Acer Aspire 8920G, Sony Vegas Pro, 3 Skype Phone


Acer Aspire 8920G
Price: $2,699

The Aspire 8920G is big. Where other notebooks are racing to the bottom extremes of size and weight, the unit codenamed ‘Gemstone Blue’ is an expansive piece of machinery, giving the keyboard and associated functions plenty of space and making for a very comfortable user experience despite not being the most mobile of laptops.

It’s great value for money, containing all the latest chip, memory and disk technology and costing only a few hundred dollars more than usual for a lot of extras. First is an optical drive that plays Blu-ray as well as traditional DVD with full 1080 HD playback. There’s one large speaker that’s among the best quality we’ve heard in a notebook, and it’s ready to transmit HDTV.

The media control console is attractive and you’ll get a real kick out of manipulating an otherwise flat surface to control chapter, volume and forward/reverse controls. It comes with a host of preinstalled software and if you want full movie or TV playing capability in a mobile computer, you couldn’t do much better right now. 4/5

Sony Vegas Pro 8
RRP $749

Sony Vegas Pro is a very affordable video editing application. Where the big names in the field will set you back much more money, the Vegas suite offers a high end video editor and DVD authoring tools in the box at great value for money.

There were a few features Vegas was missing to qualify for the big leagues, but Sony has addressed most of them, such as creating your edit from up to 32 video sources playing concurrently, and a full audio mixing board. There’s expanded onscreen titles and text capability and you can also burn a Blu-ray player from right within the timeline.

It’s the first time Vegas has been available for Vista, and if your system has enough processing grunt to run Microsoft’s hungry new OS, you’ll have plenty of resources to get the most of out Vegas as well. 3/5

3 Skype Phone
Price: $149

Mobile provider Three claims this is the only mobile with one-button Skype functionality, and if you’re after a no-nonsense mobile even without the free overseas network built-in you’ll like the simple profile and usability.

The price buys you the prepaid handset that comes with a very standard feature set, the unique selling point being the large button that connects you to your Skype account. The $29 monthly plan get you $120 worth of normal calls and messages, 70 free talk time for other Three mobile users, 4,000 free minutes talk time and 10,000 Chat messages with your Skype account to other Skype users.

If you have a lot of overseas friends, family or colleagues and you’re used to living on your mobile, the Three Skype phone brings them together. We just can’t help feeling it’s a little ahead of its time. 3/5


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