Nearly everybody at some point in their life requires or will require some kind of vision correction, either in the form of glasses, contacts, or laser lens surgery. Corrective lenses, or glasses, have been around since the 13th century.
However, as more and more of us stare at computer screens for good portions of our lives, an increasing number of us require help with our vision.
Thankfully, researchers from the University of California, Berkeley and MIT have come up with a different approach to tackling this problem by introducing display technology that can automatically correct for poor or lackluster eyesight.
Read the entire review at Digital Trends.
Here in the summer of 2014, Asus went and updated its line of entry-level Android tablets, though it hasn’t changed the names of them very much. Two of the new models, the $149-list MeMO Pad 7 (which we’re in the process of testing and reviewing) and the $299-list Transformer Pad TF103C, we’ve seen before in different guises. (We reviewed the similar-sounding, and very good, MeMO Pad HD 7 last year, as well as a host of Transformer Pads in the past.) But then there’s the subject of this review, which breaks new screen-size ground for Asus and its MeMO Pad line.
The $199-list MeMO Pad 8 is yet another in the long list of Android tablets with 8-inch screens to turn up over the past year or so from the usual tablet-making suspects. For the most part, the MeMO Pad 8 is much like the refreshed MeMO Pad 7, aside from the additional inch of screen real estate. As compact slates go, both the 7-incher and the 8-incher are reasonably good values.
In addition to performing well, looking good, and handling better than the price would suggest, the MeMO Pad 8 has a screen that doesn’t disappoint. The native resolution is 1,280×800 pixels, and we found the overall quality (as you’ll see in the Features & Apps section later in this review) a little better than average for an under-$200 slate. When you combine the screen with the tablet’s equally adequate speaker output, this is not a bad slate for viewing movies and consuming other media.
Plus, as we’ll get into in the Performance section of this review, the MeMO Pad 8 kept up relatively well during our tests, not only turning in very good scores on most of our speed-based trials but also delivering great numbers on our battery-rundown test. Like last year’s MeMO Pad HD 7, which impressed us enough to earn it our Editors’ Choice nod, the MeMO Pad 8, at just $50 more, is equally impressive—only with a bigger screen.
Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.
One of the best multifunction inkjets we looked at in its time (back in 2012) was Epson’s high-volume WorkForce Pro WP-4590 All-in-One Printer, a flexible $499.99-list workhorse machine. If you weren’t wedded by function, or by law, to laser-printed output, it was practically everything you’d want in a printer designed for a workgroup in a small or medium business (SMB). The WP-4590 served up exceptional print speeds and overall print quality, plus just about every convenience and productivity feature you could think of. Most crucially, it did all of that at an exceptionally low cost per page (CPP).
At the time, we considered the WP-4590 one of the best business-printer values available, and we still hold it in high regard. But now, we feel much the same way about 2014’s $299.99-list WorkForce Pro WF-4630 All-in-One Printer, the topic of this review. It hits that same rare balance that the WP-4590 did among SMB printers, of sheer feature depth, performance, and output quality, paired with a very fair CPP.
The WorkForce Pro WF-4630 is one of 11 models in the company’s dramatically refreshed WorkForce line of business printers, released in June 2014. All 11 models were built around Epson’s new, speed-enhancing PrecisonCore printhead technology. The first one we reviewed, the wide-format WorkForce WF-7610, won an Editors’ Choice award. And this one makes Epson’s PrecisionCore-based printers 2-for-2 so far.
In the case of this “Pro”-level model, it’s as fast as most entry-level and midlevel laser-class machines. Also, as we discuss in the Setup & Paper Handling section a little later in this review, certain PrecisionCore models, this “Pro” version included, deliver very aggressive CPP figures. That tends to be the missing piece in a moderate-price SMB inkjet, but Epson nails it here while keeping the fundamentals strong.
Also know that you have some paper-handling flexibility here. In addition to the WorkForce Pro WF-4630, Epson offers the $399.99 WorkForce Pro WF-4640. The difference is that it comes with a second 250-sheet paper drawer, for a maximum potential capacity of 580 sheets from three different input sources. (More detail later on that, too.) Both models also have auto-duplexing automatic document feeders (ADFs), for streamlined handling of two-sided multipage originals, and both have a quite-healthy 30,000-page maximum monthly duty cycle. (“Duty cycle” is the highest number of prints the manufacturer recommends in a given time period without inflicting undue wear and tear on the printer.)
In fact, the WorkForce Pro WF-4630 is one of those rare machines about which we found very, very little to grumble. It prints well; it’s fast; it’s loaded with features; and it’s inexpensive to use, not to mention highly attractive and durable. If you’re looking for a high-volume, high-quality multifunction inkjet with a terrific CPP, this is it.
Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.
Starting with the Eee Pad Transformer TF101 back in early 2011, Asus’ Transformer Pad has been one of tablet-dom’s stalwart brands, almost as long-running as Samsung’s Galaxy Tabs and Apple’s category-defining iPads. It gets the “Transformer” in its name because attaching Asus’ proprietary keyboard-dock accessories turns these stand-alone tablets into de facto Android laptops.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen a few iterations of the Transformer Pad, starting with the all-polished-aluminum Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201, which came with top-of-the-line everything and sold for $499.99 (MSRP), plus another $150 for the keyboard dock. It was a hot item in early 2012. Shortly after that model came the less-expensive Transformer Pad TF300 (At debut, it was $399.99 MSRP for the tablet, $150 for the keyboard.) For the most part, aside from their elegant polished-metal casings, the Transformer Prime and the Transformer Pad TF300 were, in terms of overall feature sets and performance, rather closely matched.
That was a good thing, because these Transformers were well-built, fast, and attractive tablets in their time. Their only big shortcoming: Once you outfitted the TF300 with its keyboard dock, it sold for more than $500 street price, or, if you opted for the Transformer Prime and its dock, more than $600. In fact, the Transformer Prime decked out with its keyboard dock and 64GB of onboard storage could have set you back upward of a cool $700. We know today (and, really, have known for some time now) that most buyers just won’t pay that much for a 10.1-inch Android tablet.
However, Asus is betting that today’s tablet buyers might shell out less than half that—say, $299—for a full-size Transformer Padwith the keyboard dock in the box. Provided that both the keyboard and the tablet are quality hardware, and that everything works right, we agree. And that was the case with the subject of our review here today, the Transformer Pad TF103C.
On the surface, before we started putting this slate through its paces, it seemed like a tremendous deal. We’re happy to report that our impressions held up to scrutiny. For $299, you get a pretty decent slate and a full Android-optimized keyboard, an impressive combo for the price.
Granted, this entry-level tablet is not identical in build quality to the high-end Transformer Pads of a few years ago. However, considering the tablet’s price, its Intel Atom processor performed well in our hands-on trials, as well as on most of our benchmark tests. The screen, while not spectacular, looked good, and the sound was better than passable, too.
Some of the early Transformer Pads were expense-no-object machines—the best of the best, as Android tablets came. The Transformer Pad TF103C, while it looks quite similar, does show some of its budget roots once you look closely, a trade-off for the lower price and the inclusion of the dock. But, frankly, considering the $299 price, it’s a trade-off well worth making if you can’t shell out the full $500 to play the full-size iPad game.
Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.
Whether it’s a small personal all-in-one printer for churning out 20 or 30 pages each week, or a high-volume model designed to turn out thousands of pages monthly, Epson’s engineers design highly attractive, capable printers. Case in point is the topic of this review, the $299.99 (MSRP) Expression Photo XP-950 Small-in-One Printer.
Epson’s consumer-grade Small-in-One line of AIOs are aimed primarily at families and home-based offices. A photo printer, the XP-950 can print tabloid-size (11×17 inches), pages one at a time via the override tray on the back. Three-hundred dollars is a premium price for just about any consumer-grade printer, suggesting a strong feature set or perhaps something else exceptional. Above all else, this AIO’s claim to fame is its 6-ink print system that prints great-looking photos.
Read entire review at About.com.
When you spend $500 or $600 on a multifunction color laser-class printer (I say “laser-class” because some models use LEDs in place of lasers, which are cheaper to manufacture) with a high monthly duty cycle, you expect to use it, right? The reason for buying such a high-volume machine is, among other things, to take advantage of its higher-end features, such as high print speed, high capacity, high print quality, and a low cost per page (CPP).
For a number of reasons, small- and medium-size businesses (SMBs) often choose midlevel multifunction laser-class printers, like the topic of this review, OKI Data’s $549-list MC362w. Overall, the MC362w is a nice printer. It delivers good print quality at competitive speeds, but compared to some other high-volume models, such as HP’s Officejet Pro X576dw Multifunction Printer, Epson’s Workforce Pro WF-4630 All-in-One Printer, and some other high-volume inkjets, it comes up wanting—especially in terms of print quality and CPP.
Read the entire review at About.com.
By the time the subject of this review, Epson’s $229.99-list Expression Premium XP-810 Small-in-One Printer, came around, the company’s “Small-in-One” line had become ensconced and we were getting used to these little, but well-built and handy little multifunction printers. And I say multifunction because I mean it—right down to the bundled caddy for labeling appropriately surfaced CDs and DVDs. Overall, the XP-810 is an impressive little machine, even if the cost per page is too high.
Read the entire review at About.com
For some folks, printing photographs at home on their inkjet photo printer is more than a mere hobby; for them, it’s a passion—only the best photo printer will do. When somebody asks me what the best consumer-grade photo printer is, I tell them to look at Canon’s six-ink photo printers, such as the Pixma MG6320 Wireless Inkjet Photo All-in-One printer. While there’s a lot of mighty nice photo printers out there, few, if any, print photographs as well as these six-ink Pixmas, including the topic of this review, the $199.99-list Pixma MG7120 Photo All-in-One Printer.
Hackers continue to play havoc with our computers and networks. Many viruses and other traps are designed primarily to damage your system in some way—by, say, corrupting your data, scrambling the operating system, or crashing the system somehow.
Then there are the more nefarious forms of hacking that entail exploitation, by either accessing his or her financial data and using it to embezzle funds, or by encrypting or removing data from the victim’s PC and then holding it hostage, refusing to restore the data until a fee is paid.
One of the most nefarious of these viruses is Cryptolocker, a nasty little piece of ransomware that, though it has been around for a while (and therefore it’s “treated” by most antivirus software), PC and computer security technicians report that they are still treating CryptoLocker-infected machines.
Read the entire review at Digital Trends.
One aspect of computer technology that has remained relatively constant is the resolutions of the monitors and display panels we use. Think about it: while the display and the graphics processing hardware that drive them continuously get faster and more powerful, the underlying resolutions of the devices themselves haven’t gotten notably higher in quite some time.
However, researchers at Oxford University and the University of Exeter in England recently came up with nanopixels, a new display technology that could increase screen resolution as much as 150 times higher than current tech.
And you thought 4K displays were crazy.
Read the entire article at Digital Trends.