Back when people relied on film cameras to capture memories, scanners were about the only way to get your printed photos or slides onto your computer's hard drive for editing, sharing, and archiving. But the move to digital cameras changed that: You can have a hard drive stuffed full of images without ever having plugged a desktop scanner into your computer.
Stories by James Galbraith
On Monday, <a href="http://go.iomega.com/">Iomega</a> announced a new desktop network storage device for small offices and homes, the StorCenter ix2.
Following the top-to-bottom refresh of Apple's laptop line announced in October, people paid plenty of attention to the new unibody MacBook and MacBook Pro models. Little to no attention was given to either the top or the bottom of the line.
Pentax's Optio A40 is a 12-megapixel compact point and shoot digital camera. It offers digital and optical shake reduction, as well as high ISO settings and a 3x optical zoom. It's also capable of recording videos at 640 by 480 resolution at 30 frames per second in DivX-based MPEG-4 format, which requires the installation on your Mac of a free software plug-in.
At a media event on October 14, Apple announced a top-to-bottom refresh of its portable Macs. Along with new unibody MacBooks and MacBook Pros, the company also unveiled an updated MacBook Air that featured faster graphics and more storage.
As multifunction devices proliferate, it seems that the selection of stand-alone scanners is shrinking. Often, though, the scanner components in all-in-one devices are not of the highest quality; they're meant more for making copies than for digitizing your precious photographic memories. Not only are most incapable of performing high bit-depth scans, most also lack a means for scanning transparency media, like slides and film. For those looking for a good quality photo scanner, Epson's Perfection V300 Photo is an inexpensive flatbed scanner that can scan legal-sized documents, as well as 35 mm slides and film, at resolutions up to 4,800 dots per inch (dpi) at 48 bits. It connects to your Mac via USB 2.0 and has four shortcut buttons on the unit for scanning to e-mail, to PDF, to a printer, or to file.
Epson's Stylus NX400 ink-jet multifunction device can print, scan, and copy documents and photos. It attaches to your Mac via USB 2.0, though many of the NX400's features can be used without a computer thanks to its flash memory card slots and PictBridge USB port.
No one touted the iMac as a computing power house when it first began shipping 10 years ago today. But at some point in the ensuing decade, the iMac evolved into a viable pro system for many users, blurring the line between professional and consumer desktops.
For $130, you might not be surprised to find print, scan, and copy capabilities in HP's OfficeJet J4680 multifunction ink-jet printer. But the J460 also has a built-in fax machine, wireless connectivity, and a 20-sheet auto document feeder. HP boasts about the J4680's 20-page-per-minute black-and-white print speeds and 17-page-per-minute color print speeds, but in our real-world tests, the printer proved to be something of a slowpoke.
The LaCie Hard Disk Designed by Neil Poulton is a desktop hard drive that can connect to your Mac via FireWire 400, USB 2.0, or eSATA. It features an interesting design-a shiny black rectangular box with sharp corners, and a blue activity light located on the lower front of the drive that reflects off of your desktop. The drive uses a 1TB, 3.5-inch, 7,200 RPM mechanism, and requires external power to operate.
NEC's MultiSync 3090WQXi is a 30-inch wide-screen LCD monitor aimed at professionals whose work requires color accuracy. The 3090WQXi is more expensive than Apple's <a href="http://www.macworld.com/article/43112/2005/02/30inchcinemahd.html">30-inch Cinema HD</a> display, but it features a wider viewing angle, a higher contrast ratio, and a longer warranty than Apple's largest display. The 3090WQXi also offers numerous technologies for keeping both color and luminance consistent over the life of the display.
Western Digital's My Passport Studio is a portable <a href="http://www.macworld.com/browse.html?tag=harddrives+external">hard drive</a> that's bus powered--it doesn't include a power adapter. The drive ships in a Mac-friendly format, and works with Leopard's built-in disk back up utility, <a href="http://www.macworld.com/article/60668/2007/10/leopard_time_machine.html">Time Machine</a>.
LaCie's Little Big Disk Quadra is a portable, bus-powered <a href="http://edit-staging.macworld.com:8080/browse.html?tag=harddrives+external">hard drive</a> featuring two 250GB mechanisms striped in a RAID 0 configuration.
What do you get when you install Mac OS X on a generic Intel-powered computer with a 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo processor? A system that, performance-wise, falls somewhere between a Mac mini and a low-end iMac, according to our testing.
The LaCie 324 <a href="http://edit-staging.macworld.com:8080/browse.html?tag=displays+lcd">LCD</a> monitor is a 24-inch display targeted at creative pros who demand a large color gamut and color accuracy; but with two HDMI inputs for consumer entertainment electronics and support for picture-in-picture technology, the monitor aims to be both a multimedia display and art director's tool. The 324 succeeds on both fronts.
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