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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Samsung CLP-775ND

Samsung CLP-775ND - big, fast, easy!

You may not work in a big corporate tower, but when it comes to printing around the office, that doesn’t mean you can settle for a cheap consumer printer. Some small-to-medium-size offices and workgroups need a printer that consistently churns out thousands of pages a month without breaking a sweat. For environments like these, fast, no-frills, high-volume color laser printers with a low per-page operational cost are not a luxury—they’re a necessity.

You know the kind of printer we mean—a workhorse that sits there, day-in and day-out, pounding out hundreds of quality color and monochrome prints with minimal maintenance and attention to swapping out print media. Samsung’s $749 CLP-775ND color laser printer matches this profile, and then some. Equipped with a fast processor, lots of memory, and high-capacity paper trays and toner cartridges, it’s ready for high-volume use on a local network.

In addition, this heavy-duty laser churner has excellent output quality. We were consistently impressed with how well (and how fast) it printed our test business documents and photographs. (We’ve got more on the print quality in the Performance section.)

Overall, we found very little to dislike about this printer. It was a shoo-in Editors’ Choice pick.

See the review at Computer Shopper.

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Dell's new 1355cnw - a great little color laser-class AIO at a remarkable price.

I paid over $20,000 for my first color laser printer, and it was not nearly as fast, nor was print quality as good, as Dell’s new 1355cnw. Not to mention that it didn’t fax, scan, and copy. This great little printer doesn’t really use laser technology; instead, it uses an LED lamp array. It’s just amazing how much technology 420 bucks will get you nowadays. Check out my review over at Computer Shopper to learn more about this inexpensive little color AIO.

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