Here, I will be providing a collection of technology-related articles that will appeal to those of you who run a shop or other small business. They also will appeal to those of you who are involved in running a non-profit organisation like a house of worship or an advocacy group. Most of you will be the ones who will be deciding what information-technology equipment you purchase for your business and will also be ending up configuring and managing what you buy. So I have focused this site on the technology that you can effectively “own” and manage yourselves.Small businesses - Belgrave shopping strip

Articles Of Interest

Wi-Fi hotspots and public-access computing

Printing in the Small Business

Audio-Video And Presentation Technology In The Small Business

Purchasing And Specification Journals

These are articles detailing how I have helped with specifying or purchasing information-technology equipment for a small business or community organisation. They will help you with establishing what is good value for money when you are purchasing technology for your organisation.

  • A new playout computer for the church – Specifying and shortlisting a newer up-to-date computer to replace an existing computer used for AV content playout by the church I now worship God at.

Buyers’ Guides

Product Reviews

Laptops

Dell Vostro 3550 business laptop

Dell Vostro 3550 business laptop

Tablet computers

  • Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet– A 10″ Android tablet that suits technicians and other similar people who need to have material like catalogues or service manuals with them on the road.
  • Lenovo ThinkPad Helix 2 – An 11″ Windows tablet that turns in to a laptop once you attach the supplied keyboard.

Keyboards, Mice and other Input Devices

  • ZCan+ Scanner Mouse – A wired mouse that you can use for scanning business cards, till receipts and other small documents. Essential for those of you who travel or work out of the back of your vehicle and use a laptop or other portable computer.

Document Scanners

Business-Grade Network-Attached Storage

  • Western Digital Sentinel DS 5100 Windows Server NAS – A small “breadbox-size” network-attached storage that is actually a Windows-Server-based server. This is a “foot in the door” for a small business who is dabbling with client-server computing or a person who is learning the ropes of Windows Server.

Other Office Equipment

  • Brother P-Touch PT-2730 Label Writer – A highly-functional thermal labeller that can be connected to your computer for merged labels or custom-designed labels.
  • Brother P-Touch PT-D200 Label Writer – An example of an entry-level battery-powered label writer that can be worked as a secondary labeller.
  • Brother P-Touch PT-P750W Wireless Label Printer – A label printer that uses an existing Wi-Fi network or its own Wi-Fi network to print labels from your smartphone, tablet or laptop computer.
  • Brother P-Touch PT-P900W Wireless Label Printer – An improved office label printer that can work with your Wi-Fi wireless network or its own Wi-Fi wireless access point to print labels from your mobile device or computer. This system is also part of a labelling setup that can work with barcode scanners or weighing scales or even be set up as a label writer.
  • Brother P-Touch PT-E550WVP Handheld Label Writer – A heavy-duty handheld labeller that is pitched at electricians, AV / IT technicians, building maintenance and the like. This has the ability to print from your laptop, smartphone or tablet courtesy of a Wi-Fi link facilitated by an existing small Wi-Fi network or its own Wi-FI network that it creates.
  • Brother QL-570 thermal label printer– A general purpose thermal printer for turning out labels or visitor badges

    Brother QL-570 thermal label printer

    Brother QL-570 label printer

  • Brother QL-700 high-speed thermal label printer – A heavy-duty high-speed thermal label printer for those online businesses or office mailrooms.
  • Brother VM-100VP visitor management software – A software tool that works with the Brother QL-570 thermal printer to allow the reception desk of a small office to manage visitors who are at their premises.
  • Brother TD-2020 label / receipt printer – An idiot-proof thermal printer that can print labels using Brother RD label tape or print receipts and tickets on ordinary “till-roll” thermal paper.

General-Office Printers

Inkjet

  • Brother MFC-J4710DW Multifunction Colour Inkjet Printer – A multifunction inkjet printer that prints along the length of the A4 page this allowing for high-speed output and a compact printer design.
    (Print, Scan, Copy, Fax, Full Duplex)
  • Brother MFC-J5720DW Multifunction Colour Inkjet Printer – The second generation of Brother’s landscape-printing technology is represented here in this printer that can also print A3 from the paper drawers and can turn out good-quality colour work.
    (Print, Scan, Copy, Fax, Full Duplex)
  • Hewlett-Packard OfficeJet 6500 Wireless – A printer-scanner-fax that can connect to a wired or wireless network and offers the essentials for a home office or small business
    (Print, Scan, Copy, Fax, Duplex Print)
  • Hewlett-Packard OfficeJet 6700 Premium – A multifunction printer with the essential requirements for a network-capable printer that isn’t costly to run. Supersedes the previous OfficeJet 6500 series of multifunction printers listed above.
    (Print, Scan, Copy, Fax, ePrint receive, ePrint apps, Duplex Print)
  • Hewlett-Packard OfficeJet Pro 8500a Plus – The fax-enabled multifunction printer at the top of HP’s business-printer stable which provides an alternative to the colour laser printer in the general office
    (Print, Scan, Copy, Fax, ePrint receive, ePrint apps, Full Duplex)
  • Hewlett-Packard OfficeJet Pro 8600a Plus – HP’s latest fax-enabled multifunction printer that is a credible alternative to the economy colour laser printer in the general office.
    (Print, Scan, Copy, Fax, ePrint receive, ePrint apps, Scan to Network Storage, Full Duplex)

Monochrome Laser

HP LaserJet M1536dnf monochrome laser multifunction printer

HP LaserJet M1536dnf monochrome laser multifunction printer

  • HP LaserJet P1560 Series Personal Laser Printer– A small laser printer for use at reception desks and similar locations. This is the economy version of the HP LaserJet P1600 Series Laser Printer which has networking and double-side printing.
    (Direct Connect)
  • Brother HL-2240D – A small laser printer suitable for reception desks or a private office printer for professionals. This is the economy version of the Brother HL-2250DN with Ethernet networking and the Brother HL-2270DW with Wi-Fi wireless networking.
    (Direct Connect, Duplex Print)
  • Hewlett-Packard LaserJet M1210 Series – A network-enabled “all-in-one” laser-printer (or fax-machine replacement) for the small legal office or medical clinic
    (Print, Scan, Copy, Fax)
  • Brother MFC-7360N – An entry-level network-enabled multifunction laser printer that is IPv6 ready. The economy version of the MFC-7460DN which would be a good document-printing workhorse for the legal office.
    (Print, Scan, Copy, Fax)
  • HP LaserJet M1536dnf – A mid-range network-enabled monochrome multifunction laser printer that can print on both sides of the paper. This printer is also equipped for HP’s ePrint “email-to-print” service.
    (Print, Scan, Copy, Fax, ePrint receive, Duplex Print)
  • Dell 1130n – A small single-side-printing network-enabled monochrome laser printer that can be suitable for tasks like turning out invoices at the typical medical clinic.Brother HL-6180DW monochrome network laser printer
    (Print)
  • Brother HL-6180DW – A heavy-duty auto-duplex monochrome laser printer that can be used as a print-only primary document workhorse for most small offices and practices. This one is similarly useful for monochrome desktop publishing.
    (Print, Duplex Print)

Colour Laser / LED

  • Brother MFC-9840CDW – A colour laser multifunction printer that connects to a wireless network
    (Print, Scan, Copy, Fax, T.37 Fax, Full Duplex)
  • Hewlett-Packard Color LaserJet CM1415fnw –  A wireless-network-enabled “all-in-onw” colour laser printer which is enabled for HP ePrint services
    (Print, Scan, Copy, Fax, ePrint receive, ePrint apps)
  • Brother HL-3075CW Color LED Printer – An entry-level colour LED xerographic printer with print speeds and start-up times that aren’t entry-level in nature,

Portable Printers for tradespeople and similar road-based workers

  • Canon PiXMA iP-100 – The successor to Canon’s legendary BJC-80 which defined the battery-operated mobile printer that can be taken on the road and used with a laptop computer
    (Colour Inkjet Print)
  • Hewlett-Packard OfficeJet 150 – The first ever battery-powered multifunction printer that can scan and copy while on the road
    (Colour Inkjet Print, Colour Scan)
  • Brother PocketJet PJ-773 – The first ever battery-powered mobile printer that can link with a wireless network. It uses direct-thermal printing technology with thermal-printing paper that is miles better than receipt paper or the paper you used to use with fax machines.
    (Monochrome Direct-Thermal Print)

Printers To Help Promote Your Business

A3-capable Inkjet

Brother MFC-J6910DW A3 inkjet multifunction printer

Brother MFC-J6910DW A3 multifunction inkjet printer

  • Brother MFC-6490CW – One of the first few inkjet multifunction printers that can work with A3 paper
    (Print, Scan, Copy, Fax)
  • Hewlett-Packard OfficeJet 7000 – An A3-capable wide-format inkjet printer for the small business, especially for printing promotional material or large spreadsheets
  • Brother MFC-J6910DW – The second-generation A3-capable inkjet multifunction printer that can print both sides on A3 as well as simultaneously scan both sides of an A4 sheet of paper. Of course, this network-capable printer can scan, copy and fax A3 documents.
    (Print, Scan, Copy, Fax, A3 Duplex Print, A4 Full Duplex)
  • Brother MFC-J5720DW – the second-generation landscape-printing A4 multifunction printer that can print on A3 paper whether from one of the paper drawers in the front or the rear multi-purpose tray. Also has colour quality that approaches that of the HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 Series inkjet printers
    (Print, Scan, Copy, Fax, A4 Full Duplex)
  • Brother MFC-J6720DW – The third-generation A3-capable inkjet multifunction printer that prints both sides on A3 including turning out four-page A4 booklets on one sheet of A3 paper. Also prints on A4 paper in landscape mode like the Brother MFC-J4710DW printers.
    (Print, Scan, Copy, Fax, A3 Duplex Print)
  • Brother MFC-J5730DW – The third-generation landscape-printing multifunction printer from Brother that uses improved pigment ink chemistry to mark the paper, raising the stakes for high-quality presentation-grade inkjet printing.
    (Print, Scan, Copy, Fax, A4 Full Duplex)

High-Throughput Colour Laser

  • Brother HL-4150CDN – A dedicated colour laser printer that has the ability to become a short-run document workhorse especially with its ability to do double-sided printing with negligable time penalty.
    (Duplex Print)
  • Brother MFC-9840CDW – A colour laser multifunction printer that connects to a wireless network
    (Print, Scan, Copy, Fax, T.37 Fax, Full Duplex)Brother HL-L8350CDW colour laser printer
  • Brother HL-L8350CDW – Brother’s latest high-throughput colour laser printer that can turn out many documents very quickly
    (Print, Duplex Print)
  • Brother MFC-L8850CDW – A colour laser multifunction printer that comes across with a highly intuitive user interface and can become a high-output office workhorse.
    (Print, Scan, Copy, Fax, T.37 Fax, Full Duplex)
  • Hewlett-Packard LaserJet Pro 400 Series (M451dn) – A high-speed single-pass colour laser printer with integrated toner-drum print cartridges that can print both sides of the paper.
    (Print, Duplex Print)
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