-Mobile both upgraded their networks to         izon’s 4G LTE network, which the company
HSPA 7.2, which has a maximum theoreti-          just demonstrated in Boston.
cal download speed of 7.2 Mbps. T-Mobile            For now, you probably won’t see these
is going even further; in four cities, they’ve   top speeds on a phone. Few phones sup-
upgraded to HSPA+ 21, which has a maxi-          port the latest speeds. The Sprint EVO 4G is
mum theoretical speed of 21 Mbps.                the only phone that can access Sprint’s 4G
   By comparison, the EVDO Rev A technol-        network, although more devices are coming
ogy used by Cricket, Verizon, and Sprint has     later this year. No phones can hit T-Mobile’s
a theoretical maximum download speed of          HSPA+ speeds yet. So while AT&T’s HSPA
only 3.1 Mbps. That’s why Sprint and Verizon     7.2 and the CDMA EVDO used by Cricket,

48 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JULY 2010
Sprint 3G, and Verizon are slower than             lent consistency and stability, and it charge
those two technologies, you’ll find many           lower rates than the competition. Five GB of
more device options for those networks.            Internet is $40 per month, while 10GB runs
   E ve n i f a p h o n e ’s                                           $60 per month. That’s
modem can hit a net-          The fastest city we                      double the data you get
work’s maximum speed,                                                  from the nationwide 3G
the phone’s processor,         tested was Dallas,                      players.
video chip, or browser                                                    T-Mobile is coming
may not be able to pro-
                                whose 1.7 Mbps                         up fast. The nation’s
cess data at that speed.          average was                          number 4 carrier got a
On the recent Sprint                                                   late start with 3G, but
BlackBerry 9650, for          boosted by strong                        it’s growing by leaps
instance, we found rela-                                               and bounds. T-Mobile’s
tively little difference in
                              performances from                        HSPA 7.2 speeds were
Web-page rendering            both T-Mobile and                        somewhat lower than
times between 3G and                                                   AT&T’s overall, but the
Wi-Fi networks. Wi-Fi is           Sprint 4G.                          new HSPA+ 21 network
faster, of course, but the                                             that T-Mobile is cur-
BlackBerry’s browser isn’t fast enough to          rently in the midst of installing is blazingly
take advantage of the difference.                  fast—faster, in some cities, than 4G WiMAX.
                                                     Sprint has a solid, reliable 3G network
Different Carriers, Different Strengths            and a growing 4G WiMAX network. After
Beyond the speed scores, each of the               largely squandering a two-year 4G lead in
six networks we tested (Sprint has two             corporate reorganizations and other machi-
showed different strengths.                        nations, Sprint’s 4G build is picking up,
   AT&T had the fastest nationwide mobile          with faster speeds in Baltimore than we’ve
network, thanks to its deployment of HSPA          seen in previous tests and the first WiMAX-
7.2 technology across the U.S. The company         capable smartphones hitting the market.
has committed to upgrading to HSPA+ 14.4           Extremely inconsistent speeds show that
by the end of the year, which should double        Sprint needs to keep an eye on its WiMAX
AT&T’s speed across the country. However,          buildout, though. Sprint’s networks are also
AT&T can’t rest on its laurels; it had the low-    sold under various other names, including
est consistency score of the four national         Virgin (3G) and Clear (4G).
networks, reflecting the most dropouts in             Verizon Wireless didn’t show great
our tests.                                         speeds in our tests, but speed isn’t Verizon’s
   Cricket is a low-cost carrier available in 10   core strength. As we’ve seen in hundreds of
of our 18 cities. Cricket’s network had excel-     cell-phone reviews, Verizon has excellent

                                                              JULY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 49
                                      NORTHEAST WINNER l T-MOBILE
                                      T-Mobile’s aggressive deployment of HSPA+ in New
                                      York City, and its solid HSPA 7.2 showings in Boston, Bal-
                     2010             timore, and D.C., made it the fastest carrier available in
                     FASTEST
                     MOBILE           our four Northeastern cities overall. AT&T here was hurt
                     NETWORk
                                      by a low consistency score. While Sprint and Verizon
                                      were more consistent, their EVDO technology is inher-
                                      ently slower than HSPA 7.2 or HSPA+. Note that WiMAX
                                      was only available in one of our Northeastern cities,
                                      Baltimore. Sprint turned WiMAX on in Washington, D.C.,
                                      after our testing period ended.



nationwide coverage and voice-call qual-                Instead, Sprint showed the best speed
ity, which we didn’t test in this data-centric,      and consistency in Jamie’s 10 locations,
18-city story. Verizon’s lower-than-average          which included Boston Common, Fenway
speeds underscore how much the car-                  Park, and the suburbs of Cambridge, Burl-
rier needs its new 4G LTE data network to            ington, and Chelmsford, Massachusetts.
launch if it wants to remain a leader.                  Verizon recently did its first 4G demon-
   Following are our city-by-city results            strations in Boston. We’re eager to get our
to see which networks delivered the best             hands on some equipment for that network
speeds in each of our 18 cities.                     and see if it will help boost average speeds
                                                     in Boston to new heights.
                 NORTHEAST
Boston                                               Baltimore
FASTEST MOBILE NETWORK l SPRINT 3G                   FASTEST MOBILE NETWORK l SPRINT 3G
Contributing Editor Jamie Lendino made               Managing editor and lead analyst Sascha
a date out of his day of wireless testing            Segan can tell you all about Baltimore; he’s
around the Boston area, taking his girlfriend        been going there every few months since
for ice cream, making a trip to the Boston           2008 to check out the state of Sprint’s 4G
Common, and running lots of long, romantic           WiMAX network.
3G network tests on our HP laptop. (Note to            It’s been a hard few years for WiMAX in
Jamie’s girlfriend: You are a saint.)                Baltimore, but it’s finally started getting its
   AT&T isn’t known for great coverage in            legs, with a high speed of 8.15 Mbps in the
Boston, and while the speed of its HSPA 7.2          charming hilltop neighborhood of Mount
network came out characteristically good,            Washington in the northern part of Balti-
it was the least consistent of Boston’s four         more City.
networks. (Cricket and Sprint 4G haven’t               Baltimoreans are lucky to have lots of
made it to Beantown yet.)                            choices, with AT&T, Cricket, Sprint 3G,

50 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JULY 2010
 NORTHEAST

                                                    DOWNLOAD sPEED             UPLOAD sPEED
                 PCMAG.COM            CONsIsTENCY   Megabits per second        Megabits per second     TIME TO FIRsT bYTE
                 MObILE sPEED INDEX   percent       AVERAGE           MAX      AVERAGE           MAX   seconds

BALTIMORE

AT&T             64                   74.07         1.40             3.35      0.28             0.85   0.69

Cricket          62                   85.19         0.98             2.27      0.36             0.81   0.76

Sprint 3G        58                   92.59         0.92             2.18      0.28             0.78   0.79

T-Mobile         70                   85.19         1.26             3.05      0.45             1.27   0.74

Verizon          64                   96.30         0.84             2.31      0.33             0.89   0.59

Sprint 4G        96                   92.59         3.09             8.15      0.46             1.06   0.77

BOSTON

AT&T             76                   73.33         1.18             2.54      0.30             0.85   2.08

Sprint 3G        96                   96.67         1.24             2.07      0.33             0.84   0.44

T-Mobile         69                   83.33         0.76             2.35      0.42             1.26   1.76

Verizon          69                   76.67         0.85             1.98      0.33             0.88   1.08

NEW YORK CITY

AT&T             86                   92.31         1.82             4.98      0.31             0.97   0.62

Sprint 3G        50                   88.89         0.79             1.99      0.24             0.82   1.84

T-Mobile         91                   94.87         2.01             5.90      0.63             2.18   3.04

Verizon          62                   87.18         0.94             1.87      0.36             0.94   0.88

WASHINGTON, DC

AT&T             85                   75.76         2.20             4.11      0.28             0.99   0.83

Cricket          61                   90.00         0.81             1.33      0.36             0.87   0.93

Sprint 3G        71                   93.33         1.10             2.62      0.30             0.92   0.65

T-Mobile         66                   93.33         0.74             1.69      0.47             1.26   0.92

Verizon          69                   96.67         1.05             1.98      0.32             0.80   0.80




T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint 4G all avail-           were shocked by what we found. AT&T may
able in Charm City. Of the 3G networks,              be known for dropping calls on iPhones,
AT&T pulled the best speeds but had prob-            but its reliability for data transfers was rock
lems with consistency. Verizon offered the           solid.
best consistency, but at significantly lower            The fastest and most reliable data net-
speeds than its HSPA competition.                    work in New York turns out to be the new-
                                                     est. T-Mobile was turning on HSPA+ towers
New York City                                        around the metro area as we were testing,
FASTEST MOBILE NETWORK l T-MOBILE                    leading to spectacular speeds and startling
New York is our hometown, so we did                  reliability. The fastest speed we saw in New
13 rounds of testing here in Manhattan,              York was with T-Mobile at the corner of 28th
Queens, and nearby Hoboken, N.J.—and we              Street and 1st Avenue in Manhattan, where

                                                                            JULY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 51
we got 5.9 megabits down. But T-Mobile          But we found that AT&T was much less con-
was clearly working out kinks in its network    sistent than the competition, especially
setup, because we got very slow responses       compared to Verizon Wireless’s rock-solid
from some Web sites when we were using          network.
T-Mobile.
  Verizon, meanwhile, is known as the local                    SOUTHEAST
stalwart, but its results were strictly mid-    Atlanta
dle-of-the-road. Remember that we didn’t        FASTEST MOBILE NETWORK l SPRINT 4G
test call completion or call quality, though.   In Atlanta you drink Coke, fly Delta, and use
That’s been AT&T’s weakness of late, and        AT&T. It’s like a civic ordinance or some-
in our hundreds of cell phone tests over        thing; have you ever tried to get Pepsi at a
the past five years in New York City, that’s     restaurant in Atlanta? They love their home-
where Verizon really reigns.                    town heroes down in Georgia.
  Cricket and Sprint 4G are not available in       But the hometown hero now has a high-
New York City.                                  speed competitor in Sprint 4G, as freelance
                                                tester Tim Elliott found at ten locations in
Washington, D.C.                                metro Atlanta. AT&T acquitted itself well
FASTEST MOBILE NETWORK l AT&T                   enough, but Sprint 4G delivered higher
Our nation’s capital had five competing 3G       speeds—capped off by the fastest speed
networks when we tested in April: AT&T,         we saw anywhere in the nation, a 9.1-Mbps
Cricket, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wire-     download in Midtown Atlanta.
less. Sprint’s 4G launched too late to be          It looks like Atlanta may be a prime mar-
included in this story.                         ket for Sprint’s EVO super-phone, as its 4G
  Managing Editor Sascha Segan rode             is fast and its 3G is reliable, which will make
D.C.’s Metro system around the District and     for a solid smartphone experience.
Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, check-
ing speeds and reliability on all five net-     Charlotte
works. Taking a tip from a friend—the Pew       FASTEST MOBILE NETWORK l SPRINT 4G
Research Project’s Amanda Lenhart—he            The frustrating inconsistency of Sprint’s 4G
made sure to check out speeds at a May-         WiMAX network was on full display as Staff
orga coffee shop near her house. (Hey, we       Editor Gregg Binder cruised around Char-
get to pick our locations.)                     lotte. Sometimes WiMAX was blazingly fast.
  T-Mobile hasn’t installed HSPA+ in D.C.,      Sometimes it died. In a city with excellent
and Sprint hadn’t turned on WiMAX yet, so       wireless competition and generally reliable
AT&T’s network was technically fastest. The     networks, Sprint’s new network showed
fastest speeds we saw were on the National      us both the highs and the lows of getting
Mall, where AT&T clocked in over 4 Mbps.        online with wireless.

52 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JULY 2010
  SOUTHEAST

                                                  DOWNLOAD sPEED             UPLOAD sPEED
               PCMAG.COM            CONsIsTENCY   Megabits per second        Megabits per second     TIME TO FIRsT bYTE
               MObILE sPEED INDEX   percent       AVERAGE           MAX      AVERAGE           MAX   seconds

ATLANTA

AT&T           79                   93.33         1.94             3.58      0.35             1.03   0.61

Sprint 3G      62                   100.00        0.98             2.56      0.32             0.72   0.78

T-Mobile       50                   93.33         0.76             1.50      0.18             0.35   0.77

Verizon        51                   96.67         0.81             2.24      0.30             0.84   1.80

Sprint 4G      97                   90.00         3.14             9.11      0.45             0.99   0.65

CHARLOTTE

AT&T           76                   97.22         1.87             3.78      0.36             1.14   0.56

Cricket        53                   100.00        0.73             1.22      0.37             0.78   1.21

Sprint 3G      56                   90.00         1.03             2.11      0.26             0.80   0.77

T-Mobile       86                   93.94         2.05             3.95      0.52             1.28   0.67
Verizon        58                   96.97         0.92             2.72      0.33             0.83   0.75
Sprint 4G      90                   80.00         2.85             7.60      0.48             1.03   0.66
MIAMI

AT&T           96                   94.44         1.95             4.04      0.34             1.26   0.89

Sprint 3G      77                   85.19         1.26             2.08      0.30             0.68   0.78

T-Mobile       56                   87.88         0.90             1.82      0.15             0.35   1.23

Verizon        79                   74.07         1.21             2.28      0.41             0.87   0.86

RALEIGH

AT&T           94                   100.00        1.40             2.58      0.34             0.96   0.60

Cricket        65                   86.67         0.80             1.50      0.34             0.82   1.24

Sprint 3G      72                   96.97         0.85             2.07      0.30             0.84   0.73

T-Mobile       69                   93.33         0.71             1.13      0.49             1.21   1.16

Verizon        51                   90.00         0.68             2.08      0.18             0.49   2.22

Sprint 4G      63                   80.00         0.84             2.19      0.26             0.96   0.97




   T-Mobile and AT&T, on the other hand,           Miami
offered much more consistent experiences.          FASTEST MOBILE NETWORK l AT&T
Both carriers seem to be running HSPA 7.2          Maybe cellular networks don’t like humid-
networks in Charlotte and at full tilt, with       ity. Only four of our six networks are set up
similar speeds averaging just around 2             in Miami—there’s no Cricket or Sprint 4G—
Mbps. Cricket’s network is much slower, but        and Miami had the most dropouts and lost
it’s a reliable budget option.                     connections of any of our test cities, as free-
   Sprint 4G’s added speed won the prize in        lance tester Andre Ferreira found to his frus-
Charlotte over T-Mobile’s more consistent          tration. Driving down from Broward County,
network.                                           he traced a route through northern and cen-

                                                                          JULY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 53
                                     SOUTHEAST WINNER l AT&T
                                     We tested four cities in the Southeast: Atlanta, Charlotte,
                                     Miami, and Raleigh. AT&T won the Southeast, as the fast-
                      2010           est and most consistent of the national 3G carriers over-
                      FASTEST
                      MOBILE         all. Sprint’s 4G WiMAX showed wildly varying results in
                      NETWORk
                                     Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh, the three cities where it
                                     was installed. Atlanta gave us the fastest WiMAX speed
                                     we saw anywhere in the country—but in Raleigh, Sprint’s
                                     4G was slower than AT&T’s 3G.



tral Miami, hitting ten testing locations on         some 3G networks. It was also the most
his way downtown.                                    likely to suffer dropouts. AT&T, on the other
  But as can be expected from a Southeast-           hand, rated best on all of our measures.
ern city, AT&T did well in our tests, scoring        Not only was it the fastest and most con-
as both the fastest and most reliable net-           sistent network, it had the lowest “time to
work. Miami was a weak city for T-Mobile;            first byte,” which means Web pages start to
without the boost from its growing HSPA+             appear particularly quickly.
installations, T-Mobile was notably slower
than other networks in Miami. Both Sprint                             CENTRAL
and Verizon performed decently, but their            Chicago
CDMA EVDO technology is inherently                   FASTEST MOBILE NETWORK l SPRINT 4G
slower than a good HSPA buildout.                    People call it the Windy City, but we’ll call
                                                     it WiMAX city. Staff Editor Sean Ludwig
Raleigh                                              found great WiMAX speeds on Sprint’s 4G
FASTEST MOBILE NETWORK l AT&T                        network in Chicago, topping out at 7.52
Freelance tester Rob Baker considered                Mbps at State Street and Congress Parkway
strapping our test kit to a skateboard, but          in the Loop.
it’s too big for anything but a car, alas.              We also saw excellent consistency on
Raleigh has all six networks we tested—              Sprint’s 3G and 4G networks, as well as
AT&T, Cricket, Sprint 3G, T-Mobile, Verizon,         Cricket’s less expensive, somewhat slower
and Sprint 4G—and it was one of the slow-            network. AT&T was fast—for a 3G network—
est cities we found nationwide. There were           but it didn’t match the stellar speeds of
no spectacular, standout speeds in our               Sprint 4G. Both AT&T and Verizon suffered
Raleigh tests, with the fastest result clock-        on consistency, with some of our tests drop-
ing in at 2.58 Mbps—less than half what we           ping below 3G speeds on both carriers.
saw in some other cities.                            Verizon’s all-around low score in Chicago
   Sprint’s 4G, especially, crawled in the           reflects that it didn’t lead in any of our cri-
Raleigh area, delivering speeds slower than          teria.

54 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JULY 2010
 CENTRAL

                                                 DOWNLOAD sPEED             UPLOAD sPEED
              PCMAG.COM            CONsIsTENCY   Megabits per second        Megabits per second     TIME TO FIRsT bYTE
              MObILE sPEED INDEX   percent       AVERAGE           MAX      AVERAGE           MAX   seconds

CHICAGO

AT&T          62                   81.48         1.85             3.53      0.16             1.07   1.83

Cricket       76                   100.00        1.54             2.72      0.23             1.06   0.55

Sprint 3G     58                   100.00        1.13             2.23      0.16             0.63   1.51

T-Mobile      52                   92.59         1.13             2.77      0.11             0.36   1.03

Verizon       39                   81.48         0.61             1.76      0.12             0.42   1.54

Sprint 4G     98                   100.00        2.94             7.52      0.31             1.03   0.64

DALLAS

AT&T          82                   86.11         2.08             4.24      0.28             1.11   1.86

Sprint 3G     73                   100.00        1.13             2.53      0.33             0.70   0.84

T-Mobile      94                   94.87         2.26             6.65      0.38             1.71   0.89

Verizoin      78                   100.00        1.16             2.17      0.36             0.82   0.65

Sprint 4G     76                   63.64         1.90             4.37      0.35             1.21   1.20

DENVER

AT&T          88                   96.97         1.08             3.12      0.24             0.73   0.72

Cricket       77                   100.00        0.77             1.70      0.27             0.60   0.97

Sprint 3G     80                   100.00        0.79             2.02      0.34             0.77   1.38

T-Mobile      91                   100.00        1.16             1.98      0.19             0.35   0.76

Verizon       80                   90.00         0.88             2.02      0.32             1.04   1.41

SAN ANTONIO

AT&T          90                   80.00         1.64             3.44      0.36             1.11   1.15

Cricket       67                   96.67         0.66             1.88      0.34             0.84   0.81

Sprint 3G     65                   93.33         0.79             1.78      0.26             0.69   1.06

T-Mobile      57                   96.67         0.74             1.49      0.12             0.36   0.93

Verizon       91                   83.33         1.40             2.90      0.35             0.83   0.61

Sprint 4G     77                   93.33         1.27             2.53      0.30             0.94   1.41

ST. LOUIS

AT&T          86                   70.00         1.38             3.14      0.18             0.82   0.72

Cricket       72                   93.33         0.83             1.37      0.31             0.91   1.50

Sprint 3G     78                   100.00        0.86             1.54      0.29             0.74   0.80

T-Mobile      65                   93.33         0.84             1.73      0.20             0.35   1.51

Verizon       83                   100.00        0.97             1.95      0.30             0.74   0.77




                                                                         JULY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 55
                                      CENTRAL WINNER l AT&T
                                      Industry-leading download and Web speeds let AT&T
                                      take the award for our Central region overall, which
                      2010            includes Chicago, Dallas, Denver, St. Louis, and San
                      FASTEST
                      MOBILE          Antonio. Once again, though, the winner was the least
                      NETWORk
                                      consistent of the four national networks. AT&T only won
                                      one of the five Central cities individually, splitting the
                                      city laurels with T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint 4G.



Dallas                                               spikes we saw in places where AT&T and
FASTEST MOBILE NETWORK l T-MOBILE                    T-Mobile have amped up their networks.
AT&T and T-Mobile are having a fast-draw             There’s no Sprint 4G in Denver, either.
shootout in the old Texas style in Dallas,              While T-Mobile hasn’t yet upgraded Den-
as both carriers pump up their HSPA net-             ver to HSPA+, its HSPA 7.2 network still
works to super-high speeds. T-Mobile won             came out slightly faster in the city—though
the crown thanks to its growing HSPA+ net-           it was in a dead heat with AT&T. T-Mobile’s
work. In four of the ten locations tested by         slightly better consistency won the day, but
Staff Editor Sean Ludwig, T-Mobile scored            only by a tiny margin.
over 5 Mbps, which pushed it past AT&T on
overall speed. More towers would have wid-           San Antonio
ened the gap further.                                FASTEST MOBILE NETWORK l vERIZON WIRELESS
  Sprint, meanwhile, needs to work on its            Sixteen-year-old computer whiz Jon Alaniz
WiMAX in Dallas. Poor signal quality in our          got his mom to help him test 3G throughout
testing locations led to dropouts and slow           San Antonio, where AT&T, Cricket, Sprint 3G,
speed results which were bested by two 3G            T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint 4G all com-
carriers.                                            pete to stream the Internet past the Alamo.
                                                       San Antonio was perfect proof that great
Denver                                               3G can beat inconsistent 4G, as AT&T and
FASTEST MOBILE NETWORK l T-MOBILE                    Verizon were both faster than WiMAX in
Residents of the flat, expansive Mile-High           our tests. Verizon won the award for best
city get some of the most reliable 3G ser-           network in San Antonio thanks to a com-
vice in the nation, Staff Editor Gregg Binder        bination of decent speed and low “time
found as he cruised the city in a tiny rented        to first byte,” which measures how long it
car.                                                 takes for Web data to begin to return to
  We saw very few timeouts and drop-                 your computer.
outs at ten locations in and around Denver.            Cricket and T-Mobile, the two slowest
Speeds were slower than in many other cit-           networks, tied for most consistent, offer-
ies, though, with fewer of the spectacular           ing Texans an interesting choice between

56 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JULY 2010
speed and reliability.                            That left room for budget carrier Cricket
                                               to prove itself as the best value in Boise,
St. Louis                                      thanks to its excellent reliability and solid,
FASTEST MOBILE NETWORK l AT&T                  consistent speeds across different applica-
Mizzou alum and staff editor Sean Ludwig       tions.
headed back to his old stomping grounds
to find that St. Louis residents have a tough   Los Angeles
choice to make between speed and a con-        FASTEST MOBILE NETWORK l T-MOBILE
sistent 3G experience.                         Gossip blogger, reality TV producer, and
   Testing in ten locations, he found that     semi-pro celebrity stalker Mikey “The
AT&T is the fastest mobile network by far—     Chimp” Glazer wanted to find out if the rich
but it also had the most failed connections.   and famous really do get better 3G ser-
Sprint and Verizon, meanwhile, were much       vice than the rest of us, so he made sure to
slower but far more consistent. Cricket ser-   check out some locations where the stars
vice is available in the St. Louis area, but   hang out, such as Brentwood and the Sun-
Sprint WiMAX isn’t—maybe that’s just Kan-      set Boulevard hotel zone. The verdict: L.A.
sas City-based Sprint thumbing its nose at     needs more wireless competition, with only
its cross-state rival.                         four networks (no Cricket or Sprint 4G) and
                                               no spectacular speeds, either.
                   WEST                          AT&T came out fastest on average, but
Boise, Idaho                                   T-Mobile is beginning to build out its HSPA+
FASTEST MOBILE NETWORK l CRICkET               network in L.A., and the results we saw at
We sent Staff Editor Gregg Binder up to the    the one HSPA+ tower we could find (outside
Rocky Mountains because Boise is a tech-       One Wilshire, downtown) were the city’s
nology hotspot. Micron and HP have major       highest. T-Mobile’s greater consistency
presences in Boise, and there are a bunch of   across all of our testing locations helped it
smaller companies there too. Wireless car-     nab the crown in L.A. Verizon Wireless also
riers seem to be enthusiastic about Boise,     looks like a good choice for Angelenos; its
too. The Treasure Valley has six wireless      speeds weren’t too far behind the leaders.
Internet options: AT&T, Cricket, Sprint 3G,
T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint 4G.     Phoenix
   Unfortunately, we didn’t see spectacu-      FASTEST MOBILE NETWORK l AT&T
lar speeds in Boise. Everyone was a bit low.   Having a low, flat city can mean good things
T-Mobile hasn’t turned on HSPA+, and Sprint    for wireless reliability. That is why our free-
WiMAX speeds were pretty sad—definitely         lance tester Brett Gordon saw solid reli-
more 3G than 4G. AT&T maxed out at higher      ability numbers at ten locations on four of
speeds than Sprint WiMAX did.                  the five networks in Phoenix. AT&T, Cricket,

                                                           JULY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 57
                                      WEST WINNER l AT&T
                                      In the western U.S., we tested networks in Boise, L.A.,
                                      Phoenix, Portland, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
                      2010            AT&T won two cities (Phoenix and San Francisco) and
                      FASTEST
                      MOBILE          the overall crown thanks to commanding Web and
                      NETWORk
                                      download speeds. Cricket’s only city win was in Boise,
                                      where that network’s reliability (and Sprint 4G’s star-
                                      tlingly slow showing) helped push it to the lead.



Sprint and T-Mobile all acquitted themselves         day in Portland because of its fast overall
well, though we had some trouble.                    Web page load times and its high upload
   T-Mobile hasn’t set up HSPA+ in Phoe-             speeds.
nix yet, and Sprint hasn’t                                               Ve r i z o n W i r e l e s s
stopped by to turn on 4G.                The fastest                  offered a snappier Web
So AT&T’s HSPA 7.2 tech-                                              experience than its num-
nology is the fastest in the          AT&T download                   bers might suggest,
state of Arizona, with top                                            thanks to a lower “time to
                                         we saw, at
speeds of 4.18 Mbps show-                                             first byte” than other net-
ing up on the campus of               5.05 Mbps, was                  works—that’s a measure
Grand Canyon University.                                              of how quickly data starts
Low time-to-first-byte                  right behind                  coming through in a Web
s p e e d s h e l p e d We b               Apple’s                    transfer.
pages show up especially                                                 Sprint’s 3G scored as
promptly on AT&T’s net-                headquarters.                  most consistent, without a
work.                                                                 single dropout in our eight
                                                     Portland locations.
Portland, Oregon
FASTEST MOBILE NETWORK l SPRINT 4G                   San Francisco
Travel writer and percussionist Matt Han-            FASTEST MOBILE NETWORK l AT&T
nafin is an expert on cruise ships, but he           The nation’s tech capital is way behind when
welcomed the chance to cruise the streets            it comes to wireless competition, with only
of his hometown of Portland testing all six          four of our six networks available; Cricket
wireless networks available there: AT&T,             and Sprint 4G are nowhere to be found in
Cricket, Sprint 3G, T-Mobile, Verizon Wire-          the Bay Area.
less, and Sprint 4G WiMAX.                              But as tester Paul Cabana drove up and
  Portland was one of the early demo mar-            down the streets from San Jose all the
kets for Clearwire, which is Sprint’s WiMAX          way to Oakland, he found that AT&T’s well-
network partner, and Sprint 4G won the               known reliability problems in the city of San

58 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JULY 2010
 WEST

                                                   DOWNLOAD sPEED             UPLOAD sPEED
                PCMAG.COM            CONsIsTENCY   Megabits per second        Megabits per second     TIME TO FIRsT bYTE
                MObILE sPEED INDEX   percent       AVERAGE           MAX      AVERAGE           MAX   seconds

BOISE

AT&T            85                   90.91         1.44             2.78      0.23             0.86   1.01

Cricket         86                   100.00        1.13             2.30      0.37             1.20   0.80

Sprint 3G       67                   93.94         0.84             1.97      0.26             0.73   1.37

T-Mobile        69                   93.94         0.60             0.99      0.39             0.89   0.80

Verizon         78                   100.00        0.93             1.89      0.36             0.91   1.02

Sprint 4G       80                   86.11         1.10             2.56      0.49             0.95   1.63

LOS ANGELES

AT&T            77                   73.33         1.47             2.59      0.21             0.83   1.29

Sprint 3G       74                   100.00        1.13             2.16      0.34             0.84   1.30

T-Mobile        93                   93.33         1.33             3.75      0.61             1.26   1.00

Verizon         81                   80.00         1.19             2.09      0.41             0.84   0.87

PHOENIX
AT&T            91                   93.33         2.75             4.18      0.28             1.02   0.60

Cricket         58                   100.00        0.89             1.55      0.37             0.82   1.38

Sprint 3G       61                   100.00        1.02             2.09      0.37             0.79   1.27

T-Mobile        57                   93.33         1.33             1.92      0.19             0.35   1.21

Verizon         66                   80.00         1.24             2.32      0.46             0.93   1.16

PORTLAND

AT&T            84                   90.91         2.33             4.26      0.28             0.94   1.22

Cricket         68                   96.67         1.10             1.54      0.43             0.84   1.22

Sprint 3G       68                   100.00        1.14             2.25      0.37             0.86   1.09

T-Mobile        55                   93.94         1.19             2.11      0.17             0.35   1.99

Verizon         76                   80.00         1.25             2.32      0.47             0.98   0.70

Sprint 4G       89                   72.73         2.08             3.94      0.50             0.92   0.83

SAN FRANCISCO

AT&T            87                   88.10         2.23             5.05      0.25             1.03   0.95

Sprint 3G       64                   95.24         1.05             2.52      0.31             0.85   1.62

T-Mobile        67                   92.86         0.87             2.09      0.40             1.24   0.88

Verizon         77                   78.57         1.26             2.25      0.41             0.84   0.61




Francisco don’t stretch across the whole            mounted right on Apple’s headquarters at
metro area.                                         One Infinite Loop, in Cupertino, where he
  The fastest score in all of his tests—and         clocked 5.05 Mbps. It’s no surprise that the
the fastest AT&T speed we saw anywhere              home of the iPhone has the nation’s best
in the nation—came from an AT&T tower               AT&T signal. n

                                                                           JULY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 59
Solutions
BuILD IT



Build a Computer
in 30 Minutes
or Less
Rachael Ray can whip up a meal in half an hour. Now you can whip
up a new PC in the same amount of time. By Daniel S. Evans




M
                     ost of the population        up bowling a 280, but so did that 6-year-old in
                     thinks building a com-       the lane next to you. But after the experience
                     puter from scratch is        of putting this kit together with a PC-building
                     something best left to       novice, I saw the other side.
                     professionals. But we at        The Shuttle SN78SH7 features a socket
PC Labs believe pretty much anyone can            for AMD2+ chips, two DDR2 memory slots,
learn to build a simple PC like the one in this   integrated GeForce 8200 graphics GPU, six
piece. And those with some experience can         USB ports, two eSATA ports, and an HDMI
build it in about the same amount of time         port all in a form factor the size of a toaster
Rachael Ray takes to make dinner.                 oven. The kit comes only with a 300-watt
  To start, I found a barebones kit, namely the   power supply, but that is adequate for the
Shuttle SN78SH7, which bundles together           components I’m installing. There is a PCI
just about all you want in a small-form-factor    slot that can accommodate a small half-
PC. I know, some believe building a desktop       size graphics card, but no room for a full-
from a barebones kit is like bowling down a       size graphics card—not much of a concern,
lane with the gutter guards up, so every ball     since you already have integrated graph-
goes straight for the pins. Sure, you may end     ics. All you have to add is the chip of your

60 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JULY 2010
64 OffiCe/OS                                    68 WORK
Make the most out                               For budget-conscious
of Microsoft Office 2010                         businesses, here are alternatives
with these 10 tips                              to Microsoft Office 2010




PARTs                          Memory:                          Optical Drive:
Barebones Kit:                 Kingston HyperX                  Lite-On iHAs422
shuttle sN78sH7                KHX6400D2/2G                     ($42.38 list)
($200 street)                  ($60 street)
                                                                Operating system: Windows 7
Processor:                     Hard Drive:                      Home Premium (64-bit) ($119
AMD Phenom II X4-945           Western Digital WD5001AALs       upgrade, $200 full)
($160 street)                  500GB
                               ($65 street)

choice, and then an optical drive and hard       I chose the Western Digital WD5001AALS
drive, both of which are easily salvageable      500GB, which I salvaged from a previous
from an old PC.                                  build project; feel free to go with a larger-
  The AMD Phenom II X4-945 processor I           capacity hard drive, especially if you plan
chose for this project—a 3-GHz quad-core         on storing a lot of video files. I also used
chip with good-size L2 and L3 caches—            an optical drive that I had in a previous PC
costs only about $160. For memory, I went        build—the Lite-On iHAS422.
with the Kingston HyperX KHX6400D2/2G               There you have it: a simple PC that’s a
because of its dependable 2G DDR2 mem-           breeze to assemble. Maybe building this will
ory and reasonable price. For the hard drive,    unleash a new lifelong hobby.

                                                            JULY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 61
                                           sOLuTIONs BuILD IT



Build a PC in 30 Minutes: step-by-step Instructions




1   OPEN THE CAsE.
    First, slide off the cover.
    There are three thumb-
                                     2      REMOvE THE RACK,
                                            AND INsERT THE OPTICAL
                                            AND HARD DRIvEs.
                                                                          3   REMOvE THE CPu
                                                                              COOLER.
                                                                              This step is much easier
    screws in the back.                     As you’re screwing in the         with a bare-bones kit than
                                            drives, make sure to put          it would be in a normal
                                            aside the two tiny screws         desktop build. The CPU
                                            along the top sides of the        cooler is held down by
                                            case in a safe place so you       four thumb screws; remove
                                            won’t lose them.                  them and unhook the fan’s
                                                                              power cord.




4    INsERT THE CPu.
     Line up the CPU, and insert it
     into the socket.
                                                        5   APPLy THERMAL PAsTE.
                                                            Place a small dollop of thermal paste on
                                                            the back of the chip before putting the
                                                            cooling unit back on.

62 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JULY 2010
6   PuT THE fAN BACK IN.
    Remember to attach the fan
    power cord.
                                                   7   INsERT THE RAM.
                                                       Set your DDR2 module into
                                                       the RAM slot.




8   PuT BACK THE RACK.
    Screw the drives into the
    rack and reinsert it into
                                 9   WIRE IT uP.
                                     Attach the SATA power and
                                     data connections to the hard
                                                                    10   CLOsE IT AND INsTALL
                                                                         WINDOWs.
                                                                         If you are using a new
    the case.                        drive and optical drive.            hard drive, load up an
                                                                         operating system. We
                                                                         recommend Windows 7
                                                                         Home Premium (64-bit).

yOu’RE fINIsHED, all in the time it takes to watch an episode of 30 Rock. Well done.

                                                             JULY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 63
                                           solutions office




Microsoft Office
2010: 10 Tips
and Tricks
the latest version of Microsoft office sports a dazzling array of new
features. Here are ten detailed tips that can help you make the most
of them. By Edward Mendelson




M
                      icrosoft Office 2010 con-
                      tains a number of obvi-
                      ous changes that make it
                      the definitive version of
                      the popular productivity
suite, but it’s still a mammoth pile of code
that requires work to master. Learning a few
tricks can greatly improve your efficiency.
Here are ten of our favorites, ranging from
keyboard shortcuts to ways to keep tabs on
your social networks.
                                                   selecting Recent, and adding a check
1. open Recently used files with                   box next to Quickly access this number of
two Keystrokes                                     recent documents. Change the number to
In older versions of Office, the File menu         whatever number of documents you want
always displayed your recently used docu-          to see on the list. In the Recent Documents
ments, which you could open by typing              list, you can “pin” a document to the list
Alt-F1, then the number of the document            so that it will always appear, even if you
on the list (1 for the most recent, 2 for next     haven’t opened it recently. A nifty new fea-
most recent, etc.). This feature isn’t turned      ture lets you “pin” entire folders to the list
on by default in Office 2010, but you can          of Recent Places in the right-hand column
activate it by entering the Backstage view,        on the menu.

64 Pc MAGAZine DiGitAl eDition JULY 2010
2. Add a Redaction tool to Word                  can type “L” for Styles on the Home tab, and
Unlike Adobe Acrobat and Corel Word-             tap the appropriate letter to open the gal-
Perfect, Word doesn’t come with a built-in       lery, so you can navigate it with the arrow
redaction tool, which means that you can’t       keys. Type Alt again to exit this mode.
permanently hide text in a Word document.
                                                 4. customize the Ribbon
                                                 Office finally lets you rearrange the Rib-
                                                 bon the way you want by clicking the File
                                                 tab to go to Backstage, selecting Options,
                                                 and then Customize Ribbon. In the right-
                                                 hand column, you can create a new tab or
                                                 a new group on an existing tab, remove or
                                                 rearrange items already on the Ribbon by
Still, you can add that functionality to Word    selecting them in the right-hand column, or
2010’s Review tab by installing the Word         select items that you want to add from the
2007 Redaction Tool. Just be careful—when
text is replaced by a black box, you can’t
press Ctrl-Z to reverse the redaction.

3. Do everything With the Keyboard
Office’s Ribbon interface looks as if it’s
designed for the mouse, but you can fight
carpal-tunnel syndrome and other wrist
problems by using the keyboard instead.
Tapping the Alt key causes boxed letters to
appear on all the Ribbon’s tabs, and boxed
numbers to appear on the Quick Access.           list on the left. Long-term Office users may
For example, type “H” and the Home tab           want to use the Commands not on the rib-
                                                 bon function because you can now add a
                                                 command that you used in older Word ver-
                                                 sions that were nixed due to lack of demand.
opens, complete with boxed letters (and a
few sequences of two letters like “FN” and       5. open Documents that office Wants
“PG”) that you can press to access all the       to Block
features on the tab. Galleries—like the gal-     In Office 2007, if you tried to open a docu-
lery of styles on the Home tab—have letters      ment created in very old versions of Office,
located on the scroll bar to their right. You    an error message would appear, and you

Product name in ReD indicates Editors’ Choice.              JULY 2010 Pc MAGAZine DiGitAl eDition 65
                                           solutions office

                                                   then select a Page Range option.

                                                   7. integrate social networks into outlook
                                                   Outlook’s “Social Connector” feature lets
                                                   you integrate LinkedIn updates (and Face-
                                                   book and others in the future), but the
                                                   method for setting this up isn’t obvious.
                                                   You’ll need to download and install Linked
                                                   In for Outlook. You’ll also have to ignore
                                                   the warning that details the need to install

would be unable to open it. Office 2010,
fortunately, makes it easy to override those
blocks. In Word or Excel, go to File, Options,
Trust Center, click Trust Center Settings,
then select File Block Settings, and remove
the check marks from the older Office files
that you want Office 2010 to open.

6. Print only one Page of an outlook
Message
Other Office apps let you print the current
page (or one or more numbered pages)
directly from the Print menu in the Back-
stage view by clicking the down arrow next         the Outlook Social Connector (that advice
                                                   applied only to the public beta of Outlook
                                                   2010). Finally, in Outlook, click the View tab,
                                                   People Pane, and then the down arrow to
                                                   access Account Settings and log in.

                                                   8. Make Your own Quick steps in outlook
                                                   Outlook’s new Quick Steps feature lets you
                                                   create one-click (or one-keystroke) e-mail
                                                   actions; for example, moving a message to a
                                                   folder you use for archiving messages. Cre-
to the Print All Pages button to see the page-     ate a new Quick Step by going to Outlook’s
range options. Outlook doesn’t offer this on       Home tab, then clicking Quick Steps, Cre-
its Print menu; instead, you must click the        ate New. There you’ll assign a name, short-
tiny Print Options button on the Print menu,       cut key, and tooltip for your Quick Step,

66 Pc MAGAZine DiGitAl eDition JULY 2010
                                               inserting a new column between the labels
                                               and the data, and then creating a Sparkline
                                               (by clicking a cell in the new column, and
                                               selecting Insert, Sparklines, and either Line,
                                               Column, or Win/Loss). A dialog box opens
                                               that lets you enter the range of cells to the
                                               right of the selected cell either by typing
                                               in the address or selecting the cells in the
                                               worksheet itself. Click OK, and your micro-
                                               chart appears in the cell where you started.

                                               10. Broadcast a slideshow from
                                               PowerPoint
then use the drop-down menus to select         The best new idea in PowerPoint is its built-in
one or more actions. You can find your new      broadcast feature, which you can launch by
Quick Step from the gallery of Quick Steps     opening a Presentation, clicking File, Save
in the Home tab, or via a shortcut key.        & Send, Broadcast Slide Show, clicking the
                                               Broadcast Slide Show button, and then Start
9. create sparkline Microcharts in excel       Broadcast. The first time you do this, you’ll
Excel’s niftiest new feature is its “micro-    need to log in to Microsoft’s free broadcast
charts,” or Sparklines. These tiny bar and     service with a Windows Live ID, but you can
line charts occupy a single cell, and repre-
sent a row or column of numeric data. You
can experiment with these by opening a
worksheet that has labels in the left column
and numeric data in the remaining columns,




                                               choose the option to log in automatically in
                                               the future. When the broadcast is ready, the
                                               dialog box will display a Send in Email link,
                                               which you can use to send an invitation link
                                               to your audience. n

                                                         JULY   2010 Pc MAGAZine DiGitAl eDition 67
                                           sOLuTIONs wOrk




Office 2010:
Not Your Only
Choice
For small businesses looking to                    Docs (or the less-famous Zoho), a free or
                                                   low-priced Office workalike such as Ope-
cut costs, Microsoft Office 2010
                                                   nOffice.org, or even a suite that works very
may not be the right choice.                       differently from Office, such as Corel Word-
Here are several alternatives that                 Perfect Office X5? We’ve examined them all
                                                   to help you decide.
are all more attractive in price
(or even free) and in some cases,                  GoogleDocs
                                                   l l l H M
equally powerful.
                                                   Free; $50 per year per user for Google Apps
By Ed Mendelson                                    This cloud-based service is a terrific choice




M
                                                   for editing simple Word documents from
                     icrosoft Office 2010 is an     someone else’s computer, or when you’re
                     impressive, monumental        carrying only a lightweight netbook with-
                     suite of applications. But,   out Office installed. As a complete re-
                     let’s face it, with every     placement for Office, it’s only ideal for
                     new version Microsoft’s       users with minimal needs for advanced
juggernaut gets bigger and pricier. And            formatting and long-document features,
with every new release the question comes          users who will never need to use endnotes
up again: does your business really need all       or cross-references (as in “see page 9,”
this? Is it time to jettison Office altogether,     in which the correct page number is in-
and go to one of three main alternatives: a        serted by the word-processor), and users
cloud-based application suite like Google          who will never need to print an envelope

68 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION juLY 2010
                                                 GOOGLE DOCs One of the
                                                 benefits of Google Docs work-
                                                 sheets is its ability to perform
                                                 specialized tasks for just about
                                                 any project.




or send out mass mailings. Google Docs           with almost all Office documents, but it’s
automatically keeps track of your revi-          clumsy to navigate, and it lacks dozens of
sions—no need to turn on tracking, as in         conveniences that make Microsoft Office
Office—but GoogleDocs won’t satisfy any-          worth having. On the other hand, it doesn’t
one who wants tight control over format-
ting or who needs to write anything more
complex than a term paper. Also, are you
really sure you want to leave your docu-
ments in the cloud, subject to Google’s
occasional outages or those times when
you can’t find a connection to the Inter-
net? For most users, I recommend Google
Docs as an adjunct to Office, not a replace-
ment. Note: Cloud-computing fans who
want to avoid Google can try Zoho, but           OPENOFFICE Its presentation templates
they’re the only people I’d recommend it         won’t win any design awards, but you can
                                                 import presentations created by Power-
for; while Zoho has a richer feature set, it’s
                                                 Point and reuse their basic design.
far harder to use.

OpenOffice.org                                    try to format your documents for you the
l l l H M                                        way Word does, and if you’re comfortable
Free                                             with the old menu interface in Word 97
This suite is free, powerful, and compatible     through Word 2003, you can still use it in

                                                             juLY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 69
                                           sOLuTIONs wOrk


OpenOffice.org. Also, if you’re ideologically      ting is controlled by codes that (for exam-
committed to open-source software, Ope-           ple) turn on double-spacing and then turn it
nOffice.org is the best choice. OpenOffice          off again. When you move, modify, or delete
.org still looks and feels like a last-century    one of these codes in WordPerfect’s Reveal
application, and it contains import filters       Codes window, you control exactly where
that let it open dozens of ancient docu-          your document’s formatting will change,
ment formats that Office can’t handle. If you      and exactly how. You won’t get the kind of
even need to work with old documents that         surprises you get in Microsoft Word when
nothing else can open, OpenOffice.org is          you delete a specially formatted paragraph
an essential feature in your toolbox. But the     and other paragraphs suddenly change for-
main reasons anyone would use it instead of       mat. WordPerfect retains its last-century
Microsoft Office are price and open-source         interface and overloaded menus, but it’s
ideology.                                         by far the best program for managing long
                                                  documents, and it includes security fea-
Corel wordPerfect Office X5                        tures like redaction that Word still doesn’t
standard Edition                                  offer. It isn’t for everyone, but plenty of legal
l l l l M                                         and government offices rightly refuse to
$249 street                                       settle for anything else. Offices will appreci-
                                                  ate Office X5, the best upgrade in years; for
                                                  home and SOHO users, it’s probably not an
                                                  essential upgrade from previous versions.

                                                  iwork ’09
                                                  l l l l M

                                                  $79 direct
                                                  Mac users, your best fully functional desk-
                                                  top suite is still the disappointing Microsoft
                                                  Office for Mac 2008. But if you don’t need
wOrDPErFECT The new integrated help               quite so much office power, you’d probably
center is a major advance on the scatter-         be far happier with iWork ’09—at least until
shot help systems in earlier versions.            Microsoft Office for Mac 2010 is released
                                                  sometime later this year. iWork ’09 offers a
WordPerfect is the only surviving alterna-        terrific set of programs for light word pro-
tive of note to the Microsoft Word way of         cessing and medium-to-heavy spreadsheet
organizing documents, and the only word           use. And the stellar Keynote presentation
processor that gives you clear and simple         app, still the most dazzling presentation
control over the way your documents are           program on any platform, now offers spec-
formatted. With WordPerfect, all format-          tacular slide transitions. The uniquely inno-

70 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION juLY 2010
                                               project-management, chatting, and a dozen
                                               other functions listed on Zoho’s main page.
                                               I tested the three parts of the service that
                                               make up a standard office suite: the Zoho
                                               Writer word processor, Zoho Sheet spread-
                                               sheet, and Zoho Show presentations pro-
                                               gram, all of them based on the open-source
                                               AjAX framework for building feature-rich
                                               and graphics-rich browser-based applica-
                                               tions. I liked the bright, up-to-date interface
IwOrk 09 All of iWork now includes an op-      on all the Zoho services, and I liked Zoho’s
tion to share a document on Apple’s iWork.     ability to open most of my test documents
com site. But you’ll need a pricey MobileMe    with good fidelity to the originals. I didn’t
subscription to use it.
                                               expect Zoho—or any other online service—
                                               to be fast or powerful enough to deal with
vative Numbers spreadsheet (the sole such      large and complex documents, and Zoho, as
app to support multiple tables on a single
page) continues to one-up Microsoft Excel
in many ways. And, this time around, the
table-organizing feature works. The Pages
word processor adds to its already powerful
graphics glitz and makes a start at support-
ing features for long documents by adding
easy-to-use outlining. Apple has also put
a toe into the online-document world by
launching iWork.com, a sparsely featured
sharing and viewing service that lets iWork
users share documents with users on any        ZOHO sHOw The Show app is used to cre-
platform, including Windows and Linux.         ate presentations, and is one of the suite’s
                                               three parts. The others are Writer, its word
                                               processor, and Sheet, its spreadsheet.
Zoho
l l H M M                                      expected, bogged down when I worked with
Free                                           large files. The limited but well-chosen fea-
Zoho is an online Web service that lets you    ture set seems just right for an online service,
do almost anything online that you can do      but it’s also guaranteed to make you impa-
on a desktop computer—from creating            tient to get back to a desktop-based suite
documents to building a spreadsheet to         for anything more substantial than a quick
managing a database, plus conferencing,        report or simple spreadsheet. n

                                                           juLY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 71
                                                                                 Bes
          Editors’ Choices
          in Key Categories
         For the complete
         reviews of these
         products and more
Editors’ Choices check out
go.pcmag.com/editorschoice




             DEskTOPs                 BuDGET                           DOCuMENT sCANNEr

MAINsTrEAM
                                      Asus uL80Vt-A1 $823 street       n Canon imageFormula P-150
                                                                       NEW
                                                                        scan-tini $295 direct
HP Pavilion Elite m9400t              TABLET
 $843 list                            Apple iPad (Wi-Fi)
                                       64GB, $699 direct                         NETWOrkING
BuDGET/VALuE
HP Compaq Presario CQ5110f                                             Cisco Valet Plus $129.99 list
 $699 list                                         sTOrAGE             Netgear XAVB101 $130 street
                                      POrTABLE
Dell Inspiron 545 $899 list                                            sMC sMCGs8P $300 street
                                      Lenovo ThinkPad usB Portable
GAMING/MuLTIMEDIA                      secure Drive $319 list          spiceworks 4.5 Free
Maingear shift
 $6,399 direct                        DEskTOP                          CloudEngines Pogoplug
                                      Western Digital MyBook            $99 direct
Falcon Northwest Mach V                studio Edition II $430 list
 (Core i7-975) $8,240 direct                                           Cisco Network Magic
                                      NETWOrk-ATTACHED sTOrAGE          Pro 5.5 $39.99 direct
HP Pavilion 6267c-b                   Western Digital WD
 $999.99 list                          sharespace 4TB, $799.99 list                    HDTVs
ALL-IN-ONE                                                             PLAsMA
Apple iMac 21.5-inch                            LCD MONITOrs
                                                                       Vizio VP505XVT $1,499.99 list
 (Core 2 Duo) $1,199 direct           Asus VW266H $309 list            LCD
Lenovo IdeaCentre A600                HP LP2275w $349 direct           sharp Aquos LC-52D85u
 $799 direct                                                            $2,099.99 direct
                                      Dell ultrasharp u2711
BusINEss                               $1,099 direct                   sony Bravia kDL-46XBr8
n Dell Optiplex 780 usFF
NEW                                                                     $3,999.99 list
 $1,484 direct                                     PrINTErs
                                                                       samsung LN52A750 $3,999 list
NETTOP                                MONOCHrOME LAsEr
                                                                       OLED
Lenovo C300 $549 list                 konica Minolta magicolor
                                       1600W $180 street               sony XEL-1 OLED Digital TV
    LAPTOPs & NETBOOks                                                  $2,499.99 list
                                      COLOr LAsEr
MAINsTrEAM                            Xerox Phaser 7500/DN                      BLu-rAy PLAyErs
Dell Inspiron i1464-4382OBk            $3,299.99 direct
 $749.98 list                                                          samsung BD-C6500 $249.99 list
                                      sTANDArD INkJET
uLTrAPOrTABLE                         Epson stylus NX515 $149 direct           DIGITAL CAMErAs
Asus u30Jc-1A $899 list
                                      PHOTO PrINTEr                    COMPACT
GAMING                                Epson PictureMate Charm          n sony Alpha NEX-3
                                                                       NEW
Alienware M17x $4,850 direct           $149.99 direct                   $549.99 direct
MuLTIMEDIA                            ALL-IN-ONE                       D-sLr
Acer Aspire As8940-6865               Canon Color ImageClass           Nikon D300 $1,800 street
 $1,400 street                         MF8350Cdn $699 direct
                                                                       Canon EOs rebel T1i $899.99 list
DEskTOP rEPLACEMENT
                                                 PrOJECTOrs            suPErZOOM
samsung r580 $830 list
                                                                       Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18
NETBOOk                               Canon realis X700 $2,500 list     $399.95 list
Toshiba mini NB205                    NEC VT800 $1,000 street
 $400 street                                                              DIGITAL VIDEO CAMErAs
BusINEss                                           sCANNErs            n kodak Playsport Video
                                                                       NEW
Lenovo ThinkPad T410 $1,484                                             Camera $149.95 list
                                      Epson Perfection V300 Photo
 direct
                                       $99.99 direct                   sony HDr-sr11 $1,099.99 direct

72 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION JULY 2010
est
    DIGITAL PHOTO & VIDEO                    HEADPHONEs                           IPHONE APPs
 MuLTIMEDIA suITE                    n Bowers & Wilkins P5 Mobile
                                     NEW                                  TomTom 1.3 $69.99 direct
 Adobe Cs 3 $999 direct              Hi-Fi Headphones $299.95 list        Navigon MobileNavigator 1.4.0
 VIDEO-EDITING sOFTWArE              BLuETOOTH HEADsETs                    $79.99 direct
 CyberLink DVD suite 7 ultra         Aliph Jawbone Icon $99 list          Air sharing $6.99 direct
  $129.95 direct
                                                CELL PHONEs               Photogene $2.99 direct
 PHOTO EDITING
 Adobe Photoshop Cs5 Extend-         ALLTEL                               n rhapsody 2.0 Free
                                                                          NEW

  ed $699 to $899 list               rIM BlackBerry Curve 8330
                                      From $229.99 with contract                      GAMEs
 Aperture 3 $199 direct
                                     AT&T                                 God of War III $59.99 list
 DIGITAL PHOTO FrAME
                                     samsung Mythic sGH-A897              n Alan Wake $59.99 list
                                                                          NEW
 Toshiba DMF82Xku 8” Digital
                                      From $199.99 with contract
  Media Frame $179.99 list                                                         MuLTIMEDIA
                                     Apple iPhone 3Gs $199 list
 VECTOr IMAGE EDITING                                                     CyberLink Media suite 8 ultra
 Adobe Illustrator Cs5 $599 direct   sPrINT                                $129.95 list
                                     n HTC Evo 4G
                                     NEW
                                                                          rhapsody From $12.99 per month
   POrTABLE MEDIA PLAyErs             $299.99 list
                                                                          slacker Free
 Microsoft Zune 120GB $249 list      n LG rumor Touch
                                     NEW

 Apple iPod touch (3rd genera-        $79.99–$279.99 list                 Apple iLife ’09 $79 direct
  tion) 8GB, $199 direct             T-MOBILE                             iTunes 9 Free
 Apple iPod nano                     HTC HD2 From $199.99 direct
                                      with contract                                   sECurITy
  (5th generation) 16GB,
  $179 direct                        VErIZON WIrELEss                     PAssWOrD PrOTECTION
                                     n Droid Incredible by HTC
                                     NEW                                  LastPass 1.5 Free
       sPEAkErs/DOCks                 $299.99 list                        ANTIMALWArE
 Altec Lansing Mix iMT800            METrOPCs                             Prevx 3.0 $29.95 direct per year
  $299.95 direct                     samsung Freeform sCH-r350            ANTIVIrus
 Hercules XPs 2.1 Lounge              $79 direct                          Panda Cloud Antivirus Free
  $60 street                         uNLOCkED                              Edition 1.0 Free
 Logitech Pure-Fi Dream              sony Ericsson Naite $159.99          suITE
  $200 direct                         direct
                                                                          Norton 360 version 3.0
                                        3G NETWOrk ADAPTErs                $69.99 yearly
       MEDIA EXTENDErs
                                     sPrINT
                                                                          spyware Doctor with Antivirus
 sonos Bundle 150 $999 direct                                              2010 $39.95 yearly
                                     sierra Wireless 598u $249.99 list
 slingbox PrO-HD $299 list                                                                BACkuP
                                        OFFICE & PrODuCTIVITy
       GAMING CONsOLEs                                                    sOs Online Backup (beta)
                                     Office 2010 Professional, $499
                                                                           $19.95 direct
 sony Playstation 3 120GB             direct
  (Ps3 slim) $299.99 direct                                               Dropbox
                                     iWork for iPad $9.99 direct
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         GPs DEVICEs                 QuickBase
                                      $250 direct per month                           FINANCIAL
 Garmin nüvi 1390T $269.99 list
                                     ACT! by sage 2010 $299 list          QuickBooks 2010 $399 list
        E-BOOk rEADErs
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 Amazon kindle 2 $359 direct          $69 direct per month


                                                                     JULY 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 73

				
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