The Brother MFC-L5700DW ($349.99) is a capable midrange monochrome laser all-in-one printer designed for micro offices and small workgroups. It has a generous standard paper capacity that’s highly expandable, and text print quality is above average (though grayscale graphics and photos are not as good). Like the Editors’ Choice HP LaserJet Pro MFP M426fdw, it’s inexpensive and small enough to serve as a relatively high-volume personal machine. Unlike the M426fdw, though, the MFC-L5700DW’s automatic document feeder (ADF) is not auto-duplexing. Because of that, and a comparatively low monthly duty cycle, its $100 lower list price is not quite enough to help it replace the LaserJet as our top choice for heavy-duty use in a micro office.
HP’s PageWide Pro and PageWide Enterprise inkjet printers are among the best laser alternatives available. The PageWide Enterprise Color 556dn ($749.99) is essentially the same machine as HP’s slightly less expensive ($699.99) Editors’ Choice PageWide Pro 552dw$585.99 at Amazon, with a few differences in features. Like the 552dw, the 556dn is fast and prints well, and it’s highly expandable. Unlike the 552dw, however, the 556dn has some of the lowest running costs in the business. That’s enough for it to nudge the 552dw out as our Editors’ Choice for medium-to-heavy-duty standalone printers for micro and small offices.
The Canon imageClass MF416dw ($499) is a capable monochrome laser all-in-one printer for a small, home, or micro office. Its strengths include excellent text quality, a wide range of connection choices, and a generous feature set with goodies like a duplexing automatic document feeder. But the MF416dw has relatively high running costs, and thus it’s best reserved for moderate-duty use.
Read the entire review at PC Magazine
The Brother MFC-L5800DW ($399.99) is a monochrome all-in-one printer for small or home offices that is relatively fast and performs well overall, plus, it’s loaded with convenience and productivity features. These strengths, combined with a competitively low cost per page, make it a good value, but the image and graphics quality are just so-so, and the MFC-L5800DW lacks a duplexing automatic document feeder (ADF). For many would-be buyers, our current Editors’ Choice, the HP LaserJet Pro MFP M426fdw, is a better bet.
Read entire review at Brother MFC-L5800DW
Inkjet printers are amazing technology—microscopic nozzles spraying tiny droplets of ink in precisely manipulated patterns. That R&D isn’t cheap, though, and a whole other set of elaborate endeavors on the side have sought to maintain the sky-high cost of that ink. It’s printer manufacturers’ main path to profit. In some ways (and much less conspicuously), it’s akin to the pricing shenanigans of the gasoline market.
Today’s EcoTank all-in-one (AIO) review unit, the $1,199.99-MSRP WorkForce Pro WF-R4640 All-in-One Printer, is a bit different, and a bit bigger. It has compartments for holding huge bags of ink on both sides…
The flagship model of the EcoTank series to date, the WorkForce WF-R4640 is, like the other printers in this series, essentially an existing AIO retrofitted with the EcoTank ink storage and plumbing. In this case, rather than refilling reservoirs from relatively large bottles of ink, here you simply swap out an empty ink bag for a full one. We’ll look closely at this configuration, how well it works, and the economics a little later.
In this case, the WorkForce Pro WF-R4640 is at the core Epson’s $399.99-MSRP WorkForce Pro WF-4640 All-in-One, the two-input-drawer version of one of our Editors’ Choice recipients, theWorkForce Pro WF-4630 All-in-One. (We should point out that at the time of this writing in late April 2016, we found the WorkForce WF-4640 for as low as $270 and the WF-4630 for as low as $200.)
In our analysis, the WorkForce WF-4640 was a good choice for upgrading to an EcoTank model. Keep in mind, though, that what Epson has essentially done is retrofit the WF-4640 to use the EcoTank system and then multiply the price by a factor of three or four, from a $399.99 list price (or $270 typical street price) to $1,199 (which was both the MSRP and street price when we wrote this).
When viewed from the perspective of the past couple paragraphs, the WorkForce WF-R4640 mightsound like an economic enigma—who would pay four times the price for essentially the same printer? Our analysis so far has said nothing about the huge, 20,000-page ink bags that come with the printer—enough ink, according to Epson, to last for two years.
Two years? Really? Well, that all depends on where and how you might be using this printer. One office’s first two years’ worth of ink is another’s first two weeks’ appetizer.
If you printed 20,000 pages over the course of two years (730 days), that comes out to about 27 pages per day. If you back out weekends, holidays, and any number of other reasons you might not print on certain days, let’s be generous and say the ink bags will print 50 pages per day.
The printer can certainly handle that. A 50-page-per-day load, even on every day of a 30-day month, is far, far below the WF-R4640’s 45,000-page monthly duty cycle (Epson’s rating for the most pages the printer ought to handle in a given month). In other words, if you actually pushed it to or close to its monthly rating, you would run out of ink in the first few weeks.
The good news in all this is that when it comes time to buy new ink bags, as you’ll see a bit later in this review, the per-page cost of ink is quite low. Even color pages come in well under what we consider competitive cost-per-page (CPP) figures. But then the CPPs, while certainly impressive, aren’t the only reason to buy this high-volume workhorse. Remember that the WorkForce model from which it has been adapted is a fine office-centric AIO in its own right. It had plenty of reasons—good print speed and print quality, mobile connectivity options, not to mention a strong set of productivity and convenience features—to make it a Computer Shopper Editors’ Choice recipient, too.
It just comes down to the price, and how soon you think you might burn through 20,000 pages of printing. We liked this printer, but we recognize that $1,200 is a lot to pay for an inkjet printer of this caliber, in essence, a printer that at the core has the features of a $300-to-$400 model. If you use your printer—and we mean churn out thousands of prints and copies each month—when it comes time to buy new ink, and every time after that, you will save big. The cost per page is far more economical after you’ve exhausted that first set.
The more and the longer you use the WF-R4640, the better a value it is compared to some other competing models capable of the same print volume. But if it’ll take you years and years to drain the first set of tanks, this is not the right printer for you.
Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.
Among the most successful multifunction printers (MFPs) in recent years has been HP’s 2014 Officejet Pro 8630 All-in-One Printer—also, not coincidentally, one of our highest-rated Editors’ Choice recipients (4.5 out of 5 stars) over the past few years. An all-in-one (AIO) printer must hold up well under our scrutiny and impress us to receive so high a score.
Alas, all good things must eventually get refreshed and replaced.
Now, it’s time to talk about not only the Officejet Pro 8630’s replacement, but also the retirement of the entire Officejet Pro 8600 series, which includes the 8600, 8610, 8620, and the 8630 flagship model. The 8630 is much like the 8620, minus the former model’s second drawer. In the same way, aside from dropping a few features, such as an auto-duplexing ADF (and, of course, that second drawer), the 8610 is much like the 8620.
HP’s new generation was unveiled in early March 2016. The Palo Alto printer giant introduced, along with 15 to 20 other printer models, the Officejet Pro 8700 series, which included the flagship, today’s review unit. The $399.99-MSRP Officejet Pro 8740 All-in-One Printer, as you’ll see over the course of this review, is no incremental update to the Officejet Pro 8630. Apart from some similar specs, these two printers don’t have a lot in common—especially, as shown in the image below, in appearance…
In fact, this series, including our Officejet Pro 8740 review unit, which we’ll discuss in some detail in the Design & Features section next, looks quite different from any inkjet AIO we’ve seen, now or in the past.
In addition to the Officejet Pro 8740, on March 8 HP also unveiled the Officejet Pro 8710, which is a bit of an outlier. In addition to having, as you’d expect, features reduced versus the Officejet Pro 8740, it’s dark gray (unlike the 8720, 8730, and 8740) and looks more like the previous-gen 8610 than the other three new releases do. The Officejet Pro 8720, 8730, and 8740 are more of a kind, with several features in common, including legal-size (8.5×14-inch) duplex printing, scanning, copying, and faxing, plus single-pass duplex scanning.
We expect all of these features, as well as a respectable per-page cost of operation (what we call the “cost per page,” or CPP) for both black-and-white and color pages, from any business-centric inkjet that lists for $400. That’s not the upper limit for business inkjets these days, but it’s a premium machine. We’ll look at the CPP, as well as this AIO’s versatile paper-handling options, in the Setup & Paper Handling section later on. But a teaser: If you plan to print and/or copy at levels close to this machine’s actual 30,000-page monthly duty cycle, the CPP here is probably a bit too high. That’s compared to some other relatively high-volume models, including HP’s own significantly more expensive PageWide Pro 577dw Multifunction Printer we reviewed a few weeks ago.
Of course, seldom is it a good idea to push any printer to its absolute maximum suggested limit, month in and month out. If you have printing needs that heavy, you need to buy a printer with a bit more overhead. That said, this AIO’s CPP is about right for what it is, if you use it for well under HP’s recommended monthly printing limit, or “duty cycle”—even though $399 is a bit pricey for a printer in this class. Printer pricing is an ever-moving target, though, and if the Officejet Pro 8740 behaves on the open market as its predecessor did, it will spend much of the time on sale at around $299, which we think is a much more appropriate price given the competition. (At this writing, that remained to be seen, though.)
All that said, as usual with HP, you’re paying for style and innovation, as well as dependability and quality. For many users, those assets are worth a premium price. And we think that most folks would be happy with this printer whether they paid an additional $50 or $100 for it, or not. Pricing quibbles aside, the Officejet Pro 8740 is a very fine—and refined—small business and micro-office printer.
Read the entire review at Computer Shopper
It has been just over three years since HP’s release of its Officejet Pro X line of printers based on the company’s fixed PageWide inkjet printhead technology, as described in our February 2013 review of the Officejet Pro X576dw Multifunction Printer. Many things about this new line impressed us at the time, including its exceptional print speed, great print quality, and extraordinarily competitive cost per page. In fact, this was the cheapest-to-use multifunction printer (MFP) we had tested at the time, be it a laser or an inkjet. (It still holds that distinction.)
However, HP never really filtered the PageWide technology way down its product stack. Unlike its competitor Epson, which offered a new printhead in mid-2014, dubbed “PrecisionCore,” in models all the way down to its entry-level, low-volume WorkForce multifunction printers (MFPs), the Palo Alto printer giant kept PageWide out of its lower-volume (and lower-priced) office-centric products.
That remains the case. On the date of this review, March 8, HP is rolling out a new, second-gen line of HP PageWide printers—and indeed, PageWide joins LaserJet and Officejet as a discrete HP product family—with more levels than before. Today’s review unit, HP’s $899.99-MSRP PageWide 577dw, for example, sits near the top of the PageWide product line, while the cheapest PageWide model, the PageWide Pro 452dw sfp, a single-function machine, lists for $499.99.
That’s a far cry from the average consumer- or small-office-grade $199 and $299 high-volume inkjets designed to churn out a few thousand pages per month. Our PageWide Pro 577dw review unit, for example, has an 80,000-page monthly duty cycle, which is the number of pages HP says the printer should be able to handle each month without undue wear. Since PageWide is a “fixed” printhead spanning the width of the page, more akin to a laser printer mechanism than a conventional inkjet, it can churn out pages mighty fast, without the limitations of a moving printhead carriage.
What we really liked about the first round of PageWide printers, though, was that unprecedented low cost per page (CPP) of operation. At the time, only very expensive enterprise-grade laser machines could touch it in that regard.
This time around, you can buy black cartridges with page yields up to 17,000 pages (and color tanks with yields up to 13,000), as opposed to 9,200 and 6,600, respectively, in the previous generation. The CPP figures, for both monochrome and color, have stayed about the same, which we’ll get into in greater detail in the Setup & Paper Handling section later on. Like any self-respecting high-volume printer, this one delivers a CPP low enough to make printing out multiple reams of paper each month reasonably economical compared with other like-priced printers.
Now, while a high duty cycle and a low CPP are important, so too are print speed, print quality, and, of course, mobile connectivity and cloud features. The 577dw delivers that, not to mention a wealth of security and network-administration options, along with some design features that make this, like its X576dw predecessor, a top pick for businesses that need bulk output, color, and not necessarily laser-quality text.
As we alluded to earlier, the PageWide Pro models are part of a much larger collection of products that all debuted on March 8. In addition to the PageWide additions to HP’s product stable (a total of seven printers, there, in PageWide Pro 500, PageWide Pro 400, and PageWide 300 lines), the company is also pushing out new and replacement models in the Officejet Pro, PageWide Enterprise, and Officejet Mobile product families. We’ll be getting down to reviews of many of these in the coming weeks.
All considered, we found little to quibble about in this high-volume workhorse, other than what seemed to us a lofty price, versus competing models such as Epson’s $549.99-list WorkForce Pro WF-6590 Network Multifunction Color Printer. The good news for HP here, though, is that this new PageWide model provides significantly lower CPPs than the highest-volume Epson WorkForce Pro models that are available at the moment, which is very important for high-volume printers like these. And the good news for businesses that need that kind of mass output: The PageWide Pro 577dw maintains most of the high points of its illustrious predecessor.
Read the entire review at Computer Shopper
The further you work your way up the Epson WorkForce Pro product line, the more impressive these high-volume all-in-one inkjets get. Over the past couple of years, we’ve awarded several WorkForce Pro models our Editors’ Choice award. Most recently, these were the WorkForce Pro WF-4630 Network Multifunction Printer (which earned a very rare perfect five stars) and the WorkForce Pro WF-5690 Network Multifunction Color Printer With PCL/Adobe PS.
Why did these particular high-end, high-volume printers score so high? For a number of reasons, but foremost: These are fast, robust machines with exceptional print quality and a highly competitive per-page cost of operation.
Add to that group the subject of our review today.
The $549.99-list WorkForce Pro WF-6590 Network Multifunction Color Printer is, with its 75,000-page monthly “duty cycle” and potential capacity of up to 1,580 sheets, an extremely well-built and capable all-in-one. (The monthly duty cycle is the number of pages the manufacturer says you can print each month without causing undue wear and tear on the machine.)
Essentially a replacement for (or an alternative to) a laser printer, this PrecisionCore-based workhorse comes with just about every convenience and productivity feature appropriate to this level of high-volume multifunction printer (MFP). As we’ve pointed out in past reviews of PrecisionCore-based MFPs, they hold some key advantages over laser and laser-class (LED) machines, including significantly lower power consumption, the ability to print higher-quality photographs, and—especially—a much lower cost per page for color prints, as we’ll get into in a later section of this review.
Midrange and high-volume laser models tend to churn out black-and-white pages at reasonable per-page costs, but printing color pages on them often costs two to three times as much as the same pages would on a WorkForce Pro or some other competitive high-volume inkjet, such as HP’s venerable, PageWide-based Officejet X576dw. Our point is that this WorkForce Pro model, several of its siblings, as well as HP’s PageWide Officejet X models outpace comparably priced laser MFPs in many ways.
For the most part, the WF-6590 is the next step up from the WF-5690 (which lists for $150 less), with capabilities and volumes increased by roughly a third. For example, the cheaper model has a 45,000-page monthly duty cycle, compared to the WF-6590’s 75,000 pages. Furthermore, the WF-6590’s print speed is slightly higher, rated at 24 pages per minute (ppm), as opposed to the smaller model’s 20ppm. Copy and scan speeds are somewhat faster, too.
In brief, as we said about the WorkForce Pro WF-5690 a while back, the WorkForce Pro WF-6590 is an excellent high-volume MFP, as are the other WorkForce models listed in the previous paragraphs. They are ideal picks if you need large amounts of text (and don’t require true laser quality), as well as a good bit of color printing with photo-output quality that beats what you’ll get on any color laser. The good news is that whichever WorkForce Pro model you select, each one delivers a very low cost per page for both of those kinds of output. As we see it, any of them will do a good job—you just need to decide on how much volume you need.
Read the entire review at Computer Shopper
It’s been a few months now since our first look at Epson’s relatively new ink-delivery system, EcoTank, in our review of the $499.99-MSRP WorkForce ET-4550 EcoTank All-in-One. (We reviewed it back in August of 2015.) Now that the EcoTank tech has been out in the wild for a while, we’ve had a chance to chew on it in light of other ink developments in the inkjet-printer marketplace, and users have chimed in. And our opinion of it has changed some—but not enough to reconsider the Editors’ Choice nod we gave to the WorkForce ET-4550.
EcoTank now plays in a field with HP’s Instant Ink service and Brother’s INKvestment, two new means of delivering and pricing inkjet ink. EcoTank, while it cansave you money on ink, as we’ll get to in a moment, is, of the bunch, a bit of an odd bird, at least when it’s applied to certain printer models. That brings us to today’s EcoTank review model, the $399.99-MSRP Epson Expression ET-2550 EcoTank All-in-One. For the $100 difference between this unit and the WorkForce ET-4550 we tested, you get a more robust machine in the WorkForce model. (So far, the purchase price hasn’t come down on either model from the list price, no matter where you shop.)
As we explained in our review of the WorkForce ET-4550, these recent EcoTank models really are just versions of earlier Epson AIOs with four big ink reservoirs added, encased in a housing attached to the right side of the chassis. In the case of the ET-4550, for example, it is, at the core, Epson’s WorkForce WF-2650 All-in-One; today’s review unit, the ET-2550, is actually the $89.99-list Expression Home XP-320 Small-in-One Printer, as shown here…
(If the AIO on the right looks larger, except for the EcoTank attachment on the right side, it’s not, actually; it’s just a question of perspective in the two images. The machines are the same size, barring the EcoTank hump on the ET-2550 model at right.)
Like the ET-4550, then, the ET-2550 is an under-$100 AIO with enough ink in the box, Epson estimates, to last you for two years—which is to say, enough ink to jack up the purchase price to $400. On the ET-4550, Epson estimates its 11,000 black-and-white pages and/or 8,500 color prints are the equivalent to two years’ worth of printing (comparable to about 50 ink-tank sets). Our ET-2550 review unit, on the other hand, comes with enough ink, according to Epson, to churn out about 4,000 monochrome pages and/or 6,500 color prints. That, according to Epson, is equal to about 20 cartridge sets. A cartridge set consists of, in this case, all four of the cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK) process-color tanks.
As you’ll see on the next page, the EcoTank system in itself can, if you’re willing to spend the additional money up front, save you money—if (and this is important) you use your printer often enough to justify buying all that additional ink. (We’ll get into that math a bit later on.) But the bottom line on EcoTank, at least as it is implemented with this entry-level AIO, is complicated by the fact that this is a very modest printer apart from the EcoTank stuff. So what about the printer itself? Is it worth $400?
That’s what this review will be all about. In short, though: Except for the four large bottles of ink in the box and the “supertanker” ink reservoirs on the right side, everything about this printer says low-volume, right down to its 500-page recommended monthly print volume (which works out to about 15 to 20 pages per day). Epson has provided enough ink to print about 167 black-and-white pages and/or 271 color pages each month. The good news is that should you require more ink, as you’ll see in the Cost Per Page section later on, refill bottles are remarkably cheap.
The key thing, though: Were you to require much more volume than what Epson suggests, the ET-2550 (and possibly your patience) probably won’t be robust enough to handle the day-to-day stress. This model’s small input and output options, and, as you’ll see next, its lack of certain key features, render it not up to the needs of a large number of would-be buyers. The Expression ET-2550 couldserve you well, but only if you match it closely to how much you print (and how little you scan). To do that, read on.
Read the entire review at Computer Shopper
Camarillo, CA – March 21, 2016: After more than 100 hours of research and testing, including looking at nearly 100 models and testing five of them, we’ve concluded that the HP Officejet Pro 8620 e-All-in-One Printer is the best all-in-one (AIO) printer for most people. This color AIO printer with scan, fax, and copy functions could be a good fit if you work from home, create flyers and other material, or have kids in school who need to print and scan. Affordable and well constructed, the Officejet Pro 8620 has good-enough print quality for a wide range of uses and sets you back less than 2 cents with each black-and-white page.