Canon MAXIFY MB5320Does MAXIFY mean Canon finally understands small business?

Hardly. What it means is that, regardless of the number of laser printer print engines Canon makes for itself and HP, the company can no longer deny that high-volume inkjets are edging laser-class devices out of small- and medium-size businesses (SMBs) at a good clip. Put frankly, Canon wants in on the action, hence the company’s new Maxify line of business-ready printers, which, so far, includes four MFPs and one single-function machine.

My primary disappointment after looking at the $199.99 (MSRP) MB2320 earlier was that, like Canon business printers of the past, this one had, at least where monochrome prints are concerned, a high per-page cost of operation, or cost per page—a killer for a high-volume business printer. In fact, inherent in the label “high-volume” is the understanding that as such it should print hundreds, even thousands of pages each month at a very reasonable cost per page.

Read the entire review at About.com.

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Canon MAXIFY MB2320A reading of my reviews of Canon’s “MX” office-centric AIOs over the years should confirm that I never have really considered them viable business-optimized multifunction printers (MFPs). Historically, compared to some other business-oriented all-in-ones, the Pixma MX AIOs have been slow, low-volume, and expensive to use, in terms of per-page operational cost, or cost per page (CPP).

In fact, a common complaint from not only me but several other reviewers about all Pixmas is that they cost too much too use. So much so that no matter how well they print business documents (and most Pixmas print document pages very well), they just don’t make very efficient document printers. The good news is that rather than try to fix that hopelessly flawed MX model, Canon has recently released a new Maxify line of business printers.

Read the entire review at About.com.

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Epson’s Perfection V850 Pro Photo ScannerThe photo scanner we’re looking at here today for some reason brought to mind my first flatbed. Believe me; it was not (while it was considerably more expensive), nearly as powerful nor as capable as this one. Twenty-five years ago, or so, my first flatbed scanner was capable of discerning only 256 shades of gray; which is what it did with colors—converted them to grayscale—all for about the same $1,000 or so you’d pay today for a fast and powerful photo scanner, such as the topic of today’s review, Epson’s Perfection V850 Pro Photo Scanner.

Read the entire review at About.com.

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Fujitsu’s ScanSnap iX500 Document ScannerSurely, you’ve seen those commercials for NeatDesk scanners designed to help you scan and organize the business cards, receipts, and other bits of paper in your life? As easily the most well-known document scanner and digital filing system, much of the proprietary NeatDesk application consists of online services with annual fees that increase the overall cost of the solution. (Although, often you can find it with up-to three-month trial periods.)

The $499.95 (list) NeatDesk and the other “Neat” scanner products are designed with a high-level of hand-holding involved, and are most likely advantageous for those with the discipline to diligently scan and catalog their paper business cards, receipts, bills, and other business-oriented bits of paper. For those who may not need this level of supervision (or perhaps the additional fees are off-putting), the topic of this review, Fujitsu’s $495-list ScanSnap iX500, provides an alternative solution.

Read the entire review at About.com.

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Top 100 Products of 2014: Best PrintersHere’s my contribution to Computer Shopper’s “Top 100 Products of 2014.” My beat this year is printers. Here are the best printers of 2014:

Table of Contents

  1. Printer of the Year: Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4630 All-in-One Printer
  2. Best Budget Printer: Dell B1165nfw Mono Laser Multifunction Printer
  3. Best Photo Printer: Canon Pixma iP8720 Wireless Inkjet Photo Printer
  4. Best Small-Office All-in-One Printer: Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4630 All-in-One
  5. Best Inkjet All-in-One Printer: HP Officejet Pro 8630 e-All-in-One Printer
  6. Best Color Laser/Laser-Class Printer: Dell Color Multifunction Printer C2665dnf
  7. Best Basic Monochrome Laser/Laser-Class Printer: Samsung Xpress M2020W
  8. Best Basic Monochrome Laser AIO Printer: Samsung Multifunction Xpress M2070FW
  9. Best Consumer/Small-Office Wide Format Printer: Epson WorkForce WF-7610 All-in-One Printer

Read the entire article at Computer Shopper.

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Epson WorkForce DS-40 Color Portable ScannerIf you’re one of those professionals who travel from place to place, collecting piles of information, much of which would prove invaluable, if, that is, you had an easy way to collect and store it. You could, of course, collect business cards, product white papers, customer information, you name it, and then scan and save it all when you get back, but that could quickly turn into a long and grueling task. Besides, it’s better to save and catalog data while it’s still fresh.

Another option is, of course, is to take a scanner with you. Depending on the nature of your business travel (and, of course, the scanner itself), that idea can be anywhere from mildly inconvenient to downright inhibiting, maybe even somewhat ridiculous—unless, that is, you choose a portable scanner designed specifically for you road warriors, such as the subject of this review, Epson’s $179.99 (MSRP) WorkForce DS-40 Color Portable Scanner.

Read the entire review at About.com.

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Epson Expression Photo XP-860 Small-in-One PrinterTwo terms that don’t play nice together are “economical” and “photo printer.” While there are quite a few photo printers available nowadays, few, if any, provide low-cost prints—in terms of consumables used, or cost per page (CPP), that is. Hence, while I often find myself impressed with the output, especially the photographs, from 6-ink photo printers like the topic of this review, Epson’s $299.99 (MSRP) Expression Photo XP-860 Small-in-One Printer, the too-high per-page cost of consumables often makes them, depending on your printing needs, less than desirable.

In many ways, the XP-860 reminded me of the $100-cheaper XP-820 reviewed here a few weeks, as well as the equally priced XP-950, also reviewed here recently. The difference, primarily, between the XP-820 and the XP-860 is that the latter uses a 6-ink imaging system, compared to the former’s 5-ink format. The XP-950 not only uses six inks, but you can also print one-off tabloid (11×17-inch) pages via a 1-sheet override tray on the front of the chassis.
Read the entire review at About.com.
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Canon Pixma MG6620 Wireless Inkjet Photo All-in-One Review and RatingsAs we pointed out the other day in our review of the Canon Pixma MG7520, Canon recently released a trio of photo-ready all-in-one printers (or AIOs—machines that can print, copy, and scan). This batch includes the $199.99-list Pixma MG7520, the $99.99-list Pixma MG5620 (we’ll be posting a review of this model soon after this one), and the subject of this review, the $149.99-list Pixma MG6620 Photo All-in-One Inkjet Printer. The MG7520 and MG5620 will replace the Pixma MG7120 and Pixma MG5520, respectively, and the MG6620 will put last year’s Pixma MG6320 out to pasture.

These annual updates to the printer giant’s MG line have been going on with regularity for some years now. (The “MG” prefix is Canon’s designation for its consumer-centric photo all-in-ones.) Each year about this time, we see essentially the same machines with a few updates and new feature add-ons. As we said about this year’s MG7520, though, a few notable changes in this round of updates—especially with the MG6620 and MG7520 models—have made the 2014 updates a bit more interesting than in previous years.

Canon Pixma MG6620The midrange model of the three, the Pixma MG6620Best Price at Amazon, unlike its 2013 predecessor, uses a five-ink imaging system. Prior to this model, the MG6000-series Pixmas used, like the next models up, the MG7000 series (and the MG8000 series, now defunct), six inks. Beyond the difference in ink colors, the $50 price difference between the Pixma MG6620 and MG7520 nets you a pretty big bunch of useful features.

On the Pixma MG7520, you get twice the maximum possible print resolution (9,600×2,400 dots per inch versus 4,800×1,200dpi); Ethernet connectivity (which the MG6620 lacks); active versus passiveNFC (which we’ll define later); a larger paper tray; CD/DVD labeling; and a bigger LCD on the control panel.

If you have a use for just one or two of these options, $50 is a small premium to pay. The one trade-off here is that because the higher-priced Pixma MG7520 uses one more ink tank than the MG6620, it costs more to use, on a per-page cost-of-ink basis, with certain kinds of documents. In either case, both models’ cost per page (CPP) figures are too high for printing more than just a few business documents (say 100 or so), each month. (That’s typical of most photo printers nowadays.)

Canon Pixma MG6620 (Printing)Our experience is that, yes, that sixth cartridge does indeed enhance overall print quality. Then again, so does the fifth cartridge in this Pixma versus a four-tank printer, all else being equal. The question is—can you tell the difference without careful examination? The answer to that question can be long and involved, with all sorts of caveats based on what exactly you’re printing and what kind of stock you’re printing it on. But the short answer is that with most images…probably not.

Overall, the MG6620 is a good little photo printer, with much the same issues we have with all AIO photo printers on the market these days—their too-high CPPs make them poor choices as document printers for more than a few pages a month. With that in mind, if all you want to do is print photos, with a business document and a random scan or copy thrown in now and then, the Pixma MG6620 should serve you well.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.

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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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