Now -- I was on the subject of nice monitors for the holidays in Part 1. My second recommended, still somewhat (by my standards) sensible, and also qualifying in the Holiday Toy Department, is the HP ZR30w, also available from Provantage for under $1120, no tax, incl delivery (over $100 less than from HP). With a resolution of 2560 X 1600 pixels it far exceeds that of HD TV and is among the highest resolution and largest computer monitors in the consumer marketplace. Until you've used one of these, you DO NOT KNOW what you are missing.
There are other monitors similar from Samsung and Dell, as well as more models from HP, but they are either not as good, in my opinion, or more expensive. $1120 is a lot of money to pay for a monitor, and you could argue it's hard to justify such an expense on practical grounds, but if you spend a large part of your day in front of your computer, this HP 30" monitor will make it a lot more pleasant. This is one sharp, beautiful, high-resolution display.
Especially if you are an Everything Out on The Desk kind of Person to whom putting something away is akin to forgetting about it, it is very nice to be able to see all of the stuff you are working on, not to mention, staggeringly beautiful high resolution photos for you photographers, and incredibly detailed and deeply textured, almost 3D movies.
You be the judge whether or not it's worth the extra $900 over the Asus VW266H, which at nearly 26" diagonally, and 1920 X 1200 makes for a great display as well.
I confess -- I own both of them -- and I'm happy with both of them.
One of my favorite new printers is the excellent new Photo Quality Canon Pixma 4820 for about $75 tax free delivered at Amazon. The ink is a bit pricey and it's not a network or wireless printer but it does print gorgeous borderless photos at up to 8-1/2" X 11" and also auto-duplexes as well, that is, it prints on both paper sides automatically. It's not wireless, but it includes great software and is easy to use. I have one and like it.
Other good Photo Printers to consider are the Epson Artisan 50 which is about $100 at Amazon tax and delivery charge free, which at $20 more than the Canon above justifies itself by being stingier with the ink, so you should save that $20 back in no time, and uses high capacity cartridges in addition to standard cartridges, so you'll be longer between replacements. No duplex, though.
If you want a Photo Printer that does it all and is also a multi function all-in-one device, the Canon Pixma MP 640, at less than $150 from Amazon delivered, does everything you could ask above, including duplexing, is networked and wireless, scans, fixes flawed photos, and connects with almost all media cards.
I do not recommend the HP Photos Printers, sadly, since in recent years I have seen too many fail shortly after warranty expiration, and this is true of their All-In-One printers as well.
There are a lot of laptops I like, but I am only going to recommend one, the HP dv7t, which is available with up to a quad Core i7 mobile processor, is lightweight and gorgeous, has decent battery life and can usually be had at a discount. Check out www.techbargains.com and www.cheapstingybargains.com for the latest discount codes for this machine. Today it's $500 -- yeah -- $500! That makes a nicely equipped Core i7 720m machine with a lot of goodies sell for about $1000! With an extended warranty!
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!
Photo Credit: www.dell.com -- Dell 30" monitor