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I've just purchased the latest copy of PC Pro (Issue 204) and do like the new look design. For me PC Pro's main assets are it's detailed product reviews and in depth technology guides. With the advent of the internet, I find that IT related news is covered in a more timely manner online, the news stories in the magazine appear to be dated even you get hold of your copy early on.This magazine has always been a valuable read for IT Professionals but at £5.99 i'm not sure it's such great value. I'd recommend subscribing to get the free gift and reduced rates.The cover disk is packed full of open source freeware goodies. Although you could easily download most for free online, it's great to have a hard copy.
PC Pro magazine has been going for quite a while now and both it's publication and website are amongst my best viewed sources for computer related information. The magazine is factual, unbiased and brings together both business and home computing seamlessly. Amongst it's staff are some highly regarded members of the computer fraternity including Jon Honeyball and Barry Collins. Both have there own sections in the magazine and discuss many topics complimenting the magazine. The A-List is a section that displays the best of each category such as value graphics card, enthusiast graphics card etc. This give the consumer a good idea on what to buy in the future. Other little sections I like include the part that compares there views with other publications and the views of the PC Pro forum members. The letters section shows a great community spirit and the reviews, whilst not exhaustive are thorough and a pleasure to read. One annoyance is that there are two editions of the magazine, one with either a CD or a DVD. The DVD version is slightly more expensive than the CD version but offers more content on the disc. My main gripe is that being a computer / internet magazine why do we have a CD at all? We should be able to download any content we need from a secure website. All in all, I will continue to enjoy my subscription (some good rates out there!) and suggest you give it a try.
PC Pro has two main aspects, a consumer part and a business user part. This magazine is useful for me in catering to my more humble consumer needs but also shows some more complex in depth issues relating to the business sector. The layout of the magazine reflects these two aspects. The reviews are good but perhaps of more expensive items than other magazines. The A-list is always spot on with its recommendations if you can afford them. The articles are interesting if a little office or business oriented. The lab reports provide good information on products but again more for the office environment PC user. The business section is more involved and technical but still I find it of use as to aspects of servers, networks and bigger operations than one PC. This section also provides good reviews of office mobiles and software which can apply to anyone. A good magazine even for non business minded.
Pc Pro is really aimed at people working in the professional IT business, but most articles are enjoyable for anyone interested in computers, wanting to keep up to date with computing technology. There are reviews on just about every type of computer product; Of course Laptops and desktops are always included but there are often other good reviews, rating every device from printers to projects, monitors to mobiles and a whole range of unusual gadgets (mostly related to computers) with a comprehensive star rating system. Every reviewed item is rated out of six stars for performance, features & design, value for money and an overall rating. The labs section of the magazine focuses on a group of similar products (e.g budget laptops, inkjet printers) and, through a series of real world tests, finds which one is best. All the products included in the tests are summarized in a table, with in-depth analysis also included on the following pages. The real world tests help a reader choose an ideal product for their needs. The range of tests have been improved through reader suggestions, so are very useful and include the things people want to know about. Overall I think this magazine is worth reading. If you want to subscribe there is often a good offer available, sometimes allowing you to try before you buy (well, try at a bargain price!). Even if you don't want to subscribe, buying one edition every so often won't be a waste of time. The cover dvd/cd includes useful applications, the news section is worth reading and the 'A list' can help a reader choose the best product in a particular category (from a huge selection; e.g best value laptop, best monitor, best video editing etc). I would rate this magazine higher, but some articles are not much interest to me, as a home computer user, and although there is a lot of useful content I think there are too many pull-out adverts, which interrupt reading the magazine.
Reading PC Pro is something I only partake in once every three or so issues. I am an Apple Mac user, but like to keep up to date on the latest PC news, plus some of the content is relevant because they have hardware and peripheral reviews that work on the Mac too. The latest for October 2008 was a great surprise for me. They published a review of the Mac Mini in their group test, plus on their coverdisk they had Paragon NTFS for Mac 6.5 Special Edition. I actually found a useful piece of software, for my Mac, on a PC magazine disk. The software allows full read and write access to NTFS partitions or formatted hard drives... fantastic. The magazine is well laid out, has loads of news, stacks of reviews and a great business section too. It is not my first choice read for obvious reasons, but any Mac users out there should pick it up from time to time. PC users will find a wealth of useful information, lots of software and some in-depth looks at very aspects of Windows.
PCPRO as of 2005 is the largest selling PC Magazine in the country with over 100000 readers. PCPRO comes in two versions,a CD edition at £3.99 and a DVD edition at £4.99 Features: Columns---- PCPRO contains columns written by professionals in the IT industry who comment and ponder on some of the latest news in the IT world. There are many different subjects covered from , home user, business user, Q&A section, Laptop sections, and application sections (comment on programs etc.) Reviews---- Every edition comes with about 20-30 reviews on various bits of new technology from the latest desktops and laptops to the latest peripherals and software. Each is given a star rating out of five and a recommendation badge if it is a very good product. The reviews are very thorough looking at performance, reliability, design and value for money and the products are well tested by experts. Though PCPRO doesn't contain enough reviews. Others like Computer Shopper feature more up to date items and there are more things reviews on. The only other thing is that the same companies keep appearing in the reveiws and this can seem a bit biased, rarely is anything from a 'new' company not featured before reviewed - so you miss out on some content. Labs----- This is where for each edition of the magazine a certain sector is choosen. For example hard disks, or office suites, or computer monitors are examined in depth. Equivatlents from about ten or more companies are tested against each other and comments about features, perfomance and value for money are made. Then these products are graded with a five star system and then an overall winner is picked at the end of the labs piece. The reviews are very in depth but the labs sections seem repetitive. It always seem to be the same items being compared, rarely are computer speakers compared, keyboards, mice etc. It always seems to be HD and printers as well as gaming PCs. Cover disc--- A good cover disc that comes with many full products including utilites, office suites and graphic design items too. Most need internet registration to get a password but a lot of the software is up to date and well worth the £5 anyway. The DVD edition comes with a few more full programs than the CD edition and hence costs a £1 more. Adverts---- There are so many! The annoying thing is that PCPRO's adverts are splatted across the whole magazine so you have to fish through to find the articles. On top of that, many adverts are printed on card and bound in the magazine making it harder to read. Also PCPRO comes with those irritating inserts that fall out as you read the thing. Overall---- A good solid magazine but it feels a bit stale against its competitors. There aren't a wide enough range of reviews from a wider range of companies and some of the columns by IT proffesionals are quite dull. The best part of the magazin eis the reviews and the DVD/CD but for an overall better and more entertaining magazine, I would go for Computer Shopper, which does the same but better.
PC Pro is a magazine predominantly aimed at the hardware end of the market, predominantly at people who are looking to buy full PCs or maybe parts to build their own. It is intended for people who intend to use their computers professionally and maybe even work in the industry. It is for this reason it is not especially suited to those who use their PC predominantly as an entertainment facility. The magazine is fairly sizeable at 380 ish pages with a roughly A4 size page area and usually costs in the region of £2.99. It is released once a month and has a CD (their may be a DVD version I do not know) on the cover containing useful utilities and program demos. It also usually contains an older version of some quite famous program that has just had its latest incarnation released. Usually coupled to this is some sort of reader discounted copy of the latest edition if you like the version on the CD. Due to the magazines size it should be clear that it is rather advert heavy publication and this forms such a large content of the magazine that it receives its own index. ~ Horizons ~ Latest International developments in the computer industry ~ PC Pro Labs ~ usually some chosen pieces of kit for that month are given the ins and outs to test them fully. The comparisons are usually quite thorough and involve many different products ~ Features ~ Some chosen stories such as testing the latest chip set or software products This is a decent magazine and the discs are usually very good and have good content. The reviews are decent and usually very accurate. I will admit the adverts are very irritating given they form maybe half or even more of the material. I am willing to accept this however on the grounds that at £2.99 with CD this is pretty decent value. Give this mag a go if you want to buy any hardware or if you`re just interested with the latest professional developments around the glo be.
About four years ago, I started getting heavily into computers and the associated software and hardware. At the time there were only a handful of magazines around, and most were biased towards the big players in the industry. Most magazines praised the likes of Intel, Microsoft, 3dfx, etc. This made making decisions very much a buy and hope affair, but out from the crowd a saviour arose. PCPRO magazine was honest, concise, best of all accurate. Unfortunately, recently I have found that the magazine has become very much behind the times. The reviews and articles are still amongst the best in the industry, but unfortunately, the reviews seem dated, and to make things worse, the magazine, as with all others, seem to have a date on the cover which is sometimes two months ahead of the actual magazine. For example the magazine for December, was delivered in late October? Surely there is a reason for this, but I?ll be damned if I know why? P.S. today I have received the October issue! That?s over a month and a half away, and that?s if it comes on the first day! I know the computer industry moves at break neck speeds, but surely not faster than time itself?! But besides the dating issues (which really bug me) the magazines articles and editorials are exceptionally helpful and un-biased. All in all a very good magazine, keep up the good work. Thanks for reading, any comments welcome.
Go into Tesco virtually anytime of any day and loiter a little around the newspaper and magazine section - you'll have to stand a fair way back, however, in order to leave the necessary personal space between you and the horde of big, fat, hairy guys who gather round that little bottleneck scanning them big fat colourful objects of desire - no, it ain't the girlie mag, the new furtive perv's pleasure is the BIG THICK ONE, the computer mag. I'm as guilty as the next man and for some reason there's a certain shudder of anticipation as you see the new month's issues slide slickly into the racks, all glossy and virginal with their freebie discs still untouched by the hand of man - OOOOH!! Makes me come over all unnecessary... Top of the class as far as I'm concerned is Dennis Publishing's fine offering, PC Pro, which you can also access via their extremely good website at www.pcpro.co.uk - the mag itself is some 400 pages thick, although as usual with this type of mag, there are more than 100 pages full of computer related advertising. It's a truly excellent buy at a cover price of £2.99 and there is something here for anyone with an interest in anything vaguely PC-related. I'll base my review around one particular issue but try and generalise the review to let you know what you'll normally get for your touch under three quid. The ish in question is the July 2001 edition, released in the last week of May, issue number 81 from a mag that's been in print for very nearly seven years now, so it's had a lot of time to get its act together and it certainly shows... In general, PC Pro's market is the PC user with a fair amount of technical nous and savvy and it shamelessly focuses on the needs of an IT Manager in a typical organisation. According to the mag's own figures, they normally sell just over 150,000 copies every month. ---Cover disc All computer mags boast a freebie disc containing software and PC Pro is no exception. What is slightly different, however, is the quality of the programs you get with PC Pro - there's always at least one full version of a strong program along with a whole host of other applications and PC Pro does its best to provide high quality in this respect. In this particular issue, you get Laplink Professional, a program which allows users to connect two PC's together and synchronise files between them, plus Assistum Project Selector, "a knowledge management tool ... that's designed to help you assess and prioritise projects". The disc also includes things like ISP software, games, Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.05, Paintshop Pro 7.02a, WinZip 8 and tons of others. I've never had a bad prog from PC Pro and there is normally at least one or two apps which are of use. Many mags provide discs which can potentially screw up your PC settings, but I've yet to experience this with the PC Pro giveaways. ---Letters page Nothing revolutionary here, but the letters do demonstrate that PC Pro's reader base in general is quite techie at heart. ---Editorial columns Excellent writing from the mag's bunch of freelance contributors, Emma Winfield, James Morris, Dick Pountain, Sarah Kidner and Jon Honeyball. This lot make provide some good and very interesting points of view, and usually manage to strike a decent balance between techie and layman. ---Horizons PC Pro's news pages which normally have a heavy preoccupation with the mag's current hobbyhorse, BT and ADSL - PC Pro are campaigning for the provision of broadband access and make no secret of their disdain for the workings of the telecomms giant. ---The Hotlist Each month webhead Davey Winder features his pick of websites centred around a particular interest area, including a 'Reader site of the month'. In this edition the topic is working from home via PC. This is always an interesting read, although exactly how interesting depends on the topic. ---The PC Pro A-List The mag's own selection of the hottest products in all manner of categories, including Ultimate PC, cheap PC, notebook, palmtop, handheld, printers, soundcard, digital camera, desktop publishing, graphics, office suite, etc, etc, etc. This is an excellent reference point when you're considering purchasing any particular item and PC Pro gives very authoritative advice. This section also normally includes two sets of Lab Reviews of some of the items concerned, and this edition covers PC's costing less than £699 (recommendation Mutivision Vision Max ME) and business notebooks (recommendation Dell Latitude C600). The reviews are truly excellent and provide excellent guidance when trying to choose which version or model to opt for. ---Reviews Page after page of expert reviews on all the latest PC's, notebooks, printers, peripherals and software. Key review in issue 81 is Microsoft's new Office XP suite, spread over four full pages. (It gets a glowing verdict by the way and spears straight onto PC Pro's A-List. ---Cover stories There are usually one or two big features in every edition and here you get the PC Pro ISP Survey for 2001 (with Demon taking over at the top this year), plus a more fanciful write up on program bugs. ---Enterprise A 20 odd page section aimed specifically at the professional manager of corporate IT - a bit too techie and specialised for the average user. ---Real World Computing A special series of articles by the mag's staff of writers. This features such areas as technical Q&A, multimedia/audio, networks, legal matters, PDA's and website applications. All told, this magazine is an exceptional offering and definitely me fave pick. I've checked out a few different mags in my time and PC Pro is the only one that I consistently come back to. I strongly recommend it.
The original opinion held before reading this magazine was that it was one of those magazines with masses of advertisements. This opinion was very true, but it does not reveal any thing about the content. Moreover the content of the magazine can be said to be of a very high standard. This magazine is definitely aimed at the PC user who either works in the field of IT or has a great understanding of the field. The normal structure of the magazine opens with information concerning the free cover discs. These are available in two flavours CD and DD, obviously the DVD version is more expensive than the CD version which retails at £2.99 an issue unless the reader decides to subscribe. The monthly CD normally comes with a one full software package and the first few pages tell you how to operate the package. Some of the packages included in the past have been Via Voice and LapLink 7.5. The packages of the sort are normally included with a lot of retail PC magazines, such as PC Format and PC Answers, so nothing startling is on offer with this magasine. Where the magazine does come into its own is with the level of advice, the letters help page is always worth a read to learn something new. Also the section written by Mr John Honeyball titled advanced window has been a great aid although this is mainly aimed at NT users. The section written by Simon Jones is normally an interesting section devoted to understanding different applications. As discussed earlier the magazine is aimed at the more advanced user and the sections written by the above are aimed at such. The sections that follow these are normally related to Web business, On-line Computing, Legal Issues, Mobile Computing and Networks. Moreover the hardware reviews are normally very stringent and complex, but you feel that they are really trustworthy. Most tests of PC’s are set up around price brackets, so the PC’s are tested like for like. The only downside about the tests is the least expensive machines they have ever tested are those around the £699 price bracket. In my opinion I think it would be advisable to go below this as many users, including business users, only require a machine for word processing and surfing the web and a machine priced around £500 would probably suffice for this. Additionally the magazine also reviews various types of printers, scanners etc. On a regular basis and prints a list of all its preferred hardware components in the magazine. I would always consult this magazine before purchasing anything for my PC. In addition the software reviews are just as useful and are normally followed by a section devoted to getting the most out of applications, such as Word, Excel, Photoshop, Dreamweaver etc. This is normally very detailed and gives a good summery of most functions. However the amount of advertisements can be quite off putting, this is probably the reason why the price of the magazine is less than a lot of others without the same amount of advertising, probably as much as 50-65% of pages are devoted to advertisements. One advantage of all this advertising is that when you need a new piece of equipment it is easy to search through the advertisers comparing prices. Overall a very good magazine, but can only be recommended at the advanced users and those that work in the industry. The articles are always interesting and in depth and the information are always bang up to date. Also the magazine is backed up with a very useful website, with discussion boards that support the articles. I would not subscribe to this magazine myself, but would certainly buy it when I am in the market for a new PC, monitor Etc. I do not consider it to be a exciting read, but very informative.
The people in this magazine really know what they are talking about. If your in to games games games then this is not the Magazine for you, but if you like to read about all the latest hardware/software coming out and see reviews done on all these new products this is the mag for you!!! They also have a great section called " Real World Computing" which is basicaly Q&A but I have learnt alot of usefull tips and tricks from it! The main feature I use the mag for is the A-List, this is basically everything they think is the top of it's catergory like best: PC under £1000, best printer, best CDRW... I buy all the I.T equipment for my company but I always check PC Pro be for I buy anything!!! The cover CD is VERY good as well it has a tone of demos, utilities and always has at least one full program and a couple of games. All in all what hassent this mag got?
Pc Pro is a well established, well written magazine for knowledgeable computer users. It has always been a good read, but has recently improved dramatically. It is now my most regular magazine buy, with the sad downfall of Pc Plus. The cds aren't bad, although they aren't the highlight of the magazine (what do you expect for the price?), but the content is fantastic, with an excellent balance being struck between adverts and editorial. Pc Pro has, with Personal Computer World, taken over the role of professionals choice of magazine, and it fulfills this job well. It only lacks a little on the programming side, i feel. Good luck to them for the future.
As many people have mentioned here already, PC Pro is aimed at what its title suggests - IT professionals who spend all or part of their working day implementing or supporting PC technology. It's split into several sections, with a reviews area, new technology, and a 'real world computing' area. The reviews section is very solid and dependable - I will often purchase equipment on the recommendation of this magazine - but like everything personal taste and opinion comes into play. One mans super-cool DVD recorder may be the next mans cup-holder! The new technology area, or 'Horizons' as I think its now called is always interesting, but like all printed magazines, it has very long lead time between the articles being written and then published. This is even longer of you do not subscribe but wait to buy it in the shops. Issues are often discussed as if they happened only yesterday (which they probably did for the harassed journalist) but we get to read about them 6-8 weeks later - a real drawback of magazines and this one in particular. As I mentioned above, there is a 'real world computing' section, with contributors from many diverse aspects of computer journalism. These people are not full-time hacks, they are professional IT consultants / lawyers / company directors who write as a sideline, but their subject knowledge and writing style is superb. I have had cause to e-mail one or two of them in the past, and always received a reply (much to my surprise!). Perhaps I'm too cynical... The one aspect I do not like would be the intrusiveness of the publishers subscription department, who never seem to stop writing to you if your subscription stops. Every week I seem to receive yet another 'Final Offer' to renew my subscription to its sister magazine, 'Computer Buyer', with ever more tacky free-gifts added as an incentive. To say I find this irritating would be an understatement - but it would not stop me from recommending this magazine to anybody who works in IT, or is interested in doing so.
PC Pro is a computer magazine and as the title suggests is aimed at the experienced or professional PC user. The format is similar to other computer mags with a cover CD / DVD, News section, news analysis, hardware and software reviews, advice from professionals on varying subjects and a leisure section. All of which is fairly standard and comparable to the likes of Computer Shopper. In my opinion though, PC Pro stands out from the crowd for two reasons. Firstly, while there is advertising it isn’t so overwhelming that you can’t find the articles. Secondly, I find the style extremely readable. The writers know their stuff and manage to get it across in a friendly way. Overall Design and Layout The overall impression is of a well laid out magazine. Adverts, as previously mentioned, though plentiful are not too obtrusive. Articles and sections are easy to find and navigate, especially the Real World Computing section that has different coloured pages. Articles appear well spaced which makes them easy to follow and read. Every month the magazine is packed full, running to hundreds of pages which if you wanted to read cover to cover would take quite a bit of spare time. Cover CD / DVD Cover CD’s are pretty much like most other magazines, giving away older commercial software, updates and drivers. They autorun and load a menu from which you can choose what to install. I rarely buy a magazine on the strength of free software but do find the drivers and service packs useful. I’ve never felt the need for a DVD drive so far and so can’t comment on the quality of the cover DVD’s. News The news section runs over several pages with more detailed items on the centre of the pages and small snippets down the edges. Not really any different from the other mags and by the nature of printed magazines a lot of it will be old news compared to other sources such as the Internet. News analysis Thi s is where PC Pro starts to stand out, writers pick a current topic and give their opinions of what is happening, why and what they think is likely to happen. Other mags do this as well but as I have said I like their style, which is readable and doesn’t assume you know everything about everything in the computer world. Hardware Reviews Each month the PC Pro team pick a hardware product and invite suppliers to submit their products for testing, for instance this month they have reviewed Socket A motherboards from the major named manufacturers. The whole article is broken down into bite sized chunks, first of all they explain how they tested the products and then give the results of the tests in bar chart format so that you can see which particular products did best or worst. Then comes a huge two page spreadsheet giving all the relevant features for each product, this is perhaps one of the most useful parts because you can compare and contrast all the products and make up your own mind which is best suited to your needs. Next come individual reviews of each product where they give their awards of Winner and Honourable mention. Lastly are more in-depth descriptions of the winning products. If a product has more advanced or out of the ordinary features they will do a cut out explaining what it is and how it works. The way these tests are done means you can dip in anywhere you like if something catches your eye and don’t have to read the entire thing, also you don’t have to be a complete propeller head to understand what they are raving about (which gets my vote, when you can compare relative speeds and access times of hard drives off the top of your head it is definitely time to go and find out where your social life wandered off to) Software Reviews Well what can I say; the guys they get to review the software know their stuff. The major reviews for things like Photoshop 6 go on for pages. I don’t preten d to know half of what they are talking about but I’m certain the people who use this stuff day in and day out will find these reviews invaluable for making their minds up as to whether they should fork out for an upgrade or not. Real World Computing This is definitely my favourite section; It is split up into different subjects as varied as answers to readers technical problems, legal advice and Networking. The writers in this section are people who work in the industry and write about the problems and experiences they come across in their particular field, again, in a very readable and entertaining way. For instance one month one of them had the problem of getting a dual head matrox graphics card working with two lcd monitors just to have a play with, not something I will ever be able to afford to play with let alone come across at work but fascinating to read about (oops the propeller is starting to show). Leisure This is a small section at the very back with brief reviews of games and related hardware, which almost seems to be an afterthought which isn’t really a problem because if you wanted a games mag you wouldn’t be buying this anyway. The one thing that stands out though is the cartoon strip Dilbert, an old favourite. Web Site While not exactly part of the magazine that you buy in the newsagents I do feel it is worth mentioning. I wouldn’t say that the web site is outstanding but it has a clean design and is easy to navigate. It provides up to date news and has articles from the magazine archived, which makes it easier to look things up if needed. I can’t help feeling the web site is slightly sparse and could with more detail. Conclusion While aimed at professionals it isn’t quite the industry rag that Computing and Computer Weekly are, though it does deal with the techie details that they don’t. Overall it is extremely entertaining and readable. The best par t is it only costs £2.99. A good buy for propeller heads everywhere.