We have seen swankier looking desktop from some of Optima's monolithic rivals, but the WorkPro Video Editing PC is a sturdy looking machine that comes in a modest grey and white case. The bundled 17-inch CRT monitor has a moderate sized footprint which is nowhere near as thin as an LCD screen.
However, the keyboard is a cut above average featuring a pack of shortcut keys, a volume knob and multimedia buttons. One of the two available 5 Ã‚Â¼ inch floppy bays is occupied with a Lite-on DVD burner, below which is a 3 Ã‚Â½ inch floppy disk drive.
With a 2.8GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor that supports hyperthreading at its core and 512MB of RAM to hand (expandable up to 2GB), the WorkPro should be able to meet the demands of most amateur videographers. 120GB of hard disk space will be enough to store quite a few movies, until the time comes to burn them onto DVD with the WorkPro's DVD±RW drive. The multi-format combo drive writes to DVD discs at 4x and CDs at 24x.
Based on Intel's 865G chipset, the WorkPro Video Editing PC isn't a cutting edge dream machine, but it is able to cut together a home movie without breaking out a sweat. Gamers won't be too impressed with the WorkPro's integrated graphics that shares up to 64MB of system memory and will probably opt for a system with a dedicated graphics card.
The dug out panel at the front of the PC has two USB ports alongside audio jacks. Unfortunately there is no FireWire (IEEE 1934) jack at the front which would make it easier to transfer video from a digital camcorder. There is, however, a smorgasbord of connectivity ports at the back of the box: an extra four USB, two FireWire, parallel, serial and two PS/2 ports.
For video editing, Optima includes Pinnacle Studio Version 9. Other apps we find installed are ArcSoft ShowBiz, CyberLink PowerDVD and Pinnacle Hollywood FX 5.
Optima also bundles a USB optical mouse with scroll wheel that we thought was highly oversensitive until we pulled its reins by slowing down cursor movement via Windows Control Panel.
The Optima WorkPro Video Editing PC scored a decent SYSMark 2004 rating of 169 using Bapco's benchmarking software. We tested the PC using the Internet Content Creation test which uses a mixture of common software packages such as Adobe Photoshop and Premiere, Macromedia Flash and Dreamweaver MX, WinZip and Discreet 3ds max5.1.
If you're planning on doing sound production on this PC you'll need to invest in something of higher standard than the set of two small speakers that come in the package, which sound a bit shallow and tinny.
Optima's WorkPro Video Editing PC allows you to go from raw footage to mastered DVD with its combination of a large hard drive, video editing software, a reasonably fast processor and a DVD burner. Overall, it puts forward a compelling case for budding digital video producers on a budget.