[ Go to January 1997 Table of Contents ]

WinLab Reviews
Recommended List
Hardware

INPUT

Microsoft IntelliMouse

The greatest pointing device for use with new 32-bit application software. (1/97)

$85

Microsoft Corp.

206-882-8080

NMB ConcertMaster RT-9100W

The best multimedia keyboard. (3/96)

$99.95

NMB Technologies

818-341-3355

Wacom ArtZ II 6x8 Tablet with DuoSwitch Erasing UltraPen

The best input device going for precision work, such as drawing. (1/97)

$389

Wacom Technology Corp.

360-750-8882

MASS STORAGE

Iomega Jaz

The best high-end removable media drive; our 1996 hardware product of the year. (8/96)

$499

Iomega Corp.

801-778-1000

Mitsumi FX-1200 12X CD-ROM drive

The fastest, least-expensive 12X CD-ROM drive. (1/97)

$199

Mitsumi

214-550-7300

Olympus SYS.230

Lowest-cost MO drive we've seen, and it offers good performance. (1/97)

$359

Olympus Image Systems

516-844-5000

Plasmon Afterburner CDR4240e

The best CD-ROM recorder for easy setup and ease of use. (1/97)

$769

Plasmon Data

408-474-0100

Plextor 12PleX

The fastest SCSI CD-ROM drive we've seen. (1/97)

$399

Plextor

408-980-1838

Quantum Fireball 3.2GB Ultra SCSI

Best moderately priced high-capacity fixed SCSI hard drive. (1/97)

$525

Quantum Corp.

408-894-4000

SyQuest EZFlyer 230

The best midrange removable media drive. Stores 230MB per cartridge. (9/96)

$299

SyQuest Technology

510-226-4000

MISCELLANEOUS

APC Back-UPS 700

The only UPS we've seen that accommodates power transformers. (10/96)

$180

American Power Conversion

401-789-0204

APC Smart-UPS 700

The top networked UPS for full server protection with all the bells and whistles. (11/96)

$499

American Power Conversion

401-789-5735

HP NetBeamIR LAN Access Point

The best instant wireless network connectivity at up to 4MB per second. (6/96)

$289

Hewlett-Packard Co.

800-533-1333

Mylex/ BusLogic FlashPoint DL

The best SCSI adapter we've seen; permits separate Ultra SCSI-2 channels. (11/96)

$339

Mylex/BusLogic

510-796-6100

Tripp Lite TouchMaster UPS TM-420

The best UPS incorporating a power director. (7/96)

$199

Tripp Lite

312-755-5400

Xircom CreditCard Ethernet Adapter

The best PCMCIA Ethernet adapter, it works on 10BaseT or 100BaseT networks. (9/96)

$269

Xircom

805-376-9300

MODEMS

Amquest Hypermodem 28800

A great internal modem. (3/96)

$139

Amquest Corp.

800-577-3335

Flat Connections NovaLAN/Modem 288

The best combination 33.6 Modem/10BaseT/100BaseT card, with voice capability, too. (12/96)

$349

Flat Connections

510-249-9777

Hayes Office Communications Manager.

The best external modem, with great price, reliable data handling, fax and voice. (9/96)

$199

Hayes Microcomputer Products

770-441-1617

Jetstream Front Desk 1.0

Best ISDN multiline connection, and ISDN hookup is included. (1/97)

$1,395

Jetstream Communications

408-777-4300

Ositech Jack of Diamonds

The most reliable combination V.34 /10BaseT card we've found. (4/96)

$399

Ositech Communications

519-836-8063

U.S. Robotics Courier I-Modem

Best single-line ISDN modem we've seen. (1/97)

$399

U.S. Robotics

847-676-7010

MONITORS

ArtMedia TN2185T

The best 20-inch image, and it supports 1280x1024 resolution at 77Hz. (5/96)

$1,888

ArtMedia USA

408-980-8988

Compaq V70

Most distortion-free image for a 17-inch monitor, with easy-to-use on-screen controls. (10/96)

$749

Compaq Computer Corp.

800-345-1518

Nokia Multigraph 449X

The best 15-inch image around. (6/96)

$599

Nokia Display Products

800-296-6542

Panasonic Panasync E21

Lowest price for a 21-inch monitor with this picture quality. (1/97)

$1,499

Panasonic

201-348-7000

Princeton EO70

Crispest, cleanest text in a 17-inch monitor, and for an extremely low price. (11/96)

$599

Princeton Graphic Systems

714-751-8405

ViewSonic P815

Highest resolution and refresh rate in a 21-inch monitor. (1/97)

$2,195

ViewSonic Corp.

909-869-7976

MULTIMEDIA

Bose Acoustimass Multimedia Speaker System

The best computer speakers you can buy. (1/97)

$699

Bose Corp.

508-879-7330

Creative Labs Performance 8X

The best multimedia upgrade kit. (12/96)

$350

Creative Labs

408-428-6600

Philips PCA20TV

Easiest-to-add TV adapter for your PC that we've seen. (8/96)

$229

Philips Electronics

408-453-7373

PRINTERS

Brother HL-720 Laser Printer

Best low-cost laser printer. (9/96)

$350

Brother International Corp.

800-276-7746

Canon BJC-620

Best color ink jet printer at this price, with good output speed. (12/96)

$399

Canon Computer Systems

800-848-4123

Canon BJC-4550

Best dual-platform ink jet printer with excellent photo-realistic output. (12/96)

$499

Canon Computer Systems

800-848-4123

Canon MultiPASS C2500

The only multifunction office machine we've seen with a color printer. (10/96)

$599

Canon Computer Systems

714-438-3000

Epson Stylus Color 500

Best printer for delivering color photographs as easily as text. (10/96)

$279

Epson

310-782-0770

HP DeskJet 870Cse

Fastest output with great color at this price point. (12/96)

$499

Hewlett-Packard Co.

800-752-0900

HP LaserJet 5M

Most widely compatible network laser printer. (6/96)

$1,799

Hewlett-Packard Co.

800-752-0900

HP LaserJet 6P

Best small-sized laser printer with add-on networking capability at a reasonable price. (1/97)

$800

Hewlett-Packard Co.

800-752-0900

NEC SuperScript 860

The best printer for those with Pentium computers with 16MB RAM. (9/96)

$499

NEC Technologies

800-NEC-INFO

Okidata OL1200/PS

The most fully featured PostScript network printer. (7/96)

$1,839

Okidata

800-OKIDATA

Tektronix Phaser 350

Best laser color-printing and easy to use. (11/96)

$3,495

Tektronix

800-835-6100

Toshiba TF-601

Best bundled software in a multifunction office machine, based on a laser printer. (10/96)

$1,799

Toshiba America

714-583-3000

SCANNERS

Agfa SnapScan

The lowest-priced flatbed scanner to give this kind of image quality. (12/96)

$389

Agfa Div., Bayer Corp.

201-440-2500

Logitech PageScan Color

Lowest price for 24-bit page scanning of this quality. (2/96)

$299

Logitech

510-795-8500

Visioneer PaperPort ix

Easiest-to-use sheetfed monochrome scanner, integrated with a keyboard. (9/96)

$349

Visioneer

800-787-7007

VIDEO CARDS

ATI 3D Xpression

The best 2MB entry-level video card. (11/96)

$156

ATI Technologies

905-882-2600

Hercules Terminator 3D

The best 4MB entry-level card. (12/96)

$139

Hercules Computer Technology

510-623-6030

COMMUNICATIONS

Number 9 Imagine 128 Series 2

The fastest 2-D and 3-D acceleration we've seen at any price. (8/96)

$499

Number Nine Visual Technology

617-674-0009

Crosstalk inter.comm Suite 3.0

32-bit functionality-and the Internet-make this the best Win95 comm package. (9/96)

$179

Attachmate Corp.

206-644-4010

Extra Personal Client 6.2

Accessing a host has never been easier than with this top terminal-emulation package. (7/96)

$425

Attachmate Corp.

206-644-4010

FocalPoint 5.5

The best of the all-in-one communications programs; especially good for the traveler. (7/96)

$99

Global Village Communication

408-523-1000

LapLink for Windows 95

Strongest remote-control program on file transfer. (4/96)

$149

Traveling Software

206-483-8088

RightFAX NT 4.50

The top choice for a networked fax server; incorporates power and flexibility. (11/96)

$1,495

RightFAX

520-320-7000

DATABASE

Crystal Reports 5.0

The best report writer we've seen. It's incredibly flexible. (9/96)

$395

Seagate Software

604-681-3435

FileMaker Pro 3.0

The best entry-level database, and it's now relational. (1/96)

$199

Claris Corp.

408-727-8227

Visual dBASE 5.5

The best program for professional database development and use. (8/95)

$350

Borland International

800-233-2444

DEVELOPMENT

Delphi 2.0

The top RAD environment with added support for Windows 95 and NT. (3/96)

$100

Borland International

408-431-1000

Microsoft Visual C++ 4.0

Our choice for an all-inclusive integrated development language/environment.(4/96)

$499

Microsoft Corp.

800-719-5577

PowerBuilder Desktop 5.0

The best platform-independent development program with client/server multitiered support. (9/96)

$295

Powersoft

508-287-1500

BUSINESS

AAA Map'n'Go 2.0

The best computer-based trip planner. (12/96)

$39

DeLorme Mapping

207-865-1234

ACT 3.0

Easiest-to-use professional customizable PIM. (10/96)

$200

Symantec Corp.

408-253-9600

GoldMine 3.2

Our pick for a contact manager suited for workgroups. (11/96)

$295

GoldMine Software Corp.

310-454-6800

HR Task Counselor 2.3

The most user-friendly interface we've seen in a human-resource management program. (11/96)

$499

JamLogic Designs

303-690-8113

Investor Insight

The best management program for fine-tuning your investments. (8/96)

$10/month

Intuit

415-944-6000

Janna Contact Personal 1.0

The most leading-edge features in an entry-level PIM at this price. (12/96)

$49

Janna Systems

408-356-6647

OnTime Enterprise for NetWare 3.0

The best standalone NetWare group-scheduling product. (1/96)

$427

Campbell Services

810-559-5955

Peachtree Complete Accounting

The best accounting and financial-management tool for expanding businesses. (8/96)

$199

Peachtree Software

770-564-5800

Quicken 6

The best personal-finance tool; this is the program others try to emulate. (12/96)

$30

Intuit

415-944-6000

Quicken ExpensAble 2.0

Its itemizing wizards make it the best expense tracker and report filler. (7/96)

$50

Intuit

415-944-6000

Quicken Financial Planner 2

The best planning/analysis tool at this price point; an inexpensive retirement-planning tool. (7/96)

$40

Intuit

415-944-6000

Small Business Financial Mgr.

Tops for melding accounting information with a spreadsheet's capabilities. (5/96)

$100

Microsoft Corp.

800-426-9400

SureTrak Project Manager 1.5

A good low-cost project manager with tools for budgeting labor and resources. (2/96)

$399

Primavera Systems

800-973-1335

GRAPHICS

Adobe Premiere 4.2

A must-have for heavy video in multimedia authoring. (6/96)

$795

Adobe Systems

408-536-6000

ASAP WordPower 1.95

Easiest to use entry-level presentation program. (3/96)

$99

Software Publishing Corp.

408-537-3000

Extreme 3D

Animation and multimedia make it the best for use in both Director and Authorware. (4/96)

$499

Macromedia

415-252-2000

Fractal Painter 4

The most innovative, natural-media paint program on the market. (3/96)

$549

Fractal Design Corp.

408-430-4000

Harvard ChartXL 2.0

The outstanding entry-level charting product for creating graphs in Windows 95. (12/95)

$149

Software Publishing Corp.

408-537-3000

Lotus Freelance Graphics 96

The sleekest and most powerful Win95 presentation graphics package. (9/95)

$355

Lotus Development Corp.

617-577-8500

Macromedia Director 5

Simply the premier multimedia authoring program. (5/96)

$850

Macromedia

415-252-2000

Microsoft Publisher 97

Simplest desktop publisher; makes neophyte artists and Web designers look like pros. (11/96)

$80

Microsoft Corp.

800-426-9400

PageMaker 6.5

The best for publishing pros, with improved page design, hi-fi colors and online publishing. (12/96)

$895

Adobe Systems

206-622-5500

Photoshop 4.0

The best image editor you can get. (1/97)

$895

Adobe Systems

408-536-6000

PhotoSuite 8.0

The best serious, entry-level paint program; have fun with your photos. (12/96)

$50

MGI Software Corp.

905-764-7000

Visio 4.0

The choice for charting professionals. (10/95)

$149

Visio Corp.

800-248-4746

xRes 2.0

It significantly speeds basic image-editing tasks for professional illustrators. (10/96)

$389

Macromedia

415-252-2000

INTERNET

Agent .99

The best newsgroup reader and archiver. (1/97)

$40

Forte

619-431-6496

EchoSearch 1.04

This greatest Web searcher builds content-analyzed HTML documents from search queries. (11/96)

$50

Iconovex Corp.

612-896-5100

HoTMetaL PRO 3.0

The best Web authoring tool with WYSIWYG editing, drag-and-drop functionality. (9/96)

$129

SoftQuad

416-544-9000

IntraBuilder 1.0

The best Internet database tool for hosting data online. (1/97)

$100

Borland International

408-431-1000

NetObjects Fusion 1.0

The best general-purpose Web-authoring tool. Builds great-looking sites. (12/96)

$695

NetObjects

415-482-3200

Netscape Navigator Gold 2.0

The best Web browser has added editing tools. (6/96)

$79

Netscape Communications

415-528-2555

QuickSite

It's the top tool for those with no Web-authoring experience who need to build a site. (5/96)

$100

DeltaPoint

408-648-4000

WebAnalyzer 1.1

It's the greatest Web-site manager; an important weapon in a Webmaster's arsenal. (6/96)

$80

InContext Corp.

416-922-0087

OFFICE AUTOMATION

ClarisWorks 4.0

The best low-end suite for Windows 95. (2/96)

$49

Claris Corp.

408-727-8227

Microsoft Excel 7.0

Function for function the best spreadsheet for Win95, with more wizards and smarts. (11/95)

$339

Microsoft Corp.

800-426-9400

Microsoft Office 97

Innovative, simplifies tasks, emphasizes on the Internet and collaboration. (11/96)

Not set

Microsoft Corp.

800-426-9400

Microsoft Outlook 97

Establishes a new paradigm for office functions with its PIM/e-mail/scheduling tool. (10/96)

$109

Microsoft Corp.

800-426-9400

Microsoft Word 7.0

The Win95 word processor others emulate with features and capabilities you want. (9/95)

$339

Microsoft Corp.

800-426-9400

OmniForm 2.0

Easiest-to-use forms package with new wizards in version 2.0. (3/96)

$199

Caere Corp.

408-395-7000

OmniPage Pro 7.0

The best interface and a clever wizard make this the easiest OCR product to use. (7/96)

$499

Caere Corp.

408-395-7000

UTILITY

ColorFast 1.0

Jazziest color ever with this print utility for popular HP and Canon ink jet printers. (5/96)

$40

LaserTools Corp.

510-420-1319

Disconnect

Nifty little communication utility that saves you precious online time. (12/96)

$30

Dagar Software

203-393-2000

Keyboard Express 1.1

This macro program generates an editable keystroke file that plays back with a keypress. (7/96)

$25

Insight Software Solutions

801-295-1890

KEYview 5.0

Convert, view and extract many file formats, even from the Internet, on the fly. (9/96)

$50

FTP Software

508-685-4000

Kurzweil Voice 2.0

Voice control and input for the keyboard-phobic have never been better. (9/96)

$695

Kurzweil Applied Intelligence

617-893-5151

MediaAgent for CDs 1.0

The only truly effective software we've seen for tracking CDs across a network. (1/97)

$495 (10 users)

Media Path Technologies

800-357-0697

MicroHelp Zip

Simplest archive creator and viewer; allows easy viewing of archived files. (9/96)

$30

MicroHelp

770-516-0899

Seagate Backup 1.1

The backup program Microsoft should have included with Windows 95. (3/96)

$99

Seagate Software

800-327-2232

UnInstaller 4

The best Windows program uninstaller, with lots of wizards and options. (1/97)

$40

MicroHelp

770-516-0899

Virtual CD-ROM

Unbelievably simple, turns hard drive space into an ultra-fast virtual CD-ROM. (11/96)

$70

Logicraft Information Systems

603-880-0300

Copyright 1997 CMP Media Inc.


(From Windows Magazine, January 1997, page 187.)