Review of the Canon imageClass LBP251dw at PCMag

  • PROS

    Outstanding print quality. Respectable print speed. Low price. Two paper-input sources. Expandable paper-input capacity. Relatively small and light. Department ID Manager feature lets you control access by user or group of users.

  • CONS

    Slightly high running costs. No memory-drive support.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    Canon’s imageClass LBP251dw monochrome laser prints terrific-looking text, graphics, and grayscale photos at a respectable speed for the price, but lower running costs would increase its overall value.

A direct competitor to the Dell Smart Printer S2830dn ($122.97 at Amazon), our Editors’ Choice entry-level monochrome laser printer, the Canon imageClass LBP251dw ($209) ($199.99 at Amazon) comes close to the Dell model in print speed, print quality and features, and its list price is $70 less. But it falls a little short in one key area—the per-page cost of toner. This may seem insignificant, but if you print a few thousand pages or so each month, even a 1-cent difference in the cost per page (CPP) will cost you significantly over the life of the printer, far more than that $70 price difference. Otherwise, the LBP251dw is an outstanding low-priced monochrome laser printer, making it an excellent alternative to the Dell S2830dn for low-to-moderate volume output in a home-based or small office, or as a personal monochrome laser printer.
Read the entire review at PCMag


Review of the Dell Smart Printer S5830dn at Computer ShopperWith HP’s forthcoming acquisition of Samsung’s printer business (Samsung makes laser printers and multifunction laser printers for Dell), Dell’s place in the laser-printer market a year or so from now may be a bit up in the air. (The HP/Samsung deal is expected to close in September 2017.) At the moment, though, Dell is providing some of the most economical to use laser printers available. And that includes today’s review focus, the $999.99-MSRP Dell Smart Printer S5830dn, a very high-volume single-function monochrome laser printer.

A thousand bucks may seem like a lot to pay in 2017 for a print-only, black-and-white-only laser machine. (And unlike many Dell printers, it’s not been discounted by all that much, at least yet. At this mid-January 2017 writing, we saw it around the e-tailer circuit for $900 to $950.) But then, given its 300,000-page maximum monthly duty cycle (with a 50,000-page workload recommended), highly competitive running costs, and multiple expansion options, this is no ordinary beast. If, as we’ll elaborate on later, you use it to anywhere near its ultra-high-capacity potential, you’ll quickly regain (and surpass) in toner savings the few hundred dollars more that it costs, compared to most other laser printers we’ve reviewed.

Dell Smart Printer S5830dn (Front)

But that doesn’t mean that the Smart Printer S5830dn is perfect, by any means. Wireless connectivity, for example, is optional; we get the reasoning for that, because this kind of printer is meant to live on a wired network. But more concerning: Unlike most Dell printers we’ve looked at lately, the output quality is merely so-so, especially when printing business graphics. Photos and text came out fine for a monochrome printer, making this an ideal machine for printing reams upon reams of all-text pages and black-and-white renditions of Web pages. But, say, presentations that begin as color documents? We ran into some issues there.

We’ve reviewed many business-minded laser printers in recent months, but none with the potential output volume of this one. Only its sibling, the like-priced Dell Color Smart Printer S5840Cdn (and its 150,000-page monthly duty cycle) comes close, but even that model, not really. And then there’s the consumables cost. Apart from several high-volume inkjet multifunction printers (MFPs), such as the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-R4640 EcoTank All-in-One and Brother MFC-J5920DW, we don’t know of any laser machines with monochrome running costs lower than these two Dell single-function machines. So this machine does have some key strengths.

Of course, those Epson and Brother color inkjet MFPs don’t come close in capacity to today’s Dell; both have much lower maximum monthly duty cycles, of well under 100,000 pages. (Also, the Epson machine actually costs $200 more than our S5830dn review unit, on a list-price basis.) Our bottom line for this machine is that, as we’ll get into in more detail near the end of this review, we can’t suggest it for printing Excel bar charts and PowerPoint handouts, if that’s your main aim. But if, on the other hand, you print tens of thousands of plain-text and/or text-document pages containing photos each month, the Smart Printer S5830dn was built for just that. We don’t know of a more economical-to-use, focused solution for mass monochrome laser printing, month in and month out, of up to 50,000 pages or so, and even as much as 250,000 pages, on occasion.

See the entire review at Computer Shopper

Brother HL-L6300DW at PCMag

The Brother HL-L6300DW ($399.99) is a standalone mono laser printer designed for small or medium-size offices with high-volume print needs. It’s fast, and it has a strong feature set and a high standard paper capacity, with the ability to expand if necessary. Its running costs are among the lowest for a monochrome laser printer in its class, and its security features include an integrated near-field communications (NFC) card reader. It churns out terrific-looking text, too, though it doesn’t print graphics and photos as good as what you’ll get from the Dell Smart Printer S2830dn or the HP LaserJet Pro M501dn (both Editors’ Choice models). Otherwise, the HL-L6300DW is a good fit for offices and workgroups with heavy-duty print volumes, making it our new Editors’ Choice for a moderate- to high-volume monochrome laser printer for small offices and workgroups.

Read full review at PCMag

Dell B1265dnf Review and RatingsWe’d say it’s raining laser printers, but we don’t want to send you running for cover—they are quite heavy, after all. But, in recent weeks, that’s how it seems here at Computer Shopper. Given all the laser models that have hit the market this summer, as soon as we plough through one group—testing, analyzing, and writing reviews—the next bunch shows up. They’re coming from Dell, HP, and others, in a variety of shapes, sizes, and prices. The summer of 2012 has turned out to be one of the hottest times in memory for laser-printer releases.

Here, we took a look at Dell’s $249 B1265dnf, a multifunction (printing, scanning, copying, and faxing) monochrome laser printer. The B1265dnf is the fourth model up—in terms of features, price, and print-volume rating—in a group of five monochrome lasers that Dell released in late June. Two of the company’s three less-expensive offerings in that line, the $99 B1160 and $119 B1160w, are so-called “personal” laser printers similar to Samsung’s $129.99 ML-2165W, which we reviewed in spring 2012. (We’ll be taking a look at the B1160w in the coming weeks.) The other cheaper model, an entry-level monochrome printer-only model, the B1260dn, we looked at earlier this month.

As multifunction lasers go, at under $250, the B1265dnf is an entry-level machine. In this part of the printer market, “entry-level” is an important distinction. With budget models like this one, you typically pay a low up-front price for the machine itself, but then pay a premium each time you buy the printer’s somewhat overpriced (as we see it, anyway) toner. In addition, these lasers usually have relatively low maximum monthly duty cycles. (“Duty cycle” is the number of pages the manufacturer says you can print each month without excessive wear on the machine.)Dell B1265dnf Review

Despite Dell’s “high duty cycle” proclamation for this model, the B1265dnf falls a little short of this claim. This model’s somewhat high per-page cost of operation, or cost per page (CPP), and relatively low duty cycle (20,000 pages per month) do not, in our estimation, meet the requirements for a high-volume laser. By comparison, the company’s higher-end 2355dn, with its low (under-2-cent) CPP and 80,000-page duty cycle, is a true high-volume monochrome multifunction laser. The B1265dnf is—at best—a mid-volume one.

Don’t get us wrong. We’re not saying that the B1265dnf is not a good printer—not by any means. It prints quickly and churns out great-looking documents, making it a good fit for small offices, small businesses, and small enterprise workgroups with modest print-volume requirements. However, if you push it anywhere close to the recommended monthly volume rating, you’d be much better off, over time on a CPP basis, with a pricier model with a higher duty cycle. Just be mindful of how much you print and copy. (We analyze the cost-per-page value equation between this model and higher-volume multifunction devices later on in this review.)

Read the full review at Computer Shopper.



 

Samsung ML-3712DW ReviewSometimes, the basics are all you need: Some businesses and small offices just need a printer that can churn out copious amounts of black-and-white documents quickly and inexpensively. A point-of-sale environment, for instance, that prints invoices, receipts, and contracts day in and day out while customers wait doesn’t care about color, scanning, copying, or faxing. Or, if the users there do care, those tasks get handed off to a separate machine that won’t get in the way of the need to print, print, and print some more.

Samsung offers a highly workable—if slightly expensive—solution, the $299.99 ML-3712DW. A no-nonsense single-function monochrome laser printer, the ML-3712DW cranks out pages, even automatic two-sided prints, at impressive speeds, and, if you purchase Samsung’s highest-volume toner cartridge, it does so at a highly respectable cost per page (CPP).Samsung ML-3712DW Review

On the surface, $300 might seem like a lot to pay for a single-function monochrome device of this size. Most of the monochrome lasers we’ve looked at in this price range recently are multifunction machines. However, most of them cost significantly more to use on a per-page cost basis. If you use the ML-3712DW as it’s designed to function—that is, as a high-speed, high-volume workhorse—what you save on consumables (here, that’s toner) quickly compensates for its slightly high initial purchase price.

Granted, you can buy $300 multifunction color inkjets that print relatively fast and do everything, but comparing this somewhat niche-focused model to those machines isn’t really relevant. When we evaluate the ML-3712DW based on what it is—a low-cost, high-quality machine for continuous on-demand printing—it comes up a winner. Not everybody needs this kind of volume, but for those who do, this model delivers on three important levels: speed, print quality, and economical operational costs.

See the review at Computer Shopper.



 

Samsung ML-2165W ReviewWhen you hear the term “personal laser printer,” what comes to mind? We bet it’s not a device that’s smaller than a breadbox and lighter than some laptops. And what is a personal printer, anyway?

When we researched the term, as it’s used in relation to laser printers, we got everything from $120 single-function monochrome devices to full-blown multifunction color lasers around $500. But whatever it meant to you (and to us) until now, Samsung’s $129.99 ML-2165W ($149.99 at Amazon), the smallest laser printer to pass through our labs, may have just redefined the term—or at least changed the conversation.

Sure, we’ve seen relatively small, single-function monochrome laser printers before. (Take Brother’s $149.99 HL-L2279DW, the $179.99 Dell 1130n (Out of stock at Amazon), or the $149.99 HP LaserJet Pro P1102w.($305.69 at Amazon)) But at roughly 15 inches deep and wide, and weighing around 15 to 16 pounds, these models, compared to what came before them, just weren’t all that small. On the other hand, the ML-2165W, as you’ll see in the “Design & Features” section of this review, is much smaller and lighter than the norm—so much so, that when you close up the paper trays, it’s slim and slight enough to carry under one arm.

In addition to the ML-2165W taking up very little space on even the smallest of desks, we found some other advantages to owning a laser-fast, relatively high-volume printer this small. Its portability makes it ideal for road warriors—traveling accountants, salespeople, and other professionals—who might need the ability to print quick and easy laser-quality documents on the road, in a hotel room, a client’s office, or at the next trade show. We’re not sure you’d take it in your luggage on a flight, but it’s easy to carry in a vehicle or to ship ahead. (Also, it’s wireless.)

As with any budget-level device, of course, the ML-2165W has a few drawbacks. It is, after all, a monochrome printer. For its $129.99 suggested retail price, you can buy a relatively feature-rich multifunction color inkjet printer. However, as we wrote this in mid-April 2012, we found the ML-2165W at several outlets for as little as $79.99, making it a far more enticing deal at that price if you can find it close to that. In addition, as we discuss in the “Design & Features” section, its per-page cost of toner is a bit high, especially compared to similarly priced inkjet models. But its street price could change that equation.

We’d assume, though, that users who buy such a diminutive laser printer have reasons other than its cost per page for doing so. For these folks, putting aside the printer’s size, the speed and print quality would probably also rank high. Don’t let the ML-2165W’s petite body fool you—it prints monochrome text, business graphics, and gray-scale images with the high quality you’d expect from a laser printer, and it does so at respectable, laser-grade speeds.

See the full review at Computer Shopper.



 

HP LaserJet Pro M1217nfw

HP LaserJet Pro M1217nfw - No Frills

Looking for a portable Laser printer? Try the 18.3-pound HP LaserJet Pro M1217nfw. See the review.