Last week I bought a shiny new Epson Artisan 800 all-in-one printer. I already had a Canon printer and an HP scanner, but the former is not so great, akshully and the latter's bundled software was annoying as hell. For faxing, I was getting by with what's built into XP, which is fine for receiving and for sending documents that already exist as files (but then why not use email?...); even with the scanner though, there was no simple way to fax anything else - like something I'd had to sign. So the all-in-one concept seemed useful, and I've been an Epson fan since I got my first RX-80. I also liked that the Artisan 800 has WiFi connectivity, so I could make it part of my home network.
I knew that the 800 had slots for memory cards, so I can just take a card from my (or any) digital camera and print directly, but what I didn't notice or anticipate in my pre-purchase research was the USB port on the front. After I got it home and set it up, I thought "hey cool, I can dump a bunch of photos to this USB stick and print them," which of course is true. But what I suddenly realized is that I can plug in a portable drive, enable read/write access, and whammo, I have a network attached storage device.
I'd been looking at many of the NAS options out there, and hadn't quite decided on any of them, primarily due to cost, or sometimes to bad reviews on Newegg or wherever. I'd also considered re-configuring an old dormant PC using FreeNAS, but that requires planning and thinking and scary stuff like that, so I just never got around to it.
Now I suddenly have "free" solution - OK sure, the printer wasn't cheap, but I worked the price-match and converted some credit card points to gift cards, making my out-of-pocket price less than half of suggested retail.