Pacific Image group offers quality scans with its PF1800...


January 17, 2002

Pacific Image group offers quality scans with its PF1800 AFL

While many of us can get a solid scan of a color slide or negative strip from our flatbed scanners, Pacific Image Electronics has been offering much better standalone negative and slide scanners for less than other manufacturers.

Its latest entry, the PF1800 AFL (for "Auto Film Loader"), is easier to use than previous models. The $299 unit works with computers running Mac OS 8.6 or higher or Windows 98 or higher.

For most photo enthusiasts, the 1,800 dots-per-inch scanning resolution is more than enough to digitize transparencies for presentation on the Web or for storage.

Color slides slipped into the PF1800 easily and scanned at maximum resolution in 30 seconds. I was able to scan 20 slides in less than 12 minutes because I didn't have to fumble around trying to fit the slide into to a clumsy adapter.

I increased brightness and color on several scans just to see if I could punch them up without using a separate image-editing program. The results were quite pleasing, with solid renditions of my slides.

Information: 310-618-8100 or Kevin Washington

ICC/Unitech gives options for cell phone use in cars

With all the debate about cellphone safety for motorists, dozens of products have emerged to offer alternatives to navigating the road with a phone in one hand and a steering wheel in the other.

The ICC/Unitech PowerPlus Digital Speaker Phone System attempts to solve two problems with one device. This versatile unit serves as both a charging station and a hands-free cellphone adapter.

Setup is relatively easy. However, even with the pads that came with the unit, the phone cradle wasn't a perfect fit for my Ericsson model. For those who are meticulous about their vehicle's interior, mounting the phone clip to the dashboard with adhesive pads - or screws - might also raise an eyebrow.

Once the unit is installed in your car, your cellphone will get a continuous charge whenever you plug it in, and you're ready to chat hands-free. Unfortunately, the sound quality in this unit could be better.

While the person on the other end of the line comes through loud and clear, getting your own message across can be a challenge, especially amid the noise that comes from driving at highway speeds.

The $69.95 unit doubles as a desktop speakerphone and in this capacity delivers outstanding sound. A car-only version costs $49.95. Information: 312-829-2525 or Chamberlain/KRT

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