Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4630 All-in-OneWhile Epson makes many different kinds of printers, they excel at home-based and small-office business-optimized multifunction (print/scan/copy/fax) models—most notably, its WorkForce line of office-ready all-in-ones (AIOs). Especially impressive, in terms of speed, print quality, and cost per page, are the high-volume small-office and workgroup AIOs, such as the $299-99-list WorkForce Pro WF-4630 All-in-One Printer (the subject of this review), and the $399-99-list WorkForce Pro WF-4640 All-in-One Printer.

Read the entire review at About.com.

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WHAT IS THE MACHINE, HP’S NEW SUPER COMPUTER?An increasing number of websites and cloud services manage huge and complex amounts of data, and that’s growing at an exponential rate. That’s a problem for some though, including computer manufacturer HP.

“Toward the end of this decade, data growth will come at us at a rate that surpasses the ability of our current infrastructure to evolve to ingest, store and analyze it,” HP says. “A step change in computing technology is required.”

In other words, HP is saying that what we’re doing now won’t suffice for much longer. We need something much faster and more capable of storing massive amounts of data in smaller spaces. To that end, HP recently announced its solution to the problem— dubbed “The Machine,” which is an all new supercomputer so efficient that, the company says, it can drastically reduce the space required by an entire data center.

Read entire review at Digital Trends.

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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-OnePerhaps no printer maker offers more entry-level (under $150) all-in-ones (AIOs) than imaging giant, Canon. Part of that product line includes a series of office-oriented Pixmas ranging in price between about $70 and $150. Each spring, like clockwork, models in this product line are updated, with the underlying print engine and several other key components remaining the same—which is OK if you start with a sound core machine to begin with.

Read the entire review at About.com.

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Top Alternative Inkjet Printhead PrintersTwo new printhead technologies from HP (PageWide) and Epson (PrecisionCore) have brought inkjet printers even closer to their laser-class (LED and true laser) counterparts, in terms of print speeds and cost per page (CPP). As described in this About.com “Alternative Inkjet Printhead Printers” article, while the two technologies are different—one deploys a fixed printhead and the other does not—they both use a significantly denser grouping of ink nozzles than more traditional inkjet printheads do.

Read the entire review at About.com.

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Choosing the Right Printer 101Single-function, multifunction, low-volume, high-volume, photo printers, office printers—and I’m just getting started. With all the different types of printers out there, with seemingly several different models appropriate to the same tasks, it’s difficult sometimes to determine which printer is right for your application—how will you use it? There are a bunch of things to consider; here are some of the most important things to think about as you shop for a printer.

Read the entire article at About.com.

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HP Officejet Pro X551dw Color PrinterSometimes, all you need is a quality color printer that sits there month after month churning out great-looking business documents, presentations, and drawings—quickly and efficiently. Historically, when speed and quality were important, small- and medium-size businesses (SMBs) have relied on laser-class (LED or true laser) machines. However, recent developments in inkjet technology—the fixed printhead—have allowed printer makers, such as HP and Epson, to create inkjet printers that rival (and often exceed) entry-level and midrange laser-class machines, in terms of speed, quality, and per-page cost of operation, or cost per page.

Read the entire article at About.com.

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THE CORE I7-5960X, INTEL’S FIRST 8-CORE CPU: FAST, EXPENSIVE, AND COMING SOONAfter countless articles and much anticipation, Intel is reportedly about to release some of the first processors based on its Haswell-E specifications, which will, of course, support DDR4 memory and 8-core processors. However, of the three Haswell-E Core i7 CPUs expected, only one of them, the Core i7-5960X, will actually come with 8 cores, and it will sell for $999. The other two, the i7-5930K and i7-5820K, will contain only 6 cores, which is the same number found in the current Ivy Bridge-E generation processor.

Read the entire review at Digital Trends.

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