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Product recommendations

In the list below, you will find some products which I've had cause to recommend recently. They are all good products available at a great price. Their suitability for your specific needs is of course something you will need to judge for yourself, or discuss with me!

Note on prices: the prices listed below include VAT but not shipping unless otherwise noted. Please take prices as indicative only as they change from day to day and some products were on offer when added to the list.

Laser printers
If you are looking for a personal laser printer, all the following printers are excellent and represent great value for money. If you are not sure whether you want a laser or an inkjet printer, read my article on the subject first!
  1. Samsung ML-1660 A4 Mono Laser Printer - £43.49 + FREE SHIPPING
  2. Samsung ML-1910 Mono Laser Printer - £49.98 inc. vat
  3. Canon i-SENSYS LBP6000 Mono Laser printer - £60.66 inc. vat

Laser All-in-One

This is a much more sophisticated model than the ones above, and is only listed here because it is on offer at an amazingly good price at the moment (29/8/11). It is a printer/scanner/copier and fax in one, and has so many additional features compared to the models listed above that you would be best to have a look at the product page and read the details for yourself. 

Portable hard disc (for data backup/transport purposes)

For most users, a portable 500 GB hard drive is the best option in terms of portability, capacity and value for money.

Internal hybrid Hard disc

OK, this isn't for everyone, but for some people, this will provide an affordable way to speed up their hard disc drastically.

USB Flash Drives

Also known as 'thumb drives', 'pen drives' and a host of other names, these can be used either for transporting files or as backup devices. They are usually slower and more expensive (per gigabyte) than hard discs, but much smaller and more resilient.

  • Intenso 3502450 Rainbow 4GB Flash Drive - £8.15 (or from Dunedin Computing for the same price).
    This is a solidly built drive which has a very fast reading times, making it suitable both for general ferrying of data, and in particular for storing bootable discs, portable applications or very large documents which need to be read often.

  • SanDisk Cruzer Blade 16GB USB Memory - £11.69 inc. postage. This is a small and very robust USB drive at a great price, which makes is ideal for backup purposes. It is not particularly fast, and does not come with a lid, so is less suitable for carrying in your pocket. The same drive is also available in other capacities.

Cordless Mouse

Cordless mice are very convenient, particularly with laptops, but there is a host of issues to consider. Size and shape, accuracy, range, reliability and battery life, to name just a few. To make things worse, some mice are extraordinarily expensive, such as Apple's Magic Mouse  which costs a whopping £59. Here are some good quality cordless mice at more reasonable prices.
Product DetailsThe mice about use Bluetooth for their  connection  with the computer. There are also other wireless mice which use "nano" USB adaptors like the one shown on the right. They tend to be cheaper and often have longer battery life, but they permanently take up one USB socket on the lapotp. Here are some models:

Networkiing equipment

Powerline adaptors allow you to extend the range of your network where WiFi is not appropriate (perhaps because of the distance, thickness of walls or interference from other access points). It does this by using your home's mains (i.e. power) wiring. Plug one adapter into the wall near the router and connect it to the router with a short network cable, and then plug in additional adapter(s) near each computer and, again, connect them to the PC using a regular network cable. 
You can make the connection more secure, by pressing the 'encrypt' (or 'secure') button on each adapter. This encrypts the connection which means that even if someone else has physical access to your power circuits (a neighbour perhaps), they would not be able to 'listen in' on your communications.
  • DHP-P307AV (PowerLine AV Pass-through Adapter Kit)
    This model has been reviewed very positively and has two important features. One is that it appears to cope quite well with line interference, and the other is that it is a 'pass-through' adapter, so you don't 'lose' the power sockets used for the connection. Price is quite reasonable too for an adapter of this performance. EBuyer sell a twin-pack with a voucher for a third adapter for £66.64.
  1. 23" Dell UltraSharp U2311H Widescreen IPS Monitor - offer price from Aria - £199.99
    This monitor should not be confused with 'ordinary' screens which cost perhaps half as much, since they use TN tecnhnology which provides very inaccurate colour. If colour accuracy is important to you (e.g. you are into digital photography or graphics), then this is about as cheap a way to get into good screens as they come.
  2. NEC MultiSync EA232WMi£240.94
    Similar in quality and features to the Dell monitor above, this is another superb colour-accurate monitor.
Adobe Photoshopt Elements 9
If you need to purchase this, in most cases your best optionis to buy it from  Adobe's UK shop  £55.37.