Canon Pixma MG7520 Photo All-in-One Review and RatingsIn Canon’s product argot, “MG” stands for photo printer, and we must be coming up on the holidays—a host of new MG printers have hit the market, and there’s no better time to use ’em.

The printer giant has released its perennial round of updates to its Pixma all-in-one (AIO) photo printers, starting with the entry-level ($99.99 MSRP) Pixma MG5620 which we’re in the process of reviewing. After that comes the midrange Pixma MG6620 ($149.99 MSRP, also on the test bench), and finally the topic of this review, the $199.99 Pixma MG7520 Photo All-in-One Inkjet Printer. These newest models replace the Pixma MG5520MG6320, and MG7120, respectively, and, like their predecessors and their predecessors’ predecessors, they’re a lot like the previous ones. In this particular printer’s case, though, we saw a few interesting feature updates and add-ons, a bit more than the usual annual spit-and-polish dressing-up.

Canon Pixma MG7520 (Angle View)As the top dog in Canon’s “MG” class of Photo All-in-One Pixmas, the Pixma MG7520 uses the same six-ink imaging system as last year’s equivalent model, the Pixma MG7120. And that’s a good thing. As we’ve maintained for a while now, when it comes to printing photos, few consumer-grade AIOs are as capable as these six-ink Pixmas. Close behind, though, are Epson’s and HP’s five- and six-ink models, such as the six-ink Expression Photo XP-950 Small-in-One and HP’s five-ink Photosmart 7520 e-All-in-One Printer.

Unsurprisingly, like its predecessors, this Pixma prints excellent photos, some of the best we’ve seen from a consumer-grade desktop printer, and, equally predictably, it does so slowly and dearly—the latter in terms of the cost per page (CPP). Alas, like many earlier photo-optimized Pixmas, the MG7520’s CPP is too high to justify using it very much for document printing, only for occasional use.

Also, technically (since it can scan and make copies) the MG7520 is an AIO printer, but it has some shortfalls there. Aside from single-function photo printers, this is one of very few AIOs in the $200-list-price range without an automatic document feeder (ADF) for feeding multipage documents to the scanner without assistance. If you’ve ever scanned or copied multipage documents without an ADF, you know how tedious and time-consuming dealing with one sheet at a time can be.

Canon Pixma MG7520As we’ve said about numerous Canon six-ink photo printers, without question, in terms of print quality, this is one great photo printer, and its document pages stand out, too. Granted, it’s a little slower than some of its competitors, and, like we said, the CPP is too high. (But, then, so are the CPPs of most other photo printers.)

Above all else, know that this is a niche, or hobbyist, machine. We like it a lot as a photo printer, but caution you again that it’s not an efficient document printer, either in terms of speed or per-page cost. Though the documents that it does print look darn good.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.

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Epson Expression Premium XP-820 Small-in-One Review and RatingsOver the years, Canon’s five- and six-ink printers, such as the Pixma MG7120 and Pixma MG6320 (or this year’s Pixma MG7520 and MG6620, which we’re in the process of reviewing), have acquired a well-earned reputation for high-quality output—especially for printing photos. Perhaps not as well-known for their photo output, but arguably as good at printing images and documents, are Epson’s midrange and top-of-the line Small-in-One models. Two that excel are the six-ink Expression Photo XP-950 Small-in-One, and the subject of this review, the five-ink, $199.99-MSRP Expression Premium XP-820 Small-in-One All-in-One Printer. (Now there’sa mouthful.)

The Expression Premium XP-820 is the third in its lineage, after the Expression Premium XP-800 we reviewed back in November 2012, and the XP-810 we looked at late last year. Apart from some feature updates and add-ons, primarily in the areas of mobile and cloud printing, the XP-810 was much like the XP-800, and in turn, this year’s XP-820 looks and prints much like its predecessors. To our eyes, the biggest difference from year to year has been pricing.

Epson Expression Premium XP-820 Small-in-OneWith an MSRP of $229.99, the XP-810, for instance, was about $50 cheaper than the XP-800, and this year’s XP-820, at $199.99 list, is $30 lower still. On top of that, it was selling, on average, for much less—$130 to $150 street price—from several resellers when we wrote this. Typically, price reductions like these suggest that the printer might not have been selling well enough at the earlier pricing. If that’s true, that’s a shame, because all three are (or were) very good printers.

It’s probably not just the purchase price holding this printer back, though. Like the XP-800 and XP-810 before it, as well as most of Epson’s other Small-in-One models, the XP-820 is expensive to maintain, in terms of its cost per page (CPP). Most other photo printers are, too. Canon’s closest equivalent printer, the $149.99-list, five-ink Pixma MG6620, delivers a slightly lower CPP when printing in color. But the XP-820 excels in certain other areas, such as by providing an auto-duplexing automatic document feeder (ADF) for scanning, copying, and faxing double-sided originals.

While the Pixma MG6620 does have a scanner for making copies (or for straight-up scanning to your computer or to a memory device), it has no ADF, which makes processing multipage documents, especially dual-sided multipage documents, much more tedious and time-consuming. In that regard (as well as for its support for a wider range of flash-memory cards and devices), the XP-820 is a better choice.

Epson Expression Premium XP-820 Small-in-One (Front)As we said about 2013’s Expression Premium XP-810, the XP-820 is compact and attractive; it prints well (especially for photographs); and it comes loaded with deep features for PC-free, cloud, and mobile printing. Together, that makes it a great match for light-printing small and home offices that need to print often from smartphones, tablets, and laptops. It works for us as a photo printer, too, but despite all of the office-friendly features, its CPPs are too high for office environments that print or copy more than a couple of hundred pages each month.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.

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Content Galore, and More, with Printer AppsI don’t’ know whether you’ve noticed it or not, but over the past few years our printers have gotten a lot smarter. Surely you’ve heard of “hands-free” smartphone operation for your car? Over the last five years, or so, a relatively new phenomenon—PC-free operation—has come to a multifunction or single-function printer near you. No longer are you, due in large part to small apps on your printer that allow you to snag and print content from literally all over the Internet, relegated to just simple scans and copies executed from the control panel.

Nowadays, printers act a lot like computers.

For this to happen, for your printer to reach out and download, well, essentially, documents from the Internet, the machine in question needs, quite simply, must contain the ability to browse Web. What it needs, in a sense, is its own built-in Web browser.

Read the entire review at About.com.

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Calibrating Your Monitor to Your PrinterIf you’ve installed many printers at all, then you’ve probably noticed that some of them, especially the higher-end models, run a calibration routine the first time you turn them on. Well, that’s not the same thing. What we’re talking about here is adjusting your monitor so that what you see on the screen resembles as closely as possible what rolls out of the printer—what you see is what you get, or WYSIWYG (pronounced wiz-e-wig).

In some environments, such as digital photography, desktop publishing, and graphics design, where what you create on the computer is, in a sense, recreated by the printer, this calibration, the matching of monitor output to printer output, is critical. So much so, in fact, that if you are in a profession that requires meticulous color matching, I suggest that you also check out this About.com Desktop Publishing “Calibrate Your Printer” article.

Read the entire review at About.com.

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Canon Pixma MG5620 Wireless Inkjet Photo All-in-OneAbout.com Rating    3 1/2 

When you think of photo printers, which printer maker comes to mind? HP? Canon? Epson? Well, while they all make decent photo printers, when I think photo printers, more often than not, I thinkCanon—a name associated with quality imaging for as long as I can remember (and I’m here to tell you, that’s quite a long time). In fact, I’ve said here (and several other places on the Internet) that few, if any, photo-optimized consumer-grade machines print photos as well as Canon’s 6-ink Pixmas.

Today, though, we’re talking about a 5-ink Pixma, Canon’s $99.99 (MSRP) Pixma MG5620 Wireless Inkjet Photo All-in-One, part of a trio of Photo All-in-Ones (AIOs) the Japanese imaging giant debuted recently. The other two were the $149.99-list, 5-inkPixma MG6620 and the $199.99-list, 6-ink Pixma MG7520. As the cheapest of the three, the MG5620, as you’d imagine, comes, compared to the other two models, stripped down, lacking what many people may consider important convenience and productivity features.

Read the entire review at About.com

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Cleaning Your Printer’s PrintheadsEverything needs to be maintained, including all those electronic devices deployed in your home-based office or workplace. And few devices require more attention than your inkjet printer. Whether you use your printer a lot, or hardly at all, you have to change ink cartridge, and/or clean the printhead now and then.

Believe it or don’t, an inkjet printer that sits, especially for long periods, idle will require printhead cleaning more often than one that gets used frequently. If a cartridge doesn’t have ink passing through it now and then, the ink in them dries out, clogging the print nozzles, where the ink is actually applied to the paper. If a set of cartridges sits idle for too long, the nozzles may clog to the point of no return, and no amount of cleaning will unclog them.

Read the entire review at About.com.

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Brother MFC-J5620DW Review and RatingsSeveral of the top printer makers—Canon, Epson, and HP—have come out with, taken together, a profusion of budget-minded wide-format printers here in 2014. But if the number of different wide-format models is any measure, Brother’s commitment to this trend is the biggest of all.

In one way or another, each of the machines in Brother’s Business Smart line, such as the ever-popular MFC-J4610DW, as well as the Business Smart Pro series, including the MFC-J6920DW, all print tabloid-size (11×17-inch) pages.

While most of the Brother Business Smart models support printing just one tabloid-size page at a time (through a rear override slot), most of the Business Smart Pro all-in-ones (AIOs), such as the MFC-J6920DW, ship with two paper drawers, and at least one of them holds wide-format paper.

In between these two product lines, though, is Brother’s Business Smart Plus family of printers, and the subject of this review, the $199.99-list MFC-J5620DW. This model, and the line, is an average of the ones above and below. In the case of the MFC-J5620DW, it comes with only one paper drawer, but as we’ll discuss in some detail later on, this AIO lets you print tabloid pages through both that main paper drawer and a rear input slot.

Brother MFC-J5620DW (Angle View)Aside from the tabloid-size printing, the MFC-J5620DW’s feature set is about what you’d expect from a $200 business printer. We appreciated the 35-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF), though we’d have liked it even more had it been an auto-duplexing mechanism, for scanning multipage, two-sided originals without our help. And, as we’ll get into in the last section of this review, occasionally the graphics output looked a little less than perfect, but the rest of the print quality was on the whole excellent.

The imperfections we saw were the kind you really have to really look for, though, and most people probably wouldn’t notice them. And balancing that out, this AIO stands out in another key area, besides tabloid printing: cost per page (CPP). The MFC-J5620DW delivers the very lowest CPPs we’ve seen from an under-$200 multifunction printer. We’re pretty sure it has the lowest CPPs we’ve seen from a wide-format-capable model, too. (If it isn’t, it’s very close, on both accounts.)

In fact, aside from Brother’s recent Business Smart Pro series models, we don’t often see high-volume inkjets with CPPs this low—not unless the AIO costs at least $300 to $400. (Epson’s recently released $299.99-MSRP WorkForce Pro WF-4630 All-in-One comes to mind, but, alas, it doesn’t support wide-format printing.)

Brother MFC-J5620DW (Left View)When you’re evaluating an inkjet meant for business, remember that it will probably have to churn out more pages than most home printers will. So a realistic ongoing operational cost weighs heavily in our overall assessment, and it should in yours, too. But a low CPP is not all that the MFC-J5620DW has going for it. For what it does (as you’ll see on the next page), it’s not a hulking, beastly printer—it’s relatively small and light.

On the whole, if high-volume inkjet output at a decent cost per page (with respectable speed, and in overall good quality) sounds good to you—well, here’s your AIO. Just proceed with caution if graphics-heavy output is what you’re after.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.

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Canon Pixma MG6620 Photo All-in-One Inkjet PrinterWasn’t it just the other day, when talking about Canon’s top-of-the-line consumer-grade photo printer, the $199.99 (MSRP) Canon Pixma MG7520 Photo All-in-One Inkjet Printer, I said that the Tokyo imaging giant’s 6-ink printers were among the best. Also great printers, although a little bit cheaper and not quite as vibrant as their 6-ink siblings, are Canon’s 5-ink Pixmas, like the topic of this review, Canon’s $149.99 (MSRP) Pixma MG6620 Photo All-in-One Inkjet Printer.

Part of a trio of photo printers Canon released recently, at $150, the MG6620 is in the middle, with the abovementioned MG7120 above it, and the $99.99 MG5620 (which I’ll be reviewing in a few days) bringing up the rear. What you give up for the $50 between the MG7120 and MG6620 is primarily the former’s sixth ink tank, and a slightly smaller LCD (3.5 inches versus 3.0 inches).

Read the entire review at About.com.

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Epson WorkForce WF-3640 All-in-One Printer Review and RatingsWhen we see a fast printer that has three input sources, and two of those are big, roomy paper drawers, we assume: Business Printer. Our first impression is that we’re dealing with a high-volume machine designed to churn out hundreds, even thousands, of pages each month. However, you can’t forget the big intangible when talking about printers for small or medium businesses: CPP.

“CPP” stands for cost per page. And one of our biggest criteria for high-volume printers, in addition to being fast and having a lot of paper capacity, is that they deliver excellent-looking documents at a decent CPP.

In fact, to our eyes, a high-volume printer’s CPP is usually the most important figure to focus on. Depending on the printer itself (and sometimes a few other factors), a difference in CPPs of a few pennies between printers can cost you plenty if you print a lot. And printing a lot is, after all, the reason you purchase a high-volume model to begin with.

It was that shortcoming—an exorbitant ongoing cost of operation—that pained us most about last year’s WorkForce WF-3540 All-in-One Printer. Alas, as you’ll see a little later on in this review, the successor model we’re reviewing here, Epson’s WorkForce WF-3640 All-in-One Printer, also costs a bit too much, in terms of CPP, to use. (As for the printer itself, it lists for $199.99, though you may be able to find it $50 cheaper when you read this; more on that later.)

Epson WorkForce WF-3640Alongside the WorkForce WF-3640, Epson also introduced a broadly similar model, the WorkForce WF-3630. The WF-3630 doesn’t merit a separate review; the main differences are that it has only one drawer-style paper tray (in addition to the same single-sheet override tray on the back), and, unlike the WF-3640, it can’t fax.

Often, with inkjet all-in-one (AIO) printers, not much changes from generation to generation. And at first blush, it might look like the WorkForce WF-3640 is merely an incremental upgrade over last year’s WorkForce WF-3540. They do look much alike, so just tack on a couple of features, and call it “new and improved,” yes? But that wasn’t the case here at all.

The WorkForce Pro WF-3640 is one of 11 models in Epson’s dramatically refreshed WorkForce line of business printers, released in a big surge in June 2014. The reason for the major rollout? All 11 models were built around Epson’s new, speed-enhancing PrecisonCore printhead technology. The first of these PrecisionCore-based models we reviewed, the wide-format WorkForce WF-7610, won an Editors’ Choice award, as did the next one, a WorkForce Pro model, the WorkForce Pro WF-4630, we looked at back in mid-August. (That Pro-model printer was, incidentally, the first 5-star printer we’ve tested in quite some years.)

The WorkForce WF-3640 is also quite a good printer, but it falls into the same CPP habits that some of its predecessors did. Despite its superior speed and feature set, it’s too expensive to use for much output beyond light-to-medium-duty printing and copying. That’s too bad, because the output of all kinds is very good. In addition to turning out decent-looking document prints in our hands-on testing, it produced great-looking, highly accurate scans. (At least the scans don’t cost you ink.) Copies looked good, too, as did the test photos we printed.

Epson WorkForce WF-3640 (Three Quarters)As we said about the WorkForce WF-3540 model before it, the per-page cost of ink nicks this AIO’s overall value, relegating it to an occasional-use machine—to the point where we couldn’t justify an Editors’ Choice nod for this model, despite all else that it can do so well. Still, this is a fine printer that gave us plenty of reasons to recommend it, among them exceptional print speeds and output quality.

If you need to print a lot, you should consider a more-expensive model with a consumables scheme that’s truly built for high-volume output. You don’t have to look far from this model, either, just up: Epson’s own WorkForce Pro WF-4630. That PrecisionCore model has a more efficient and much cheaper-to-use imaging and inking system, and that put it over the top. It lists for $299.99. For light to moderate use, though, the cheaper WorkForce WF-3640 is a fine printer, if you can manage the cost of upkeep.

Read the entire article at Computer Shopper.

 

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Canon Pixma MG7520 Photo All-in-One Inkjet PrinterAbout.com Rating: 4 – I’ve said time and time again that few, if any, photo printers turn out images with the aplomb of Canon’s higher-end, six-ink Pixma “MG” photo printers (MG is the company’s all-in-one photo printer designation, where MX signifies an office-, or business-ready AIO). As has been the case for a while now, every year or so, the Japanese imaging giant releases at least one “new” printer based on this ink system, but what they really come down to are essentially the same printer—or at least the same print engine inside. So, what you get is essentially the same machine with some feature add-ons.

To read the entire review, go to About.com.

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