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 Canon Pixma TR7520 Wireless Home Office Inkjet All-in-One at Computer ShopperHere’s another of those situations when a printer maker (in this case, Canon) offers two all-in-one (AIO) printers close in price, but diverse enough in features that the higher-end iteration dwarfs its slightly less expensive sibling. In this case, we’re talking about the Canon Pixma TR8520 Wireless Home Office All-in-One ($128.90 at Amazon) and its $20-cheaper sibling, the $179.99-list ($129.99-street) Pixma TR7520 Wireless Home Office All-in-One ($103.98 at Amazon)  reviewed here today. The cost/value ratio between them is so far out of whack that choosing the TR7520 only makes sense in some very specific, rarely encountered situations.

In other words, for $20, you give up too much. As you can tell by their names, both the Pixma TR7520 and TR8520 are home office all-in-ones (AIOs), and, as you can probably tell by their prices, we’re not talking a corporation’s home office. Both the TR7520 and the TR8520, the TR-series flagship model, are relatively low-volume home and family appliances that provide your domestic office the ability to print, scan, copy, and fax.

If you go with the TS7520, you give up Ethernet (wired networking); the ability to print from SD cards from your digital camera, smartphone, or tablet; and a larger 4.3-inch touch screen, settling for a 3.0-inch control panel. Any one of those features on its own is well worth an additional Jackson, although we suspect that most home office and family environments could get by without any or all of them.

Canon Pixma TR7520 (Angled Output)

Similar in many ways to Canon’s Pixma TS6120 ($99.99 at Amazon), the TR7520 is more of a business-oriented machine, whereas the TS6120 leans more toward family and photo-printing use. The primary differences between them, while significant, aren’t many. The TR7520, for instance, comes with an automatic document feeder (ADF) for hands-off multipage scanning and the ability to send and receive faxes. The TS6120, while it comes with a scanner, lacks ADF and fax capabilities.

The TR7520 also lists for about $30 more than the TS6120. These two machines are similar in that both use five-ink imaging systems. In fact, at their core—namely, their print engines, as far as we can tell—they’re pretty much the same; their print speeds, output quality, and running costs are close enough that for our purposes here, they’re identical.

The TR7520 is, then, essentially an entry-level home office AIO. Not only is that reflected in its relatively low purchase price, like many of its competitors, including Epson’s Expression Photo XP-8500 Small-in-One ($199.99 at Amazon) and Expression Premium XP-640 Small-in-One ($76.83 at Amazon), the TS7520 is slow and its per-page price for ink is high, especially compared to similarly priced business-oriented AIOs—such as Epson’s WorkForce Pro WF-4720 All-in-One (Check on Amazon at Amazon), to keep the comparisons focused on that manufacturer.

Where the TR-series Pixmas excel, though, is in their terrific output, especially with graphics and photos. They’re also very easy to use, as they come with software geared more toward home users. The bottom line on the TR7520 (and its TR8520 sibling) is that, though Canon doesn’t market it as such, it is essentially a five-ink consumer-grade photo printer with an ADF and fax capabilities, with a well-under-$200 street price, and that is somewhat unusual. Even so, its high cost per page (CPP) and relative sluggishness relegate it to home-office AIO duty. If that’s what you’re looking for, this is a terrific little printer—though, as we said, the TR8520 is just a bit more terrific.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper



 

Review of the Canon Pixma TS3120 Wireless Inkjet All-in-One at PCMag

  • PROS

    Low price. Compact and light. Bluetooth 4.0 support. Good print quality overall.

  • CONS

    No automatic document feeder. Only two ink cartridges. Lacks SD card and USB thumb drive support. High cost per page. Maximum 5-by-7-inch photo output size. Slow document printing.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    The budget-friendly Canon Pixma TS3120 prints text, graphics and photos well enough, but its low price also means having to forgo some convenient features.

The Canon Pixma TS3120 Wireless Inkjet All-in-One ($79.99) ($39.99 at Amazon) is one of very few inkjet printers with the distinction of a sub-$80 list price (and its street price of $49.99 means that you can actually buy it for less than $50, making it all the more unique). Not only is this one of the least-expensive consumer-grade photo all-in one (AIO) printers we’ve reviewed recently, it’s also one of the smallest, slowest, and shortest on features. Like the HP DeskJet 3755, the TS3120 is designed for families and homes that do very little printing and copying—a sort of there-when-you-need-it device. In that role, it’s a lower-cost alternative to the Canon Pixma TS5020 or the significantly more-expensive Editors’ Choice Canon Pixma TS9120 Wireless 
Read the entire review at PCMag


Review of the Canon Pixma TS9120 Wireless Inkjet All-in-One at PCMag

  • PROS

    Lightweight and compact. Two additional ink cartridges for higher-quality photos. Two paper input trays. SD card, Ethernet, and Bluetooth 4.0 support. Excellent print quality. Fast snapshot printing.

  • CONS

    No automatic document feeder. Lacks NFC and Wi-Fi Direct. Slow document printing.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    Though it lacks an automatic document feeder, the six-ink Canon Pixma TS9120 Wireless Inkjet All-in-One printer produces exceptional text, graphics, and photos.

The flagship model in Canon’s Pixma TS-series consumer-grade photo all-in-one (AIO) inkjet printers, the Canon Wireless Inkjet All-in-One ($199) ($129.99 at Amazon) replaces the Pixma TS9020 (Check on Amazon at Amazon) we reviewed earlier this year. Like its sibling, the Pixma TS8020, ($92.23 at Amazon) a top pick, the TS9120 is a six-ink machine designed to print primarily photographs, and that it does quite well. It prints and copies documents well, too, but sluggishly, compared with its business-oriented counterparts, and it lacks an automatic document feeder (ADF). However, its outstanding output quality, larger display, and Ethernet support for just $20 more than the Canon TS8020 makes it well-deserving of our Editors’ Choice as a consumer-grade photo and occasional document printer for home and family use.
Read the entire review at PCMag


Review of the Canon Pixma TS6120 Wireless Inkjet All-in-One at PCMag

  • PROS

    Takes up little space. Five ink cartridges for higher-quality text and photos. Two paper-input trays. Bluetooth 4.0 support. Excellent print quality, especially photos. Prints photos fast.

  • CONS

    No automatic document feeder, SD card or USB thumb drive support. Lacks NFC and Wi-Fi Direct. Slow document printing.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    The Canon Pixma TS6120 prints exceptional text, graphics and photos, but an automatic document feeder, memory drive support, and lower running costs would make it more attractive.

Part of a recent debut of five new TS-series Pixmas, the Canon Pixma TS6120 Wireless Inkjet All-in-One ($149.99) ($69.99  at Amazon) replaces the Pixma TS6020 as a low-volume photo-centric all-in-one (AIO) printer for family and home office use. Aside from the addition of Bluetooth and a few other small tweaks, the TS6120 isn’t much different from its predecessor. It looks and prints the same, and at the same speeds, for the same list price, which is about $50 less than the Editors’ Choice Canon Pixma TS9120. Like most consumer-grade photo printers in this price range, the TS6120 is slow, and it has no automatic document feeder (ADF). It prints quite well, though—especially photos—making it a sensible lower-cost alternative to the pricier and more-expensive-to-use Canon TS9120.
Read the entire review at PCMag

Review of the Canon Pixma TS8120 Wireless Inkjet All-in-One at Computer ShopperIt’s been less than a year since we reviewed Canon’s last round of TS-series Pixma printers, which included the Pixma TS8020 Wireless Inkjet All-In-One.($92.23 at Amazon) That model is the precursor to the machine we’re reviewing here, the $179.99-MSRP Pixma TS8120 ( at Amazon).

It’s unusual for a printer maker to refresh its line so soon. Speculating why Canon did so here would be, well, speculation. All we know for sure? Earlier in 2017, the Pixma TS series replaced the company’s MG-series Pixmas, a line of long-in-the-tooth photo-centric all-in-ones (AIOs) that we’ve reviewed year after year throughout the ’10s. Perhaps Canon felt that the first round of the new TS series wasn’t quite right. Or perhaps evolving market trends tipped the imaging giant’s hand.

In any case, the Pixma TS8120 is second from the top dog in Canon’s recent TS-line upgrade. This new line of five printers comprises the Pixma TS9120  ($199 MSRP, discounted to $149.99 as we wrote this in mid-October 2017) ($129.99 at Amazon), today’s Pixma TS8120 (discounted at many e-tailers to $149.99) ($99.99 at Amazon), the Pixma TS6120 ($149.99 MSRP, discounted to $99.99) ($99.99 at Amazon), the Pixma TS5120 ($99.99 MSRP, discounted to $89.99) ($49.99 at Amazon), and an all-new entry-level iteration, the Pixma TS3120 ($89.99 MSRP, discounted to $59.99).($39.99 at Amazon) We’ll be reviewing four of the five; this is the first in our Canon review wave.

All but that last one are updates to existing models. And, as usual, from top to bottom, as the prices shrink, so do the feature sets. For a $20 higher list price than the Pixma TS8120, for example, the Pixma TS9120 adds Ethernet connectivity and has a 5-inch display, whereas the Pixma TS8120 does not support wired networking and comes with a 4.3-inch screen.

Canon Pixma TS8120 (SD Card Front)

Because these models are positioned as photo printers, how well they print photos is paramount to everything else. As we’ve seen over the years, five- and six-ink printers tend to do a better job of printing across a wider variety of photos than standard four-ink (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, or CMYK) machines. With that in mind, the two top TS Pixmas, the TS9120 and TS8120, use six inks; the next two down the chain (the TS6120 and TS5120) use five inks; and the TS3120 uses the standard four inks.

A change this time around is that instead of the “photo gray” ink that six-ink Pixmas have been using for the past several years, the sixth ink is now a “photo blue.” Where the photo gray ink was claimed to increase the color gamut (or color range) somewhat and help print superior gray-scale images, the new photo blue, according to Canon, reduces graininess. (We assume that the photo blue ink should increase the color range, too.)

The TS8120 comes in three colors: black, red, and white, as shown below. Canon sent us the red one…

Canon Pixma TS8120 (Colors)

A standing difference between consumer-grade photo AIOs and their office-oriented counterparts is that the former generally cost more to use: The per-page ink cost is higher. Canon’s photo-centric Pixmas traditionally have had slightly higher running costs than their competitors, and printed some of the best-looking images among consumer-grade photo printers. Nothing has really changed on those fronts.

Whether the Pixma TS8120 is right for you depends on several factors. Positioned as a photo printer foremost, not only does it cost more to use than some other inkjet AIOs, but it also lacks an automatic document feeder (ADF) for sending multi-page documents to the scanner. ADF AWOL is not unusual with this class of printer, especially those under $200. That trend has begun to change of late, though, with newer models such as the HP Envy Photo 7855 All-in-One (Check on Amazon at Amazon); we’ll look a little closer at this important development in the next section.

Canon Pixma TS8120 (Mobile)

The bottom line on the Pixma TS8120? If you’re looking for a machine mainly for printing photos, it’s hard to beat this little AIO (aside from getting the stepped-up Pixma TS9120, which we’re also reviewing, or one of a few Epson photo-centric models to be discussed later). If, on the other hand, you also need your photo printer to be nimble at making copies, printing lots of documents, and scanning pages with regularity, the Pixma TS8120 has a few shortcomings in those areas.

How much should they affect your buying decision? That depends on just how much printing, copying, and scanning you need to do. Let’s dig in and judge.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper



 

The Canon ImageClass LBP612Cdw review at Computer ShopperCanon’s ImageClass laser printers, such as the $279-MSRP Color ImageClass LBP612Cdw ($204.52 at Amazon) we’re reviewing here today, typically print well, at a reasonably fast clip, and with little fuss. That all holds for this little stand-alone (print-only) model. As you may be able to tell from the price, the LBP612Cdw is an entry-level machine, in this case designed for small offices and workgroups, or perhaps as a personal color laser printer. ($279 is very little money for a color laser printer, and we’ve seen this one, at this writing, marked down under $200 from some e-tailers.)

In fact, we found only two things to question on this little printer: a too-small paper-input tray and a too-high cost per page. We’ll talk more about input capacity later on, as well as get into the specifics concerning running costs. In general, though, it’s not unusual for small laser printers like this one to have a relatively high per-page cost of toner; high enough that, we think, they may be pricing themselves out of the market. Why? Because, if the color-fast printing and precision on small fonts isn’t exactly what you need (the usual strengths of lasers), you can find several lower-priced inkjet models out there that print as well as (and sometimes better than) these entry-level laser-based machines, at lower costs per page.

But if laser is what you’re focused on archival or permanency issues, this budget ImageClass model is a nice sample in its price range. The ImageClass LBP612Cdw is light, small, and easy to manage, and it prints very well, too. The big sticking point is what you’ll pay for the toner to feed it versus certain inkjets. Canon’s own $149.99-list Maxify iB4120, ($129.99 at Amazon) for instance, is a small-business-minded inkjet that provides many of the same qualities (it’s a stand-alone printer, not an all-in-one), with running costs about a third of those of its laser cousin. Another such example is the HP Officejet Pro 8210,  (Check on Amazon at Amazon) another highly capable inkjet-based “laser alternative.” As we’ll calculate out later in this review, if you use your printer often, the difference in running costs alone could save you plenty of money over the life of the printer.

Now, of course, some applications, such as HIPAA-regulated medical offices and facilities, as well as some government offices, require laser-printed output (using toner, rather than ink), and in those cases, sometimes all you can do is bite the toner bullet—or, if you print more than a few hundred pages per month, opt for a higher-volume laser model. You may pay more for the printer, but a (sometimes much) lower cost per page will not only make up for that expenditure, but also start saving you a bundle before long.

Which brings us back to Canon’s ImageClass LBP612Cdw. The bottom line is that this is a nice little printer for environments where you need high-quality laser output in scaled-down fashion (say, no more than a couple of hundred pages per month). From that perspective—in which you don’t print enough for the money spent on consumables matters much—we have no problem recommending the ImageClass LBP612Cdw as a low-volume color laser for home or small offices, or as an entry-level personal machine.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper



 

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

  • Excellent print quality. Light and compact. SD card slot. Ethernet support. Two black inks. Two paper input trays. 20-sheet ADF. XXL ink cartridges available.

  • CONS

    A little pricey. Somewhat high running costs.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    It may be a little pricey, but the Canon Pixma TR8520 all-in-one printer produces terrific text, graphics and photos, and it has a strong feature set.

Earlier this year, Canon replaced its outdated cube-shaped MG-series (consumer-grade photo) Pixma printers with new TS-series Pixma models. Meanwhile, the Pixma TR8520 Wireless Home Office All-in-One Printer ($199.99) ($128.90 at Amazon), one of two models in the Canon’s TR series (it has a slightly lower-end sibling, the soon-to-be-reviewed Pixma TR7520), edges out the past-its-prime MX-series (family and home-based office) Pixmas. Specifically, the TR8520 replaces the Editors’ Choice Pixma MX922.($79.00 at Amazon) The TR8520 all-in-one printer is smaller than the Canon MX922, redesigned in and out, and supports Bluetooth, making it our new top pick for family and home-based office, low-volume printing and copying.
Read the entire review at PCMag


Review of the Canon Color imageClass MF634Cdw at PCMag

A $399 list price places the Canon Color imageClass MF634Cdw ($339.91 at Amazon) neck and neck with the Editors’ Choice HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M277dw (Check on Amazon at Amazonamong low-volume personal color laser all-in-one (AIO) printers. It’s also suitable for light-duty use in a micro or small office or workgroup. Unlike the HP model, though, the MF634Cdw comes with a duplexing automatic document feeder (ADF) that supports single-pass two-sided scanning. Like other printers in this class, though, its running costs are high, although competitive for what it is. A low purchase price, a robust feature set, better-than-average print quality, and competitive printing costs make the MF634Cdw our new top choice as an entry-level color laser AIO printer.