HP’s PageWide Pro and PageWide Enterprise inkjet printers are among the best laser alternatives available. The PageWide Enterprise Color 556dn ($749.99) is essentially the same machine as HP’s slightly less expensive ($699.99) Editors’ Choice PageWide Pro 552dw, with a few differences in features. Like the 552dw, the 556dn is fast and prints well, and it’s highly expandable. Unlike the 552dw, however, the 556dn has some of the lowest running costs in the business. That’s enough for it to nudge the 552dw out as our Editors’ Choice for medium-to-heavy-duty standalone printers for micro and small offices.

Read full review at PCMag

Several entry-level single-function monochrome laser printers have debuted recently, including the Canon imageClass LBP151dw and the Brother HL-L5200DW, both Editors’ Choice winners. The Dell Smart Printer S2830dn ($279.99) is similar to the Canon LBP151dw in that it quickly churns out good-looking black-and-white pages, but it does so at a significantly lower cost per page. Although its running costs are slightly higher than those of the Brother HL-L5200DW, the S2830dn delivers better graphics quality. In fact, it brings enough to the table to make it our new Editors’ Choice mono laser printer for a micro or home office.

Read the entire S2830dn review at PC Magazine

 

The Canon imageClass MF416dw ($499) is a capable monochrome laser all-in-one printer for a small, home, or micro office. Its strengths include excellent text quality, a wide range of connection choices, and a generous feature set with goodies like a duplexing automatic document feeder. But the MF416dw has relatively high running costs, and thus it’s best reserved for moderate-duty use.

Read the entire review at PC Magazine

The Brother MFC-L5800DW ($399.99) is a monochrome all-in-one printer for small or home offices that is relatively fast and performs well overall, plus, it’s loaded with convenience and productivity features. These strengths, combined with a competitively low cost per page, make it a good value, but the image and graphics quality are just so-so, and the MFC-L5800DW lacks a duplexing automatic document feeder (ADF). For many would-be buyers, our current Editors’ Choice, the HP LaserJet Pro MFP M426fdw, is a better bet.

Read entire review at Brother MFC-L5800DW


The Canon imagePrograf PRO-1000 ($1,299.99) is the first new near-dedicated photo printer we’ve seen from Canon in quite a while, and it was well worth the wait. With support for pages up to 17 by 22 inches, it has graduated from the company’s Pixma Pro printer product family—which brought us three excellent prosumer models: the Pixma PRO-1, the Pixma PRO-10, and the Pixma PRO-100—to its imagePrograf professional plotter line. Machines like these are designed to print exceptionally well, and the PRO-1000 certainly does. It prints well enough, in fact, to earn it an Editors’ Choice award for C-size (17-inch paper width) professional photo printers.

Read the entire review at: Canon imagePrograf PRO-1000 review

William Harrel's writing at PCMagCamarillo, July 13, 2016 — Part of the Ziff-Davis, one of the leaders in online technology media,  PC Magazine, or PCMag, as it is known online, is one of the oldest and most respected and trusted technology news outlets on the Internet.

Currently, my beat at PCMag is printers, scanners, labeling systems, and scanners, both document and photo scanners, all of which coincides with my background in desktop publishing.

As we move from mid- to late-2017, after just over a year of writing for PCMag, my number of published reviews will surpass 100 within the next month or two. (This post was updated in early September, 2017

A list of my reviews at www.pcmag.com.

Huawei MediaPad M2 10.0 Review and RatingsA few years ago, the Android-tablet market was flush with slates in two or three different screen sizes—and economy levels—from most of the big players in PCs. Nowadays? The pickings are pretty picked over.

Whether you’re talking about compact (7-to-9-inch) or full-size tablets (models with screens around 10 inches), we just haven’t seen that many new ones in recent months to choose from—or review, for that matter. Acer, Samsung, and Lenovo have trickled out a few, but most of the full-size Android tablets that have debuted over the past year or so have been upscale, premium multimedia devices with exceptional displays and sound.

In fact, while they can do many things, most of today’s full-size Android tablets are designed primarily for watching digital video. And, much like today’s review unit, Huawei’s $419-MSRP MediaPad M2 10.0, most of these slates are quite good at it—which requires, above all else, two predictable things: good speakers and good screens. (It’s also important to note here that our review unit was near the top of its family in both components and features. As we’ll discuss in a bit, you can buy a reasonably equipped MediaPad M2 10.0 for around $349 MSRP.)

Huawei MediaMate M2 10.0Another thing that most recent full-size tablets have had in common: a tendency to be durable and look upscale, even elegant, in appearance. Dell’s $629 mid-2015 Venue 10 7000 (Model 7040), with a detachable keyboard and touch pad) is an excellent example, as is Lenovo’s solidly built, $499.99-MSRP Yoga Tab 3 Pro. As you’ll see in the section coming up next, the Huawei MediaPad M2 10.0 comes with not only an excellent 1,920×1,200-pixel screen, but also an excellent Harman/Kardon sound system with four loud, clear-sounding speakers.

But this MediaPad isn’t a one-trick tablet; media playback isn’t all it can do. It also supports 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity that, when coupled with Huawei’s active stylus (in the box with our review tablet), lets you annotate, draw, and take notes with Huawei’s bundled pen-enabled apps. Unfortunately, not all of the MediaPad M2 configuration options include the stylus, which we’ll address in some detail in a moment. Suffice it to say here that the differences in what you get for $349 and $419 are significant.

In either case, whether you buy the least expensive version of the MediaPad M2, the most expensive, or one in between, you’ll get a tablet that’s impressive in appearance (a dead ringer for the iPad Air 2) and build quality for a reasonable price.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-R4640 (Ink)Inkjet printers are amazing technology—microscopic nozzles spraying tiny droplets of ink in precisely manipulated patterns. That R&D isn’t cheap, though, and a whole other set of elaborate endeavors on the side have sought to maintain the sky-high cost of that ink. It’s printer manufacturers’ main path to profit. In some ways (and much less conspicuously), it’s akin to the pricing shenanigans of the gasoline market.

Recently, though, a few printer makers—HP, Epson, and Brother—have, by reinventing each of their respective ink-distribution models, set out to change the ink dynamic. As we’ve explained in our reviews of a couple of Epson EcoTank models (the Expression ET-2550 EcoTank All-in-One Printer and WorkForce ET-4550 EcoTank All-in-One Printer), EcoTank printers are a new approach to ink delivery in business inkjet printers. With those printers, large EcoTank “supertanker” ink containers come fastened to their right side. Unlike in the cartridge-based inkjet world, with these, you can open the EcoTank containers and replenish a given color of ink from an Epson refill bottle.

Today’s EcoTank all-in-one (AIO) review unit, the $1,199.99-MSRP WorkForce Pro WF-R4640 All-in-One Printer, is a bit different, and a bit bigger. It has compartments for holding huge bags of ink on both sides…

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-R4640 (Angle View)The flagship model of the EcoTank series to date, the WorkForce WF-R4640 is, like the other printers in this series, essentially an existing AIO retrofitted with the EcoTank ink storage and plumbing. In this case, rather than refilling reservoirs from relatively large bottles of ink, here you simply swap out an empty ink bag for a full one. We’ll look closely at this configuration, how well it works, and the economics a little later.

In this case, the WorkForce Pro WF-R4640 is at the core Epson’s $399.99-MSRP WorkForce Pro WF-4640 All-in-One, the two-input-drawer version of one of our Editors’ Choice recipients, theWorkForce Pro WF-4630 All-in-One. (We should point out that at the time of this writing in late April 2016, we found the WorkForce WF-4640 for as low as $270 and the WF-4630 for as low as $200.)

In our analysis, the WorkForce WF-4640 was a good choice for upgrading to an EcoTank model. Keep in mind, though, that what Epson has essentially done is retrofit the WF-4640 to use the EcoTank system and then multiply the price by a factor of three or four, from a $399.99 list price (or $270 typical street price) to $1,199 (which was both the MSRP and street price when we wrote this).

When viewed from the perspective of the past couple paragraphs, the WorkForce WF-R4640 mightsound like an economic enigma—who would pay four times the price for essentially the same printer? Our analysis so far has said nothing about the huge, 20,000-page ink bags that come with the printer—enough ink, according to Epson, to last for two years.

Two years? Really? Well, that all depends on where and how you might be using this printer. One office’s first two years’ worth of ink is another’s first two weeks’ appetizer.

If you printed 20,000 pages over the course of two years (730 days), that comes out to about 27 pages per day. If you back out weekends, holidays, and any number of other reasons you might not print on certain days, let’s be generous and say the ink bags will print 50 pages per day.

The printer can certainly handle that. A 50-page-per-day load, even on every day of a 30-day month, is far, far below the WF-R4640’s 45,000-page monthly duty cycle (Epson’s rating for the most pages the printer ought to handle in a given month). In other words, if you actually pushed it to or close to its monthly rating, you would run out of ink in the first few weeks.

Epson SureColor P800 (Front View)The good news in all this is that when it comes time to buy new ink bags, as you’ll see a bit later in this review, the per-page cost of ink is quite low. Even color pages come in well under what we consider competitive cost-per-page (CPP) figures. But then the CPPs, while certainly impressive, aren’t the only reason to buy this high-volume workhorse. Remember that the WorkForce model from which it has been adapted is a fine office-centric AIO in its own right. It had plenty of reasons—good print speed and print quality, mobile connectivity options, not to mention a strong set of productivity and convenience features—to make it a Computer Shopper Editors’ Choice recipient, too.

It just comes down to the price, and how soon you think you might burn through 20,000 pages of printing. We liked this printer, but we recognize that $1,200 is a lot to pay for an inkjet printer of this caliber, in essence, a printer that at the core has the features of a $300-to-$400 model. If you use your printer—and we mean churn out thousands of prints and copies each month—when it comes time to buy new ink, and every time after that, you will save big. The cost per page is far more economical after you’ve exhausted that first set.

The more and the longer you use the WF-R4640, the better a value it is compared to some other competing models capable of the same print volume. But if it’ll take you years and years to drain the first set of tanks, this is not the right printer for you.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.

 

HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M553dn Review and RatingsEven though they’re often more expensive to purchase and use, all else being equal, HP’s LaserJet printers earn it. The technology inside is field-leading, and they tend to be more modern- and stylish-looking than most of their competitors. And that’s saying something when you’re talking about most single-function laser printers, which favor the “plain cube” look. Most wind up box-shaped and bland-looking.

The topic of today’s review, HP’s $799.99-MSRP Color LaserJet Enterprise M553dn, can’t quite escape that, though the company does add a few curves to give it a distinct look. It’s a single-function color laser printer meant, as the name suggests, for businesses with large workgroups to serve and a need for managed print resources. We’re catching up with this model in April 2016, but it’s been on the market for a while. And it hasn’t followed the usual price trends for a midlife product.

We should point out that as we wrote this in early April 2016, that everywhere we looked on the Internet, this specific LaserJet model sold for its full manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), or more. Indeed, at Amazon, it sold for $200 higher than the MSRP, or $999.99, which is something that we don’t often see. That this LaserJet has been on the market for nearly an entire year and still commands such pricing suggests that it has been well-received so far.

HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M553dn (Front Angle View)In fact, everywhere we’ve looked, the M553dn has received high ratings. Like most of the HP laser printers we’ve reviewed recently, such as the Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdw, the M553dn comes with the company’s latest JetIntelligence toner cartridges and reformulated ColorSphere 3 toner, which (according to HP), delivers a bunch of advantages compared to earlier LaserJets and other, competing laser printers.

As we noted in our reviews of some other recent LaserJets, the claims about the new JetIntelligence cartridges and ColorSphere 3 toner include the ability for the toner particles themselves to melt at a lower temperature. (In a laser printer, the toner dust that gets arranged on the page is melted in place by a hot roller.) This, along with a few other enhancements, allows LaserJets to burn—again, according to HP—53 percent less energy, take up to 40 percent less space, and wake up and print two-sided (duplex) pages faster than previous LaserJet models could. (The wake-up speed is tied in with the need for the fuser to hit a lower relative temperature to do its job.)

HP also says that the enhancements done to toner and cartridge alike deliver many more prints from a cartridge, compared to previous LaserJets. As we pointed out in our review of the Color LaserJet Pro M477fdw (and other LaserJets), while this also allows for smaller cartridges and, therefore, smaller printers, it does nothing to reduce the per-page cost of the toner. We’ll get into that issue in some detail in the Setup & Paper Handling section later on.

HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M553dn (Open)Even though the Color LaserJet Enterprise M553dn has an 80,000-page monthly duty cycle (the maximum number of prints HP says the printer can handle each month), if you actually pushed it that hard—even by as much as, say, a third of the rating—this MFP, compared to many other laser and laser-class (LED-based) printers we’ve looked at, would cost a bit too much to use in terms of toner.

That factor—the somewhat high cost per page—plus a purchase price that seems impervious to discounting and a lack of built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, are our only real complaints about this printer. Other than that, it did what we expected it to, and well.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.

Brother's MFC-L6200DW - fast, inexpensive laser-quality prints.

For a while, it was looking like high-volume, business-grade inkjet printers were going to outpace their laser counterparts in nearly every way—especially in speed and per-page cost of operation. Some of today’s top-value inkjets for offices—notably, models in HP’s PageWide and Epson’s WorkForce families—have made a convincing case that there’s a new print-tech sheriff in town for those who don’t necessarily need true laser-quality text output, but need their pages quickly and cheaply. And it’s inkjet.

However, if today’s review unit, Brother’s $249-list HL-L6200DW Business Laser Printer, and a few other laser machines we’ve looked at of late are any indication, some laser-printer makers are fighting back.

We’ve looked at a slew of laser printers lately, including several from HP and Dell: monochrome and color, single-function and multifunction, entry-level and high-volume. And in that time, some single-function monochrome models, such as OKI Data’s $220-street OKI B512dn, have become (in terms of both purchase price and the ongoing per-page cost of operation) highly competitive, and therefore relatively good values. The HL-L6200DW falls into that class.

Brother HL-L6200DWThe HL-L6200DW is one of a handful of economical single-function (i.e., printer-only) monochrome models that Brother has rolled out recently. Most of these models have been smaller and not as fast nor as economical, apart from the $349.99-list HL-L6200DWT. That unit is essentially the same printer as the HL-L6200DW here, except for the addition of a second, 520-sheet paper drawer. A $100 premium for the second drawer, considering its $209 price tag bought separately at Brother’s online store, isn’t bad at all if you need that kind of paper capacity. But, then again, as you’ll see in the Setup & Paper Handling section later on, with this model you have a few expansion options that perhaps even outstrip the other aspects of this printer.

Single-function monochrome laser printers tend to be humdrum models, and while we are impressed with the HL-L6200DW’s cost per page (also discussed in the Setup & Paper Handling section), it’s the intangibles rather than the physical traits of this printer that set it apart. Aside from the cost per page, decent print speeds and print quality also formed our more-than-favorable impression of this little workhorse.

Granted, other single-function laser printers in the same price range are as fast or faster. But the difference is not enough to skew our assessment of this printer by much. With this laser’s 100,000-page-per-month duty cycle (the number of pages Brother says the printer should be limited to in any given month to forestall premature wear) and aggressively low cost per page (CPP), it’s worthy of our Editors’ Choice award.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.