Printers -- Monochrome Laser
June 2003 ).B4300 ($528), from Oki Data (www.okidata.com): The Oki Data B4300 required an optional PostScript-emulation upgrade to work over a network with a Mac. The $528 tag reflects this. Its graphics were fair and suffered from posterization (
HL 5070N ($499), from Brother (see "Our Favorite Printers").
LaserJet 4300n ($1,879), from Hewlett-Packard (see "Our Favorite Printers").
June 2003 ).Phaser 4400N ($1,400), from Xerox (www.xerox.com): Though it's a little on the expensive side, this networked monochrome laser printer produces excellent text and very good graphics (
T420d ($689), from Lexmark (www.lexmark.com): The T20d i
Printers -- Multifunction
PSC 2175 ($200), from Hewlett-Packard (see "Our Favorite Printers").
Printers -- Photo
i960 ($200), from Canon (see "Our Favorite Printers").
August 2003 ).Stylus Photo 900 ($199), from Epson (www.epson.com/northamerica.html): The first ink-jet that prints directly onto CDs and DVDs for easy labeling, the Stylus Photo 900 is also an excellent photo printer. For the price, you won't find a better printer with these capabilities (
Printer -- Wide Format
October 2003 ).DesignJet 120nr ($1,895), from Hewlett-Packard (www.hp.com): This professional-grade wide-format printer has excellent print quality, but poor built-in color matching (
Publishing -- Print
MarkzTools 5 ($199), from Markzware Software (www.markzware.com): This anticorruption and first-aid package can save the day for those who rely on QuarkXPress to get their work done. It consists of seven modules that help you salvage corrupted files, switch between XPress 4 and XPress 5, and reduce file size (August 2003).
July 2003 ).Portfolio 6.1 ($200), from Extensis (www.extensis.com): Taking advantage of OS X's interface and structure, this version gives you the power to quickly decide whether a file is a digital asset or digital detritus (
April 2004 ).RagTime 5.6.5 ($699), from ComGrafix (www.comgrafix.com): Business users certainly need an integrated word processing, spreadsheet, and layout program. But despite this solid concept, RagTime's interface and feature implementation are severely flawed (
Publishing -- Web and Internet
BlogApp 1.3 ($6), from Tim Conner (www.objectivelabs.com): It's easy to use, but it doesn't offer any preview function or support for categories, multiple Weblogs, or keyboard shortcuts (July 2003).
Contribute 2.0 ($99), from Macromedia (see "Editors' Choice 2003: Best Web-Design Tool").
January 2004 ).Dreamweaver MX 2004 ($399), from Macromedia (www.macromedia.com): This industry-leading Web-design application is a great tool for any Web developer working on the cutting edge of CSS design. Too bad the same kind of innovation isn't demonstrated in other areas of the program (
EspressoBlog 2.2.1 (free), from iAware (http://iaware .interalia.org): This posting Weblog tool has full support for keyboard shortcuts, and help for image uploading. However, the interface is confusing and there is no preview function (July 2003).
January 2004 ).Fireworks MX 2004 ($299), from Macromedia (www.macromedia.com): Fireworks MX enjoys a well-deserved reputation as a solid tool for producing Web graphics, but this release maintains rather than enhances that status. This update offers very little reason to upgrade (
January 2004 ).iJournal 1.5 (free), from William Coldwell (www.planetcryo.com): Coldwell's Weblog tool is easy to use and supports keyboard shortcuts. A little bonus is that iJournal can automatically list the iTunes song you're currently playing (
Kung-Log 1.44 (free), from Adriaan Tijsseling (www.kung-foo.tv): A rich feature set helps Kung-Log manage Weblogs on multiple servers. As a plus, the developer is very responsive (July 2003).
August 2003 ).Lift NN/g ($549), from UsableNet (www.usablenet.com): If you have a complex Web site but would prefer to avoid the hassle of designing and testing it for maximum accessibility, look no further. This tool offers valuable references and great features for finding and fixing errors (
NetNewsWire 1.0.1 ($40), from Ranchero Software (www.ranchero.com): Integrated with an RSS reader, NetNewsWire can manage Weblogs on multiple servers. But there's no image assistance, and it's relatively expensive (July 2003).
pMpost 1.0 ($20), from pMachine (www.pmachine.com): This Weblog tool supports custom fields for more flexibility, but it has no keyboard shortcuts and no image-upload assistance (July 2003).
Scanner -- Consumer
Scanner -- Software and OCR
March 2004 ).Readiris Pro 9 ($130), from IRIS (www.irislink.com): The improvements to this optical character recognition program make it much more accurate when recognizing text from a clean scan. The spelling checker, however, needs to lay off the caffeine (