Best of 2004

At a Glance
Page 8 of 10

Printing and Publishing

Inkjet Printer

Canon i455

Canon i455
Photograph: Wendi Nordeck

For everyday use, this sturdy, compact printer produces sharp text and attractive graphics on plain paper. Not so long ago, only six- and seven-ink photo printers could print natural-looking glossy photos with vivid color. But the Canon i455 prints exceptional glossy photos with only four inks--and for a very affordable price. $80

Business Color Printer

Oki C7300n

Oki C7300n

If you need business-quality text and color graphics from the same printer, buy the C7300n. This LED model printed text quickly, had a low consumables cost per page in our test, and bears a low price for what you get. $1889

Monochrome Laser Printer

HP LaserJet 1300

The LaserJet 1300 is fast enough to satisfy a small office, is a snap to install, and prints clean-looking line art and sharp text. $400

Workgroup Printer

Dell M5200n

At its price, Dell's M5200n can't be beat for high print quality and fast performance. This monochrome laser printed text at a sizzling 22.9 pages per minute in our tests. The printer is easy to operate, and it offers many expansion options. $899

Multifunction Printer

Canon MultiPass MP730

The MP730 is about as close to "no compromises" as we can imagine. It makes great prints, turns out pages quickly, and comes loaded with extras such as an automatic document feeder that can scan batches, slots that read five types of media card, and faxing that works even when your PC is off. $300

Desktop Publishing Software

Adobe InDesign CS

Adobe InDesign CS

In this two-horse race (with the $995 QuarkXPress 6), InDesign CS wins by a nose. Its Separations Preview and Flattener Preview palettes take the guesswork out of print previews, and its Story Editor word processor makes fitting copy easier. "Once the underdog, InDesign is now the 3000-pound gorilla," says graphics guru and book author Deke McClelland. $699

Web Development Software

Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003

Whereas FrontPage 2002 focused on Office XP integration, Microsoft concentrated on improving this version's overall tools. The HTML engine generates much cleaner code that loads pages faster and simplifies HTML editing. Though FrontPage's features are playing catch-up with Web designers, who favor Macromedia's $399 Dreamweaver MX 2004, it's the better, lower-cost choice for casual developers. $199

At a Glance
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