Review of the Brother MFC-L8900CDW at Computer ShopperThe Brother MFC-L8900CDW ($599.99) is a midrange color laser all-in-one printer (AIO) designed for low-to-medium use in a micro or small office or workgroup. Comparable to the Editors’ Choice Samsung Multifunction Printer ProXpress C3060FW, the MFC-L8900CDW is loaded with features, it’s expandable, and its running costs are competitive. It’s relatively fast and prints text very well, but its graphics and photos are not quite up to snuff, compared with some competitors. That’s not to say that its output isn’t good enough for most business applications, though. The MFC-L8900CDW is a decent choice for offices that require light-to-moderate print and copy volume.

Read entire review at PCMag


 

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Review of the OKI C332dn at PCMagNot long ago, the conventional wisdom was that high-volume printing was cheaper on laser and laser-class (LED-array) printers, as opposed to inkjets. For a similar spec of printer, laser-class machines cost more but were less expensive to use, while inkjets cost less but had higher running costs.

Those days of such absolutes are over.

Nowadays, laser-class printers, especially color ones, not only often cost more than their comparable inkjet counterparts, such as the HP PageWide Pro 452dw, but their ongoing per-page operational costs are higher—sometimes, by a lot. (We’ll get into that in more detail later on in this review.) Where today’s review unit, the $349-list OKI C332dn, differs is that it’s aggressively priced for a color laser-class printer. In fact, as we were writing this, we found it all over the Internet for less than $250.

Unlike most of its contemporary counterparts, the C332dn does not deploy a laser emitter for etching page images onto the imaging drum. It’s classed as a laser-style printer, but it instead uses an array of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in place of the laser. The reason that some printer makers use LED arrays is that they’re smaller, lighter, and less expensive than lasers. As we pointed out in our review of the OKI C612dn a while back, OKI Data is one of the few printer makers left that still deploys LED arrays in most of its printers.

OKI C332dn (Left Angle)

Why are LED arrays not in as wide use today as they once were? We’re not entirely sure. Some might conjecture that it’s because laser printers print better than LED-based models, but we won’t go that far. We’ve seen LED-array machines, such as the OKI C831n we reviewed a few years back, that churn out exceptionally good-looking pages. And, conversely, we’ve seen “real” laser printers that don’t print as well as some LED-based machines do. The answer, then, to which type of machine prints best? It depends on the implementation. Even so, most other makers of toner-based printers—notably HP, Canon, Brother, and Samsung—rely predominantly on laser imaging mechanisms these days.

Which brings us back to the OKI C332dn. Overall, it is a highly capable, mid-volume stand-alone printer that churns out respectable-looking content at a good clip for the money. Compared to its competitors, though (and that includes several inkjets), its running costs are a little high, and we’re a big proponent of low running costs. But then, in some scenarios, laser-class output (toner versus ink) is required, and the page cost is secondary.

For those cases, the C332dn is an able warrior. It’s compact, as color laser-class machines go, and its output is acceptable for all but the most exacting business scenarios. But, between its toner cartridges and imaging drums, be prepared to dig deep to pay for the supplies to keep it going for heavy use. For that reason, we like it best for small businesses and workgroups that require laser-class output in light volumes—say, under 1,000 pages or so a month.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper


 

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HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M553dn Review and RatingsEven though they’re often more expensive to purchase and use, all else being equal, HP’s LaserJet printers earn it. The technology inside is field-leading, and they tend to be more modern- and stylish-looking than most of their competitors. And that’s saying something when you’re talking about most single-function laser printers, which favor the “plain cube” look. Most wind up box-shaped and bland-looking.

The topic of today’s review, HP’s $799.99-MSRP Color LaserJet Enterprise M553dn, can’t quite escape that, though the company does add a few curves to give it a distinct look. It’s a single-function color laser printer meant, as the name suggests, for businesses with large workgroups to serve and a need for managed print resources. We’re catching up with this model in April 2016, but it’s been on the market for a while. And it hasn’t followed the usual price trends for a midlife product.

We should point out that as we wrote this in early April 2016, that everywhere we looked on the Internet, this specific LaserJet model sold for its full manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), or more. Indeed, at Amazon, it sold for $200 higher than the MSRP, or $999.99, which is something that we don’t often see. That this LaserJet has been on the market for nearly an entire year and still commands such pricing suggests that it has been well-received so far.

HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M553dn (Front Angle View)In fact, everywhere we’ve looked, the M553dn has received high ratings. Like most of the HP laser printers we’ve reviewed recently, such as the Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdw, the M553dn comes with the company’s latest JetIntelligence toner cartridges and reformulated ColorSphere 3 toner, which (according to HP), delivers a bunch of advantages compared to earlier LaserJets and other, competing laser printers.

As we noted in our reviews of some other recent LaserJets, the claims about the new JetIntelligence cartridges and ColorSphere 3 toner include the ability for the toner particles themselves to melt at a lower temperature. (In a laser printer, the toner dust that gets arranged on the page is melted in place by a hot roller.) This, along with a few other enhancements, allows LaserJets to burn—again, according to HP—53 percent less energy, take up to 40 percent less space, and wake up and print two-sided (duplex) pages faster than previous LaserJet models could. (The wake-up speed is tied in with the need for the fuser to hit a lower relative temperature to do its job.)

HP also says that the enhancements done to toner and cartridge alike deliver many more prints from a cartridge, compared to previous LaserJets. As we pointed out in our review of the Color LaserJet Pro M477fdw (and other LaserJets), while this also allows for smaller cartridges and, therefore, smaller printers, it does nothing to reduce the per-page cost of the toner. We’ll get into that issue in some detail in the Setup & Paper Handling section later on.

HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M553dn (Open)Even though the Color LaserJet Enterprise M553dn has an 80,000-page monthly duty cycle (the maximum number of prints HP says the printer can handle each month), if you actually pushed it that hard—even by as much as, say, a third of the rating—this MFP, compared to many other laser and laser-class (LED-based) printers we’ve looked at, would cost a bit too much to use in terms of toner.

That factor—the somewhat high cost per page—plus a purchase price that seems impervious to discounting and a lack of built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, are our only real complaints about this printer. Other than that, it did what we expected it to, and well.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.

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Brother HL-L8350CDW Review and RatingsIf your small or medium-size business (SMB) doesn’t print a lot, you might find yourself wondering at the wisdom of springing for a relatively expensive single-function laser printer, especially considering all the (often less expensive) multifunction machines available these days that can print, scan, copy, and (in some cases) fax. Still, plenty of offices rely heavily enough on their printers, churning out hundreds, sometimes thousands of pages each month. In these heavy-use environments, these companies often can’t afford the downtime caused by the printer receiving the occasional fax or making copies now and then.

That’s where high-volume, single-function laser printers come in, like the subject of this review, Brother’s $399.99-list HL-L8350CDW color laser. All this machine does is print, but it does so quickly, with excellent overall print quality, and at a competitive cost per page, or CPP, compared to several other midlevel machines in this price range. However, a handful of high-volume inkjets using new or relatively new inkjet technologies, such as Epson’s new PrecisionCore-based WorkForce models and HP’s PageWide-based Officejet X machines have even lower CPPs. (So do a few office-centric all-in-ones with more traditional inkjet printheads, such as Epson’s WorkForce Pro WP-4590).

Brother HL-L8350CDW (Angle View)If, as we discuss a little later in this review in the Setup & Paper Handling section, you print a lot, your printer’s estimated CPP can be critical. If you’re willing to spend a little more up front for the printer, though, you can often reduce the cost per page significantly—thereby saving you or your company a good chunk of change over the life of the printer.

However, despite the excellent quality of many of today’s high-volume inkjet printers, some applications (for example, medical and some other agencies that do business with certain branches of the government) require laser printers, or laser-class LED machines. If for some reason your office or workgroup scenario requires laser-class devices, the HL-L8350CDW is a good choice.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.

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HP LaserJet Pro 200 Color Printer M251nw Review and Ratings

After our recent in-depth look at HP’s stellar new OfficeJet Pro X line of high-volume inkjet printers, we’re now finding it difficult to get all that excited about a single-function color laser machine of any stripe. Built around the printer giant’s new “PageWide” stationary-printhead technology, the OfficeJet Pro X inkjets are equal to, if not superior to, small-office and workgroup color lasers in several ways—but most of all when it comes to the per-page cost of consumables. Competition in the entry- and mid-level business-printer market just got fiercer. A color laser printer needs to be pretty remarkable on several fronts to impress, now.

In fact, the introduction of PageWide-based printers into the business-printer market will most likely cause printer makers, includingHP, to reevaluate their color laser pricing and positioning. Recently released color laser models, such as the $329.99-MSRP HP LaserJet Pro 200 Color Printer M251nwwe’re reviewing here, may well get caught in the crossfire.

Like its multifunction sibling, the $449.99-MSRP HP LaserJet Pro 200 Color MFP M276nw we reviewed a few weeks ago, the M251nw is capable enough in terms of print quality and speed. We liked these printers well enough in isolation, but the far-too-high cost per page (CPP) of their toner makes them impractical for small offices, small businesses, and workgroups that have more than modest print-volume requirements.HP LaserJet Pro 200 Color Printer M251nw

In short, the M251nw costs too much to use. That’s too bad, because it performed respectably on our benchmark speed tests, and we have no complaints about its print quality. However, we did find its lack of an automatic duplexer for printing two-sided pages disappointing. It’s not often that we see an over-$300 printer these days come without support for unassisted two-sided printing. Also concerning was this model’s somewhat small—small for a laser printer, that is—150-sheet input drawer.

In fact, the more we consider it, the more M251nw looks to us like a “personal” color laser printer in a high-volume printer’s body—because the biggest trait of personal lasers, when it comes right down to it, is that they are designed not to be used all that much. That’s at odds with HP’s recommended maximum monthly duty cycle of 30,000 pages for this printer. But if you print that many pages (or even close) on the M251nw, it will cost you plenty extra compared to higher-cost, higher-volume models over time.

In sum, we see the M251nw as a low-volume laser printer, which really is a bit of an oxymoron when it comes to lasers at this price. You can find plenty of lower-cost inkjet models out there that print business documents almost as well—and for less money per page. We liked this machine’s print quality, but given the competition, only small offices and workgroups with very limited print-volume needs will find the M251nw a sensible pick.

See the entire review at Computer Shopper.

 

 

 

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Samsung CLX-6260FW Color Multifunction Printer Review and Ratings

 Introduction

When it comes to midsize business printers that are fast, inexpensive to use (in terms of the per-page cost of toner, that is), and sharp in their output, few manufacturers build consistently better multifunction color laser printers than Samsung. Case in point is the fast, capable, and budget-efficient CLP-775ND—a small-business/workgroup machine we reviewed about a year ago, back in November 2011.

We liked so many things about the CLP-775ND that we gave it our Editors’ Choice nod. In our tests, it excelled at printing, copying, and scanning; it was very fast; and it was inexpensive to use, delivering one of the lowest per-page costs we had seen in 2011. The last item was especially important. Cost per page (CPP), especially on high-volume color lasers designed to churn out thousands of pages each month, influences our ratings significantly.

Accordingly, we expected similar excellence from Samsung’s newest high-volume color laser, the $999.99-list CLX-6260FW Color Multifunction Printer. Overall, compared to the CLP-775ND, the CLX-6260FW is a little bigger. It’s also markedly more physically attractive, with a much sleeker, high-tech look.

Despite the $250 list-price difference between them, though, the more expensive CLX-6260FW printed some of our test documents slower than the CLP-775ND. In addition, this newer color laser’s per-page cost of ownership is significantly higher than that of last year’s model. Typically, the more expensive the printer, the more economical its consumables are to use, in terms of the per-page cost of toner.Samsung CLX-6260FW Color Multifunction Printer Review

Still, the CLX-6260FW is a reasonably fast color laser printer, and, as mentioned, output quality is excellent. Our primary quibble is with the operational cost—when printing monochrome and color pages alike. Even when you use Samsung’s high-yield toner cartridges for this model, the per-page cost of consumables comes closer to what we typically see from a midrange all-in-one inkjet, not a high-end, hefty-volume color laser.

If you don’t mind the somewhat high per-page printing costs, though, the CLX-6260FW is a quite capable multifunction color laser. However, the CPP, compared to some other models, such as Dell’s $649-list C3760dn at Dell, a single-function machine, prevents us from giving this new Samsung printer an Editors’ Choice award. That’s because if you print a lot, the per-page cost difference between this model and several competitors, as described in the Setup & Paper Handling section a little later on, can cost you plenty over time. (After all, no person or business would buy a printer like this to print just a handful of pages per month.)

Still, the dear toner aside, we like this printer. Keep in mind, though, that to realize decent CPPs from this Samsung color laser, you should be prepared to shop around for the best deals on those cartridges.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.

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Dell C3760dn Color Laser Printer Review and RatingsIt wasn’t all that long ago that high-volume color laser printers ran well upward of $1,000, with some as much as $2,000 or more. In addition, color prints on these models, in terms of the per-page cost of consumables (here, toner cartridges) often cost more than 20 cents each. It’s no wonder that so many businesses depended on FedEx and other service bureaus when they needed laser-quality color prints.

Relying on service bureaus, though, is costly in other ways. First is the time and fuel wasted with trips to the store. Getting your files there, pre-proofing to make sure colors are right, picking up the print job, and so on, all take more time. Plus, if something changes, such as, say, a sale price or product specification, your only recourse is to throw away leftover prints and print new ones—and that’s costly, too.

If you print and distribute color documents often, having a color laser in-house is much more convenient, and here’s where products such as Dell’s 2012-release C3760dn Color Laser Printer can make your life easier. This high-volume workhorse, $649 at the time of our review, prints faster than nearly every printer in its class that we’ve tested, with superb-looking output, and it costs less on a cost per page (CPP) basis than most competing models. It’s even faster and cheaper to use than our Editors’ Choice winner, the $749.99 Samsung CLP-775ND (a high-volume, multifunction print/copy/scan/fax color laser), which we reviewed back in October 2011.

Dell C3760dn Color Laser Printer Review

Alas, no printer is perfect, but the C3760dn comes close. Our primary concerns center on cost. Because this is a single-function model, its $649 price seems a touch high for what it is. In addition, to get Wi-Fi connectivity, you must purchase an adapter (more on this in the Design & Features section on the next page), adding to the overall cost of the machine. Still, this model’s low CPP numbers—especially for monochrome pages, which are what most businesses print most often—are attractive. If you use this printer a lot (compared to most other high-volume models), you’ll make up these costs and start saving money sooner than you might think.

And that’s where the C3760dn makes the most sense—high-volume printing over the long haul. When buying a workhorse printer like this one, what you pay for each print should be a bigger overall consideration than the purchase price. Combine this model’s lightning-fast printing, and its excellent-looking documents, graphics, and photos, with its low CPP, and the C3760dn comes up a great printer and a terrific value.

Read the full review at Computer Shopper.

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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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See the Xerox WorkCentre 6505DN review

Xerox WorkCentre 6505DN

If you’re looking for brute-strength and quality output over the long haul, check out the Xerox WorkCentre 6505DN. This guy is huge and a little expensive, but you won’t be buying a new printer for quite some time. See the full review at Computer Shopper.

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Dell1355

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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