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CES Tidbits; 3D, Docupen and Lexmark Printer

CES logoTo 3D or Not 3D?  The hot topic at this month's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was the coming oversupply of 3D televisions. This technology is moving from the movie theater into the home. There is not a lot of 3D content today so these screens will also show 2D, HD, Blu-Ray. For 3D, special viewing glasses are required. As these products are rolled out, the question for the consumer is simple – “why buy?” Price today for a 42” model is  around $10,000. Sony has stated that by 2012 30 percent to 50 percent of its TV sales will be 3D.

ESPN has announced its commitment to broadcasting in 3D. With Avatar a big hit, more content will be created. Now the question for the CPA is can this technology be useful for anything other than entertainment sizzle. Tax returns will not look better in 3D. The value of delivering content over 3D needs to be one of those future technologies that get put in the “What If” category. Previously, computers were ignored, personal computers were for games, the internet was about email, cell phones and PDAs merged into smartphones and so on. 3D? Know it is coming and watch as creators work at possibilities.

Docupen and PrintStik
In 2006, I reviewed version 1 of the Docupen, a fat pen-sized scanner for the frequently mobile. Speed and volume was not the issue. Convenience and portability was key. With the X series, the folks at Planon have evolved the technology to make the Docupen even more functional and mobile.  Better means more horsepower with faster processor and storage enhanced with a MicroSD slot that can accept cards up to 2gb. With integrated Bluetooth, the scanner can connect with laptops, smartphones, and other devices. At about $400, depending on model, the Docupen is good value if usede on a frequent basis.

The other product from Planon’s “office in a pocket” line is the PrintStik. This Bluetooth enabled printer has tiny dimensions of 1” x 2” x 11”. At this size it fits in laptop bags, knapsacks and coat pockets. Printing from a laptop, netbook or smartphone will now be accessible. At $300 +/- depending on model, this device like the Docupen needs to justify its value in your mobile world. The printer should not be used to print a 100 page tax return. However, in an airport or hotel room where a few pages may be needed for real signatures, the PrintStik can be a deal maker.

Lexmark Platinum Pro 905.
All-in-one printers are a great idea for any SOHO location. The issue of ink cost makes this decision more complicated than it should be. Some printers deplete color inks even when printing black. If you never use color, buy a laser printers. On the other hand if your need combined features of printer, copier, scanner and fax machine than a printer like the Lexmark Platinum Pro 905 can be all you need

The 905 has a reasonable footprint of 12.1” x 18.31” x 15.42”. With one 150 sheet paper tray provided, a second paper tray can be added. This feature allows two different paper types such as plain white and engraved letterhead. The second tray can be detached to lower the height.

When printing, a progress bar pops up displaying job progress as a percentage. The display also shows ink supply remaining and warns when paper trays are low.  This information is also displayed on your PC. The printers is wireless ready so it can be located anywhere. A bonus for this printer are several built in applications that can be used to customize printing for uses such  as Stamps or scan to specific folder, etc.

Then Lexmark has also added a price guarantee for replacing black ink. A lifetime black ink re-order direct from Lexmark is $4.99. The MSRP of the 905 is just under $400.

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