With all of the innovation going on in information technology these days, printers may not be the sexiest set of gear, but they remain one of the bedrocks. An absolute in the printer market nowadays is that, no matter what you pay for it—from $50 to $1,000 or more—your single-function or multifunction machine should print at least passably well, and it should perform like a champ—in terms of mechanical functionality, if not necessarily speed. Those are 2017’s printer table stakes.

Computer Shopper's Top 100 Tech Products of 2017: Printers

From small or home-based offices to huge enterprises and workgroups, an ongoing trend in printer technology over the past several years has been mobile connectivity—printing from and scanning to your smartphone, tablet, or laptop from virtually anywhere and everywhere. The year 2017 continues that trend, as well as the ongoing ink wars, in which printer makers promote various technologies and programs for providing lower-cost ink (or at least the illusion of it), especially among lower-end consumer and small-office all-in-ones (AIOs). The reality is that ink’s not really any cheaper, but these products do provide a lot more transparency into what it actually costs to keep your printer inked up.

Read the entire article at PCMag



 

Review of the Epson DS-780N Network Color Document Scanner at PCMag

  • PROS

    Networkable via Ethernet. Huge color touch screen control panel. 100-sheet ADF. Control panel supports up to 30 configurable users. Wide security options.

  • CONS

    Somewhat costly. No Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi Direct for mobile connectivity.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    The networkable scans relatively quickly and accurately, and it has a huge customizable color touch screen, but it’s overshadowed by some less costly competition.

Similar in features to the Editors’ Choice Brother ImageCenter ADS-3600W ($709.27 at Amazon), the mid-to-high-volume Epson DS-780N Network Color Document Scanner ($1,099.99) ($780.00 at Amazon) is designed for use in small- to medium-size offices and workgroups that need to do a fair amount of document scanning and archiving. It’s not quite as fast as the Brother model, and it doesn’t support wireless networking. It’s competitively accurate, has an intuitive, highly useful touch screen, and comes with efficient document management software, making it a strong alternative to the ADS-3600W, as well as a few other networkable document scanners we’ve reviewed recently. Its price causes it to fall just short of our Editors’ Choice nod, but otherwise the DS-780N is a fine document scanner.
Read entire review at PCMag


Editors' Choice

  • PROS

    Low price. Supports Wi-Fi and Ethernet networking, as well as lots of mobile and cloud options. Customizable 2.8-inch color touch screen. Fast scanning and text recognition. Highly accurate OCR.

  • CONS

    No disc in the box. Touch screen somewhat cramped.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    Brother’s ADS-2700W is a fast, highly accurate document scanner that comes with Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and numerous mobile and cloud connectivity options for a very reasonable price.

A smaller, lower-capacity, and less-expensive sibling to the Editors’ Choice Brother ImageFormula ADS-3600W ($709.27 at Amazon), the Brother ADS-2700W Wireless High-Speed Desktop Document Scanner ($399.99) ($379.99 at Amazon) is a low- to-mid-volume document scanner designed for micro and small offices and workgroups. Comparable in price and speed to the Epson WorkForce ES-500W ($329.99 at Amazon), which, like the Brother models mentioned here, is networkable, the ADS-2700W is fast and highly accurate for the price. In addition, it comes with an easy-to-use color touch screen and the ability to scan to USB thumb drives, thereby making it an exceptional value, as well as our latest top pick for entry-level networkable document scanners.
See entire review at PCMag


Review of the Brother MFC-J5330DW AIO printer at PCMag

  • PROS

    Competitively fast. Good overall print quality. Prints tabloid-size pages. Multiple connectivity options. Strong software bundle.

  • CONS

    Less-than-stellar graphics. Cost per page could be lower. Non-duplexing automatic document feeder (ADF).

  • BOTTOM LINE

    The business-oriented Brother MFC-J5330DW is a capable wide-format, low-volume color inkjet all-in-one printer. It’s relatively fast, and it prints fairly well overall, albeit with some flawed business graphics.

One of Brother’s Business Smart Pro inkjet all-in-one (AIO) printers, the MFC-J5330DW ($199.99) ($169.99 at Amazon) prints tabloid-size (11-by-17-inch) pages. Some other tabloid-size AIOs, such as the Brother MFC-J6930DW ($269.99 at Amazon) and the Editors’ Choice HP OfficeJet Pro 7740, (Check on Amazon at Amazon) not only print at tabloid size, but they also copy, scan, and fax those pages. In addition, where the HP 7740 and the Brother MFC-J6930DW come with auto-duplexing automatic document feeders (ADFs) for sending two-sided, multipage documents to the scanner without assistance, the MFC-J5330DW does not. Even so, the MFC-J5330DW prints well overall and is reasonably fast, and has a strong set of features and software, making it a solid choice for low-volume business printing in a home-based or small office or workgroup. It would also make a good personal AIO if you have the space for it.
Read the entire review at PCMag

IWilliam Harrel's reviews on Computer Shoppert’s hard to believe, but I have been writing for the legendary Computer Shopper for over eight years (as of October 2017), and have been a contributing editor there for about seven years. My beat has covered everything from desktop systems and laptops, to tablets and 2-in-1s in several flavors (operating systems) and size, printers and all-in-one printers in all shapes and sizes, video cards, SSD and other types of disk drives—you name it. It’s been a wild ride.

More so than ever, competition in the tech markets is cutthroat and fierce. It’s been my pleasure to do what I can to keep you all informed.

For a list and links to my articles on Computer Shopper, click here


 

  • Editors' ChoicePROS

    Good print quality. Comprehensive, easy-to-use label design and print mobile app. Strong selection of label types in several color schemes, including fabric iron-on labels. Runs on AC or battery power. Good value for the price.

  • CONS

    Cannot use with Windows or Mac PCs. Requires replaceable (rather than rechargeable) batteries.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    With excellent design and comprehensive print software, the reasonably priced Brother P-touch Cube prints several sizes and colors of good-quality plastic (laminated) labels from your iOS or Android mobile device.

Most professional- and consumer-grade label printers (such as our Editors’ Choice Brother QL-820NWB ($174.99 at Amazon) and the Dymo MobileLabeler ($62.00 at Amazon), respectively) let you design and print labels from your computer and/or mobile device, but the Brother P-touch Cube ($59.99) ($54.92 at Amazon) is the first one that we’ve reviewed that cannot be tethered to a PC or a Mac via a USB cable. In other words, its only mode of operation is connecting wirelessly to your iPhone, iPad, or Android mobile device. The good news is that the bundled Brother P-touch Design&Print app is simple to use, allowing you to produce a variety of good-looking plastic labels for your kitchen, garage, bedrooms, office, and schoolroom, making the P-touch Cube an easy top pick as an entry-level label printer for families, small workplaces, and classrooms.
Read the entire review at PCMag


Editors' Choice

  • PROS

    Fast output. Good print quality. Excellent label design, print software, and mobile apps. Prints two-color, black/red labels. Good selection of label types. Good value for the price.

  • CONS

    Per-label media cost is somewhat high. Ability to print in red limited to one label type.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    The prints several sizes of high-quality label types from your PC, Mac, or Android mobile device via USB, making it an excellent value for its relatively low price.

  Like its higher-end QL-810W ($129.99 at Amazon) and QL-820NWB ($174.99 at Amazon) siblings, the Brother QL-800 ($99.99) is a reasonably fast label printer that churns out good-looking labels in several different types and sizes, ranging from small one-line barcodes, to address labels, and everything in between. It can print labels up to about 0.5 inch wide by 1 inch long to 2.4 inches wide by 36 inches long.
Read entire review at PCMag


https://assets.pcmag.com/media/images/551745-brother-ql-810w.jpg?thumb=y&width=1659&height=1500

  • PROS

    Respectable print quality. Prints in black and red. Prints labels fast. Terrific label design. Great print software and robust mobile app. Wide selection of label types.

  • CONS

    Per-label cost is high. Battery costs extra. Ability to print in red limited to one label type. QL-820NWB offers much more for not a lot more money.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    The Brother QL-810W label maker prints a wide variety of high-quality label types from your PC or mobile device, but its higher-end sibling provides significantly more features and versatility for just a little more money.

The Brother QL-810W ($149.99) ($129.99 at Amazon) label printer is a step down from the recent Editors’ Choice QL-820NWB.($174.99 at Amazon) Although these two labelers essentially print the same types of labels at the same speeds over wireless networks or from mobile devices, what you give up feature-wise for the $50 list price difference between them is significant. With the QL-810W, for instance, you forgo a few different types of connectivity options, as well as the ability to use the label maker apart from a computing device. Overall, though, the Q-810W is a versatile and capable option, well worth considering for designing and printing many types of business labels via Wi-Fi, or from your team’s tablets and smartphones.
Read the entire review at PCMag


Editors' ChoicePROS

  • Fast print speeds. Good print quality. Multiple network and mobile connectivity options. Excellent label design. Great print software and mobile app. Prints in black and red. Operates as standalone label maker and printer with optional battery.

  • CONS

    Consumables somewhat costly on a per-label basis. Battery costs extra. Ability to print in red limited to one label type.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    The Brother QL-820NWB is a feature-rich label maker capable of churning out professional-looking output quickly and efficiently.

Recently, Brother announced the QL-800-series as new additions to its stable of professional label printers, which includes the flagship model, the QL-820NWB ($199.99) ($174.99 at Amazon), reviewed here. The QL-820NWB is similar in many ways to its QL-720NW (Check on Amazon at Amazon) predecessor in that it’s networkable and it comes with highly capable software. It’s also well-integrated with mobile devices, and it comes with a robust set of features and options, such as a broad assortment of printable media, the ability to print two-color labels, and an add-on rechargeable battery. Flexibility, a rich feature set, wide-ranging PC and mobile device integration, and a wide selection of label media elevates the QL-820NWB to our new top pick for a networkable professional label printer.
See the entire review at PCMag



Review of the Brother MFC-J6930DW AIO printer at PCMag

  • PROS

    Prints, scans, copies, and faxes tabloid-size pages. Competitively fast. Low running costs. Single-pass auto-duplexing ADF. Three paper input sources. Good print quality overall.

  • CONS

    Subpar graphics.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    This business-centric color inkjet all-in-one printer is relatively fast, with good print quality, competitively low running costs, and flexible paper handling.

Not long ago, A3 (tabloid, or 11-by-17-inch) all-in-one (AIO) printers, such as the Editors’ Choice HP OfficeJet Pro 7740 (Check on Amazon at Amazon), were somewhat rare, and expensive. But not anymore. One reason is that a few years ago Brother made them a staple in its Business Smart Pro line, which includes the MFC-J6930DW ($299.99) ($269.99 at Amazon) reviewed here. Like the HP model, the MFC-J6930DW comes with two big paper input trays, a single-pass auto-duplexing automatic document feeder (ADF), and a slew of mobile connectivity features. This Brother AIO prints well overall, with competitively low running costs, and it’s relatively fast, but its graphics output could be better. Despite costing a little more upfront, but with lower running costs overall, the MFC-J6930DW is a viable alternative to the OfficeJet 7740 for low-to-moderate volume printing in a small or micro office or workgroup.
Read the entire review at PCMag