The Printer / Scanner section of has looked at mobile scanners from three of the top imaging companies (Epson, Canon, and HP) recently, and while they all worked well enough, feature sets and capabilities were somewhat diverse. In addition, considering how small they are and what they’re capable of, unless you have an application that requires (or benefits from) the ability to setup and scan in seconds—no matter where you are—there are better choices.

If you do need to scan on the road, though, here’s another good choice, the $149.99 MSRP RoadWarrior 4D Duplex Mobile Color Scanner from a Northern California company that specializes in scanners, Visioneer.

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If you’ve ever looked at the scanner sections of HP’s, Canon’s, Epson’s, or Brother’s Web sites, then you know that there are literally hundreds of models available, ranging in prices from around $50 up to and beyond $2,000. Then too, some specialize in scanning photos, while others excel at document scanning, and some even tout “multipurpose” scanning.

Even so, if you plan to scan a lot of one particular type of document, for the best results you should choose a matching scanner type.

When scanning and cataloging documents, for instance, few scanners work as well as Canon’s imageFORMULA document scanners. And when it comes to midrange machines, I found the company’s imageFORMULA DR-M160II Office Document Scanner, the topic of this review, to be quick, thorough, and accurate.

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Two of the most common complaints about inkjet printers, especially the smaller, less-expensive models (Epson’s WorkForce WF-2660 All-in-One Printercomes to mind), is that they run out of ink too quickly and that replacement cartridges themselves cost too much, on a per-page basis. Well, Epson has invited us to put our money where our mouth is—with its new EcoTank ink system, announced today, August 4, 2015.

That printer makers make most of their profit from selling replacement cartridges is common knowledge. With EcoTank, Epson now offers customers a new way to buy ink, with the understanding that if you’re willing to make a meaningful investment upfront on the initial price of the printer (and a substantial amount of ink), the company will provide you with plenty of ink at a very reasonable cost per page, or CPP.

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About a year ago, reviewed several of Epson’s PrecisionCore-based multifunction printers (MFPs), including the notable wide-format WorkForce WF-7610 All-in-One. What impressed me most about it, aside from it being an excellent

It’s an excellent size for posters and oversize spreadsheets, and much more. Aside from a slightly too-high per-page cost of operation, the only thing we really didn’t like about the WF-7610 was that it had only one paper drawer, which really isn’t practical for an oversize printer, unless you plan to print only wide-format pages, that is.

Epson, of course, offers a solution in its $299.99 WF-7620—essentially the same wide-format printer with an additional 250-sheet paper cassette tacked on at the bottom, for (when you include the rear 1-sheet override tray) a total of 501 pages from three input sources, which isn’t bad for an under-$300 wide-format inkjet.

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A while back, the Printer/Scanner section of looked at HP’s highly capable Scanjet Enterprise Flow 7500 Flatbed Scanner, which was rated at 50 pages per minute (ppm) simplex, or single-sided, or 100 images per minute (ipm) duplex, or double-sided, as well as a 3,000 pages per day recommended duty cycle.

Overall, that Scanjet was a highly impressive document scanner—fast and accurate—with tremendous optical character recognition software (OCR) for converting scanned text to editable text, and then sorting, cataloging, and saving it, much like the topic of this review, HP’s $799 MSRP Scanjet Enterprise Flow 5000 s2 Sheet-fed Scanner, but on a smaller scale.

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I’ve looked at several monochrome printers recently, and a few of them were multifunction (print, copy, scan, and fax) printers, or MFPs. One that stood out was OKI Data’s MB492 Multifunction Printer. It printed good-looking black-and-white pages quickly and at a highly competitive cost per page—less than 1-cent per page in some scenarios.

That, of course, was a high-volume machine; even so, with its $599 MSRP, it was a darn good value.

This review, though, is of a low-volume monochrome MFP, Dell’s $219.99 E515dw Multifunction Printer. If yours is a low-volume monochrome printing volume with the occasional need for copying, scanning, and faxing, you should definitely take a closer look at this printer.

A category of printers that has lost some ground recently is the entry-level, or “œpersonal” laser printer, due primarily to pressure from highly competitive, high-volume inkjet multifunction printers (MFPs) that print faster, with higher print quality, and lower (a lot lower) per-page cost of consumables. In other words, in several ways, the inkjet model has snuck up and become superior.

If you’ve read any of my reviews here on or elsewhere, then you know that I’m a proponent getting the actual cost of using your printer down; therefore, if for security or some other reason (even personal) you are required to produce laser output, here’s a good little laser printer for doing just that.

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Top Photo ScannersUnlike document scanners, photo scanners, good ones anyway, require impeccable color accuracy and high resolution. In fact, higher-end photo scanners also capable of scanning negatives, film, and 35mm slides support up to 6,000 dots per inch (dpi) and beyond. Scanning images that small at super high resolutions allows you to enlarge them without degrading the quality of the scans.

In addition, most photo scanners, again unlike document scanners, don’t come with automatic document feeders (ADFs) for scanning multiple pages automatically; although, some higher-end photo scanners do have add-on ADFs, and many have the ability to scan multiple images in a single scan. Some higher-end photo scanners come with adaptors for scanning transparencies, slides, film, and negatives.

Finally, if you’re scanning content for the Web or otherwise viewing on computer and mobile device screens, you really don’t need a high-resolution scanner, since monitors don’t display resolutions higher than 96 pixels per inch (ppi), which is the ppi of an HD monitor. Which brings up another issue: when scanning for online viewing, most (if not all) scanners nowadays will let you scan at ppi, rather than dpi. (Oh yes, I realize these are all Epson. Still waiting for others…)

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Scanners reproduce your life in the digital world...Yes, there are many types of scanners, but most of them (except for, perhaps, the drum scanners used in the publishing industry) “capture” data—be it text documents, business graphics, or photos, including film, transparencies, slides, and negatives—the same way, which is the topic of this article. Just how does a scanner take a hard copy page, reproduce its content, and then transfer that data to a computer file that you and I can do with as we please?

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My review of the OKI B412dn Monochrome Printer at has about run the gamut on OKI Data’s most recent round of LED-based monochrome laser-class printers, with today’s model, the $199 MSRP B412dn, being the smallest and least expensive—well, at least in terms of purchase price, anyway. In any case, just as the previous single-functionB432dn and B512dn models, as well as multifunction versions like the MB492, impressed us, so did this little B412dn, especially where it counts: print quality, performance, and cost per page.

Notice also that I call this a “laser-class” printer, rather than a plain ol’ “laser” printer. The difference between light-emitting diode-, or LED-based printers, and actual laser-based machines are described in this “Laser-Class LED Printers” article.

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