CanoScan N1240U scanner improves on its predecessor At...

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January 10, 2002

CanoScan N1240U scanner improves on its predecessor

At first glance, Canon's Cano- Scan N1240U scanner ($200) looks like its predecessor, the N1220U. You get the same high-resolution scans (1,200 by 2,400 dots per inch) and the same convenient single wire connection (Universal Serial Bus) as with the earlier model.

But a year has made a few differences in this scanner series (for Windows 98 or later and Macintosh OS 8.6 or later) with a couple of welcome changes - without an increase in price.

For one, the older scanner had one button on its front for scanning without going through a computer program. The N1240U has three such buttons for one-touch scanning, copying or e-mailing a scanned photo or document.

No one would accuse the N1220U of being bulky, but to make the N1240U a little sleeker, Canon integrated the lid's hinge into the body of the scanner so that the lid sits flat when you scan bulky objects like books for cleaner scans.

And finally, Canon is offering 48-bit color (that's 281 trillion colors, folks) in the N1240U, up from the 42-bit color of the N1220U. Trouble is, if you own a Windows-based PC, you won't notice the color change. PCs use 24-bit color for 32 million colors on your screen.

Both the N1220U and N1240U ($200) use the USB cord for power, which means you'll have to connect the scanner directly to your computer. Our review unit would not work with a USB hub.

Information: 800-385-2155 or http://consumer.usa.canon.com.

HP color inkjet printer creates sharp, big photos

With all of the wide-format inkjet papers available to run through a quality printer - artist canvas for neat, textured photographs to hang on a wall come to mind - you might want to find a wide-format printer that won't bust your technology budget for the year.

Hewlett Packard has created the CP1700 color inkjet printer. It costs about $500 and creates great prints up to 13-by-50-inches, and produce 2,400-by-1,200-dpi images on photo paper.

The CP1700, which leans toward small-business use, works with PCs running Windows 95 or later and Macintosh computers with OS 8.6 or later. It prints 16 pages per minute in black-and-white and 14.5 ppm in color. Ink cartridges for black, magenta, cyan and yellow allow you to switch out individual depleted ink tanks rather than one big, multi-color cartridge.

And the CP1700, which comes with parallel and USB ports, will handle Faster InFraRed and Serial InFraRed communication for wireless printing.

I liked the Enhanced Smart Software that comes with the printer. In addition to printing photographs in sepia tones, you can tile a one-page document up to four times so that you can fit the sheets together to create a big rendition of your original.

Information: 888-999-4747 or www.hp.com.- Kevin Washington

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