It has been over 30 years since HP introduced the first LaserJet—a huge, cumbersome, slow, and expensive beast. My first laser printer, a single-function black-and-white model, cost upwards of $2,000. At that time, primarily only prepress service bureaus purchased color laser printers, where you then paid as much as $10 or more for color prints.
Today, of course, you can buy color inkjet all-in-ones (AIOs) for well under $100, as well as full-featured multi-function color laser-class machines for well under $400 (perhaps even $300).
Take the topic of this review, HP’s snazzy new $429.99 MSRP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M277dw, for example. For just over $400, you get a full-featured, completely modernized multifunction printer (MFP) with, much like several of its competitors, a too-high cost per page.
Read the entire review at About.com
Inkjet printers that only print have become a rare breed. While single-function laser-class printers still abound, we can’t say the same about single-function inkjets. Shop around for a consumer or small-business inkjet, even at the very low end, and you’ll quickly realize that the market has been taken over by cost-efficient all-in-one (AIO) models.
Over the past year or two, though, we’ve seen a few single-function inkjets slip out from the major printer makers. This kind of printer has become uncommon enough that those models made us sit up and take notice. They include Canon’s Maxify iB4020, HP’s higher-end Officejet Pro X551dw Color Printer (based on its innovative PageWide technology), and the topic of this review, Epson’s PrecisionCore-based $199.99 WorkForce WF-7110 Inkjet Printer.
The first two printers are all about the high-volume output of letter-size pages. The WF-7110 is a different beast altogether, though: Of these three single-function printers, only this WorkForce model prints wide-format pages up to 13×19 inches, a size also known as supertabloid. Unfortunately, like most other wide-format printers priced for consumers and small businesses, the WorkForce WF-7110 also has a relatively high operational cost—what we call the cost per page, or CPP—especially when you compare it to a bunch of other like-priced, high-volume inkjets on the market. (We’ll look more closely at the nuances of this printer’s CPP in the Setup & Paper Handling section later on.)
Like the midrange laser-class printers that this model and its competitors are designed to compete with, this WorkForce model is built to sit there and churn out copious bunches of pages. That’s clear from two things: its paper handling, and its maximum duty cycle. (The maximum duty cycle is the number of pages the manufacturer says you can print each month without wearing out the machine prematurely.) The maximum duty cycle on the WF-7110 is a surprising 20,000 pages per month. Also, as you’ll see in some detail later on, the WorkForce WF-7110 has two good-size input sources, with paper drawers configurable to hold sheets ranging from 3.5×5-inch photo paper to supertabloid copy stock for documents and photo paper for borderless prints up to 13×19 inches. Often, the borderless treatment on an image, a flyer, or a brochure can mean the difference between a professional- and an amateur-looking job.
In short, the WorkForce WF-7110 appears to be designed for versatility and volume—but the volume part of the equation is going to sail onto the rocks of the cost per page. As we’ve pointed out in previous reviews of wide-format inkjets, such as HP’s Officejet 7610 Wide Format e-All-in-One, most wide-format printers have a higher cost per page than their like-priced letter-size counterparts. For the most part, though, most wide-format printers have similar CPPs to each other. HP’s similarly priced Officejet 7610, for instance, delivers about the same CPPs as this one, especially when you’re talking about black-and-white pages.
Furthermore, several of Brother’s numerous office-oriented wide-format printers, such as the MFC-J6920DW, have significantly lower CPPs. But, then, they can’t print 13×19-inch pages, only “plain” tabloid-size ones at 11×17 inches. (In the printer world, the termwide-format encompasses both sizes.) As is often the case with midrange printers, even though they’re capable of printing great-looking pages at highly competitive speeds, their per-page cost of operation makes them money pits for all but limited duty—beyond, say, a couple hundred pages per month.
As a result, the WorkForce WF-7110 is a role-filler, not the one-size-fits-all printer it might appear to be. Under the right circumstances, this model can be a great fit. But if your office requires high-volume output and wide-format output, there are better choices—perhaps an alternate 11×17-inch-capable model, or possibly a printer like the WorkForce WF-7110 paired with a second printer for the volume work.
Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.
It’s not often that I recommend a laser-class multifunction printer over the most recent fast and inexpensive-to-use high-volume inkjet, but that’s because finding one that’s faster and cheaper-to-use than many of today’s business-centric inkjets has become increasingly difficult. Meanwhile, high-volume inkjet MFPs from Canon, Epson, HP, and Brother, and alternative inkjet printhead technologies from both HP and Epson, increasingly get better and better, while laser-class technology stays pretty much the same.
Before we get started, though, let me point out that the topic of this review, OKI’s $599 MSRP MB492 Multifunction Printer, is an LED laser-class machine that uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) arrays, rather than lasers, to burn the page image onto the print drum, so that it can transfer toner to the paper. LED arrays are smaller, lighter, have fewer moving parts, use less power, and cost less to manufacture than standard laser printers. Otherwise, they look and operate much the same.
Read the entire review at About.com
One of the things I hate about reviewing entry-level printers is that while they are often good little printers in their own rights, something about them—usually their operational costs—is wrong, or at least too high to make sense to all but small- and home-based businesses with very meager print and copy volume requirements. And that’s the (only serious) problem with the topic of this review, Epson’s $149.99 (MSRP) WorkForce WF-2660 All-in-One Printer; it costs a lot to use.
In other words, it prints very well and reasonably fast, and the scanner makes excellent scans and copies. But it’s daily operational cost of consumables (in this case, ink, of course) makes using it, compared to like-priced competitors, too expensive, to the point that if you print a lot, more than say a few hundred pages per month (and that might be pushing it), unless money is no object, this is probably not your printer.
Read the entire review at About.com.
One of the realities for printer makers is that there’s a large group of computer users out there—businesses andconsumers—that just don’t print very often. They need to print occasionally, often enough that they feel justified in buying a printer, but they can’t rationalize spending a lot for it. And, similarly, they want their inexpensive little all-in-one (print/scan/copy/fax) to print well, be reasonably fast, and strong on features—just the kind of AIO Brother specializes in.
Enter Brother’s $129.99-list MFC-J650DW, which was discounted on Brother’s Web site to $109.99 while I wrote this.
Read entire review at About.com.
During the past few years, we’ve seen a surge of laser-busting, inkjet-based multifunction printers that can print, copy, scan, and fax. Many of them not only outperform their like-priced laser counterparts, they do so while maintaining a significantly lower per-page operational cost—in some cases, by more than half.
This wave only began to build, almost imperceptibly, a handful of years ago. One of the first of these high-volume, low-cost-per-page multifunction printers (MFPs) to catch our eye was the $299-MSRP HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus. We looked at that model back in early 2012, and it was the grandaddy of the subject of this review: HP’s Officejet Pro 8620 e-All-in-One Printer, which comes in at the same list price. (We’ve already seen this model, however, selling for $199.99 from a variety of major e-tailers.)
The Officejet Pro 8620 is the middle model in a trio of high-volume Officejet Pro 86xx-series multifunction printers (MFPs) that HP has released since the groundbreaking Officejet 8600 Plus. The others are the $199.99-MSRP Officejet Pro 8610 e-All-in-One Printer (reviewed, at the link, by our sister site PCMag.com), as well as a flagship model, the $399.99-MSRP (and Editors’ Choice recipient) Officejet Pro 8630 e-All-in-One Printer we reviewed in early 2014.
As the prices stair-step upward, so do the printers’ productivity and convenience features. The Officejet Pro 8610 may list for $199, but we’ve seen it down around $129 from a few e-tailers. What you get for the additional money between the Officejet Pro 8610 and the Pro 8620 is significant, though. The cheaper Officejet Pro 8610 model is rated at up to 19 monochrome pages per minute (ppm) and 14.5ppm in color, slower than the Pro 8620 by about 2ppm for both black-and-white and color documents. Also, while it comes with a similar wealth of mobile and Web-based print channels, the Officejet Pro 8610 looks decidedly entry-level on the hardware front, coming with a smallish (2.7-inch) touch screen, a 35-page automatic document feeder (ADF), and a 250-sheet input drawer. Compare that to the Officejet Pro 8620’s 4.3-inch touch screen, 50-sheet ADF, and support for Near-Field Communication (NFC), which allows for “touch-to-print” functionality from certain mobile devices. (We’ll discuss NFC and several other mobile-device options in the Features section on the next page.)
The next model up the Officejet Pro line, the Pro 8630, on the other hand, comes with everything that the Pro 8620 does, as well as a second 250-sheet paper drawer (for a total of 500 sheets of paper capacity), OCR software, and a second set of color ink cartridges (the cyan, magenta, and yellow only—no black). The additional ink tanks, were you to buy them separately, would run you about $60 on HP’s Web site. Given that the Officejet Pro 8630 actually retails for about $280, the ink tanks in effect reduce the real price of the Officejet Pro 8630 to a sawbuck or two more than the Officejet Pro 8620, which seems like a pretty good deal to us given the other stuff you get.
As we said about the Officejet 8600 Plus and the Officejet Pro 8630, the Officejet Pro 8620 is an excellent printer that approaches the state of the art in its price range. It’s fast, and the print, scan, and copy quality are top-notch—easily comparable to what we’ve come to expect from high-end HP printers. However, HP’s competition in the high-volume inkjet market—primarily Brother and Epson, but with Canon, too, suddenly coming on strong—have not been lying down, sheepishly waiting for HP to dominate this segment of the printer market.
Since the release of HP’s first Officejet 8600 workhorse, all three competitors have rolled out high-volume, strong-performing models with very competitive cost-per-page (CPP) figures. Several of them, such as Epson’s 2014 PrecisionCore-powered WorkForce Pro models and Canon’s business-optimized Maxify MFPs (the first generation of which debuted in late 2014), perform well and meet most or all of our criteria for high-volume office-centric MFPs. They’re highly competent machines, and indeed, as a whole they are rewriting expectations of what a small-business MFP—inkjet or laser—really is nowadays.
In other words, here we are in early 2015, and the choices among small-business and workgroup MFPs are not so easy to make, though in a positive way for shoppers. That’s because many of today’s high-volume inkjets are fine printers with operating costs that are quite reasonable compared with years past. What we like most about the Officejet Pro 8620, though, is that it and its siblings have been on the market for a while—and so far, nobody is complaining.
Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.
As class of printer that doesn’t get as much attention as is it deserves is the mobile inkjet. Each of the major printer manufacturers—Brother, Canon, Epson, and HP—offers at least one. (Although Brother’s $479 PocketJet 6 Wireless Mobile Thermal Printer for iOS Devices is different from the others in several ways, including its use of expensive thermal paper, its expensive purchase price, and that it works only with Apple devices.)
And, while mobile printers have many things in common, such as high print quality, small ink tanks, and extraordinarily high per-page operational costs, a.k.a. cost per page, or CPP, as you’ll read in the following reviews, they’re different (and expensive) enough to warrant careful comparisons. (Keep in mind as you read these that the order in which they’re listed here is not an endorsement of one model over another.)
Read entire article at About.com.
Perhaps few small- and home-based-offices (SOHOs) require high-speed, high-volume, wide-format multifunction printers, but once you or your company has owned one, you’ll wonder how you got along without it—and you surely won’t want to go back to a midsize letter-size printer again. While nowadays, the major printer makers are all offering wide-format printers (in this case, 11×17 inches, a.k.a. tabloid), none of them manufacture as many as Brother.
In one way or another, the company’s Business Smart, Business Smart Plus, or Business Smart Pro models all at least print 11×17-inch pages. Some, such as the Pro models, like the $249.99-list MFC-J5620DW Multifunction Printer reviewed here, can also copy, scan, and fax tabloid-size pages—features that for certain applications can be immensely beneficial.
The higher-end Business Smart Plus models, such as the topic of this review, Brother’s $249.99-list MFC-J5720DW Business Smart Plus Inkjet All-in-One, typically come ready to print hundreds, even thousands, of pages, quickly and relatively (in terms of overall cost per page) inexpensively—and that’s just the beginning.
Read the entire review at About.com.