Posted: 25 Oct 2016 11:22 AM PDT
I had a good printer experience, and I thought I should pass it on to you.
Printers are, of course, the spawn of Satan. Especially the ink jet kind.
For a long time, I had a cheap black and white laser, which worked OK for non color stuff, and an inkjet all in one, which was handy but cost a lot to keep in ink.
When Huxley, at about age 5, figure out how to use the all in one as a photo copy machine or to print photos off an SD card (both functions I had not explored, but he figured out on his own), he incorporated the all-in-one into his artistic work flow, which involved making computer graphics, sometimes displaying the graphics and photographing them, photocopying them, drawing on the printouts, scanning those into a computer, manipulating them in software printing them out, cutting and pasting (with real scissors and paste!), and so on.
But then, I had to spend all my time changing ink, and again, the ink was eating us alive. And, buy chance, the old black and white laser died. So, it was time to seriously think about getting a laser.
My only requirements were that the printer be reasonably sturdy, to last a long time, and compatible with any operating system.
I quickly discovered the various PHP Color LaserJet Pro printers.
Now, Imma stop you right now. You are about to say, “HP!?!? No way, I had one of those once, and it ate my dog, never again!!”
OK, fine, but for everyone who ever had an HP printer eat their pet, there is another person who’s Epson crashed their car, or who’s Brother ran off with their girlfriend. Or whatever. The point is, if you can’t consider an HP printer because an HP printer scared you in the crib as a baby, I can totally understand that, and you should not buy what I’m recommending here. But, if the Satanic Printers (and they are all spawn of the devil) have not attacked you from that specific manufacturer yet, then read on.
I settled specifically on the HP Laserjet Pro M452dw Wireless Color Printer, (CF394A).
This is in the middle of the pack. It is the lowest level in the series with WiFi. The higher end ones have slightly larger touch screens and a document feeder. I did not need those two features, but you might. And, you might not care about WiFi (except that you want the WiFi).
Here is a summary of the variation available in this category of printers.
Two of these printers are basically the same as far as I can tell, neither has wireless. If you want to consider either one, check them out more closely because one of them is 50 bucks cheaper:
The HP Laserjet Pro M452nw Wireless Color Printer, (CF388A) costs about $150, has only an Ethernet connection and a 2-line LCD.
The HP Laserjet Pro M452dn Color Printer, (CF389A) costs about $200. It also has only ethernet and a 2 line LCD.
I bought the HP Laserjet Pro M452dw Wireless Color Printer, (CF394A), which currently costs about $260. It has wireless, nice touch screen, other features (I'll describe below) and for me was the sweet spot.
There are also more expensive and higher end versions, such as the HP Laserjet Pro M477fdw Wireless All-in-One Color Printer, (CF379A), which has the document scanner. This one is about $450.
If you go to this page on Amazon, and scroll to the bottom, you can see the range I'm talking about in a handy table. If a document feeder is important to you, click on one of those printers, and then scroll down again, and you'll see another table of similar printers, but most/all with document feeders.
I’ve been using this printer for a while now. It was easy to set up (had a smell for a few days, that went away). It is quite compared to older HP laser printers I’ve had. It prints nice, prints fast, etc.
Meanwhile, Huxley has been messing around with it and he discovered some cool features. First, you can hook it up to the cloud and use Google Print. I have no idea if that is a good thing, but we’re doing it.
I already knew that the printer would store previously printed documents, which could be quite handy. But I had no idea that it also contained pre-made documents that you can print out at will. This feature does not appear to be listed in the usual documentation of the printer, so it was a surprise to me. It is hidden down under settings.
You know that paper with the non-dotted and dotted lines that kids use to learn how to write? You can print out those sheets, or regular ruled (narrow or wide) notebook sheets.
You can print out a couple of different sizes of graph paper, music score paper, and more. This is probably one of those things everyone else knew about but that I didn’t now about.
You can also use a USB stick with this printer, it will handle standard office style documents.
Apparently, this printer has some ink saving ability and is relatively efficient in energy use.
Here are some specs:
Print speed black: Up to 28 ppm.
Print speed color: Up to 28 ppm.
First page out (ready): As fast as 8.9 seconds.
Recommended monthly page volume: 750 to 4,000 pages.
Paper handling input, standard: 50-sheet multipurpose tray, 250-sheet input tray.
Paper handling output, standard: 150-sheet output bin.
Media sizes supported: Letter, legal, executive, 8.5 x 13 in, 3 x 5 in, 4 x 6 in, 5 x 8 in, envelopes.
Two-sided printing that’s fast
Manage print jobs directly at the printer-just tap and swipe the 3-inch (7.6 cm) touchscreen.
Print Microsoft® Word and PowerPoint® documents-now directly from your USB drive.
Print from a variety of smartphones and tablets-generally no setup or apps required.
Posted: 25 Oct 2016 10:22 AM PDT
Lenovo makes two Phablets that are similar, the 4G and the 4G plus. The latter is not bigger (in fact, it is a little smaller) but rather, has higher specs all around, making it a fairly expensive device. But the Lenovo PHAB 4G Phablet (regular) is practically free and is actually rather Phabulous.
OK, well, not fee, but about 170 bucks or so, except now closer to $130 from Gearbest. (As far as I know this is the only place to get it. Gearbest has a very large selection of Lenovo phones and phablets, as well as a high diversity of generally very affordable tablets.)
So, I tried out the Lenovo PHAB 4G Phablet.
First, what is a Phablet and why do you want one?
The broadest definition of Phablet is that it is a kind of hybrid between a tablet and a phone. So, for example, the Nexus 6 is sometimes called a Phablet. That is the phone I use. It is very large (requires very large hands), so it has piles of screen real estate, yet it is a phone. But, the Nexus 6 is not really a true phablet by a stricter definition, because it acts like a phone, rather than a tablet, in those areas where they are different.
The Lenovo PHAB 4G Phablet is, as far as I can tell, an actual phablet with phone hardware and software and, of course, a place for an SMS card.
It actually has room for 2 SMS cards, and in this and other ways, is highly adaptable and international. Even though you can’t (probably) get this phone from any US carriers, you can still probably buy it an put the SMS of your favorite carrier in it (check here first). Or two SMS cards if you want.
Or, you can use one of the SMS holders to hold the SMS, and the other to hold a micro SD card, for up to 64GB of added storage.
The display is very large, and the glass front of the device continues out to the edge, with the display, within that area, having a 6.98″ diagonal. The phablet is thin, sturdy, light. The back is gripable rather than super smooth, so it is comfortable in the hand. I probably should put a case on this, but I’d almost rather not it is so easy to handle as is.
There is a normal headphone jack, so you don’t have to worry about that. And, a MicroUSB slot.
I am probably going to use this phone for two purposes. First, I’ll offload much of the funcitonality of my Nexus 6 onto this tablet, with its larger screen, etc. I’ve found that the Kindle Reader works really well on this, and the phone is just the right size and weight — Amazon should make a reader just this size and shape — so I’ll be reading non-text books (i.e., technology books, etc.) on this, when I can wrestle the device away from Huxley, who is reading his stuff on it as I write this.
Second, I’ll get one of those inexpensive short term phone accounts, like Ting provides (but probably not Ting) and I’ll use the tablet as a wireless hotspot for the family’s laptops and other devices, when traveling.
That second use will also allow me to use this Android phablet as a base for communicating with robots that have SMS cards. Once I get some of those.
I have always loved Lenovo products, going to back when they were made by IBM. I used only Lenovo laptops back in the day, and I still have a few of them laying around. Lenovo was bought by a Chinese company some time ago, but continued to make laptops. This phablet seems to be in the range of engineering quality I would expect for a consumer grade product made by this company. In other words, well made and solid.
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