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Lab Notes Blog

Review of Samsung CLP 670nd

April 30, 2010

Tags: Printer reviews, Hardware Reviews, Laser printers, Computer Shopper

Many manufacturers do it: If you have a successful luxury line of, say, cars or HDTVs, why not capitalize on it by launching a less-expensive, scaled-down version for budget-minded buyers? That seems to be the approach Samsung took with its most recent small-office color lasers. We recently reviewed Samsung's top-of-the-line color laser printer, the $899 CLP-770ND, garnishing it with an Editors’ Choice award for its blazing speed, easy setup and installation, very low cost per page, ultra-high monthly duty cycle, and outstanding text quality. And since it seemed to share the same print-engine design, we assumed....
Read the full review online at Computer Shopper.

Review of Akvis Coloriage

April 29, 2010

Tags: Software reviews, B&W photos, Colorize photos, Photo editing, PC World, Akvis Coloriage

Colorizing black-and-white pictures has been a photographic technique ever since the invention of film. Of course, back then, each colored element was hand-painted onto the b&w print. Even with the digital revolution, most colorizing is done with painstaking and precise stylus painting, using programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Corel Painter. Akvis Coloriage is an automated colorizing tool that you can use to create some great effects by simply squiggling lines and curves....
Read the full review online at PCWorld.

Review of Camtasia Studio

April 27, 2010

Tags: Software reviews, PC World, Screen capture, Video editing

Our review of Camtasia Studio is online at PC World.

“If you need to create a video of what happens on your computer screen, such as for a demonstration or tutorial,...”

Read the full review.

Review of Samsung CLP-770ND Laser Printer

April 26, 2010

Tags: Printer reviews, Hardware reviews, Laser printers, Computer Shopper

Sometimes, it can be very useful to be reviewers and analysts, and to have hot and cold running printers and other devices coming and going in our DigitalBenchmarks Lab. When Sally was preparing for the reception for her American Hands exhibit in the East Wing Rotunda of the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building, she had a few hundred invitations, plus various press releases and other material, that she needed to print. (more…)

Adobe Creative Suite 5

April 12, 2010

Tags: Software reviews, Adobe, Creative Suite 5, Review, Adobe Creative Suite 5, Adobe Photoshop, CS5, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, PC World

Twenty years ago, we were introduced to a newfangled piece of software, called Adobe Photoshop. It was an amazing glance into our own future. For Sally, in particular, it was the natural extension of all the hours she used to spend in her darkroom. That first week working in Photoshop, (more…)

Upcoming Webinar: Xrite ColorChecker Passport for Easy White Balance

April 7, 2010

Tags: Color management, xrite, White Balance, Photography, ColorChecker Passport, Adobe Lightroom

A while ago, we wrote about the Xrite ColorChecker Passport, which does a rather nice job of providing a point of reference for white balance in all kinds of shooting situations. The Passport works so easily that it has become a staple in Sally’s camera bag, and (more…)

Xtranormal State: An Easy, Fun & Silly Animation Program

April 7, 2010

Tags: Software reviews, Animation, PC World

Recently, we received rather funny animated card via e-mail, complete with 3D characters, telling a story customized to specifically fit us and our relationship with the sender. While it wasn't the most sophisticated animation, the characters smoothly lip-synced the customized dialog. We knew the person who sent it wasn't particularly savvy about computer graphics, so we were curious to know how she managed to create the animation....

Read our full review on

Review of Canon Pixma MX870 AIO Printer

April 7, 2010

Tags: Printer reviews, Canon, Computer Shopper

Our review of Canon Pixma MX870 Printer is online at Computer Shopper.

“If feature-enhanced, ever-speedier upgrades are the bread and butter of the computer industry, Canon's Pixma MX870 might be best classified as a dry baguette. In 2009, we reviewed (and gave mixed marks to) the Canon Pixma MX860, the immediate all-in-one (AIO) printer predecessor to this year's $199 Pixma MX870. On one hand,...”

Read the full review.

Adobe News... No Not Creative Suite 5

April 6, 2010

Tags: Adobe, Creative Suite 5, Lightroom, Camera Raw, DNG Converter, Beta software, Release candidate software

We’re busy testing a pre-release beta version of Creative Suite 5. As soon as we’re legally allowed – April 12th – we’ll tell you what we think. In the meantime, other Adobe news was announced today.

You can now download the Release Candidates for Lightroom 2.7, Camera Raw 5.7 and DNG Converter 5.7 – for free. (more…)