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PC Reviews: Encarta Premium Suite 2003


The Final Say!




Microsoft Encarta Premium Suite 2003
 - reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Date: 10 December 2002
Review Score: 9.5/10 
Distributor: Microsoft

Packed with features, Encarta Premium Suite 2003 is the way to go for both students and seekers of knowledge. There are a multitude of features that are present in this version that make it stand out from previous incarnations of the software.

Included in this years edition is the ability to update from the internet as more information becomes available. There are numerous other features included in this package as well. They are:

Encarta Encyclopedia Plus
Encarta Interactive World Atlas
Encarta World English Dictionary
Researcher Tool
Curriculum Guide and study resources

One of the nice aspects of this software is also the fact that it has a tremendous amount of Australian related content as opposed to making do with a lot of American items. The information presented looks great and easy to digest and the software has a great feature for students, presenting them with fantastic options for schoolwork and other presentations.


Much of the information provided contains pictures with accompanying text. I did find in some circumstances that the scrolling window with text was actually a tad too small, as I prefer larger chunks of information to digest rather than constantly scrolling down a small window.

The software presents itself as a very easy to navigate interface that is very similar in feel to Internet Explorer crossed with a hybrid Windows Explorer. It's very comfortable to access and I did not find that there was any learning curve associated in getting up and running. There is also the option to copy the data to the hard drive, eliminating the need for swapping CDs all the time.

Encarta also has the ability to compile data and notes from areas already browsed and compiles them for ease of access during research and homework. Another feature I liked was the comprehensive tools for students to get them motivated in schoolwork using data from Encarta to produce some fantastic results.

I think that with this version of Encarta, Microsoft have certainly blitzed previous incarnations of Britannica insofar as user friendly content and features. There is now an enhanced dictionary and even templates for charts to include in presentations.

Encarta is certainly recommended by impulsegamer!

Microsoft Encarta Premium Suite 2003 System Requirements

  • Hardware: Multimedia PC with a Pentium 233-MHz or higher processor (300MHz recommended)
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows® 98, Windows Me, Windows 2000 Professional, or Windows XP operating system
  • Memory: 64 MB for Windows 98, or Windows Me, and 128 MB for Windows 2000 Professional or Windows XP
  • Hard Disk: Up to 375 MB of available hard-disk space for CD; up to 385 MB for DVD
  • CD-ROM or DVD-ROM: Quad speed or faster CD-ROM drive for CD; DVD-ROM drive for DVD
  • Input Devices: Microsoft Mouse, Microsoft Intellimouse®, or compatible pointing device
  • Multimedia: Super VGA 16-bit or higher monitor supporting 800x600 screen resolution; 1 MB or more of video memory
  • Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 software (included on CD) or later; users can maintain other default browsers after installation (requires up to 45 MB of additional hard-disk space; 25 MB additional needed during install)
  • Optional: Local bus video with 1 MB or more of video memory. 16-bit sound card with speakers or headphones.

- Tory Favro

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