I was going only to buy a new toner cartridge for my HP Laserjet P 1006 printer which I bought about 10 years ago, a good, cheap printer that I was using as a backup printer in one of the rooms that I use as an office now (it used to be my son’s room).
But the problem with the HP P 1006 is that the cartridges are expensive, and even if you buy one of the cheaper, remanufactured ones, they run out of the toner very quickly because they put a chip in it limiting the number of pages that can be printed with the cartridge even though there may be still enough of toner in them for hundreds of pages.
This is how they get us these days. They use chips for spying even on how many pages we are allowed to print. Isn’t technology wonderful?
Next thing they’ll do, they will put chips in rolls of toilet paper.
But then I decided to replace the old HP printer with a new printer, mostly because the P 1006 can be connected to a computer only through a USB connection, which means that it can be used only with one computer. And also because the cartridges are so expensive, as I said already.
I looked online at several brands of multifunctional printers with Wifi connectability, including HP, Brother, and Epson, but in the end I decided to buy a Samsung printer, SCX-300 series, mostly because it was the cheapest printer with all the functions that I was looking for. The printer cost me 105 dollars, which is almost exactly what a new cartridge for my old HP printer would cost.
It took me a while to connect the printer to my Wifi network and I was only able to do that after talking to support for about 10 minutes. But Samsung support kept me on hold only for a few minutes, and to my surprise, I was not talking to a very nice but somewhat clueless lady in the Philippines, which would probably happen had I called HP, but to a guy in Savannah, South Carolina. Once I talked to him, I was able to connect the printer to all of my 5 computers (3 desktops and 2 laptops), as well as to my iPhone and iPad, without any problems.
The Samsung printer is multifunctional, which means that in addition to printing, it can be also used as a fax and a scanner. Like most people, I don’t really need the fax function (I already have a standalone fax although it is rarely used), but I was really interested in the scanning function.
And I must say, I was really impressed by the scanning software that came with this inexpensive printer because the scanning function of the printer can be used not only to scan images with Microsoft Paint that can be then easily copied and pasted into documents in MS Word, but also to create PDF files and to convert PDF files created in different languages to MS Word documents in the corresponding language.
Although I already have a paid online account with Adobe which allows me to convert PDF files created in several languages to MS Word files in the same language, the Adobe software supports only conversion to 6 languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Japanese.
The software which comes free with the Samsung printer works for 27 languages: including Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, UK and US English, Japanese, Kazakh, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, traditional and simplified Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian and Uzbek.
It is obviously much better to be able to convert documents in 27 languages than in just 6 languages. I know that there are many translators who use ABBY FineReader for these conversions, but why bother buying and learning new software when you don’t have to do that?
I tested the scanning and converting function with a number of languages: German, French, Polish, Czech, Russian, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese.
It worked about as well as the subscription to Adobe conversion software. But the Adobe document conversion function has one big problem: since the converted documents are stored in the Cloud, how do I know that they will not be read by unauthorized eyes, or that my account will not be hacked?
Most of the documents that I receive from patent law firms, such as patent publication that have been already published, are in public domain and confidentiality is therefore not an issue. But since some of the documents that I receive, often first just to quote a price for translation, have on every page in the bottom left corner the warning: CONFIDENTIAL – FOR ATTORNEY’S EYES ONLY, I can’t really store these documents in the Cloud as I have no idea who could gain access to them.
I used to estimate the word count for these types of documents by trying to estimate the word count on each page manually and then adding it up with a calculator. But that can take a very long time when you have a document with more than a hundred of pages, and it is very easy to make a mistake.
If you underestimate the word count, it looks like you are cheating to get the job, if you overestimate it, you may lose the job to competition.
That is why I really love this printer. I don’t have to estimate the word count on dozens or hundreds of pages manually, and I don’t have to worry about confidentiality when the documents are stored only on my computer. True, somebody could still hack into my computer, but I have some control over that as I can take measures to prevent it.
With documents stored in the Cloud, I have no control whatsoever.
The results of my test of conversion of PDF files to different languages were about the same or slightly worse than what I came to expect from the Adobe conversion software. Unless the legibility of the original PDF file is very good, the result of the conversion is not very good either, and sometime a glitch in the Samsung software causes it to misinterpret the language and the result is garbage. But this occurs relatively infrequently and it can be easily remedied because the wrong conversion is clearly visible.
One problem that the Samsung printer has, which I find quite annoying, is that the printed pages have a slight curl on both ends of the page. This is what used to happen with older type of HP and Brother printers, while the newer printers of these brands print out beautifully straight pages.
But if this is where Samsung decided to cut corners on the design of this printer, I guess I can live with that, especially since it is only my backup printer.
My main printer is a multifunctional Canon printer (ImageClass D480) which works with all of my computers, except for my iPad.
It has a lot of really good features and a few drawbacks: printed pages are beautifully straight, but the scanning function is a joke!
But I am not going to bore readers of my blog with any more printer talk.