December 27, 2005

Phones and 4-in-1 Printers

I'll be finalizing my decision tomorrow on my husband's phone system. The candidates are V-Tech, AT&T, and Sony. We'll be getting him a main phone (the mother ship) with integrated answering machine, and an additional phone to go downstairs in his office. The main concerns are cost, reliability, and a signal that will go through a couple of walls and one floor.

I also need to get him a 4-in-1 printer within the week. The idea here is to get the best value, taking into account the fact that both HP and Epson make most of their money on consumables: cartridges are part of the calculations, here.

Obviously, I'll be interestsed in any extraordinarily good (or bad) experiences you've had with these brands, or any other insights you might want to share.

Posted by Attila Girl at December 27, 2005 01:15 AM | TrackBack

I bought my phone a year ago so things may have changed, but...

We went from a 2.4 GHz to a 5.8 GHz phone system because the wireless router put popping noises onto the phone. One thing I learned while shopping: look very carefully at the tech specs. Most of the "5.8 GHz" phones listen to the base unit at 5.8, but broadcast back to it at 2.4. So, you hear crystal clear signal, but the person you're talking to hears the whistles and pops from interference. With a true 5.8 phone you can run a microwave without any interference. Like, I can be 20 feet away, with a running microwave between me and the phone, with no problems. With the old 2.4 phone, you could not run the phone and microwave at the same time.

When I bought, Panasonic was about the only company doing a "real" 5.8 GHz phone; I found a refurb at, my one and only purchase there, and I've been quite happy with it. I tend to prefer refurbs; since someone actually laid hands on it and made sure it works, they tend to have higher reliability than new models, IMHO.

Finally, they're probably all using NiMH batteries, not NiCd, but you want to double check that. NiMH is good, NiCd is much less good.

I hope this helps.

Posted by: Dr_Mike at December 27, 2005 03:49 AM

I recently bought a Brother MFC 6800 laser 5 in one. No problems so far--it does what it's supposed to and was much cheaper than the competition. If I ever decide I can't live without color, I'll get another color jetprinter of some sort, probably Brother if this one works out.

Posted by: Desert Cat at December 27, 2005 07:25 AM

I have tried several phones, including Sony 2.4 and AT&t 2.4. I have a Panasonic 5.8 and it works well (no expansion units), but my current favorite is a Vtech 5.8 spread spectrum. It has an expansion unit, and works fine throughout a 2600 sq. ft., 2-story house. I like Vtech a lot. Had an old analog unit which worked great too. Don't know why I went with the others but I am back.

No suggestions on the printer. I use Canon for photos, and have an Epson CX 6400 all-in-one. The Epson woks fine for printing and copying, but have never got the scanner drivers to work, although I will admit I have never tried very hard.

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