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 user 2007-04-26 at 11:46:00 am Views: 62
  • #18259

    Passel of printers
    Specialized devices match features to users
    2007.Despite the inroads of digital technology and promises of a
    paperless world, printing at home or the office is still popular and
    here to stay.The newest home printers offer a bigger bang for your buck
    with cost-saving features, and the ability to print from more places,
    including wirelessly.

    Big Photo Prints
    The Epson Stylus Photo
    R1400 (Windows or Mac) $499.99, may not be in your budget, but if
    you’re a serious photographer wanting fast pro-quality, up to 13″ x 19″
    enlargements from home, look no further.It uses ink-jet technology but
    Epson has been able to shrink the individual ink droplets from the six
    colour cartridges so that they’re virtually invisible to the naked eye.
    This means smooth looking photo-lab quality prints.The R1400 is Epson’s
    third-generation model and almost a third the price of the original
    with much faster print times and quality. A full 13″ x 19″ image took
    less than eight minutes; 4″ x 6″ photos print in less than one minute,
    while an 8″ x 10” prints in less than two minutes.The prints are
    smudge, scratch, water and fade resistant. Although the paper ($4 per
    13″ x 19″) sheet and $23.99 per cartridge seems steep, it’s still a
    bargain for photo-hobbysists and has a variety of paper stock including
    texturedThe ink is dye-based but from personal experience with several
    years old models, makes long lasting prints. Epson also makes longer
    lasting pigment-based ink systems at more than twice the price.The
    printer also prints directly on ink jet printable CDs/DVDs with
    professional-looking covers.

    Wireless Printer
    X9350, $349 (Windows and Mac), is one of those rare all-in-one printers
    with two key features that bring it over the top.It can connect to
    secured home or small office wireless networks, plug directly into a
    network router or print from a single computer via USB.And most
    importantly for penny pinchers, it’s full duplex capable, meaning it
    can print on two sides of paper, automatically flipping the page around
    for sequential print jobs.Setting up the printer in a wireless
    environment does, however, take patience and you must follow the
    included directions, especially if you have wireless network security
    set up with your wireless router.To start, you have to physically
    connect the printer to a computer and choose between a wireless (for a
    single wireless laptop) or wired network connection, depending on
    whether you have more than one PC at home.Once done, the printer worked
    great, being able to print from my laptop from anywhere at home. There
    is a small lag time but it’s a lot faster than having to walk to a
    physically connected printer.The only feature not available in a
    wireless connection is being able to send files from the printer’s
    multi-disk memory reader, which also includes USB sticks and connected
    digital cameras.Although you can print directly to the printer from
    these media with ample controls, along with editing functions and size
    choices, getting these files to your PC requires a direct
    connection.Otherwise, all the Lexmark X9350 features, including a
    productivity control panel, work on wireless.As an all-in-one, the
    X9350 is well thought out, with fax (requires a physical phone
    connection), scan, copy and print features. A 50-page feed tray and the
    ability to print on just about anything, including business cards,
    postcards and photographic paper, make it useful, even in a busy
    household.It is ink-jet based, so don’t expect laser speeds. As is the
    case with its competitors, the boasted 30 pages per minute in black or
    25 pages in colour is under ideal conditions, and is still one-third
    the speed of laser models.The document print quality is average, but I
    found the printer slows down considerably when set to best quality, the
    Achilles heel for ink-jet printers.But it’s affordable for what it
    does, and the inks will not break the bank.Although documents have rich
    colour, the Lexmark’s photo-printing quality — not its strength –
    improves when using the six-colour cartridge combo, essentially
    replacing the black cartridge with three more colours, but the prints
    require hours to dry, a small price for those wanting a do-it-all
    wireless printer.Available at Future Shop and Best Buy.

    Small Colour Laser
    Samsung CLP-300 colour laser printer, $295 (Windows and Mac), available
    at Future Shop and Macrotronics, is currently the smallest of its kind,
    with unique features that make it economical, quiet and easy to
    use.Instead of traditional rotating toner cartridges, it uses four
    fixed “plug and print” toner cartridge bottles that are easy to replace
    separately as needed. There is less movement in the printer, making it
    quieter with a small hit in speed, but still much faster than ink-jet
    printers with laser quality.At 2,400 x 600 dpi, with a 17 ppm rating in
    black, and a four ppm rating in colour, it’s still two to three times
    faster in complicated print jobs than ink jets, and is more economical
    for the medium-level printing jobs that many small businesses and
    students require.But it does have a fast 14-second first-page-out black
    speed that will please most.Although the CLP-300 also prints colour
    photos, they don’t quite match ink-jet quality. As a laser it excels in
    documents that have colour components like graphs and colour text.It
    has a 150-page input tray and 100-sheet output capacity and prints on
    plain paper, envelopes, transparencies, labels and cardstock.The
    animated trouble-shooting guide is handy and it can enlarge pictures to
    multi-sheet poster size or print up to 16 pages in one sheet.Its colour
    yield of up to 2,000 pages (black), and up to 1,000 pages per colour
    make it more economical than lasers, considering each cartridge costs

    Professional Photo Albums
    Kodak’s newest EasyShare G600
    Printer Dock, (Windows and Mac) $169.95, is a totally redesigned
    portable 4×6 printer with clever features.The paper cartridge slips
    under the printer and an optional rechargeable battery $50, take it
    anywhere.It still uses professional lab quality dye sublimation
    technology (better than ink jet or laser printers) for the best looking
    one-minute colour prints that are waterproof, fingerprint proof, stain
    resistant and wipeable, but the toner and now thankfully non-perforated
    paper are new.Although the G600 is designed to accept a direct
    connection with Kodak’s newer C,V,P,Z camera models including battery
    charging, it works with any camera make or USB connected computer.The
    included software also lets you print multiple images on one sheet of
    paper and includes Kodak Perfect Touch technology with built-in red-eye
    reduction.You can even save your digital camera pictures to a connected
    USB memory stick while on the go or transfer them directly to a
    connected computer.The cost per print in these type of printers, also
    made by Canon and Samsung, has gone down considerably, often below 35
    cents making the G600 handy for easy and instant printing at home,
    receptions, parties or while traveling.