Product Reviews

These products are products that I own, and use often. 

Products Reviewed Here 

NEW! HP Photosmart 7850 

Creative Zen MuVo N200 512

Tungsten E2

ConoScan N1220U 

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 HP Photosmart 7850

Pros: Memory card slots, PictBridge, 4x6 magazine, speed, quiet

Cons: Sometimes behaves oddly, horrible bundled software

The 7850 works well on both my 98SE and ME machines.  There are built-in memory card slots with an automatic "Index" button (prints out an index page of all the photos on that media).  There is a bulky magazine that hold 4x6 photo paper, which stores in a compartment in the top of the printer.  It prints out very quickly unless you are doing a high-quality print.  It will occasionally, for no apparent reason, refuse to print.  It will suck in a sheet of paper, and only spit it back out when you hold the "print" button on the front.  It'll slowly come out, and without jamming.  It will work fine afterwards, though.  The bundled software the worst I have ever seen.

 

Creative MuVo N200 512 MB

Pros: Plays WMAs, FM tuner/recording, MP3 line-in encoding, mic, good battery life

Cons: Required a complex firmware update, line-in encoding spotty

The N200 worked great out of the box, and lasted a couple of months.  Small things started to go bad on it; first the info (space used, etc.) window didn't work, and then it stopped working entirely, as it didn't quite start all the way up.

The website had a firmware update, which was extremely complex, requiring buttons being held for an exact length of time, and a difficult interface.  Also, after the firmware update, the automatic FM channel search quit working.

The line-in encoding needs the volume of the output device to be within the right parameters.  If it is too strong or too weak, it will have poor playback quality.

 

Tungsten E2

Pros: Bright screen, SD slot, Bluetooth, 200 MHz processor

Cons: Temperamental with new software, Documents to Go can cause crashes, some older games aren't compatible

After I deemed my old Zire 21 to be inadequate, I started to look for the next model I would get.  I had my sights set on a Dell Axim V30, but it was discontinued.  I then decided to wait, and figure out which one I should look

for a deal on.  Once I settled on the Tungsten E2, I started to look for a good price on one.  I found that deal at Staples.  The list price was $200, but after discounts and coupons, I walked out of the store for $165.  Everything worked great on it, and all was well.  I was initially skeptical about the side-flip cover, but I soon grew to like it.  The following is a list of problems, and their solutions (or lack thereof).

Problem

Solution

Documents to Go documents (ppt to go) caused crashes

Deleting the docs, but a reinstall eventually solved the problem permanently

Taps register 1/8" above tap location

None so far

StreetFinder toolbar causes crashes

None so far, eventually gave up

 

Conclusion: The Tungsten E2 is a great PDA if you don't absolutely HAVE to have wi-fi.  While prone to problems, the included Documents-To-Go is a must-have.  I am, in fact, using my Tungsten to write this.  For a person who wants a Palm with a great screen, multimedia, and good battery life for a low price, look into this product.

 

CanoScan 1220U

Pros:  Fast, quiet, sharp scans, size, USB powered

Cons:  None 

I got the 1220U at a garage sale, so I don't know if price is an issue with it.  Even second hand, it worked great.  The software installed great on my Windows 98SE machine, and  I haven't had any issues with it so far.  Unlike another Cannon scanner in the house, the 1220U doesn't require five minutes to warm up every time to adjust the lamp.  The 1220U did the same thing  when I first installed it, but never since.