Review of the Lifeprint 3x4.5 HyperPhoto Printer at PCMagThe times they are a-changin’: We’re currently seeing a proliferation of consumer-grade standalone photo printers, such as the Kodak Photo Printer Mini ($63.50 at Amazon), which we reviewed recently. It’s not surprising that these new models, like today’s review unit, the Lifeprint 3×4.5 ($149.99) ($92.87 at Amazon), are getting smaller and more compact. However, what’s somewhat unexpected is that these new printers aren’t compatible with the devices they’ve traditionally been associated with, namely computers. In fact, the Kodak Mini, HP Sprocket ($129.95 at Amazon), and the Lifeprint 3×4.5 and its sibling, the Lifeprint 2×3 ($108.99 at Amazon), all can print from mobile devices, but lack support for, or connections to desktop PCs.

These snapshot printers produce photos that range in size from about 2 by 3 inches up to, in the case of the Kodak Dock, 4 by 6 inches. The Lifeprint 3×4.5 is actually an update to the Lifeprint 2×3, which the company says was an answer to requests for a larger photo size. In any case, the Lifeprint now comes in two sizes.

It also has a few interesting features you won’t find on competing models, such as the ability to publish stills as short videos, a feature that the company calls “augmented reality.” As you’ll see in the Design, Features, & Software section, this feature actually lets you publish your photos as brief videos—sort of.

The Lifeprint device is also, as mentioned, a dedicated mobile snapshot printer that, when paired with your mobile device, allows you to post photos on media sites and make rudimentary edits (such as brightness, contrast, and color corrections) or enhancements (like cropping, scaling, and rotating, as well as adding text, borders, and filters).

Whether it’s the Lifeprint or any dedicated snapshot printer, you’ll have to ask yourself several questions to determine whether it’s right for you: Is it competitively priced? How well does it perform in print quality, photo editing, and other areas? What are its ongoing running costs? And, in this case, do you want or need the augmented reality features?

We’ll do our best to answer all of these questions, but suffice it to say, we found the augmented reality, print quality, and cost per photo (CPP) compelling enough to give the Lifeprint 3×4.5 our Editors’ Choice nod.

Read entire review at Computer Shopper



 

  • Review of the Zebra GK420d Direct Thermal Printer at PCMagPROS 

    Exceptionally low running costs. Prints fast. Open programming platform for custom applications. Wide selection of label media. Dual simultaneous connectivity through serial and parallel ports.

  • CONS

    Complicated software installation. Ethernet costs extra. Lacks wireless and mobile support.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    The Zebra GK420d, the next step up from a consumer-grade label printer, provides wide-ranging expansion options and a very low cost of operation.

At the lower end of Zebra Technologies’ somewhat extensive stable of label/barcode printers, the Zebra GK420d Direct Thermal Printer ($595) (Check on Amazon at Amazon) is small and relatively low-priced as industrial-strength label printers go. Though the GK420d is big and beefy, compared with the combination consumer-grade/small business professional label makers we’ve reviewed recently, such as the Editors’ Choice Brother QL-820NWB,($174.99 at Amazon) it’s more than capable of printing a wide range of label types from your team’s PCs, as well as some tablets and smartphones. It’s a great choice for mid-volume, industrial-strength labeling in near-limitless settings, from warehouses to medical facilities and beyond.Read the entire review at PCMag



 

  • PROSA review of the HP Envy Photo 6255 All-in-One Printer from PCMag

    Reasonable price. Attractive design. Low running costs with Instant Ink. Good overall print quality.

  • CONS

    Cost per page exceptionally high without Instant Ink. Banding in dark gradients and backgrounds. Wasteful two-cartridge ink system holds all four inks.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    The Envy Photo 6255 is a small, lightweight, and attractive consumer-grade AIO that prints good-looking photos and does so at highly competitive running costs, though only when you sign up for HP’s Instant Ink.

The lower-end model in a trio of entry-level consumer-grade all-in-one (AIO)inkjet photo printers that HP released recently, the Envy Photo 6255 All-in-One Printer ($129.99) (Check on Amazon at Amazon) competes directly with the Editors’ Choice Canon Pixma TS9120 Wireless Inkjet Printer,($99.99 at Amazon) as well as a few others in the Pixma TS-series line. The Envy 6255 is a bit slower, shorter on features, and its photo print quality falls a little behind that of the Canon TS9120; on the other hand, when you pair it with HP’s Instant Ink subscription service, you get some of the lowest per-page running costs from a consumer-grade photo printer available, making the Envy 6255 an excellent alternative for homes and families who want to print a few hundred photos inexpensively.
Read the entire review at PCMags



 

  • PROSReview of the Brother MFC-L2750DW XL at PCMag

    Near-typesetter text quality. Small and light. Single-pass auto-duplexing. Huge selection of connectivity options and workflow apps. Ships with large complement of toner.

  • CONS

    So-so graphics and image quality. High running costs after initial toner is used. Small paper capacity and duty cycle for price.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    The Brother MFC-L2750DW XL is a well-connected monochrome laser AIO printer that produces excellent text output, but its price is high thanks to the large amount of included toner.

The Brother MFC-L2750DW XL ($399.99) ($379.99 at Amazon) is one of the company’s first “XL” laser printers, which, to put it simply, means that the printer comes with a bunch of extra toner in the box. This results in a loftier price than we are used to seeing in an entry-level-to-midrange monochrome laser all-in-one (AIO), but it’s reasonably fast and prints well, making it a decent pick for home-based or small offices and workgroups with light print and copy loads, or perhaps even a personal monochrome laser AIO.The downside here is that, unlike Brother’s INKvestment inkjet counterparts—which not only come with extra ink but also incur very low ongoing running costs—the XL line simply provides the convenience of additional toner at the time of purchase. In other words, you won’t be ordering toner as soon, but when you do, you’ll pay essentially the same somewhat high per-page cost for it as you would to buy toner for several other Brother entry-level machines. Essentially, then, all you get for the additional expense (without the extra toner, the MFC-L2750DW XL would most likely sell for $200 to $300) is somewhat cheaper toner for the first several thousand pages, and, depending on usage, a long gap between when you buy the printer and when you must spring for more toner—a convenience to be sure, but perhaps not much of one.Read the entire review at PCMag                               


 


  • PROSReview of the Brother MFC-L2710DW at PCMag

    Exceptional text quality. Prints fast. Compact and lightweight. Ethernet support. Relatively low purchase price.

  • CONS

    Lacks support for USB thumb drives and memory cards. ADF not auto-duplexing. So-so business graphics and photos.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    The Brother MFC-L2710DW, a reasonably fast, low price, entry-level monochrome all-in-one laser printer, is an apt fit for low-volume print and copy environments.

The Brother ($199.99) is an entry-level all-in-one (print, copy, scan, and fax) printer designed for small and/or home-based offices or workgroups with modest printing needs, or perhaps as a personal monochrome laser AIO. For an entry-level AIO, it has a relatively strong feature set, and it’s fast. On the other hand, its running costs are a bit too high, and print quality (especially graphics and photos) leaves a little something to be desired. Even so, it’s space-saver small, well-built, and prints well enough overall, making it a suitable choice for low-volume monochrome print and copy environments.

Read the entire review at PCMag



 

  • PROSRead the review of the Brother HL-L2370DW XL at PCMag

    Small and light. Fast. Good text quality. Ships with large complement of toner.

  • CONS

    Graphics and photo quality could be better. Running costs should be lower, given purchase price. Small duty cycle and paper capacity for price.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    The vsts could be prohibitive for higher-volume environments.

The Brother HL-L2370DW XL ($279.99) ($229.99 at Amazon) is a member of the company’s recent line of bulk-toner laser printers. These new “XL” printers and all-in-ones are essentially entry-level machines that are, due to large a large complement of toner in the box, sold at midlevel monochrome laser printer prices. Whether it or a comparable, but less expensive, model like the Editors’ Choice Canon imageClass LBP251dw ($189.00 at Amazon) is right for you comes down to considering that your cost of ownership is going to go up once that first batch of toner is gone. If that’s not a deal-breaker, the HL-L2379DW is a highly capable single-function monochrome laser printer for home-based or small offices, and micro workgroups. It makes a good personal laser printer, too.

Read the entire review at PCMag



 

Epson Expression Premium ET-7700 Review and Ratings at Computer ShopperA while back, during a briefing on some new Epson EcoTank printers, we asked the company why there were no consumer-grade EcoTank photo printers. At the time, the answer seemed obvious to us: that offering a volume discount on consumables for these ink-guzzlers wouldn’t be profitable. But Epson’s answer surprised us. The company rep simply said, “Stay tuned.” And sure enough, a few months later Epson announced the topic of today’s review, the $449.99-street-priced, 28-syllable-named Epson Expression Premium ET-7700 EcoTank All-in-One Supertank Printer ($449.99 at Amazon), as well as its higher-end, tabloid-size sibling, the Epson Expression Premium ET-7750 Wide-Format Supertank All-In-One Printer. ($649.99 at Amazon)

Both of these Expression Premium AIOs are part of a larger, seven-product debut of new EcoTank machines, ranging from the lower-end ET-2700 ($279.99 at Amazon)to the impressive ET-7750. Among this sweeping upgrade are three Expression models, two WorkForce AIOs, and these two Expression Premium models.

While there are several ways in which Expression Premium AIOs distinguish themselves from non-Premium Expression models, in this case the primary distinction is that the ET-7700 and ET-7750 deploy five inks, rather than the more common four process colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, or CMYK) used in most standard color inkjet (and laser) printers. The fifth ink here, dubbed Photo Black or PB, is pigment-based rather than dye-based. Pigment-based inks tend to provide a wider color range and take longer to fade than their dye-based counterparts.

Epson Expression Premium ET-7700 (Right Angled)

The real news here, though, is that the ET-7700 can print borderless photos up to legal-size (8.5 by 14 inches) for not very much money (on a per-page cost-of-ink basis). Enough ink comes in the box for printing thousands of documents and hundreds of photos. When it comes time to buy more, as you’ll see later in the Cost Per Page section, refill bottles that hold literally thousands of document pages and photos are quite inexpensive, on both a per-page and by-the-bottle basis.

In other words, once you burn through the initial allotment for the machine (ten bottles of ink, or two sets of CMYK PB), the ET-7700 starts printing your document pages and photos for some of the lowest running costs in the inkjet printer market, especially for consumer-grade photo printers.

Otherwise, the ET-7700 is, for the price, not a very well-endowed all-in-one printer. As you’ll see in the Performance section later on, it’s slow, its paper input capacity is low, and it lacks an automatic document feeder (ADF) for copying or scanning multipage documents. And all of that is a lot to give up in a $450 machine.

If, on the other hand, what you need is primarily great-looking artwork and photos at a highly reasonable cost per page, with perhaps an occasional scan or copy thrown in, the only reason we can think of not to buy the ET-7700 is that you need wide-format artwork and photos. In that case, you can get the ET-7750 for about an additional $100.

Read entire review at Computer Shopper

Review of the Brother HL-L2350DW at PCMag

  • PROS

    Decent print quality overall. Fast for an entry-level device. Good price. Competitive running costs. Small footprint.

  • CONS

    Lacks Ethernet port. No support for external drives.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    The low-cost, entry-level Brother HL-L2350DW is a reasonably fast monochrome laser printer with competitive running costs.

When it comes to monochrome laser printers, the Brother HL-L2350DW ($119.99) ($89.99 at Amazon), which is close in price, features, and capacity to the Editors’ Choice Canon ImageClass LBP151dw (Check on Amazon at Amazon), is about as entry-level as you can get. Also similar to another top pick, the Dell Smart Printer S2830dn [[Amazon_Link_Text]], the HL-L2350DW is fast for its lean price, and it prints well overall, too. The Dell Smart Printer comes at a somewhat higher purchase price than the HL-L2350DW, but the former delivers significantly lower running costs, thereby making it a better value over time. If your print volume doesn’t exceed a few hundred pages each month, the Brother HL-L2350DW should serve your low-volume home-based or small office or workgroup quite well. It should also make a good personal monochrome laser printer.

Read the entire review at PCMag



 

Brother MFC-J775DW Review and Ratings at Computer ShopperTis the season of the low-cost, entry-level all-in-one (AIO) printer. Recently, we’ve reviewed models from Canon (the Pixma TS3120 Wireless All-in-One) ($39.99 at Amazon), HP (the DeskJet 2655 All-in-One ($49.99 at Amazon) and DeskJet 3755 All-in-One) ($66.99 at Amazon), and now Brother’s $149-street MFC-J775DW, today’s review model. While the Canon and HP machines cost under $100, and the MFC-J775DW ($149.99 at Amazon) costs more for the same speed ratings and capacities, the Brother costs significantly less to use.

And that’s the primary reason the MFC-J775DW lists for more than $100. (Aside, perhaps, from its automatic document feeder, or ADF, for scanning multipage documents without assistance; most sub-$100 models lack one.) It is one of Brother’s INKvestment line of AIOs, the company’s response to Epson’s EcoTank and Canon’s MegaTank bulk-ink models, which ask you to pay more for the machine up front to save on the ongoing per-page price of ink. Hence, in our Cost Per Page section later on, we’ll show you how (in this printer’s case, anyway) paying an additional $50 or so for the printer itself could—if you use it enough—save you significantly in consumables over the life of the machine.

How do Brother’s INKvestment machines differ from MegaTank and EcoTank AIOs? The INKvestment models use typical ink cartridges, whereas the Canon and Epson machines get their ink from bottles. You use them to fill reservoirs built into the printers themselves. In addition, the Canon and Epson models come with enough ink in the box to churn out thousands of pages, compared to the MFC-J775DW’s initial 2,400 monochrome and 1,200 color pages.

Brother MFC-J775DW (Printer and Ink)

You can, by the way, buy an “XL” iteration of the MFC-J775DW that comes with three sets of cartridges, for three times the prints, for an additional $100. This puts the XL version in direct competition with Epson’s Expression ET-2600 EcoTank All-in-One ($219.99 at Amazon) and Canon’s Pixma G3200 Wireless MegaTank All-in-One.($249.99 at Amazon) (Neither of these has an ADF, whereas the MFC-J775DW does.)

Whether, by the way, you should buy the XL version or the non-XL model depends on how much you print. If you can afford the additional C-note, our calculations indicate that for the $100 more that you’d pay for the MFC-J775DW XL, you get about $138 worth of extra ink in the box. So it depends on how quickly you’ll use that ink; saving $38 over the course of a year or two isn’t as attractive as saving that amount over a two- or three-month period.

Brother specializes in serious business printers, and while the MFC-J775DW is technically an office printer, as opposed to a photo-centric family-oriented machine, it’s not anywhere near a heavy-duty workhorse. Despite its lower running costs, this is a low-volume machine, as measured by its 12-page-per-minute (ppm) print speed rating. Even so, it prints, copies, and scans well, and its ADF makes it much more suitable to office-minded tasks, such as copying and scanning multipage documents, than several competing models. Reasonable print speeds, good print quality, relatively low running costs, dependable operation, an automatic document feeder, and a two-year warranty make this AIO a good value.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper



 

My review of the Brother HL-L2390DW at PC

  • PROS

    Low price. Small and light. Fast print speeds. Excellent text quality. Decent graphics and photos. Competitively low running costs.

  • CONS

    No automatic document feeder (ADF). Lacks memory drive support. No Ethernet support.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    The Brother HL-L2390DW is a reasonably fast, sensibly priced entry-level monochrome all-in-one laser printer with competitive running costs.

The Brother HL-L2390DW ($149.99) ($139.95 at Amazon)  is a no-frills, entry-level monochrome laser all-in-one (AIO) printer designed for small and home-based offices with low-print-and-copy-volume requirements. It has a lower price tag, and is faster and less expensive to use than the Editors’ Choice Canon ImageClass MF249dw ($214.00 at Amazon) and the HP LaserJet Pro MFP M130fw.(Check on Amazon at Amazon) On the other hand, the Brother model is short on a few key features, such as an automatic document feeder (ADF) for sending multipage originals to the scanner. While the HL-L2390DW is not the fastest entry-level monochrome laser out there, it’s plenty fast enough for what it is, and it delivers competitively low running costs, making it a good choice for low-to-moderate-volume printing and copying in small and home-based offices, or as a personal monochrome laser printer.
Read the entire review at PCMag