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01 07 VOL 16

THE REGION’S FAVOURITE PC & CONSUMER TECHNOLOGY GUIDE An ITP Technology Publication JULY 2011

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JANUARY JULY 2011 2011

LCD MONITOR HOW TO LOOK AFTER GROUPTEST YOUR PC TOP&35 NOTEBOOK WEBSITESFEATURE NEED FOR TABLET SPEED CARE HOTFEATURE PURSUIT GAME TABLETREVIEW GROUPTEST MIXED L.A. MARTIAL NOIRE ARTS GAMEGAME REVIEW REVIEW DIRT 3 GAME REVIEW

PRESERVE YOUR GEAR Learn how to make your PC & notebook last for years

Eight sizzling hot tablets tested

TABLET TREATMENT Look after your tablet with our easy to follow guide

GAME REVIEWS L.A. Noire and Dirt 3 reviewed this month...

REVIEWS: HTC Incredible S Goodram Zip 8GB Imation Grand Entertainer Microsoft Arc Touch mouse and more tested... DHS15 • SR15 • LE12 • JD2 • KD1.5 • QR15 • LL7,000

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CONTENTS 1

THE REGION’S FAVOURITE PC & CONSUMER TECHNOLOGY GUIDE An ITP Technology Publication JULY 2011

www.itp.net

JANUARY JULY 2011 2011

CONTENTS

LCD MONITOR HOW TO LOOK AFTER GROUPTEST YOUR PC TOP&35 NOTEBOOK WEBSITESFEATURE NEED FOR TABLET SPEED CARE HOTFEATURE PURSUIT GAME TABLETREVIEW GROUPTEST MIXED L.A. MARTIAL NOIRE ARTS GAMEGAME REVIEW REVIEW DIRT 3 GAME REVIEW

TA ABLE ET ST DRIV VE TES Eight sizzling hot tablets tested

GAME REVIEWS L.A. Noire and Dirt 3 reviewed this month...

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST

REVIEWS: Apple HTC Incredible iPhone 4S RIM BlackBerry Goodram Zip 8GB Torch Canon IXUS Imation Grandcamera Entertainer MSI Wind Arc Microsoft U160DX Touchnetbook and mouse andmore moretested... tested... DHS15 ‡65‡/(‡-'‡.'‡45‡//

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14 FEATURE 14 PRESERVE YOUR GEAR To get the most mileage out of your desktop PC and/or notebook, you'll have to take the initiative and spend some time maintaining it. In this feature Windows walks you through the process from start to finish, so you get many years of use out of your devices.

21

TABLET CARE

26

TABLET GROUPTEST

21 FEATURE 21 TABLET CARE If you want your tablet to stand the test of time, you'll have to keep a weather eye out for everyday hazards such as moisture, exposure to heat and more. In this feature we tell you what you should and shouldn't expose your tablet to and walk you through the process of maintaining it.

26 GROUPTEST 26 TABLET TEST DRIVE

14

PRESERVE YOUR PC & LAPTOP

If you don't know what a tablet is, you've likely been living in a Monastery in Tibet for the past couple of years. Tablets are, easily, the most desirable technology products on the market at the moment and, since Apple first kick started the market, manufacturers around the world have each released their own tablet devices. Choosing the right one can be a very difficult task then, as they're all capable of helping you consume content. Don't fret however because this month Windows puts no less than eight of the latest tablets to the market. We look at products such as Acer's Iconia Tab A500, Motorola's Xoom and many more. If you're in the market then, don't waste a second and flip over to page 26 of this issue.

WIN FANTASTIC TECH PRIZES

60


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2 CONTENTS 6 6 7 8

NEWS

39

LG LAUNCHES CINEMA 3D TV RANGE IN THE REGION KUWAITI ARRESTED OVER TWITTER POSTS DU USERS FACE CUT-OFF FOR LATE BILL PAYMENT

36 HOT KIT REVIEWS 38 39 39 40 40 41

HTC INCREDIBLE S PHONE GOODRAM ZIP 8GB USB STICK IMATION GRAND ENTERTAINER LG FLATRON IPS 236 LCD MICROSOFT ARC TOUCH ROCCAT KONE+ MOUSE

42 BUYER'S GUIDE THE BIGGEST TECH REFERENCE GUIDE 43 43 44 44 45 45 46 46 47 47

COMPONENTS DESKTOPS DIGITAL IMAGING HANDHELDS MONITORS NOTEBOOKS PERIPHERALS PRINTERS SOFTWARE STORAGE

49 GAME ON 49 54

NEWS L.A. NOIRE

56

DIRT 3

60 REGULARS 60 62

COMPETITIONS CD CONTENTS

64

LOGGING OFF

39

40

41


Acer recommends Windows® 7.

PC or Tablet? Choose both. Life is full of choices: work or play, home or away, touch or type, accept or ignore. Why choose and get just half the experience? • Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium • 10.1” LED-backlit LCD display (1280x800) • 2GB DDR3 RAM, 32GB SSD • Dual 1.3 MP webcam with AV recording • WI-FI & Bluetooth 3.0 • Optional full size Keyboard Docking station • Simple social networking with Acer SocialJogger • Complete your new PC. Buy Microsoft® Office 2010

Complete your PC

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Discover the new Iconia Tab W500 at your nearest computer superstore. Acer and the Acer logo are registered trademarks of Acer Incorporated. Copyright 2011 Acer Inc. All rights reserved. Microsoft, Windows and the Windows logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others. Specifications subject to change without notice. Pictures are intended simply to illustrate the product.


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4 REGULARS

Editor’s letter An ITP Technology Publication

LOGGING ON Visit WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST online and read this content and much more at www.itp.net

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

DON'T COUNT RIM OUT YET It’s shocking how fast the tables can turn in the technology industry. If you wind back the clock a year or two, Research in Motion (RIM) was the company that everyone thought was going places. RIM was selling phones left, right and centre, recruiting new talent in droves in Waterloo, Canada (where the company’s head office is based) and their stocks were doing pretty well too. Today however, RIM’s fortunes have changed. Dramatically. The company’s first tablet, the PlayBook, arrived at the tablet party late, lacks native e-mail support out of the box (unless you tether it to another BlackBerry device) and the platform has barely any apps and games, when compared to the likes of Apple and Google. As a result RIM has cut its expected sales expectations from nearly two and a half million devices to under a million. Apple and Google are also, incidentally, eroding RIM’s smartphone base at the same time. You see whereas handhelds like the iPhone 4 and a fair few Android devices are considered trendy, cool and, perhaps most importantly, status symbols, RIM’s BlackBerry smartphones are seen more as business devices. RIM has tried to crack the consumer market with devices like the touch-screen-enabled Torch but unfortunately, the Torch just wasn’t a runaway success. The fact simply is that in today’s world there are loads of ‘smartphones’ in circulation, most of which can be setup to handle e-mail and messaging on the go. RIM is, for the moment, stuck with selling smartphones and tablets to a few hardcore fans and business entities who already use the platform. This is far from ideal and it isn’t just me who thinks so. The company’s stocks have, in recent weeks, dropped by as much as a staggering 20%. Despite what I’ve said above, I’m not counting RIM out just yet. I still think that they will continue to find new customers and resell to existing ones because, like me, I’m sure there are millions of people who prefer to work on keyboard-based handhelds. I’ve been using a HTC Desire S smartphone for the past couple of months and while I was initially wowed by the large screen, graphics and other jazz, the honeymoon is, as they say, over. The lack of a keyboard really slows me down when it comes to texting, e-mailing and working with social networking sites and it downright frustrates me when it comes to single-handed use. I also think that the PlayBook is just going through teething problems at the moment. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with it and, as time goes by, the list of apps and games will continue to grow. Lets not also forget that when it comes to plans such as international data roaming services, BlackBerry packages are some of the least expensive the world over. Jason Saundalkar Jason.saundalkar@itp.com

Registered at Dubai Media City PO Box 500024, Dubai, UAE Tel: 0097 1 (0)4 444 3000 Fax: 0097 1 (0)4 444 3030 Web: www.itp.com Offices in Dubai & London ITP Technology Publishing CEO Walid Akawi Managing Director Neil Davies Managing Director Karam Awad General Manager Peter Conmy Publishing Director Natasha Pendleton EDITORIAL Group Editor Mark Sutton Tel: +971 4 444 3225 e-mail: mark.sutton@itp.com Editor Jason Saundalkar Tel: +971 4 444 3635 e-mail: jason.saundalkar@itp.com Deputy Editor Clayton Vallabhan Tel: +971 4 444 3682 e-mail: clayton.vallabhan@itp.com ADVERTISING Publishing Director Natasha Pendleton Tel: +971 4 444 3193 e-mail: natasha.pendleton@itp.com Advertising Manager Alie Jaber Tel: +971 4 444 3196 e-mail: alie.jaber@itp.com Advertising Manager Kausar Syed Tel: +971 4 444 3361 e-mail: kausar.syed@itp.com STUDIO Senior Designer Michel Al Asmar PHOTOGRAPHY Chief Photographer Jovana Obradovic Senior Photographer Efraim Evidor Staff Photographers Isidora Bojovic, Rajesh Raghav, Ruel Pableo, Lyubov Galushko, George Dipin, Mosh Lafuente, Murrindie Frew, Shruti Jagdeesh, Verko Ignjatovic PRODUCTION & DISTRIBUTION Group Production & Distribution Director Kyle Smith Deputy Production Manager Basel Al Kassem Managing Picture Editor Patrick Littlejohn Image Editor Emmalyan Robles Distribution Manager Karima Ashwell Distribution Executive Nada Al Alami CIRCULATION Head of Circulation & Database Gaurav Gulati MARKETING Head of Marketing Daniel Fewtrell Marketing Manager Annie Chinoy ITP DIGITAL Assitant Editor Georgina Enzer Tel: +971 4 444 3723 e-mail: georgina.enzer@itp.com Sales Director ITP Digital Business Websites Ahmad Bashour Tel: +971 4 444 3549 e-mail: ahmad.bashour@itp.com Group Sales Manager ITP.net Nathalie Akl Tel: +971 4 444 3502 e-mail: nathalie.akl@itp.com Internet Development Manager Mohammed Affan Content Manager Asad Azizi Web Advertising Manager Meghna Jalnawalla Creative Director Craig Willers ITP GROUP Chairman Andrew Neil Managing Director Robert Serafin Finance Director Toby Jay Spencer-Davies Board of Directors K M Jamieson, Mike Bayman, Walid Akawi, Neil Davies, Rob Corder, Mary Serafin Circulation Customer Service Tel: +971 4 444 3672 Printed by Emirates Printing Press L.L.C.Dubai. Controlled Distribution by Blue Truck Subscribe online at www.itp.com/subscriptions Certain images in this issue are available for purchase. Please contact itp images@itp.com for further details www.itpimages.com The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for error or omissions contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. Readers are advised to seek specialist advice before acting on information contained in this publication which is provided for general use and may not be appropriate for the reader's particular circumstances. The ownership of trademarks is acknowledged. No part of this publication or any part of the contents thereof may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publishers in writing. An exemption is hereby granted for extracts used for the purpose of fair review.

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How to avoid failure when rolling out business intelligence at your

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SEPTEMBER 2010 | VOL.23 ISSUE 9

NEW DAWN

How Cisco is banking on a fresh wave of investment to drive its business in the Gulf

SEPTEMBER 2010

Critical analysis for telecommunications executives

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WAITING FOR VIDEO

Why satellite operators are investing heavily in MEA

Why video conferencing has failed to take o

Slow progress Growth continues to elude Yemen’s fractured telco sector

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How to get sale and leaseback agreements right ďŹ rst time

Muneer Farooqui, CEO, Warid Pakistan

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TRUST ISSUES

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Talking tactics with executives from Adobe, ATS, MTC and Toshiba (14)

THE SMART CHOICE? Middle East handset channel faces up to new challenges (43)

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REVIEWS:

GAME REVIEWS Blur, Crackdown 2, Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty

Adobe Creative Suite 5 HP Pavilion dm4 notebook Asus ARES graphics card ECS Black Series GTX 460 and more tested...

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WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

LG LAUNCHES CINEMA 3D TV LINE LG launched its next generation Cinema 3D TV range at Ferrari World, Yas

Was the Blackberry safe in the first place?

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Island, in Abu Dhabi last month. "LG is opening a new chapter in the development of world TV by bringing CINEMA 3D TV to consumers in the region. It represents the absolute pinnacle of 3D TV entertainment using the very best of recent innovative technology from LG. The end result is a superior product that is sure to place us at the very forefront of TV markets the world over," said K.W. Kim, President, LG Electronics, Middle East & Africa Region. Hollywood's Megan Fox also attended the launch event and added, "I've been totally impressed by LG's CINEMA 3D TVs. The picture is awesome and the 3D is incredible; I can't wait to get one". The next-generation 3D TVs use LG's patented Film Patterned Retarder (FPR) technology which LG claims enhances the viewing experience. Whilst using the lightweight (16g) 3D glasses, FPR is said to provide a crisper and sharper rendered 3D image, and one that is comfortable and viewable for extended periods. FPR technology also allows for wider viewing positions thus making it suitable for viewing by large groups. Furthermore LG's Light Boost technology ensures that 3D pictures appear brighter and clearer to the viewer. LG says the TVs also ship with advanced 2D to 3D converters, allowing you to view existing 2D content in 3D. "LG's goal of ensuring added comfort with a crystal-clear and smooth 3D image is certified â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Flicker-Free' by TĂ&#x153;V and Intertek, two world-renowned technology testing agencies," explained Kim. "By addressing the issue of flickering and cross-talk, LG has ensured that dizziness or even nausea that could affect people watching 3D TV is no longer an issue." All LG Cinema 3D TVs are also equipped with Smart TV functions which grants a user access to the Internet and services such as YouTube. Kim had this to say about Smart TV functionality, "What we have here is a state-of-theart product that marries high quality performance with innovation and the very latest in technological advancement. LG's CINEMA 3D TV is effectively the most complete television available in the market today for TV viewing, gaming and online connectivity. With its Smart TV functions, LG opens up a whole new world of content to consumers." The entire LG Cinema 3D TV range is available now across the UAE.


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KUWAITI ARRESTED OVER TWITTER POSTS KEEP UP-TO-DATE WITH THE LATEST TECH STORIES, OPINIONS AND REVIEWS IN OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER To subscribe, go to ITP.net/index. php?option=com_newsletter

A Kuwaiti man has been arrested by authorities in that country for allegedly publishing online criticism of the royal families of Saudia Arabia and Bahrain. According to news agency Reuters, Shi'ite Muslim Nasser Abdul used the micro blogging service Twitter to criticise ruling dynasties in the two fellow Gulf states. A source told Reuters that Abdul was apprehended on Thursday, but no charges against him had been so far been lodged. In recent months, the Arab world has been rocked by mass protests across large parts of the region. Protesters in the tiny Gulf state of Bahrain used social media to organise demonstrations earlier in the year, although these were quelled after neighbours Saudi Arabia and the UAE sent in their own security forces. Saudi Arabia has so far been largely spared the impact of the so-called ‘Arab Spring', but tensions have run high in Bahrain, where a predominantly Shi'ite population is ruled by the Sunni Muslim Al Khalifa family.

CREATIVE LAUNCHES NEW WIRELESS PRODUCTS

FACEBOOK PHOTO TAGGING SPARKS PRIVACY ROW Security company Sophos is warning Facebook users to check their privacy settings, after the social network site introduced automatic photo tagging based on facial recognition. Facebook introduced the service in the US earlier in the year but in recent days has activated it worldwide, without alerting users. Without changing privacy settings, this means as users upload photos, Facebook will scan the photo and if any of the people in the picture are identified as friends of the user, will prompt them to tag that friend in the photo. The person pictured does not have to give consent to be tagged, although only existing Facebook ‘friends' are suggested for tagging. Graham Cluley, Senior Technology Consultant at Sophos said, "Many people feel distinctly uncomfortable about a site like Facebook learning what they look like, and using that information without their permission. Most Facebook users still don't know how to set their privacy options safely, finding the whole system confusing. It's even harder though to keep control when Facebook changes the settings without your knowledge. Facebook users should have to 'opt-in' to the facial recognition feature, rather than the onus being on them to 'opt-out'." Facebook has apologized for not alerting users to the change, but hasn't turned it off.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

Singapore-based Creative Technology has added six new products to its existing Pure Wireless Entertainment range. The ZiiSound DX series modular speakers, D80 Bluetooth portable speaker, ZEN Style M300 media player and WP-450, WP-350 and WP-250 Bluetooth headphones were launched last month. “Wireless modularity gives a fresh perspective on the way home media entertainment can be enjoyed. Our latest wireless offerings are highly suited for Middle East consumers who are noted for their emphasis on quality and innovation. They deliver unrestricted, best-in-class audio functionality packaged in dynamic and modern designs. Our latest models showcase our ability not only to meet the evolving needs of mobility users but to incorporate new cutting-edge technologies into their most sought-after devices as well,” said Desmond Lim, Senior Manager – Regional Sales, Creative Technology. The ZiiSound D5x and ZiiSound DSx will be available in the UAE this month, whereas the ZiiSound D3X will be available in the UAE from September. The ZEN Style M100 and M300 players are always on sale along with the WP-350 headphones. The WP-450 and WP-250 headphones however will launch in September of this year. Creative produces a wide range of digital entertainment products and is most famous for its Sound Blaster soundcards.


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8 NEWS

WEB COMPANIES AND VENDORS MARK WORLD IPV6 DAY Major web companies and IT vendors marked World IPv6 Day on June 8, to promote the need to switch over to the IPv6 protocol. Many of the web companies involved switched their main web sites to IPv6 for the day, both to test their IPv6 preparedness and raise awareness of the switch. Over 400 organisations participated, including Google, Facebook and Yahoo!, and vendors such as Brocade, Cisco, Juniper and Huawei. Of the companies that switched their sites to IPv6, there were no major problems reported. The current IPv4 protocol is rapidly running out of new IP addresses, so switching to the new protocol, which will provide trillions of new addresses, is necessary to continue to meet demand to roll out web-enabled devices. Vendors also point out that there are inherent benefits to IPv6, such as simplifying network management; improved security, particularly for the cloud, as support for the IPsec security framework is an IPv6 mandatory requirement; improved interoperability and mobility and better collaboration. "The explosion of Internet connected devices is driving up the need for more and more IP addresses," said Zeus Kerravala, Senior Vice President, Global Enterprise and Consumer Research, Yankee Group. "Because of this, the migration to IPv6 is more a matter of when rather than if. However, most organisations often overlook the added benefits of IPv6 that revolve around better security and manageability." Brocade, which provides IPv6-ready infrastructure solutions, to enable customers to transition to the protocol, already has its main website, Brocade.com, fully IPv6 enabled on its own technologies, which the company says helps it prove the capabilities of IPv6 and share best practice with its customers. "For more than a decade Brocade has been advancing its switching and routing platforms to help lead the charge in IPv6 preparedness," said Dave Stevens, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President, Corporate Development for Brocade. "Brocade has a full suite of products and technologies shipping today that are fully IPv6 capable and our customers are using them to seamlessly migrate their production networks to IPv6. As a leading example, the Brocade.com website has been IPv6 enabled for more than a year - making us one of the first networking vendors to field a native IPv6-compliant Internet presence."

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

DU USERS USERS FACE IMMEDIATE CUT-OFF FOR LATE BILL PAYMENTS Du home services customers who do not pay their bill on time will have their phone and Internet disconnected immediately under new rules that aim to crack down on late payers. The UAE's second largest phone operator, which offers Internet, television, mobile and landline services, will cut-off users one day after the due date of their bill, if they have failed to make the payment. Customers were alerted to the new rules, which became effective on June 1, by text message. "Now that we have developed an extensive range of payment channels, we trust that you will make a payment by the due date to avoid interruption of services," the company said. Users whose services are disconnected are charged an AED50 reconnection fee, according to the operator's website. In a statement to Arabian Business, du said customers have enough payment channels to ensure they are able to settle their bills on time. "We have established an extensive network of additional payment channels.... hence we felt it is reasonable and fair to revert back to the standard practice of bill settlement which is normally on or before the due date of the bill," the telecoms company said. Du, which broke Etisalat's monopoly in 2007, said in April it had more than doubled first quarter profit after the company registered a surge in mobile and fixed-line subscribers. The company's net income rose to AED205.8m ($56m) for the quarter, up from AED97m in the year-earlier period, the company said. The operator saw a 27.3% rise in fixed line subscribers to 581,500 lines at the quarter-end. The firm has an estimated 40 percent share of the UAE mobile market.


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10 NEWS

Computex news

COMPUTEX NEWS ASUS PROMOTES LATEST ROG NOTEBOOKS Asus showcased its latest range of Republic of Gamer (ROG) gaming notebooks at Computex this year. One of the notebooks the company promoted was the G74Sx, a high performance notebook said to be designed for avid gamers who don’t have the space for a desktop gaming rig, or for those who just don’t want to drag their desktops across to gaming events. The notebook can be specified with second generation Intel Sandy Bridge Core i5 and i7 processors, along with nVidia’s GeForce GTX 560M graphics card. Asus says the notebook ‘offers blistering frame rates at native resolutions and high detail settings on its 17-inch Full HD screen’. The ROG G74sx also features nVidia 3D Vision technology to help it tackle the best 3D games and multimedia. The G74Sx is said to feature a thermal design that ensures its twin fans suck in cool air from the front of the notebook's case, while two rear fans expel warm air. The metallic base is said to be free from flex and Asus has included backlit keys that allow you to keep gaming even when the lights are out. The second notebook on show was the ROG G53SX Naked Eye 3D. This notebook does not require 3D glasses to experience 3D content. It also can convert existing 2D media into glasses-free 3D. The notebook is powered by a second generation Intel Core i7 CPU and discreet nVidia GeForce GTX 560M graphics with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 video memory. Performance on this notebook is also enhanced by a solid state hybrid drive which spins at 10,000rpm, reducing boot time by a claimed 52%.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

LENOVO INTRODUCES THINKPAD EDGE E125 Lenovo is expanding its line of notebooks that are powered by AMD’s Fusion technology. The latest machine, known as the ThinkPad Edge E125, was unveiled at Computex alongside a group of other AMD Brazos systems. The E125 uses Lenovo’s new chiclet keyboard which features a set of half-height keys at the top of keyboard. The machine also features a nipple pointer in addition to a standard trackpad. The notebook packs an 11.6-inch screen with LED backlighting and sports a glossy finish. Lenovo’s latest also offers three USB ports, an Ethernet port, a single headset jack, D-Sub and HDMI ports for connecting to external displays, and a memory card slot. WiFi and Bluetooth are available as standard along with a webcam. There is no official confirmation as to what APU Lenovo has chosen for the E125, which means that either AMD’s E-350 or E-450 accelerated processing units could be packed into these machines. Battery life has not yet been confirmed, but Windows has learnt that the new ThinkPad Edge has a four-cell battery. Pricing and other particulars are yet to be disclosed.

MSI LAUNCHES AFTERBURNER ON ANDROID Taiwan-based technology company MSI has unveiled an Android version of its highly popular Afterburner application at this year’s Computex. Afterburner is an overclocking utility for graphics cards and this new version allows Android tablets to adjust and monitor Afterburner settings on a PC with an installed graphics card over a WiFi connection. Besides monitoring the temperature, voltage and fan speed, Afterburner can be used for overclocking and overvolting. The app is available for Android phones as well. Enthusiasts who like to monitor the operation of their graphics cards can do so even when they are playing games. MSI says this app effectively removes the need for a user to invest in another monitor just so they can check on the health of their GPUs. Users who install the app on their Android mobile phone can monitor frequency, temperature and voltage parameters in real time while the computer is running test software. Certain parameters can even be adjusted on the fly for specific scenarios. The software even allows you to connect to your PC when you’re away so you can check how your graphics card is holding up. This is useful for computing programs that utilise the GPU full time.


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Computex news Com

NEWS 11

SANDISK SHOWCASES SATA III SSDS THERMALTAKE SHOWS OFF NEW CPU COOLER AND PSUS Computex 2011 was the platform that Thermaltake chose to unleash a new multi-platform compatible CPU cooler and three enthusiast powersupplies. The Frio Extreme cooler works with CPUs from both Intel and AMD. The cooler has six 6mm copper heatpipes and a pair of 140mm fans which can spin at speeds between 1,200 to 1,800rpm. Thermaltake claims the cooler has a cooling capacity of 250watts. The company said that a third fan will be bundled with the product to boost airflow. The Frio Extreme is designed to be fitted to Intel LGA 1366, LGA 1155 and LGA 1156 CPUs, and will also work with AMD AM2+ and AM3+ processors. Three new powersupplies from the Toughpower XT family were also shown at this year’s technology show. These are intended to hit shelves this summer and all of them have an 80Plus Gold and Platinum rating for high energy efficiency. The series is meant to tackle multi-GPU AMD CrossfireX and nVidia SLI configurations with Platinum rated PSU wattages of 1,250watts, 1,375watts and 1,475watts. All of the powersupplies feature 140mm fans, an interleaved PFC circuit and Japanese-made solid state capacitors. The units also come with what Thermaltake calls an S.P.T. indicator that displays when the PSU is in standby mode, whether or not power is good, and the temperature of the unit.

Sandisk showed off its U100 range, which is its latest line of Sa SSDs that are designed for tablet and portable computers. SS These models are said to offer high performance and use the Th high-speed Serial ATA III interface. hi The firm says that the U100 drives can transfer data to and from a PC at approximately double the speed of its last an generation P4 drives. The new Sandisk drives are separated into two product families. The U100 series of SSDs are targeted at ultrathin laptops and range in capacity from 8GB to as high as 256GB. Sandisk claims data can be read from the U100 at up to 450MB/sec, and written at the rate of 340MB/sec. Both performance figures are more than twice as fast as those offered by the P4 drives, which were announced at Computex last year. Sandisk also promoted its iSSD drives that are targeted at tablet PCs and can store between 8GB to 128GB. They are available in BGA-type type packaging and feature solder dimples on the underside for direct attachment to the he tablet’s circuit board. The company pany claims these drives offer er read speeds of 450MB/sec and write speeds of up to 160MB/sec. c. The company says that it’s keen en on grabbing a share hare of the lucrative tablet let PC storage market. Its last generation P4 drives rives were used in the making ing of the Acer Iconia and ASUS Eee Slate.

Leadtek introduced what it claims is the world’s first Androidbased multimedia smart tablet and phone, the AMOR8218, at Computex, Taiwan. The device is built on the company’s multimedia video protocol and integrated communication technology for imaging and monitoring. The AMOR8218 includes an Android tablet along with a DECT wireless handset and a docking base. The tablet sports a 7-inch multi-touch display, built-in high capacity battery and wireless connectivity. The tablet also features Bluetooth which allows users to connect to headsets and other Bluetooth enabled peripherals. The docking station features an HDMI port that can connect to an HD display for multimedia viewing. The DECT

wireless phone can, as expected, be used to make calls and the docking unit also functions as a wireless access point allowing it to share broadband connectivity with other IT devices in the home. Leadtek’s AMOR8218 can be used for video calling too, while the tablet allows access to weather information, traffic conditions and music channels for entertainment. Besides facilitating data transmission the USB port can charge other devices too. It also allows you to connect video and audio enabled security solutions which can integrate with security cameras. Leadtek says users will be able to control electrical appliances through the tablet, and the integrated LBS system can be used for fleet management purposes.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

LEADTEK UNLEASHES AMOR8218 AND DECT SOLUTION


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12 NEWS

Computex news

VIEWSONIC TALKS UP DIGITAL HOME PRODUCTS Viewsonic unleashed a raft of new products at Computex this year including the ViewPad 7x and ViewPad 10Pro tablets, the V3D245wm LED screen, PLED-W200 projector and VFM851 digital photo frame. The ViewPad 7x features a 7-inch LCD screen and runs Google’s Android ‘Honeycomb’ operating system. The device also packs a nVidia dual-core processor and the company says it promises users the fastest-ever 4G Internet browsing and multimedia experience. The ViewPad 10Pro makes use of Intel’s Oak Trail processor, runs a 10-inch screen and sports a dual-boot OS setup. Both Windows 7 Professional and Google’s Android OS are installed on the tablet by default. Viewsonic claims the 10Pro is the world’s first dual-boot OS tablet. The company also made bold claims of its V3D245wm LED screen saying that it is the industry’s first ’24-inch smart monitor with a built-in 3D emitter’. The screen packs a 20,000,000:1 maximum contrast ratio, offers a 16:9 aspect ratio, supports Full HD content and offers a 2ms response time. The screen also offers a 120Hz scanning rate, includes HDMI 1.4 connectivity and packs built-in SRS Premium Sound support. Viewsonic also demonstrated its PLED-W200 projector which it says is the world’s first WXGA pico projector. The projector offers a brightness rating of 200 Lumens, a contrast ratio of 2000:1 and runs at a native resolution of 1,280 x 800 pixels. The projector weighs 420g and includes a built-in SD card reader and a USB port. The company’s VFM851 digital photo frame, was also promoted at Computex. This frame runs at a native resolution of 800 x 600 pixels and supports a variety of still and motion picture file formats including MJPEG, MPEG2 and MPEG4. The device is also equipped with a SD/SDHC/MMC memory card reader.

KINGMAX TALKS UP NANO GAMING RAM MODULES Kingmax had a treat for gamers and enthusiast at Computex this year. The firm showed off its new Nano Gaming RAM modules, which are built with nano thermal dissipation technology. The Nano DDR3 modules pack 8GB of memory onto a single stick and can be clocked to as high as 2,400MHz. modules are the fastest and largest overclocking modules by far on the market. Kingmax says its mod The modules rely on nano thermal dissipation technology to get rid of the excess heat generated by overclocking and so ship without traditional heatsinks. The company claims its own lab tests indicate that its technology increases cooling efficiency overclocking. by 10% during overcloc Kingmax also showed off its new 64GB Kingm microSDXC memory card at the mi exhibition. The card adheres to Class ex 10 card specifications and Kingmax says its large capacity will make sa entertainment on-the-go possible. en

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

GIGABYTE DISPENSES TABLETS AT COMPUTEX Taiwan-based Gigabyte used Computex as a platform to introduce the world to its new S1080 tablet. The company refers to its device as ‘an office on the go’. The device ships with a 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen and boasts an Intel Atom dual-core N570 processor, 2GB of memory, a 2.5-inch 320GB hard drive, Bluetooth connectivity, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, 3G support and a 1.3-megapixel digital camera. The S1080 can be upgraded with an extended battery pack that weighs an additional 100g. Gigabyte says this battery pack gives the device an additional three hours of battery life. The tablet runs Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system, includes USB3.0 support and can be docked to an optical drive-equipped docking station. Gigabyte explained that its tablet will become available around the world immediately and will retail for approximately US $700.


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14 FEATURE

PC & laptop care

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

PRESERVE YOUR PC AND LAPTOP

While your PC and laptop can deal with a fair bit of everyday abuse there are quite a few things you can do to ensure that they look and perform as they did when they were brand new. Here WINDOWS shows you how to maintain your machines so they give you years of trouble-free use.


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PC & laptop care

FEATURE 15

When you buy a new PC or laptop you’re on cloud nine. Not only does it look great but you can run the latest and greatest apps and games, edit your photos with ease and dabble in video editing without your rig grinding to a halt. The months roll by and all is well but then, eventually, after a few years have gone by you notice your machine doesn’t look as great as it once did. It may be covered in dust, or it might be stained and while this makes you reminisce about its former glory, you chalk it up to time and continue using your machine as before. Then one day it happens, you switch on your machine only to find that you’re staring at a blank screen. On the outside everything looks fine so you summon the courage to examine your rig closer by opening it up, if you have a desktop rig. When you finally crack it open, you stare in horror as every square inch of your rig’s internals are covered in a thick layer of dust and fur balls. This is typically what happens if you don’t take the time to perform routine maintenance on your machine and, it’s this negligence that has pushed your components, and thus your PC, to an early death. If you’re a laptop owner, exactly the same thing can happen. Dust build-up and a lack of maintenance are a deadly combination that will make your notebook’s components fail sooner rather than later. So what do you if you own either a PC or notebook or both? That’s simple; you resign yourself to a cleaning schedule that will keep your investments looking and performing like they’re brand new. Read on to find out how…

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A can of compressed air Cotton buds Tweezers Toothpicks Rubbing alcohol Screwdrivers, both Philips and Stanley (depending on your case) - Lint free cloth , microfiber cloth - Tissue (preferably the thicker sort) - Water

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

Here's a list of things you will need to clean your PC and/or notebook:


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16 FEATURE

PC & laptop care

1

CARE FOR YOUR COMPONENTS

2

CHASSIS SPIT AND POLISH

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

Before you can get busy cleaning the inside of your desktop PC, you should first prep your machine. If you have a tower chassis, lay the case on its side and undo any screws that are holding the side panel in place. If you have an older desktop case or SFF, you'll likely have to undo the top panel or the entire case respectively. Once you've gained access to your rig's internals you should remember not to touch anything directly with your hands. Also, while it may seem tempting to wipe down components with a damp tissue to get dust and nasty stains out, you should refrain from doing this as it will only If the inside of your desktop rig looks like this, you should give it some damage your internal components. attention immediately. Excessive dust can result in static that will short out Look for balls of dust lying around the inside of the case, components within your PC. especially in hard to reach places, as they might have been trapped there for a while. Once located, pick them out using a pair of tweezers, or if need be a cotton bud. Next, take the can of compressed air and blow it all over the internal components in a direction that would expel the dust out of the case. Ensure that you cover every square inch and always spray the system with short bursts of compressed air, never use long and continuous spraying. You should then turn your attention to the various fans within your machine. Take toothpicks and lodge it between the blades of all the fans in the computer, including the powersupply fan and the CPU's heatsink. You are doing this so that the fans donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t over-spin and crack, or wear out their bearings when you are using the compressed air on them. After this, if the fans still have some visible dust, wipe them down with tissue. You should now start to wipe down the inside of the case with a moist lint free cloth and keep it aside to dry for a while. You may also use rubbing alcohol for this step but never use any other harsh chemical cleaners. The reason for using water or rubbing alcohol is because both liquids quickly evaporate and dry up, which means it's far less likely that residue will attract new dust. Once you've completed the cleaning process, replace your machine's cover and fasten it in place with the screws or thumbscrews that you previously removed. The whole process shouldn't take you more than an hour and once you're comfortable with doing what we described here, you could complete the job in under 30 minutes. You should repeat this procedure every six months even if the PC is placed in a clean environment. If however you keep your PC's chassis on the floor and have pets, or smoke, eat and drink near the PC, we recommended you perform this cleansing every three months.

Before you get busy cleaning the outside of your case, you should disconnect any and all of the cables attached to it. To clean your case you should use a large lint free cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol. Pay special attention to the back of the case where the electrical wires are connected to components. Ensure that all your ports and connectors are dust-free by using compressed air. You can also rub the back of the case down with rubbing alcohol but avoid all ports and sockets. Doing this will clean off any dust that is on the case and ensures that your rig looks squeaky clean. We recommend that you clean your case every fortnight in this manner to keep it looking spick and span.


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PC & laptop care

3 4

FEATURE 17

SCREEN CARE

Disconnect your monitor from your rig and the wall socket before you start to clean it. LCD screens can be easily cleaned with a moist lint free cloth. Never use tissue of any kind, as these can cause fine scratches on the monitor’s surface. The liquid of choice could be just plain water though there are also specialised monitor cleaning swabs and cleaning products available in computer stores. Anything else could erode the manufacturer’s coating on the screen so avoid using other liquids. Always remember to spray water or the fluid on the cloth and never directly on the screen. Wipe down the screen gently using circular motions until it's clean and when you're done, you can turn your attention to the screen's body. You can use a vacuum cleaner to suck dust out of the holes in the monitor's bezel and, for the rest of the body, just use a lint free cloth and water to wipe away any dirt or grime build-up.

Cleaning your keyboard and mouse is a very simple affair that shouldn’t take you a lot of time. Remember to be thorough though because your keyboard can get quite dirty. It is, after all, a well established fact that your keyboard can have more germs on it than a toilet seat, so don’t be surprised if you find things you never knew could get in there. Start by disconnecting the keyboard from the back of the computer and removing any batteries if you have a wireless keyboard. Next flip the keyboard over and gently shake it to dislodge dust, food or anything else that might be lurking within. Next, use compressed air to forcibly dislodge anything that might still be stuck within. Sharp bursts of compressed air between the keys should be sufficient to get the job done. Next, it's time to clean and disinfect the keys. Take a few cotton buds and dip them one at a time in rubbing alcohol. Then wipe down the sides and front surface of each key. Yes, this may seem tedious but it shouldn’t take you more than five minutes. You should never use a vacuum cleaner to clean the keys of your keyboard however, as it could create a static charge and may short the keyboard by damaging its sensitive electronics, thus leaving it unusable. Finally wipe down the wire - in the case of a wired keyboard - with a soft cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol. Connect the keyboard back to the system if it is wired, or replace the batteries in the battery compartment if it is wireless. With the keyboard clean it's time to turn your attention to your mouse. As before disconnect it from the computer and remove any batteries if the mouse is wireless. You'll have to use a lint free cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol once again. Make sure the cloth is moist but not saturated and dripping. Start wiping over the surface of the mouse, and don’t be scared to press down a little harder if there is stubborn grease or grime on it. Wipe the buttons of the mouse and any other buttons it may have. Then, flip the mouse over and wipe it down completely. Ensure that the foam gliders are properly cleaned too and don’t have any build up of dust on them. When it comes to laser or optical mice, wipe down the sensor and the area around it to so that there is absolutely no dirt or dust. With older ball-based mice, you'll need to clean the insides as well. To gain access, turn the circular ring that houses the rubber ball anti-clockwise and pull it away. Turn your attention to the rollers and clean them by using a few cotton buds dipped in rubbing alcohol. Ensure there is no build up of dust and lint on the rollers, as well as on the ball - they should be squeaky clean. For the final step, spray compressed air inside the opening and blow any dust out of the mouse. Once you're done replace the trackball and secure the cover. You should also clean the wire, in the case of a wired mouse, with rubbing alcohol and reattach the cable to the back of the system if your mouse is wired. That wasn't so bad was it?

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

CLEAN YOUR PERIPHERALS


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18 FEATURE

PC & laptop care

’s no r that unting e v e is da ; how is ptop ning a PC l make th la r u il a o ws w ing y an cle Clean ifficult th e. Windo possible. p d s o more to lose h ainless a : p n d o n s need a a re ou'd y easy s s a m task of ite a list d air h it w e start th press Let’s n of com t-free clo n li ca r A er o mp spray icrofib orch or la es or - M ip t ll w sma aning - A or cle it n o rivers - M ezers rewd c s e h c - Tw t of wat ol se - A bing alcoh b - Ru on buds tt o C -

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

1

LOOK AFTER YOUR LAPTOP

Looks great doesn’t it? Like a desktop PC, you’ll have to invest some time in looking after your laptop if you want it to look and perform as it did when you just got it out of the box.

OPEN LAPTOP SURGERY

Before you do anything you should remember that opening your laptop will void its warranty (if any). Therefore if you're laptop is still covered by warranty and you think its internals are clogged with dust, we recommend you take your machine to an authorised service centre and ask the service reps to give your laptop a thorough clean. Always ensure your laptop is switched off and disconnected power sources before attempting to examine and clean it. Flip your laptop over and look at the screws it has on its rear. There will be different screws for different portions of your laptop, hence you may need more than one type of screwdriver to pry open the back. Select the right screwdrivers and start to unscrew the back case. With the case off you can take a look at the components within but remember to avoid touching anything with your hands directly. The CPU heatsink and other cooling fans should be your first points of investigation. These are likely clogged by dust, grime and other matter and it's vital to have them cleaned so that they can adequately cool your laptop's vital components when they're working. Dip a cotton bud in rubbing alcohol and slowly wipe each blade of the fans. Use tweezers if necessary to remove any significant dust build-up. Once the fans have been wiped down you can use a soft lint free cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol to go over the blades more thoroughly. Now, hold a clean cotton bud in between one of the blades of the fan to immobilise it and spray short bursts of compressed air on the fan and around it. (It's also worth examining any visible fan to see if they're still working properly. To do this, try to turn the fan's blades using your fingers. They should move freely but if not, it's worth taking your laptop to a service centre to get the fan replaced.) You should also use a vacuum cleaner to suck dust out of any vents. Don't use compressed air here because it will simply blow the dust back into your laptop.


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PC & laptop care

2

BUST SOME DUST

3 4

INTERFACE CARE

FEATURE 19

Once you’re done cleaning the fans and vents, look around the rest of the laptop for any dust build-up or dust balls. This is where you would need the lamp or torch, so that you can look through nooks and crannies to make sure you find all the dust, fluff and general dirt that has accumulated over time. If any fluff and dust balls are visible to the naked eye pick them out with a pair of tweezers. You can also try shaking the machine gently to try and dislodge any dirt that may be hiding in between component and PCBs. Finally, blow compressed air over the exposed internals but take care to blow air in such a direction that dust can easily come out of the laptop. Here, don’t be surprised if you find huge fur balls and dust bunnies flying out of the laptop. It is quite normal as the cooling fans, though small, spin at high speed and suck in quite a sizeable volume of air each minute. Of course, this also means that the fans suck in a lot of dust too. With the inside clean you can start wiping down the back cover you removed before (both inside and outside) with a lint free cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol, and keep it aside to dry before fitting it back to your notebook. You should think about comprehensively cleaning your laptop at least once in a year, or once every six months if you have pets, snack near the laptop and use it on your bed.

Okay we’re done with the most difficult part, so you can take a breather. The next step in our laptop cleaning agenda is simple and will perhaps be the easiest step in this exercise. Cleaning the keyboard and the touchpad is as simple as turning the laptop over so that these parts are facing the table, and shaking it lightly. This will dislodge dust, crumbs, dead skin and anything else that might have made its way onto the trackpad or is trapped beneath the keys. Once you’ve removed most of the debris, arm yourself with a can of compressed air and spray it all over the keys. The next bit, as before, is very simple and involves you using cotton buds dipped in rubbing alcohol to go over the keys, so they get disinfected. This will get rid of the oil from your fingers and ensure that your keyboard is germ and grime free. As for the touchpad, a simple wipe down with rubbing alcohol should do the trick. Rub into the spot that you find greasiness and quickly wipe it down with a dry lint free cloth. Since your keyboard and trackpad are possibly the most used bits of your notebook, we recommend you give them a thorough clean every three months.

Before you put your laptop back together, it's worth taking the time to see if anything inside it feels loose or shaky, as a result of cleaning it via the steps we described earlier. If you find any component or wiring appears to be loose, attempt to tighten it or fix it back in place with care. Most components should be able to be fastened without any extra tools. Once you are happy with the way everything looks inside, replace the back cover and proceed to fasten it in place with the relevant screws.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

PUTTING IT BACK TOGETHER


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20 FEATURE

5 6

PC & laptop care

GET YOUR SCREEN CLEANED Now that your laptop is assembled and cleaned internally, let’s move on to the machine's LCD screen. A lint free cloth moistened in water is a viable choice when it comes to cleaning your laptop’s screen. That said there are special screen cleaning sprays and swabs that are available in most computer stores, and you can use these if you don't mind splurging a little. Microfiber cloths can do the job quite well and remove most dust and grime. Whatever you choose to use, be gentle and work in circular motions until the screen is completely clean. Note: Never use harsh home or glass cleansers, as they contain chlorine and ammonia, which can damage your screen and leave streaks.

CLEAN THE EXTERIOR Keeping the exterior of your laptop clean will do more than just keep it looking good; it will also ensure that you aren’t exposing yourself to a plethora of germs every time you handle it. The simplest solution is to mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol and water, and dampen a lint free cloth with this solution. Use this cloth to gently wipe the front, sides and back of the laptop. Try to prevent going over the ports and power supply connector with the damp cloth. After you are satisfied your notebook is clean, spray compressed air to accelerate the drying process. You can also use this opportunity to spray compressed air into the ports and any crevices, to blow away any dust.

Here are some top tips that can help you keep your PC and notebook clean: 1. Don’t keep your PC or notebook on the floor. Keep it on a desk well above ground level. 2. Don’t eat, drink or smoke next to your PC or laptop. 3. Try and keep any pets that shed out of the room. 4. Don’t use your laptop on your bed, where fluff from blankets and sheets can enter the machine.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

5. Switch off the computer when not in use, so that the fans don’t draw in dust through the vents. 6. Use an air purifier in the room where you keep and use your PC or notebook.

This concludes our guide to helping you clean your PC and your laptop. Remember, regular cleaning will ensure your system gives you years of terrific service. The time you set aside to clean your system is a small price to pay for a long term investment in the health of your gear.


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FEATURE 21

While todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tablets are comprised of the same or similar components that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d find in an ultra-portable notebook, the sleek design and formfactor of these devices requires that you take a different approach to caring for them. WINDOWS explains everything you need to know here...

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Tablet care


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22 FEATURE

Tablet care

With the launch of the original iPad, Apple kick started the tablet market back in 2010. The iPad, its successor (the iPad 2), and most of the other tablets available on the market today are completely enclosed devices. While this means you don’t have to worry about dust getting into them you still have to look after these devices if you want them to give you years of faithful service

Today’s tablets are brilliant devices that let you consume content with ease whether you’re at home, in the office or on the move. Tablets have been around for a fair few years though they were mostly just notebooks with fold-down screens in days gone by. Today’s tablets are far different to their older counterparts and are quite possibly the trendiest computing devices on the market. Modern tablets or slates are complex devices that blend aesthetics and technology into one finely tuned device. Like notebooks these devices sport a processor, memory, GPU, some form of permanent storage, wireless connectivity (WiFi or 3G or both for example), a LCD screen with touch capabilities, a sound chip and speakers. Unlike notebooks however these devices are almost always completely sealed, which means that you can’t actually get to their internal components. Another difference between tablets and notebooks is that the former lack active cooling systems. This is good news because it means that no dust gets pulled into the device. That said you shouldn’t take your tablet for granted, you still need to look after it if you want it to stand the test of time. Your tablet can still be damaged or destroyed if they are exposed to excessive cold or heat, if you drop them or even if you pack them into a tightly-packed bag. Exposure to water, moisture and many other things that we encounter in our everyday lives can also drive a tablet to an early grave, so it’s really worth your while to follow the steps we outline over the next few pages when it comes to your tablet.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

BASIC CARE Microfiber cloth and specialised cleaning fluids should be used to clean a tablet’s LCD screen. These are designed to get fingerprints, dirt and other grime off a LCD screen. Never ever apply the cleaning fluid directly to the screen however. You should instead dampen the cloth with the fluid and then wipe down the LCD screen

Most tablets are elegantly designed devices that look brilliant when you get them out of their packaging for the first time. With constant use however your tablet can get dirty or look messy, so it’s worth spending some time to clean it every so often. The first place you should turn your attention to is, of course, your tablet’s LCD screen. More often than not the LCD will pickup tons of fingerprints and other grime seeing as how it’s the primary interface you use to interact with your tablet device. To clean your screen properly you should slightly moisten (do not saturate it) a microfiber cloth with clean water or even a specific cleaning fluid that’s designed for LCD screens. Rub the screen of the tablet in a circular motion without applying too much pressure with the cloth. This should clean off any fingerprints or grime that has collected on the surface. You should then use another microfiber cloth to wipe down the screen of the tablet. Again, apply a constant gentle pressure when cleaning the LCD display. Never ever apply too much pressure when cleaning the screen or you could inadvertently damage it. With the LCD screen clean it’s time to give the rest of your tablet some much-needed attention.


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Tablet care

FEATURE 23

When it comes to cleaning the back of your tablet, avoid using a rough cloth as you could scratch the surface of the device (depending on what material your tablet’s rear end is made of). Always use a soft cloth but before you get busy giving your tablet a wipe down, you should moisten the cloth to help get rid of tough stains or dirt. Give the back a thorough wipe and try to work more gently next to the camera (if your tablet has one). With this done, you can then move onto the bezel. As before you should never apply water or any cleaning product directly to the tablet, always dampen the cloth with the desired cleaner before attempting to clean the tablet. From time-to-time it’s also worth using a portable low-power vacuum cleaner or even compressed air on your tablet’s speakers and ports to get rid of any dust build-up. When it comes to the device’s speakers ensure that you don’t use too powerful a vacuum cleaner as it could rip the small speaker cones within. You should try and clean your tablet in the manner described here at least once every week. This will ensure that your tablet doesn’t pickup any eyesores such as permanent stains or dust and looks as good as new, even when it has been with you for a few years.

PROTECT IT Another critical aspect of tablet ownership is knowing how to protect your device from harm. As we mentioned earlier extreme heat or cold, violent knocks and more can be detrimental to your tablet’s health. The first and most obvious way to protect your tablet is to invest in a quality protective sleeve. These are designed to lessen the impact on the device should you drop it but they will also keep your tablet safe when it’s in a bag with other There are hundreds of sleeves available from different companies for objects, some of which could scratch the tablet’s screen or popular tablets such as Apple’s iPad. These sleeves can protect your tablet from light knocks and scratches but don’t be fooled into thinking that they other delicate surfaces. make your tablet bulletproof For even better protection you should consider buying a hardcover case that is designed like a notebook. These cases have the advantage of giving you additional storage space for business cards and notes etc. The hard case will also be more effective at protecting your tablet against harder knocks and dings, as the material is sturdier and tougher than what is used by standard tablet sleeves.

Cases such as this one from Belkin provide more rugged protection for your tablet while you’re out and about. Some of the cases can even be setup so that your tablet becomes a photo frame or resembles a laptop

The surrounding environment can also be critical to the wellbeing of your tablet, so consider the next paragraph carefully. Avoid exposing your tablet to direct sunlight and other sources of heat like table lamps. Leaving your tablet in a closed car in summer with or without the air conditioning running is another no-no because sunlight can still cause the tablet to heat up, given that these devices consist of a fair bit of metal. You should also keep your tablet away from dust, sand, rain, water hazards like pools, bathrooms and any other sources of moisture. Exposure to excessive amounts of moisture can be very dangerous and may cause your tablet to stop working altogether. If you happen to take your tablet to the beach, ensure that no sand gets into any of the ports. If the tablet does get wet you should quickly and thoroughly dry it with a microfiber cloth and refrain from switching it on for at least an hour. You should also never ever try to dry your tablet in any appliance and, of course, never ever leave it to bake in the sun.

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ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS


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24 FEATURE

Tablet care

In addition to what we described earlier there are a lot of invisible threats to your tablet’s safety. Magnetic fields produced by speakers and other appliances found around the home and office can wreak havoc on your tablet. You should therefore always be mindful of the surroundings in which you use your tablet. Powerful magnetic fields can damage the sensitive internal components and interfere with the way the tablet works. Magnetic damage is fairly rare, a more common and devastating hazard comes from eating or drinking near the tablet. Always refrain from consuming food and liquids around the tablet. In the event of a spill the results can be quite disastrous.

KEEP THEM AWAY Y While tablets are meant to be used on the go, or in homes and offices, you should try and avoid using your tablet near appliances such as speakers, microwave ovens, toasters and any device with a powerful motor. These devices can create strong magnetic fields that can negatively affect your tablet’s functionality and health.

HANDLE WITH CARE When you intend to take your tablet with you on journeys, you should pack your device with care. Tablets can be damaged or destroyed by other objects that may be packed away in the same travel bag, so it’s worth your while to pack properly. It also goes without saying that you shouldn’t pack your tablet in a large suitcase - that’s a recipe for utter disaster. Ideally your tablet should have its own sleeve or case before it goes into your travel bag. This will ensure that the material your bag is made off doesn’t smudge onto any of your tablet’s surfaces. At the same time these covers will also provide a degree of protection for your tablet from other objects in the same bag. When it’s time to pack your tablet the first thing you should remember is to place it in its own compartment, especially if the bag you’re placing it in holds other objects such as chargers, pencils, pens, keys, shampoos etc. In the event that a pen or shampoo leaks or there’s a sudden jolt during your journey, having your tablet in its own compartment will ensure that it is protected, at least for a while. If you pack a charger in the same compartment as your tablet and the bag experiences a jolt, there’s a good chance the abstract design of the charger (protruding electrical pin contacts etc) could damage your tablet. If you absolutely have to pack other objects into the same compartment as your tablet, you can get away with things like books and clothes. You shouldn’t over pack your bag as these other objects could exert pressure on the tablet's screen, which could lead to damage.

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TABLET TIPS While tablets are built to withstand a fair amount of abuse they aren’t bulletproof and constant abuse will see them to an early grave. The main thing to watch out for when using your tablet is to be gentle with its touchscreen. Don’t press down on the screen with excessive force or hit it (out of frustration when playing a game or waiting for something to load) as you could DOUBL LE TROUBLE cause the screen to crack or cause dead pixels. Of all the parts that comprise your tablet, the battery and permanent storage are the two time-limited components. As the years go by you’ll notice battery life degrading, just like a notebook’s battery. The more charge/discharge cycles your tablet goes through, the faster this will happen. On the storage front because most tablets rely on flash memory - which has a finite number of write cycles – you’ll one day find that you’re unable to store any new data on your tablet’s main storage. You’ll still be able to read data that’s stored here - you just won’t be able to put any new data on it. And, like a battery, how soon this happens depends on how much of a workout you give your tablet each day.


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Tablet care

FEATURE 25

You should also be vigilant when it comes to your tablet’s battery. Don’t charge it until its almost completely dead as excessive charging will eventually reduce the amount of charge the battery will be able to retain. Likewise going through charge/discharge cycles will also gradually reduce your tablet’s battery life though this is natural and cannot be avoided. You shouldn’t overcharge your tablet either; remember to unplug it from the wall socket as soon as it is fully charged. When it comes to your tablet’s onboard memory there’s also cause for concern. Since most tablets use flash memory – which has a finite number of write cycles after which no new data can be written to it – to store data, there will come a time when you won’t be able to store any new data on your tablet. How soon this happens really depends on your usability – if you constantly write data to your tablet it will happen sooner rather than later.

DUPLICATE YOUR DATA While most tablets feature flash storage that is impervious to data loss caused by sudden jolts and shocks, flash storage can be corrupted by external influences. This means you can still lose your important data so it’s worth looking into backing up critical information. Different tablets have different methods of backing up data on them, and generally the manufacturer will provide you with a CD\DVD which has backup software on it. Here we outline some ways to backup some of the popular tablets on the market.

PLAY WITH THE PLAYBOOK To backup data stored on your BlackBerry PlayBook follow these steps: 1. Install the Blackberry Desktop software on your PC and open it. 2. Study the interface and look for ‘Device’, followed by ‘Back up’. 3. Here you have a choice to back up all the data on your Playbook or just device data excluding media. These are presented as ‘Full Back up’ or ‘Quick Back up’. We suggest you perform a full back up as it is a comprehensive way to backup all the data on your Playbook. 4. Go to ‘File Options’ and type the name of the backup file and the location where you wish to store it. You will also have a choice to encrypt your data by selecting ‘Encrypt backup file’. 5. Click the ‘Back up’ button to begin.

ALL ABOUT THE IPAD Backing up data stored on your iPad is a quick process, just follow these steps: 1. Once you have configured an iPad to sync automatically with iTunes on a specific computer, the device will be backed up automatically and synced with iTunes when it is connected to that computer. iTunes will make only one backup everytime you connect, even if you sync the device multiple times before unplugging it. 2. Once you connect the device, iTunes will ask you for your passcode if you have one. Enter it, and the sync and backup will begin. 3. If you have not set up the iPad to backup automatically, it will create a backup when you sync. Right-click ‘iPad’ under ‘Devices' in iTunes and choose ‘Back up’.

EASY ANDROID As for Android tablets, some manufacturers provide their own backup software, while others do not. Thus backups for Android tablets can be performed in various ways. The simplest would be to connect it to a computer and create a directory on your machine's hard disk called ‘Back up’. Then simply right click the device in My Computer and select Copy. Go over to the newly created folder, right click it and select Paste. This will copy all the data from the tablet to your hard drive.

According to research done by the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center using a tablet before going to sleep can be quite bad for your health. The research indicated that it might be worse than reading books, newspapers or magazines. The reason for this is because light emitted from the tablet won’t allow you to sleep. Yan-Go Director of the Center said that looking at a light emitting source close to your face can inhibit the production of a chemical in your brain called melatonin. Melatonin is a relaxing chemical that aids rest and allows for good sleep. In simple terms our mind tells our body it’s time to sleep when it’s dark, and when there is light, it tells the body to stay wake. By exposing yourself to a strong light source, such as a tablet's LCD screen, your brain doesn’t produce melatonin and you therefore stay awake since your brain mistakenly thinks it’s daytime.

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SLEEP P WELL


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26 GROUPTEST

Tablet grouptest

TABLET TEST DRIVE WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

After Apple kick-started the tablet market last year with the launch of the original iPad, manufacturers around the world scrambled to get into the game. As a result, today, there are hordes of tablets to choose from which, if you’re a potential buyer, can be quite confusing. How do you decide which is the one for you? That’s easy, turn the page and start reading as WINDOWS tests eight of the latest devices on the market.


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GROUPTEST 27

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

Tablet grouptest


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28 GROUPTEST

Tablet grouptest

ACER ICONIA TAB A500

A real transformer

PRICE $572 CONTACT +9714 805 6000 WEB www.acer.com

PRICE $735 CONTACT +9714 299 3873 WEB www.asus.com

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riced at US $572 Acer’s Iconia Tab A500 is the second most inexpensive Honeycomb tablet in this roundup. Only Packard Bell’s Liberty Tab costs less at $517. Despite its bargain price the A500 is a gem. There’s serious hardware under the hood in the form of a dual core 1GHz Nvidia’s Tegra 2 processor, 1GB of memory, 32GB of internal storage and a solid 10.1-inch LCD screen. You also get a 2-megapixel front facing camera and a 5-megapixel rear facing camera. The former is sufficient for partaking in video calls but the latter, though it is supported by a flash, doesn’t return the best looking shots. Photos have a fair bit of grain and the camera can be a bit of a chore to work with as it can be sluggish. The A500’s screen while

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ASUS EEE PAD TRANSFORMER

A solid Honeycomb device

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not as stunning to look at as the screens fitted to Asus’ Eee Pad Transformer TF101 and BlackBerry’s PlayBook, is competent in terms of responsiveness. It responds to quick stabs and fast typing like a champ, while photos and videos look quite decent. We also liked the fact that unlike some other tablets in this grouptest, the Acer sports a physical screen-rotation lock button, like Apple's iPad 2. The tablet looks quite good too. The rear of the tablet sports a gunmetal aluminium finish while the screen’s top and bottom borders are flanked by plastic finished in the same colour as the device’s back. PERFORMANCE ✪✪✪✪✪ FEATURES ✪✪✪✪✪ VALUE FOR MONEY ✪✪✪✪✪ VERDICT The A500 is a handsome device that is aggressively priced and delivers on almost every front. It’s definitely worth a look.

sus’ Eee Pad Transformer TF101 is unique because it is the only device here to ship with a docking station as standard. Asus says the dock allows you to ‘transform’ the tablet into a fully-fledged netbook. We’re pleased to report that with the tablet docked the Transformer becomes a useable netbook. The dock’s keyboard is great to use and rather than just using a QWERTY keyboard, Asus has replaced the function keys with hotkeys that enable you to scoot around Honeycomb with ease. The dock includes an additional battery too so you can extend the tablet's battery life to a total of 16 hours. In testing we found the Asus, when docked, gave a battery life of 14 hours. This figure dropped to a still very strong eight and a half hours when we used the tablet on its own.

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Our only issue with the dock is that the trackpad and its buttons can be a little frustrating to use. Tracking isn’t always spot on and you have to click on either the extreme left or right side of the single trackpad button to generate a left or right click. The Asus is one of the better looking tablets in this test and we absolutely adored the screen. It simply refused to retain fingerprints or smudges and generated the best visuals here by far. As a result the Transformer was able to deliver the best overall user experience in this round-up. It's definitely a viable alternative to the iPad 2. PERFORMANCE ✪✪✪✪✪ FEATURES ✪✪✪✪✪ VALUE FOR MONEY ✪✪✪✪✪ VERDICT The Eee Pad Transformer is an innovative device that’s a real pleasure to use owing to its flawless IPS-based LCD.


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Tablet grouptest

BLACKBERRY PLAYBOOK

CREATIVE ZIIO 7”

Ready to work and play

Inexpensive but also very flawed

PRICE $572 CONTACT +9714 800 29466 WEB www.blackberry.com

PRICE $327 CONTACT +9714 397 7611 WEB http://ae.creative.com

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the lack of a flash limits you to shooting when there's sufficient light. The front facing camera is also spectacular when it comes to video calls as it produces great image quality. The PlayBook offers considerable business functionality too, though this depends on whether or not you already have a BlackBerry smartphone, as you have to tether the two together to reap the business benefits. When we tried tethering the two devices together we found it a quick and painless process and this holds true even when the two are disconnected and reconnected abruptly. PERFORMANCE ✪✪✪✪✪ FEATURES ✪✪✪✪✪ VALUE FOR MONEY ✪✪✪✪✪ VERDICT The PlayBook is a capable tablet whose functionality and usefulness will only increase as more apps and games become available.

riced at US $327 Creative’s Ziio 7” is the least expensive tablet in this roundup and, like most of the other devices it is powered by Google’s Android operating system (OS). Given the device’s low price we were expecting the tablet to sport basic specifications and when we studied the tablet closely, our suspicions were confirmed. While there’s a reasonably quick 1GHz processor and 512MB of system memory the Ziio runs the older Android 2.2 OS. As a result the tablet didn’t score high marks when it came to usability, as a lot of the neat features offered by later version of the OS were missing. Our biggest issue with the Ziio however, is that it delivers a very dull user experience. The 7-inch LCD screen runs at a native resolution of 800 x 480

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pixels, which, owing to the 7-inch size, results in a pixel density of just 133ppi (pixels per inch). As a result the visuals you see onscreen are far from sharp and this immediately handicaps the tablet. Photos, movies, apps and even games just don’t look appealing and because the screen is a resistive display, it isn’t as accurate or responsive as tablets that use higher-quality capacitive displays. Using the included stylus makes a world of difference but it’s far from an ideal solution. Our test sample lacked Android Market support as well, which limited the tablet’s usability further. PERFORMANCE ✪✪✪✪✪ FEATURES ✪✪✪✪✪ VALUE FOR MONEY ✪✪✪✪✪ VERDICT The Ziio 7” is hard to recommend despite its low price owing to a few critical issues that retard overall usability.

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he PlayBook is RIM's first tablet whereas firms such as Apple and Samsung have already released second generation devices. Given that RIM is best known for its smartphones which are geared more for business use, we were surprised by the PlayBook's entertainment capabilities. The speakers produced the loudest and clearest audio in this round-up, which made watching movies a treat. The device's LCD screen is also brilliant in terms of the visuals it creates. Colours look like they're ready to jump right off the screen and there's an undeniable sharpness to everything you see - the PlayBook's screen is easily one of the best we've seen. The tablet also sports strong rear and front facing cameras. The rear facing camera delivered excellent photos and videos though

GROUPTEST 29


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30 GROUPTEST

Tablet grouptest

HTC FLYER

HUAWEI IDEOS S7 SLIM

A Gingerbread device with Honeycomb pricing

Primed for greatness

PRICE $817 WEB www.htc.com/mea-en

PRICE TBC CONTACT +9714 368 8118 WEB www.huaweidevice.com

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TC says its Flyer is 'a tablet like no other' on its website and like Creative's Ziio, it includes a stylus (HTC refers to it as a magic pen). The stylus can be used for a variety of tasks such as sketching drawings, scribbling notes or even adding comments to documents. For the most part the pen has real use because drawing with the tip of your finger, for example, can be quite difficult depending on what you're trying to do. At the same time using the Flyer with the pen makes the device seem somewhat dated, as pens like this were last seen on old tablet/notebooks, PDAs and smartphones years ago. Measuring 195.4 x 122 x 13.2mm the Flyer is one of the smallest tablets in this round-up. In stark contrast the device which is priced at US $817, is also the most

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expensive device on test. Studying the tablet closely it's hard to agree with the price because, for starters, the Flyer doesn't ship with Android Honeycomb but rather an older version of the OS (2.3). Since Android 2.3 was designed for smartphones rather than tablets, the Flyer is a little more clunky to use than Honeycomb devices. At the same time the tablet features only a singlecore processor whereas most of the other devices feature dual-core processors. That said the Flyer offers fluid performance and never really shows any signs of noitceable lag. PERFORMANCE ✪✪✪✪✪ FEATURES ✪✪✪✪✪ VALUE FOR MONEY ✪✪✪✪✪ VERDICT The Flyer is a capable tablet that offers some nifty features but its stratospheric pricing makes it hard to justify over Honeycomb devices.

uawei only recently entered the handheld device market and will likely release the IDEOS S7 Slim later in the year. While pricing has yet to be announced, Internet chatter points to a price around the US $300 mark, which we think is ideal for this very capable device. The Slim sports a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen which while not the best in terms of pixel density and sharpness, owing to its 800 x 480 pixel resolution, is bright, boasts solid contrast and is responsive to quick movements and light touches. This makes using the device to browse the web, read books or respond to e-mails a doddle. Given that the device will likely be launched with an aggressive price tag we weren't surprised to find that it runs Google's Android 2.2 OS. Huawei has tinkered with the OS' skin,

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which we found made the OS feel more suited to tablets. Honeycomb is still the way to go however, if you want an Apple-like tablet experience. The S7 is quite a handsome device that feels solidly built in hand and so could easily pass for a premium product. The IDEOS requires that you remove one side of its rear cover to gain access to its SIM card slot, which is located under a large removable battery. This makes the S7 unique because, unlike all the other devices in this grouptest, you can actually replace the battery pack with a new one, when the old one fails. PERFORMANCE ✪✪✪✪✪ FEATURES ✪✪✪✪✪ VALUE FOR MONEY ✪✪✪✪✪ VERDICT Should the IDEOS S7 Slim launch at around the $300 mark, it would make a great first tablet device for anyone.


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Tablet grouptest

MOTOROLA XOOM

PACKARD BELL LIBERTY TAB

Performance is its forte

Honeycomb without the high cost

PRICE $735 CONTACT +9714 800 29466 WEB www.motorola.com

PRICE $517 CONTACT +9714 WEB www.packardbell.com

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loaded YouTube.com and CNN.com in 11- and sixseconds respectively, which were the fastest times we saw in our grouptest. The Xoom isn’t perfect however. When we cranked up the speakers to full volume, the rear cover of the tablet began to vibrate and caused noticeable sound distortion when we were watching certain movies and videos. The position of the Motorola’s power button is also far from ideal – it took us a good 30 seconds to locate it when we first got the Xoom out of the box. Priced at US $735 the Xoom is also quite an expensive proposition. PERFORMANCE ✪✪✪✪✪ FEATURES ✪✪✪✪✪ VALUE FOR MONEY ✪✪✪✪✪ VERDICT The Xoom is a fast and capable Android tablet but a few annoying issues and a high price tag stifle its appeal.

ackard Bell is a subsidiary of Acer so the two companies occasionally share the same products. The Liberty Tab is one such product - it’s essentially an Iconia Tab A500 with Packard Bell branding. Unlike the Iconia Tab A500 which has been available for a few months, the Liberty Tab was introduced more recently. In terms of the underlying hardware the Liberty Tab is a carbon copy of the A500; it uses the same CPU, the same amount of memory, offers the same screen, WiFi and camera options as Acer’s tablet offering. The only slight difference that we were able to spot was that the Packard Bell’s microSD slot can accept a maximum card size of 32GB, whereas the Acer can tackle 64GB cards. Despite the nearly identical hardware however

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the Tab was a different beast in terms of the experience it delivered. The Liberty seemed more sluggish than the A500 on the performance front; we noticed a bit of lag when panning from home-screen to home-screen. The Liberty was also slower when it came to our web page load tests; whereas the Liberty took 14 seconds to load CNN.com, the Iconia got the job done in 12 seconds. We suspect that given time Packard Bell will optimise the Liberty so it’s just as quick as Acer’s offering. The Packard Bell’s party piece is that it’s one of the cheapest Honeycomb devices you can buy. PERFORMANCE ✪✪✪✪✪ FEATURES ✪✪✪✪✪ VALUE FOR MONEY ✪✪✪✪✪ VERDICT While the Liberty Tab requires a bit of optimisation it’s the least expensive path to owning a Honeycomb-powered device.

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he Xoom is Motorola’s first tablet and when it was launched, it was the first Android 3.0 Honeycomb-powered tablet to hit the market. In hand the Xoom feels like a typical Motorola product - solid as a rock. The tablet feels like it could last forever and when we set it on our weighing scale, it tipped the scales at 708g, making it the third heaviest device on test. Using the Motorola dayto-day it quickly became obvious that it was the king of the performance hill when compared to other Android tablets. It felt the most fluid tablet of the lot whether we were moving from home screen to home screen, loading apps or even when we were flicking through photos. When we conducted our time benchmarks, the Xoom left the other devices trailing. The Motorola

GROUPTEST 31


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32 GROUPTEST

Tablet grouptest

TABLETS PCS

ACER

ASUS

BLACKBERRY

CREATIVE

Iconia Tab A500

Eee Pad Transformer TF101

PlayBook

Ziio 7"

$572

$735

$572

$327

Tel

+9714 805 6000

+9714 299 3873

+9714 800 29466

+9714 397 7611

Web

www.acer.com

www.asus.com

www.blackberry.com

http://ae.creative.com

Processor

1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core

1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core

1GHz OMAP 4430 dual core

1GHz ZiiLABS ZMS-08 single core

Memory

1GB

1GB

1GB

512MB

LCD size

10.1-inch

10.1-inch

7-inch

7-inch

32GB

32GB

16GB

8GB

microSD upto 64GB

microSD upto 32GB

N

micro SD up to 32GB

802.11b/g/n

802.11b/g/n

802.11a/b/g/n

802.11b/g

Optional

Optional

N

N

Front facing camera

2-megapixels

1.2-megapixels

3-megapixels

0.3-megapixels

Rear facing camera

5-megapixels

5-megapixels

5-megapixels

N

Camera flash

Y

N

N

N

Speakers

Y

Y

Y

Y

HDMI

Y

Y

Y

Y

Weight

760g

676g

432g

416g

Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)

Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)

QNX Blackberry Tablet OS

Android 2.2 (Froyo)

One-year

One-year

One-year

One-year

Startup time

26 seconds

27 seconds

68 seconds

29 seconds

Time to load CNN

12 seconds

11 seconds

12 seconds

14 seconds

Time to load Youtube

8 seconds

7 seconds

7 seconds

9 seconds

8-hours

9-hours

7.5-hours

6.5-hours

Performance

----

-----

----

---

Features

----

----

----

--

Value

----

----

-----

---

Overall

----

----

----

---

MANUFACTURER Product Price

MAIN SPECIFICATIONS

Internal storage Memory upgradeable WiFi 3G

Operating system Warranty

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

BENCHMARKS

Battery life SCORES


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GROUPTEST 33

Tablet grouptest

TABLETS PCS

MANUFACTURER

HTC

HUAWEI

MOTOROLA

PACKARD BELL

Product

Flyer

IDEOS S7 Slim

Xoom

Liberty Tab

Price

$817

TBC

$735

$517

Tel

N/A

+9714 368 8118

+9714 800 29466

+9714 805 6000

www.htc.com/mea-en

www.huaweidevice.com

www.motorola.com

www.packardbell.com

Processor

1.5GHz Qualcomm single core

1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon single core

1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core

1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core

Memory

1GB

512MB

1GB

1GB

LCD size

7-inch

7-inch

10.1-inch

10.1-inch

Internal storage

32GB

8GB

32GB

16GB

micro SD up to 32GB

micro SD up to 32GB

micro SD up to 32GB

microSD upto 32GB

802.11b/g/n

802.11b/g/n

802.11b/g/n

802.11b/g/n

Y

Y

Optional

Optional

Front facing camera

1.3-megapixels

0.3-megapixels

2-megapixels

2-megapixels

Rear facing camera

5-megapixels

3.2-megapixels

5-megapixels

5-megapixels

Camera flash

N

N

Y

Y

Speakers

Y

Y

Y

Y

HDMI

N

Y

Y

Y

Weight

422g

462g

708g

760g

Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)

Android 2.2 (Froyo)

Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)

Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)

One-year

One-year

One-year

One-year

Startup time

4 seconds

30 seconds

32 seconds

38 seconds

Time to load CNN

12 seconds

13 seconds

11 seconds

14 seconds

Time to load Youtube

8 seconds

9 seconds

6 seconds

8 seconds

8-hours

7-hours

8.5-hours

8-hours

Performance

----

----

----

---

Features

----

----

----

----

Value

---

N/A

----

----

Overall

----

----

----

----

Web MAIN SPECIFICATIONS

Memory upgradeable WiFi 3G

Operating system Warranty

Battery life SCORES

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

BENCHMARKS


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34 GROUPTEST

Tablet grouptest

EDITOR'S CHOICE ASUS EEE PAD

BLACKBERRY PLAYBOOK

TRANSFORMER TF101

hereas in some grouptests a product can win our Performance award simply by blowing every other device away when it comes to our benchmark suite - picking a worthy tablet was a little more complicated. Numbers aside we also wanted a tablet that floored us with a superb user experience and in that regard we could find no better candidate than Asus’ Eee Pad Transformer TF101. The Transformer really is a stunning product and the first time you boot it, this

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becomes obvious. The Asus’ screen produces impeccable visuals, is beautifully responsive and thanks to Honeycomb, is a delight to use. The Transformer can easily give Apple’s iPad 2 a serious run for its money. The TF101 is also unique in that it can be turned into a fully-fledged netbook in the blink of an eye. The docking station is easy to fit and adds tons of functionality to the Eee Pad. We certainly appreciated the enhanced battery life, keyboard and trackpad when it came to using the tablet for serious work.

n this grouptest pricing ranged from as low as US $300 to as high as $817. Given that we have no less than eight tablets, picking one to award our Best Value prize took considerable consideration. For a device to be worthy it would have to be wellpriced but, at the same time, also be useable on an everyday basis. After studying each tablet closely we eventually decided that BlackBerry’s brilliant PlayBook was the cream of the crop. RIM was late arriving at the tablet party but despite this fact

I

and the somewhat limited selection of software that’s available, we thought that RIM’s latest was brilliant in terms of usability. This is thanks to the operating system and the awesome LCD that’s fitted to the PlayBook. The PlayBook also has seriously strong speakers, which make it one of the best tablets to view movies and listen to songs with. Retailing for $572 the PlayBook, which is priced at the same price point of Acer’s Iconia Tab A500, was also one of the least expensive devices here.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

HOW WE TESTED Since each and every tablet featured in this grouptest doesn’t run the same operating system, we relied on real world benchmarks to test each device. For the website load tests we simply timed how long each device took to completely load YouTube.com and CNN.com. With both these tests, lower times were better and resulted in a tablet walking away with a higher performance score. With regards to battery life we simply used each tablet to browse the web, watch a few videos and listen to tunes to get a general idea of how long a tablet could last on a single charge. Here longer times were, obviously, preferable. Tests aside we also paid close attention to each tablet in terms of the user experience it delivered. If a tablet packed a responsive screen that produced great visuals, was fitted with a decent camera and was just a pleasure to use, it achieved a higher overall score.


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36 HOT KIT

Reviews

38 PRODUCT OF THE MONTH

Awarded to outstanding Awarded to the most products that have excelled in outstanding product we've both value and performance. encountered during the month.

CONTENTS Reviews 38

HTC Incredible S smartphone

39

Goodram Zip 8GB USB stick

39

Imation Grand Entertainer media centre

40

LG Flatron IPS 236 LCD screen

40

Microsoft Arc Touch mouse

41

Olympus E-PL1 digital camera

41

Roccat Kone+ gaming mouse

40

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

41


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Reviews

HOTKIT

HOT KIT 37

WINLABS

TESTING EXPLAINED performance when dealing with old and new game titles. As H.A.W.X and World in Conflict are playable games, they are real world tests and so give a more accurate view of a GPU's performance. While Heaven v2.0 is a sort of synthetic test, it is still very accurate in terms of reporting on a GPU's performance. Each graphics card is tested at three different test resolutions; 1024 x 768 pixels, 1600 x 1200 pixels and, finally, 1920 x 1200 pixels. All of the games are run on the maximum settings with the exception of full screen anti-aliasing, which we leave at 4x setting. Then, depending on the price and positioning of the graphics card, performance scores are awarded based on how well, or not, it has performed at a specific resolution. For example, low end or entry level graphics cards are graded mostly on their performance at 1024 x 768 pixels whereas expensive, ultra-high-end cards are graded based on their high resolution figures.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST is the definitive Buyers’ Guide for PC and consumer electronics products in the region. We strenuously test products in our dedicated Dubai WinLab in order to highlight the very best models for our readers. Here we explain just how we test new kit in order to offer truly authoritative and objective recommendations, helping us keep WINDOWS the region’s most relevant technology magazine.

CPU TESTING

GRAPHIC CARD TESTING

Testing processors is a time consuming process because there are a number of different tests, each of which thoroughly stresses a CPU. Depending on the CPU that has to be tested, we construct a testbed using a compatible motherboard. Common components that we test all CPUs with are 6GB of DDR3 memory, a Zotac GeForce GTX 480 AMP! Edtion GPU and a Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1Tbyte hard drive. All benchmarks are run at 1024 x 768 pixels and we employ the following benchmark tests; Cinebench 10.5, PCMark 2005 CPU and memory tests, 3DMark 2003 and 2005 CPU tests and POV-Ray to test raw processing performance. To test multimedia performance, we run a Lame 3.97 WAV to MP3 encode test, a TMPGENC video encode, MPEG to DivX conversion test in addition to running F.E.A.R and World in Conflict. With the exception of POV-Ray and all the encode tests, higher numbers mean a faster processor and thus a higher performance score.

Our graphics card testbed comprises an Intel Core i7 940 quad-core processor that runs at 2.93GHz, a Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4 motherboard, 6GB of Kingston HyperX DDR3 memory, Western Digital’s 300GB Raptor X SATA hard drive and a 750-watt PC Power and Cooling power supply. All of these components are housed in Thermaltake’s Armour+ chassis and we use the 64-bit edition of Microsoft’s Windows 7 as the machine's operating system. To test a graphics card, we fit the card to this PC and connect it to our Viewsonic VX2835wm 28-inch LCD screen. The screen offers a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels, which means it allows us to test graphics cards at all the major resolutions. To test graphics cards, we use three specific benchmarks; Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X, Heaven v2.0 and World in Conflict. Both HA.W.X and World in Conflict use DirectX 10 rendering technology, whilst the Heaven benchmark uses DirectX 11. This enables us to gauge a graphics card’s

To test hard drives, we use our graphics card testbed. The drive in question is hooked up to the motherboard’s Serial ATA II controller (or USB or Firewire port if it’s an external hard drive) and tested using a combination of real world and synthetic benchmark tests. For internal hard drives, we rely on a copy test to ascertain real world performance. The test folder is stored on a SSD drive, ensuring that this drive won’t bottleneck the drive being tested and, to gauge write performance, we time how long it takes for the 4GB folder to be transferred from the SSD drive to the test drive. To test read performance, we do the opposite and time how long it takes for the test drive to transfer the data to the SSD drive. Lower times in both cases equate to better performance. Next we call into action HD Tune Pro, a synthetic benchmark. This tests a drive in terms of its access time, average read and write performance, burst speed and CPU utilisation. In terms of access time and CPU use, lower numbers are better. With external drives we use the same real world read/write test methodology but instead of using a 4GB folder only, we also test the drive with a single 238MB test file. Again, lower times are better.

OTHER PRODUCTS Products such as MP3 players, PMPs, mobile phone etc are tested for a period of one or two weeks. During this time we use the products as someone who purchased it would and this helps us gauge performance, features and value for money. In most cases the brunt of the testing is subjective and the testing always focuses on real world usefulness.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

HARD DISK TESTING


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SMARTPHONE

38 HOT KIT

HTC INCREDIBLE S Is bigger better?

PRICE $681 WEB www.htc.com/mea-en

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hen we reviewed the Desire S in our May issue, we found it a well rounded smartphone save for a few flaws. We thus had high expectations of the slightly more expensive Incredible S. In hand or in pocket the Incredible S feels more imposing thanks to its larger 4-inch LCD (the Desire S has a 3.7-inch screen). The larger size has added a few grams to the Incredible S’ weight, with the device standing firm at 136g. That said you don’t really feel the extra weight because the Incredible is just a mere 6g heavier than the Desire S. One issue we had with the Desire S was that its screen would wash out in sunlight and we’re sad to report that the Incredible S is the same; even when we maxed out the brightness, we could barely see what was on screen and, when the screen was smudged with fingerprints, we couldn’t see anything at all. We hope that future HTC smartphones include brighter LCDs, since interacting with touchscreen devices is only possible if you can see what’s on-screen in the first place. Another negative similarity between the Desire S and the Incredible S is that the latter’s speaker is also not loud

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WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

Reviews

enough for hand's free voice calls. The Incredible's 4-inch LCD runs at the same native resolution as the Desire S but despite the fact that this means the Incredible has a lower number of pixels per inch (PPI), the visuals we saw were quite impressive. Colours and photos were just as vivid and vibrant as we saw on the Desire S and thanks to the larger screen size, the Incredible S also proved a better smartphone to consume content with. The slightly larger screen allowed us to see more content before we had to resort to scrolling on web pages and the same was true when we were reading documents, e-mails and PDFs. The larger screen also helps when using the on-screen keyboard - each individual key is slightly bigger on this smartphone than on the Desire S and thus we found ourselves working much faster and with more precision. The Incredible S sports four touchsensitive buttons beneath its LCD. However, when you rotate the Incredible, the capacitive buttons actually change stance so they fit the phone’s new profile. A nifty feature. One thing that surprised us is that the Incredible S uses an older version

of Google’s Android OS. Whereas the Desire S boasts Android 2.3.3, the Incredible S ships with Android 2.2.1. Unfortunately this older Android OS made the Incredible feel laggy compared to the Desire S, despite the fact that both phones use the same CPU, GPU and memory. The Incredible S took slightly longer to load certain web pages, wasn’t as responsive to quickly flipping through home screens and even took a little longer to open apps and games.

PERFORMANCE FEATURES VALUE FOR MONEY

-------------

SPECIFICATIONS 1GHz SnapDragon processor, Adreno 205 GPU, 768MB of RAM, 1.1GB internal storage, 4-inch LCD display, native resolution 480 x 800 pixels, 8-megapixel digital camera with dual LED flash, 720p HD video capture ready, 1.3-megapixel front facing camera, 136g, Android 2.2.1 operating system, one-year warranty. PROS Large screen is great to view content on, decent battery life, rotating capacitive buttons are cool. CONS Screen suffers from washout in sunlight, older Android OS, flash overexposes pictures sometimes. VERDICT While the LCD is a positive the Incredible S is hard to recommend because although it costs more than the Desire S, it uses an older version of the Android OS and suffers from the same issues.


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GOODRAM

ZIP 8GB

One zippy flash drive

PRICE $15 CONTACT +9714 886 5090 WEB www.goodram.pl

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MEDIA CENTRE

PERFORMANCE FEATURES VALUE FOR MONEY

-------------

SPECIFICATIONS 8GB storage capacity, USB2.0 interface, read speed up to 17MB/sec, write speed

oodram is a Polish firm that offers a range of memory products such as USB flash drives, solid state drives (SSDs), flash memory and memory modules. The USB flash drive on test here comes from the company’s ‘Zip’ line and while you can have the drive with as much as 16GB of storage capacity (or as little as 4GB), our test sample packs 8GB of space. The Zip sports winning looks that requires you perform a slide and twist to gain access to the USB port. The drive feels solid in hand and gives you the impression that it could take a beating and live through it. When we ran the drive through our standard transfer benchmarks, the Zip

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up to 9MB/sec, ReadyBoost functionality, Linux/Mac/Windows compatible, 27g, 130 x 125mm, lifetime warranty.

Format friendly

PRICE $204 WEB www.imation.ae

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PERFORMANCE FEATURES VALUE FOR MONEY

-------------

SPECIFICATIONS 1TB hard drive, 2x USB2.0 Type A ports, 1x USB2.0 Type B port, 10/100Mbps Ethernet

took 24 seconds and one minute and 28 seconds to complete our 238MB and 1.2GB write tests. Doing the math that works out to 9.9MB/sec and 13.6MB/sec. Moving on to our read performance test, copying the same files off the Zip and back to our test machine took nine seconds and one minute and 13 seconds respectively, which works out to 26MB/sec and 16MB/ sec. A fast drive. Retailing for US $15 which works out to $1.8 per gigabyte, the Zip is a little pricey when you consider that it doesn’t ship with any software as standard. That said the Zip is covered by a lifetime warranty, which is something most manufacturers don’t offer on USB flash drives. VERDICT The Zip is a fast and stylish flash drive that while expensive is covered by a lifetime warranty.

he Grand Entertainer is Imation’s attempt at cracking the media centre market, which is populated by products such as the Apple TV and, D-Link’s Boxee Box. Given the Grand Entertainer packs a hard drive, it is reasonably sized and thanks to its black finish, it looks great on the whole. In terms of connectivity the Imation is quite well stocked; you get Component, Composite, HDMI, and Optical output ports so you can easily connect it to a HDTV or an amplifier without worry. You get three USB2.0 ports and 10/100Mbps Ethernet connectivity as well, so you can plug in USB sticks or integrate the device into your home network with

ease. One feature we missed though was built-in WiFi connectivity. You’ll have to invest in a separate WiFi USB dongle if you want to go the wireless route. In everyday use we found the Grand Entertainer competent though we had a few complaints. Perhaps our biggest is that it, at the time of going to press, lacked YouTube support. The device’s hard drive is also quite loud and on average, the Grand Entertainer took about 30-seconds to boot. Besides these issues we found the player very capable as it supported every file format we threw at it. The Imation is also extremely easy-to-use thanks to its intuitive GUI and functional remote control.

port, 1080p support, HDMI output, wireless ready (via dongle), remote control, optical output, 485g, one-year warranty.

VERDICT While not perfect the Imation nails the basics. If you’re after wide format you’ll struggle to find better.

GRAND ENTERTAINER T IMATION

HOT KIT 39

WINDOWS MIDDL MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

USB FLASH DRIVE

Reviews


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23-INCH LED SCREEN

40 HOT KIT

LG

FLATRON IPS 236 Offers eyeball-searing visuals PRICE $381 CONTACT +9714 393 6247 WEB www.lge.com

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USB MOUSE

PERFORMANCE FEATURES VALUE FOR MONEY

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

Reviews

-------------

SPECIFICATIONS 23-inch screen size, LED backlight, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels native resolution, 250cd/m2

MICROSOFT

ARC TOUCH MOUSE Make a fashion statement PRICE $81 WEB www.microsoft.com

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PERFORMANCE FEATURES VALUE FOR MONEY

-------------

SPECIFICATIONS Flexible design mouse body, BlueTrack tracking technology, touch-based scroll, two

he Flatron IPS 236 is one of LG’s newest screens and like other high-end displays we’ve tested, it packs a LED backlight and an IPS panel. Thanks to these components the LG offered terrific visuals. Whether we had still images or motion video on-screen, the IPS 236 blew us away. Watching a Blu-ray copy of Avatar on this screen was a treat as the visuals were bright and rich. Thanks to its 5ms response time the LG never skipped a beat even when it came to the movie’s fast moving scenes. Switching to Batman Begins the LG also proved its contrast-competence; we were able to clearly make out detail on even the very dark surfaces seen in the cave scenes of the movie.

One area where the LG faltered slightly was with regards to horizontal viewing angles. Viewing the LG offaxis, we noticed brightness and contrast fade. The screen’s base and body are finished in shiny black plastic and while the LG is quite a sight, these surfaces retain fingerprints and smudges. As a result you’ll have to wipe down the IPS 236 frequently if you don’t want it looking a mess. Interacting with the LG’s OSD is easy enough thanks to a number of logicallyplaced touch-sensitive buttons. however the OSD itself feels a little clumsy and archaic compared to what’s offered by other screens. The LG lacks height and swivel adjustments too, which is not ideal given its nearly $400 price tag.

brightness rating, 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio (enhanced), 5ms response time, HDMI/DSub/DVI input ports, one-year warranty.

VERDICT The LG offers great visuals, it’s just a shame the rest of the screen isn’t as impressive.

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hen we reviewed the original Arc Mouse we found that while it was designed to turn heads, it was also an everyday mouse. Is its successor, the Arc Touch mouse, cut from the same winning cloth? Like its predecessor this new rodent features a flexible body that makes it look unique; out of the box it's as flat as a pancake but one quick motion later and you’ve got the mouse setup for duty. Like its older counterpart the Arc Touch requires two AAA batteries, which Microsoft says will last as long as six months. In hand the Touch feels great thanks to its rubberised body and, even

after hours of use, our hand felt relaxed. The Arc also features a BlueTrack tracking engine and this meant that the mouse tracked on every surface we threw at it. The only surface that the mouse doesn’t work on was glass. The mouse can be used by both lefties and righties comfortably thanks to its ambidextrous design but despite this and what we said earlier, the Arc Touch isn’t an everyday mouse. The Arc’s scroll tab (there’s no scroll wheel) can be quite unresponsive, which makes the mouse frustrating to use. At the same time there are only two buttons on this rodent, whereas most mice in this price range feature four at minimum, which can be setup as hotkeys etc.

buttons, powered by two AAA batteries, 2.4GHz wireless technology, 30-foot range, USB ‘nano’ receiver, three-year warranty.

VERDICT While great to travel with, the Touch isn’t an everyday mouse. It's one heck of a fashion statement though.

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OLYMPUS

E-PL1

Micro four thirds to the rescue PRICE $681 CONTACT +9714 339 9049 WEB www.olympus-me.com

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GAMING MOUSE

PERFORMANCE FEATURES VALUE FOR MONEY

-------------

SPECIFICATIONS 12.3-megapixel image sensor, micro four thirds mount system, SD/SDHC memory

ROCCAT

Kone+

Gamers, your mouse has arrived PRICE $136 CONTACT +9714 358 8506 WEB www.roccat.org

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PERFORMANCE FEATURES VALUE FOR MONEY

-------------

SPECIFICATIONS 6000dpi resolution, 1ms response time, 30G acceleration, 4-LED lighting system, eight

ameras designed around the micro four thirds system offer many advantages over their SLR counterparts. Chief among these are lower cost, compact dimensions and lightweight designs. When we unboxed the Olympus E-PL1 we were very impressed with the compact size and weight of just 344g. We were also quite taken with the camera’s retro looks. While Olympus has designed the E-PL1 to look like an old camera, it functions like every other modern camera we’ve tested. The interface is intuitively laid out and using all of the controls to get around the interface is a cinch. As a result you’ll be able to get busy shooting

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card compatible, Live View, built-in image stabiliser, 60 – 1/2000 sec shutter speed, 344g, one-year warranty.

hen it comes to gaming peripherals we normally think of brands such as Logitech and Razer. With devices like the Kone+ however, lesser known Roccat is quickly making a name for itself. The Kone+ is quite possibly the most competent and comprehensive gaming mouse we've ever tried. Out of the box the Kone+ is striking because of its sculpted design but also because it's quite a large mouse. It easily dwarfs everything we've seen from Razer and Logitech but thanks to its clever design, it seemed to fit every hand we threw at it. The mouse weighs 126g which makes it one of the heaviest rodents

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mouse buttons, weight adjustment system, 72MHz TurboCore processor, 576KB onboard memory, two-year warranty.

HOT KIT 41 with the camera in no time. In testing we found the Olympus’ auto mode returned decent results but experimenting with the manual mode yields the best photos. In that respect there’s nothing amiss from the E-PL1; every setting you’d find in a fully-featured SLR is included so you have full control over your shots. That said we wished the Olympus packed a viewfinder because the LCD screen washes out in the presence of bright light. Studying photos closely we found the camera managed accurate and natural results. Skin tones were spot-on and colours, while vibrant, weren’t overcooked and so didn’t require any image editing before we could show them off. VERDICT Thanks to its micro four thirds design, it’s as capable as a SLR despite its size and lower cost.

we've tested. Given the Roccat's already substantial weight, we thought the weight system, which allows you to add four additional 5g weights, was a little overkill. The mouse is covered in buttons and Roccat has placed each of them perfectly, which made getting comfortable with the Kone+ a quick and painless process. The buttons feel sturdy and so should be able to take hours of gaming use. The scroll wheel, which can also tilt to the left or right, has just the right amount of resistance so you can make quick and precise motions when the action is intense and the variable rate tracking engine is also a gem that worked beautifully on every surface we tried it on. VERDICT The Kone+ is a superb peripheral that offers loads of features and a precise tracking engine.

WINDOWS MIDDL MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

MICRO FOUR THIRD CAMERA

Reviews


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42 BUYERS GUIDE

BUYERSGUIDE HOW TO USE THE GUIDE The Buyer’s Guide is a fully comprehensive guide to the best products that WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST has reviewed, and is intended to act as an effective resource for buyers of such products in the Middle East market. The Buyer's Guide is updated with new products each month, and out of date products removed.

Each of our ten product categories contains ten recommended product buys. For each product we’ve included vendor (or local distributor) contact details, our Windows Middle East overall rating, our verdict on the product and details of which issue we reviewed it in (alternatively you can find all our product reviews - in full - on www.itp.net). Each of the products shown scored either 4/5 or 5/5 in its respective review, so instead of listing products in score order we have arranaged these by price, with the most expensive at the top of the page. This makes it quick and easy for you to find the product you can best afford. We also offer advice on how to go about buying products within each particular product category. This gives you, the reader, the ability to make a better-informed judgment about what kit is suitable for your needs.

RATINGS EXPLAINED Awarded to outstanding products that have excelled in both value and performance.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

Awarded to products that offer you the most bang for your buck.

Awarded to products that offer impressive amounts of power and speed.

43 43 44 44 45 45 46 46 47 47

COMPONENTS DESKTOPS DIGITAL IMAGING HANDHELDS MONITORS NOTEBOOKS PERIPHERALS PRINTERS SOFTWARE STORAGE

AWARDS are basically presented to products for their outstanding performance and value. A Performance or Value winner must have received five stars in that particular category. An Editor’s Choice award goes to outstanding products that have excelled in both value and performance.

FEATURES: What value-added features are included? Do they benefit the user? Are they innovative? PERFORMANCE: Does the product perform well? Is it quick? EASE OF USE: How user-friendly is the interface? Does it require expertise? VALUE FOR MONEY: Does the price represent a fair return on performance? DESIGN: Is the product well designed? Are buttons easy-to-access? Are ports and connections well-placed?

EXCELLENT VERY GOOD GOOD AVERAGE POOR

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BUYERS GUIDE 43 Components Fractal Design Define R3 Medium tower ATX case

$381

Fractal Design’s amazing R3 is ideal for building a high-end rig with, thanks to its ample internal space and superb cooling setup.

Asus Maximus IV Extreme LGA 1155 motherboard

$419

If you’ve got an extended ATX capable chassis, the Maximus IV Extreme offers unbeatable performance and features.

Intel Core i7-2600K LGA1155 quad-core processor

$317

The Intel Core i7-2600K CPU is a super fast performer which thanks to its unlocked multiplier can also be overclocked like a monster.

AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition Socket AM3 processor

$270

AMD’s Phenom II X6 1100T represents great value-for-money. It offers strong performance for a bargain price tag.

Zotac GeForce GTX 580 AMP! Edition PCI-E graphics card

RATING +++++ WEB www.fractal-design.com REVIEWED March 2011

TBC

The GeForce GTX 580 GPU is a marked improvement over its predecessor and should really have been nVidia’s first, high-end ‘Fermi’, rather than the GTX 480.

RATING WEB REVIEWED

+++++

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

www.asus.com June 2011

+9714 440 4300 www.intel.com April 2011

+9714 427 2626 www.amd.com March 2011

+9714 355 5520 www.zotac.com January 2011

Desktops $8,175

Yoyotech’s PC has oddles of character and packs some serious performance under its distinctive hood. The only real issue is its price tag.

Leeno mini PC I73461SV Small formfactor PC

$1,145

The compact Leeno packs potent application punch thanks to its Sandy Bridge Core i7-2600K CPU, 6GB of memory and SSD drive. It’s well-priced too.

Zotac ZBOX Blu-ray AD03 Plus Small formfactor PC

$539

An extremely well built small formfactor rig that looks great and offers fully-fledged Blu-ray playback. It’s also inexpensive at $539.

Sky Electronics Expeditor EXP - X980/6/80SSD/1TB/480X2/RV2 High-end gaming PC

$4,688

If you want butter smooth gaming framerates and wait-free application performance the Expeditor is the rig for you. It’s also very reasonably priced considering its high-spec components.

Zotac ZBOX HD-ID11 Barebones PC The ZBOX HD-ID11 is an impressive mini PC barebones that can be turned into a competent rig with the addition of the right components.

$209

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 800 344357 WEB www.yoyotech.co.uk REVIEWED June 2010 RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

+9662 614 1454 www.leeno.ca June 2011

+9714 886 3330 www.zotac.com June 2011

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 266 3774 WEB www.skyelectronics.com REVIEWED July 2010 RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++ +9714 355 5520 www.zotac.com September 2010

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Yoyotech FI7EPOWER MK3 High-end gaming PC


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44 BUYERS GUIDE Digital imaging RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 391 8400 WEB www.sony-mea.com REVIEWED January 2010

Sony Bravia VPL-VW85 Full HD projector

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 391 5050 WEB www.canon-me.com REVIEWED June 2010

Canon Legria HFM306 Full HD camcorder

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 217 0700 WEB http://ae.nikon-asia.com REVIEWED May 2011

Nikon D7000 Mid-range digital SLR camera

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 353 6074 WEB www.canon-me.com REVIEWED May 2011

Canon EOS 1100D Entry-level digital SLR camera

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 391 5050 WEB www.canon-me.com REVIEWED December 2010

Canon IXUS 1000HS Digital cameras

$7,357

While the Sony isn’t exactly cheap at US $7,357 it actually offers a cost-effective solution if you’re looking for a way to go Full HD with a massive screen size.

$817

The Legria HFM306 offers high quality capture performance and ease-of-use. The only thing it lacks is a long life battery.

$1,989

Nikon’s D7000 is a fantastic picture grabber. It feels great in hand, captures brilliant shots when used by skilled photographers and has a number of useful extras.

$654

While the EOS 1100D feels like a budget digital SLR in hand in terms of its build, it offers excellent image quality and an easy-to-use interface.

$408

The IXUS 1000HS is a decent point-and-shoot that can produce great photographs in the hands of amateurs and skilled photographers alike.

Handhelds RATING +++++ WEB www.blackberry.com REVIEWED September 2010

BlackBerry Bold 2 9700 Business smartphone

RATING +++++ WEB www.garminasus.com REVIEWED June 2010

Garmin-Asus Nuvifone M10 Touchscreen smartphone

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RATING WEB REVIEWED

+++++ www.ivio.com June 2011

+++++

RATING WEB REVIEWED

www.samsung.com September 2010

RATING WEB REVIEWED

www.motorola.com September 2010

+++++

$626

While the Bold won’t blow you away with its user interface, it is still a great smartphone with loads of features for an attractive price.

$700

The Nuvifone M10 boasts sharp, if unoriginal looks and some very useful GPS features. Great for on the go users.

Ivio Icon DE38 Touchscreen smartphone

$150

Given its dual SIM capabilities and reasonably stacked feature list, the ICON DE38 offers strong value-formoney. While not without its flaws these issues aren’t deal breakers.

Samsung Galaxy S Touchscreen smartphone

$735

The Galaxy S is a fantastic smartphone that’s fun and easy-to-use. The experience it delivers beats even Apple’s iPhone 3GS.

Motorola Milestone Touchscreen smartphone The Milestone is, quite literally, a solid phone with decent features. It just feels a little dated compared to other Android devices.

$681


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BUYERS GUIDE 45 Monitors Samsung SyncMaster FX2490HD 24-inch LED LCD

$476

The LED-based SyncMaster FX2490HD is a flexible screen that excels at both work and play. It is reasonably priced as well.

Philips Cinema 21:9 56-inch LCD TV

$5,449

Although 21:9 content isn’t widely available as yet, the Philips is still worth having because of its impressive video-scaling.

AOC Vita T2442E 24-inch widescreen LCD/TV

$180

The Flatron W2261V offers killer visuals, an elegant and attractive design and won’t necessarily break the bank. A great buy.

BenQ E2200HD 22-inch widescreen LCD

+++++

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+9714 335 3666 www.philips.com December 2009

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+971 050 600 4017 www.aoc.com June 2011

+++++

$195

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

$326

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

BenQ’s E2200HD has aged very gracefully and is now an even better value buy than when it was originally launched.

Acer S243HL 24-inch widescreen LCD

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 364 8600 WEB www.samsung.com/ae REVIEWED January 2011

An aggressively priced LCD screen that’s supremely capable in the visual department. An exceptional value-buy.

+9714 299 1000 www.benq.ae September 2009

+9714 805 6000 www.acer.com January 2011

Notebooks $600

Cash strapped buyers will appreciate the DM3’s aggressive price tag and, suave looks and strong overall performance.

HP Pavilion DM1-3113SE Netbook

$545

If you buy the dm1 expecting a capable notebook you’re in for a disappointment. If you buy this as a high-end netbook however, there’s little else that offers this much punch at this price point.

Asus U53JC Bamboo Collection Desktop replacement

$1,635

Although the Asus has a green element to it, this machine packs serious firepower at a very attractive price point.

Toshiba Qosmio X500-11G High-end desktop replacement

$2,479

The Qosmio X500-11G is a heavy-duty desktop replacement that can tackle applications and games without breaking a sweat.

Dell Streak Tablet PC The Streak is an amazing gadget that offers the functionality of a smartphone with almost all the everyday usability of a full-sized tablet.

$817

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+9714 391 6000 www.hp.com/me August 2010

+++++ +9714 391 6000 www.hp.com/me June 2011

+++++ +9714 299 3873 www.asus.com August 2010

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 881 7789 WEB www.toshibame.com REVIEWED August 2010 RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++ +9714 391 1860 www.dell.com January 2011

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HP Pavilion DM3-1340EV Budget portable


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46 BUYERS GUIDE Peripherals RATING WEB REVIEWED RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED RATING WEB REVIEWED

Sansa Fuze +++++ Sandisk Media player

www.sandisk.com October 2010

$70

The Fuze packs mighty punch despite its low cost and compact size. It’s usable, sports loads of functions and features a memory expansion slot.

+++++ Imation LINK A / V Extender +9714 881 8008 www.imation.com February 2011

$190

Audio video extender

A competent device that allows you to broadcast HD content to your TV or monitor without the use of cables.

+++++ Apple iPod Touch 64GB www.apple.com October 2010

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 343 1441 WEB www.sennheiser.com REVIEWED May 2011 RATING +++++ WEB www.tdkperformance.com REVIEWED January 2011

$486

Media player The iPod Touch is a superb media player that’s capable of providing hours of entertainment either via content or the apps you put on it.

Sennheiser HD 800 High-end headphones

$1,416

The Sennheiser HD 800 headphones are the best set of cans the Windows team has ever had the pleasure of listening to.

TDK WR700 Wireless Headphones Headphones

$199

The WR700 Wireless Headphones offer excellent aural performance at a very reasonable price point. Highly recommended.

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Printers RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

+9714 883 5878 www.brother.ae May 2010

+9714 204 5810 www.okime.ae September 2010

+9714 391 6000 www.hp.com September 2010

+9714 204 5810 www.okime.ae February 2011

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 391 5050 WEB www.canon-me.com REVIEWED February 2011

Brother HL-3070CW LED colour printer

$360

Lively performance, compact dimensions and flexible connectivity make the HL-3070CW a worthwhile buy.

OKI B411dn Monochrome laser printer

$360

OKI’s B411dn is ideal for small businesses thanks to its super quick print performance and wide array of standard features.

HP P1102w Monochrome laser printer

$323

The P1102w is well priced, is reasonably quick and sports built-in WiFi connectivity as standard. A solid buy for a SOHO or small business.

OKI MC361DN LED colour printer

$940

The MC361dn is the obvious choice if you have demanding print needs and require a fast and capable colour printer.

Canon PIXMA MG6140 Inkjet colour MFD With six ink tanks, a slick user interface and superb overall print quality, the Pixma MG6140 is a brilliant buy that won’t hurt your bank balance.

$231


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BUYERS GUIDE 47 Software Dr.Web Security Space Pro Security suite

$27

A competent security suite that’s best suited for advanced users who won’t miss interface eye-candy and loads of help.

Eset Smart Security Security suite

$69

While Smart Security lacks a very strong anti-spyware component it is very easy-to-use, packs a decent scan engine and a tough firewall.

Norton Internet Security 2011 Security suite

+++++ www.adaox.com March 2010

RATING +++++ WEB www.symantec.com REVIEWED February 2011

$40

RATING +++++ WEB www.kaspersky.com REVIEWED March 2011

$43

RATING WEB REVIEWED

Kaspersky’s latest security suite is easy-to-use, relatively light on system resources and is packed with accurate and useful security features.

Iolo System Mechanic 10 Utility software

RATING WEB REVIEWED

+++++ www.drweb.com March 2011

$42

NIS 2011 is a well designed package that offers superb protection from a variety of online and local threats. It also operates with almost no impact on system performance. An added bonus.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 Security suite

RATING WEB REVIEWED

Iolo’s System Mechanic 10 is a competent utility that can, in most cases, revitalise your rig. The software is very easy-to-use and doesn’t require any real expertise.

+++++ www.iolo.com Holiday Special

Storage $79

Swift performance and a large amount of storage capacity make this Class 10 card ideal for HD content creators and photographers.

Hitachi XL Desk 1000 External hard drive

$80

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 507 8888 WEB www.hitachigst.com REVIEWED October 2010

$584

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

The XL Desk 1000 offers 1TB of storage capacity, a three-year warranty and backup software for an unbelievable price. It’s a steal.

Intel 250GB SSD 510 Series SSD drive

The 250GB 510 Series drive is a fast and large SSD but you’ll need to cough up a lot of cash for the privilege of owning one.

Western Digital VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 3.5-inch SATA hard disk

$329

The latest update to Western Digital’s VelociRaptor range brings higher storage capacities and better performance. It is the fastest Serial ATA spindle-based drive you can buy.

Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB 3.5-inch SATA hard disk A top-notch 3.5-inch drive that boasts superlative performance and an enormous amount of storage capacity for a fair price.

RATING +++++ WEB www.patriotmemory.com REVIEWED June 2011

$261

+9714 440 4300 www.intel.com June 2011

+9714 881 3234 www.wdc.com July 2010

+9714 881 3234 www.wdc.com February 2011

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Patriot 32GB LX Pro SDHC Class 10 Class 10 memory card


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News

GAME ON 49

GAME ON NEWS ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES OUT IN 2012 SEGA has announced that its long awaited first person shooter (FPS) Aliens: Colonial Marines, will rear its head in Spring 2012 on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. SEGA is partnered with Twentieth Century Fox and Gearbox and promises to bring ‘bonechilling suspense and adrenaline filled action’. The game begins in the depths of the abandoned U.S.S. Sulaco that has been recovered in Orbit near LV-426. Your objective is to lead a group of US Colonial Marines, as they get on the ship to check on the crew. Randy Pitchford, President of Gearbox Software had this to say, “To Gearbox Software and its peers throughout the industry, Aliens is one of the most influential science fiction properties of all time, Aliens: Colonial Marines, designed as an interactive successor to the landmark films from Twentieth Century Fox, is a dream project about which our studio is deeply committed and passionate.” Gary Knight, Senior Vice President of Marketing at SEGA Europe and SEGA of America said, “Aliens: Colonial Marines will be the definitive Aliens gaming experience. Gearbox Software are doing a brilliant job translating the thrill and horror that Aliens stands for into an action-packed shooter experience with co-operative gameplay at its core.”

Develop-online.net has reported that the next generation Xbox exists at an unnamed EA location, and new first generation software is being developed for it. Apparently the new system has no name or case yet and is being stored inside a PC chassis. Allegedly this is common practice for console prototypes according to Develop’s “well placed” source. The source also believes that the new console will launch at the end of 2012, and while Develop expected some sort of announcement to be made by Microsoft at E3, in order to rival Nintendo’s reveal of its new console, no such announcement was made. Further credibility to the existence of the next gen Xbox console is lent by the job postings in Microsoft’s Xbox Console Architecture Group, where positions for “Graphics Hardware Architect” and “Performance Engineer” have been posted. The job titles according to Microsoft’s recruitment site say that the employee would be "responsible for defining and delivering next generation console architectures from conception through implementation." There has been no word of specifications as yet, but Develop’s source claims it will have “enhanced support” for Kinect. Both, Microsoft and Electronic Arts have declined to comment.

Jolt, which is a part of Gamestop, has announced the launch of Championship Manager: Rivals on Facebook. The game is free-to-play and allows interaction with friends to develop teams and move forward through leagues. The managerial control of CM remain in this instalment, however there are newer social and gaming mechanics. You can control player training regimes and also organise tactics before getting to the field. “We're thrilled to be bringing Championship Manager to Facebook, and in partnering with Square Enix on Rivals we've giving passionate football fans the social football game they've been looking for,” said Richard Barnwell, CEO of Jolt Online Gaming. “Facebook has become a fantastic social games platform for hundreds of millions of people. Championship Manager: Rivals plays to the strengths of the platform, providing a realistic football management simulation built around players' Facebook friends,” said Ian Livingstone, Life President Eidos. “It is a game that will be a great social experience for both casual and hardcore football fans.” According to Roy Meredith, General Manager, Championship Manager, “We’ve always been looking to bring the Championship Manager series to gamers in new ways, and partnering with Jolt was the obvious choice when it came to bringing the game to the huge numbers of gamers and football fans on Facebook. Rivals really offers something new for Championship Manager and football management fans, whilst also being incredibly accessible for those that haven’t played a football management game before.”

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

EA HAS HANDS ON NEW XBOX CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER: RIVALS ON FACEBOOK


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50 GAME ON

News

GEARS OF WAR 3 OUT IN SEPTEMBER

Gears of War 3 will be available worldwide on September 20th. Gears of War 3 takes place 18 months after the fall Jacinto in Gears of War 2 and once again players will be able to take on the role of Marcus Fenix, leader of Delta Squad. The third game will see Marcus and his crew continue the war against the Locust though both sides will also have to tangle with the deadly ‘Lambent’ as well. The game will feature a cinematic story that is said to be emotionally charged and builds upon the third-person shooter gameplay that made the series famous. There are new playable male and female COG characters as well. Multiplayer and co-op play is included, as expected, and spread over four different modes. The first is the four player campaign co-op mode where players and their friends can play as members of Delta Squad. The second mode is Beast mode where five players can take up the role of the Locust army, who have to crush Marcus and his band of heroes. Horde mode will provide more challenges and upgrades so players can take on the Locust army. The final mode is the competitive multiplayer mode where there are new maps and game types like Team Deathmatch, Capture the Leader and King of the Hill.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

WWE 12 OUT IN NOVEMBER 2012 THQ Inc is promising a much improved iconic and authentic WWE Simulation experience with the release of WWE 12. The flagship game is being developed for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s Wii, and will feature a ‘bigger game, badder presentation and better simulation-based gameplay.’ THQ says WWE 12 will integrate critical core gameplay improvements and will have the most comprehensive feature set to date, along with a visceral, edgy and polished presentation. The game will offer players a chance to get into the WWE experience through the new Predator Technology dynamic gameplay system, which supposedly will deliver the most fluid, dynamic, authentic and actionpacked experience to date. There is a new Breaking point submission system and the forthcoming game is set to feature significant improvements to gameplay mechanics

VW GOLF GTI 35 NOW IN APP STORE For the world premiere of the latest VW Golf GTI, the guys at’ Das Auto’ hooked up with Fishlabs Entertainment to give fans their very own VW Golf GTI 3D racing game. Fans can download the game from the App store for free with support for the iPhone, iPod and iPad. Gamers will appreciate the attention to detail and fully automatic 3D cockpit along with beautifully rendered courses. The game features the first generation Golf up to the GTI 35. Judith Wilhelm, Online Communications Manager at Volkswagen said, "With the GTI Edition 35, we at Volkswagen are continuing our very successful strategy of using high-quality games for iPhone and iPad to inspire interest in our vehicles in an extremely attractive target group through innovative and lasting means." She continued, “This is the fifth time Volkswagen has worked together with Fishlabs, and they have developed an outstanding game that is fun and puts the GTI series centre stage.” “With over 11.5 million downloads, there is a reason that Volkswagen is, by far, the most successful auto maker in the field of iPhone promotional games,” says Michael Schade, CEO of Fishlabs. He added, “From the beginning, Volkswagen gave us leeway to create a high-quality game, where the focus is on fun and product information is playfully integrated. This is what mobile marketing should be.”

like momentum and stamina. Players will be able to create their own Superstars and customise their entrances and finishing moves. WWE 12 also promises to have the largest roster of Superstars and Divas in the franchise’s history. "With vital changes to core gameplay elements, innovative feature support and an incredibly striking presentation, the WWE simulation experience is back with WWE 12," said Danny Bilson, Executive Vice President, Core Games, THQ. The game was playable at booth #2001 in the South Hall at E3 last month. WWE personalities were present to endorse the game and give it that extra punch. The superstar line-up included the likes of Alberto Del Rio, Kelly Kelly and The Miz.


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News

GAME ON 51

HALO: COMBAT EVOLVED ANNIVERSARY COMES TO SHELVES IN NOVEMBER Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is a remastered version of the original game, which is being created to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the lucrative franchise. A range of new features were announced at E3 last month, which included co-operative play over Xbox LIVE and some of the best maps in Halo history remade for play over Xbox LIVE. The campaign has next generation graphics and the audio too has been remastered for the Xbox 360. Players can toggle between the new mode and Classic, which will allow them to play the original version. There are six detailed remakes of the best Halo maps inspired by Halo: Reach, Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2. The new multiplayer maps are on the Halo: Anniversary disc and the first of the new remakes, Damnation, was revealed at E3. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary will hit stores worldwide on November 15th this year. Furthermore, there are 1,000 achievement points to unlock via online games and battles throughout the campaign. The player will also uncover never before seen back-stories that will pave the way for new mysteries to come in Halo 4. Halo 4 will be the beginning of a new trilogy that will once again launch the player into the boots of Master Chief taking on yet unrevealed storylines. Halo 4 is scheduled for release in the 2012 holiday season.

DUKE NUKEM FOREVER LEAKS TO TORRENT SITES Duke Nukem Forever was leaked to torrent sites last month ahead of its official launch. Pirate groups ‘Complex’ and ‘Duplex’ put up their hacked versions of the game on June 8, two days before the game was officially scheduled to launch in most markets across the world. Complex’s release of Duke Nukem Forever is for the Xbox 360 gaming platform whereas Duplex’s release is for the PlayStation 3 console. Prior to Complex and Duplex’s versions of Duke Nukem Forever appearing on torrent sites, a number of fake files claiming to be Duke Nukem Forever had been appearing on torrent sites for several weeks. Duke Nukem is a video game series that was initially released in 1991 for MS-DOS, and focuses on protagonist Duke Nukem. Duke Nukem ll was released in 1993, and "Duke Nukem 3D" launched in 1996. While Duke Nukem Forever was initially scheduled to launch a couple of years after Duke Nukem 3D was released, the game only went to gold status 14 years after development started.

BioWare’s highly anticipated action role playing game Mass Effect 3 will be released to the masses on March 6 in 2012. The game will be released for the PC, Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 gaming platforms. Mass Effect 3 will follow on from the events of the Mass Effect 2 DLC expansion ‘Arrival’ and follows the exploits of Commander Shepard, as he tries to save the galaxy from the Reapers by rallying civilisations of the galaxy together. Shepard also has to deal with Cerberus, who have decided to turn against him. Locations in Mass Effect 3 include the Salarian homeworld of Sur’Kesh, the Asari homeworld Palaven, the Quarian homeworld Rannoch, a human mining base on a Martian crater, and a giant city on Earth representing the combination of Seattle and Vancouver. Players will also return to Tuchanka - the Krogan homeworld - and Illium. BioWare has confirmed the return of previous characters such as the Illusive Man, Garrus Vakarian, Liara T'Soni, Kaidan Alenko or Ashley Williams, Legion, Tali'Zorah, Urdnot Wrex, Jack, Mordin Solus, Ambassador Udina, Captain Anderson, Zaeed Massani, Jacob Taylor and Miranda Lawson from Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. However depending on your previous actions (and if you kept your saved games) some characters may not return depending on how you completed the previous games.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

MASS EFFECT 3 OUT IN Q1 2012


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THE TOP GAMES OF E3 2011

52

THE TOP GAMES OF E3 2011 Every year game developers gather at E3 to give gaming press a glimpse of their forthcoming games, and this year had its fair share of eye candy. Here, we look at some of the best games shown at E3.

Battlefield 3

BioShock Infinite

The Darkness II

Yes those are in-game graphics and no, we couldn’t believe it either. Battlefield 3 is the eleventh game in the Battlefield series and is the direct successor to Battlefield 2, which was released way back in 2005. The game will offer both single- and multiplayer gaming experiences and, best of all, we’ve heard that the game could include a cooperative campaign. If you haven’t already, look for gameplay videos of the game on Youtube but be warned, you’ve got to wait until October to play it yourself.

While Bioshock 2 left us feeling a bit cold, the forthcoming BioShock Infinite looks like it will be a return to form for the series. This is primarily because the developers have moved on from the now boring underwater city of Rapture into a new and thoroughly engaging playing environment known as “Columbia”. Columbia is, wait for it, a floating city and, like Rapture, it’s packed with deep, dark secrets – and the requisite damsel in distress - that are just waiting to be discovered. We can't wait for this one.

We’re big fans of 2007’s The Darkness so when we found out about The Darkness II, we were ecstatic. The Darkness II will pick up two years after the events of the original game and gamers will once again get to play the part of Jackie Estacado, who is now the new Don of the Franchetti crime family. The game is scheduled for a late 2011 release and based on what we’ve heard about Jackie’s various new demonic moves, it’s going to be a killer (literally). October just can’t get here quick enough.

Dead Island

FIFA 12

Scheduled for worldwide release on 9 September, Dead Island could very well become one of 2011’s most memorable games. The game offers open world horror action adventure gameplay but the best part is that you’re able to play cooperatively with up to four friends via the web. The environments are said to be highly interactive with the game focusing on melee and vehicular combat, vehicular customisation as well as RPG-style elements.

We can barely believe it but FIFA 12 is the nineteenth game in the long running series and based on what we’ve seen so far, it’s looking to be another cracking title. This upcoming footy sim packs new tactical defending features, includes a highly accurate impact engine that will improve collision variety, accuracy and momentum and offers a new precision dribbling system for enhanced ball control. The game will release on multiple platforms on September 30.

Forza Motorsport 4 Turn 10 Studios’ upcoming racer has blown our socks off each time we’ve caught a small glimpse of it. Apart from the mind-bending graphics Forza 4 will offer support for the Kinect sensor though you’ll also be able to play with the tried and true controller as well. As you’d expect Forza 4 will pack loads of tracks and a dizzying array of vehicles, each of which can be customised to your heart’s every desire. Forza 4 even allows you to import your existing Forza 3 profiles so you’ll be able to transfer your existing stash of cash and some of the vehicles over to the new game. Clever.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

Gears of War 3 Marcus and his team are back in what could easily be one of 2011’s best games. The third installment in the extremely popular series will bring an end to the existing Locust story arc and will bring four-player cooperative for the first time to the series. Other additions we’ve heard of are a fully controllable mech suit – known as the silverback – and while you’ll play through most of the campaign as the unconquerable Marcus Fenix, you will be allowed to play as other characters at various points throughout the game.


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THE TOP GAMES OF E3 2011

Halo 4

Kinect Star Wars

Need for Speed: The Run

That’s right ladies and gents Master Chief will be returning to our gaming screens in 2012. Halo 4 will be the seventh game in the franchise and will mark the start of a new trilogy for the series. The game is being developed by 343 Industries rather than Bungie and we’ve also heard that the Chief’s faithful sidekick Cortana will also make a return appearance. The official website states that the game starts after the events of Halo 3 and will pit the Master Chief against an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe.

Given that there are a precious few serious games that take advantage of the Kinect, we were happy to catch a glimpse of Kinect Star Wars. The game is set for release in winter 2012 and allows you to play as a Jedi. From what we’ve seen so far you’ll be able to use your hands to lift and throw objects using the Force. You’ll also be able to wield lightsabers and when it comes to controlling podracers and starfighters, the game will follow your body movement. Kinect Star Wars takes place during the prequel trilogy and players will get to visit a variety of locations including the city of Bespin.

EA Black Box is behind the 18th title in the Need for Speed franchise. The game is scheduled for release later this year in November and EA describes the game as ‘An illicit, high-stakes race across the country’. We were very interested to learn that The Run will use DICE’s extremely competent Frostbite 2.0 engine because it is the first non FPS title to use the superb engine. Based on the trailers we’ve seen so far the game will include quick time events that will even allow to player to exit the car for the first time in a NFS game.

Prey 2

Prototype 2

Saints Row: The Third.

Human Head Studios is working on Prey 2 the sequel to 2006’s Prey. The game is said to feature open world gameplay and will be released on the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 gaming platforms in 2012. The game focuses on U.S. Marshall Killian Samuels who assumes the role of a bounty hunter on the alien world of Exodus after being abducted several years ago. The game will use a modified version of the id Tech4 engine and the developers say that Prey 2 will provide gamers with the opportunity to explore a new facet of the Prey universe.

If you enjoyed the original Prototype then this forthcoming sequel should be right up your alley. The game was announced with the tagline ‘Murder your Maker’. Set for a multi-platform release in 2012, gamers will be able to play the part of a new protagonist known as Sergeant James Heller. Heller surprise, surprise, is on a quest to kill the protagonist you played in the first game, the unbelievably powerful Alex Mercer. The game is set to feature downloadable content but will, unfortunately, lack multiplayer support.

Scheduled for release on November 15, Saints Row: The Third will take gamers back to the fictional city of Stilwater. The game takes place immediately after the events of Saints Row 2 but rather than playing a nameless protagonist, this time you play the leader of the Third Street Saints gang. Gameplay, as before, is nonlinear and played from a third person perspective and whereas previous games had you interacting with rival games in isolation, as part of the storyline, The Third will feature interconnected storylines.

Tomb Raider

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.

WWE ’12

Set for release in the third quarter of 2012, this forthcoming Tomb Raider title is set to reboot the franchise and focus on the origins of the series’ lead character. In this title Lara Croft is 21-years old and from what we’ve heard it seems this game will have a much larger emphasis on combat. The game will use free-aim mechanics rather than lockon aiming and we’ve also heard that Tomb Raider will feature more complex puzzles than previous games. The game will be available on the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 gaming platforms.

Developer Naughty Dog is scheduled to release the third game in the Uncharted series in November. The game will once again have players take on the role of Nathan Drake who, this time, will be joined by his old mentor Victor Sullivan. Drake's Deception will take players to places such as the Rub’al Khali desert as the explorers search for the legendary lost city of Iram of the Pillars. The game is said to feature enhanced backward climbing, automatic ammo pickup while Drake also gains the ability to fight multiple enemies at once.

Although it doesn’t feature the familiar WWE Smackdown vs. Raw name, WWE ’12 is the sequel to WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011. The game is set for release in November of this year for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii gaming platforms. WWE ’12 will feature a new grapple system, will allow players a window of opportunity to attack while in a downed state, features a reworked pinning system and also includes better artificial intelligence. WWE ’12 will also let players store finishing moves and target specific limbs for punishment via a new ‘Breaking Point’ submission minigame.

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54 GAME ON

L.A. Noire

XBOX

✪✪✪✪✪

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

Price: $81 Controller: Xbox 360 controller Best Bit: Each of L.A. Noire’s cases are genuinely interesting - you’ll still want to crack later cases with the same vigor even after you’ve been playing for 20 hours. Verdict: L.A. Noire is one of the most comprehensively entertaining games we’ve played this year. While it isn’t perfect its flaws are too minor to hurt its overall appeal.

hile hil hi le d developer eveloper l Rockstar Games is a familiar and revered name to gamers, Australian development house 'Team Bondi' is a relatively new firm, which focuses on developing games for currentgeneration consoles, such as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, only. L.A. Noire is one of the company's first games and we're pleased to say it's a masterpiece. L.A. Noire is set in Los Angeles in 1947 and puts you in the shoes of Cole Phelps who, when the game opens, is a uniformed patrolman with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). As you progress through the game by solving cases and dealing with random crimes that you pickup from the police dispatch, you'll advance through the ranks to the traffic, homicide, vice and arson departments of the LAPD. Gameplay is a mix of several different elements including investigations, interviews and fast-paced action sequences such as car chases, shootouts, melee combat and much more. We should warn you however that because you play a police officer, you can't go nuts and raise hell around the vast city, despite the fact that this game is published by the same company that brought the world the Grand Theft Auto series. That said you'll never ever

W

to bored because each gett the th h chance h to gett b ored db ecause ea ch h off L.A. L A Noire's Noire' i 's cases are interesting on their own and, when combined, paint an all too clear picture of a city that's choking on its own success. Solving cases is a mix of several different elements; you’ll have to study crime scenes closely, talk to witnesses, interrogate potential suspects and decide whether or not they’re being honest, lying or withholding information and visit relevant locations. Of all these elements examining crime scenes are simultaneously interesting and trying at the same time. Crime scenes are littered with different objects, some of which pertain to the case at hand and some of which are just part of the environment. The only way to distinguish important clues from background rubbish is to pickup each object up and study it. You can also guess whether or not things are important and ignore them outright but we found that we missed out on vital clues from time-to-time going this route. If objects are relevant, you'll feel the controller vibrate but if not, you'll hear Phelps dismiss it. Unfortunately Phelps only comments on the object after you've given it a bit of an examination and, as a result, you'll waste a lot of time picking up tons of objects only to find out it has nothing to do with your case. While you can use your intuition (if you have any stored up) to distinguish the useful from the useless, it's a bit of a waste of these critical points. They’re much better used to help you distinguish whether


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L.A. Noire

L.A. Noire will completely envelop you with its superb presentation. If this game doesn’t convince you that you’re in Los Angeles in the 40s and 50s, nothing will

Along with the clues you have, you’ll have to study a person’s facial expressions to judge whether or not they are being honest, lying or giving you half truths. While the facial animation isn’t perfect L.A. Noire is as good as it gets today

Studying crime scenes closely can reveal useful clues that will help you crack the case you’re working on. Be warned though, there’s a lot of useless junk at these scenes too

The car chases in L.A. Noire help vary the pace of the game from time-to-time. Shooting out tires is a great way to stop the bad guys from getting away

the people you’re talking to are telling the truth, lying or withholding useful information. While L.A. Noire is a long game that can easily take over 24 hours to complete, we’re pleased to say that the game never gets monotonous. The cases are always interesting and because you’ll have to partake in melee or gun-based combat and car chases every so often, you just never get bored. The game simply cruises smoothly from start-to-finish. There’s a solid bit of replay value too because you’ll find that even though you thought you did everything possible to solve a case, you’ll undoubtedly miss out on a few opportunities that would help you crack the case in a different way and with a better overall score. If you’re like us, you’ll definitely want to go back and revisit these cases. One of L.A. Noire's strongest points is its impeccable presentation. The game's visuals, whether you consider the look of the city, the clothes people wear, the railroad cars or even the vehicles on the road, just fit the game’s time period perfectly. The game's audio in terms of music and effects only add to the immersion; music fits the time perfectly and the voice acting which is some of the best this reviewer has ever heard - is spot on in terms of the speech style of the time. Even ambient noises just fit the game beautifully. L.A. Noire is also in a league of its own in terms of facial animation - there's simply no other game out there that includes so much accuracy and detail. You'll see people wince, show visible distress and give tell-tale signs of lying and much, much more.

Phelps will have to engage in melee or ranged combat from time-to-time. These gameplay elements are exciting and serve to diversify your playing experience

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

You play as Cole Phelps who is initially a uniformed patrolman with the LAPD. As you progress through the game, you’ll work your way through the ranks and come up against tougher cases

GAME ON 55


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56 GAME ON

Dirt 3

XBOX

✪✪✪✪✪ Price: $73 Controller: Xbox 360 controller Best Bit: Codemasters has finally included split-screen multiplayer with support for two controllers. Verdict: Dirt 3 is a worthy follow-up to 2009’s Dirt 2. It looks great and plays brilliantly and there are plenty of new elements and additions that will see you playing into the early hours of the morning. irt 3 is the latest addition to the long running Colin McRae Rally series and whereas in the past only Norton American versions of the game lacked the Colin McRae tag, Codemasters has dropped the name completely with Dirt 3. Dirt 2 was a decent game and we’re pleased to say that its successor brings even more to the table. For starters Dirt 3 now finally includes split-screen support. While you don’t get to drive from the car’s cockpit with this mode, the game runs butter smooth and you can compete with up to six AI drivers in almost all of the game’s highly-engaging driving disciplines. Dirt 3 also includes new vehicle classes to choose from, there are some very interesting gymkhana events and, for skilled drivers, you can now also race through snow. Whether you’re

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

D

a novice or a professional the game offers hours and hours of fun. You can tweak the game to your particular skill level but regardless of what you choose, you’ll find the game offers epic amounts of fun. If this game doesn’t make you feel like a professional rally driver, nothing will. Another new addition to Dirt 3 is YouTube functionality – you can upload replays to the popular site so you can share them with family, friends and strangers alike. While this is a neat idea the implementation is somewhat limited because you can only save up to 30 seconds of video. Moreover, the game doesn’t present you with any other option to save replays so you’re forced to rely on YouTube. This is far from ideal if you’re still using a dial-up connection but want to show off your mad driving skills to friends and family. Dirt 3 is also garnished with brilliant presentation. Each and every car, truck and buggy looks brilliant though it has

There’s no shortage of vehicles in Dirt 3 and compared to its predecessor, the latest game sports new classes as well

to be said that the Forza and Gran Turismo games still have an edge in overall vehicle modeling. Dirt 3 boasts some great damage modeling however, so when you enable realistic damage and run out of talent, what happens to your car thereafter will make you cringe. It’s that believable. The game’s various tracks and environments also look great though, like other racing simulators, you’ll rarely get the opportunity to stop and admire it all. On the audio front too Dirt 3 is pitch perfect. The vehicles sound great, you get plenty of aural feedback from the game when it comes to driving on different surfaces, impacts are forceful and jarring and there’s a decent set of tunes that just fit the rallying nature of the game.

Regardless of your skill level you’ll find Dirt 3 hard to get away from. The game just lets you get out and enjoy rallying

There’s no denying that Dirt 3 is one of the slickest looking rallying games on the market. The cars are just gorgeous


Monday 10th October 2011, Armani Hotel, Dubai, UAE

RECOGNISING EXCELLENCE IN ENTERPRISE COMPUTING Have your achievements acknowledged at the 7th annual ACN Arab Technology Awards 2011

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact: Natasha Pendleton Publishing Director, ITP Technology T: +971 4 444 3193 E: natasha.pendleton@itp.com

Benjamin Baker Sales Manager, Arabian Computer News T: +971 4 444 3344 E: benjamin.baker@itp.com

For nomination enquiries, please contact:

For table bookings and other information, please contact:

Ben Furfie Editor, Arabian Computer News T: +971 4 444 3643 E: ben.furfie@itp.com

Annie Chinoy Marketing Manager T: +971 4 444 3353 E: annie.chinoy@itp.com

To submit your nominations , or for more information, please visit :


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58 EXPERT SPEAK

WAKE UP AND SMELL IPV6

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

James Lyne, Director of Technology Strategy, Sophos details the benefits of IPv6 as well as the complexities of switching to the new protocol. World IPv6 Day on 8 June saw around 200 organisations around the world, including Google, Facebook and Yahoo, trialing IPv6 over a 24-hour period. It's very easy to fall into the trap of ignoring IPv6 - it has after all been around since the 90s and less than 1% of the web uses it. However, that would be foolish as the tides of change are coming. As well as acting as a "wake-up call" for organisations to prepare for IPv6 before IPv4 addresses run out, the real value behind IPv6 Day was its ability to test drive IPv6 in the real world, highlight the risks of organisations not moving to IPv6 and validate the design decisions from a security and performance perspective in mainstream production. After all, the bad guys are already looking at IPv6 and the legitimate business community must not get left behind! The last block of addresses for IPv4 has already been allocated to five registries and there has been a sharp rise in consumers and businesses

using a combination of smartphones, tablets, devices, and laptops that will not only gobble up the remaining IP addresses for IPv4 but provide IT teams with more complex security issues. Businesses must therefore realign their business and security priorities to make sure IPv6 is a key part of their IT roadmap. We face a barrage of new technologies and security threats, and consumers and businesses alike expect and count on instant communication. We are also inundated with industry buzz such as cloud, virtualisation, and all the “….izations”, etc., and many view converting to IPv6 as a less time sensitive initiative. This flawed illusion will have significant negative side effects for unprepared businesses that will inevitably have to do a mad and chaotic dash, impacting their customers, prospects, and even their business partners. Underestimating the challenge from switching from IPv4 to IPv6 may leave many

businesses worldwide scrambling to accomplish a smooth transition. With the current design flaws that impact not only performance, but security – IPv6 has been ready and waiting for implementation for some time, but with little deployment to date. However, cybercriminals are already lurking in the background looking to take full advantage of IPv6 and, with forecasts of exhaustion of internet IPs, Internet bodies and governments are beginning to push the IPv6 agenda hard. The bottom line is that the Internet will not stop, but it’s time that businesses started considering what the next revolution of the Internet should look like in 5 -10 years as we make the inevitable transition from IPv4 to IPv6. This is not a change that you want to have creep up on you or your business unplanned.

WHAT ARE THE ISSUES? Most security experts would agree that in the IPv4 world, securing a LAN


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EXPERT SPEAK 59

WHAT STEPS SHOULD YOU TAKE TO SECURE YOUR VARIOUS SYSTEMS? There are four things that users and organisations can and should be doing to ensure they make the transition to IPv6 safely.

1. MINIMISE THE USE OF TUNNELS Be cautious when using tunneling during the initial overlap period between IPv4 and IPv6. While tunnels can provide vital connectivity between IPv4 and IPv6 components or enable IPv6 in parts of networks still based on IPv4, they can introduce security risks. Tunnels can cut through perimeter firewall rules and could allow attackers to connect to resources inside the 'hard shell' of a user or organisation's network without giving any indication. When transitioning to IPv6 it is therefore best to keep tunnels to a minimum.

infrastructure is compatible and all software and patching is up to date. Many organisations do not include their network infrastructure in their patching plans, which can leave them open to very nasty attacks.

4. REVIEW PERIMETER-LEVEL

3. CHECK COMPATIBILITY AT THE

SECURITY SYSTEMS Internet protocol security (IPSec) is automatically part of IPv6. However, the end-to-end encryption may interfere with some perimeter-level security processes. As a result protection may have to migrate closer to the desktop level, and organisations should ensure desktop security includes data loss prevention and web security. They may also have to upgrade or reconfigure their firewalls. Organisations should check that their endpoint provider has the full range of controls required to replace conventional perimeter controls. So although the transition to IPv6 is no reason to panic, it is far better to spot potential problems at the planning stage than halfway through the implementation. The key is to take the transition step by step to ensure all bases are covered before starting, particularly from a security point of view.

PROTOCOL LEVEL IPv6 could also introduce risks at the protocol level, so it is important to check that your entire networking

For more free tips on managing the switchover, go to: http://www.sophos.com/ en-us/security-news-trends/security-trends/ why-switch-to-ipv6.aspx

2. DONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T JUST REPLICATE EXISTING IPV4 NETWORK STRUCTURE BLINDLY The network layout under IPv6 is different from IPv4, so just replicating an existing set-up will not get the best out of IPv6, which includes the various security enhancements built into the protocol. Organisations should therefore plan to redesign their network structure from the start, tailoring it to IPv6, rather than running multiple migrations. This should avoid problems with both security and performance.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

from cyber attacks and intrusions is far easier than it is with IPv6. Since multiple enterprise devices share a single IPv4 address, Internet-facing devices such as firewalls can be used as a single point of protection and control. Fundamentally, the model that we use to network is changing radically - shifting from a boundary based model to a technology that supports mobilisation much more actively. A benefit to be sure but in this significant change there are opportunities for mistakes to be made. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more concerning is that some companies, and even individuals may already be using IPv6 without being aware of it because it is enabled by default on most of the latest operating systems and networkorientated devices. Businesses should switch IPv6 off until all of their systems are properly configured, as many firewalls focus exclusively on IPv4 and will not filter IPv6 traffic at all. This opens up security holes and allows attackers to bypass security controls the company believes it has in place.


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60 REGULARS

Competitions

COMPETITIONS… As always the Windows team has worked to ensure you have the chance to win some killer, high-tech kit. For your chance to win, just follow the instructions below...

FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS NEED FOR SPEED SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED We’ve once again partnered with our good friends over at Electronic Arts and the result is we have four copies of the PC version of Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed up for grabs this month. Like all of the games in the franchise Shift 2 Unleashed will strap you in some of the latest tyre screeching monsters and give you lead foot syndrome. Shift 2 offers plenty of playability though the game’s career mode is the best way to build your skills and effectively master the track. Here, you start off with slower cars and as you progress, you earn money and can unlock faster, fancier cars. It’s the right way to go, believe us. There is a new race type called Catchup too. One player is given a head start in a slower car while other players try to race behind him in supercars. If the driver of the supercar manages to get ahead of the slow car, then he gets the slow car and a head start in the next round. For a chance to win a copy of the amazing NFS: Shift 2 Unleashed, point your browser to www.itp.net/competitions and answer this no brainer: What is the new race type

featured in NFS: Shift 2 Unleashed?

A RA C SIMING

a) Ketchup b) Catchup c) Cat and mouse

GARGANTUAN GRAPHICS HIS RADEON HD 5770

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

ST A FA U GP

Th Thanks to the guys at AMD and HIS, Windows magazine is brining you one gargantuan GPU competition this issue. We’re giving one lucky reader the chance to get their hands on a superc cooled, pre-overclocked monster of a graphics card that supports CrossFireX and DirectX 11. c The card in question is none other than HIS’ Radeon HD 5770 and it features AMD’s Radeon HD 5770 GPU which is pre-overclocked to 875MHz. The GPU is backed up by no less than 1GB of GDDR5 memory running at 5GHz. There’s no doubt then that this monster will take your gaming to the next level. This Radeon is equipped with ICEQ5 technology which keeps the card cool during intensive gameplay. Besides offering better cooling performance than the standard Radeon 5770 cooler, HIS’ offering is also a lot quieter. The card is ideal for all you avid modders out there too; if you’ve got CCFL lights within your case and you’ve got a case window, you’ll be happy to know that the outer shell of the HIS Radeon HD 5770 is UV sensitive, thereby allowing for some pretty neat effects. For a chance to win this monstrous graphics card, go to www.itp.net/ competitions and answer this simple question: What is the

core clock frequency of the HIS Radeon HD 5770? a) 800 MHz b) 875 MHz c) 500 MHz


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Competitions

REGULARS 61

A COOL CUBE MICROMAX QUBE

ER V E L E A C HON P

Micromax is a company that believes in giving people value for money. This is reflected in all their phones but this month, you’ve got a chance to take away a Micromax Qube X550 for free. So, if you’re in need of new handheld read on. The X550 shines in the design department with its rubberised body and purple chrome accented bezel. The 3.2-inch touch screen TFT is a good one that allows for both finger- and stylus-based operation, whereas the phone’s nifty 2-megapixel camera will ensure you never miss a picture-perfect moment. For those struggling with more than one phone the Qube X550 is ideal as it features dual-SIM capabilities. There’s also support for memory expansion via a micro-SD slot (up to 16GB). On the flip side of the coin the device’s 1200mAh battery will ensure your web browsing and conversations never have to stop. For a chance to win yourself this fun smartphone, visit www.itp. net/competitions and answer this simple question: What is

the size of the Micromax QUBE X550’s screen? a) 3.2-inch b) 4.0-inch c) 3.0-inch

WIRELESS FREEDOM JABRA EXTREME FOR SKYPE

For a chance to win this great Bluetooth headset, visit www.itp.net/ competitions and answer this simple question: What is the name

of the technology used to block background noise in this Jabra headset? a) Noise Whiteout b) Sound Blackout c) Noise Blackout

AC HEADOOL SET

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

Our pals at Jabra hooked us up with five neat Bluetooth headsets to give away to you, our loyal readers. The Jabra EXTREME for Skype is a design innovation, and the high quality headset speaker and mic are a tribute to the perfection of the brand. The EXTREME features ‘Noise Blackout’ technology which helps to reduce background noise captured by its dual microphones. Moreover DSP technology makes sure every conversation is crystal clear and since the headset is Skype certified, you need not worry about any annoying compatibility issues. Besides Skype, the Jabra EXTREME can also connect via Bluetooth to your mobile e phone, and switch between modes at the press of a button.The device is a battery champ too; it allows for up to 5.5-hours of talk time and 10.5-days standby on a single charge.


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62 REGULARS

CD contents

OUR PICK OF WINDOWS CD

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

SUPERSONIC DOWNLOAD ACCELERATOR This app can segment downloads for accelerated speeds as well as download different files simultaneously. The program increases your download speeds by selecting multiple sources or mirrors to download different portions of a single file. You can even preview downloads so that you are sure of what you are downloading before you commit to a full download.

MY JOURNAL

AVS VIDEO EDITOR

LUCKYWIRE

My Journal is an electronic journal which allows you to log memories and events of the day. It is incredibly easy to use and the interface is intuitive, yet powerful enough to help save the memories you wish to store. The app uses encryption to ensure that no one can access your entries except yourself. You can use it to log your activities, link with Twitter and update your friends on different topics.

This is a very effective home video editor and compiler. You can shoot video in HD and put the file into AVS Video Editor to create magic. This program has over 300 different effects and transitions that you can introduce into your home videos making them as creative as you want. It has an option to open and edit HD and Blu-ray videos, and can cut, join, rotate and shift sections of video.

This app is very similar to LimeWire 5 and so allows you to share files over the massive Gnutella network. It may look and feel exactly like LimeWire but it is faster than LimeWire according to the developers of the program. The program has basic and advanced search options, and features â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Turbochargedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; download speeds. There is an in-built virus scanner and BitTorrent and iTunes integration.


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CD contents

TO PI P CK

HOW TO USE THE CD BROWSER Place your CD in your PC’s CD-ROM drive. If you have disabled autoplay, double-click ‘CDBrowser’ on the CD instead. When CD Browser starts, six buttons will appear listing software categories. Click a category and the software titles will appear in the left window. Simply choose which title you wish to view and click its name. Program details will appear along with three buttons: Install runs the installation program, Website takes you to the vendor’s site, and Screen displays a larger image of the software in action. In the middle of the window is also an option to change the CD browser’s skin.

CD 172: AWESOME SOFTWARE TUNEUP UTILITIES 2011 TuneUp Utilities 2011 is a useful program for anyone looking to keep their rig in top shape. The app has a maintenance toolset and is easy enough to use by both novices and experienced users. The interface is intuitive and just a few clicks will ensure you can check for problems and resolve them. TuneUp Utilities has many different features like Temporary file management and start-up program management – so you don’t have unnecessary programs loading on start up and eating away at precious resources. It even has a registry cleaner that will remove unnecessary strings and ensure your registry is lean. The app has a MemOptimizer module that will ensure memory is shared adequately too.

INTERNET

GAMES

LUCKYWIRE SUPERSONIC DOWNLOAD ACCELERATOR

AMBULANCE RUSH DUKE NUKEM MANHATTAN PROJECT

MULTIMEDIA

ESSENTIAL FILES

AVS VIDEO EDITOR ROCKIT PRO DJ

ATI RADEON HD 6XXX SERIES DRIVERS (WINDOWS 7 32-BIT) NVIDIA GEFORCE 500 SERIES DRIVERS (WINDOWS 7 32-BIT) JAVA RUNTIME MICROSOFT ACTIVESYNC 4.5

UTILITIES SLIM COMPUTER TUNEUP UTILITIES 2011

PRODUCTIVITY MY JOURNAL SEAVUS DROP P MIND

INTERNET LuckyWire erator Supersonic Download Accel

MULTIMEDIA AVS Video Editor Rockit Pro DJ

UTILITIES Slim Computer TuneUp Utilities 2011

PRODUCTIVITY My Journal Seavus Drop Mind

GAMES

Ambulance Rush Project Duke Nukem Manhattan

ES ESSENTIAL FILdriver s

Duke Nukem is back in this demo, blasting aliens and cussing his way through Manhattan, New York City. Here the always awesome Duke has to search for and annihilate Mech Morphix but between him and his foe lies a whole lot of mutants and a dangerous green slime called 'GLOPP'. Though GLOPP is bad enough to look at, it also happens to be the element causing all the unrest in Manhattan. As Duke then you'll have to fight against aliens on the rooftops of skyscrapers and subway tunnels, on your way to a final confrontation with Morphix. Although this demo only allows you to play the first level of the game, you will get a feel of how addictive it is to play with Duke and that in itself will prepare you for the long awaited Duke Nukem Forever.

TuneUp Utilitie most systems a running smoothly. It gives d data. helps keep your system r tasks and remove unuse ability to optimise regula performance due to its ivator that stops background TuneUp Program Deact the is e featur ry and resources. lent One excel from sapping crucial memo isation tools them nts preve and g p Utilities’ optim programs runnin enhancements in TuneU am There are also various other gement, Internet and progr er, temporary file mana ptimizer, which will bring such as a registry clean these, you will find MemO es Besid s. der. tweak n acceleratio ery and a critical file shred recov file d delete l, crashes under contro www.itp.net

ation July 2011 An ITP Technology Public

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Windows Middle East free CD, which contains programs and applications, is provided as a free service to readers of Windows Middle East magazine for personal use. You may not rent, lease, assign, re-sell or otherwise transfer the rights to anyone for any product contained on this CD. The contents of the CD-ROM are provided as is, and although every effort has been taken to ensure the disk and contents are virus and defect free, Windows Middle East, nor The Information & Technology Publishing Co. Ltd., accept liability for any loss or damage resulting from the use of this CD-ROM or the programs on it. We recommend that you make a back-up of all your data before installing any of the software on this CD. Windows Magazine does not provide technical support for this CD-ROM or the programs on it. If your CD-ROM is physically defective, please return it to Reader Services, P.O. Box. 500024, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, so we may issue a replacement.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

DUKE NUKEM MANHATTAN PROJECT

ATI Radeon HD 6xxx series (Windows 7 32-bit) drivers nVidia GeForce 500 series (Windows 7 32-bit) Java Runtime Microsoft ActiveSync 4.5

11 IES 20 UTILIT32-bi ms, and TUNEsUP t and 64-bit operating syste 2011 is available for both healthy boost in

172


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Logging off

LOGGINGOFF MAC FOR A KIDNEY? A 17-year old in China thought it worth his while to sell a kidney so he could get his hands on an iPad 2. Zheng said, "I wanted to buy an iPad 2, but I didn't have the money." This is quite a common situation in China, where job seekers without a college degree can earn between 1000 – 5000 RMB (CN Yen). Zheng’s income was barely between 1000-1500 RMB and at a rate of 500RMB to $77.13, the iPad2 seemed a distant dream. It was while surfing the web that Zheng came across an advertisement posted by an agent that stated that they could buy a kidney from a willing donor at RMB 20,000. This was enough to get jumpy Zheng running all the way to Chenzhou in Hunan Province, where on visiting a local hospital he got his kidney removed and three days later left the medical care centre with RMB 22,000 ($3,394). He allegedly used the money to buy an iPad, a MacBook and an iPhone. Liu, his mother, got suspicious when he got back home. "When he came back, he had a laptop and a new Apple handset. I wanted to know how he had got so much money and he finally confessed that he had sold one of his kidneys," said Liu. Liu then took her son to the Chenzhou police station, but the broker’s number was no longer in use and the hospital had no record of the surgery. As a result the case was closed due to lack of evidence.

MI6 TEACHES AL QAEDA HOW TO MAKE CUPCAKES

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST JULY 2011

IPAD TO FACILITATE PAPERLESS COCKPIT Alaska airlines is the first airline that has taken the iPad under its wing and is using it as a primary source of information, soon being acknowledged by the FAA as an avionics instrument. The carrier decided to take on the iPad following a similar adoption by Executive Jet, a charter company that effectively replaced traditional airline charts with an iPad app earlier this year. Executive jet has been looking for a way to do away with the approximately 25-pounds of manuals that pilots must carry on every flight. Alaska Airline pilot Jim Freeman said, "Alaska Airlines has closets full of first-generation Sony e-readers, second-generation Sony e-readers, Kindles and netbooks, but none delivered on the promise of a paperless cockpit. Then came the iPad. You’re not using a computer, you’re managing information. That is what we’ve been waiting for". Freeman went on to say the iPad meets the airlines requirements, as it is small, fast, reliable and has a high resolution screen. The OS and interface were the parameters that sealed the deal. More airlines are expected to adopt the iPad or some form of tablet architecture, as the potential of tablets and how they can be the future of almost any industry is slowly realised.

British secret service, MI6 played a sweet prank on Al Qaeda a few weeks ago, where they hacked into the organisation’s online English magazine and replaced a set of instructions on bomb making, with cupcake recipes by Ellen DeGeneres. The ‘cyber attack’ took place after the launch of the jihadist magazine ‘Inspire’ was launched across the Arabian Peninsula. Of all the recipes replaced, the best were probably the method of how to make a perfect mojito cupcake and a flavourful rocky road cupcake. This latest attack was just one in a line of successful cyberattacks launched by the British and US secret service, to disrupt terrorist activity and cull plans for terrorist attacks. "We're increasingly using cybertools as part of our work," a British government official told the Assosciated Press. Although Al Qaeda managed to republish the 67-page magazine, it took them almost two weeks to undo the damage caused. Inspire is believed to have been the brainchild of Anwar al Awlaki, a major propaganda chief in the organisation. Earlier last month the Pentagon classified cyber attacks against the United States as an act of war, and the Department of Defence defended that disrupting the information in that magazine was an effective counter terrorism strategy. Ellen Degeneres was unavailable for comment when asked by ‘The News’ what she thought about her recipes being used to fight terrorism.



Windows Middle East - July2011