Review of the HP Officejet Pro 7720 Wide-Format All-in-One on Computer ShopperEach year, due primarily to Brother (and to a lesser degree, to HP), the stable of available tabloid-capable (11×17-inch) all-in-one (AIO) printers widens. Many of them can print, copy, scan, and fax, and the AIOs themselves get less expensive to buy and to use.

Nearly all of Brother’s Business Smart Plus AIOs, among them the Brother MFC-J5830DW, support at least tabloid-size printing, and several, including the recent Editors’ Choice Brother MFC-J6935DW, come with scanners and automatic document feeders (ADFs) that can handle wide documents for scans, copies, and faxes.

While Brother makes many wide-format printers with a myriad of feature configurations, HP up until now offered only one, the Officejet Pro 7740, that had the ability to print, copy, scan, and fax in tabloid. Now, though, the Palo Alto printer giant is offering a pared-down version of the 7740, the $199.99-list Officejet Pro 7720. It’s different from the 7740 in several key ways. The newer model, for instance, comes with only one 250-sheet paper-input tray, versus the 7740’s two 250-sheet cassettes.

The biggest difference between these two Officejets, though, is that the newer one has a smaller scanner and ADF, rendering it capable of copying, scanning, and faxing only legal-size (8.5×14-inch) pages. Aside from the smaller paper-input capacity and the inability to run tabloid-size pages through the ADF and scanner, though, these two Officejets are the spitting image of each other. But as you’ll see as you read on, what you give up for the $50 list price difference between them is significant.

We should pause here to add that Epson, too, makes a few wide-format printers meant for small businesses or workgroups, including the WorkForce WF-7610 All-in-One, the WorkForce WF-7620 All-in-One, and the WorkForce ET-16500 EcoTank Wide-Format All-in-One Supertank. The difference between the first two is that the latter comes with two 250-sheet paper drawers, while the former has only one. The ET-16500 is one of Epson’s “bulk ink” AIOs that comes with tens of thousands of pages’ worth of ink in the box, and, as a result, it lists for about $1,000.

HP OfficeJet Pro 7720 (Introduction)

Another significant distinction between the Epson models, compared to the HP and Brother AIOs, is that all three of them print wide-format pages up to 13×19 inches, instead of 11×17. All three are simply WorkForce models rather than WorkForce Pro AIOs, meaning that their printheads contain fewer ink-nozzle chips (two chips, as opposed to the four on the WorkForce Pro models’ printheads). In addition, the WF-7610 and WF-7620 have been around since 2014; they lack a few recent mobile-connectivity and other features, and, as we’ll discuss later, they have substantially higher running costs.

In any case, back to the Officejet Pro 7720, the newest of the bunch. As mentioned, you give up a fair bit versus the Officejet Pro 7740, including the features listed earlier, as well as an ADF capable of scanning and copying two-sided pages automatically. On the other hand, the footprint and price are both smaller, and you get the same exceptional print and copy quality. The 7740 is a highly capable wide-format inkjet with many desirable attributes, and so goes the 7720. Nowadays, though, the competition among tabloid-size inkjet AIOs is brisker than ever.

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Review of HP Envy Photo 7855 All-in-One at Computer ShopperIt’s been a couple of years since we’ve reviewed one of HP’s Envy-brand all-in-one (AIO) inkjet printers. The last one, the Envy 7640 e-All-in-One, was a predecessor to (or at least, in the same series as) the model we’re reviewing here today, the $199-list HP Envy Photo 7855 All-in-One.

Why has it been so long? Well, frankly, there just haven’t been new Envy models to review until now, in late summer 2017. Part of a multi-device rollout that includes the $129-MSRP Envy Photo 6200 All-in-One and the $149-list Envy Photo 7100 All-in-One, the Envy Photo 7855 is the flagship model in this new line.

As the highest-numbered AIO of the bunch, the Envy Photo 7855, as you’d expect, costs the most and gets the most robust set of features. It has, for instance, an automatic document feeder (ADF) for sending multipage originals to the scanner, rather than making you place them on the platen one at a time. In fact, the Envy Photo 7855’s feature set, which includes several functions its less-expensive siblings don’t have—memory device support, fax, Ethernet, an automatic extending output tray, and support for legal-size paper—is somewhat lopsided, especially given the $50 list-price difference between it and the next-step-down Envy Photo 7100.

We’ll take a closer look at the Photo 7855’s features in the next section. As context, first: By positioning these new Envy models as photo printers, HP has put them toe-to-toe with some formidable competition from two of its major competitors, Canon and Epson. The competing families are, namely, Canon’s photo-centric Pixma TS-series and Epson’s Expression Photo models. These include the six-ink Canon Pixma TS9020 Wireless Inkjet All-In-One and the five-ink Epson Expression Photo XP-860 Small-in-One.

These, and several others in both Canon’s and Epson’s stables of consumer-grade photo inkjets, churn out superb photos. One of the questions addressed in the Output Quality section near the end of this review is whether HP’s more traditional four-ink (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) Envy Photo models are capable of the same brilliant and highly detailed photo output as its five- and six-ink competitors are.

From HP’s POV, the company says a reformulated black ink and some other tweaks make these new photo-centric HP AIOs highly capable photograph printers, too. That said, these so-called photo printers don’t use separate cartridges for each ink, with HP instead deploying a two-cartridge system consisting of one filled with black ink and another holding the other three inks. That’s a system most other inkjet makers have gotten away from, primarily because when one of the reservoirs on the three-ink tank empties before the other two, the entire cartridge must be discarded, thereby wasting ink.

HP says that it has successfully addressed this issue with a new technology it calls Active Ink Balancing Technology, or AIB. According to HP, AIB “…tracks how you are printing. If you are printing a lot of magenta, for instance, it would use CY [cyan and yellow inks], then, on non-PQ [Printer Quality] needed projects (like a word document, not a photo) so that your colors in the IPH [cartridge] all run out closer together.”

We have no scientific way to test this, of course. However, in answer to our question, “What if the user prints a lot of images containing high concentrations of blue sky or water, thereby requiring a disproportionate amount of cyan ink (or other like scenarios)?” HP said that AIB technology can’t compensate for extreme situations like this. In other words, it can’t perform miracles.

One thing that most so-called photo printers have in common, including the Envy Photo 7855, is high per-page ink costs. As we’ll discuss later on, though, the Envy Photo 7855 and its siblings are Instant Ink-ready, meaning that they support HP’s Instant Ink subscription service, one of the least-expensive ways that we know of to print photographs. It breaks out like this, but we’ll get into the details later…

HP Envy Photo 7855 (Instant Ink)

And that—the ability to print good-looking photographs for literally a few pennies each—is without question a good reason for choosing the Envy Photo 7855 over its competitors, especially if you intend to print a lot of images. With the Envy Photo 7855, you might give up some image quality, but what you’d save on ink each month (and over the life of the printer) could save you a pile of money over time.

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Review of the HP DeskJet 2655 All-in-One at Computer ShopperThe other day we stated that, at $59.99, HP’s DeskJet 3755 had the lowest list price of any all-in-one (AIO) printer—inkjet or otherwise—that we’ve reviewed in quite some time. That was before we started looking at today’s review unit, the $49.99-list DeskJet 2655. While all of the major inkjet-printer makers offer at least one model with a list price under $100, the DeskJet 2655’s half-a-C-note price is about as low as it gets.

The DeskJet 2655 and 3755 entry-level AIOs, for all their common features, are dissimilar in several ways. The most glaring difference is that the DeskJet 2655, the lower-cost model, comes with a traditional flatbed scanner, where the sensor travels the length of the page it’s scanning. The DeskJet 3755 deploys a scroll-feed-type scanner that pulls the paper over the scanning sensor.

HP DeskJet 2655 (Right Angled Blue)

Both models use the same ink cartridges, though, so they both hit you for some of the highest running costs in the business—if, that is, you pay full tilt for the official HP ink cartridges on a per-piece basis. But you have an alternative to that, beyond messing with refills or third-party ink tanks. Both the DeskJet 3755 and the 2655 are eligible for HP’s Instant Ink subscription service, making them (if you opt for Instant Ink) downright reasonable in running costs among entry-level printers. The only way to get a lower cost per page from AIOs with similar volume ratings and feature sets? You’ll have to opt for a “bulk-ink” AIO, such as one of Epson’s EcoTank or Canon MegaTank models. (More on those later.) But these machines are pricey by comparison; the idea with these models is, you pay more now to pay less for ink later.

Confused yet? We’ll delve more into the different ink-buying methods (and their prospective benefits) later in this review. Suffice it to say here that, unless you plan to print very little with the DeskJet 2655, you should definitely go with the Instant Ink plan with this printer. And if you plan to print more than, say, between 50 to 200 pages a month, you might want to consider one of the bulk-ink models, or just something other than an entry-level AIO. (A good option is the Brother MFC-J985DW, which, aside from the number of ink cartridges in the box, is identical to—but much less expensive than—the MFC-J985DW XL we reviewed a while back.)

Print speed and output quality are two other important considerations when buying a new AIO printer, entry-level or otherwise. We’re happy to report that the DeskJet 2655’s print quality is, given its price, surprisingly good. Its print speed, on the other hand…well, let’s just say that it’s not the slowest we’ve seen. But then none of the DeskJet 2655’s direct competitors, such as the Epson Expression Home XP-440 Small-in-One, is a speed demon, either.

What you get with the DeskJet 2655 is a low-cost entry-level inkjet AIO designed with very low monthly print and copy volumes in mind. It’s slow, but it prints quite well, and the Instant Ink option tips it as an Editors’ Choice winner and a great pick among under-$60 all-in-one printers. (Mind you, that’s a very small field.)

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Epson WorkForce Pro WF-3720 All-in-One Review and Ratings at Computer ShopperIntroduction

Epson’s PrecisionCore-based WorkForce Pro printers have been around long enough now that it would be easy to take them for granted. But each update to the WorkForce Pro line reminds us just how fast and how well PrecisionCore printheads print, compared to more traditional inkjet ones. The Japanese printer giant’s latest release of four new WorkForce Pro models bolsters that impression.

This new bunch consists of four entry-level to moderate-volume all-in-one (AIO) models, ranging in list price from $150 to $300. The other day, we looked at the WorkForce Pro WF-4720, which is one step up from today’s review subject, the entry-level ($149.99-MSRP) WorkForce Pro WF-3720 All-in-One Printer. In addition to the WF-3720 and WF-4720, the other two recently released models are the WF-4730 and WF-4740; we’re in the process of reviewing that last model, as well. Among other important features, those last two come with two paper drawers, whereas the WF-3720 and WF-4720 have only one. There are, of course, other differences: The WF-3720, for instance, is slower; it uses lower-yield ink cartridges that deliver higher running costs; and it has a lower (much lower) maximum monthly duty cycle (15,000 pages, versus 30,000 pages). In other words, it isn’t designed to print as many pages each month as the others.

It is, again, an entry-level AIO, meaning that it’s designed for small and home-based offices with low-volume workloads. Epson recommends that you print no more than 1,300 pages on it month in and month out, but as we’ll get into later, printing even that many pages each month would cost too much in per-page ink costs. If you need to print more than, say, 500 pages per month, you’d be better off with one of the WorkForce Pro 4000-series models, or perhaps a competing AIO, such as the Canon Maxify MB2120 or one of Brother’s Business Smart Plus AIOs. One of our Editors’ Choice picks, the Brother MFC-J5930DW, is a good alternative, as it not only prints at lower cost but has several more features, such as tabloid-size output and an auto-duplexing automatic document feeder (ADF), for scanning two-sided multiple-page documents without flipping them by hand.

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-3720 All-in-One (Front Flat)

If, conversely, all you need is light-volume printing and copying, and you don’t need to copy or scan many two-sided documents, the WorkForce Pro WF-3720 has more than its share of charms. It prints exceptionally well, and at a reasonable clip for the price. When used in the setting it’s designed for, it’s a strong contender for small offices that require low-volume, high-quality output, given its speed and print quality.

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Kodak Photo Printer Dock Review at Computer ShopperDedicated photo printers like the $149.90-MSRP Kodak Photo Printer Dock we’re reviewing here today fill a niche, and imaging giant Kodak has played a prominent role in the snapshot-printer market. These relatively small machines that do nothing except churn out snapshots—and often one-size-only snapshots—are not for everyone. But their popularity, as suggested by the fact that most of the major printer makers offer at least one (the Canon Selphy CP1200, part of the long-running Selphy line; the tiny HP Sprocket; and Epson’s 2015 PictureMate 400 Personal Photo Lab, for example) is undeniable.

The appeal of single-minded machines like these isn’t only that they make churning out relatively high-quality photos on demand simple, but most of them—like the Kodak Dock—are small and fairly easy to take with you. Not only are these gadgets easy to use, but replenishing consumables is a snap (though it is, as you’ll see in our discussion later on, somewhat expensive). If you print a lot of photos, dedicated photo printers have some distinct convenience advantages over full-size photo-centric inkjet printers and inkjet all-in-ones (AIOs).

Until fairly recently, though, these machines were designed to work with your desktop PC or on the go with your laptop. As printers in general evolved to become more mobile-device-friendly, with features such as Wi-Fi Direct and mobile apps, so have dedicated photo printers. HP’s Sprocket, for example, is designed to print wallet-size (2×3-inch) photos primarily from social-media sites and your mobile device’s photo albums via Bluetooth.

Kodak Dock (Left Angled Box)

The Kodak Dock takes mobile connectivity to its next logical step. In addition to connecting to your computing devices via USB, Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi Direct, the Kodak Dock allows you to dock your smartphone physically with the printer. As you’ll see in the section coming up next, after docking your smartphone up top, it becomes the printer’s control panel, which is actually quite the slick idea.

This is not to say, though, that the Kodak Dock isn’t without its flaws. For example, it can print only 4×6-inch snapshots, and as mentioned, its cost per page, though competitive with those of other gadgets like this, is a bit high. In other words, each photo is somewhat expensive, compared to having them run off at the neighborhood drugstore.

Even so, the Kodak Dock is very easy to use—which is what a lot of people consider important—and it turns out decent-looking photographs. As you read on, you’ll see that it also comes with several impressive and useful features, such as smartphone charging. In no way, however, is the Kodak Dock as handy as a full-featured photo-centric inkjet AIO that can print documents and photos at various sizes, as well as scan and make copies. You can find several good ones, such as the Canon Pixma TS6020 Wireless Inkjet All-in-One, for about the same price as the Kodak Dock.

Kodak Dock (Top Extended)

But then, the Pixma TS6020 and its ilk are not nearly as easy to use, nor can you carry them around with you in your backpack. If finding a way to print good-looking photos simply and easily, especially from your smartphone (and perhaps on the go) is important to you, this Kodak gadget is a nifty little printer designed to do just that.

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Review of the HP DeskJet 3755 All-in-One printer at Computer ShopperAll of the major makers of inkjet printers offer at least one entry-level all-in-one (AIO) that not only prints, but also makes copies and can scan. A few of these models, such as Brother’s MFC-J480DW, also fax. All of the models in this class boast compact sizes and weights, for use in cramped environments such as home offices and school dormitories, and most are list-priced under $100, even if it’s just a penny under, like in the case of the Canon Pixma TS5020 Wireless.

The Pixma TS5020 lists on Canon’s site for $99.99, but, as we wrote this, it was on sale on both Canon’s site and elsewhere for $69.99, which is the list price for the printer we’re reviewing here today, HP’s DeskJet 3755 All-in-One. The DeskJet is new enough, though, that it still sells for that price on most sites. While $69.99 is the lowest list price for an inkjet AIO we could find during our research, some entry-level machines, such as the Epson Expression Home XP-440 Small-in-One, have been on the market long enough that they sell for slightly less than that after discounts. The XP-440, for instance, lists for $99.99 but sells from many online retailers for $59.99.

HP touts the DeskJet 3755 as “the world’s smallest all-in-one printer.” While the XP-440 Small-in-One is only slightly larger, as far as we can HP DeskJet 3755 (Colors)determine (and setting aside mobile AIOs), the Palo Alto company is correct: This is the smallest desktop AIO we’ve seen.

Being smaller than a bread box is not the DeskJet 3755’s only distinction. In fact, it’s not quite like any inkjet AIO we’ve seen before. It has a unique, stylish design, and it comes in more colors and color schemes than you can shake an ink tank at…

Before you get too excited, though, you should know that not all of these color schemes are available to everybody everywhere; the designs available to you depend primarily on where you shop. One, for example, was designed only for Walmart, another for Best Buy, and a few others just for selling via HP’s Web store—you get the idea.

HP also posits that this AIO was designed for millennials; and that this generation, which HP says hardly ever prints, wants a device that is compact, light, inexpensive, and simple, but with extensive support for mobile devices (primarily smartphones). Well, you do get those things with the DeskJet 3755, but you also get slow printing and copying, small-capacity ink cartridges, and high running costs, the last to the extent that using it for anything more than the occasional low-volume print job would be impractical. The one X-factor here, as you’ll see in the Cost Per Page section later on, it that this printer supports HP’s subscription Instant Ink service, which can cut down ink costs considerably.

The DeskJet 3755 is also pitched as a workable photo printer, and, while the photo-printing quality isn’t bad, those same low-volume ink tanks, slow print speeds, and high running costs make it impractical for printing anything beyond the infrequent snapshot. If, on the other hand, all you need is the occasional print, copy, or scan—and if you’re not in a hurry—it can do that. That, and its hip design and small footprint, are where the DeskJet 3755 gets its appeal, though we’ll be more enthusiastic when the price starts to come down.

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Review and Ratings of the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4720 All-in-One at Computer ShopperIntroduction, Design & Features

It’s been some time (late 2012!) since Epson has updated its WorkForce Pro 4000 series of all-in-one business printers, and the new ones bear little resemblance, in terms of features, price, and appearance, to their predecessors.

The WorkForce Pro WP-4590, for example, had no Wi-Fi connectivity and listed for $499.99, whereas the relatively new WorkForce Pro WF-4720 All-in-One Printer—today’s review model—does support Wi-Fi and it lists for just $199.99. The earlier model was white and way larger, with a control panel dominated by myriad buttons and a keypad. The WF-4720, in contrast, is black, much smaller than the 2012 model, and equipped with a control panel that’s primarily just a color touch screen.

Part of a multi-unit release a few months ago, the WorkForce Pro WF-4720 is the smallest new 4000-series model, in terms of capacity, features, and several other key features. At the same time, Epson also released the more robust WF-4740, as well as a smaller 3000-series model, the WF-3720—which we’ll be reviewing soon. It’s important that you pay attention to their individual feature lists; what you give up for the relatively small difference in list prices among them is significant. Today’s review unit, for instance, comes with only one paper-input source and a manual-duplex-only automatic document feeder (ADF), meaning that the scanner can’t scan two-sided pages without your help. The $299.99-MSRP WF-4740, on the other hand, has two paper cassettes and a larger, auto-duplexing ADF, as well as some other significant differences.

All three WorkForce Pro models do, however, deploy Epson’s now-familiar PrecisionCore inkjet print-head technology, which Epson touts as endowed with “performance beyond laser.” That may sound like huffed-up marketing, but as we’ll get into near the end of this review, this is not an idle boast. Few printers, inkjet or laser, print as well—be it with text, graphics, or photos—as this one.

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4720 (Output)

As we’ll also get into later on, it does so at fairly reasonable per-page ink costs. The numbers are not quite as low as you’d see from one of Brother’s INKvestment Business Smart or Business Smart Plus all-in-ones (AIOs), such as the Brother MFC-J6535DW, or one of Epson’s own EcoTank WorkForce AIOs, such as the WorkForce ET-4550 EcoTank All-in-One. But, compared to the WF-4720, there are drawbacks to both of those. The Brother model doesn’t print as well, for one thing, while the EcoTank AIO costs significantly more. In addition, since the ET-4550 is not a WorkForce Pro machine, it comes with only two PrecisionCore print chips, instead of the four chips in the Pro models, making it slower, with slightly inferior print quality. We’ll look into all of this—print quality and running costs—a little deeper as we progress through this review.

Depending on your needs, the WF-4740 may be a better value for your home office or small office. We’ll look more closely at the differences in a moment. Meanwhile, if you don’t print or copy a lot—say, no more than 500 to 1,000 pages per month—and you don’t scan a lot of two-sided multipage documents, the WF-4720 will be an excellent printer choice. It’s small, light, and easy to install and put to work, and it’s not overly expensive to use. Its running costs are, in fact, lower than some close competitors, such as the Canon Maxify MB2120 Wireless Home Office Inkjet and the HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 All-in-One, and it prints a little better than both. The main thing that held it back from becoming an Editors’ Choice is its lack of an auto-duplexing ADF. (Of the two other machines just mentioned, the WorkForce ET-4550 EcoTank also lacks one, but the OfficeJet Pro 6978 has the goods.)

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Brother MFC-L8610CDWWhat We Liked…
  • Respectable print speeds
  • Good print quality overall
  • Strong cloud, mobile-device support
  • Sturdy build
  • Competitive cost per page
  • Highly expandable
What We Didn’t…
  • Running costs a bit high versus some competing AIOs, with graphics and photo quality a slight step down
  • ADF cannot auto-duplex
  • Much more robust sibling costs little more

Brother MFC-L8610CDW Review

By William Harrel, reviewed July 11, 2017

Here in 2017, we’ve looked at a healthy bunch of midrange color laser all-in-one (AIO) printers that are quite capable. Here’s another, and we can summarize it in a sentence: It’s a solid effort, but this model’s a questionable step down if you look at its step-up sibling.

Brother’s $529.99-list MFC-L8610CDW is a less-expensive iteration (by about $50) of the MFC-L8900CDW reviewed some time ago at our sister site, PCMag.com. While both machines print reasonably well and at a good clip, with the MFC-L8610CDW you give up a lot for that $50. Depending on what and how you print, that may matter a little, or a whole bunch.

But first, let’s look at what these two Brother AIOs have in common. Both are loaded with features, including identical networking options and several ways to print from and scan to your mobile devices, as well as more than a handful of cloud-service access choices. They both come with state-of-the-art document-management software, and each delivers competitive running costs for its class. Nowadays, though, running costs for entry-level and midrange laser printers are high compared to most other competing product types. That includes higher-end, higher-volume color laser AIOs, such as the Dell Color Smart Multifunction Printer S3845cdn, or business inkjets made to compete with color lasers, such as the HP PageWide Pro 477dw. (We’ll look at how these AIOs’ cost-per-page figures compare to those of today’s Brother model later on.)

Brother MFC-L8610CDW (Front View)

In a lot of ways—print speed, connectivity features, software bundle, and security—the MFC-L8610CDW and the MFC-L8900CDW are alike. The primary difference between them is that the higher-end model’s ADF is larger and it supports auto-duplexing (automatic feeding of two-sided documents for scanning and copying), but the MFC-L8610CDW’s ADF does not. This may not seem like much, but if you copy, scan, or fax stacks of two-sided documents often, the feature is well worth the additional $50. Add to that a higher paper-input capacity, access to larger toner cartridges, and the lower running costs you gain with the MFC-L8900CDW, and it seems to us that spending the additional $50 is a no-brainer.

Normally, we’d add here that if you don’t think you’ll be using the auto-duplexer, then by all means, take the $50 savings. However, given the price and capacity of this AIO, we’re not sure, in this case, that this is good advice. If you’ve ever scanned, copied, or faxed a bunch of two-sided documents, you know how tedious and time-consuming it can be. Hence, while this is a highly capable midrange color laser AIO, we must include the caveat that, unless you’re absolutely sure that you don’t (and won’t) need auto-duplexing, you should be looking at the higher-end model.


 

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Review of the HP PageWide Pro 750dw at Computer ShopperLet’s say that your organization (or your very, very busy home office) needs to churn out 20,000 or so high-quality prints each month, and some of them (perhaps all of them) must be tabloid-size (11×17 inches). You’re considering purchasing one of Brother’s Business Smart Plus all-in-one (AIO) printers—maybe our highly capable Editors’ Choice pick, MFC-J6935DW, or perhaps the HP Officejet Pro 7740 Wide-Format All-in-One. And why not? Both are logical choices: They print exceptional tabloid-size pages, and they both have maximum monthly duty cycles of 30,000 pages—10,000 pages more than what you need to print, right?

Well, not so fast.

Let’s start with that 30,000-page monthly duty cycle. The more important number—the one not printed on the box—is the recommended monthly page volume, which on the Brother machine we mentioned above is up to 2,000 pages monthly. The Officejet’s recommended volume is up to 1,500 pages per month. As well-built as these machines are, if you actually pushed them to their maximum monthly duty cycle rating each month, you’d likely be shortening their service life. But that’s not all.

Some rough napkin math: Printing 20,000 pages per month, excluding weekends and holidays, comes out to about 1,000 pages per workday. (30,000 pages per month equals about 1,500 pages per day.) If you used one of these midrange business printers to churn out these kinds of volumes, day in and day out, you’d have to fill their paper drawers several times a day, and—especially if you’re printing wide-format, which uses about twice the ink as a standard letter-size page, all else being equal—you’d be changing the ink cartridges twice a day, perhaps more. If you truly require this kind of volume, especially on tabloid-size pages, you need a machine designed to handle this much printing. And that is where a model like the $2,199 HP PageWide Pro 750dw we’re reviewing here today comes in.

HP PageWide Pro 750dw (USB)

Yes, that’s a lot of money for a printer, especially an inkjet printer. But as you read on, you’ll see that, first, HP PageWide printers are not ordinary inkjet printers, and the PageWide Pro 750dw is no ordinary PageWide machine.

In fact, given its size, volume, and some other specs, we think that it’s better suited to HP’s PageWide Enterprise line, like the HP PageWide Enterprise Color 556dn reviewed at our sister site, PCMag, a while back. The PageWide Pro 750dw is, for example, designed to support up to 40 networked users, rather than the five or so users recommended for the smaller inkjets we’ve been talking about.

In fact, the PageWide Pro 750dw is much more in line with a high-volume color laser printer, such as the Dell Color Smart Printer S5840Cdn we reviewed late last year. A primary difference between it and the 750dw is, of course, that the HP model can print at sizes up to tabloid, which is one reason the PageWide model costs so much. High-volume laser-class printers that can do wide-format, such as the OKI C831n ($1,699 MSRP) and OKI C831dn ($1,929), and wide-format laser alternatives (such as our 750dw), typically have high price tags. But the good news is, at least in the case of the HP model, is that its running costs are reasonable once you’ve bought the printer.

In addition, the PageWide Pro 750dw is highly expandable. You can boost the paper capacity, as we’ll discuss later on, over 4,000 sheets. Plus, according to HP, in the fall of 2017 numerous copier-like finishing options (among them a stapler and a collator) will come available.

The PageWide Pro 750dw is an immense, and immensely well-built, volume printer meant to endure blizzards of wide-format printing month after month. Our only real quibble with it is that it’s somewhat expensive. But then, if you plan to print upward of 10,000 pages each month, you need a Humvee, not a Chevy Silverado.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper


 

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The review of the Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 at Computer ShopperThe release of new Android-tablet contenders has slowed to a trickle over the past few years, and many of these models have been designed to mimic one or the other of the immensely popular Apple iPads. Take today’s review unit, the $259.99-MSRP Mi Pad 3, for example, from Xiaomi. (Xiaomi is a very big name in China, where it is best known for its smartphones, but it is much lesser known here in the States.) Aside from the Android operating system and the differences that brings with it, the Mi Pad 3 is an Apple iPad Mini 4 at any distance greater than arm’s length, and shares a lot with that iconic tablet if you look at it closer.

The Mi Pad 3 comes, for example, with a screen of the same size and same resolution: 7.9 inches on the diagonal, and 2,048×1,536 pixels. And, as you’ll see in the next section, the two tablets have several other like physical attributes. Where these Android-based iPad-alikes usually differ, though, is in their pricing. Unless you’re dead-set on Android, why would you pay the same price (or close to it) for a facsimile?

The Huawei MediaPad M3, another iPad Mini lookalike we reviewed recently, for one, lists for $299.99, or $100 less than the Mini 4 (and $50 more than the Mi Pad 3). The question is, of course, do you get the same value and ease of use from an Android iPad clone as you do from an actual iPad? Obviously, given the popularity, build quality, and overall user experience of the iPads (including the Mini 4), and the strength of the Apple iOS app ecosystem, these tablets are tough to beat. But—we speculate—that isn’t what Xiaomi, Huawei, or any iPad lookalike maker is trying to do.

Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 (Introduction)

Instead, these iPad wannabes are offered as money-saving alternatives. For those who can’t afford (or aren’t inclined to spend) $400 or more for a small tablet, these “premium Android” models have a market opening. And some, we think, succeed more than others.

In the case of the Mi Pad 3, as you’ll see in the Performance section later on, it’s not the fastest tablet out there. But it holds its own, even against bigger, more expensive slates. And, from the user-experience perspective—without the benefit of benchmark comparisons—it runs well, with no real sluggishness, crashes, or other performance issues evident in our hands-on time with it. We also like the way it looks and feels. The Mi Pad 3 is thin, sturdy-feeling, and well-balanced, making it pleasant to hold and use.

Now, it does have a shortcoming or two. The body lacks an SD-card slot for expanding storage, for one thing, which is a semi-staple among Android tablets that gives them an (often much needed) edge over Apple’s stable of tablets and smartphones. Also, due to the sheer popularity of the iPad, the availability and frequent updating of tablet-specific apps is tilted a little in the iPad’s favor.

Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 (Contents)

Even so, there is no shortage of Android apps, including tablet-optimized ones. After spending a significant amount of time with the Mi Pad 3, we found little to dislike about it. We have little hesitation in recommending it as a lower-cost alternative to the iPad Mini 4.

FYI, in the U.S., the main source for the Mi Pad 3 is GearBest.com, which specializes in direct-from-Asia tech; you can find the product page here, and GearBest is also offering a coupon code at this writing (MIPAD3CANAL, good through the end of June) that knocks the price to $259.99. Just take heed, when and if you buy, of where it will ship from. It’s possible that if not warehoused in the U.S. at the time of your order, your tablet may ship direct from China, which could take longer than you might expect. Amazon Prime it ain’t.

See the entire review at Computer Shopper


 

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