Our 3GHz Pentium 4 CPU should have been fast enough, but apparently our system didn't have enough RAM for ACDSee Pro 2.0's liking (although any good imaging application will need lots of RAM); ACDSee Pro 2.0's system requirements do list 1GB of RAM as recommended.

With the ideal hardware, the ACDSee Pro 2.0's wide range of photo-editing tools becomes more tolerable to use. For example, you can adjust exposure or enhance the shadows and highlights of backlit photos, and see the effects almost instantaneously.

(ACDSee Pro 2.0 doesn't show before-and-after comparisons, though - and such a feature would have been useful.) You can then apply your edits (up to 13 operations) to multiple photos using the batch processor.

ACDSee Pro 2.0 writes your edits to a database rather than the original files, so they're nondestructive. You also get a rudimentary Select tool, although it doesn't go beyond a rectangular shape.

OUR VERDICT

ACDSee Pro 2.0 is a good application for photographers and graphic designers who use the Windows platform, and the improvements in the app's core features and interface have made this product even better than the original ACDSee Pro. At £69 inc VAT, it's also much cheaper than Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, which costs £147 inc VAT. If you don't have the latest and greatest PC, however, you'll have to live with sluggish performance, especially in editing.