When it comes to high-tech tools at home, choose quality

This giveaway is now closed.
vintage photos
Photo by Kaarin Swan

It’s probably no surprise to you that I’m a minimalist.  I shudder at clutter, and I much prefer having one high-quality item than several mediocre versions of something similar.  My idea of a heavenly wardrobe is 10 pieces that fit me perfectly and won’t ever wear out.

So when Epson wanted me to give their latest printer a whirl, I thought sure, it might be nice to have one gadget that does a lot of things well.  And while I’m not much of a gadget fiend, my husband is, so he was more than a little excited to try it out.  Let’s just say that it didn’t take me long to truly appreciate the gift I’d been given.

I’m impressed with the thing. It’s cool.  And because it does so much so quickly, it really does make life at home simpler and more productive.

Here’s why I love the Epson Artisan 800 printer:

1. The high-definition photo-quality is outstanding.

We’ll never have to order photos with an outside source again.  I can even edit our photos from the printer – eliminate the red-eye, restore old photos, add text, and more.  The plus side for me is that now I actually get around to developing photos, instead of just burning them straight to a disc, probably never to be seen again.  (And since we’re currently staying with my parents while we’re stateside for a few months, it’s satisfying the never-ceasing grandparent’s thirst for photos.)

Oh, and it prints photos quickly – we’re talking 10 seconds.  So if you think you might order (or still win!) your Christmas photo cards from Chickpea Designs, you can print them at home as high-definition photos.

2.  It’s wi-fi.

Yep, I never have to connect my laptop and mess with a tangle of cords.  This keeps my workspace cleaner, more organized, and more functional. And because it’s wi-fi, anyone who brings their laptop to your home can easily print without having to connect (which yes, means you should password-protect your internet connection so that your neighbors don’t start randomly printing their family photos – wouldn’t that be weird?).

3.  It’s pretty.

The LCD keypad is sleek and easy to use, and the printer is unobtrusive, so I don’t mind having it out on display.  A big deal for me.

4.  It does lots of things.

It scans, it copies, it faxes, it prints double-sided, it creates coloring book pages, it prints ruled and graph paper for school, it prints directly onto CDs and DVDs, it brings you coffee in the morning.  Okay, not the coffee, but everything else.  And I have this suspicion that it does even more than I’m aware of.  We’ll see.

5.  One of you will win one.

Epson and One2One Network is graciously giving one Simple Mom reader the new Artisan 800 printer. Are you as excited as I am?  I wasn’t lying when I said November is a big month of giveaways over here!

Here’s how to win:

1. Leave a comment on this post, answering this question:  What gadget can’t you live without?

2. For a second entry, email me at simplemomblog (at) gmail (dot) com with the secret code in the email’s subject line (no need to write anything in the email’s body, as it won’t be read).  To find the secret code, make sure you’ve subscribed to Simple Mom’s feed either via RSS or via email, and look in the footer of any post.  I promise you – the code is there.

3. For a third entry, mention this giveaway on your blog, and make sure I somehow find out about it.

This giveaway will end on Wednesday, November 12, midnight CST.

I hope you win!

Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

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  1. the gadget i can’t live without is my digital camera – with a 6 month old boy it is constantly out taking in his latest developments

  2. My favorite gadget is my wireless radio, it lets me listen to radio stations in the US while we are abroad.

  3. catherine says:

    This is a great question- as we are about to go on an extended vacation. I’m gonna have to say my ipod. I have music, podcasts, movies and photo’s stored on mine- the perfect toy to occupy me during layovers.

  4. Definately my printer/scanner. After getting Vista my old scanner doesn’t work with vista so I’ve missed it like crazy.
    ((Hugs)) Mechelle

  5. my digital camera – i hope my memory holds out for another 50 or 60 years, but just in case i like to have our family life recorded for the future. Even now i love looking at out photos and videos with the kids and seeing how much they have grown.

    thanks for a chance to win such a great prize!

  6. I can’t live without my HP all-in-one, but it is starting to die!

  7. Hands down — camera.

    Dana’s last blog post…In My Inbox this Morning

    • (Comment from a few days ago didn’t post? So replying…)

      The terabyte external hard drive, with it’s matching back-up friend named “Just in case.”

      It (they) hold all our photos, important papers, and copies of the last draft of my dissertation for when I accidentally delete the current one. They evacuate easily, reduce worry, and bring up important information that can otherwise be forgotten in stressful moments (we live in New Orleans, so this is an important point). And there are two identical machines, just in case one gets sick. Just in case.

      We know well that all other gadgets… the computer, the camera, the car, the Ipod… can be replaced. But the storage devices? Can’t live without ’em.

      Holly’s last blog post…Because I need a happy place.

  8. I can’t live without my camera. I love taking daily pictures of my little kiddies.

  9. I couldn’t live without my camera!

    Laine Chambers’s last blog post…We voted….

  10. My laptop.

    Stephanie’s last blog post…Not the poem

  11. My new cannon digital camera. Our old one took so long taking pictures but this one is so quick I am finally getting the pictures of the children that I want…not them getting up and moving! Yeah new camera! Love your blog by the way!

    Lindsay’s last blog post…Sunday’s Symphony

  12. I can’t live without my laptop.

  13. Christina says:

    Can’t live without my digital camera. So easy to use, I take more and better quality pics than in the past.

  14. Traciatim says:

    For me it’s my computer in general. This is where I get all my news, I get my entertainment from, it stores all my documents and photos, it plays my music/radio.

    I have a photo printer that I’ve had for about 4 years. I don’t use it because it’s cheaper just to have an online printer or take them to an hour photo place and print them, plus the professional printing equipment makes photos look better than most consumer gear anyway. Though scan/Copy/Fax would be really useful.

  15. My favorite tech gadget is definitely my cell phone! It’s not the fanciest out there but it lets me be available to my friends and my family when they need to reach me immediately!

    jenney’s last blog post…storyboards

  16. Melissa Soto says:

    My digital camera. That way I can take a thousand pictures for our Christmas picture and at least one will come out good!

  17. What gadget can’t I live without? It’s a 2 way tie – my Mac laptop & my digital camera. I would be absolutely LOST without either one of them.

    Christi’s last blog post…ordering & payment information

  18. Has to be my digital camera. Two kids growing up fast and it gives me a chance to freeze tiny slices of time.

    Joanna’s last blog post…Random Requests

  19. my ipod touch. it puts my email, the internet and my music all in one place – and i can throw it all in my diaper bag.

    Susie’s last blog post…Big Announcement and Random Pictures

  20. I used my iPod constantly – for my 3 year old. He loves being able to choose his own music and it beats having the television on all day! In fact, we hardly watch t.v. at all because he loves listening to it.

  21. Could not live without my laptop! Love it! Love it!

    Tami’s last blog post…Rock-A-Bye Sweet Baby

  22. OH wow! So cool. I definitely can’t live without my cell phone. And I subscribe in google reader but can’t find the code!

    Dolly’s last blog post…Ramblings and Randomness

  23. I can’t live without my iPod Touch. It has my solitaire game, a timer, basic e-mail, basic web browser, gas mileage, shopping list…..oh, and my books on tape and music, too!


  24. What a great printer! 🙂

    stephanie’s last blog post…11/4/08

  25. Our video camera- JVC Everio. I use it to make short DVDs to show family across the country our growing 7 month old baby! His grandparents go nuts whenever a new DVD surprises them in the mail.

  26. Oh my this is GREAT! And to be honest, the gadget I couldn’t live without IS my printer. I work from home and I have to print out reports, invoices, statements, etc. I also copy things and scan things and print pictures. So, this little gadget is RIGHT up my alley. And I was recently begging hubby to make my world completely wi-fi since I’m such a freak about clutter and cords and stuff. What a great deal!

    Suzann’s last blog post…Meet My Husband…

  27. I couldn’t live without my digital camera. Its old and doesn’t take the best pictures, but at least we will have something to show our 2 boys when they get older!

    I would LOVE to win this printer! I scrapbook all of my sons’ photos, so this would come in extra handy and safe time and money!

    Becky’s last blog post…Charlie Brown Christmas for Angel’s sketch #15!

  28. I cannot live without my laptop! It’s practically my constant companion.

    Amy’s last blog post…Too bad "delete" doesn’t work on my brain

  29. This is an AMAZING giveaway!! Wow. I cannot live without my laptop. It’s my lifeline!

  30. I can’t live without my laptop. I wasn’t sure how much I would use it, and I have become addicted!

  31. I can’t live without my Ipod Touch. Yes, it’s just a toy but it’s my lifeline – all my contacts, to do lists, everything is on there so I don’t have to worry if I’m going to remember things.

  32. My favorite Baby Gadget is by far my Phil and Ted stroller. If I had had this stroller when my oldest was born I would have never purchased the other TWELVE strollers!! Now isn’t that being a simple Mom…one stroller does jogging, mall, single and double. LOVE IT! Greatest Mommy invention ever.

  33. I absolutely can not live without my camera- my son will be 3 in January and we have over 10,000 pictures- thank God for the Mac & iphoto!!!!

  34. I cannot live without my digital camera. It’s a Canon, simple to use but takes professional quality pics… I love it! I have thousands of pictures of my daughter (now if only I was more organized about printing them out and putting them in albums!!) 🙂

  35. I absolutely cannot live without my front door keypad entry system. I have two kids (one is a very squirmy toddler) and it is so wonderful that I don’t have to get my keys out and fumble with them at my front door. Instead I just use one finger to type in my code at the front door and voila!!! Open door without the stress of getting out my keys!!

    For that matter, my car’s keyless entry that I had installed this summer is just as much as a must have, too. No more fumbling for keys to get in the car either.

    Love ’em!!

    Allison J’s last blog post…Kinetic Pistol

  36. My gadget would have to be my phone/PDA – a Cingular 8125. I store just about everything on this, take notes, send e-mails, make calls, etc. Not sure if anything else even comes close. I get a little disoriented if I don’t know what’s going on next because I’ve left it at home.

  37. Southern Gal says:

    I can’t live without my digital camera. I used to think I couldn’t live without my iPod, but when my teenage son got his iPod wet and ruined it, I handed over mine. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. (Mine was given to me by my daughter when she got a free one with her Mac purchase. Since she already had one she gave it to her mama. Isn’t that sweet? I decided to share the love with my iPod addicted son. ) BUT in no way could I go even a day without my camera!!!

  38. The gadget I NEED is my cell phone (work, keeping in touch w/ family) but the gadget I LOVE is my laptop. Photos, internet, files, all right there. Now if only I had a good printer….

  39. it’s a toss up between my camera and laptop. I guess I would have to say laptop that I can blog and store my photos on as well.

    Denise’s last blog post…mad knitter

    • My laptop!!! We’re a cyber school family and being able to do school anywhere around the house is so great!

  40. Hands down…..my iPod. I am a total podcast addict. Current fave podcast is NPR’s Planet Money.

  41. It’s just my computer. I’m not a huge gadget girl, as I don’t feel very frugal when I spend a lot of money on something and it quits working (or I can’t figure out how to use it!).

    ChristineG’s last blog post…Holiday Homemaking Freebies

  42. I’d have to say my digital camera is my favorite gadget. I love taking pictures of my adorable twin boys.

  43. My iPod.

  44. My iPod. I can’t believe how much I love that little thing (the Shuffle).

  45. My digital camera is old and not the greatest so I will probably have to say my cell phone. We live in Upstate NY and get lots of snow so it’s always nice to have the reassurance of a cell phone when travelin gin the winter.

  46. Favorite gadget would have to be the digital camera. Sorry rolls of 200 film. I do not miss you. Sorry one-hour photo envelopes. I do not miss you either. This printer looks amazing. Thanks for the great giveaway. This is more like it.

    Joanna’s last blog post…The Simple Life: Thinking Simply

  47. While at times I find them extremely annoying, the gadget I can’t live without is my cell phone. I can call home to tell them I am running late, my car broke down and I need help, or find out if we need something from the store. I don’t have to worry about being stranded, or my family being unable to reach me when they need me. It gives me peace of mind.

    Gerwerken’s last blog post…Halloween Costumes

  48. I can’t live without my digital camera…. in fact, I don’t think I can go on living without a new fancy one. lol (I’m hoping for a new one for xmas)

    Hautemama’s last blog post…My first daughter…

  49. My cell phone!

    • Sorry testing just to see how “reply” looks like

    • Not sure why it won’t let me comment…

      I think I’d go crazy without my cell phone. Remember when no one had cell phones? Yeah, I don’t know how we survived! 🙂

  50. The one gadget I couldn’t live without is my digital camera. With two little ones, it is with me every moment of every day…or so it seems. The other gadget I use most often is my Zune. I’ve got music (for me and my kiddos), podcasts, radio, and my kids pictures with me at all times. I love it! Now if only my Zune could take pictures!!!

    Jody’s last blog post…Stuffed Pumpkins

  51. I can’t live without my computer. It was broken for a couple of weeks this summer and I went crazy!

    mandy’s last blog post…My New Hobby?

  52. The gadget I can’t live without would be my digital camera. Last year after Christmas I dropped mine and broke it…losing all the Christmas pictures in the process. I can’t tell you how sad I was! My hubby bought me a new one for my b-day…but I had to wait 3 long months with no camera.

  53. What a great giveaway! I couldn’t live without my phone, no my laptop, i think. If i could get one of those fancy phones with internet it would be my phone! so i’ll go for now i’ll say LAPTOP!!

    Maxine’s last blog post…

  54. My computer

  55. Definitely my cell phone – I feel naked when I forget it! How different things have become in the last 10 years!!

  56. TiVo.

  57. This looks awesome! I am an online teacher and this would make my job so much easier. Thanks!

  58. I’m not sure if it’s considered a gadget, but I couldn’t live without my computer. It has my planner, my contacts, menu plans…I’d be lost without it.

    Lori’s last blog post…Extreme Couponing – Mom Edition

  59. I enjoy my laptop very much (blogs, email, youtube, music…) but, my laptop would not be so wonderful without….

    the wireless router.

    Lisa’s last blog post…this is great.

  60. Oops, I think I forgot to say what I can not live without…my computer or my cell phone. It is a toss up.

  61. my iPhone is the gadget I can’t live without. It has my contact list, weather, calender, to do list, notepad, and many other things that help me immensely. Love it!!

    julie’s last blog post…

  62. I cannot do without my tiny point-and-shoot camera that lives in my purse. You never know when you will NEED to be able to take a picture.

  63. The gadget that I can not live without is my digital camera. I am a mom that photographs everything and if it weren’t for going digital, I would have spent lots more on printing. I love that I can adjust them, add, or delete.

    Amanda Lemonds’s last blog post…Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary Henigans!

  64. Wow, that’s a tough one! While I own a laptop, ipod, and digital camera and use them all the time, I feel like I could live without any or all of them – they certainly aren’t at the center of my life. But, if you took my desktop computer too, I’d be lost! It’s not new or pretty, but it’s a workhorse and gets the job done.

  65. It would have to be the computer. I have lots of techie items, but they would all be virtually useless without the computer.

  66. So this is a tough question for me. I use my iphone the most, but couldn’t do without my DSLR–and I have to have my computer in order to do anything with the pictures! So it looks like I’m deeply mired in technology, yikes.
    This printer looks awesome….I’ve got my fingers crossed!

    Ginna’s last blog post…::en flambe::

  67. Shannon B says:

    I’m not sure if this counts, but the one gadget (it’s a small appliance, really) that I can’t live without is my Keurig coffee brewer. I’ve had it for a year and a half or so, and I love it to pieces.

    But I’d love this printer, too!

  68. I just recently discovered your blog and I already love it. I’m not a mom, but I’m married to a grad student, which sometimes feels like the same thing.

    I can’t live without my magic bullet!!

    Does a laptop count as a gadget? Because I can’t live without that, either!

    bashtree’s last blog post…books and God

  69. The gadget I appreciate most is my digital camera. My house growing up had stacks and stacks of shoeboxes of photos, good and bad. Having everything digital now allows me to take an abundance of photos, get those fantastic shots, ditch the do-overs, and most important — keep them easily organized and backed up. Thank goodness for technology!

  70. Ame Gargulak says:

    I can’t live without my laptop and cellphone (with Jott). Now if I had a blackberry or other smartphone, I’d really be smokin’!!

  71. Toss up between my laptop and my digital camera (hope to soon be DSLR!!!!)


    Terra Jones’s last blog post…Still sick…

  72. I would have to say my camera; with 2 children it gets used an awful lot!
    How awesome is that printer!

  73. Genevieve says:

    The gadget I can’t live without is my Blackberry. I resisted getting one for a long time, afraid that I would not want to be getting my work emails when I was away from the office. But I actually find it to be a stress-reliever – if my morning is hectic (and with a toddler and a pre-schooler, when is it ever not hectic?) I can check in on my email to see if anything is urgent and it is not so obvious that I am running late! Also great for keeping the many lists that I was other wise leaving in various notebooks scattered all over the place.

  74. My can’t live without gadget has to be my flash drive. Currently I am leading a Girl Scout troop, going to school full time, working with the PTA of two schools and thankfully taking winter break from coaching my youngest son’s t-ball team. I have a very bad habit of leaving my laptop at home, so with my flash drive I have everything I could potentially need. I also keep all my pictures saved on it, as well as my external hard drive, so if my MIL wants to print out any of them, it take just a second.

  75. I have to agree with several other posters and say my camera. I have dreams of getting an SLR someday…

    Check out my blog for giveaway promoting (yes, I would REALLY love that printer!)

    MaryAnne’s last blog post…Awesome blog giveaway at theartofsimple.net

  76. The gadget I cannot live without is my laptop. I work from home so it is essential to my being able to communicate with my boss and get work done.

    Tana’s last blog post…Fairness Doctrine

  77. I can’t live without my iphone. I love that little guy.

  78. Christine says:

    I can’t live without my computer. When it was broken, I didn’t know what to do with myself.

  79. I can’t live without my cell phone!

  80. Of all the gadgets, probably the 60G iPod. It replaced the huge 200 disc changer and stacks of 1000+ CDs in the living room.

  81. my mac laptop. It’s my lifeline on mind numbing days…

  82. As much as I love my digital camera, I think I love my ipod more. Having my ipod has helped me stay on an exercise plan because I love listening to podcasts while I exercise. Great giveaway – – I love your blog and have been reading for a few weeks now.

    Angie’s last blog post…Soup Time

  83. Oh, how I would LOVE to win this!! The gadget I can’t seem to live without is my laptop. It is bad. I just love it so much though, I can’t stand it.

    Heather’s last blog post…A New Day. And, a Bit of a Rant.

  84. I can’t live without my laptop.

  85. definitely my laptop, but second is my HP PCS which is on it’s last legs. oooh pick me, pick me!

    Laura’s last blog post…‘Tis the Season

  86. I can’t live without my MP3. It goes everywhere, plays anything, …

    Thanks for an amazing offer!

  87. I don’t know if you can really count this as a gadget… but i can’t live with out it! It’s my electric kettle. I make tea every morning, and this kettle gives me boiling water in less than a minute. It makes my morning routine quicker and simpler. Thanks!

  88. My favorite gadget technically isn’t mine–it’s the huge, gorgeous Canon color copier at my office–my favorite parts: 1.) the scanner, so I can save documents online instead of filing endless papers; 2.) Double-sided print function, so I use less paper and kill fewer trees. I’d love to be able to do that at home as well!

  89. I can’t live without our GPS. Before I was driving around in circles! Thanks for the giveaway!

    Laura’s last blog post…Halloween

  90. I think my MP3 player. It gives me the ability to make any day better just by listening to whatever makes me happy. It can help my two year old relax in the car and I love listening to it when I get to grocery shop by myself– like twice a year!

    darah7’s last blog post…great posts

  91. I don’t know if this qualifies or not, but the gadget I couldn’t live without is my hairdryer. We had a power outage for a week during Hurricane Ike, and the one thing I missed was being able to dry my naturally curly hair.. it was a mess!

  92. My digital camera. The quality of my photos is so much better since I made the switch five years ago. Just keep taking until you get something good, and delete the rest! I could not afford to practice so much when I still used film.

  93. I absolutely cannot live without my digital camera. I have an 8 month old daughter and my family jokes with me that every detail of her life is documented through photo. The only thing is….I don’t have a printer to print all of these great photos. I would LOVE LOVE TO win this awesome printer!

    Lindsey Langhans’s last blog post…Something to think about

  94. I love having a lap top. We just got one this past spring and it makes internet life so much easier.


    Shannon’s last blog post…Make your own: yogurt, butter & applesauce

  95. I can’t imagine not having a cell phone so that is probably the most important to me, but a digital camera and laptop come in second and third.

    Abbey’s last blog post…Pulled Pork and final thoughts

  96. Does a cell phone count as a gadget? If so this is definitely my answer. Nothing can flip me out quicker than a cell phone malfunction!


  97. Stephanooch says:

    I would have to say my iPod Touch. It does everything. Music, photos, internet. I have my too do list, shopping list, I track my calories. There’s an address book, a calculator, a news program. I can download tv shows and watch them while I work out. I seriously love this thing. I should be their spokesperson.

  98. There are actually 2 gadgets I can’t live without…my camera and my crockpot! 🙂

  99. My cell phone is pretty much the only gadget I’d replace immediately if lost or stolen, followed very closely by my MP3 player and digital camera. That printer looks pretty freaking cool too. We have some behemoth HP thing that is a nightmare … and wired besides.

  100. There are a lot of helpful gadgets out there, but I really would have a hard time functioning without my computer. Does a computer count as a gadget?

    If the computer doesn’t count, I’d go with my camera as second choice. I have small children and being without a camera would be tough!

    Catherine’s last blog post…When Bad Cakes Happen To Good People