Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Printer Predicament

My solid Epson Stylus C86 has decided to do what my previous Epsons did - clog up. My experience has been that Epsons print with high quality, but ones I had in the late '90s always crapped out when the inkjets clogged. When I bought my C86  a few years ago, I was under the impression that the "DuraBrite" inks would be clog resistant. Well, two years later, I find that this printer is not much different than my previous Epsons. In fact, many other C86 users have the same opinion. I don't want to waste time dissembling the printer, or injecting archane fluids into the head - like I did with previous Epsons. 

So, I've decided to get a new printer. And it's not gonna be an Epson. 

My father-in-law (Japanese Tech Dude) favors Canon, but I've noticed HP has made inroads into the Japanese market. It also seems that the Canon/HP models available in Japan and the US are using the same naming scheme, making review-scanning pretty easy.

I didn't think I would be interested in an all in one printer - but after checking out models in person at stores, I have to admit they are very sexy. I've narrowed down my choice to the HP-C5180 and the Canon Pixma MP600. Both printers have copier, scanner, color/monochrome/photo printing, card-reader slots, and an LED for photo previews. Both can use English menus on the LED. Neither printer has fax capability, but this is not a big dead for me. Both printers are about ¥20,000 and Yodobashi has a 20% points campaign. 

The HP has ethernet/wireless networking built in, and a slightly smaller footprint. However, it lacks PictBridge (which I probably won't use) and only prints single-sided. 

The Canon has duplex printing (HP doesn't), OCR software, and the scroll wheel menu control is far superior to the HP's sticky 4-way button. The Canon doesn't have networking built in, but I might be able to do it via USB connection to Airport (maybe - I've read different things about this). The networking thing is of dubious usage, as scanning and transfer over a network seems to be arduously slow. The Canon also has the advantage of more menu options, and seems more user friendly. This is important for my wife.

So, I've setted on the Canon MP600 at this point. I hope to get my printer this afternoon.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

New MacBooks Comin'?

Hmmm.... Think Secret is reporting that Apple will release updates to its Mac Book line tomorrow. The rumor is that the number of models will expand from THREE (13" MacBook, 15" MacBook Pro, & 17" MacBook Pro) to FIVE.

I would note that the Apple Japan refurb page has had no Mac product for a week or more. Maybe now that supplies have dried up, the refresh is coming.

Perhaps it's too much to hope for a freakin' ultraportable yet...