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PC Utilities is available most of the larger newsagents and book shops on the highstreet.
What it is-----
PC Utilities is a magazine aimed at the beginner or light home user and is a magazine focused on software and hardware that can help speed up, maintain or help you get the most out of your computer.
Like most other magazines there are brief reviews of the latest hardware and software that has just come out. Each review is fairly brief is written in easy to understand english without the use of tech jargon. The reviews are well written and seem to be unbiased to any particualr manufcaturer. Moreover, I have bought stuff that has been recommended by them and have been totally happy with my purchases.
There are 'how to' guides which help those not to familiar with Windows on how to do certain tasks. These vary from issue to issue, and there are accompanying screehshots to help you along the way. The reviews are broad and wide ranging from pc maintanence to getting the most of your pc.
There is a cover disc provided and this is packed full of software programs for you to use. Many are freeware and available to download if you search for it on Google, but they do have the occasional full version that would cost money to buy in the shops. That said in my opinion the CD isn't very good as most of the stuff on there is available for free on the net via the programmers website.
I can't see any reason for people other than beginners buying this magazine. For most regular users its too simple and the articles will be about features that the average user should know about anyway. Its the sort of magazine that you would browse through and buy only if there was a particular artice that was interesting. It not really necessary to get a subscription.
Its a good beginners magazine. Its format does get a bit tiring as it is about utilities. I would recommend a more broad magazine such as Computer Shopper that contains 'how to' guides, has far more reviews and has some interesting columns written by IT techies but in layman's language. You also get more for your money with something like Computer Shopper, page wise and the cover disc often contains better software.
Overall I give the magazine 6/10.
Want to save time & money searching for & downloading stuff from the Internet? Well, you could always buy the latest issue of a magazine called PC Utilities, as it’s crammed full of useful stuff in loads of different categories! Anyway, always keen to test out new PC/Internet related magazines, I came across an issue of PC Utilities in a large bookstore down the town & decided to have a flick through the pages to see what was inside. After a quick scan through some of the pages I decided to take the plunge & buy a copy. Later on at home I devoted a bit of time to read the magazine from cover to cover. After a good read through the magazine I was able to decide on a couple of things: 1. The magazine & cover CD are handy to have around, as there’s so much on the cover CD. 2. I wouldn’t be rushing out to buy every single issue, as it just wasn’t worth it. I liked PC Utilities, but wasn’t convinced about reasons for buying every issue, as it didn’t really have a selling power that could keep me buying it regularly. The magazine & CD are good, as there’s loads of useful stuff in both. You’d spend weeks trying out the various programs on the CD, but after a while there’s only so much that you can install that’s of any use. If you bought the magazine on a regular basis you’d probably find that software on the CD was being repeated. There’s only so much you can put on the CD each month before you run out of new stuff to put on it, even though there’s so much on the Internet. Rather than buying each issue, I would imagine that the vast majority of readers, myself included, would just buy an issue from time to time after flicking through the software listings & contents to see what’s on offer. What’s in the magazine? Here’s a quick guide (& I mean quick! .. not my usual amount of waffling!) to a typical issue & what you may
find in it. PC Utilities is split into various sections, just like most PC/Internet magazines & each section covers a certain amount of topics. In PC Utilities case you have: Features, which seems to cover the topics of the month. This issue covered Freeware, where to get it from. Windows Lite, what it does & how to use it. DIY, where you get the various workshops. Help, where people send in their letter full of PC/Internet woes. Reviews, where you find the latest software, hardware & the likes put through its paces. How to, which is rather self-explanatory. Regulars, which covers letters, news & a few other bits & bobs. There’s also a very comprehensive index of listings for what you will find on the Cover CD. The listing is split into the following categories: In the magazine. Windows. Internet. Graphics. Audio & Video. Antivirus. Games & Education. Programming Misc. This layout is exactly the same as the category listing on the CD, which makes life very easy when looking for a particular subject & utility. The listing also gives a very brief description of what the utility does & whether it’s Freeware/Shareware/Adware or whatever. This is a very good idea & could be used by other magazines to make life easier for the readers! Overall, I would give PC Utilities 6/10 for its content as it’s below par with similar magazines. I would give it 10/10 for its comprehensive, well laid out & very easy to use listings index! I would also give 10/10 for the range of categories covered when putting the CD together & the amount of stuff on the CDs. In all though, I’d still be surprised if a lot of people bought this magazine on a regular basis. To me, buying each & every issue would be a waste of the £4.99 asking price because there’s only so much that you can put on the CD before you start repeating yourself.
Either way, why not have a look at the latest issue if you come across it on the shelves of your local newsagent/bookstore as it is certainly worth buying the odd issue. Personally, I’ll be leaving purchasing another copy for a few months yet & then I will have a flick through the pages & what’s on the CD to see if it’s what I’m after. Overall marks for the magazine & its cover CD would have to be 7/10 as it’s a good magazine that has a brilliant cover CD. That’s as short as I can make this one folks & thanks for reading this & giving me a bit of your valuable time! Tom