Pinnacle Studio 14 HD Ultimate has gone through many changes in recent years, but this latest edition feels like the most robust yet.

Pinnacle has always been an easy video editing suite to get to grips with and this latest version is no exception. We like the grey and rather neutral background and the uncluttered three-step approach of Import, Edit and Make Movie is easy to use.

Editing is the core of this suite and there are a number of changes on offer to make it even easier. The new album structure for finding your imported clips, in particular, feels a lot more intuitive to work with.

Editing is still built around the drag-and-drop timeline of previous versions, but the placement of Videos, Transitions, Montage themes and Sound Effects tools all feel easier to switch between than before.

Improved manager

One new tool that makes editing easier is the new Project Bin, which allows you to drag and drop all the individual assets you need for that project. This is more of an organisational tool, but it works very well.

We're also impressed with the range of export options on offer. For starters, you can burn DVDs in standard and HD formats, with support for AVCHD and HDV. Support for YouTube, PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox, as well as the Apple iPod are also standard.

Pinnacle has worked hard on making this latest version more robust and we found it handled HD video without too much strain. You'll still need at least a dual-core processor in your laptop to help make the most of the suite, but system requirements aren't as heavy as they once were.

Three versions of this suite are on offer, with this Ultimate edition coming with a host of extra video effects and features, as well as support for burning your fi nal movies to high-defi nition (HD) Blu-ray discs.

Pinnacle Studio 14 HD Ultimate is a solid package and while more experienced users may prefer the Sony Vegas Movie Studio 9 Platinum Pro suite, Pinnacle feels like the most versatile offering for the casual home user.

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