CyberLink PowerDirector 13 Ultra is a pro-level video production and editing suite that is well within the grasp of talented amateurs. PowerDirector specializes in speed, especially in 64-bit Windows systems. It creates themes, subtitles, slideshows, and 3D animated titles; supports end-to-end 4K and 3D; and bundles more than 100 video-editing tools and many extras, including unlimited free templates and other resources, in the DirectorZone. Version 13's improved MultiCam Editing auto-syncs more than 100 cameras. Other PowerDirector bundles are available, too.
Speed features: PowerDirector's blistering, 64-bit TrueVelocity four-video engine supports OpenGL and multiple graphics cards. Enabling shadow files of HD video downloads during the setup process speeds up editing but degrades previews, though the final video quality is unaffected.
User experience: PowerDirector's quick-launch screen let us choose the Full Feature Editor, Easy Editor, or Slideshow Creator. The Full Feature Editor packs a lot in an efficient, customizable layout topped by its four main tools: Capture, Edit, Produce, and Burn Disc. Rooms display content: Media Room, Particle Room, and so on.
Extras: The Ultra suite bundles many tools and extras, including SmartSound for audio tracks, Apple's QuickTime, and a menu of Magic Tools for quick fixes.
Download: PowerDirector 13's 6GB RAR file took a while to download and required third-party software to extract. Installation (and reinstallation) may be easier with the boxed CD edition.
Extra Startup entries: Choosing QuickTime's automatic Apple software update option adds an entry to your Startup Menu that can delay booting.
CyberLink PowerDirector 13 Ultra is sophisticated and fun to use, and most similar tools can't compete with its great speed and features.
Editors' note: This is a review of the full version of CyberLink PowerDirector 13. The trial version has limited functionality.