The PSC 1410 is one of the least expensive inkjet multifunction devices we've reviewed. We found it a good option for a novice PC user.
The compact and lightweight unit has a USB 2.0 interface, but as you'd expect at this price point, there are some trade-offs. For instance, rather than an LCD screen, the PSC 1410 uses a two-digit LED to indicate the number of copies you're making.
Regardless, you can still make copies up to 8.5x11 inches in monochrome or colour, with or without a computer.
The device doesn't feature a media card reader, so you'll need a PC to print photos. You can produce borderless 4x6 photos and 8.5x11 photos with borders.
While it isn't the fastest printer we've seen, taking almost 2.5 minutes to print our test photo on letter-size photo paper, its quality earned a Very Good score from our panel.
Though skin tones looked natural, we noted some slight graininess. The results were still quite good, considering that the PSC 1410 doesn't employ individual ink colour cartridges, using instead a more rudimentary black and tricolour cartridge design (a 5ml starter cartridge of each type comes in the box).
Control buttons shaped like jelly beans run along the top-left side of the unit and provide easy enough access to functions and options such as paper type, monochrome/colour, scanning and power.
Set-up was fairly straightforward, though software installation took a little longer than that of other printers despite not including extra programs.
Among HP's own utilities are Image Zone Express (basic photo editing such as red-eye reduction, album creation and image sharing via the Internet) and HP Solution Center (for scanning, copying, and on-screen how-to guides).
A 60-page all-English manual plus a startup guide round out the thoughtful introduction to the features.
In use, the PSC 1410 is a little louder than some other printers, but its sound level wasn't too drastic. Its input tray holds a minimal 100 sheets. Our lab test result of 4.7ppm for text prints was acceptable for a printer of this price, and is faster than the speed of some more costly inkjet multifunctions. Our judging panel noted that text looked good overall, though not as sharp or dark as on other models.
The PSC 1410's scan and copy quality was also decent, and it scanned our 4x5 colour photomontage at 100dpi in 25 seconds.
If you're in the market for a no-nonsense multifunction printer that provides acceptable output quality at a great price, the PSC 1410 could be one to compare other entry-level models against.
Money from hot topics
While still considered tricky and potentially dangerous, power management is no longer the realm of scientists and men in white coats.
Today, thanks to a slew of advancements and feature-rich equipment, UPS technology is becoming mainstream and increasingly needed in the IT data centre to deal with mission-critical networks. Given the growing importance of power in the data centre, IT resellers are welcomed into the fold.
"Power used to be the domain of Dr Frankenstein movies, but not anymore. It's now done by somebody at a desk, monitoring every element in the building," Emerson Network Power marketing manager, Peter Spiteri, said. "There's a merging of engineering concepts and IT. It is now at the fingertips of the IT manager."
But power management is not a walk in the park, or just another point product to sell. It involves designing data centre fit-outs and infrastructure mapping.
"IT managers understand routing and Microsoft Office, but not heat and power, which include engineering terms like thermal imaging, computer thermodynamics and heat distribution," Spiteri said.
IT resellers can help businesses introduce appropriate power protection systems, which will ensure necessary power availability and quality as cost-effectively as possible.
Although becoming a more mainstream technology, it is still not for inexperienced players. Different applications have different requirements, depending on the size and type of equipment being supported, the cost of downtime and availability goals.
Given the potential doomsday scenario for businesses in the event of a nasty power outage, power management is not something to mess around with.
"When it comes to power and cooling, there are ramifications at a people level in terms of safety and at a business level in terms of downtime and lost productivity," Spiteri said.