HP Officejet 150 Mobile All-in-One PrinterWhen traveling, most of us try to shed as many pounds as possible—especially when it comes to toting electronics. The computing device (laptop, tablet, smartphone) we take with us is often a compromise between convenience and productivity features and weight and size, and most of us would never consider taking along a printer, let alone an all-in-one (AIO) printer that can also copy and scan.

Unless, that is, it’s one of the rare true mobile printers of the world, such as Epson’s $349.99-list WorkForce WF-100, Canon’s $249.99-list Pixma iP110, or the subject of this review, HP’s $399.99 (MSRP) Officejet 150 Mobile All-in-One Printer. The difference, of course, between the first two and that last one is that the WorkForce and Pixma models are single-function (print only) machines, while our Officejet 150 mobile can also scan and make copies.

Read the entire review at About.com.

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Security firms struggle to keep up with malware surgeYear after year brings reports of increased malware attacks, and predictions that the future is destined to see more than ever. Such forecasts aren’t just doom and gloom, but instead based in reality. Over the past two years security experts have witnessed an unprecedented spikes in attacks.

According to AV-Test, an independent security software review group, more than 143 million malware detections were reported in 2014. That’s 72 percent more, according to a recent report, than 2013. Worse, more malware was detected during 2013-2014 than in the previous 10 years altogether. Will this storm of cyber-attacks ever cease?

Read the entire article at Digital Trends.

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Can hard drive manufacturers keep up with the world’s demand? Despite ever-plunging per-gigabyte prices, storage device manufacturers are reporting banner profits each year. A huge part of the success comes from, of course, the storage device industry’s continual (and successful) adaptation of the hard disk drive (HDD) to our computing devices over the past 40 years or so. As our laptops, PCs, and servers have evolved over the years, becoming much faster, capable, and reliable, so have our HDDs.

Industry leaders, such as storage giant Western Digital, have not only reported record years recently, but they’re also predicting significant growth over the next five or six years. Western Digital, for instance, has estimated a two billion dollar surge, from $36 billion in 2013 to $38 billion by the end of 2014, in global, industry-wide storage-device sales. That is projected to grow by another four billion, to $42 billion, in 2015.

And this growth is in spite of a tremendous drop in the average cost per gigabyte. According to statisticbrain.com, over the past 33 years (from 1980 to 2013), the per-gigabyte cost dropped from $437,500 per GB to five cents per GB, respectively. That’s encouraging a rapid expansion in storage consumption, but technology must advance to keep pace.

Read the entire article at Digital Trends.

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Work with your hands, at your desk: Intel refocuses on gesture input with RealSense   Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/intel-re-commits-realsense-voiceassist-ces-2015/#ixzz3ORSGXTIJ  Follow us: @digitaltrends on Twitter | digitaltrendsftw on FacebookSurely you’ve seen, either in movies or educational shows, those artificial intelligence (AI) computers that you interact with through various cables, or input leads, connected to your fingers, your hands, your head, and your feet. Depending on the sophistication of the devices and the software, nearly all parts of your body create input for the AI computer. Now, imagine interacting with, even controlling, your computer via hand and head movements, even facial expressions, without the input leads and cables.

Or maybe you want to control your computer with voice commands, like iPads and Android devices? Enter RealSense and VoiceAssist, two new interactivity enhancement features slated for the next generation of Intel CPUs.

If it all works the way Intel claims, you’ll soon be interacting with your computer via voice commands, hand, and head gestures, rather than actual physical pointing devices and keyboards. Here’s a real sense of how Intel’s new RealSense and VoiceAssist technologies work.

Read entire article at Digital Trends.

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2014 Printer Market HighlightsLast year, 2014, was a rather eventful year for the printer industry. Epson, for example, not only redid its entire small and medium-size business (SMB) WorkForce multifunction printer (MFP) line, but the revamps themselves were based on the Japanese printer giant’s new PrecisionCore printhead technology. In addition, Canon made an unprecedented move (for Canon, that is) by releasing a whole new line of SMB-friendly “Maxify” business office MFPs.

We also saw a slew of new mobile device-printing options, as discussed in this About.com“Mobile Printing Features – 2014” article. While none of these features were actually new to 2014 (they’ve been lurking in the background for a few years now), a couple of them, namely Near-Field Communication (NFC) and Wi-Fi Direct, were widely deployed by a few printer makers last year—thereby providing direct access to MFP features without either the printer or the mobile device joining a network.

In any case, 2014 was, as I recall, the year of the high-volume business printer and easy-to-use wireless mobile protocols.

Read the entire article at About.com.

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A Guide to Multifunction Business PrintersBefore you venture out into the world to buy a new printer for your home-based, small-, or medium-size business, it’s always a good idea to determine what you need your new office appliance to do. Will you, for example, print a lot photographs? A lot of business documents? How about scanning and copying; how much of those functions will you do? Also known as all-in-ones (AIOs), multifunction printers (MFPs) come in various sizes with volume ratings ranging from a few hundred pages a month to several thousand and beyond.

Read the entire article at About.com.

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How to Choose a Photo ScannerYou’d think that as long as digital cameras and, more importantly, photo scanners, have been around, nearly all the photos in the World should already be digitized. Alas, apparently, we’re still not even close, or maybe new hard copy prints get generated everyday—perhaps both. In any case, the point is that, just as the need for photo printers continues, so does the need for photo scanners. However, not all photo scanners are the same, and it really depends on what you plan to scan, the required scan quality, and how often you plan to scan photographs, to determine how sophisticated a machine you need.

Read the entire article at About.com.

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Epson Expression Photo XP-860 Small-in-One (Front)We’ve looked at a bunch of Epson’s Small-in-One inkjet printers over the past couple of years—everything from the budget-model, $99.99-list Epson Expression Home XP-410 Small-in-One Printer to the flagship of the line, the $349.99-list Epson Expression Photo XP-950 Small-in-One Printer. For the most part, we’ve found them capable machines with good-looking output, not to mention excellent engineering and strong feature sets.

Today’s Small-in-One up for review, the second in line after the XP-950, is another six-ink, photo-optimized model: the $299.99-list Expression Photo XP-860. Like the XP-950, the XP-860 is an excellent photo printer. For the $50 difference, you give up the ability to print on 11×17-inch, tabloid-size paper. (The XP-950 takes a single sheet of that big paper via the override tray.) On the other hand, the XP-860 comes with a 30-page auto-duplexing automatic document feeder (ADF) for scanning and copying multipage, two-sided documents, while the more-expensive XP-950 does not.

Both models also have the ability to print on appropriately surfaced “printable” CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs. Optical discs may be fading in importance these days, but this labelling function comes in handy in a few different scenarios, such as cataloging high-resolution images for long-term storage, or making music CDs.

In addition to its excellent print quality, ADF, and ability to print to discs, this Small-in-One comes with a slew of productivity and convenience features. As you’ll see on the next page, it supports a wide range of mobile connectivity options, as well as printing from several cloud sites and kinds of memory devices, and much, much more.

Epson Expression Photo XP-860 Small-in-One (Printing)Like most other all-in-one (AIO) printers in this class, though, this one, while itcan print exceptional-looking documents, has limited document-printing support. As you’ll see in the Setup & Paper Handling section later on, not only does this photo printer have exceptionally small input and output trays, but it’s also expensive, in terms of cost per page (CPP), to use.

The XP-860’s closest competitor, Canon’s six-ink Pixma MG7520 Photo All-in-One, is also a low-volume, expensive-to-maintain printer, but it lists for about $100 less. To be sure, the Epson Small-in-One holds the edge on features, notably the ADF, and a few others. But the real balance has to do with the pricing, and whether you shop around. As we wrote this (in late December 2014), Epson was offering the XP-860 for a $70 discount off list, or $229.99 direct, bringing it well within striking distance of the Pixma MG7520.

Hence, like some of the other Small-in-Ones we’ve reviewed, while the XP-860 can print great-looking documents, the per-page cost of ink, as well as a few other things, limit it as a business document printer. However, if bright, detailed, high-quality photos, with the occasional business document thrown in, are what you’re after, we think you’ll like this printer. (You’ll also get easy, good-looking scans and copies of both photos and multipage, two-sided documents.) It may not be cheap for what it is, but we doubt you’ll have quibbles about any of its output, on paper or digital.

Read entire review at  Computer Shopper.

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Image Resolution and Color DepthAn image’s resolution is determined by the number of individual addressable points making up the photo, whether it is the number of dots that comprise a printed image, or the number of pixels contained in a screen image.

Depending on several factors, typically the more dots that are used to create an image, the more detail the image displays, resulting in sharper, better-looking scans and prints—providing you start with quality images to begin with, of course.

When, for example, you use bitmap graphics, whatever resolution you choose, information for each pixel or printer dot needs to be stored. The higher the resolution, the more information needs to be stored for any image of any size.

The only place this does not apply is when you’re using vector graphics (which isn’t often in most scan-or print situations), as the information about resolution is relevant only when the image is printed, or exported as a bitmap.

Read the entire article at About.com.

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How to Choose a Photo PrinterWell, the verdict is in—without question, inkjet printers leave their laser counterparts in the dust—when it comes to photograph printing. In other words, laser-class (which includes LED-array) devices can’t hold a candle to inkjet machines, photo-optimized or otherwise, when printing images. However, most photo printers are relatively inefficient at printing business documents.

That said, let me add that for the most part, most of today’s consumer-grade photo-optimized printers do a decent job when printing images, and, yes, some photo printers are certainly better than others, not only at printing photos, but also at churning out business documents. Then, too, most photo printers these days come with a scanner for copying and scanning photos and documents to your PC, other computers on the network, as well as various cloud sites on the Internet.

Read the entire article at About.com.

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