Hardware Reviews

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UPS - Uninterruptible Power Supplies

Expensive electronic devices like Desktop Computers and HD Televisions should be used with UPS devices to provide Surge Protection from outside sources. Those strips that most people buy provide little to no protection.
I have used both APC and Tripp Lite UPS's without difficulty. However, recently I leaned toward APC. APC is the largest name in this space. The following are models I've purchased in the last 6 months.

  • APC BE350R Back-UPS 350VA --- Used with smaller devices. I use it for my cable modem, routers and Network storage devices.
  • APC BE750BB Back-UPS 750VA --- Good UPS for use with iMac or Mac Mini. Has USB interface for connection with Computer for orderly shutdown.

With Tiger and Leopard, you do not use the software in the box. The Mac OS handles everything without third party software. [[User:lj]

Video Camera

Brother 5250DN Laserprinter

The 5250DN is a black and white networkable laser printer. It has a PC parallel port, USB connector and a 10/100 Ethernet connections. It has several additional useful features for me.

I was looking for a replacement for my old Apple laserwriter NTR. I have a inkjet printer, which I use for photo printing and the occasional color document. I do a fair amount of general printing and don't like the high cost of inkjet printing. Color laser printers are also costly per page, and don't really work well for photo's in general. So the choice was a black and white laser printer. I needed:

  • Networking. I have a laptop and several desktop macs. I don't want to have to power on a Mac, just to allow printer sharing, which would be my only choice with a printer that does not network. The 5250DN networks, and with Apples Bonjour networking and drivers built into OS X 10.5, I was configured in less than a minute.
  • Postscript: This Adobe technology was the main selling point for desktop printing back in the early days. My old Apple NTR had postscript. Rotated text looked good with it. The 5250DN has a Postscript level 3 emulation built in.
  • Duplex printing. Yes any laserwriter can manually duplex print (print on both sides of a page of paper). It requires printing odd pages and correctly orienting the printed pages back into the tray and then printing the even ones. It's too hard and too easy to make a mistake. This printer has automatic duplex printing if you chose that option. The page will emerge partial into the output tray, pull back in, then emerge fully with the other side printing. Works great. Saves paper!
  • Size. There were some nice HP printers at work. They are about 3 ft X 3 ft X 3.5 ft. Too big. This one is small 14.6" W X 15.1 D X 9.7 " high. Fits on my desk
  • Price. Many of the HP printers with networking are over $300. Staples had a $60 rebate on the this printer. The cost was list at $249.99. That took the cost under $200 and so I purchased it.

The link at the beginning will take you to the Brother USA website and to the 5250DN page. I won't list all that's there but bring out a few points. The printer can handle letter or legal size paper. Legal is only via the "multi-purpose" fold down tray. The main tray holds 250 sheets. Resolution is 300, 600 or 1200 dpi. Print speed is up to 30 pages/ minute. In real use it is not that fast, but is far quicker than my NTR. Cold startup is quick too.

The Brother printers have a separate toner cartridge and a separate drum unit. There are two toner cartridges a standard 3500 page unit and a high yield 7500 page unit.($61.88 and $93.00 for genuine Brother at Tonerland (w/o our club discount)) The drum unit is expensive, but is good for 25,000 pages. This would be an issue for a high volume office, but should not be an issue for me. The lack of a straight through paper path, has generated user comments at places like Amazon that this is not the best printer for envelopes. The only other crazy comment from users is with regards to UPS's. Well duh folks, fast laser printers require high power fusers assemblies to fuse the toner to the paper quickly. Power during printing is 610 watts. A 350 watt UPS won't work folks. The manual states not to use the UPS if I recall correctly.

My page count is 206, and so far I'm very happy with my Brother HL5250DN printer. No issues, jams, etc JimP 23:35, 10 May 2008 (UTC)