Welcome to Reviews OnLine: ShowStoppers 2001
ShowStoppers 2001
by Rick Smith (June 25, 2001)


Sponsors of ShowStoppers:

Electronics For Imaging
Mobility Electronics
Snap Appliances
U.S. Robotics
V Communications
Wise Solutions
Wizcom Technologies

Keyspan USB Mini
Laptops are getting thinner and peripherals for those laptops seem to be staying the same size. Keyspan is doing something about that. They have created the USB Mini which weighs less than two ounces, including cable and allows you to expand your single USB port into four ports.

The Keyspan USB Mini also:

  • works on both PCs and Macs

  • is very compact -- 8 cm x 5 cm and only 1 centimeter thick (footprint of a business card)

  • weighs 1.6 ounces

  • has a retractable cable that can be stored within the Mini Hub's case

  • provides four ports that support for external or bus-powered modes

  • is available in silver or black

  • supports full 12 Mbps USB data rates

  • is fully USB compliant, including power management

  • has an MSRP of $49

  • ships in July 2001

    Keyspan USB Mini in open position

    Keyspan USB Mini with 12 cm cable extended



    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.

    Lexmark X83

    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 installation
  • Quick open-and-load cartridge install
  • Next business day exchange warranty
  • Accu-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:

    Lexmark Z53

  • 2400 x 1200 dots per inch (dpi) resolution
  • 16 pages per minute (ppm) in black
  • 8 ppm in color
  • Parallel and USB connectivity
  • Windows, Mac and Linux compatibility
  • Enhanced peer-to-peer networking capability (you can check ink levels and print status from multiple PCs)
  • $139 street price

    Lexmark Z43

  • 2400 x 1200 dpi resolution
  • 12 ppm in black
  • 6 ppm in color
  • Parallel and USB connectivity
  • Windows and Mac compatibility
  • $99 street price

    Lexmark Z33

  • 2400 x 1200 dpi resolution
  • 9 ppm in black
  • 5 ppm in color
  • USB connectivity only
  • Windows, Mac and Linux compatibility
  • Fresh new styling
  • $89 street price

    Lexmark Z23

  • 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution
  • 8 ppm in black
  • 5 ppm in color
  • Windows, Mac and Linux compatibility
  • USB connectivity only
  • Upgradeable 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. 


    Logitech Mouseman Traveler
    Sometimes you want the feel of a desktop mouse when you are on the road. While several companies have made portable units, few have the feel of a desktop mouse or the styling of the Logitech MouseMan Traveler. This product combines optical technology with the quality that Logitech has become known for by selling over 300 million mice.

    The Logitech MouseMan Traveler also:

  • has two models available -- USB and PS/2

  • is compatible with Windows or Mac OS 8.6+

  • features one touch scroll wheel

  • comes with a five year warranty and carrying case

  • uses an 800 dpi optical sensor for greater speed and accuracy

  • works on any surface -- no mousepad required!

  • works for either left-handed or right-handed use

  • weighs 3.2 ounces

  • retails for $49

    The Logitech MouseMan Traveler will be shipping on October 1, 2001. 


    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.

    Copyright 2006 Rick Smith All rights reserved.

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