Gadgets: Epson Artisan 800 printer does it all

Apr 08, 2009 By Gregg Ellman
Epson Artisan 800 printer

The Epson Artisan 800 5-in-1 printer (copy, fax, printing, scanning and Wi-Fi) is so good you almost wish it were a 50-in-1.

In addition to the 5-in-1, the model includes direct printing on CD/DVD media, a multiple storage tray for different paper sizes, ultra hi-definition printing with Epson Claria ink and two-sided printing.

Giving the a workout was simple because it did all the work. Prints were by far the best I've gotten from an all-in-1 desktop unit and they were done wirelessly.

Epson Claria ink is a combination of six color, dye-based inks. Along with outstanding quality, prints are fade-, scratch-, smudge- and water-resistant, and can last up to 200 years when stored in a photo album. Given that information, I don't expect to see if Epson is accurate, but you never know. Claria cartridges are also expected to deliver about 60 percent more prints than standard ink.

The back of the unit has ports for networking, power and USB connections. A top loading paper system holds up to 30 sheets for copying or faxing. Connections on the front allow media cards and USB thumb drives to be used directly for printing. Editing can be done on the LCD screen.

The unit also has a 7.8-inch touch panel, which swings out with the press of a button to angle for easy view. A 3.5-inch LCD to control everything rests right in the middle of the panel. Since everything is controlled here, there are only two other controls on the front; power and a CD tray eject button.

As I've said many times, I'm not one to be over impressed with printing times - the quality is more important. Just assume that today's printers will print faster than yesterday's.

For Artisan 800, Epson tests showed printing of color and black text pages at 38 pages per minute while 4x6-inch photos can be finished in as fast as 10 seconds.

Details: $229.99, www.epson.com

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Atomic Bass Earphone's from Radius are a solid choice for reasonably priced sound. The company recently updated them and the new line has Y-style cable wire along with a redesigned outer aluminum casing. All this provides a better fit, especially for small ears.

With a $39.99 price point, these earbuds give bass lovers 32 ohms of rated sound, which adds up to a more efficient sound requiring less battery usage. I'm one who likes the bass sound and these surely came through with that.

Style was definitely considered when these were designed. A redesigned gold-plated plug comes in a stylish aluminum casing in six colors: black, blue, green, red, silver and violet. Three sizes (S, M and L) of silicone caps are included to ensure the proper fit.

These earbuds are also built with an angle, so they fit securely in the ear for active lifestyle users Â- and to deliver the sound. The angle forces the music to penetrate all way into the ear, for clear sound and deep bass. They can be put into your ear in three different angles combined with the three sizes of caps give multiple solutions to get the proper fit.

Also redesigned and upgraded with most of the same features are the Atomic Bass Earphones ($49.99) for the iPhone 3G.

These feature a built-in mic on the cable for cell phones. In addition music can be controlled with play, stop and skip functions.

Details: www.radiusearphones.com

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Just in time for the summer travel season, Sony has announced the HDR-TG5V Handycam, a portable, high-definition camcorder.

Video enthusiasts can capture 1920x1080 high-definition video along with four-megapixel still digital images. It includes a nice amount of flash memory, packing in 16GB worth. This allows capture and storage of more than six hours of high definition video.

Users can vary the amount of video to be stored with the camera's different quality settings. Memory can be added using Sony's Memory Stick Pro Duo removable media (sold separately).

Other features include a 2.7-inch touch-panel LCD for easy access to all the camera's controls, a built-in GPS antenna and NAVTEQ digital maps to geo-tag your videos and photos.

Expect the new HDR-TG5V camcorder to ship in May and sell for about $1,000. Also available is a travel kit, which includes a battery, travel charger and pouch, for about $100. A wide-angle conversion lens will also be available for about $100.

Details: www.sonystyle.com

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(c) 2009, Gregg Ellman.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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