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Canon CanoScan LiDE 200 2924B002 4800 x 4800dpi 48bit USB 2.0 Hi-Speed Interface Flatbed Scanner
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Good bang for the buck. USB-powered so there's no obnoxious adapter hogging 3 plugs on my power strip! Takes up less desk space than my comparable Epson with the same platter size. Integrates well with my third-party photo management software so I don't have to use the relatively annoying software that comes bundled with the scanner.

Cons: Software is obnoxious. Maybe I should take off more "eggs" for that, but the fact is that I've never seen good software packaged with a scanner from ANY manufacturer. It might be a global conspiracy to lull us into a sense of contentment with mediocre software (LOL). The most annoying thing is that the "multicrop" feature is WORTHLESS. Instead of scanning the platter once and cropping out all the images (i.e., photos) available, it actually performs ONE SCAN PER CROP BOUNDARY! In other words, if you place 3 photos on the platter and set up the cropping boundaries, it will still make 3 scanning passes. What's the point? Might as well just scan each photo individually and not bother with the multicrop feature. It doesn't save you any time.

Other Thoughts: Another reviewer wrote that it scans all the images upside down. That depends on your perspective. If you open the lid away from you, then yes that's right. If position the scanner the long way so that you're opening the lid like a book, then there's nothing wrong with the scanning orientation. Another reviewer wrote that it scans the grains in the paper better than the text of the document. This is somewhat true. The scanning lamp is very powerful. When I scan my bills, for instance, it will pick up text from the other side of the page. However, I have found the auto-contrast feature does a fine job of removing the text that isn't supposed to be there. Photos scan just fine, except for my dissatisfaction with "multicrop" as explained in the "cons" section of this review.

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Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Black 12.1 MP 20X Optical Zoom 28mm Wide Angle Digital Camera
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Great HD video with stereo sound. Intuitive menus (for the most part). Direct USB interface.

Uses AA batteries. Some people consider that a con. But what happens if you're in some remote location and you use up all the battery power you have? Any corner store will have AA's. Not any corner store is going to have proprietary camera batteries. If you put up with the minor inconvenience of using the view finder instead of the LCD screen, you can get PLENTY of life out of a normal set of AA batteries.

Cons: Mediocre (at best) picture quality. I sure would like to talk to the other reviewers who talk about crisp picture quality. I have taken hundreds of pictures over a wide range of subject matter and camera settings. I have yet to find a single picture that I did not feel compelled to use photo editing software to enhance the picture -- whether the original was overexposed, blurry, noisy, or whatever. Also, Canon got cheap and didn't print the full manual. A PDF is not very useful in the field! For $370, I expect to have a manual.

Other Thoughts: I bought this camera to replace my 7-year-old Kodak DX7590. You'd think 7 years later and for $100 more, the Canon would offer a better camera. But this Canon is terrible compared to the quality I got out of my old Kodak (except for the video). Unfortunately, I've looked at reviews for competing products from Nikon, Sony, Kodak, Fujifilm, and Pentax. NONE of them have rave reviews. For $400, I think that's just SHAMEFUL. I guess the camera market must be doing OK even in this economy if they can charge so much money for such mediocre products.

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TRIPP LITE B004-VUA2-K-R 2-Port Compact USB KVM Switch w/Audio and Cable
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Good bang for the buck 01/21/2009

This review is from: TRIPP LITE B004-VUA2-K-R 2-Port Compact USB KVM Switch w/Audio and Cable

Pros: This product was easy to set up, works great, no hassle. Can be used with/without the driver disk, though you need the drivers to setup audio-lock (i.e., listen to audio on computer #1 while moving mouse/keyboard control to computer #2).

I can't speak to the video quality because I'm only using the K/M/A components. I see another reviewer here said "no visible degradation", but a review on another website complained about vertical lines visible on dark screens. Guess it just depends on your individual equipment.

I use a wireless mouse, and my keyboad is actually plugged into the USB hub of a separate number pad, which in turn is plugged into the keyboard port of the KVM. I have no problems with any of my input devices.

Cons: Even though this is a great product in the end, setup was a little scary. There's a couple things you need to be aware of:

1. The keyboard/mouse USB ports to not go as deep as most, leaving one with the impression that the connection is not solid. However, I have had NO PROBLEM with my connections. It was just the initial impression that the connection *might* not be very good.

2. The audio pass-through is subject to some noise interference. When I first plugged everything in, the noise was so bad that I thought I was going to end up returning the device. I was able to fix the problem by turning down my speaker volume and turning up my Windows volume control settings.

Other Thoughts: Like any other KVM switch, every time you switch control you'll hear 42,000 bell sounds as your machines detect USB device connections/disconnections. You'll want to customize your Windows audio scheme to shut that off. It took me about 2 switch-overs to realize how annoying that is!

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Graeme S.'s Profile

Display Name: Graeme S.

Date Joined: 12/09/02

  • Reviews: 4
  • Helpfulness: 2
  • First Review: 07/17/06
  • Last Review: 07/08/10
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