Product Watch

SAN FRANCISCO (08/29/2000) - New releases include a new graphics tablet from Wacom Technology Co. (800/922-6613, http://www.wacom.com): The US$3,999 PL500 Pen-Tablet System features a 15-inch diagonal screen, full 24-bit color with 1,024-by-768-pixel resolution, and a DVI-to-DVI connection for sharper, crisper images.

Processor upgrades from Newer Technology Inc. (316/943-0222, http://www.newertech.com): A 500MHz G4 Maxpowr upgrade with a 1MB L2 cache running at 250MHz sells for $799. The company also revived three G3 upgrade cards that it had stopped shipping due to financial woes earlier in 2000.

New animation software from BeatWare Inc. (650/556-7900, http://www.beatware.com): EZ Motion creates animated graphics for small office and home office users. The $99 software includes a library of templates.

A new system utility from Power On Software Inc. (800/344-9160, http://www.poweronsoftware.com): Rewind lets users recover from file overwrites, software conflicts, and unknown viruses. Pricing was unavailable at press time.

New games from Aspyr Media Inc. (888-212-7797, http://www.aspyr.com): The game publisher has brought Deus Ex and The Sims to the Mac. Both games sell for $50.

UPDATED

A Photoshop plug-in from Vivid Details (800/948-4843, http://www.vividdetails.com): Test Strip 3.0 features automated photo enhancement, greater layout selection, and movable gels that let you preview images. The product sells for $149. Test Strip 2.0 users can upgrade for $50.

ANNOUNCED

A graphics chip from Nvidia (408/615-2500, http://www.nvidia.com) for non-PC platforms: The GeForce2 MX features Digital Vibrance Control to make images crisper, as well as new TwinView display architecture. In addition to its traditional Wintel clientele, Nvidia plans to target the Mac and mobile markets with its graphics processor.

Cutbacks at Scansoft (800/654-1187, http://www.scansoft.com): The maker of software including TextBridge, OmniPage, and the Kai products closed its West Coast office and cut 20 percent of its work-force.

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