mobile professionals don’t use CD-ROMs on the road (which would add another 2 lb. to the unit) and, in keeping with the majority of the notebook market, the 560 is not equipped with one. Instead, it has a more practical external floppy drive. Add the AC adapter to the mix and the 560 is still lightweight enough to prevent a pain in the neck, and that’s what counts when you’re on the road. For more information, contact: 800-426-29G8 or www.pc.ibm.com.
HP LaserJet Companion: Targeted at the SOHO user, the LaserJet Companion is a low-cost, all-in-one alternative to cluttering your office with numerous peripherals. Compatible with HP LaserJet printers (series 4, 5 and 6), the device packs copying, faxing and electronic filing capabilities into one unit. Essentially, the LaserJet Companion is a scanner with enhanced functionality.
Connected through your system’s parallel port, the companion can automatically send documents directly to the PC or the printer for filing or copying. The PC need not be turned on for copying unless you want to fine tune the image before it goes to the printer. File documents electronically using the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software included with the Companion. While the HP LaserJet Companion may not provide professional image quality with its 15 seconds per scanned page and 300 dpi output, it is a reasonable alternative to separate fax, scanner and copiers. It retails for $249, or $598 bundled with the LaserJet 6Lse series printer. (The 6Lse retails for $399 and is sold separately.)
SCSI Devices (pronounced “scuzzy”): SCSI (small computer system interface) is a hardware device that enables between seven and 15 peripherals (printers, scanners, CD-ROM drives, etc.) to be connected using a single expansion board or parallel port in the computer. It’s useful for users who have run out of expansion ports and need to add more devices. Peripherals are connected to the system via cables running between consecutive devices rather than being connected directly to the system. Mac users need not apply; they come with built-in SCSI adapters. For the PC, however, there are two choices–an external SCSI that connects through the parallel or an internal SCSI.
Home users will likely be fine with an external SCSI device, but since it uses a parallel port rather than a direct connection to the system board, as with an internal device, power users may want to opt for the internal device. Adaptec (www.adaptec.com) makes a wide variety of SCSI devices to fit most any operating system, including DOS and Windows 3.1. The APA-358 SCSI is a MiniSCSI which connects through the parallel port and retails for $139.
More demanding users will need an internal device such as the AHA-2920, which connects to an internal PCI slot in your PC and retails for $179.
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