Sudio Brio, Final Cut Studio 2, Sony VAIO VGN-FZ18G, Samsung U3 MP3 Player


Sudio Brio
$149

Bluetooth phone speakers are becoming as common as mobile phones. This model from Sudio supercedes the Halo and has a much more modular, attractive look on your car air vent or sun visor. It pairs to your phone quickly and is easy to use, but we had trouble synching a phone book to it. After one attempt that didn’t copy any records the menu item to sync had changed to ‘delete phonebook’, and repeatedly selecting it didn’t change anything. The display also has caller ID but displayed a bizarre NSW number we’d never heard of when calling from a line in metropolitan Perth. Give it a try and make sure everything works the way you expect before you buy, but it’s value for money. 3/5

Final Cut Studio 2
$1,699

Apple keeps on taking professional level tools and putting them in the hands of everyday users. They’ve collected all their video editing, compositing, colour grading and format encoding tools and released them as Final Cut Studio 2. The nerve centre, Final Cut Pro, still works with the timeline-based workflow, and many of the changes take you still further away from fiddly technical details and unleash your creativity. Each piece has been designed to work together pretty seamlessly, and it’s all geared towards the new world of high def video. It won’t make you a great director, but Final Cut Studio takes all the mystery out of post production. 4/5

Sony VAIO VGN-FZ18G
$3,399

The Sony VAIO VGN-FZ18G is one of the first laptops in the country to bring us Intel’s fourth generation Centrino chipset, dubbed Santa Rosa. The new design has parts of the chip that aren’t being used power down to save battery life and improve your productivity. Being a Sony product, there’s a Blu-ray disc burner and it comes with Vista Home edition. The chassis is well laid out and attractive the system will suit business and consumer users alike. 4/5

Samsung U3 MP3 Player
$119

Attractive, affordable and easy to use, the Samsung U3 is one of the few digital media devices to get it right on all counts. At 2Gb it’s not going to hold your whole music collection, but it’s so easy to handle and use it’s a great beginner or light user’s model. There are no extraneous cables as the USB connector slides straight out of the body of the device and it has a radio tuner and a clear interface. The earphones are low quality however so expect to get a decent pair straight away. 4.5/5


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