EPSON:MORE SHADES OF BLACK
EPSON:MORE SHADES OF BLACK
2005-05-23 at 12:23:00 pm #9583More shades of
blackPhotography’s past has become Epson’s next target for digital printing. In
addition to the usual array of color inks, the Epson Stylus Photo R2400 uses
four kinds of black ink to improve the reproduction of black-and-white photos.
“Black and white was the last frontier of
traditional film photography that digital couldn’t address,” said Patrick Chen,
Epson’s product manager for the new printer.
Like the printer it replaces, the R2200,
the new printer has two basic black options: matte black for heavily textured
papers and photo black for everything else. But the $850 R2400 adds two
additional cartridges, light black and light, light black, to improve monochrome
photo reproduction. Each cartridge costs $15. All of the R2400 inks are based on
pigments, which Epson says improves resistance to fading.
The software it uses allows
black-and-white prints to be made directly from color image files. It also gives
users the option of making monochrome prints with a slightly warm or a brownish
The printer accepts paper up to 13
inches, or 33 centimeters, in width. Despite its emphasis on black and white,
Chen said that it could also reproduce subtle differences in full color prints.
Forget the wires
The short-range wireless technology
called Bluetooth has driven the popularity of wireless cellphone headsets,
computer keyboards and printers. With the updated EasyDrive car kit from Parrot,
the ranks of cellphone users adopting Bluetooth hands-free speakerphones for
their cars may grow as well.
The speakerphone ($99 at driveblue.com)
does not require professional installation. You simply plug the round microphone
and speaker module into a car’s cigarette lighter, and it quickly connects to
your Bluetooth-enabled phone, whatever its network. The unit has a built-in
microphone and a linked manual-control module with three large function buttons.
But by using its integrated
voice-recognition technology, you can make and receive calls, check voice mail
and adjust volume without touching your phone or the controls. It also has
digital-signal audio processing to filter out background noise and echo so you
can be heard more clearly.
Because it is a plug-and-play product,
the Parrot kit is useful for travelers who rent cars – and potentially an asset
when you need to call someone for directions.
The Grill Alert Talking Remote
Thermometer is designed for those who tend to wander away from the barbecue. You
just stick a stainless steel probe into your sizzling meat and wait for the
remote thermometer – carried on a belt clip – to announce that your entree is
almost ready or, a few minutes later, that your entree is ready.
The probe is connected to a transmitter
that sits next to the grill, and there is also a stand for securing the
thermometer to a flat surface. The device, available for $75 at brookstone.com,
asks you to specify what you are grilling – beef, lamb, veal, hamburger, pork,
turkey, chicken or fish – and how well done you like it.
The display shows both preferred and
actual temperature, and a graph that tracks cooking progress.