Review of the Brother MFC-J5930DW at Computer ShopperBrother’s inkjet multifunction printers just keep getting better and better, as demonstrated by today’s review unit, the $299.99-list MFC-J5930DW, and the Brother MFC-J6935DW we reviewed alongside it. As one of the company’s INKvestment models, the MFC-J5930DW is one of the least expensive business-oriented all-in-ones (AIOs) on ink costs—especially for the price. It is loaded with features, has a high paper-input capacity from three separate sources, and is capable of printing tabloid-size (11×17-inch) documents, posters, and flyers.

Over the years, a common quibble across our reviews of Brother’s Business Smart and Business Smart Plus series machines has been with their photo quality. While they print great-looking text and graphics, their photo output has typically been, compared to their HP and Epson competitors, just so-so—more than passable, but slightly lesser than the others. For example, the HP Officejet Pro 7740 Wide-Format All-in-One, as well as the wide-format Epson WorkForce WF-7620, cost more to use than Brother’s Business Smart Plus models, but their print quality was somewhat better. We’re pleased to report (as we’ll get into in more detail near the end of this review), that that was not our experience with the MFC-J5930DW.

Brother MFC-J5930DW (Front)

A primary difference between the Officejet model and the MFC-J5930DW is that in addition to printing tabloid-size documents, the HP model can also scan and copy documents of that size. To get those features from a Brother INKvestment model, you’ll have to step up to the $350-list MFC-J6935DW. This is a key distinction. Not all small businesses and home offices need to scan and copy tabloid-size documents, but it is best to know what you are getting (or not) when weighing closely related models like these.

The MFC-J5930DW is an update of the Brother MFC-J5920DW we reviewed a while back. Aside from a new body style and a color change (from black to off-white, to conform with Brother’s latest design motif), and the improved print quality we mentioned earlier, this new model isn’t all that different, feature-wise, from its predecessor. That said, given the MFC-J5930DW’s strong feature set, ink-cost efficiencies, and excellent print quality, it’s our new first choice for tabloid-size multifunction inkjet printers, as its MFC-J5920DW predecessor was.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper


 

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Epson WorkForce WF-7110 Wireless PrinterIf you’ve ever owned a wide-format (in this case, 11”x17”, tabloid and 13”x19”, supertabloid) printer, than you already understand how much more versatile they are than standard- and legal-size (8.5”x11” and 11”x14”, respectively) machines. Nowadays, all of the major printer manufacturers are making a few wide-format printers. However, the topic of this review, Epson’s $199.99 MSRP WorkForce WF-7110 Wireless Printer is one of only a few single-function consumer-grade inkjet printers I’m aware of.

The WF-7110 is part of Epson’s recentPrecisionCore-based WorkForce printers rollout. It prints well, and the wide-format option is great, but the cost per page is a bit high, which isn’t unusual for a midrange, wide-format printer—single function or otherwise.

Read the entire review at About.com

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OKI C831n Review and RatingsIt wasn’t long ago that you couldn’t buy a wide-format (11×17-inch) color printer based on laser or laser-class technology that didn’t stand over three feet high, weigh well over 100 pounds, and cost upward of $5,000. (And let’s not even talk about the cost per printed page, or CPP.) As with so many kinds of computer-related tech, though, wide-format color printers have continued to get smaller, lighter, and less expensive—as well as faster and better-performing. And, as a result, more and more buyers are finding wide-format a must-have once they get their mitts on such a machine. As we noted in our review of HP’s Officejet 7610 Wide Format e-All-in-One, a tabloid-size inkjet multifunction printer we looked at a few weeks ago, once you’ve had a wide-format printer in-house for a while, you’ll probably find yourself wondering how your small or medium-size business (SMB) got by without it.

But aren’t wide-format inkjets significantly cheaper than their laser-class counterparts? You bet they are. You can find decent high-volume wide-format inkjets for under $300. Take the Brother MFC-J6920DW, which comes with two paper drawers, automatic two-sided printing, an automatic document feeder (ADF), and highly competitive per-page consumable costs (in this case, ink). That Brother went for around $230 when we wrote this in March 2014, and that’s less than half of what equivalent inkjets cost six or seven years ago. Laser-class wide-format machines like the one we’re reviewing here today, OKI Data’s $1,699-list OKI C831n, have also gotten a lot more reasonably priced over that same span.

OKI C831nWide-format, or “tabloid,” printers, of course, are capable of churning out pages with twice the surface area (11×17 inches) of the standard letter-size (8.5×11-inch) pages that most of us are used to. Tabloid printers allow you to print a broader range of documents. You can, for example, easily produce four-page booklets and brochures—with just one sheet of paper. (You would print in wide, or landscape, orientation on both sides of the paper, then fold the sheet down the middle.)

Tabloid printers also allow you to create larger flyers, posters, diagrams, drawings, and spreadsheets than standard-size machines do—without your having to take time out to swing by the local Kinko’s. It’s also more economical to print your “oversize” documents on demand, as you need them, rather than shelling out on large print runs—only to have the information contained on the hard copy (such as, say, price changes) become obsolete, forcing you to toss the remaining hundreds or thousands of copies in the recycle bin.

OKI C831n (Angle View)This brings us back to the OKI C831n. It’s a single-function “laser-class” machine that uses the broadly similar LED printing technology. It’s quite a different animal from the inkjet-based HP tabloid printer we mentioned earlier, which gives you nearly every productivity and convenience feature available for a relatively low price. All the C831n provides is bare-bones printing—no auto-duplexing, no automatic document feeder (ADF), no scan or copy features, not even Wi-Fi. You can add some of these features as options, and you can boost the print capacity big-time via some additional input drawers, though this will significantly increase the cost of the printer (which we’ll talk about shortly). And OKI Data does offer an automatic-duplexing version of this printer, dubbed the C831dn, for a list price of $1,929.

If your tabloid printer must be laser-class, as wide-format models go this is a good one. It’s relatively fast and the output, aside from subpar photo output, looks good. (And really, no color laser or LED printer touches even a mediocre inkjet on photo print quality.) The black-and-white CPP is reasonable, but, as we’ll discuss in the Setup & Paper Handling section later on, high-volume machines like this one that cost more than a grand should deliver a lower color CPP. That fact cost the C831n our Editors’ Choice nod. Otherwise, we like this printer.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.

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