Memory and Storage

By M. David Stone  |  Posted 2008-03-03 Print this article Print

Lots of Memory

The standard and maximum amount of RAM is a common entry in printer spec sheets, but unless you know what it's used for-holding print jobs in a queue, rasterizing additional pages while other pages print, or something else altogether-it doesn't tell you much. More important, it doesn't tell you what you'll gain from adding the maximum amount.

Hard Drives

Hard drives will almost always show up in a spec sheet if a printer includes one, whether as standard or as an option. As with memory, however, drives can be used for any number of different functions. Unless the spec sheet tells you what the printer uses the drive for, it's not telling you anything useful.

Prints from USB Key

Printing files from a USB key is a useful convenience, but it's important to know which file formats the feature works with. Printing JPG files, for example, won't be as useful in most offices as printing PDF files. On the other hand, printing JPGs may be the better choice for businesses that use photos, including, for example, real estate.


M. David Stone is an award-winning freelance writer and computer industry consultant with special areas of expertise in imaging technologies (including printers, monitors, large-screen displays, projectors, scanners, and digital cameras), storage (both magnetic and optical), and word processing. His 25 years of experience in writing about science and technology includes a nearly 20-year concentration on PC hardware and software. He also has a proven track record of making technical issues easy for non-technical readers to understand, while holding the interest of more knowledgeable readers. Writing credits include eight computer-related books, major contributions to four others, and more than 2,000 articles in national and worldwide computer and general interest publications. His two most recent books are The Underground Guide to Color Printers (Addison-Wesley, 1996) and Troubleshooting Your PC, (Microsoft Press, 2000, with co-author Alfred Poor).

Much of David's current writing is for PC Magazine, where he has been a frequent contributor since 1983 and a contributing editor since 1987. His work includes feature articles, special projects, reviews, and both hardware and software solutions for PC Magazine's Solutions columns. He also contributes to other magazines, including Wired. As Computers Editor at Science Digest from 1984 until the magazine stopped publication, he wrote both a monthly column and additional articles. His newspaper column on computers appeared in the Newark Star Ledger from 1995 through 1997.

Non-computer-related work includes the Project Data Book for NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (written for GE's Astro-Space Division), and magazine articles and AV productions on subjects ranging from cosmology to ape language experiments. David also develops and writes testing scripts for leading computer magazines, including PC Magazine's PC Labs. His scripts have covered a wide range of subjects, including computers, scanners, printers, modems, word processors, fax modems, and communications software. He lives just outside of New York City, and considers himself a New Yorker at heart.


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