Skype iPhone App Now Available!

Courtesy CNET

We’ve been waiting forever it seems, or at least since Skype announced it was coming at CES, but it’s finally here! What you ask? The Skype VoIP phone service we all know and love and use on our desktop PC’s is now available as an app on the Apple iPhone.

Today, Tuesday, March 31st, you can now download Skype for iPhone through Skype’s website or Apple’s iTunes / App store direct. The Skype iPhone app allows you to make calls over a Wi-Fi network and save money by skipping AT&T’s wireless phone network. You can make free calls to other Skype users using Wi-Fi and use your Skype account to call landline phones at a reduced price. The problem with making calls using only Wi-Fi and not the traditional phone network is that you depend on being close to a wireless network. As we all know sometimes you have a strong connection and sometimes you don’t so in the later scenario, you probably wouldn’t be able to make a call.

For full details, read CNET’s review on Skype for iPhone. They have a lot of great images for a sneak peek at the Skype iPhone display.

Brother HL-4040CN Printer Review


Brother’s HL-4040CN printer was designed for small offices and home users. I tested out the Brother printer this weekend, and here is what I found:

Overall, the HL-4040CN printer has great print quality, decent speed, and plenty of useful features. The printer prints at about 21 ppm black, and a little bit slower ppm for color (it says 21ppm for color, but it’s probably more like 18-19 ppm). Black text was generally very crisp and color output was good, although there was a bit of yellowish, grainy, color-banding on large color images. I would say the quality is perfect for home users and office use, but not quite at the standard required to send out print materials to clients.

The Brother HL-4040CN is network-ready and offers additional features such as reprint and secure print, direct-print, USB port for cameras and flash drives, and has a great LCD control panel with basic functionality. The Reprint and Direct Print buttons allow you to print without touching your computer, which can be handy. The Brother printer also has a 250-sheet paper tray and a 50-sheet manual input tray, although the later is unmarked and hard to find. The high-yield toner cartridges are economical, but for a home user, it is a bit pricey to replace its four laser toner cartridges – It all depends on how much you print and what types of documents you print whether this printer is a great deal for you or not.

For its $350-$400 price range, the Brother HL-4040CN printer is a great deal for home users and small offices due to its easy and convenient features, great print quality and decent speed. Because of the quality of its average color imaging, it’s not the best match for users who need color images with excellent print quality.

Intel Drops Prices on Desktop PC Processors and Launches New Models

Last Thursday, DigiTimes reported they got wind from sources from motherboard manufacturers that Intel is going to drop prices 10-20% on several desktop PC processors. They also announced that Intel plans to launch new desktop PC processors later this year.

This is good news for anyone looking to buy desktops. If you just wait a few more weeks, you can save up to 20%! That’s even if you’re looking to buy top-of-the-line hp desktops.

The reason is, if they are cutting processor prices and launching new PC processors, then prices of current desktops with “old” processors will be driven down by the market. Now when I say “old” they aren’t really old, obviously, but they aren’t the newest, fastest processors out there anymore. This is the perfect scenario to buy any tech product; get it while it’s discounted the most and still a fabulous product and value.

Here’s the schedule as released by DigiTimes:

Intel: Desktop CPU price schedule, April-July 2009 (US$)

CPU

Old Price

New price

Reduction

April 19

Core 2 Quad Q8400 (2.66GHz)

N/A

183

N/A

Core 2 Quad Q8400S (2.66GHz)

N/A

245

N/A

Core 2 Quad Q9300

266

213

19.92%

Core 2 Quad Q9550S

369

320

13.28%

Core 2 Quad Q9400S

320

277

13.44%

Core 2 Quad Q8200S

245

213

13.06%

May 31

Core i7-975 (3.33GHz)

N/A

999

N/A

Core i7-950 (3.06GHz)

N/A

562

N/A

Core 2 Duo E7600

N/A

133

N/A

Pentium Dual-Core E6300

N/A

84

N/A

Celeron Dual-Core E1600

N/A

53

N/A

July 19

Core 2 Quad Q8300

183

163

10.93%

Core 2 Duo E7500

133

113

15.04%

Pentium Dual-Core E5400

84

74

11.90%

Pentium Dual-Core E5300

74

64

13.51%

Celeron Dual-Core E1500

53

43

18.87%

Apple iPhone Bluetooth Headset Discontinued

Courtesy of Apple Inc.

Courtesy of Apple Inc.

I got word of a rumor from The iPhone blog that Apple had discontinued its iPhone Bluetooth headset and confirmed this was true after a quick visit to the Apple website.

I’m not sure I’m sad to see it go since it was released late 2007 as a barebones model compared to all the other neat Bluetooth headsets out there, such as my favorite plantronics headsets or motorola bluetooth headsets.

The Apple Bluetooth headset received pretty good reviews when it was released, but those reviews quickly followed with user reviews dinging the performance. Issues included poor sound quality and battery life. But does this mean Apple is going to release some new Bluetooth headsets or are they bailing out of the Bluetooth accessory game?

My guess is the first option since Apple seems to dominate most fields. They will probably come out with something pretty competitive to what’s out there now. However, I am pretty fond of the Bluetooth headsets out there now. And considering the hands-free headset laws in many states, it’s important to have bluetooth headsets in all your cars.

Tech Bubble Video – Funny!

I thought I’d lighten up this Tuesday to get us through the week. It’s a YouTube video I find hilarious and witty. It’s about the Tech Bubble. Enjoy!

Tech Bubble YouTube Video – Funny!

Tech Bubble Video

Zebra Printers – Are They Right for You?

You’ve probably come across Zebra printers and wondered what and who they are for and if they fit your needs. Zebra is best known for their specialty label printing solutions and reliable bar code printing solutions and mainly serves the business and government markets. They have over 30 years experience and are a trusted brand for 90% of Fortune 500 companies.

Some of the most popular thermal label printers are the TLP 2844-Z desktop thermal laser printer, TLP 2844, LP 2844, ZM600, S600 and the LP 2824 direct thermal printer. Some of the most popular card printers are the P110i card printer, P330i, P640i and the P320i card printer.

Zebra printers typically get rave reviews and are very durable and reliable; a great investment for your company. Other than their most well-known products, their thermal printers, they also have a boat-load of other great products including software, networking products, and even enterprise solutions.

Zebra Resource:
Download a driver for your Zebra printer.

HP Photosmart A636 Printer Review

I’ve seen some rave reviews on the HP Photosmart A636 compact photo printer, and I do like HP printers, so I had to get my hands on one to see what all the fuss was really about. Is it as good as they claim, you ask? Here’s my take:

The HP Photosmart A636 has a great, compact printer body, weighing only 3.4 lbs., a built in handle for easy portability, and prints at a relatively decent speed. But what makes this printer so fabulous is its 4.8” touch screen that offers great convenience features. Directly on the touch pad you can edit photos. It gives you the ability to crop, adjust brightness, add a frame, draw on the image and even create greeting cards (which I personally love to do for the Holidays). It also has this “pet eye” feature which in addition to fixing red eyes on humans will find green, white and yellow eyes pets often have in pictures and fix them as well. The printer also has the ability to not only print 4×6” photos, which most standard photo printers are able to do, it also can print 5×7” photos at a touch of a button.

The other fantastic feature is the A636’s effortless driver installation – a truly innovative feature. You can actually install the driver directly from the printer by connecting it by USB and that’s it! To print from a USB flash drive, memory card or PictBridge camera, all you have to do is plug in the power cord, snap in the one cartridge and load paper; it’s as simple as that.

So, the short answer to the question is yes – The HP Photosmart A636 is a great compact photo printer. I would definitely recommend it.