Compiled by Dave Raffo
A notebook doesn't have to be a butterfly for it to spread its keyboard for typing convenience. The Samsung SENS810's split-design adjustable keyboard expands and comes out on an angle. The split design allows for 19mm-pitch full-size keys for comfortable typing.
A high-resolution touchpad pointing device provides extra ease and comfort when typing. You can program the keys for Windows 95 commands.
The SENS810 is available with a 120MHz Pentium, 16MB of EDO RAM, a hard disk up to 1.6GB and a quad-speed CD-ROM drive. The notebook has an 11.3-inch screen (either active-matrix or dual-scan). For multimedia, it supports Super VGA and XGA video and NTSC/PAL TV, and has stereo speakers and 16-bit sound.
The SENS810 provides VoiceMail software and an IRDA-compliant infrared port. Options include a built-in DSVD cellular 28.8Kbps fax modem for simultaneous voice and data transmission.
The notebook offers 5.5 hours of primary battery life with its smart lithium battery and power management system. With an optional second battery pack in place of the CD-ROM drive, the SENS810's battery life stretches to more than 10 hours. The unit measures 2.47 by 11.7 by 9.5 inches and weighs 7 pounds.
With 75MHz Pentium, 16MB of RAM, 540MB hard disk, from $2,799; with 120MHz Pentium, 1.6GB hard disk, from $3,499
Samsung ElectronicsAmerica, IS Div.
A Toshiba Pentium notebook for less than $2,000? Yes, it's the Toshiba Satellite 100CS, the first Satellite series model powered by a Pentium processor.
The 100CS comes with a 75MHz Pentium, 8MB of EDO RAM, a 528MB hard disk, 1MB of VRAM and integrated graphics acceleration. The screen is a 10.4-inch dual-scan dynamic STN display supporting 256 simultaneous colors at 640x480-pixel resolution. The notebook has two stacked PC Card slots supporting two Type II or one Type III cards, and one memory slot. An AC adapter is built in, and an optional NoteDock connects to peripherals and provides access to two more PC slots. The Satellite 100CS measures 2.2 by 11.8 by 9.1 inches and weighs 6.9 pounds.
The Epson ActionNote 910C leads off Epson's series of notebooks based on the Cyrix 5x86 microprocessor. Epson claims the chip gives 75MHz-Pentium-like speed and uses only as much power as a 486 machine.
The ActionNote 910C has an 810MB hard disk, 8MB of RAM, 10.4-inch dual-scan color display, ActionPoint touchpad, IRDA-compliant wireless port, integrated 16-bit Sound Blaster-compatible sound and two stacked PC Card slots. An optional ActionPort Replicator contains two more PC Card slots. A portable CD-ROM drive and 1.2GB hard disk are also optional. The notebook comes loaded with Windows 95 or 3.1 and online services.
800-BUY-EPSON x3000, 310-782-0770
How much space would a color printer, monochrome printer, plain-paper fax, telephone, copier, scanner and PC fax modem take up in your office? The Ricoh MV74 combines all seven (the scanner and modem are optional) into a 14.6- by 10.9- by 9.3-inch device. The MV74 prints at a top resolution of 360x360dpi, producing four black-and-white or one color page per minute. It has a 150-sheet paper capacity. The MV74 faxes at 28.8Kbps.
The Micro Express MicroFLEX-686/100 is a multimedia package wrapped around a new Cyrix 6x86-GP100 microprocessor. The system shoots for 133MHz-Pentium-like performance while running at 100MHz. The standard configuration includes 16MB of RAM, a 1GB hard disk, quad-speed CD-ROM drive and 15-inch monitor. It has a PCI video card with 2MB of RAM and the flexible Phoenix Plug-and-Play flash BIOS with password protection.
The mini-tower configuration measures 14.6 by 7.1 by 18.25 inches with three accessible 5.25-inch and two accessible 3.5-inch internal drives, plus one 5.25-inch and two 3.5-inch internal drives. The PCI motherboard has three 32-bit PCI expansion slots and four 16-bit ISA slots. A programmable keyboard is available for $75.
A 32-bit utility, UnInstaller 3 for Windows 95 removes, cleans up and helps manage applications. UnInstaller identifies the relationships of files to executables and interrelationships among shared files to delete files safely. UnInstaller maintains a compressed backup of every deletion it makes. If you remove a file by mistake, you can retrieve it with one click. Other features include Windows Cleanup, Move, Archive, Transport and Duplicate File Finder functions.
Mastering some Web sites can be as confusing as driving cross-country without a road map. NetCarta's WebMapper and CyberPilot Pro provide the maps and other tools you need to make sense of any tangled Web site. WebMapper's WebMap helps you analyze, organize and manage your site. It describes a site's every page, showing you its links, text, graphics and multimedia files. WebMapper also finds dead links, making it easier to repair sites. A site copy feature lets you move a Web site from one server to another and publish it on a CD-ROM. CyberPilot Pro creates maps--showing you a site's blueprints--but doesn't let you manage sites. The products run on Windows 95 and NT.
WebMapper, $499; CyberPilot Pro, around $100
408-461-8920, fax 408-461-8939
DacEasy Accounting & Payroll 95 helps you print checks, invoices and statements, track inventory, handle payroll, analyze budgets, write custom reports, bill customers and perform all other accounting duties. Wizards take you through the processes. The 32-bit program, designed for Windows 95, also runs on 3.1 and NT.
With its Plug-and-Play features, the internal UMAX Maxmedia CD-IS601 six-speed CD-ROM drive is fast and simple to use. It's versatile as well, doubling as a standalone CD audio player.
The CD-IS601 drive transfers data at up to 900KBps with an average access time of 180ms. The speed results in smoother video, and the quick access time allows fast database searches.
The drive's enhanced IDE connection plugs into the motherboard of any PC sold within the last year. The CD-IS601 supports 12cm and 8cm CDs, and is compatible with Audio Only, Video CD, Karoke CD, CD Bridges and Kodak Photo CD Multisession.
For CD audio, the Maxmedia CD-IS601 has front-panel buttons to control play, eject, next and previous functions. The unit's volume and power tray controls are also on the front panel.
The CD-ROM drive is Plug-and-Play compatible for easy installation with Windows 95 and NT systems. With its driver software, you just type Install and reboot your PC. UMAX claims that all of its CD-ROM drives' airtight design prevents dust from interfering with their performance.
Philips reentered the CD-ROM drive market with the Philips PCA62CR internal six-speed extended IDE drive. The unit transfers data at up to 900Kbps, with an access time of under 210ms.You install the Plug-and-Play drive through your IDE interface card without a dedicated controller or sound card. It reads CD-DA, CD-Plus, CD-ROM XA, Kodak Multisession Photo CD and Video CD. The drive also doubles as a CD audio player, with front-panel controls for forward select, play/pause, reverse select and open/close functions.
The unit's six-speed drive allows for smooth movie viewing, running at 30 frames per second. It meets Multimedia PC III requirements.
The Parallel Storage Solutions-PD systems combine a quad-speed CD-ROM player, a rewritable optical disk for random access and a tape backup system in a portable chassis.
The external PSS-PD features both parallel and SCSI connections, and SCSI-only internal and external models are available. The CD drives transfer data at up to 600KBps. Removable phase-change optical cartridges hold up to 650MB.
Internal, $699; external, $799; portable, $999 (street)
Parallel Storage Solutions
The IMS TwinTurbo-128XL is the latest and fastest member of the IMS TwinTurbo-128 Series of graphics accelerators. The XL is a 128-bit GUI card with a 64-bit PCI bus interface, 4MB of VRAM and 64-bit RAMDAC. It includes Xing MPEG Player software to play MPEG-1 movies without hardware and works on P6 systems.
Integrated Micro Solutions
408-369-8282, fax 408-369-0128
Turtle Beach offers two Plug-and-Play sound cards for Windows 95 that feature 32-voice on-board wavetable synthesizers with 128 instruments, new enhanced IDE interfaces for controlling the latest CD-ROM drives, and compatibility with SoundBlaster and SoundBlaster Pro. The TBS-2000 is an entry-level card, while the Tropez Plus delivers superior sound and lets you add up to 12MB of RAM to support any WAV audio file. The Tropez Plus ships standard with 4MB of Sound ROM, and the TBS-2000 has 2MB of ROM.
TBS-2000, $199; Tropez Plus, $249
Turtle Beach Systems
WinSpeakerz 95 loudspeaker design software shows you the precise audio performance any driver can achieve in any number of enclosure types. The 32-bit application organizes your work in Project Files, provides a Driver Database to compile and edit records, and lists all information on a system in the System Editor.
True Image Audio
For monitors, life on the edge is usually duller than in the center. But it doesn't have to be that way. The Tatung CM17MV and CM15VC monitors provide edge-to-edge clarity. The units employ a dynamic focus lens to achieve the sharpest focus at each corner of the screen, making images at the edges as vivid as those in the middle.
The monitors feature flat square tubes, 0.28mm dot pitch and icon-based on-screen display menus. They support VESA's new DDC 1/2B standard for Plug-and-Play capabilities.
The CM17MV 17-inch monitor has a 15.8-inch viewing area, a noninterlaced resolution of 1280x1024 pixels at a 76Hz vertical refresh rate and a maximum resolution of 1600x1280 at a refresh rate of 60Hz. Its off-signal self-test feature displays color patterns for self-testing when you disconnect the monitor from the host system's VGA card. You can use this function to tell if a problem is caused by your video card or the monitor.
The CM15VC 15-inch monitor has a 13.8-inch viewing area, a 1024x768 pixel noninterlaced resolution at a 76Hz vertical refresh rate and a maximum 1280x1024 resolution at a 60Hz refresh rate.
Both models include a multimedia option. For about $50 extra, you get two 3-watt stereo speakers that are integrated into the sides of the unit.
CM17MV, $845; CM15VC, $450
Tatung Co. of America
The new member of ViewSonic's Optiquest value monitor family, the ViewSonic Optiquest V775 lists size and image control as key attributes. The 17-inch monitor offers a 16-inch viewable area, 0.26mm dot pitch and a 1600x1280 maximum resolution. It incorporates OnView controls for easy image adjustments and View Match to help bring your printed color output in line with what's on the screen. You can save up to 20 programmable modes for automated screen modifications. An Invar shadow mask and ARAG antiglare/static coating help maintain the monitor's image integrity.
The monitor complies with VESA DPMS and MPR II standards, meeting stringent energy and radiation emission guidelines. The Optiquest value line monitors range in size from 14 to 17 inches.
Samsung's first 21-inch monitor is a high-resolution product that's aimed at the high-end CAD/CAM, desktop publishing and graphics market. The Samsung SyncMaster 21GLs handles resolutions up to 1600x1200 at a 68Hz refresh rate, employs Dynamic focus, an Invar shadow mask and UltraClear antireflective coating to maintain a clear, crisp image. On-screen controls and Plug-and-Play compatibility make for easy installation and adjustments.
Samsung Electronics America
The ADI MicroScan 5V, a 17-inch addition to the MicroScan line, offers 16 inches of diagonal viewing area with a 0.28mm dot pitch and a flat screen. The monitor supports a maximum noninterlaced resolution of 1280x1024 at 64kHz and a vertical refresh rate up to 120Hz. It meets the EPA Energy Star and Swedish NUTEK/TCO energy-saving requirements and MPR II low-radiation protocols.
No more sleeping during presentations! The nVIEW Diamond D-400 presentation projector works with the lights on, thanks to Texas Instruments' Digital Light Processing system. Measuring 7.75 by 12 by 15.5 inches and weighing 23 pounds, the Diamond D-400 is easy to carry around. It can deliver 16.7 million colors in 640x480 resolution, and includes a built-in stereo module and speakers.
The ASK LCD Impact 400 is a true SVGA 800x600 LCD panel (capable of providing up to 16.7 million colors), offering 56 percent better resolution than VGA models. It stores all individual adjustments, restoring the correct settings when changing modes.
It's 10 a.m. Do you know where your co-workers are? Office Hours keeps precise tabs on your staff and colleagues so you don't have to hunt them down.
The program consists of four modules. Workers use the In/Out Board to register their whereabouts. The Employee Browser shows the location of everyone on staff, and provides numbers--regular phone, cellular and pager--to reach workers outside the office. The Timecard lets you log your daily chores and the status of projects, so you can track billable jobs and break down your duties into long- and short-term goals. The Company Events calendar lists upcoming events and schedules for conference rooms and other shared office resources.
All four modules reside on a toolbar for quick access.
Office Hours reduces the amount of e-mail you send and receive, and lets you avoid keeping customers hanging on the phone while you search the office for a co-worker.
$149.95 per server copy (up to 50 users)
Tired of exporting data out of Excel for analysis? Spreadware Statistics Menu 4.0 seamlessly turns Microsoft's power spreadsheet into a handy statistical application.
In addition to dot-plot, x-bar and Pareto charts for Excel, the app adds submenus for nine statistical families: Probabilities, Descriptive Statistics, Nonparametric Statistics, Correlation Statistics, t-Tests, Analysis of Variance, Charts, Test Analysis and Excel Adders.
The program's new Range Wizard feature makes analysis quick and easy. Users simply select a routine and then supply information to the wizard, which allows for range selection, provides data selection advice and accesses online help.
All routines are coded as VBA (Visual Basic, Applications Edition) programming calls.
$229; upgrade, $39
619-772-1758, fax 619-772-1759
One-Write Plus 5.0 simplifies accounting procedures for small businesses. The program is modeled after manual one-write bookkeeping systems, and uses an interactive tutorial and setup options geared toward particular businesses. The tutorial asks about your business, then provides a custom printout with menus and screenshots to help you set up your accounting books.
$89.95; upgrade, $49.95
New England Business Service
603-880-5100, fax 603-880-5102
Put a charge into those lifeless statistics with StatGraphics Plus 2. This statistical analysis program's functions include polynomial regression, hypothesis testing, sample-size determination and probability distributions. The StatAdvisor provides easy-to-understand explanations of results, determines their significance and highlights possible flaws in your analysis.
$649; add-on modules, $399 each
DKSupport Manager simplifies external help systems by tracking multiple customer sites and contacts. Calls can be logged by product, while context-sensitive search engines allow you to access client histories and resolve problems with a click of the mouse. The scalable program supports all Windows platforms and integrates with cc: Mail, Notes, PerfectOffice, MS Mail and Groupwise e-mail systems.
Single user, $1,995; 5 users, $5,495; additional 5-user licenses, $4,000
Keep your files safe with ViaCrypt PGP/BE 4.0. This Business Edition allows companies to decrypt all encrypted messages either sent or received by an employee. The software's Enclyptor uses the Windows Clipboard to simplify cryptographic operations. ViaCrypt also makes a Personal Edition of the product.
Business Edition: single-user license, $149; 5-user license, $450; Personal Edition: single-user license, $129; 5-user license, $390
Even if you're a home page novice, you can create a professional-looking site in 3-D with Virtual Home Space Builder 1.0, Commercial Edition. Compatible with Windows 95, NT and 3.1, this CD-ROM-based product allows you to build interactive multimedia Web sites.
The program's rendering tools make it easy to build a 3-D space, decorate it with textures (including tiled textures and transparent colors), and then drag and drop pictures into it. Using the Picture Attachment Editor, you can add text, sounds, functions and URLs to photos, albums and movies. The result: a home page suitable for publishing on the Web.
You can save the home spaces in VRML, WRL or the program's proprietary MUS format. Virtual Home Space Builder includes a viewer that enables visitors to see your home page even if they don't have the software.
The package can also function as a multimedia presentation program.
Internet Mania, a package of eight utilities, can make your online life easier--and you can use many of its features to work offline as well.
Internet Mania includes the Web Page Update Notifier, Lycos Web Search, Web Catalog, NewsScan, Corel FTP, Personal Web Server, Home Page Author and QuoteScan personal stock ticker. The Web Catalog, Lycos Web Search and Corel FTP work offline. Corel FTP's interface, based on Windows 95's Explorer, lets you click and drag a file from an ftp to your desired destination. The process starts up QuickFTP, which triggers the transfer. Home Page Author lets you create home pages even if you think HTML is that hot new rap group.
Web Page Update Notifier tells you when your favorite Web page is updated. It notifies you of changes either at log-on or at scheduled intervals. The Personal Web Server helps you track information you put out on the Web. Click an icon on your taskbar for a list of filenames you put on the Web. The Web Server also tracks the number of hits your sites get. NewsScan searches newsgroups you define and lists messages that contain items that interest you.
Now you can really chat over the Internet. The IPC Peripherals CyberChat sound card enables you to hold person-to-person conversations in full duplex, just like a telephone call.
With VocalTec's Internet Phone software included, CyberChat lets you hold real-time conversations at the price of a local phone call. CyberChat digitizes voice signals into data packets, then sends them across the Internet. CyberChat includes a headset with a built-in speaker and microphone.
Zoom not only provides a modem to connect you to the Internet, it also pays part of the connection costs. Internet Complete consists of a 28.8Kbps modem, Web browser, e-mail, Internet Phone, gopher and ftp software. The product bundles 10 free hours of access time on America Online, plus the Global Network Navigator (GNN) startup kit with one month of unlimited access time.
WebBox, a firmware Web server for Ethernet networks, contains a high-speed 32-bit microprocessor, Ethernet interface and 2MB of flash RAM on a single board. WebBox requires the network to have a router for a high-speed connection.
Internet Surfware consists of more than 400 products on a 1.2GB CD. It includes viewers, browsers, e-mail, games, file transmission and compression programs, news readers, Internet server software and other utilities. The simple interface categorizes the software and provides a description and technical recommendations.
Two new utilities, Remove-IT 95 and Zip-IT, give you more hard disk space and help perform housekeeping chores under Windows 95.
Remove-IT 95 safely expunges unneeded files, applications, drivers and fonts, thereby increasing hard disk space. This 32-bit program supports drag-and-drop, long filenames and the Win95 Registry. Remove-IT monitors your disk, keeping track of downloaded data under a Cyber Junk Files directory, pointing out files that haven't been used for 30 days and literally waving a red flag in the corner of your screen when certain directories need attention.
Zip-IT, based on the PKZIP compression format, zips and unzips files. According to maker Vertisoft Systems, the program shrinks files by as much as 98 percent, and features simple drag-and-drop file compression and point-and-click unzipping. You can also view, edit and run files from within the program.
Remove-IT 95, $39.95 (street); Zip-IT, $39.95 (street)
You don't have to recall where you stored your electronic notes because Jot-it will remember for you. The note-taking program's Concurrency technology links your note to an application. A note appears whenever you open the application, document, window, menu or dialog box in which you stored the note. The note also appears when you pass the mouse or cursor over the hot spot where you originally placed it.
Besides the usual information such as lists, ideas or reminders, you can also attach sound bites to your notes or record your own. You can even create your own interactive online help system.
Evergreen International Technology
The InfoRecall Pro 5.5 information management program runs under Windows 95 and includes a new total hard disk search feature. This utility can search thousands of word processing files, e-mail messages, faxes, scanned documents and other files to quickly locate key information. Proprietary file searches can be conducted across a single file, all files or a specific index of files. The program remembers search criteria so you can reuse them.
NBL Disk Duplicator 2.0 lets you archive, duplicate and electronically distribute diskettes. It reads the contents of a diskette into memory, and you can save the resulting image on your hard disk. The new version is enhanced for Windows 95, and now supports self-extracting image files, 32-bit image compression, support for floppy drives other than A: and B: and an image converter to write 5.25-inch diskette images to the 3.5-inch format.
$79; upgrade, $19.95
North Beach Labs
Organize all your information tidbits with OpenPost 4.0, a personal networkable notepad. You establish a filing system and track text-based information such as memos and messages with date stamping and six colors. Version 4.0 runs on Windows 95, 3.x and NT, and supports interfaces in Spanish, French, German, Portuguese and Japanese. It also supports network e-mail, and you can drag and drop notes between files.
$40 for 3-user license
Pacific Software Publishing
Whatever is ailing your Windows 95 or 3.x PC, you can check it with WINCheckIt 4.0. The all-around suite of diagnostic tools now offers 16- and 32-bit modules, an improved uninstall utility and a CD-ROM test. The new modem diagnostic utility determines a modem's speed, capabilities and configuration. Other new features are a change monitor, multimedia benchmarks and the Clean & Zip utility.
$49.95; upgrade, $29.95
TouchStone Software Corp.