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New PC tune-up tool

Start off right with your new PC by optimizing it with this free tool.

Wow, new PC, eh? Nothing else like it: slim, sleek, and speedy, with gobs of space just waiting to be filled up. The last thing you'd need would be a system cleaner, right? What if we told you that it could be even slimmer and speedier if you removed some of the junk like software demos and toolbars that comes preinstalled on new PCs? Suppose there were a free utility designed specifically to slim down new PCs by clearing away the stuff you don't want and won't ever use before it becomes the computing equivalent of belly fat? Suppose such a tool checked online for user-supplied feedback about programs and applications, to keep your system slender as it grows in size? Let's call it SlimComputer, because that's the name of a free tool from SlimWare designed to optimize PCs right from the start. However, it works just fine on not-so-new PCs, too.

SlimComputer's installer includes a fully portable installation for a USB drive, a nice touch since SlimComputer is great for helping out technophobic friends. You can also install the portable version from the program's Settings, including a scheduler, updates, and logs. A Login button let us create and log in to a free SlimWare account to access the company's unique cloud-based feedback system, which draws on user reports to gauge programs' usefulness. SlimComputer's interface has four main tabs plus a tab that opens a separate dialog giving quick access to the most common Windows system tools, such as the Device Manager. The Main tab includes the Scan button plus check boxes for scanning applications, toolbars, startup items, and shortcuts. The Restore tab restores removed items, while the Optimizer tab let us select unneeded Startup items and Services to remove or restore and included an interesting SuperCharged option. SlimComputer's Uninstaller is a built-in "uninstallation" utility that uses the program's color-coded rating system to indicate which programs would be good, optional, or bad to remove, though overall it offered less information than Windows' built-in uninstaller. Two spiffy automotive-style gauges displayed CPU and RAM usage, and the Help section offered a manual, video tutorials, and online help.

So, how did SlimComputer do? A scan displayed apps, toolbars, start menu items, and shortcuts with check boxes to select them to speed things up. We selected those we wanted to remove, clicked Remove, and they were removed, following a pop-up that described what we were about to do. SlimComputer's unique, up-to-the-minute feedback system also seems useful for keeping the bloat away from your PC, new or not.

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