By Señior Tech on the June 2019 Edition
This month I am going to write tips to address a number of issues affecting residents and visitors to Mexico.
At some point, everyone needs to either print a document from their computer/tablet or make a copy from other papers. If your needs are minimal, get a cheap data thumb drive and load the file as a PDF document then take it to Office Depot for printing. Convenience may be your preference and there are two viable options. Black and white laser printers can be purchased for under $1,200 pesos. This is a good option as the toner does not dry out and they tend to be a low maintenance item. Color printers are more expensive and require a bit more maintenance.
The color options include laser and inkjet technologies. Color lasers usually are a bit more expensive than the inkjet versions, but they have the low maintenance factor to consider. Inkjet printers come in two types, pre-filled cartridges and refillable inkwells. The pre-filled cartridges should be avoided.
While these printers appear to be cheaper, the replacement cartridges cost more than the original printer purchase, so this will cost significantly more in the long term. The cartridges dry out if left without use (you can extend the cartridge life by putting a wet paper towel over the cartridge print head and store it in a plastic zip lock bag). The newer inkwell inkjet printers advertise 4,000 to 6,000 copies per fill (my experience is half that). Whether you choose laser or inkjet technology, make sure that the printer has wireless capability; this will allow printing from either computer, phone or tablet.
Another option to consider is a built-in scanner. The scanner will make the printer an inexpensive copier and allow making digital copies that can be stored on your computer, phone, or tablet. Inkjet printers need to be used regularly, otherwise the ink dries in the nozzles and the heads need to be cleaned. This process uses a lot of ink and, for this reason, laser and inkwell inkjets make the most economical sense.
Internet is available from a number of providers in Manzanillo. If you are in an area serviced by Telmex or Telecable, you have the option of wired service. This is the most reliable and speedy option. The wired service can then be made wireless with a rentable modem or a modem you own. If you are out of Telmex or Telecable service areas, Telcel has two tiers of wireless Internet available (5 meg and 10 meg service). The Telcel option requires a purchase of a 4g modem ($1,800 pesos).
There is a company offering wireless service in Vida del Mar (consult your neighbors for pricing and reliability). If you are simply using internet for email and social media, your cell-phone service may be all you require. Caution: do not use your cell plan for multimedia as this will exhaust your included data and could be very costly if you go over your data allotment.
Telcel offers a cellular plan for unlimited data after 10 pm and before 7am for 100 pesos Monday through Friday. For $150 pesos, the unlimited data is available 7 days a week from 10 pm to 7 am (this is a great option if you are a night owl).
Cell phone service is very reasonably priced in Mexico. If you have a permanent or temporary resident visa (not tourist visa), you can get a monthly cell plan from either AT&T or Telcel. The cheapest plan is $199 pesos a month for unlimited calling and text to Mexico, Canada and the USA.
This plan also provides 1 gig of data and an additional 1 gig of social media data. There are no roaming fees travelling to Canada or the USA(this includes data). The plans also allow up to six months use out of Mexico. This is an excellent price for unlimited toll-free calling within the three countries.
Laptop computer or tablet, which is best? These days tablets are best for the majority of people. Unless you are writing a novel or editing large numbers of photos, a computer is over-kill. When travelling, tablets easily go through security scans.
A tablet can be used throughout a flight, unlike computers which need to be stored during takeoff and landing. If you only use your device for browsing the internet, social media and email, a computer is more cumbersome.
Online banking, watching movies, listening to music, as well as shopping online, are all possible with a tablet. The other advantage with tablets is that you don’t have to wait for it to boot-up like a computer.
Tablets are lighter, more convenient for travel, have built-in cameras and are more reliable mechanically than laptop computers. They are lower priced than laptops and the higher end tablets are now competing in speed with laptops in the photo editing capability.
The topics covered are minimal, if you wish to know more, please send me an email and I will include answers in future articles.
Señior Tech is a technology addict that loves to share tips. He lives in Manzanillo full time and helps keep the community up on the latest tech tricks and toys.