HP Scanjet Enterprise Flow 5000 s2 Sheet-feed ScannerA while back, the Printer/Scanner section of About.com 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.

Read entire review at About.com

Share

OKI B412dn Monochrome Printer ReviewFor some years now, we’ve squawked that laser and laser-class LED printers were, in terms of their per-page cost of toner, getting too expensive to use. That’s not because they were doing anything different—in fact, the category has been rather steady, nay, stagnant, for some time. But in that period, business inkjets with aggressive ink costs have swooped in and taken away these printers’ lunch, and have their eyes on their milkshakes, too.

If OKI Data’s most recent round of laser-class printers are any indication, at least one printer maker has heard that warning, or at least seen the flock of inkjets circling overhead. In fact, more than one of that company’s most recent monochrome laser-class printers—among them the OKI B512dnwe reviewed back in April of this year—delivered a cost per page (CPP) for toner under 1 cent, given certain circumstances.

It’s good to see laser and LED printers showing signs of life here in 2015, and the Japanese imaging giant has surprised us again, here with its $199-MSRP B412bn Monochrome Printer—the first under-$200 laser-class printer we’ve seen that delivers an under-2-cent per-page cost. The B412dn is the smaller of a pair of single-function monochrome laser-class printers released recently, with the $349 B432dn being the other.

For the additional $150 in the B432dn, you get, among other things, an 80,000-page monthly duty cycle (versus 60,000 in the B412dn) and support for higher-yield (12,000-page) toner cartridges. (That latter factor, the bigger toner cartridge, allows for an even lower CPP.) The B432dn is also rated at 7 pages per minute (ppm) faster, or 42ppm versus 35ppm.

OKI B412dnAside from these somewhat minor differences, these two single-function models—as well as the much faster-rated (47ppm), higher-capacity (100,000-page monthly duty cycle), and much higher-priced ($499 MSRP) B512dn mentioned earlier—are essentially the same in size, appearance, and features. It all comes down to how much you print, and how much savings you might actually garner from a lower CPP. For some users, the slices of a penny per page saved with the B432dn versus the B412dn might be well worth the additional $150 over the long haul.

That said, then, if a midrange laser-class machine like this OKI is what you need, the only real question mark is your day-to-day print volume. To that end, we’ll take a somewhat detailed look at what all these numbers mean—in terms of actual cost and savings as they relate to this OKI.

Before moving on to the next section, though, we should clarify why we call this a “laser-class” printer, as opposed to a pure “laser” printer. Like many of today’s low-cost laser-class machines, this model does not use an actual scanning laser to trace the transfer of toner onto the drum and ultimately to the paper. Instead, it employs a fixed light-emitting diode (LED) array to perform essentially the same function.

The benefits of using this LED technology for printer makers are many, including lower costs, the ability to build smaller machines, and fewer moving parts. Printer users, on the other hand, get smaller, lighter machines that use less power, all else being equal.

Do we recommend the OKI B412dn? Well, for its price and size, we really liked this printer. However, some of OKI’s other models, such as the two mentioned above, may provide better value depending on your printing-volume needs. This one works from a value point of view under a set of narrow circumstances, governed primarily by how much and what you print. We’ll get into all of that over the course of this review.

Otherwise, though, this is a great entry-level printer for pure text output.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.

Share

Epson’s Perfection V39 Color ScannerOf all the things you can attach to your computer, like printers, scanners have been around a long time. Like the first laser printers, the first scanners were woefully slow and expensive. In fact, high-end desktop publishing gear,such as laser printers and scanners, was prohibitively expensive, causing many document design and layout professional to rent time on these costly machines.

Nowadays, the tables have turned to the point that the issue is finding a good scanner, or the best scanner, for your application (i.e. photos, documents, both). Few (if any) scanner makers make more “step-up” scanner models than Epson, thereby most likely providing a set of features ideally suited (or close, anyway) to your needs.

This brings us to the latest personal scanner from Epson, the $100 MSRP Perfection V39 Color Scanner, the next step up from the Perfection V19 we reviewed a while back.

Read entire review at About.com

Share

Dell E515dw Multifunction Monochrome PrinterI’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.
Share

Asus ZenBook UX305FA Review and RatingsIntel has all its marketing eggs in the 2-in-1 basket nowadays, but it wasn’t always so. Almost four years ago, during the last half of 2011, the first round of svelte and elegant ultrabooks started showing up in our labs. One of the first companies on board was Asus, with its ZenBook line. We reviewed one of the 11.6-inch ZenBooks, the $1,199 model UX21E, in November 2011, and came away duly impressed with how light and compact it was, as well as how much it resembled Apple’s MacBook Air.

Since then, we’ve seen many ZenBooks, ranging in screen size from 11.6 inches to 15.6 inches. Most have been premium or at least upscale machines, such as the most recent, the ZenBook Pro UX501Best Price at Amazon with its 4K touch screen.

The ultrabook we’re reviewing today is something different. The ZenBook UX305FA is only 2.6 pounds, only 0.5 inch thin at the thick end of its wedge-shaped profile, and only $699, or $300 less than the cheapest 13.3-inch MacBook Air. What’s surprising, though, is how little you have to give up to get this low price. This ZenBook is not a cheaply configured laptop.

Asus ZenBook UX305FA rear angleYou get twice as much memory as the MacBook Air (8GB), for example, and twice as much solid-state storage (256GB). There’s a full HD (1,920×1,080) display panel. In addition, it doesn’t run on a low-power Celeron or Atom processor. Instead, as discussed in the Performance section later on, the UX305FA is powered by Intel’s low-wattage Core M processor, which enables a fanless design, letting the ZenBook run silently.

With its 0.8GHz Core M-5Y10, it also runs a little slower than competing models based on the 1.1GHz and 1.2GHz Core M CPUs, and slower still than machines built around laptop Core i5 and Core i7 processors.

Even so, as we found in our benchmarks, the ZenBook is not that slow—it’s fine for Microsoft Office and other productivity apps, though you wouldn’t want to run AutoCAD or Adobe Premiere on it. In addition, its slim, light, and highly attractive design makes it look and feel more elegant than its $699 price suggests. We found plenty to like about this laptop.

Read entire review at Computer Shopper

Share

HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M177fwA category of printers that has lost some ground recently is the entry-level, or “personal” 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 About.com 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.

Read the entire review at About.com

Share

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…)

Read entire article here.

Share

HP Envy 5660 e-All-in-One PrinterStarting with 2010’s HP Envy 100, the Envy line of inkjet all-in-one (AIO) printers—which can print, scan, and copy—has been one of the more interesting to watch evolve over the past few years. After the 2010 debut machine, consecutive models, such as 2011’s Envy 110 and 2013’s Envy 120, concentrated more on style and home-fitting elegance than on the more practical pursuits of what a printer needs to do.

As we pointed out in our July 2013 review of the Envy 5530 (one of the first Envys to break with the Envy-printer trend of style before substance), those first Envys, especially the Envy 120, were more fashion statements than nimble office appliances. When it came to capacity and practicality, they were really no more than entry-level AIOs, despite their elegant appearances and relatively high prices.

What we liked least about the early Envys, though, was how much they cost on a per-page basis to use. But then this has been true of all Envy-brand printers, including the much less costly Envy 5530 AIO. The good news here is that, as you’ll see in the Setup & Paper Handling section later on, the latest Envy AIO (and topic of this review), the $149.99-MSRP Envy 5660 e-All-in-One Printer$74.99 at HP, doesn’t have the same ink-price issue anymore—at least, with the advent of HP’s Instant Ink program, and assuming you sign up for it.

Even so, understand that this is a low-volume printer designed to churn out only a few hundred pages—at most—each month. HP’s ink program allows printer users who don’t print much to realize reasonable per-page ink costs, compared to the off-the-chart-high cost per page when buying ink cartridges off the shelf. And that’s a big feather in the value cap of this Envy model, as well as most (or all) of HP’s other low-volume, entry-level printers.

HP Envy 5660 e-All-in-One Printer (Printing)

Still, like its predecessor the Envy 5530, the Envy 5560 has no automatic document feeder (ADF) for feeding multipage documents to the scanner without user intervention. Instead, you must load your originals one page at a time, scan each one, and, if they’re double-sided, turn them over by hand and scan them again, repeating the process for each page.

A problem, then, for this Envy model is that some of the other major inkjet-printer makers, such as Epson with its comparably priced WorkForce WF-2660 All-in-One Printer ($99, factoring in a $50 discount that was available when we wrote this), offer ADFs and more in some of their like-priced models. As you’ll see later on, though, this HP model does print somewhat better photos than most business-oriented AIOs, in the event that’s important to you.

Really, though, if you need to do heavy-duty document processing, with the Envys you’re looking in the wrong place altogether. In the past, our main objection to this Envy would have been its high cost per page (CPP), but as mentioned, HP’s Instant Ink program makes buying ink a much more reasonably priced prospect. In fact, it goes a long way toward evening up the playing field between this entry-level model and higher-volume inkjets designed to print thousands of pages each month (at, of course, a much lower cost per page).

The savings that Instant Ink can bring—under the right circumstances—make this budget-minded Envy much easier to recommend, more so than any previous Envy, to users who don’t print much, or make many copies. It has a secret weapon when paired with Instant Ink: super-cheap printed photos.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper

Share

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?

Read the entire review at About.com

Share

Panasonic KV-S1057C Document ScannerIt’s a little surprising to me that after all these years of pursuing the paperless office, there’s still a need for so many scanners in the world, both photo and document scanners. Of the two types, though, document scanners are usually not as beefy, in terms of color accuracy and resolution, or dots per inch (dpi). The optical character recognition, or OCR(and other), software that does the actual conversion from scanned text to editable text, and then saves it to either a searchable Adobe Portable Document Format, or PDF, or catalogs it to a database for easy retrieval.

My point? With document scanners, the bundled software is often just as important (or more so) than the performance and accuracy of the scanner. Here, rather than my trying to choose the best document scanners (an impossible task because I haven’t seen them all—yet) out there, I’ve chosen a good one from each company that has sent me scanners to review. There should be something here to meet your needs.

Read the entire review at About.com

Share