Review of the Epson WorkForce ET-16500 EcoTank Wide-Format All-in-One Supertank Printer at PCMagThe Epson WorkForce Pro ET-16500 EcoTank Wide-Format All-in-One Supertank Printer ($999.99) is the first wide-format inkjet printer we’ve looked at in Epson’s EcoTank line, which uses ink tanks or bottles in place of cartridges. As such, it can print pages up to supertabloid size (13 by 19), as well as scan, copy, and fax tabloid (11-by-17) pages. Overall, the ET-16500 is a fine printer, but it performed slowly during some of our benchmark tests, and, at $1,000, it’s expensive to purchase. Its running costs, though, are low enough to take the sting out of the purchase price—as long as you use it frequently, that is.

Read the entire review at PCMag

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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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Getting the Most from Your Wide-Format PrinterHave you noticed the barrage of wide-format printers to hit the market lately? Four of the world’s big printer makers, Brother, Cannon, Epson, and HP, have released at least one oversize model, with some of them, such as, well, Brother, Cannon, Epson, and HP, debuting several over the past year or so. It’s a relatively new phenomenon, but nowadays you can buy a wide-format printer (i.e. tabloid, or 11×17 inches, and supertabloid, or 13×19 inches) in all sorts of configurations—everything from single-function photo-centric machines, such asCanon’s Pixma iP8720 Wireless Inkjet Photo Printer, to full-blown, high-volume, business-oriented workhorses, such as Brother’s MFC-J5620DW.

Read the entire review at About.com.

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Brother MFC-J5620DWIf you’ve poked around the Printers & Scanners section of About.com for any time at all, you don’t have to read much here to know that I’m fighting the good fight against exorbitant per-page consumables costs, or the high cost per page (CPP) of ink or toner. In other words, when a printer maker claims that a machine is “high volume,” inherent in that claim is the understanding that keeping the printer supplied with ink won’t take you to poor house. 

We all know that printer makers make the bulk of their money from selling consumables. However, it’s also safe to assume that while most of us feel that, yes, printer manufacturers deserve to earn a profit, the size of said profit should be reasonable. And that’s the case with the subject of today’s review, Brother’s $199.99-list MFC-J5620DW—a full featured all-in-one (AIO) inkjet printer with terrific CPPs—especially for an under-$200 machine.

Read the entire review at About.com

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Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4630 All-in-One Printer Review and RatingsOne of the best multifunction inkjets we looked at in its time (back in 2012) was Epson’s high-volume WorkForce Pro WP-4590 All-in-One Printer, a flexible $499.99-list workhorse machine. If you weren’t wedded by function, or by law, to laser-printed output, it was practically everything you’d want in a printer designed for a workgroup in a small or medium business (SMB). The WP-4590 served up exceptional print speeds and overall print quality, plus just about every convenience and productivity feature you could think of. Most crucially, it did all of that at an exceptionally low cost per page (CPP).

At the time, we considered the WP-4590 one of the best business-printer values available, and we still hold it in high regard. But now, we feel much the same way about 2014’s $299.99-list WorkForce Pro WF-4630 All-in-One Printer, the topic of this review. It hits that same rare balance that the WP-4590 did among SMB printers, of sheer feature depth, performance, and output quality, paired with a very fair CPP.

The WorkForce Pro WF-4630 is one of 11 models in the company’s dramatically refreshed WorkForce line of business printers, released in June 2014. All 11 models were built around Epson’s new, speed-enhancing PrecisonCore printhead technology. The first one we reviewed, the wide-format WorkForce WF-7610, won an Editors’ Choice award. And this one makes Epson’s PrecisionCore-based printers 2-for-2 so far.

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4630 (Main)

In the case of this “Pro”-level model, it’s as fast as most entry-level and midlevel laser-class machines. Also, as we discuss in the Setup & Paper Handling section a little later in this review, certain PrecisionCore models, this “Pro” version included, deliver very aggressive CPP figures. That tends to be the missing piece in a moderate-price SMB inkjet, but Epson nails it here while keeping the fundamentals strong.

Also know that you have some paper-handling flexibility here. In addition to the WorkForce Pro WF-4630, Epson offers the $399.99 WorkForce Pro WF-4640. The difference is that it comes with a second 250-sheet paper drawer, for a maximum potential capacity of 580 sheets from three different input sources. (More detail later on that, too.) Both models also have auto-duplexing automatic document feeders (ADFs), for streamlined handling of two-sided multipage originals, and both have a quite-healthy 30,000-page maximum monthly duty cycle. (“Duty cycle” is the highest number of prints the manufacturer recommends in a given time period without inflicting undue wear and tear on the printer.)

In fact, the WorkForce Pro WF-4630 is one of those rare machines about which we found very, very little to grumble. It prints well; it’s fast; it’s loaded with features; and it’s inexpensive to use, not to mention highly attractive and durable. If you’re looking for a high-volume, high-quality multifunction inkjet with a terrific CPP, this is it.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.

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Epson WorkForce WF-7610 All-in-One Printer Review and RatingsIt’s not often that we see big changes in printer imaging technology—at least not in the print mechanisms themselves. Both inkjet and laser printer technologies have been around for a while, and, for the most part, they have become predictable and stable. Over the past couple of years, though, a couple of printer makers, namely HP and Epson, have done some serious fiddling around with their printheads. Both companies have come up with more-efficient printhead technologies that are less expensive to use. And as a result, certain of their new printers are capable of competing successfully with laser-class printers on many fronts, notably speed, power consumption, and cost per page (CPP).

The first of these “alternative” printhead technologies, HP’s PageWide, debuted in a line of high-volume Officejets—the Officejet Pro X series—at the beginning of 2013. We were impressed enough with the two Officejet X models we reviewed (the Officejet Pro X576dw Multifunction Printer and the Officejet Pro X551dw Color Printer) that both received our Editors’ Choice Award. Their print speeds and quality were impressive, and the cost per page was low. Much of this was possible because PageWide employs a fixed array of print nozzles that spans the width of the page, rather than the printer relying on the usual moving printhead. In a nutshell, the way it works: The paper moves past the print nozzles, rather than the other way around, and your image or document gets printed a full row at a time.

Epson WorkForce WF-7610Both of the Officejet Pro X printers, however, were relatively high-end, high-volume, and high-priced machines meant for business use. Epson, on the other hand, has taken a different approach, as we’ll lay out in this, our first review of an Epson printer based on its recently debuted PrecisionCore printhead technology—the $249.99-list WorkForce WF-7610 All-in-One Printer. Similar to PageWide, in that the ink nozzles on the printheads are much denser, the PrecisionCore-based printers we’ve tested so far have outperformed several of their inkjet and laser counterparts, and some of them are cheaper to use, too. (We’ll get into more detail about PrecisionCore in a bit.)

The WF-7610 is one of 11 PrecisionCore models that Epson debuted last month. In a bold move, Epson just up and replaced its entire WorkForce line of small- and medium-business (SMB) AIOs with PrecisionCore-based models. The WF-7610 is one of two wide-format PrecisionCore machines in the initial lot, capable of printing on sheets up to 13×19 inches (also known as “supertabloid” stock). It can also copy, scan, and fax tabloid (11×17-inch) pages. The other wide-format model in the new line, the $299.99-MSRP WorkForce WF-7620 All-in-One Printer, is much the same machine, but with a second 250-sheet drawer.

In addition to being a wide-format machine, which increases the printer’s versatility in terms of the types of documents you can print, copy, scan, and fax, the WF-7610 is loaded with convenience and productivity features—just about everything you can think of for a business-ready AIO, and for not too much money, either. However, when it comes to the ongoing cost per page (CPP) of using this printer, it’s a bit high for our taste. The CPP is high enough, in fact, that it dampens our enthusiasm for recommending this AIO as the primary printer in an environment with a heavy day-to-day print load.

Epson claims that this AIO’s cost per page is “40 percent lower” than laser printers. We don’t know about that, but what we can say is that, as described in the Design, Features, & PrecisionCore section next, while some PrecisionCore models have exceptionally low CPPs, the WF-7610 is not one of them. Its CPPs are actually about average for an under-$300 inkjet printer, and perhaps just a little lower than several entry-level and midlevel laser-class printers.

Epson WorkForce WF-7610 (Printing)In Epson’s defense, you can’t find many high-volume printers with significantly low CPPs (say, under 2 cents per monochrome page) for much under $300. We should point out, though, that as of this writing, in July 2013, Epson was offering a $70 “Instant Rebate” on both the WF-7610 and WF-7620, dropping their list prices to $179.99 and $229.99, respectively. That softens the initial cost of this model, but it also brings us back to our only real complaint about this AIO: To match that lower price, its CPPs should be lower.

We also went back and looked over our recent reviews of some other wide-format AIO printers. We discovered that, for the most part, the WF-7610’s CPPs were comparable to those of most of them, but were not necessarily competitive with high-volume standard- or letter-size machines. On the whole, the wide-format models were more expensive to use than high-volume document printers in general.

Of course, if you’re using this in a home office with more modest page loads, the page cost is less of an issue. And the flexibility afforded by the wide-format support makes up for a lot of sins if you can own just one printer. So the appeal of this printer all hinges on how much you print. Looking beyond the CPP, this WorkForce model is a feature-rich and dependable machine—a nice printer used in moderation.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.

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Epson WorkForce WF-7610 All-in-One reviewEarlier this month (June 2014), printer giant Epson replaced its entire line of WorkForce multifunction (print/scan/copy/fax) inkjet business printers with machines based on the company’s newPrecisionCore fixed printhead technology. Much like PageWide, HP’s fixed printhead equivalent, which debuted in that company’s Officejet X multifunction inkjets in mid-2013, PrecisionCore printers are not only faster and cheaper to use than not only Epson’s previous WorkForce models, but also several entry-level laser-class printers. (For a description of fixed printhead printers and why they’re superior to standard inkjets and their laser counterparts, check out this About.com “Fixed Printhead Inkjet Printers” article.)

Read entire review at About.com.

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OKI Data C831n Wide Format Color LaserUnlike single-function wide-format inkjet printers, such as HP’s $249.99-list Officejet 7610 Wide Format e-All-in-One Printer, single-function wide-format laser-class machines are fairly expensive. Take, for example, the topic of this review, OKI Data’s $1,699-list C831n. This tabloid-size laser costs almost six times more than today’s average-priced (about $300) wide-format device, and most of them are multifunction machines capable of not only printing 11×17-inch pages, but also scanning, copying, and often faxing them. In addition, several of these wide-format inkjets can handle pages up to 13×19 inches.

You can read the entire review at About.com.

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Canon Pixma iP8720 Wireless Inkjet Photo PrinterA few years ago, tabloid (11×17-inch) printers were somewhat rare and expensive. Nowadays, though, nearly every major printer manufacturer—HP, Canon, Brother, and Epson—have recently released both single-function and multifunction (AIO) models capable of printing oversize pages in both tabloid and “supertabloid” formats. The $299.99 Pixma iP8720 Wireless Inkjet Photo Printer, the subject of this review, is Canon’s latest contribution. It uses the Japanese imaging giant’s six-ink print system, which prints some of the-best looking photos available from a consumer-grade photo printer.

Read the entire review at About.com.

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Canon Pixma iP8720 Wireless Inkjet Photo Printer Review and RatingsFor a few years now, we’ve praised the six-ink imaging system in some of Canon’s Pixma inkjets for its exceptional photo reproduction. However, we haven’t been quite as impressed with the company’s tendency to re-release essentially the same machines—with just a few modernizing updates—every 18 months or so.

Take, for example, the Pixma MG6320, which we reviewed in February 2013. Disregard the addition of a few cloud- and mobile-printing features, and it was fundamentally thePixma MG6220 we reviewed a year and a half earlier. We’ve seen the same trend across plenty of other Pixmas.

Canon Pixma iP8720

We’re happy to report, however, that this year the Japanese imaging giant has contributed something quite different to the market for photo-centric inkjets: the $299.99-list Canon Pixma iP8720 Wireless Inkjet Photo Printer, a mainstream-priced single-function model that can print wide—very wide.

In addition to the excellent print quality we’ve come to expect from Canon’s six-ink printers, the Pixma iP8720 prints wide-format to tabloid-size stock (11×17 inches), as well as to the next size up, 13×19 inches. That means you can print high-quality oversize images and posters on a consumer-grade photo printer.

The next step up from the Pixma iP8720 is a professional-grade dedicated photo printer, such as Epson’s $499.99-listStylus Photo R2000 or the $649.99-list Stylus Photo R3000, both of which are well more expensive. Also, unlike these Epson models, the Pixma iP8720 is much more adept at printing document pages. (That’s not to say, however, that this Pixma is a good choice for heavy document output, if a document printer is what you need first and foremost. Far from it.)

Canon Pixma iP8720 (Angle View)Furthermore, the Pixma iP8720 is capable of printing on appropriately surfaced recordable CDs and DVDs, increasing its overall utility. Still, like most Canon photo printers (and, in fairness, most other photo printers in general), this Pixma is expensive to use, in terms of the per-page cost of operation, compared to most machines built for business printing.

If you print a lot of documents, you should really only consider purchasing the Pixma iP8720 as a secondary printer for photos. This Pixma iP8720 is foremost a photo-centric model, and, from that perspective, it’s an excellent choice. It’s among the best-value high-end photo printers for consumers that we’ve tested in recent years. If you have the room for it (and the ongoing cashflow for the cartridges and über-size photo paper), you’ll love its flexibility for photo output at all sizes.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.

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