Our Product Spotlight blog puts a practical spin on the traditional product review, offering a concise snapshot that makes it easy for IT leaders to decide which items are worth looking into — and which would be a waste of time. Here are some recent member favorites.

TechRepublic’s Product Spotlight blog reviews hardware and software products based upon their practical use in the field. Each review evaluates the product from a business perspective, making the information useful for tech decision makers.

And these reviews cut to the chase, covering only the essentials:

  • Product specs
  • Who might use the product
  • What problem the product is designed to solve
  • Standout features and shortcomings
  • Key competitive products
  • The bottom line for business
  • User ratings

Here are 10 of the reviews TechRepublic members have found most useful.

1: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software

Adware, spyware and other malware threats are the bane of IT administrators, whether managing small business or medium-scale networks. Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware software, while a relative newcomer and lesser known than many other brands, is quickly becoming the weapon of choice for many technology professionals in their war against malware threats. Why? Its detection and removal rates are outstanding.

2: AT&T Tilt

Smartphones are everywhere, but not all mobile phones are equally effective e-mail and messaging devices. If there is a smartphone that stands out as an e-mail workhorse, it is the AT&T Tilt.

3: Ubuntu Server 8.10

Even thought it hasn’t reached that level of security found in Red Hat Enterprise Linux or SuSE Linux Enterprise Server, Ubuntu Server 8.10 is an outstanding enterprise-ready server Linux-based operating system for SMBs.

4: Dell Studio Hybrid PC

The Dell Studio Hybrid PC is a small form factor PC that retains much of the power found in large desktop computers. The compact design gives the Studio Hybrid a smaller desktop footprint than a notebook and even some netbooks. With an Intel Core 2 Duo and 2GB of RAM, this may be all you need for your next workstation PC purchase.

5: Meeting Room Booking System

If you run a business office and you have to book resources, you know how complicated that can be without the proper software to handle the task. There are many costly proprietary systems that aren’t nearly as reliable as the open source solution Meeting Room Booking System. MRBS is a simple, reliable resource booking system that won’t break your IT budget or force you to overcome a steep learning curve.

6: Norton AntiVirus 2009

Norton security software seems to be coming full circle. Norton AntiVirus quickly became one of the most respected antivirus applications on early Windows platforms. But as Microsoft progressed through its Windows XP and Vista editions, the Norton brand fell out of favor with many IT pros. Following a massive code overhaul with the 2007 version, Norton AntiVirus is again winning critical acclaim, and for good reason: The software’s detection rates and resource usage are much improved.

7: Scribus

Scribus is to Linux what QuarkXPress, Adobe Pagemaker, and Microsoft Publisher are to Windows. Scribus is an open source desktop publishing tool. If you’re looking for an open source cross-platform tool to create your company’s brochures, marketing fliers, or any other document that fits the desktop publishing criteria, Scribus is your tool.

8: ASUS N10 ultraportable notebook

The ASUS N10J ultraportable notebook may be the size of a netbook but it has the horsepower of a desktop replacement. For the business-class road warrior, this small package can handle just about any productivity task you care to throw at it.

9: AVG Anti-Virus Professional 8.0

Proven antivirus, anti-spyware and anti-rootkit protection usually extracts a high price: processor cycles, memory, and dollars. Not so with AVG’s Anti-Virus Professional 8.0 security software. Priced reasonably for commercial customers, AVG’s security software boasts impressive detection rates and requires few system resources to operate.

10: Drupal Ubercart Module

The Drupal CMS platform is much more than a content management system. Drupal can be a Web portal, a blog, an image gallery, and even an e-commerce site. With the help of the Ubercart modules, you can sell products in an online purchasing system. If your business is looking for an easy, reliable means to sell products online, Ubercart is worth checking into.

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