Tag Archives | Lexmark

Using a PC? You Definitely Have Annoyances

Mac users must be sworn to secrecy; they rarely complain about their computers. A friend, plied with alcohol, reluctantly admitted that his MacBook suffered from random shutdowns. Like, no!

PC users, on the other hand, seem to be proud of their computing annoyances. Online bragging matches are common, with each participant trying to top all the other PC disaster stories.

You think I’m kidding about Mac and PC users? Try this on for size: Mac people vs. PC people: Top 5 differences. (Thanks to TechBite subscriber Gil.)

This week’s story is a collection (okay, a hodgepodge) of ways my PC annoys me, with, of course, work-arounds.

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Lexmark’s Genesis is Like a Photo Booth for Your Documents

All of a sudden, ink jet printer companies are trying out some radically new designs–ones that stray far afield from printer form factors that have changed very little over the past fifteen years or so.¬†Last month, HP announced the Envy 100, a low-profile all-in-one that looks rather like a 1980s-era VCR. And now Lexmark is unveiling the Genesis, an unusually high-profile all-in-one. The tall-boy design has a purpose: It permits for a thirty-percent smaller footprint. And Lexmark accomplished it by incorporating a scanner that’s unlike any I’ve seen before.

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Lexmark's Smart and Economical Printer

I think we’ve got the razor-blade method of marketing printers figured out: Sell the printer for a couple of bucks, then gouge and exploit us on cartridges. I hate it.

Lexmark makes its money the old-fashioned way. It sells printers at higher-than-competitor’s printers, but then sells the ink cartridges at reasonable prices.

I tried the Lexmark Prestige Pro805 multifunction printer for over a month (I won’t review something unless I have decent hands-on time, despite howling from the PR people).

Amazon discounts the Lexmark Prestige Pro805 for $200, which is about what others discount it for. The Pro85 uses four single-ink cartridges. When purchasing directly from Lexmark, you’ll pay $5 for black and $10 for color. Shipping is free and Lexmark’s recycling program gives you two free cartridges for every five you buy and return empty in a year.

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Lexmark Does Touchscreen Printing

Lexmark LogoLast month, HP unveiled an $399 all-in-one inkjet printer with a Web-connected color touchscreen that runs applets for tasks such as printing coupons, movie tickets, and Google Maps. Today, Lexmark announced an all-new lineup of inkjet all-in-ones–and no less than three of ’em are equipped with touchscreens. People, we have a trend here.

The Lexmark (top) and HP (bottom) touchscreens are the same size (4.3″) and look strikingly similar–actually, both look rather like iPhones affixed to the front of a black-and-silver printer:

Lexmark touchscreen

HP TouchSmart screen

However, Lexmark is using its touch technology–which it’s calling myTouch with SmartSolutions (not to be confused with T-Mobile’s myTouch 3G phone)–for quite different purposes than HP’s. The Lexmark printers, unlike HP’s consumery model, are designed for use in small- and medium-sized businesses. Lexmark’s screens are Web-enabled (they let you scan documents and e-mail them without a PC being involved, and include a simple RSS reader) but don’t let you print Web content directly in the way that HP’s does. Instead, Lexmark mostly uses the screen to simplify tasks that you’d normally accomplish with the dedicated plastic keys that most printers have. And the SmartSolutions part of myTouch with SmartSolutions is a nifty-looking feature that lets you save multiple custom sets of settings for use by different people–potentially pretty handy in offices where folks share a printer.

Lexmark’s starting price point is also half of HP’s $399: The company will release touchscreen printers for $199, $299, and $399, with varying sets of features. They’re not due to ship until September 1st (HP’s printer is also supposed to show up this Fall). I hope to get my hands on one for a review.