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Ronald Auerbach
Software Training and Consulting

702 Fifth Avenue South, # 8
Kent, WA   98032-6026
Phone: 206-355-8304     Fax: 253-813-2452
Product Reviews

Date Topic
12/10/2001 Joysticks
5/7/2001 Combo Printer/Copier/Fax/Scanner

December 10, 2001


We went out and purchased several different brands and models of joysticks, those controls used for games that allow you to control the action.  Our goal was to see which is best and if there really is a difference between the inexpensive and expensive models.

Regarding performance, we discovered that the inexpensive ones performed equal to the most expensive.  The key differences are in the features they come with and the "feel" of the stick.

For example, some have programmable buttons and a "very loose" stick.

May 7, 2001

Combo Printer/Copier/Scanner/Fax

Many of you most likely have a separate scanner and printer, maybe a fax machine, and possibly even a copy machine taking up valuable work space.

But you don't necessarily need to waste all that space, because there are multifunction devices which do these things in 1 single unit, although some don't have fax capabilities.

We took a look at the below items and did a comparison.   Here are our results:

Item Price Print Scan Fax Rating
HP PSC 750 299.99 11 ppm black
8 ppm color
9600 dpi no A
HP OfficeJet G55 399.99 12 ppm black
9 ppm color
9600 dpi no A
Lexmark Z82 199.97 4 ppm black
1.5 ppm color
4800 dpi no D
Compaq C3-1000 249.99 8 ppm black
4 ppm color
4800 dpi no D
Xerox MultiCentre M940 199.99 12 ppm black
7 ppm color
1200 dpi no C
Xerox MultiCentre XK-50CX 299.99 12 ppm black
7 ppm color
4800 dpi 33.6 B
Sharp AJ-5030 299.99 7.5 ppm black
3.5 ppm color
1200 dpi 14.4 D

And here's how we reached our decisions:
  1. The 2 HP models we tested are almost identical except for some minor differences, but they performed the best, with both producing high quality scans, printing, and copying at excellent speeds.
  2. We gave the Lexmark, Compaq, and Sharp our lowest ratings because of their printing and copying speeds being far below current standards, although their quality was pretty good. Considering there isn't much of a price differential for some of the others we liked, we felt one could do better. Plus, the Sharp only faxes at a maximum speed of 14.4 and scans at 1200 dpi, both of which are also far below current standards.
  3. The 2 Xerox models we tested actually performed pretty good, with both providing pretty good quality scans, printing, and copying. However, we gave the M940 a lower grade because of its scanning at only 1200dpi and use of a 5 cartridge system (the only one in our tests). And while some may like having separate cartridges, we believe the average person might prefer the ease in replacing a 2 cartridge system. And finally, with a 5 cartridge system, overall costs might be higher because one would have to purchase separate colors when they run out. Considering they run around the same as a combination cartridge, we just couldn't justify the added expense.
  4. We gave the Xerox XK-50CX a slightly lower rating than the HP models for 2 reasons: its lower scanning (4800 vs. 9600) and slightly lower print quality. However, we did find it to be an excellent unit.

And in case you're wondering whether HP makes a model with a built-in fax, the answer is yes. It's the OfficeJet G85, and although we didn't test this one, its specs are similar to that of the G55. However, it features fax capabilities and slightly increased printing and copying speeds.

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