It 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.
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.
We’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.)
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.
We review lots of all-in-one printers here at Computer Shopper, so when a model comes along with a something-you-don’t-see-everyday distinction, we sit up and take notice—not the least because it takes us away from the usual grind of feeding reams of paper for testing. Thus our enthusiasm for the HP OfficeJet 150 Mobile All-in-One, which we spotted for the first time a few weeks back at an HP event in Shanghai.
The OfficeJet 150 Mobile All-in-One is, by far, the smallest and lightest multifunction (print, copy, and scan) device we’ve seen. It’s based on inkjet technology, and it may be small, but the price is, alas, big. At $399, its price equals those of the costliest high-volume consumer AIO inkjet printers available, such as the immensely versatile $399 Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4540.
Admittedly, that comparison is a bit of stretch, since those are two very different printers for very different uses. The point is, though, you can buy a lot of inkjet-printer oomph for $400, and the OfficeJet 150 Mobile is, on the oomph scale, not much of a printer at all. Instead, its intended niche is the mobile road warrior—as a small, lightweight take-along companion to your notebook or tablet. The idea is that with the OfficeJet 150 Mobile, you can carry a device on which you can print, copy, or scan documents no matter where you travel.
As a mobile device, the OfficeJet 150 Mobile serves its intended purpose reasonably well. Not only is it very compact, it also comes with a lithium-ion battery, allowing you to use it away from an AC power outlet. Plus, it supports Bluetooth, so you can connect to it wirelessly. It lacks support for traditional networking (Wi-Fi or Ethernet), though. We think that including at least Wi-Fi connectivity would have been a nice touch, especially considering how light and small wireless radios are nowadays. (Even the smallest smartphones support Wi-Fi, after all.)
In addition, we had a few paper-feed mishaps during our print tests, and we found a few of the OfficeJet 150 Mobile’s functions a little confusing. (We’ve got more about this in the Setup & Paper Handling section, later on.) Still, we have to give HP credit for trying something different here, and for attempting to fill a niche not yet addressed.
Our take? If you need to print, scan, and fax on the road, the OfficeJet Pro 150 Mobile will do that for you, but you might want to spend some time making sure you know how to use it before you whip it out in front of a client or would-be client. We spent more time with the manual, learning to use this device, than with any other product in quite some time.
Our biggest concern, though, is the price. A big $400 is no small investment for most business travelers. Also disconcerting is this OfficeJet’s cost per page (CPP). As you’ll see in the Design & Features section, in addition to its high purchase price, this model will continue to cost you plenty, in terms of ink, as you use it.
In short, this is a convenience product, and such products usually require some serious consideration before plunking down hundreds of bucks. Here’s our take on the unusual OfficeJet 150 Mobile from our days with the device.
See the review at Computer Shopper.
Sure, you can buy all-in-one (AIO) printers in the $100 range that have stronger feature sets than Kodak’s entry-level ESP machines. But you’d be hard pressed to find models that turn out better print quality for the money—especially at one of the lowest per-page operational costs, or costs per page (CPPs), in this class. Like the discontinued Kodak ESP 3 and the more recent ESP C310 (which we reviewed in March 2011), Kodak’s new-for-2012 ESP 3.2 delivers reliably good-looking output, and it does so without mercilessly flogging your wallet each time you replace the ink cartridges.
When you spend less than $100 for an inkjet AIO printer, you can’t expect a speed demon with a bunch of high-end ease-of-use features. In this price range, you’ll need to settle on a model with strengths that meet your specific needs. As a baseline, any entry-level AIO you’re short-listing at should at least print, copy, and scan at a quality level that meets your needs. Beyond that most crucial consideration, you’ll have to weigh and balance the rest of its features.
For example, several models in this price range come with automatic document feeders (ADF) for scanning, copying, and (on those AIOs that support it) faxing multipage documents. Canon’s $99.99 Pixma MX432, as well as Brother’s $99.99 MFC-J430w, for instance, both have ADFs, and they can fax. Like the ESP C310 before it, the ESP 3.2 has neither feature. But then again, you’ll pay more per-page—which, depending on how much you print, adds up quickly—with both the Canon and Brother models (especially the Canon).
Our primary complaint about the ESP C310 was its slower-than-average print times on our business-document benchmark tests, especially in Normal mode, the setting at which most users print most documents. This new ESP printed our test pages significantly faster overall than the ESP C310, and, on most documents, it churned them out quicker than some other recent models in this price range. Not that we’d call the ESP 3.2 fast—hardly. But, for the most part, it meets or exceeds the print times of most comparably priced competitors.
Because it lacks an ADF, this model is less than ideal for small-business environments. It’s much better suited to home use. We always give a printer high marks for low CPPs, though, especially when most everything else—document print quality, photo print quality, ease of use, reliability, and so on—is equal to or better than competing models. The ESP 3.2 delivers in these areas, and it does so at a relatively low daily operational cost.
We are seldom enthusiastic enough about low-cost AIOs to award them our Editors’ Choice nod, but, like the ESP C310, this one is an exception. We have no qualms recommending it as a low-volume consumer-grade machine. If you do use it to print a lot of documents and photos, though, it will do so less expensively than nearly every other multifunction device in this price range.
See the review at Computer Shopper.
Few, if any, printer manufacturers are as prolific as Canon. The last time we counted, the company offered upward of 15 models in its Pixma line of consumer-grade and business-centric all-in-one (AIO) machines, ranging in price from $70 to $300. These include both Pixma MG (consumer photo-centric) and MX (home-office and small-business) models. The primary distinctions between these two lines are that the MX models support faxing and have automatic document feeders (ADF) for copying, scanning, and faxing multipage documents; the MG models don’t fax and have single-sheet scanners.
In general, the higher any AIO’s price, of course, the more features you get, and, theoretically, the faster the printer. Hence, that places the recently debuted $199.99 Pixma MX892 at the top of the pecking order of Canon’s business-ready Pixmas. Feature-wise, this new Pixma easily provides the value you’d expect from a $200 AIO. It comes with, for example, an auto-duplexing ADF, for copying, faxing, and scanning two-sided documents automatically, as well as an auto-duplexing print engine for producing two-sided pages without user intervention.
Nearly every Pixma we’ve looked at has produced great-looking documents and photos, but Canon has fallen behind its competitors in two key areas: print speed and cost per page (CPP). Several manufacturers, such as HP, Brother, and Lexmark, offer competing models that print considerably faster than the Pixma MX892, and they do so while providing much lower operational costs, meaning that on a per-print basis, their ink cartridges cost much less.
Where Pixmas, including this one, shine, however, is in output quality, copy and scan reproduction, and ease of use. They are typically simple to set up and install, and you can depend on them to work properly and provide you with output that will make your company look good. (We did experience a significant installation mishap with this one, though, as described in the Setup & Paper Handling section later on.)
Considering the Pixma MX892′s sluggish print speeds and high CPP, we can’t recommend it if your needs include heavy-duty printing. Several models, such as HP’s $169.99 OfficeJet 6700 Premium, or better yet, its higher-priced $299.99 OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus, are better suited for offices that need to print a high volume of pages per week—say, more than about 50 or so. If you don’t print a lot, though, and need exceptional quality when you do, the Pixma MX892 will serve you well.
See the review at Computer Shopper.
It wasn’t long ago that inkjet printers with the ability to print oversize pages (up to 11×17 inches, often called “ledger” or “wide-format”) were specialty devices that commanded premium prices—as much as $500, or more. Over the past year or so, though, we’ve seen a few all-in-one (AIO) models, such as Brother’s $299.99 MFC-J6710DW, that not only print ledger-size pages, but can also copy, scan, and fax them. This is a handy advantage for small businesses, seeing as it can eliminate time-consuming trips to the local FedEx outlet when you need oversize prints.
While printer giant Epson has offered single-function wide-format inkjet printers for some time now, the recent debut of two models in the company’s WorkForce line of business-ready AIOs shows a different approach. The $249.99 WF-7510 and $299.99 WF-7520 (the model we review here) are Epson’s first multifunction (print, copy, scan, and fax) machines that support oversize input and output. The WF-7510 and WF-7520 are essentially the same machine, with identical features and performance; the $50 price premium on the WF-7520 simply gets you a second 250-sheet paper tray.
The WF-7520 is an attractive, well-built machine, and it performed similarly to other higher-end WorkForce models, such as the Epson WorkForce 845, on our benchmark tests. We were a bit surprised, however, that the duplexing automatic document feeder (ADF) worked with documents only up to standard letter-size. (This ADF allows for unassisted two-sided scanning or copying of pages.) Unlike Brother’s MFC-J6710DW, which can automatically scan, copy, and fax two-sided wide-format pages, the WF-7520 cannot. It can, however, print pages up to 13×19 inches, which is two inches wider and longer than the ledger-size media (11×17 inches) supported by most competing models, and the largest print size of any AIO we know of.
The extra two inches of output width will be a handy occasional-use convenience feature for many buyers, but bear in mind that output at this size (or any size) with this printer comes at a (very literal) price. That’s because the WF-7520 has one of the highest per-page operational costs, or cost per page (CPP) ratings among business-centric AIOs. In nontechnical language, that means its ink cartridges are relatively expensive on a per-print basis. Since Epson builds and markets the WF-7520 as a device meant for high-volume output, we insist that its cost per page should be more competitive. (More on that in the Setup & Paper Handling section, later on.)
The high CPP aside, though, this is an impressive AIO printer. We weathered a few minor bumps with paper feeding and high-quality photograph printing during our tests, but overall this AIO performed well, with exceptional print-output, scan, and copy quality. It’s loaded with the features that most small businesses need, and it churns out documents that any company would be proud to distribute to clients and would-be clients. In fact, it did a bunch of things, namely printing, scanning, and copying photographs, better than Brother’s wide-format offering.
If quality is more important to your company than a lowest-possible daily operational cost, the WF-7520 belongs on your shopping shortlist. It turns out some of the best-looking documents and images we’ve seen from a business AIO, wide-format or otherwise.
See review at Computer Shopper.
Do you remember when single-function inkjet printers—yes, once all printers did was print—sold for about $80? We do…and it wasn’t all that long ago. In those days, multifunction printers (machines that could print, copy, scan, and fax) started at about $300; they were slow, and, generally speaking, their print quality wasn’t all that great. All that has changed now. Despite the state of the economy here in 2012, good old-fashioned competition in the printer industry continues to bring us remarkable deals.
Take, for example, Canon’s $79.99 Pixma MX372, the least expensive in a set of three under-$150 all-in-one (AIO) business-centric inkjets the company has rolled out here in the first half of 2012. Like the other two in the bunch (the $99.99 Pixma MX432 and the $149.99 Pixma MX512, both of which we reviewed earlier this year), the MX372 not only prints, but it also copies, scans, and faxes. On paper—no pun intended—that’s a great deal for $80.
Because the Pixma MX372 is the least expensive in this pack of three, it naturally has the fewest features. For instance, for the $20 you’d save between it and the Pixma MX432, the next model up, you give up the ability to print over Wi-Fi networks, as well as support for printing directly from PictBridge-enabled USB devices and USB memory sticks. And for the $70 difference between the MX372 and the MX512, Canon works in automatic duplexing (that is, support for printing two-sided pages without user intervention), a 2.5-inch color LCD, and support for most popular memory devices.
Of these three models, the MX372 is, relatively speaking, the basic, bare-bones machine. Then again, it’s pretty tough to call a device that provides so many office functions—as well as an automatic document feeder (ADF) for scanning, copying, and faxing multipage documents—bare-bones. But that’s what it is—a stripped-down version of the other two higher-priced models. It has the same innards, or print engine, uses the same ink cartridges, and it prints, copies, and scans at similar speeds.
Being the same on the inside, of course, also means that it prints and reproduces documents and photographs at the same exceptional level of quality as its higher-priced siblings—though, along with that, it also shares the same high per-page cost of ink. In every sense, the Pixma MX372 is a personal AIO, designed primarily for use by one user who needs hassle-free, high-quality prints, copies, and scans. It’s not a high-volume workhorse designed to churn out hundreds of pages every day. Considering its exceptionally low price and wide range of functions, as well as its print, copy, and scan quality, this is one instance where we won’t squawk—too loudly, that is—about per-page printing costs. Still, this model makes sense only if your print and copy volume is low.
Read the review at Computer Shopper.
You have to love it when a manufacturer releases a great printer/copier/fax/scanner—a model that prints well, prints fast, and has all the productivity and convenience options a small or home-based business needs—for $100 less than the model it replaces. And it’s even better when the price reduction is the only significant change: All the original features and quality are still there, but the printer costs a third less!
We’re talking about Epson’s $199.99 WorkForce 845, which replaces 2011′s $299.99 WorkForce 840. As far as we can tell (and we looked long and hard), the WorkForce 845 is essentially the same all-in-one (AIO) inkjet we saw last year, right down to the print engine and ink cartridges it uses. Better yet, to sweeten the pot, Epson has thrown in support for Google Cloud Print, iPrint.com, and the company’s own Epson Connect Email Print service.
The WorkForce 845 is a high-volume all-in-one (AIO) inkjet along the same lines as HP’s $299.99 OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus and Lexmark’s $249 OfficeEdge Pro4000 laser-busters. Like those more expensive models, it prints near-laser-quality documents at laser-like speeds, and it goes the HP and Lexmark AIOs one better by providing dual 250-sheet input drawers, which offers a wider range of volume and paper-handling options. (A second drawer on the OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus will cost you an additional $79.99, and you can purchase a second 500-sheet drawer for the Lexmark for $179.99.)
Unfortunately, the 845 also has its predecessor’s warts—or wart, we should say. Since it uses the same ink cartridges, which Epson still sells at a premium price, this AIO is a bit expensive to use. Other inkjet manufacturers have made significant cost-per-page (CPP) reductions, not only on high-volume printers but across the board. (See the “Setup & Paper Handling” section of this review for more.)
Aside from the WorkForce 845′s inflated CPP, we really liked this all-in-one. During our tests, it printed great-looking business documents and photos at respectable speeds. Its reproduction quality on our copy and scan tests was exceptional. And as you’ll see in the next section, feature-wise, it wants for nothing. One of the advantages of high-volume AIOs, however, should be that they provide day-to-day value—hundreds, even thousands of pages each month without exorbitant per-page ink costs.
Read the review at Computer Shopper.
Compared with even just a year or so ago, the all-in-one (AIO) inkjet printers available today are nothing short of incredible bargains. Lately, we’ve seen under-$200 models, such as Brother’s $199.99 MFC-J5910DW and Epson’s $199.99 WorkForce 845, come packed silly with productivity and convenience features. Options that would have easily bumped up the price to $300 or more last year are now standard fare.
Case in point is HP’s $169.99 OfficeJet 6700 Premium e-All-in-One, an entry-level, business-centric multifunction machine that, feature-wise, comes close to rivaling HP’s higher-end $299.99 OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus. (This model can print, copy, scan, and fax.) At this price, it is, of course, a lower-volume machine, and it makes you give up a few features, notably the ability to print from a variety of memory cards. It also lacks any duplexing hardware, for unassisted scanning, copying, and faxing of two-sided, multipage documents. But then, not all small and home offices need these features.
The OfficeJet 6700 Premium is a little slower than its high-volume sibling, but not significantly so. It’s also smaller, making it more attractive to home businesses where space is an issue. Unlike the OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus, this model will fit comfortably on most desktops. Individuals who need a full-featured AIO might also find it a suitable personal printer.
Unlike the OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus, though, this model, as you’ll see in the Setup & Paper Handling section of this review, is somewhat expensive to use. Its per-page cost of ink is not only higher than the OfficeJet 8600 Plus’, but also some other HP models, as well as several competitors’ machines, such as Brother’s MFC-J5910DW and Kodak’s $199.99 Office Hero 6.1.
The trend of late among inkjet AIO makers, including HP, has been to offer models with relatively low—at least, compared with this time last year—per-page printing costs. Alas, the cost per page (CPP) makes this model a bit of disappointment. If it didn’t perform so well, we’d have trouble recommending it. This OfficeJet churned out great-looking business documents and respectable photographs throughout our benchmark tests, and its copies and scans looked good. Overall, it’s a great little printer, but today’s competition is stiff. Businesses that care more about exceptional output and performance than economical operational costs will like this printer, but mind those printing costs if you’ll print a lot.
Read the review at Computer Shopper.
Looking for an inexpensive printer? With this review, you’re in the right neighborhood, because few, if any, computer manufacturers offer more entry-level all-in-one (AIO) printers than Canon does. Case in point is the company’s 2012 rollout of not just one but three business-centric Pixma MX models under $150. (The “MX” designates Canon’s business-centric printers.)
We have on hand all three: the $79.99 Pixma MX372 (our review’s in the works), the $99.99 Pixma MX432 (reviewed here), and the $149.99 Pixma MX512 (reviewed at the link). While these three budget-priced printers vary widely in features, each one supports the basic functions you’d expect from any AIO: printing, copying, scanning, and faxing.
Canon’s typical approach, when releasing a bunch of similarly priced models like this, is to apply a graduated set of features across them, according to price. For example, the difference between our $99.99 Pixma MX432 and the $149.99 MX512 is that, for the additional $50, you get a 2.5-inch color LCD, support for printing from most popular memory devices, automatic duplexing (that is, the ability to print two-sided pages without user intervention), and a few other productivity and convenience features. In short, as the price goes up, the feature list expands.
Were you to step down to the $79.99 Pixma MX372, for the $20 savings you’d give up wireless (Wi-Fi) connectivity and support for printing from PictBridge-compliant USB 2.0 devices. (As you might guess from the price, it’s a pretty basic printer.) Aside from these feature disparities, though, these three models are essentially the same inside their shells, with identical print engines and other internal mechanisms. The print quality and print speeds on all three are about the same.
As for that print quality and speed, the MX432, like the MX512 we tested recently, prints excellent-looking business documents and photos, mostly a little slower than average for a printer in this price range. Also like with the higher-priced MX512, the MX432′s ink costs a lot, if you measure the per-page cost. (These two Pixmas use the same ink cartridges.)
If you use your printer often, this model’s cost per page (CPP) will make doing so expensive. With that in mind, this AIO is a good choice only if your small or home office has low-volume copy and print requirements. If you can live with the high cost per page, though, the prints and copies you do get from this model will make you happy. In our tests, they were generally of exceptional quality.
See the full review at Computer Shopper.