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AutoMatters & More Reviews: HP OfficeJet 4650 & “The 5th Wave”

HP OfficeJet 4650
HP OfficeJet 4650

HP OfficeJet 4650 All-In-One Printer

At CES 2016 (the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, I arranged to have several products shipped to me for review. This is the first.

The HP OfficeJet 4650 is a web-enabled fax, printer, scanner and copier – all in one. It even has a cool, automatically deploying output tray – which makes it handy to keep it out of the way until it is needed.

Set-up is easy via a choice of instructions on paper and on the printer’s interactive touch-screen, and by downloading and running “HP Easy Start.”

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HP Instant Ink on doorstep / photo courtesy HP
HP Instant Ink on doorstep / photo courtesy HP

To test the installation and the capabilities of this printer and its “HP Easy Scan” software, I selected a document that included an explanation, in teeny, tiny print, the terms and conditions of the “HP Instant Ink” program. The text was so small that I could barely read it. My goal was to have the printer and its software enlarge that text so that I could easily mark it with a yellow highlighter for later reference.

The software made it easy to scan the entire document, crop it to include only the text, zoom in on that text until it filled the page and then print that. The result was larger, sharp text. I highlighted with my yellow marker and was done.

As another test I took a photo with my iPhone. After downloading the free “HP All-in-One Printer Remote” app from Apple’s App Store, I instructed the printer to recognize my iPhone as a connected device and then, via an easy to establish Wi-Fi connection, wirelessly printed that photo from my phone’s Camera Roll.

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HP Instant Ink on teacher’s desk / photo courtesy HP
HP Instant Ink on teacher’s desk / photo courtesy HP

This printer is also eligible for “HP Instant Ink” – a subscription program that may save you as much as 50% on the cost of ink. HP communicates with enrolled printers and then automatically ships more ink to you, before you will need it. You have a choice of three plans, depending upon your projected monthly usage. Since the plans are for a certain number of pages per month, you’ll save the most if you print full-page documents in color. If you print more than your monthly plan includes, there will be an additional charge. HP offers a free three-month trial program, to help you decide if this is for you.

Finally, the improvement in the print quality between my old, high-end model of printer and this one is dramatic. There is really no comparison between the color accuracy and detail. Newer technology is usually a better bet, and it certainly is in this case. Another big advantage is compatibility with the latest computer operating systems.

For home and light office use the HP Office Jet 4650 is brilliant and, at a suggested price of only $99.99, it is a bargain. I highly recommend it. If your needs include a larger paper tray, Ethernet port and legal-size scanning glass, I will be reviewing a more business-oriented HP printer in the coming months.

For more details, go to: https://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-officejet-4650-all-in-one-printer.

“The 5th Wave”

Based solely upon its trailer this movie did not look promising, but since I am a fan of science fiction I decided to take a chance. I was pleasantly surprised, as was my date for the evening.

The underlying premise of “The 5th Wave” (https://www.sonypictures.com/movies/the5thwave/) has been explored many times before: aliens come to earth in gigantic space ships and overwhelm the human race in a massive, relentless invasion. In fairly short order, four waves of this alien invasion are carried out with destructive, compounding, cataclysmic consequences.

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Columbia Pictures - A Sony Company
Columbia Pictures - A Sony Company

So far this was predictable, and all that remained was the fifth wave. Would this be the end of human civilization?

This is where the story gets really interesting, becoming a compelling, entertaining narrative that is full of twists, turns and surprises.

We experience the alien invasion from the perspective of a young family and other children. It is reminiscent of “Ender’s Game.”

The humans and the alien invaders are shown to be complex, clever beings – each with their own compelling point of view. Who, if anyone, will ultimately prevail?

The visual effects of the destructive invasion are realistic and panoramic. Cities are leveled. A jumbo jet falls out of the sky. Massive flooding swallows vast swaths of earth.

“The 5th Wave” is surprisingly entertaining and thought provoking. I recommend it, particularly if you are a fan of science fiction.

That’s all for now. Please write to AutoMatters@gmail.com with your comments and suggestions.

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Copyright © 2016 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #421


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