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USB 3.0, DirectX 11.0 and more...

ComponentsHave we got reviews for you this month. With the startling collection of hardware and software products that have rolled through our Test Centre this month, it's difficult to know where to begin.

How about the country's first DirectX 11.0-capable laptop? We test out the new Mesh Edge DX, a 15.6in-screen laptop bristling with a brand-new ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 graphics card. And this gaming machine won't break the bank, costing less than £900.

We have our first review of an Intel Core i5 laptop, an even more reasonably priced £579 portable from Dell. As we discovered, not only does the Dell Studio 15's performance place it in truly exalted company, but it doesn't skimp on build or useful features either.

External hard drives are an indispensable way to store and back up large amounts of valuable data. We found a multi-ported 2TB drive from Hitachi-subsidiary G-Technology begging for our attention, and it will work with just about any of today's selection of data connections. But even more remarkable is our first hands-on with a USB 3.0 hard drive from Buffalo.

Buy any USB 2.0 device today and you can expect to see promises of ‘480 megabits per second speed' on the box, a figure that quickly proves to be fictitious outside the world inhabited by marketeers. Confusingly, USB 3.0 is promoted by its megabytes per second speed - up to 150 of them, no less. Read on to see how this early USB 3.0 product squares up to the hype.

And as I run out of time, I haven't even mentioned Acer's first Google Android phone, the Liquid, nor the world's most affordable desktop PC DirectX 11.0 graphics card - the HIS HD 5450 - for only 50 quid. Nor a great online software course that will have you touch-typing like a High Court stenographer before you know it, and what we found to be the easiest-ever video-editing software, muvee Reveal 8.0. Well, maybe just enough time, but there's certainly nowhere to talk about the super-fast overclocked...

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