Review of the Apparent Doxie Q scanner at PCMagThe Apparent Doxie Q ($299.99), like the IRIScan Anywhere 5, is an uber-portable document scanner that, unlike much of the competition, doesn’t need to be attached to a PC to do its job. The primary differences between the Doxie Q and the Anywhere 5 are that the former comes with an automatic document feeder (ADF), where the latter requires you to feed it manually, one page at a time. On the other hand, the IRIScan model has a much more robust, modern, and complete software bundle, while, in addition to Windows and MacOS, the Doxie Q also provides an app for uploading (and processing) your scans to Apple’s iOS, so you can use it with an iPhone or iPad. The real appeal here is that both allow you to scan virtually anywhere, but the Doxie Q has an ADF and a heartier, replaceable battery so it can scan longer.

Read the entire review at PCMag


 

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Editors' Choice

  • PROS

    Low price. High daily duty cycle for price. Excellent OCR accuracy. Includes PDF creation and editing and document management software. Large ADF for price.

  • CONS

    Much slower than Xerox’s ratings. Lag time between scanning and saving to searchable PDF is significant.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    For well under the cost of several similarly rated document scanners, the Xerox DocuMate 6440 scans more than fast enough for the price and it’s highly accurate.

Review of the Xerox DocuMate 6440 at PCMagWe’ve reviewed several sheet-feed document scanners with speed ratings above 50 pages per minute (ppm) when scanning in one-sided mode, and over 100 images per minute (ipm) in two-sided mode. But we haven’t tested many with ratings in this range that are comparable in price to the Xerox DocuMate 6440 ($495). In testing, it, like several other similarly rated document scanners, it didn’t come close to Xerox’s published ratings, especially when scanning to searchable PDF. But it does outpace similarly priced models and it scans quite acurately, making it our latest top pick for moderate-to-high-volume scanning in a small office or workgroup.

Read the entire review at PCMag


 

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Review of the Brother HL-L8360CDW at PCMagThe Brother HL-L8360CDW ($399.99), a color laser printer, is essentially the recent Editors’ Choice Brother HL-L8260CDW on steroids. The HL-L8360CDW gives you greater expandability, twice the memory, a higher duty cycle, access to higher-yield toner cartridges, lower running costs, greater security, and a few additional functions, such as near-field communication (NFC) and a color touch screen. Like the HL-L8260CDW, it prints well and at a fast clip. All of this for just $70 more makes the HL-L8360CDW a better value, and therefore our latest top choice for a moderate-to-heavy volume color laser printer for a micro or small office or workgroup.

Read the entire review at PCMag


 

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The review of the Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 at Computer ShopperThe release of new Android-tablet contenders has slowed to a trickle over the past few years, and many of these models have been designed to mimic one or the other of the immensely popular Apple iPads. Take today’s review unit, the $259.99-MSRP Mi Pad 3, for example, from Xiaomi. (Xiaomi is a very big name in China, where it is best known for its smartphones, but it is much lesser known here in the States.) Aside from the Android operating system and the differences that brings with it, the Mi Pad 3 is an Apple iPad Mini 4 at any distance greater than arm’s length, and shares a lot with that iconic tablet if you look at it closer.

The Mi Pad 3 comes, for example, with a screen of the same size and same resolution: 7.9 inches on the diagonal, and 2,048×1,536 pixels. And, as you’ll see in the next section, the two tablets have several other like physical attributes. Where these Android-based iPad-alikes usually differ, though, is in their pricing. Unless you’re dead-set on Android, why would you pay the same price (or close to it) for a facsimile?

The Huawei MediaPad M3, another iPad Mini lookalike we reviewed recently, for one, lists for $299.99, or $100 less than the Mini 4 (and $50 more than the Mi Pad 3). The question is, of course, do you get the same value and ease of use from an Android iPad clone as you do from an actual iPad? Obviously, given the popularity, build quality, and overall user experience of the iPads (including the Mini 4), and the strength of the Apple iOS app ecosystem, these tablets are tough to beat. But—we speculate—that isn’t what Xiaomi, Huawei, or any iPad lookalike maker is trying to do.

Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 (Introduction)

Instead, these iPad wannabes are offered as money-saving alternatives. For those who can’t afford (or aren’t inclined to spend) $400 or more for a small tablet, these “premium Android” models have a market opening. And some, we think, succeed more than others.

In the case of the Mi Pad 3, as you’ll see in the Performance section later on, it’s not the fastest tablet out there. But it holds its own, even against bigger, more expensive slates. And, from the user-experience perspective—without the benefit of benchmark comparisons—it runs well, with no real sluggishness, crashes, or other performance issues evident in our hands-on time with it. We also like the way it looks and feels. The Mi Pad 3 is thin, sturdy-feeling, and well-balanced, making it pleasant to hold and use.

Now, it does have a shortcoming or two. The body lacks an SD-card slot for expanding storage, for one thing, which is a semi-staple among Android tablets that gives them an (often much needed) edge over Apple’s stable of tablets and smartphones. Also, due to the sheer popularity of the iPad, the availability and frequent updating of tablet-specific apps is tilted a little in the iPad’s favor.

Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 (Contents)

Even so, there is no shortage of Android apps, including tablet-optimized ones. After spending a significant amount of time with the Mi Pad 3, we found little to dislike about it. We have little hesitation in recommending it as a lower-cost alternative to the iPad Mini 4.

FYI, in the U.S., the main source for the Mi Pad 3 is GearBest.com, which specializes in direct-from-Asia tech; you can find the product page here, and GearBest is also offering a coupon code at this writing (MIPAD3CANAL, good through the end of June) that knocks the price to $259.99. Just take heed, when and if you buy, of where it will ship from. It’s possible that if not warehoused in the U.S. at the time of your order, your tablet may ship direct from China, which could take longer than you might expect. Amazon Prime it ain’t.

See the entire review at Computer Shopper


 

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Review of the Canon Color imageClass MF634Cdw at PCMagA $399 list price places the Canon Color imageClass MF634Cdw neck and neck with the Editors’ Choice HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M277dw among low-volume personal color laser all-in-one (AIO) printers. It’s also suitable for light-duty use in a micro or small office or workgroup. Unlike the HP model, though, the MF634Cdw comes with a duplexing automatic document feeder (ADF) that supports single-pass two-sided scanning. Like other printers in this class, though, its running costs are high, although competitive for what it is. A low purchase price, a robust feature set, better-than-average print quality, and competitive printing costs make the MF634Cdw our new top choice as an entry-level color laser AIO printer.


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Review of the OKI MC573dn color laser MFP at Computer ShopperEvery so often, when some of the major makers of laser and laser-class printers (Brother, Canon, and OKI, for instance) update their stables of small-business and workgroup printers, they all seem to land at the same time. Like here in mid-2017.

We’ve got reviews of laser-class stand-alone (printer-only) and multifunction (print/copy/scan/fax) models in the hopper for all but HP, and that company said to be on the lookout for soon-to-come announcements.

Tokyo-based OKI Data has been more active than behemoth HP early in 2017 on the laser front. The veteran printer maker released several new laser-class models, including two stand-alones, the OKI C332dn and OKI C612dn, that we reviewed recently. Today, we’re looking at the $899-MSRP OKI MC573dn, a midrange color-laser-class multifunction printer (MFP) along the same lines as several other laser-class MFPs we’ve reviewed within the past year or so, such as the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdw, the Samsung Multifunction Printer ProXpress C3060FW, and the Xerox WorkCentre 6515, to name a few.

All three of these, as well as the Brother, Canon, and soon-to-come HP machines, are actual laser printers, in that the light source inside them that etches page images on the print drum is a laser-driven mechanism. The OKI MC573dn, as well as the two stand-alone OKI models mentioned above, on the other hand, are LED-based printers. Their light source in each case is a light-emitting-diode (LED) array, rather than an actual laser; hence, we call them laser-class or laser-style printers. Aside from this distinction, though, from the outside LED-based printers function and look identical to their laser counterparts.

OKI MC573dn (Front)

At one time, several printer manufacturers offered LED printers alongside laser-based siblings. Why? Well, because LED-array hardware is typically smaller and lighter, with fewer moving parts than what’s in laser equivalents, and the arrays use less power. They cost less to manufacture, too, thereby allowing for printers that are smaller, lighter, less costly to make, and more energy-efficient.

Even so, OKI is the only printer maker left that deploys LED arrays in most of its laser-class machines. Why? We can only speculate as to that. It’s true that, because lasers deploy only one light source and LED arrays use several, laser imaging heads are often more precise. But that is not an absolute; we’ve seen LED-based machines over the years that produce output as good as, and sometimes better than, many of their laser competitors. And, again, LED arrays draw notably less power, making them less expensive to run day in and day out.

Which brings us back to the OKI MC573dn. Overall, OKI has done a terrific job with this update. This model comes with a snazzy 7-inch touch screen, a decent feature set, and the option for expandable paper capacity. And its print quality is about average for its class, which may sound like faint praise but really means: It’s very good.

We aren’t thrilled with its per-page toner cost, though. This printer would be a much better value if it saved you money on both power and consumables. Even so, the OKI MC573dn is a highly capable laser-class MFP that’s more than suitable for low to moderate volume in a micro or small office or workgroup. For the most part, it runs neck and neck with its laser-based competitors, except that its $899 list price (and roughly $699 street price) is a little steep compared to competing models mentioned here so far.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper


 

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Review of the HP OfficeJet Pro 8216 at PCMagEssentially a two-drawer version of the HP OfficeJet Pro 8210, the OfficeJet Pro 8216 ($179.99) is notably slower than its less expensive sibling, but overall print quality is markedly better. A single-function color inkjet business printer, it’s comparable in features and capacity to the Editors’ Choice Canon Maxify iB4120 Wireless Small Office Inkjet Printer, but it costs a little more. The 8216 and Canon iB4120 deliver similar running costs, but the former is eligible for HP’s Instant Ink subscription service, which can save you a bunch on ink. While it doesn’t quite live up to the Canon model’s superior print quality, the OfficeJet Pro 8216 has many assets that make it an excellent alternative to a color laser.

See the entire review at PCMag 

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Review of the Logitech K480 Multi-Device Keyboard at PCMagMany of the keyboards we’ve looked at lately have been multi-device models, in that you can pair two or more computing devices—smartphones, tablets, PCs, Macs—to them simultaneously, and then switch back and forth with the touch of a button. Aside from Microsoft’s Universal Foldable Keyboard ($70), though, none have been small enough to consider carrying around with you – except Logitech’s Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480.

The K480 is compact and light compared to many multi-device keyboards, including those in Logitech’s line-up. It’s also inexpensive. Logitech lists it for $50, but we found it at several online outlets for around $30. At that price, the only real issues left are — does it, as its more expensive siblings and competitors do, perform well, and is it really portable?

Read entire review at Digital Trends


 

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Review of the Brother MFC-L8900CDW at Computer ShopperThe Brother MFC-L8900CDW ($599.99) is a midrange color laser all-in-one printer (AIO) designed for low-to-medium use in a micro or small office or workgroup. Comparable to the Editors’ Choice Samsung Multifunction Printer ProXpress C3060FW, the MFC-L8900CDW is loaded with features, it’s expandable, and its running costs are competitive. It’s relatively fast and prints text very well, but its graphics and photos are not quite up to snuff, compared with some competitors. That’s not to say that its output isn’t good enough for most business applications, though. The MFC-L8900CDW is a decent choice for offices that require light-to-moderate print and copy volume.

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Review of the HP ScanJet Pro 4500 fn1 Network Scanner at PCMagThe flagship in HP’s line of flatbed ScanJet Pro document scanners, the 4500 fn1 Network Scanner ($899) is similar in many ways to the ScanJet Pro 3500 f1 Flatbed Scanner. Unlike its less-expensive sibling, though, the 4500 is networkable via both Ethernet and Wi-Fi, scans faster, and has a higher daily duty cycle. It’s also quicker than the Editors’ Choice Canon imageFormula DR-2020U, as well as the comparably priced Epson WorkForce DS-6500—especially when saving scans to searchable PDF files. Fast, single-pass scanning and swift saving to a usable file format, as well as built-in networking, easily elevate the ScanJet Pro 4500 to our Editors’ Choice for a flatbed document scanner for low-to-medium-volume scanning in a small office or workgroup.

Read the entire review at PCMag


 

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