by Rick Smith (June 25, 2001)
Sponsors of ImageScape:
|Applied Science Fiction|
Applied Science Fiction
Digital Dry Film Process
With a name like Applied Science Fiction, you have to create cutting edge technologies and they do. They have created a technology that can produce digital images from exposed, UNDEVELOPED film - a truly 21st Century concept.
In a process that takes about seven minutes per roll, micro-amounts of a proprietary developing agent are applied to the exposed, undeveloped film as it is being fed through their image-capture machine. This environmentally friendly digital dry film process (DDFP) requires no water, generates no hazardous waste and makes complete silver recovery from the film possible. Next, a digital record of each image is captured. Color and exposure settings are established on a pixel-by-pixel basis for the entire image. Since the output data is pure digital they can be routed to multiple destinations, including the Web, printers, file servers, hard drives or anywhere digital data can be stored. All without any plumbing!
Applied Science Fiction’s “film in, bits out” technology takes advantage of the high quality film images, produced by traditional cameras, and allows them to function more like digital cameras. Produced images can be saved in any image file format, just like digital cameras. Now consumers can more easily “go digital” without having to buy new cameras.
Unfortunately, this DDFP develops the film directly to a digital format so no film negatives are generated and if needed would have to be created by outputting the digital record to a film recorder. Since most consumers probably prefer a CD of images to an envelope of negatives, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Applied Science Fiction’s DDFP technology processes both 35mm and Advanced Photo System (APS) film formats. It is expected to be available in photo kiosks and minilabs, worldwide, in the fourth quarter of 2001.
Lexmark X73 and X83
family of printer/scanners
While color printing has become much less expensive for both the home and the home office, color copying has remained pricey. While multiple copies of computer-generated color material can be easily printed, color copying generally involves a trip to the library or local copy center. The Lexmark X83 and X73, the latest models in their All-in-One Print Center line make color copying very affordable. In addition, each of these models function as printers and scanners.
Both the Lexmark X83 and X73 combine a high resolution color printer with a high resolution flatbed scanner into a single integrated unit, for less than 200 dollars. This price and feature combination certainly eclipses the Xerox XK35C (read our review) in price and the Umax 1220P/Lexmark Z11 (read our review) combination in ease of use. Last year, Lexmark released the Z82, (read our product brief) another printer/scanner combination, but both the Lexmark X83 and X73 surpass the Z82 by providing faster printing and better specifications at a lower price. (The Z82 provides both a parallel port in addition to a USB port, while the X83/X73 are USB only devices.)
These two models look very similar and the Lexmark X83 shares many features with its lower priced sibling, the Lexmark X73.
These two multifunction printer/scanners:
Print at 2400 x 1200 dpi resolution in both black and color with the Accu-Feed paper handling system
Scan 600 x 1200 dpi optical resolution and 48-bit color scan depth
Connect via USB for Windows printing
Feature a flatbed scanner with a removable top
Can print up to 99 copies from a single original
Feature a zoom range from 25 percent reduction to 400 percent enlargement
Ship with Black Ice Fax software that can edit, store, send, and receive faxes using a connected computer in both black and COLOR
Include a high resolution black inkjet cartridge and a high resolution color inkjet cartridge in the box Provide OCR and imaging capability through the included ABBYY Fine Reader 4.0 Sprint OCR text editing and MGI Photo Suite
Use a seven picoliter color droplet size for smoother color blending and more vivid output
The most critical feature difference between these models is that the Lexmark X83 is capable of standalone copying. This means that all the copying functions (black/color copies, 1-99 copies, reduction and enlargement) can all be accomplished without requiring a PC. The X83 also retails for $199, while the X73 retails for only $149.
There are several differences between the Lexmark X83 and X73 models. They are:
The X83 prints at up to 12 pages per minute (ppm) in black and up to 6 ppm in color, while the X73 print at up to 9 ppm in black and up to 5 ppm in color.
The X73 currently supports the Mac OS, while X83 will be Mac compatible later in 2001.
The X83 has a 19,200 dpi enhanced scanner resolution, while the X73 has up to a 9600 dpi enhanced scanner resolution.
The X83 copies at up to 10 copies per minute (cpm) in black and up to 3 cpm in color, while the X73 copies at up to 9 cpm in black and up to 3 cpm in color.
Deciding between these two models depends on your budget ($50 difference) and if you need to be able to make copies without having your PC running.
Reviews OnLine has highly recommended the Lexmark X83 in our review.
Lexmark's newest color printer family
Lexmark continues its tradition of providing high quality printers at progressively lower prices. The new models for 2001 are the Z53, Z43, Z33 and Z23.
Key features of this printer line include:
One-click driver installationQuick open-and-load cartridge installNext business day exchange warrantyAccu-Feed paper handling
I can personally attest to the great paper handling of the Z52, a predecessor to the Z53. When I have been in a hurry, and didn't want to open a new paper package, I have reused a page that had been printed on before. Sometimes the corner of this page was slightly bent, but it never caused a problem with the printer. Most printers, even laser printer over TEN times the cost, have trouble feeding and printing that very last sheet, much less a single used page.
Specific details of the lineup are:
2400 x 1200 dots per inch (dpi) resolution 16 pages per minute (ppm) in black8 ppm in colorParallel and USB connectivityWindows, Mac and Linux compatibilityEnhanced peer-to-peer networking capability (you can check ink levels and print status from multiple PCs)$139 street price
2400 x 1200 dpi resolution 12 ppm in black6 ppm in colorParallel and USB connectivityWindows and Mac compatibility $99 street price
2400 x 1200 dpi resolution 9 ppm in black5 ppm in colorUSB connectivity onlyWindows, Mac and Linux compatibility Fresh new styling$89 street price
1200 x 1200 dpi resolution 8 ppm in black5 ppm in colorWindows, Mac and Linux compatibility USB connectivity onlyUpgradeable to dual-head (simply install a black cartridge)Fresh new styling$49 ($79 street price with a $30 mail-in rebate)
All models will be shipping soon (by June 2001) and will be available at most major retailers.
Want to see all this page in a more compact form? View the linked version of this article. It's a smaller download than this page, and each product's information is only a link away.
© 2006 Rick Smith All rights reserved.