Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 Review and RatingsWhen it comes to elegant premium Android tablets, few companies outdo Samsung. (And only one outdoes it consistently, among tablet makers in general. We’ll leave you to guess who.) However—and this is true of most tablet makers—the South Korean electronics giant’s entry-level and midrange slates have historically been less impressive than its top-of-the-line ones. But that’s not to say that some aren’t fine tablets in their own right.

The compromises necessary to hit those lower price points can also mar the final product, making it appear cheaply constructed or lacking in high-end features. In our experience, a high screen resolution and a good sound system are usually the first victims.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1Take, for example, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 we reviewed about this time last year (July 2013). Beyond its buggy software, we found its relatively low-resolution screen and slow processor disconcerting, as well as its humdrum overall appearance and build quality. At the time, granted, it was $100 to $200 cheaper than the premium ($499.99-list) Toshiba Excite Pro and Samsung’s own $499.99-list Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition), but even so, compared to the premium slates of the day, it seemed inferior.

More recently, Samsung released its $499.99-list Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1, which we reviewed a couple of months ago, in May 2014. Much like the company’s other premium slates, the Tab Pro delivered a good-looking, super-high-resolution (2,560×1,600-pixel) screen, great sound, and long battery life. And, like most other high-end Samsung Android tablets, not only did it perform well, but it also came with the useful TouchWiz interface customization, or “skinning,” that we’ve come to expect from Samsung’s higher-end Galaxy tablets. That model set the bar until the advent of the Tab S slates.

Therefore, something’s got to give to get a lower price. The real question is, of course, are these $100-to-$200-cheaper Galaxy Tabs, such as the subject of this review (the $349.99-MSRP Galaxy Tab 4 10.1), decent values compared to their higher-end siblings? Or should you just bite the bullet and lay out the full $500 for the premium model?

More often than not, the build and display quality, as well as the performance of, the premium model are better enough that recommending the budget-friendly version over it doesn’t feel right. In other words, what you give up for the savings just doesn’t balance out.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 (Front View)Still, not everybody needs an expensive-but-gorgeous powerhouse of a slate. (Indeed, many folks, we think, would prefer holding on to the savings.) The good news is that, unlike a few of Samsung’s past attempts at making step-down slates, the Galaxy Tab 4 10.1, while in no way perfect, is a pretty decent middle-of-the-road tablet.

Granted, like most budget-friendly models, this one comes with a relatively low-resolution screen for its size (just 1,280×800 pixels) and a middle-of-the-road processor—here, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400. The 400 is definitely not the fastest quad-core tablet CPU around, but during our experience with it, it performed reasonably well, if not a little sluggishly, compared to higher-end Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Samsung offerings we’ve tried in various tablets.

The Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 is certainly no Galaxy Tab Pro, nor a Galaxy Tab Note, for that matter. However, compared to some of the midlevel Galaxy Tab models we’ve seen over the past few years, this Galaxy Tab is a clear improvement. It’s almost as attractive as the company’s latest premium model, the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1. And, while the CPU showed a little rust in our benchmark tests, turning in less-than-impressive scores across the board, the difference was not nearly as pronounced in our hands-on trials. In browsing Web pages, answering e-mails, watching movies, and other common tasks, we saw overall acceptable performance and little to no lag.

In addition, this midlevel model comes with most of the multitasking and other Android interface enhancements we’ve seen on the recent Galaxy Tab Pro and Galaxy Note slates, which greatly enhances this budget-friendly Galaxy Tab’s overall value.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.

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Epson WorkForce WF-7610 All-in-One Printer Review and RatingsIt’s not often that we see big changes in printer imaging technology—at least not in the print mechanisms themselves. Both inkjet and laser printer technologies have been around for a while, and, for the most part, they have become predictable and stable. Over the past couple of years, though, a couple of printer makers, namely HP and Epson, have done some serious fiddling around with their printheads. Both companies have come up with more-efficient printhead technologies that are less expensive to use. And as a result, certain of their new printers are capable of competing successfully with laser-class printers on many fronts, notably speed, power consumption, and cost per page (CPP).

The first of these “alternative” printhead technologies, HP’s PageWide, debuted in a line of high-volume Officejets—the Officejet Pro X series—at the beginning of 2013. We were impressed enough with the two Officejet X models we reviewed (the Officejet Pro X576dw Multifunction Printer and the Officejet Pro X551dw Color Printer) that both received our Editors’ Choice Award. Their print speeds and quality were impressive, and the cost per page was low. Much of this was possible because PageWide employs a fixed array of print nozzles that spans the width of the page, rather than the printer relying on the usual moving printhead. In a nutshell, the way it works: The paper moves past the print nozzles, rather than the other way around, and your image or document gets printed a full row at a time.

Epson WorkForce WF-7610Both of the Officejet Pro X printers, however, were relatively high-end, high-volume, and high-priced machines meant for business use. Epson, on the other hand, has taken a different approach, as we’ll lay out in this, our first review of an Epson printer based on its recently debuted PrecisionCore printhead technology—the $249.99-list WorkForce WF-7610 All-in-One Printer. Similar to PageWide, in that the ink nozzles on the printheads are much denser, the PrecisionCore-based printers we’ve tested so far have outperformed several of their inkjet and laser counterparts, and some of them are cheaper to use, too. (We’ll get into more detail about PrecisionCore in a bit.)

The WF-7610 is one of 11 PrecisionCore models that Epson debuted last month. In a bold move, Epson just up and replaced its entire WorkForce line of small- and medium-business (SMB) AIOs with PrecisionCore-based models. The WF-7610 is one of two wide-format PrecisionCore machines in the initial lot, capable of printing on sheets up to 13×19 inches (also known as “supertabloid” stock). It can also copy, scan, and fax tabloid (11×17-inch) pages. The other wide-format model in the new line, the $299.99-MSRP WorkForce WF-7620 All-in-One Printer, is much the same machine, but with a second 250-sheet drawer.

In addition to being a wide-format machine, which increases the printer’s versatility in terms of the types of documents you can print, copy, scan, and fax, the WF-7610 is loaded with convenience and productivity features—just about everything you can think of for a business-ready AIO, and for not too much money, either. However, when it comes to the ongoing cost per page (CPP) of using this printer, it’s a bit high for our taste. The CPP is high enough, in fact, that it dampens our enthusiasm for recommending this AIO as the primary printer in an environment with a heavy day-to-day print load.

Epson claims that this AIO’s cost per page is “40 percent lower” than laser printers. We don’t know about that, but what we can say is that, as described in the Design, Features, & PrecisionCore section next, while some PrecisionCore models have exceptionally low CPPs, the WF-7610 is not one of them. Its CPPs are actually about average for an under-$300 inkjet printer, and perhaps just a little lower than several entry-level and midlevel laser-class printers.

Epson WorkForce WF-7610 (Printing)In Epson’s defense, you can’t find many high-volume printers with significantly low CPPs (say, under 2 cents per monochrome page) for much under $300. We should point out, though, that as of this writing, in July 2013, Epson was offering a $70 “Instant Rebate” on both the WF-7610 and WF-7620, dropping their list prices to $179.99 and $229.99, respectively. That softens the initial cost of this model, but it also brings us back to our only real complaint about this AIO: To match that lower price, its CPPs should be lower.

We also went back and looked over our recent reviews of some other wide-format AIO printers. We discovered that, for the most part, the WF-7610’s CPPs were comparable to those of most of them, but were not necessarily competitive with high-volume standard- or letter-size machines. On the whole, the wide-format models were more expensive to use than high-volume document printers in general.

Of course, if you’re using this in a home office with more modest page loads, the page cost is less of an issue. And the flexibility afforded by the wide-format support makes up for a lot of sins if you can own just one printer. So the appeal of this printer all hinges on how much you print. Looking beyond the CPP, this WorkForce model is a feature-rich and dependable machine—a nice printer used in moderation.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.

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Brother HL-L8350CDW Review and RatingsIf your small or medium-size business (SMB) doesn’t print a lot, you might find yourself wondering at the wisdom of springing for a relatively expensive single-function laser printer, especially considering all the (often less expensive) multifunction machines available these days that can print, scan, copy, and (in some cases) fax. Still, plenty of offices rely heavily enough on their printers, churning out hundreds, sometimes thousands of pages each month. In these heavy-use environments, these companies often can’t afford the downtime caused by the printer receiving the occasional fax or making copies now and then.

That’s where high-volume, single-function laser printers come in, like the subject of this review, Brother’s $399.99-list HL-L8350CDW color laser. All this machine does is print, but it does so quickly, with excellent overall print quality, and at a competitive cost per page, or CPP, compared to several other midlevel machines in this price range. However, a handful of high-volume inkjets using new or relatively new inkjet technologies, such as Epson’s new PrecisionCore-based WorkForce models and HP’s PageWide-based Officejet X machines have even lower CPPs. (So do a few office-centric all-in-ones with more traditional inkjet printheads, such as Epson’s WorkForce Pro WP-4590).

Brother HL-L8350CDW (Angle View)If, as we discuss a little later in this review in the Setup & Paper Handling section, you print a lot, your printer’s estimated CPP can be critical. If you’re willing to spend a little more up front for the printer, though, you can often reduce the cost per page significantly—thereby saving you or your company a good chunk of change over the life of the printer.

However, despite the excellent quality of many of today’s high-volume inkjet printers, some applications (for example, medical and some other agencies that do business with certain branches of the government) require laser printers, or laser-class LED machines. If for some reason your office or workgroup scenario requires laser-class devices, the HL-L8350CDW is a good choice.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.

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Buying a Printer: 20 Terms You Need to KnowIntroduction

You may think of printers as old timers’ tech, but they’re as varied and vibrant as ever today, with certain of the latest models packing in some amazing physics and cutting-edge connectivity technologies. And because hundreds of models crowd the market, you need to know what their features mean and how to read a printer spec sheet to avoid buying too much—or too little—printer for your needs.

You’ve probably purchased a printer or three in the past, but if it’s been some time, you’ll see that printers have changed a lot, especially in terms of how they connect to computers, networks, and—now—mobile devices. And in some cases, their core printing technologies have changed a bit.

If you’re in the market for a printer, there’s a lot you should know, or get up to date with. We’ve summarized most of the essential terms, technologies, and specifications you should have a handle on before you buy.

Read entire article at Computer Shopper.

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Brother HL-L8350CDW Review and RatingsIf your small or medium-size business (SMB) doesn’t print a lot, you might find yourself wondering at the wisdom of springing for a relatively expensive single-function laser printer, especially considering all the (often less expensive) multifunction machines available these days that can print, scan, copy, and (in some cases) fax. Still, plenty of offices rely heavily enough on their printers, churning out hundreds, sometimes thousands of pages each month. In these heavy-use environments, these companies often can’t afford the downtime caused by the printer receiving the occasional fax or making copies now and then.

That’s where high-volume, single-function laser printers come in, like the subject of this review, Brother’s $399.99-list HL-L8350CDW color laser. All this machine does is print, but it does so quickly, with excellent overall print quality, and at a competitive cost per page, or CPP, compared to several other midlevel machines in this price range. However, a handful of high-volume inkjets using new or relatively new inkjet technologies, such as Epson’s new PrecisionCore-based WorkForce models and HP’s PageWide-based Officejet X machines have even lower CPPs. (So do a few office-centric all-in-ones with more traditional inkjet printheads, such as Epson’s WorkForce Pro WP-4590).

Brother HL-L8350CDW (Angle View)

If, as we discuss a little later in this review in the Setup & Paper Handling section, you print a lot, your printer’s estimated CPP can be critical. If you’re willing to spend a little more up front for the printer, though, you can often reduce the cost per page significantly—thereby saving you or your company a good chunk of change over the life of the printer.

However, despite the excellent quality of many of today’s high-volume inkjet printers, some applications (for example, medical and some other agencies that do business with certain branches of the government) require laser printers, or laser-class LED machines. If for some reason your office or workgroup scenario requires laser-class devices, the HL-L8350CDW is a good choice.

Design & Features

Unlike a few single-function machines from HP, Brother’s laser-class printers aren’t especially pretty. But they are exceptionally well-built and substantive—built to churn out thousands of pages each month, year in and year out. Take the HL-L8350CDW, for instance, which is in the rough middle of the company’s range of single-function color lasers. (These run from the $249.99-list HL-3140CW up to the $699.99 HL-L9200CDWT.) Considering that all it does is print, this is a big machine, at 16.1 inches across, 19.1 inches from front to back, and 12.3 inches high, and weighing in at a hefty 47.5 pounds. It takes up considerably more surface space than the average small-office inkjet AIO, as well as considerably more electricity.

In terms of productivity and convenience features, though, the HL-L8350DW comes with about everything you’d need from a single-function printer, including the ability to connect to it via Wi-Fi or Ethernet, as well as to a single PC via USB 2.0. (Note: Because the expectation is that this PC will be networked, a USB cable is not included.) When it comes to “PC-free” tasks (which Brother calls “walk-up printing”), such as printing from USB thumb drives, though, your options are limited. You do get a front USB port for direct printing from keys; it’s at the upper left of the body…

Brother HL-L8350CDW (Front USB)
Beyond that, though, since this machine can’t copy or scan, there’s not a lot you can do sans a PC. However, for organizations concerned with security, the HL-L8350CDW provides a number of advanced security functions, such as Secure Function Lock, SSL, Secure Print, Enterprise Security (802.1x), and a few others.

Since the HL-L8350CDW is light on direct-print and like capabilities, it doesn’t need much in way of a control panel. As you can see in the image below, this very simple panel harkens back to the 20th century. It consists of a handful of buttons, a few status lights, and a small monochrome LCD…

Brother HL-L8350CDW (Control Panel)
In addition to printing from USB drives, the HL-L8350CDW also supports several alternative print channels for output from mobile devices: Google’s Cloud Print, Apple’s AirPrint, Cortado Workplace, and Wi-Fi Direct. Cortado Workplace provides cloud space, much like Google Drive or Cloud Print, and Wi-Fi Direct is a wireless protocol that allows you to connect your office’s mobile devices to the printer, without any of them necessarily being connected to an intermediary network.

Also, as we wrote this (in early July 2014), Brother announced that the HL-L8350CDW would, through a firmware update over the Internet, become part of the company’s Mopria-certified printers program. Brother and several other printer makers have joined the Mopria Alliance, which, among other things, provides Wi-Fi Direct-like mobile-device paring with the printer—except that Mopria uses your Wi-Fi network for the connection, whereas Wi-Fi Direct does not. (As the name suggests, Wi-Fi Direct establishes a one-to-one connection between the mobile device and the printer.)

Then, too, there’s Brother’s iPrint&Scan app for mobile devices, which you can install on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop to print directly from the device’s memory. It our experience, it works well.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.

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Lenovo Tab A8 Review and RatingsDuring 2013 and the first half of this year, we’ve tested and reviewed a bunch of compact Android tablets. Over that time, as a class, compact tablets have diversified in a big way; earlier, the only common screen size that small Android tablets came in was 7-inch. (Nowadays, we classify slates with 7- to 9-inch screens as “compact,” while tablets with larger screens are “full-size.”) The big growth has been in 8-to-9-inch models, likely thanks to the emergence and success of Apple’s 7.9-inch-screened iPad Mini.

Some of these, such as LG’s G Pad 8.3 (whether the standard, Google Play, or Verizon LTE versions) and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, were premium, high-performance slates ranging between $300 and $400, while others, such as Dell’s Venue 8 and Acer’s Iconia A1-830, were inexpensive, entry-level tabs under $200. Then, too, a few recent “classic compact” models with 7-inch screens, such as our Editors’ Choice favorite of last year, Google’s Nexus (2013), have persevered despite premium prices (in the case of the Nexus, $200 to $300).

Lenovo Tab A8

Without question, we’ve no shortage or lack of variety in compact Android tablets.

That brings us to the subject of this review, part of the recent wave of 8-inchers. Lenovo’s $179.99-list Tab A8 is a low-cost 8-inch model with 16GB of storage, a 1,280×800-resolution screen, and an entry-level MediaTek quad-core processor. What all this adds up to is an under-$200 slate that stacks up well against like-priced competitors, less so against higher-priced models. When compared to Google’s $229.99-list 32GB version of the Nexus 7, for example, the Tab A8 comes up short, even with its larger screen, and even more so when pitted against one of the elegantly designed LG G Pads.

You can buy the Tab A8 in only one configuration—with 16GB of onboard storage, plus the core components mentioned in the previous paragraph. However, Lenovo says it will offer the A8 in four different colors, as you can see here…

Lenovo Tab A8 (Colors)

When we wrote this in early July 2014, though, only the Midnight Blue was available.

In addition, Lenovo says it will offer a 3G version, which will connect you to the Internet via your wireless provider wherever it delivers service. Like the other three chassis colors, the 3G-ready model had not yet materialized. When and if it does, though, it will come with ostensibly upgraded audio: a pair of stereo speakers, rather than the single speaker that graced our Wi-Fi-only test unit. Plus, it’s expected to have proximity and ambient-light sensors, neither of which you’ll find on the Wi-Fi model.

Lenovo Tab A8

The Tab A8 is part of a refresh of the company’s budget-friendly A-series tablets, including the 7-inch IdeaTab A1000. The line comprises three different models—the Tab A7, Tab A8, and Tab A10—each, according to Lenovo, designed for different kinds of use. The smallest of the lot, the Tab A7, is intended primarily for reading and browsing, where the A8 is designed as an entertainment-consumption slate. The 10-inch A10, on the other hand, is meant to serve both productivity and media-playback functions.

With such a wide selection of feature sets and prices available, choosing the right compact slate is often a matter of evaluating overall value in each model—in short, what do you get for the money? In the case of the Tab A8, you get a nice-looking display, reasonably competent audio for a single-speaker tablet, and acceptable performance. We think this Lenovo slate provides good value for its $179.99 list price, but it’s not a breakaway product at that price. We’d like it much better discounted by a Hamilton, a Jackson—or maybe even one of each.

Read entire article at Computer Shopper.

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Canon Pixma MX532 Wireless Office All-in-One Printer Review and RatingsIn reviewing 2013’s Canon Pixma MX522 Wireless Office All-in-One Printer, the top-of-the-line model in a series of entry-level, office-centric multifunction printers, we groused that the MX522 was essentially 2012’s Pixma MX512 with minimal changes and a new name. Now, incremental improvements aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but Canon’s problem with this approach is that, especially after a few years of relying on the same print engine, you start to fall behind. Most of the other major printer makers—HP, Epson, and Brother—have released newer, faster, and slicker business all-in-ones (AIOs) in the same period.

Canon Pixma MX532

Upon hearing that the Pixma MX522 was to be replaced by the MX532, we couldn’t help but wonder if the series would finally get overhauled—with, perhaps, a faster print engine and a few other less significant upgrades. After putting it through our review wringer, though, we can report that the $149.99-list Canon Pixma MX532 is, except for a few minor changes and feature updates, essentially the MX522 in new wrapping. In terms of speed and print quality, it performed close enough to last year’s model for the speed differences to be negligible.

Also updated at the same time as the Pixma MX532 was its less-expensive sibling, the $99.99-list Pixma MX472, a somewhat stripped-down office model. What you get for the additional $50 in the Pixma MX532 is the ability to print from and scan to USB thumb drives, as well as automatic two-sided printing, Bluetooth support, and several mobile-printing features (which we’ll look at more closely in the Design & Features section on the next page). Unless you decisively don’t need any of these features, they do seem well worth the additional $50.

Canon Pixma MX532 (Front View)

That said, that extra $50 on the price lands the Pixma MX532 in a more competitive league than Canon’s $100 model would be in, and thus it gets graded on a tougher curve. These new Pixmas both use the semi-inefficient two-tank ink system that their predecessors did, which means that they also deliver the same high ongoing per-page cost of operation—for both colorand black-and-white pages. (We’ll discuss cost per page, or CPP, in more detail in the Setup & Paper Handling section later in this review.) In fact, in addition to the sluggish printing, those high CPPs make these entry-level models unsuitable for small and home offices that have anything other than light to moderate print loads.

On the other hand, the Pixma MX532 churns out decent-looking documents, and its photos look pretty good, too, given that this is an entry-level, business-centric model. It comes with most of the productivity and convenience features that you can reasonably expect in an all-in-one printer of this price, including the Big Four main functions (print/scan/copy/fax). And it’s very easy to use.

The problem is that so many other faster, cheaper-to-use competitors are available that print just as well. This Pixma seems a bit long in the tooth by comparison. Still, the Pixma MX532 is a well-built, reliable, and reasonably attractive AIO, even though it’s a little costly to use and slow to print. If you don’t need to print a lot overall, the Pixma MX532 is a sensible choice, especially if you can find it discounted.

Read entire review at Computer Shopper.

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Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Review and RatingsSince the emergence of ultrabooks a few years ago, designers have been making laptops slimmer and trimmer, while new CPUs and speedy solid-state drives continue to make them faster and faster. From that perspective, Dell’s Inspiron 15 7000 bucks several trends: It’s a little bigger and bulkier than today’s average 15.6-inch notebook, and its 5,400-rpm hybrid hard drive—a 1TB mechanical drive with 8GB of flash cache—makes it a bit slower to boot or wake up than a true SSD. But its fourth-generation Intel Core i7 processor and a generous complement of RAM make it a more than adequate performer.

The number 7000 indicates that our test model is at the top of the Inspiron line, between the middle-of-the-mainstream Inspiron 15 5000 and the ritzy XPS 15. As with most Dell laptops, you can buy the Inspiron 15 7000 in several different configurations, starting with a $649 model equipped with an Intel Core i5 processor, 6GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive.

Dell Inspiron 15 7000Our top-of-the-line review unit, priced at $1,149, flaunts a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of memory, the 1TB hybrid drive, and Nvidia GeForce GT 750M discrete graphics instead of Intel’s integrated graphics. It also comes with an impressive 1,920×1,080 touch screen instead of the minimal 1,366×768 display of the $649 system.

While this Inspiron is a good-looking, well-performing machine with an excellent display and a better-than-average sound system, it reminds us in some ways—mostly its weight and thickness—of portables we looked at three or four years ago. But again, it’s still a fine laptop.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.

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Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet Review and RatingsWe’ve had our thumbs (not to mention our other eight swiping fingers) on the pulse of Sony’s tablet-making endeavors for a few years now. While the company’s slates—all Android-based ones—haven’t been runaway sellers, the Japanese electronics giant’s efforts have been impressive, all the way back to the original Tablet S in the summer of 2011.

That first Sony tablet had a unique design and a build quality deserving of our Editors’ Choice nod. The buying public may not quite have shared our enthusiasm, but we stand by the Tablet S as one of the best early efforts in full-size Android tablets. (We classify slates from 7 to 9 inches as “compact” slates, while 10- to 12-inch tablets are “full-size.”)

About a year ago (June 2013, to be exact), Sony supplanted the Tablet S with an all-new, highly elegant design, the Xperia Tablet Z. Like the subject of this review (which is, as you’ll guess by the name, its successor), the Tablet Z was sleek and premium in every way. It was very thin and very light, with an excellent-looking screen and behind it a top-of-the-line Qualcomm 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor. Plus, it was equipped with most every performance and convenience feature we could think of in a contemporary tablet.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z2So, now enter the Xperia Z2 Tablet—an even thinner, lighter, and more elegant refinement of the Tablet Z. Not only does this slate come with one of the fastest tablet CPUs available (Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801), but the 10.1-inch screen is flat-out gorgeous, and the processor is paired with 3GB of system RAM for increased app-crunching oomph. Combined, these components make for one of the fastest, most attractive full-size Android tablets we’ve tested to date.

You can purchase the Xperia Z2 Tablet with 16GB of onboard storage for $499.99, direct from Sony (as well as from the usual e-tailers), or in a 32GB version for $100 more. In addition, it comes in either black or white…

Sony Xperia Tablet Z2 (Backs)

Like the Xperia Tablet Z before it, the Xperia Z2 Tablet is waterproof and dustproof (at least, so long as you’ve battened down the hatches over the ports and slots), and the display has a very respectable full-HD native resolution of 1,920×1,200. (That’s not quite the field-leading 2,560×1,600 of a few full-size Samsungs, but it’s enough, to our eyes.) It’s extremely well-built and attractive, and, as mentioned, all of the internal components are top-notch. And, like Apple has done with its ever-popular iPad Air line, Sony has baked up a bunch of attractive complementary accessories, such as docking stations, keyboard covers, and noise-cancelling headphones. (We’ll look more closely at some of these in the Design & Accessories section on the next page.)

When you consider all of the compelling, matching Sony gear that you can supplement this tablet with, it makes the buying proposition more attractive, versus a tablet that requires you to make do with generic or third-party add-ons. That’s a key difference, because nowadays, we balk big-time at paying $500 for a full-size Android slate. There are just too many high-quality $300 and $400 models, such as the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10, available, and pre-Air iPads can be had in that price range nowadays, too. But now and then we run into one deserving of its premium price…and this Sony slate is among them.

Read the entire article at Computer Shopper.

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Canon Pixma iP8720 Wireless Inkjet Photo Printer Review and RatingsFor a few years now, we’ve praised the six-ink imaging system in some of Canon’s Pixma inkjets for its exceptional photo reproduction. However, we haven’t been quite as impressed with the company’s tendency to re-release essentially the same machines—with just a few modernizing updates—every 18 months or so.

Take, for example, the Pixma MG6320, which we reviewed in February 2013. Disregard the addition of a few cloud- and mobile-printing features, and it was fundamentally thePixma MG6220 we reviewed a year and a half earlier. We’ve seen the same trend across plenty of other Pixmas.

Canon Pixma iP8720

We’re happy to report, however, that this year the Japanese imaging giant has contributed something quite different to the market for photo-centric inkjets: the $299.99-list Canon Pixma iP8720 Wireless Inkjet Photo Printer, a mainstream-priced single-function model that can print wide—very wide.

In addition to the excellent print quality we’ve come to expect from Canon’s six-ink printers, the Pixma iP8720 prints wide-format to tabloid-size stock (11×17 inches), as well as to the next size up, 13×19 inches. That means you can print high-quality oversize images and posters on a consumer-grade photo printer.

The next step up from the Pixma iP8720 is a professional-grade dedicated photo printer, such as Epson’s $499.99-listStylus Photo R2000 or the $649.99-list Stylus Photo R3000, both of which are well more expensive. Also, unlike these Epson models, the Pixma iP8720 is much more adept at printing document pages. (That’s not to say, however, that this Pixma is a good choice for heavy document output, if a document printer is what you need first and foremost. Far from it.)

Canon Pixma iP8720 (Angle View)Furthermore, the Pixma iP8720 is capable of printing on appropriately surfaced recordable CDs and DVDs, increasing its overall utility. Still, like most Canon photo printers (and, in fairness, most other photo printers in general), this Pixma is expensive to use, in terms of the per-page cost of operation, compared to most machines built for business printing.

If you print a lot of documents, you should really only consider purchasing the Pixma iP8720 as a secondary printer for photos. This Pixma iP8720 is foremost a photo-centric model, and, from that perspective, it’s an excellent choice. It’s among the best-value high-end photo printers for consumers that we’ve tested in recent years. If you have the room for it (and the ongoing cashflow for the cartridges and über-size photo paper), you’ll love its flexibility for photo output at all sizes.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.

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