Ah, springtime. New blossoms, pollen in the air, and a hankering for starting that spring cleaning. But organization projects can be daunting. Why not enlist the help of a label printer? You'll find lots of reviews of label printers right here; and if you've already got one but are stuck for ideas, you can browse through Epson's YouTube channel and find some great new ways to use the wide variety of colors and materials available for that company's label printers, such as the LabelWorks LW-400. Try glow-in-the-dark colors for things stored in basements, iron-ons for clothing and fabric, and metallic or fluorescent for getting that garage in order. Save your eyesight by using large font sizes for items that are big enough to accommodate them, and take advantage of the built-in memory that most label printers have these days so that you don't have to start from scratch each time.
Whether you're working in a busy professional office or are just a one-person show with offices in your basement, a laser printer can be a huge benefit. Laser and LED printers offer great print speeds, so that you can print as fast as three seconds per page, and fantastic final products (as long as you don't really want to print photographs, though graphics typically look great). Best of all, pricing on laser and LED printers is getting closer to inkjet pricing--and while toner refills aren't cheap, they do last a very long time. The list of Best Laser / LED Printers has been updated with some new pricing and some new units. When you start your search for a new printer, consider taking the plunge on a laser printer and you probably won't be dissatisfied.
Ok, you've read a lot about 3-D printing, from printing new prosthetic limbs to creating custom cufflinks. All great, exciting stuff, but so...large. No worries. Scientists at the Vienna University of Technology have shown that 3-D printing need not be consigned only to very big--or even slightly large--projects. They're using 3-D (or additive) printing technology to create realistic-looking sculptures that can be measured in hundreds of nanometers. As a reminder, a nanometer is one billionth of a meter. Blue light has a wavelength of about 475 nanometers. That's pretty small. How does it work? According to the scientists, "The 3D printer uses a liquid resin, which is hardened at precisely the correct spots by a focused laser beam. The focal point of the laser beam is guided through the resin by movable mirrors and leaves behind a polymerized line of solid polymer, just a few hundred nanometers wide. This high resolution enables the creation of intricately structured sculptures as tiny as a grain of sand." Their printer is also fast, the scientists say, able to print as much as five meters per second. That opens the doors to much bigger, and more practical, 3-D printed objects.
Canon's newest Pixma printer, the MX892, offers a lot for not so much money. At about $200, the printer offers scanning, faxing, and copying capability, in addition to wired or wireless networking, an automatic document feeder, and lots of other options that are often only for more expensive printers. What you won't get is a printer that's particularly fast, or all that quiet. Well, as John Barth once wrote, life choices are trade-offs, dear reader, and while he wasn't referring specifically to printers, the lesson holds true here. Not that you necessarily have to trade speed for quality, but while this printer doesn't provide much of the former, it does have a great deal of the latter, particularly when it comes to printing photos, where the MX892 really shines. Want to learn more about the pros and cons of the newest Canon Pixma printer? Read the Full Review for more details.
Canon today announced the release of a new addition to its line of Pixma printers, the MX892 Wireless Office All-in-One, which it calls "the flagship model in the award-winning family" of Canon Pixma printers. The MX892 will allow easy access to Google Cloud Print as well as Canon's Pixma Cloud Link--the latter allows users to print photos directly from online albums. Another option for wireless connectivity is Canon Easy-Photo Print, an app (for iPhones and Android devices) "where documents can be scanned on the printer and sent to the [mobile] device." The printer uses five ink tanks, can scan oversized documents, offers built-in duplex printing / scanning / copying, and comes with lots of photo-effects software. When available, it will retail for $199.99. Check back soon for a full review.
Small and sleek, with some fancy (if not completely practical) futuristic styling, the HP Photosmart 7510 color inkjet printer delivers some good value without breaking the bank. Like some other printers I've seen recently, the 7510 boasts a large touchscreen with a number of customizable apps in addition to function keys for the copier and scanner (and eFax feature, which offers the first 20 incoming and 20 outgoing pages each month for free; which, given the amount of faxing I need to do, seems a pretty good deal). The touchscreen isn't the easiest to use and not all the apps work perfectly, but those are fairly petty gripes against this handy and inexpensive all-in-one printer. Read the Full Review for some more pros and cons of the HP Photosmart 7510.
Color laser printers are getting cheaper--just one example is the Samsung CLP-315, which sells for not much over $200--but if you want a machine that can handle a lot of printing each month, you'll want to look at something like the HP LaserJet Pro 400 line. The one I tested came with some extras, such as automatic duplexing, but sadly wireless networking is not built into all the models. That's a bit frustrating given that these are high-end printers, priced at or about $500. True, you do get a very good printer for that price, and one that's got a serious monthly duty cycle of 40,000 pages, and which prints very quickly and with good results. But if you don't require such a heavy-duty printer, or you want wireless built in without spending a bundle, there are lots of other printers to choose from. Check out more details about the HP LaserJet Pro 400 color laser printer in the Full Review.
HP's ePrint allows people with (some) HP printers to print documents on the road and easily send photos to family and friends by sending to a printer's unique email address. HP has donated printers to five Ronald McDonald Houses (these allow the parents of children who are in the hospital to stay near their child at low or no cost) so that anyone can send get-well wishes (an eSmile) to help raise the spirits of the families that are going through hard times. Send an eSmile and HP will donate a dollar to support the houses--they're committed to raising $10,000 for each House. Seems like a win-win proposition!
More and more I'm seeing inkjet printers that are said to rival laser printers in quality, and it's not always just marketing hype. Given the difference in technologies, I'm not sure it will ever be completely equal; but for evaluation by mere mortals, the difference is certainly becoming less and less. That's the case with the new Lexmark OfficeEdge Pro4000 color inkjet all-in-one printer, which boasts not only laser-like quality but also some pretty decent speeds as well. At least, under some circumstances. But for the price point (around $250) it's going to be easy to overlook some weak points when an inkjet printer offers results as good as these. Check out the Full Review of the Lexmark OfficeEdge Pro4000 for more details and pros and cons.
Panasonic's new monochrome laser printer, the KX-MB1500, retails for not much more than $100 but it feels like it should cost more, since it offers copy and scan capabilities in addition to being a perfectly acceptable laser printer. It's light on extras such as Wi-Fi or wired networking, and so home offices or small workgroups that need to share a printer might want to spend a bit more on another (larger) all-in-one printer. Otherwise it's hard to find major faults in a printer that costs much less than many inkjet printers. If you don't need to network a printer or require color prints, this might be a good deal for you.