Check out HP’s Officejet X, the Officejet Pro X576dw Multifunction Printer, based on the company’s relatively new PageWide technology. PageWide uses a fixed array of ink nozzles, rather than a print head that moves across the page. This makes this and other PageWide-based models as fast as or faster than all other inkjets and most other midrange lasers. It also has an exceptionally low cost per page, or CPP.

http://printscan.about.com/od/hpprinters/fl/HP-Officejet-Pro-X576dw-Multifunction-Printer.htm

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HP Officejet Pro 8630 e-All-in-One Printer ReviewWhen it comes to computer technology, the traditional wisdom is often short-lived. Recent developments in printer technology, for example, have all but dashed the conventional belief that laser-class printers are necessarily the most economical and efficient all-in-one (AIO) machines. We’ve seen several high-volume inkjet AIOs, such as the Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4590 we looked at back in late 2012 and, more recently, HP’s Officejet Pro 276dw we reviewed in June 2013, that stand tall—in terms of print speeds, print quality, and cost per page (CPP)—compared to their laser-class counterparts.

HP Officejet Pro 8630 e-All-in-One Printer (Angle View)

Then, too, we mustn’t forget HP’s early-2013 debut of its PageWide-basedOfficejet Pro X576dw Multifunction Printer. Hands-down the fastest and least-expensive-to-use inkjet AIO we’ve seen, this workhorse kept pace with several midrange ($400-to-$700) laser-class multifunction machines we’ve tested, and its per-page operational cost was (and still is) one of the lowest in the printer industry—regardless of the imaging technology.

The PageWide technology is special, in that it uses a fixed array of inkjet printheads to spray the ink onto your pages. We liked the two Officejet Pro X models we tested very much, but the PageWide technology has only appeared in these relatively high-end inkjet models. And they should not overshadow a set of high-volume, low-ink-cost AIOs that HP makes with conventional carriages: the Officejet Pro 8600 series.

Beginning with our January 2012 Editors’ Choice recipient, the Officejet Pro 8600 Plus (which was replaced by the aforementioned Officejet Pro 276dw, also an Editors’ Choice winner), these printers have been both fine values and performers. Thus our excitement when we learned that in 2014, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based printer giant was poised to debut a series of high-volume workhorses aimed at small and medium businesses (SMBs). Consisting of three models—the Officejet Pro 8610, 8620, and 8630 e-All-in-Ones—they stair-step upward in list price at $199.99, $299.99, and $399.99, respectively.

Debuting on April 7, 2014, the stripped-down $199.99 Officejet Pro 8610 will, according to HP, print up to 19 monochrome pages per minute (ppm) and 14.5ppm in color. In addition to a wealth of mobile and Web-based print channels, this entry-level model will come with a 2.7-inch touch screen, a 35-page automatic document feeder (ADF), and a 250-sheet input drawer. Also due out on April 7, the $299.99 Officejet Pro 8620 is rated for 21ppm black-and-white and 16.5ppm color. In addition to all the features available on the Officejet Pro 8610, the Officejet Pro 8620 will sport a 4.3-inch touch screen, a 50-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF), and support for NFC “touch-to-print.” (We’ll discuss NFC and several other unusual functions in the Design & Features section on the next page.)

HP Officejet Pro 8630 e-All-in-One Printer

Then there’s the subject of our review here, the $399.99 Officejet Pro 8630, which, according to HP, won’t be released until May 5, 2014. The Officejet Pro 8630 comes with all of the 8620’s features, along with a second 250-sheet paper drawer (for a total of 500 sheets of paper capacity), OCR software, and an extra set of color (cyan, magenta, and yellow) ink cartridges. The additional ink tanks would run you about $60 on HP’s Web site, in effect reducing the price of the Officejet Pro 8630 to a mere $40 more than the 8620, which seems like a small price to pay for the additional input drawer.

Like with the Officejet Pro 8600 and Officejet Pro 276dw before it, we found very little to dislike about the Officejet Pro 8630. It’s fast, and its print, scan, and copy quality are top-notch—easily comparable to what we’ve come to expect from high-end HP printers. Our only real concern, in terms of overall value, is the challenge set forth by the HP Officejet Pro X576dw we spoke of earlier. Granted, its list price is a couple of hundred dollars more than the Officejet Pro 8630′s, but it’s also nearly twice as fast and rated for more than twice the recommended maximum monthly duty cycle. (“Duty cycle” is the maximum number of pages that HP estimates you can print without inflicting undue wear on the printer.)

The Officejet Pro X576dw also manages a lower per-page cost. We’ll compare the ongoing operational costs between these two models and others in the Setup & Paper Handling section a little later in this review. But up front, here’s our recommendation: If you’re looking for a high-volume workhorse, it’s hard to go wrong with this Officejet. Depending on the kind of monthly print volume you need, though, there does become a point when the faster, bigger, and more-expensive Officejet Pro X makes more sense. Figuring out which side of that tipping point you’re on is the key buying consideration, and we’ll get into that over the course of this review.

Read entire review at Computer Shopper.

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HP Officejet 7610 Wide Format e-All-in-One Printer Review and RatingsWe suspect that most small businesses and home offices might not realize the benefits of owning a wide-format, or ledger-size, all-in-one (AIO) printer. (Ledger paper measures 11×17 inches; it’s perhaps more commonly known as “tabloid.”) As we’ve said in previous reviews of wide-format printers, though, once you’ve owned one, you’ll probably find yourself wondering how you got along without it. The ability to print oversize pages provides a wealth of options, such as the ability to print multipage booklets and brochures, as well as large drawings, diagrams, and spreadsheets, that are simply unavailable on standard letter-size printers.

HP OfficeJet 7610 Wide-Format

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a few printer makers, notably Brother and Epson, debut consumer or home-office-grade wide-format printers. Some, such as the Brother MFC-J4610DW, allow you to print only one oversize page at a time, via a manual-feed slot; others, such as the Epson WorkForce WF-7520 and Brother MFC-J6920DW, not only let you print multiple 11×17-inch pages in succession (just as you would letter-size documents), but they also enable you to scan, copy, and fax these big documents.

That first option—printing tabloid pages manually, one at a time—is suitable for only very short print runs or occasional “convenience” printing, and therefore quite limiting. If you want to do some serious wide-format printing, though, a much wiser choice might be a machine like the one we’re reviewing here today: HP’s $249.99-list Officejet 7610 Wide Format e-All-in-One. It, like a few other wide-format inkjet AIOs we’ve reviewed, comes with a relatively large ledger-size input tray (in this case, 250 pages) that allows you to print multipage oversize documents, or lots of copies of the same big document, without having to babysit the printer or feed it a sheet at a time. It also prints really big 13×19 pages; more on that later.

While we found a bunch of reasons to like this printer, among them its great print quality and relatively economical cost per page (when using the right ink tanks), we were a bit perplexed that the Officejet 7610 comes with only one paper-input source. This, of course, means that you’ll have to empty and reconfigure the paper tray each time you change paper sizes. Its two closest competitors, the abovementioned Epson WorkForce WF-7520 and Brother MFC-J6920DW, on the other hand, each have two paper drawers, so you can keep one loaded with the ledger paper and the other with, presumably, letter-size. In addition, both the Epson and Brother models have multiple slots for flash-memory cards, allowing for printing from and scanning to camera media. This Officejet, in contrast, only has a port for USB flash drives. (We’ll discuss this and other types of PC-free printing in the Design section on the next page.)

HP OfficeJet 7610 Wide-Format

We should pause here to point out that, while this Officejet’s list price of $250 is about average for a consumer inkjet AIO (judging by the prices of the Epson and Brother ledger-size AIOs mentioned above), you may be able to find it much cheaper. When we wrote this in early March 2014, HP was offering the Officejet 7610 for sale directly via its Web site at a steep discount at various times, for $179.99 and even for a while at $149.99. Therefore, the question becomes, is the convenience provided by the second paper drawer—the ability to print to different media sizes with just a couple of mouse clicks, without taking the printer out of service to change the paper—worth an extra $70 to $100?

If dual paper drawers (and flash-memory-card support) were all you gave up, well, then yes, we’d say that at $150 to $180, HP’s Officejet 7610 is a good value, assuming you’d be using it mostly for its wide-format functionality. At that price, most homes or small businesses could justify purchasing it as a second, dedicated wide-format AIO, to supplement a letter-size inkjet or laser printer. However, compared to the Brother MFC-J6920DW, the Officejet 7610 has a few other—and somewhat glaring—shortcomings. For one, its automatic document feeder (ADF) can’t scan two-sided pages without you flipping them over manually. Also, its CPPs are significantly higher, especially when printing black-and-white pages. (We’ll look at this AIO’s ADF and per-page operational cost in the Setup & Paper Handling section, a little later in this review.)

Aside from the confining single input drawer and manual-duplexing ADF, we like this printer: It’s attractive and well-built, and it churns out great-looking prints, copies, and scans. It’s not nearly as nimble and versatile as the competition, though. We like it a lot more at its limited-time $150 HP-direct price, but we could really get behind it, with an enthusiastic “buy” recommendation, at, say, a $129 street price.

Read entire review at Computer Shopper.

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Printers & Scanners at About.comCamarillo, CA – March 2014: Communications Technology Watch (CommTechWatch.com) is pleased to announce that William Harrel has signed with New York Times-owned About.com to become one of the site’s “Experts”. As About.com’s new Printers & Scanners Expert, Harrel will (as he already does as Contributing Editor for Computer Shopper) cover all aspects of printer and scanner technologies, including product reviews, buying advice, new technologies, and how-tos.

With nearly 25 years as a technology journalist, Harrel has written 20 “computer” books and hundreds articles covering software and hardware for such publications as PC World, Computer Shopper, Compute!, Publish!, Windows Magazine, MacWorld, and several other computer technology sites and magazines.

Averaging over 40 million page views per month, About.com is rated as one of the top 50 visited sites in the United States, and one of the top 100 worldwide.

“The Printers & Scanners section has been neglected for a while and needs considerable updating,” Harrel commented. “I’ll hit the ground running, but it may take a few months to whip it back into shape with current and relevant content. Can’t wait to get started.”

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Epson Expression Photo XP-950 Small-in-One Review and RatingsLately, it seems that every few months Epson is releasing another model in its “Small-in-One” line of compact inkjet all-in-one (AIO) printers. Just a few months before this review, in October 2012, we looked at one of the company’s latest higher-end models, the Expression Premium XP-810 Small-in-One. We found it to be a great little all-around office appliance for families. Our only complaint? This scaled-down five-ink printer was, in terms of cost per page (CPP), just a bit too expensive to use.

Today, we’re looking at a more photo-centric family member, the $349.99-MSRP Expression Photo XP-950 Small-in-One Printer. (When we wrote this in late December 2013, it sold for about $259.99 on the street.) Similar to two of Canon’s higher-end photo inkjets, thePixma MG7120 and Pixma MG6320, this AIO uses a six-ink imaging system. And much like Canon’s six-ink Pixmas, the XP-950 prints exceptional photographs and graphics—and, also like those Canons, this Small-in-One is fairly expensive, on a per-page basis, to use.

Epson Expression Premium XP-950 Small-in-One

A further way the XP-950 resembles those two Canon photo printers is that it has no automatic document feeder (ADF) for scanning and copying multipage documents. Instead, you must feed the scanner one page at a time, which is time-consuming and tedious. Without an ADF, you’ll find that an AIO’s scan and copy functionality is practical only for single-page and relatively small jobs.

The lofty CPP and lack of an ADF aside, the XP-950 performs reasonably well compared to competing models, and it prints snazzy-looking documents and photographs with aplomb. The high CPP, of course, limits its value for printing in any kind of serious volume. If you print hundreds (or even thousands) of pages each month, you’d be far, far better off choosing a much higher-volume, office-centric model with a lower cost per page, such as HP’s OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus. For churning out heavy-duty jobs day to day, this model will cost you a mint to print.

On the other hand, if you need a good photo printer that has the ability to print the occasional business document cleanly, the XP-950 fits that profile, and then some. In addition, it can print on appropriately surfaced CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs, and (as we’ll discuss on the next page), it supports numerous alternative mobile printing channels. And it has an ace up its sleeve compared with most mainstream inkjets: It can also print to 11×17-inch paper, which most inkjets cannot.

Granted, the XP-950 is not meant for serious printing at this size; you have to feed it one oversize page at a time. But if, now and then, you need the occasional outsized image or want to visualize a giant spreadsheet on paper, this is a very handy feature to have in your back pocket.

Above all else, though, this is a photo printer, and a good one.

Read entire review at Computer Shopper.

 

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Canon Pixma MG7120 Review and RatingsAs we’ve noted over the years, when it comes to printing photos on all-in-one (AIO) inkjet printers (that is, multifunction models that can print, copy, and scan), few solutions provide better-looking photographic output than the six-ink imaging systems deployed in a few higher-end, photo-centric Canon Pixmas. (The Pixma MG6320 Wireless Inkjet Photo All-in-One we reviewed back in February 2013 comes to mind.) Hence, we always pay attention when another new model based on this tried-and-proven imaging technology comes along.

Enter Canon’s MG7120 Photo All-in-One Inkjet Printer, the Japanese electronics giant’s latest model based on that detail-rich, vibrant six-ink imaging system. It lists for $199.99 and sells for roughly $149 on the street. Designed for photo enthusiasts and capable of printing exceptional photographs, this AIO also performs basic office functions, such as printing business documents, scanning, and copying.

Canon Pixma MG7120 (Angle View)The key word here is basic, though. Notably, this Pixma lacks an automatic document feeder (ADF) for scanning and copying multipage documents. What this means is that each page of a document must be placed on the scanner bed one at a time, which can be time-consuming and tedious, especially if your original document is two-sided. These days, it’s unusual for a printer in the $200-list price range to come without an ADF onboard.

In addition, the Pixma MG7120 is—in terms of print speed, input and output volume, and cost per page (CPP)—a decidedly low-volume machine. While everything it prints looks good (partly because it uses six discrete, premium inks), what it prints, as you’ll see in the Setup & Paper Handling section later in this review, costs a bit too much to output for our tastes.

Usually, we ding a printer hard for high CPPs, though we do make some provision for photo printers built around five- and six-ink systems. Typically, you would buy one of these photo-centric models only if image printing were more important to you than office-productivity and convenience features. In these cases, as we see it, it’s important that you understand what you’re getting and why.

Canon Pixma MG7120 (Buttoned Up)As we’ve put forth for years, Canon’s six-ink Pixmas print exceptional images. The business documents it prints look good, too, but, compared to the CPP figures we’ve calculated from many other inkjet-based AIOs, they’re also a bit too expensive. In addition, this machine’s lack of an ADF limits its flexibility as a copier or scanner, which is a pity, because the quality of its copies, as we found in our tests, is excellent.

In light of that, be clear on what the Pixma MG7120 is, regardless of its AIO exterior: a photo printer, first and foremost. There’s no denying that the Pixma MG7120 prints stellar photos, but that’s by far the main reason you should consider it.

Read entire review at Computer Shopper.

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2012 Editors' Choice Logo

One of the more interesting stories in the evolution of Android tablets has been the development of Samsung’s popular line of pen-enabled Galaxy Note tablets and smartphones. It started in mid-2012 with the debut of the first Galaxy Note smartphone, which was quickly followed by the Galaxy Note 10.1—a highly impressive full-size tablet with a 10.1-inch screen that brought all sorts of firsts to the Android slate market. (“Full-size” tablets, by our definition, have 8.9-inch or bigger screens. Slates with smaller screens are “compact” models.) One of those big firsts was Samsung’s unique stylus implementation, dubbed the “S Pen.”

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) Low Angle ViewThat was July 2012, and our take on the Galaxy Note 10.1 at the time was that, while the S Pen had lots of potential, it had a ways to go in terms of overall functionality. We did like a whole bunch of other stuff about that tablet, though, starting with the design. This first Galaxy Note tablet was snazzy-looking, befitting its premium price; it had a gorgeous screen; and it introduced several nascent multitasking features, such as the ability to run apps side by side or in floating windows (with the ability to drag-and-drop data between them). That kind of multitasking functionality was simply unavailable on most other Android tablets.

With the subsequent debut of the smaller-screened Galaxy Note 8.0 (back in April 2013), not only had the S Pen made tremendous strides in overall usability, but the multi-window, multitasking apps had also become more robust and, well, useful. In addition, as shown in the image below, Samsung overhauled the surface look of the Android operating system, making it much more colorful and attractive than the standard Android user interface (UI), and much more conducive to multitasking and stylus support in general…

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) UI

This brings us to Samsung’s latest member of the Galaxy Note line, the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition). We find it interesting that though released in 2013, the “2014″ in the name suggests that Samsung thinks this unit will be good for a while. This 2014 Note takes up where the Galaxy Note 8.0 left off, with further-refined S Pen support and more robust multitasking. Indeed, nearly everything else we liked about the Galaxy Note products to begin with has been improved. We’ll delve deeper into the new features and enhancements over the course of this review, but suffice it to say here that, as with the previous iterations of the Galaxy Note hardware and software, we were impressed, and, like its predecessors, this Note is well deserving of our Editors’ Choice nod.

You can buy this new Note in either black or white, as shown in the image below, and choose between one of two storage-capacity options: 32GB (which costs $549.99 list) and 64GB ($599.99 list)…

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) Colors

This is a $50 increase over last year’s 10.1-inch models, but for good reason: With the price boost, you also get double the storage space, compared to 2012’s 16GB and 32GB versions.

At first glance, $550 to $600 for an Android tablet may seem a little steep. (Apple, for one, offered the still-compelling Apple iPad 2 at this writing starting at $399.) But as we said about the Galaxy Note 8.0, these Note slates are not your everyday “me too” Android slates. Nothing, from the heavily (and, we think, effectively) skinned interface, to the highly workable multitasking apps, as well as the nicely integrated S Pen and pen-enabled apps, suggests that the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) is your average Android tablet. It’s a premium product with a premium price, and, as we’ve said about its predecessors, well worth the extra cash.

While the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) may not be for everybody, it’s one of the most practical Android tablets available if you want to use an Android tablet for real productivity work. Whether you use it for work or play, it’s a sheer pleasure to use.

Read full review at Computer Shopper.

 

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Epson Expression Premium XP-810 Small-in-One Printer Review and RatingsIt’s been almost a year now since we reviewed and raved about Epson’s flagship all-in-one inkjet printer, the Expression Premium XP-800 Small-in-One. It was fast; it had a remarkable feature set for so small a device; and it printed stunning-looking images and business documents. It was, as we noted at the time, a remarkable piece of engineering with just one flaw (albeit, a significant one): It cost too much to use.

Here in October 2013, Epson sent us the XP-800’s replacement to evaluate, the $229-list Expression Premium XP-810 Small-in-One Printer. On the whole, the XP-810 is the XP-800 reheated, with a few cosmetic changes and a $50-lower suggested retail price. However, this new Small-in-One has the same ink-inflation issue as its predecessor, which kept it from winning our Editors’ Choice nod. It uses the same ink cartridges as the XP-800, with the same projected yields. That means it also rings up the same high cost per page (CPP).

Epson Expression Premium XP-810 Small-in-One PrinterThat really is too bad, because otherwise, like the XP-800 before it, we really liked this highly attractive little dynamo. As mentioned, it’s loaded with features, among them an auto-duplexing document feeder (ADF) for scanning, copying, and faxing two-sided documents unassisted, as well as the ability to print labels on appropriately surfaced recordable CD and DVD discs. When it comes right down to it, there’s not much this little all-in-one can’t do—and what it does do, it does well.

Don’t mistake this for a business printer, however, or a model meant for reams of text-document output. Like the XP-800, the XP-810 is above all a photo printer, and like most photo-centric models, its per-page cost of ink is higher than that of many business-oriented AIOs. That said, as we also noted about last year’s model, the cost per page (CPP) is even higher than most other photo printers, too. That issue—the soaring per-page cost of ink—is our only real complaint about this AIO.

But it’s a really big one that, unfortunately, relegates this otherwise impressive piece of hardware to our long list of good “occasional-use” AIOs. In other words, it’s a great printer as long as you don’t print a lot. Compared to several somewhat pricier, higher-volume inkjet AIOs, such as HP’s $399-list OfficeJet Pro 276dw Multifunction Printer, the more you use this machine, the more it will cost you. (We’ll talk more about this model’s CPP in the Setup & Paper Handling section, later on.)

Still, there’s a lot to like about the XP-810: It’s attractive and compact, it prints well (especially photos), and it comes loaded with connectivity options, making it a great match for light-printing small and home offices that need to print often from mobile devices. It works, too, for offices that need immaculate photo and document output, as long as the cost of printing them is not a primary—or even secondary—concern.

Read full review at Computer Shopper.

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OKI MC362w Review and RatingsWe assume that when a small office or workgroup spends $500 or $600 on a color laser-class multifunction workhorse (for printing, scanning, copying, and faxing) with a high recommended output rating, the point is, well, to use it. If you buy a machine that has a high duty cycle (that is, the number of pages the manufacturer says you can print each month without unduly stressing the machine), you intend to churn out thousands of prints and photocopies each month. Otherwise, why spend so much money on such a high-volume machine, right?

As we’ve pointed out many times in past reviews of high-volume laser printers, when considering high-volume models, such as the subject of this review, OKI’s $549-list MC362w, a laser-class multifunction model, the up-front purchase price should seldom be your first concern—especially if you plan on using it at or anywhere near its monthly duty cycle. As you’ll see in our Setup & Paper Handling section a little later in this review, a far more important consideration when buying a mid- or high-volume workhorse is the operating cost per page (CPP). Failure to mind this ongoing expense could cost you hundreds, even thousands, of dollars more than necessary over the life of the printer. No exaggeration.

OKI MC362wBefore we go on, though, perhaps you’ve noticed that we’ve referred to the MC362w as a “laser-class” printer, as opposed to simply a laser printer. That’s because this machine relies on LED technology, rather than the more conventional laser apparatus. The difference between these devices centers on the basic print technology. Instead of using a laser to charge the page image onto the print drum, LED-based machines use an array of light-emitting diodes to do that work. Printer makers substitute LEDs for lasers because they have fewer moving parts, are smaller and lighter, and cost less to manufacture. Otherwise, LED models operate much the same as laser printers do, including how they use toner.

OKI MC362w Front

Although an LED printer is technically not a laser printer, it looks and acts very much like one. Historically, small and home offices have chosen laser and laser-class printers over inkjet models because they print faster and cost less to use over time, despite their somewhat heftier up-front purchase price. Nowadays, though—due to the introduction of high-volume, low-cost-per-page inkjets—you typically have to buy a relatively pricey, high-volume color laser printer to see a speed or per-page-cost benefit. Many lower-volume, lower-cost color lasers no longer have the performance and CPP advantages over their inkjet counterparts. In fact, they sometimes cost more to use.

Furthermore, recent advances in inkjet technology, such as the fixed PageWide printhead in HP’s OfficeJet X line of high-volume printers, have placed even more pressure on entry-level and midrange laser-class machines like this OKI. (See, for example, our review of the HP OfficeJet Pro X576dw.)  And that’s especially true of the MC362w, which is a lower-end, lower-volume model of a pair of multifunction machines OKI debuted recently. The other, the $749-list MC562w, not only has a higher recommended monthly duty cycle (60,000 pages), but it also supports higher-yield toner cartridges than the MC362w does—which translates into a lower CPP.

And that’s our primary quibble with this laser-class machine: By today’s standards, it costs too much to use on an ongoing basis. Apart from that, though, it performed well on our benchmark tests, and, while, out of the box, it didn’t print photos as well as several laser-class devices we’ve tested, its overall print and copy quality was respectable. It comes with nearly every productivity and convenience option we can think of, and it feels very much like it’s built to last.

We like the OKI MC362dw for small offices and workgroups that require fast and dependable laser output, but at relatively low volumes. If you plan to print a lot, there are better values out there, including OKI’s own MC562w. (See a review of the OKI MC562w on our sister site, PCMag.com.)

Read full review at Computer Shopper.

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Epson Expression Home XP-410 Small-in-One Printer Review and RatingsThe market for all-in-one (AIO) inkjets really is a fickle place. A couple of years ago, several models from Kodak (and a few other manufacturers) suggested the end of a long-running trend: specifically, selling entry-level printers at rock-bottom prices, then compensating by charging exorbitantly for the ink. For a while there, we were seeing under-$150 printers with costs per page (CPPs) of about 3 cents for black-and-white pages and under 10 cents for color. It appeared that small and home offices were finally going to get a break.

Alas, here we are in mid-2013. Kodak’s out of the printer picture, due to a recent bankruptcy. Dell and Lexmark have quit the inkjet-printer market altogether. And the survivors, notably HP, Canon, and Epson, are introducing some of the costliest-to-use entry-level AIOs we’ve seen. Case in point is HP’s recently debuted Envy 5530 e-All-in-One Printer. (We have a review of it in the works.) When you use the company’s standard-yield ink tanks, it costs over 9 cents per black-and-white page, and over 20 cents per for color—yikes!

Epson Expression Home XP-410 Small-in-OneThat brings us to the subject of this review, Epson’s $99.99-list Expression Home XP-410 Small-in-One Printer—another entry-level AIO with, alas, astronomical per-page costs. We’ll discuss that issue in some detail in the Setup & Paper Handling section a little later in this review. But those costs, really, are the most important news here.

Why? No matter how strong this printer’s feature set, no matter how well it prints or how quickly, the fact that this AIO costs so much to use relegates it to an occasional-use machine. Prospective inkjet buyers who need to use their printer frequently would be better off paying more—perhaps as much as $100 more—to get a printer with a cheaper per-page cost of ink. Period.

That said, the XP-410 does churn out fine-looking business documents and photographs, and it performed well on our print-speed benchmarks for a printer in this price range. True to its Small-in-One name, it’s light and compact, which makes it easy to situate in even the most cramped home offices. And, despite somewhat flimsy-feeling input and output trays, it feels well-built.

Unlike a few other AIOs in this class, though, it lacks an automatic document feeder (ADF) for scanning and copying multipage documents, and it can’t print two-sided pages without user intervention—meaning that you’ll have to turn the pages over yourself to print the other side (and pay attention to the document order). While neither of these missing features is standard fare on under-$100 machines, some models do provide them. Whether or not this is a deal-breaker depends on how you plan to use the printer. Having both features can save time and frustration if you’ll use your printer for light business/home-office tasks. (And even if not, they’re nice to have, just in case.)

Epson Expression Home XP-410 Small-in-One Front ViewWe recognize that many small and home offices print less and less all the time, relying on their printers as standby machines. From that point of view, the Expression Home XP-410 Small-in-One works for us—as an occasional-use AIO for printing or copying a handful of documents or photos each month. For heavier duty, though, you can and should do better.

See full review at Computer Shopper.

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