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Video Studio Pro X2 isn't the first version of VideoStudio to come out since Corel bought Ulead in 2006, but it is the first to have the full Corel branding. It has lost its version number too. By rights, this should be VideoStudio 12, but instead it has trendily been renamed X2. Instead of the standard and Plus versions, some parts of the world now get standard and Pro. But here in the UK there are just two versions of Pro, a basic one and an Ultimate edition.
Both of these iterations include the same application at their core, but Ultimate comes with a richer software bundle. In the past, Ulead has told us it sold vastly more copies of the higher-end Ulead VideoStudio Plus in the UK, so it has clearly stopped selling the lesser edition and both options are now essentially the new version of Plus. This means that either version supports HD all the way from capture to output, including AVCHD import and Blu-ray burning.
So the choice between the versions depends on how useful you will find the extra apps included with Ultimate. The non-Ultimate VideoStudio Pro X2 only bundles WinDVD 8 Silver, which doesn't support Blu-ray playback. But Ultimate comes with WinDVD 9 Plus Blu-ray, which can play Blu-ray discs - the clue is in the name. Ultimate also includes Steinberg WaveLab LE 6 for audio editing and DVD Copy 6 Plus, for disc copying and conversion. Although there is £20 between regular and Ultimate RRPs, we've found the difference in street prices is currently just £7, making it a clear choice which version is best value.
That, of course, is assuming you want VideoStudio Pro X2 in the first place. So what new enticements has Corel included in this version to ensure that you do? Most of the new features are minor improvements rather than major sea changes. You can now add transitions to all video tracks, rather than just the main one. High-end video editing apps, and Adobe Premiere Elements, have had this ability for years, and it is very welcome in VideoStudio. You still only get six overlay tracks, but that will be more than enough. VideoStudio still keeps its titling tracks separate from its video ones, but the maximum is now two rather than one, allowing blended text animations.