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Apple iLife 09 Enhancing your iLife

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Apple iLife 09 Enhancing your iLife

Apple iLife ‘09’s fancy features promises to make working with images and videos a breeze.

Announced at this year’s Macworld, iLife 09’s new flashy features caught the attention of the Mac community.

Although it wasn’t as groundbreaking as most Mac fans were hoping for, it still has a few impressive features such as face recognition for photos and image stabilisation for videos. For the purpose of the review, we will mainly focus on the new features of iPhoto ‘09 and iMovie ‘09.

HIT AND MISS: The face detection algorithm for Faces occasionally goofs up and detects non-human objects, such as the cushion in the picture above, as a face.

EASY-TO-USE: iMovie retains the same user interface though it now comes with a few nifty new features like image stablisation and precision editing.

Pros: Faces and Places helpful for managing photos; easy to create slideshows; iMovie’s intuitive drag-and-drop interface.

Cons: Face recognition can be improved; Places interface a little clunky; audio editing in iMovie hasn’t improved.

iLife ‘09

(Apple Computer)

Multimedia creation suite

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard)

Price: RM299 (bundled free with new Macs)

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Expressionist Classic FX2020 Clunky but funky

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Expressionist Classic FX2020 Clunky but funky

Altec Lansing’s glossy Expressionist Classic FX2020 stereo speakers sound as good as they look.

ARE you looking for a pair of speakers that look as good as they sound? Then the Altec Lansing Expressionist Classic FX2020 may be right up your alley. These speakers are more for the user who is concerned with style and design.

HIDDEN: The volume controls are well-hidden and difficult to reach.

Conclusion

The Altec Lansing Expressionist Classic FX2020 takes up a wee bit too much desk space, uses unsightly thick wires and lacks a remote.

However, the sound quality is something to appreciate at a reasonable volume and the speakers do not look that bad.

Can’t give Altec Lansing flack for trying to be tasteful with the shiny design.

Pros: Easy setup; decent sound quality.

Cons: No remote; chunky design; lacks power.

EXPRESSIONIST CLASSIC FX2020

(Altec Lansing)

PC stereo speakers

Dimensions (H x W x D): 127 x 127 x 159mm

Price: RM299

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Altec Lansing Expressionist Bass FX 3022 Towering reverberations

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Altec Lansing Expressionist Bass FX 3022 Towering reverberations

The Altec Lansing Expressionist Bass FX 3022 exudes a ­commanding presence when placed on a desk but does it perform up to the standard?

When I took this pair of speakers out of the box and placed them on my work desk, I was reminded of the religious monuments erected by ancient Polynesians on Easter Island.

The Expressionist Bass FX 3022 really does look like one of those stone heads and it makes you feel like some sort of Polynesian monarch with a mandate from a higher power to turn up the volume and blast the beats.

They do not take up as much space as you would initially guess. The tower-like satellites house a down-firing subwoofer which is a great space saving design.

However, this model may not be for those who prefer to have a separate gigantic subwoofer. Like most speakers, it was pretty ­straightforward to install as it is, literally, plug and play.

I was disappointed that it only had volume control buttons and lacked a bass control knob. Even the volume control buttons could be more prominent rather than being cleverly camouflaged on the top of the right satellite.

The wiring on this model is needlessly messy. The wires seem to merge together at the back of the satellite and it is incredibly ­difficult to be tidy with them.

Conclusion

I do think the Expressionist Bass FX3022 is a fun addition to anyone’s computer.

The model lives up to the design, and holds its own when you are playing music and games.

The lack of bass control could be an issue for some but it’s certainly not a deal ­breaker.

All in all, an impressive system that may be just a notch over what could be considered a reasonable price for it.

Pros: Excellent sound and bass quality; unique tower-like shape.

Cons: No bass control; untidy wiring; a tad pricey.

Expressionist Bass FX 3022

(Altec Lansing)

PC stereo speakers

DIMENSIONS: 254 x 134 x 134mm (h x w x d)

PRICE: RM488

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