• My review of Brother's QL-1100 wide-format label printer at PCMagPROS

    Reasonably snappy print speeds. Good print quality, for a label printer. Excellent label-design and -printing software.

  • CONS

    Consumables somewhat costly on a per-label basis. No internal battery.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    A winning wide-body label maker, the Brother QL-1100 prints to a variety of label stock from your PC, Mac, or mobile device, and it comes with nifty label-design software and mobile apps.

The Brother QL-1100 label printer ($179.99) is, at heart, a wide-format version of the Brother QL-800 we reviewed this time last year. Like its smaller sibling, the QL-1100 churns out labels in several sizes—in this case, up to 4 inches wide, both die-cut and continuous-length labels—snappily and in good quality. It uses rolls of direct-printed thermal paper, and like most such printers, the per-label cost varies a lot according to your source for the stock. That said, aside from its QL-1110NWB sibling (a network-connectable version with otherwise identical specs), this is the first wide-format label printer of its kind that we’ve seen at this low a price. It’s a fine value for small-office and home-office shipping, barcoding, and other types of wide-format labeling.

Read the entire review at PCMag



My review of the Brother QL-1110NWB Wide-Format Label Printer at PCMag

  • PROS

    Prints wide-format labels up to 4 inches. Copious connectivity. Fast enough for moderate-size label jobs. Good print quality for a label printer. Handy design, printing, and database software. Easy to use.

  • CONS

    Consumables somewhat costly on a per-label basis. No battery for untethered use. Can’t print pre-designed labels from the unit itself.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    Brother’s QL-1110NWB supports network and mobile protocols galore and prints to wide labels from PCs, Macs, or mobile devices. Handy software and a nifty mobile app make this a strong pick among pro label printers.

The flagship model of Brother’s QL series of portable, pro-grade label printers, the QL-1110NWB ($279.99) is a step up from the Editors’ Choice QL-820NWB. These two label printers have very similar feature lists and capacities, except that the QL-1110NWB can print to wider labels (4 inches wide, versus 2.4 inches). However, the smaller version offers the option for an internal battery (making it truly portable) and a few other features missing on the QL-1110NWB—enough to keep this latest QL model from taking the place of the QL-820NWB as a PCMag top choice. That said, if your work routine calls for wider labels than the QL-820NWB can produce, the QL-1110NWB will serve as an excellent, networkable label printer for your home office, small office, or warehouse.

Read the entire review at PCMag



My review of the Epson WorkForce Pro ET-8700 EcoTank All-in-One Supertank Printer at PCMag

  • PROS

    Excellent output quality. Very low running costs after initial investment. Strong mobile connectivity. Ultra-high-yield ink bags. Support for USB memory sticks.

  • CONS

    High price. No SD card support. Recommended monthly page limit is low, considering cost, paper handling, and ink capacity.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    With long-lasting ink bags, Epson’s snappy, high-capacity WorkForce Pro ET-8700 EcoTank All-in-One inkjet can churn thousands of pages at a fraction of the running costs of most competitors.

Save for the earlier WorkForce Pro WF-R4640 EcoTank, it’s difficult to find a proper head-to-head competitor for the WorkForce Pro ET-8700 EcoTank All-in-One Supertank Printer ($999.99). This big inkjet is different from most other Epson EcoTank printers in that it uses large ink bags, rather than reservoirs you refill from bottles. It’s a higher-end, higher-volume all-in-one (AIO) designed for midsize to large offices and workgroups. It’s a snappy-enough printer for an office inkjet, the output quality is quite good, and you can’t beat its ultra-low running costs, making it a top-notch machine within its class. It comes up just short on the oomph, in terms of speed and rated monthly volume, though, needed to nudge it into an Editors’ Choice slot as a midsize business AIO.

Read the entire review at PCMag



      • My review of Brother's entry-level MFC-J690DW All-in-One Printer at PCMagPROS

        Handsome and well-built. Easy-to-use color display and control panel. Borderless printing. 20-sheet ADF. Good text output quality.

      • CONS

        High running costs. Low input and output capacities. No USB drive support. Backgrounds and fills not always spot-on in business graphics. Some holes in software bundle and connection options, versus barely pricier Brother models.

BOTTOM LINE

  • The Brother MFC-J690DW is a low-volume AIO that prints well enough for homes, home offices, and small offices. It’s a capable little machine, but its high running costs limit its monthly tour of duty.

The Brother MFC-J690DW ($119.99) is an entry-level all-in-one (AIO) printer designed for home offices, small offices, and workgroups. As a business-centric inkjet that prints, copies, scans, and faxes, it’s similar in features and close in price to our Editors’ Choice, the Canon Pixma TR8520 Wireless Home Office All-in-One. Though the MFC-J690DW prints at a relatively snappy pace for the price, it costs too much (in terms of ink) for frequent use, like most other so-called budget AIOs in this class. Given its high running costs and pared-down paper capacity, it fits best for offices that have light print and copy needs.Read the entire review at PCMag



My review of the Brother MFC-J895DW All-in-One inkjet printer at PCMag

  • PROS

    Good overall output quality. Easy-to-use display, control panel. SD card and USB thumb drive support. 20-sheet ADF.

      • CONS

        Running costs are high. Paper input and output capacities are low. Graphics backgrounds and fills not always spot-on.

B

OTTOM LINE

  • An entry-level, office-oriented AIO printer, Brother’s MFC-J895DW prints well, churns competitively quickly, and packs some higher-end features for the price. Its running costs, though, relegate it to low-volume duties.

It sure is hard to be an inkjet all-in-one (AIO) printer these days! Compared with our top pick for low-volume home printers, the Canon Pixma TR8520 Wireless Home Office All-in-One, the Brother MFC-J895DW ($129.99) is somewhat leaner in speed and capacity, and its color graphics output is a slight step down. But both printers churn out excellent-looking text and photos, and pack Ethernet ports for connecting to home and small-office networks. The MFC-J895DW is capable for light duty in homes and small offices, but (as we’ve noted about a few others of its kind), the competition in this class is stiff. A printer of this kind must practically run the board to take home our top nod.

Read the entire review at PCMag



William Harrel's review of the Brother MFC-J497DW at PCMag

  • PROS

    Strong output quality overall. 20-sheet ADF. Supports borderless printing. Solid feature set for price.

  • CONS

    Cost per page is high. No flash-drive support. Input and output capacities are low.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    The Brother MFC-J497DW is an inexpensive home or small-office AIO that prints well in low volumes for those environments. Like some recent siblings, though, its running costs need tweaking.

Let’s give Brother some credit up front: This printer packs a bunch of value and functionality into a small space. The MFC-J497DW ($79.99) is a compact, low-volume inkjet all-in-one printer, along the lines of the 4-star/Excellent-rated HP OfficeJet 3830 All-in-One. Like the HP model, the MFC-J497DW prints well, delivering smart-looking photos on premium-grade glossy or matte photo paper. But, even for an entry-level printer, the MFC-J497DW’s running costs are exceptionally high, especially when compared to the OfficeJet 3830 (and other HP models) paired with that company’s Instant Ink subscription service. The Brother MFC-J497DW does support two-sided printing, faxing, and a few other amenities that the HP OfficeJet 3830 does not, however, making it a good fit for many homes, home offices, and small workgroups with modest print and copy needs.

Read the entire review at PCMag

My article on How to Recycle or Donate Your Old Printer at PCMag

Whether your trusty inkjet or laser has spit out its last page, or you’re just looking to upgrade, here’s how not to land your old printer in a landfill.

ByWilliam Harrel

Donate, Recycle, or Sell Your Old Printer?

Whether your printer is a lightweight budget inkjet or a bulky workhorse laser, a single-function printer or a versatile all-in-one (AIO), the time will come when you’ll need to find a responsible way to dispose of it. Maybe it broke down for good; maybe you’ve simply replaced it with a better model. Whatever the reason why you don’t need your printer any longer, getting rid of it responsibly means making sure it gets refurbished and put back into service, or that its materials get into the right recycling streams. Here’s how to make that happen.

Read the entire article at PCMag



 

Editors' Choice

  • PROS

    Decent print quality for a Zink-based model. Makes slightly larger prints than Sprocket predecessor. App is easy to set up and use.

  • CONS

    Can’t print from a PC. Running costs, like with most Zink printers, are a bit high.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    An update to HP’s popular Sprocket portable photo printer, the Sprocket Plus prints larger pics, and its software packs a wide range of effects. It’s the most versatile model of its kind.

The HP Sprocket Plus ($149.99) is an update to the HP Sprocket portable photo printer we reviewed late last year. This newer iteration prints 30 percent larger photos (they are 2.3 by 3.4 inches, versus the original’s 2 by 3 inches), and the quality is better, too. The Sprocket and Sprocket Plus aren’t unique; they compete with similar products from Canon, Kodak, Lifeprint, Polaroid, and a few others. While most of these pocket photo printers, in terms of print quality, speed, and running costs, are near equals, the slightly bigger prints and the new functionality in its app set the Sprocket Plus apart from the pack—enough to elevate it to our latest Editors’ Choice for portable photo printers.

Read the entire review at PCMag



My review of the Epson Expression Premium XP-6000 Small-in-One Printer at PCMag

  • PROS

    Uses five inks for exceptional output quality, especially photos. Capable of borderless prints. Small and light.

  • CONS

    High running costs. Input and output capacities are low.

  • BOTTOM LINE

    The Epson Expression Premium XP-6000 Small-in-One is a basic but capable photo-centric all-in-one inkjet printer that delivers excellent print and copy quality, but its high ink costs relegate it to light-duty use.

The Epson Expression Premium XP-6000 Small-in-One Printer ($149.99) is a capable little entry-level all-in-one (print, copy, scan) inkjet designed for home-based and family offices with light-duty printing needs. Like the Editors’ Choice Canon Pixma TS9120, the XP-6000 is a photo-centric machine capable of printing large, borderless photos. However, the Canon model’s more robust feature set and lower ink costs are more than enough to justify its $50 higher list price. But if you simply need a basic, inexpensive AIO for light-duty use in a home office, the XP-6000 is a solid choice.

Read the entire review at PCMag



Review of Epson WorkForce WF-2860 All-in-One Printer at PCMag

    • PROS

      Excellent print quality. Light and compact. Supports Wi-Fi Direct and NFC mobile connectivity.

    • CONS

      High running costs. No memory drive support. Small paper capacity.

BOTTOM LINE

  • The Epson WorkForce WF-2860 All-in-One Printer prints reasonably fast and exceptionally well for its price, but high running costs diminish its overall value.

The Epson WorkForce WF-2860 All-in-One Printer ($129.99) is Epson’s smallest and least expensive entry-level business-oriented all-in-one (AIO) printer. Like the Editors’ Choice HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 All-in-One Printer, it prints relatively fast for its price and churns out very good-looking documents, but its running costs are higher than not just the HP model, but also several other competitors. If, however, you use it as designed—for printing and copying a few hundred pages each month in low-volume small or home-based offices and workgroups—the Epson WF-2860’s high running costs shouldn’t add up to too much of a financial burden.

Read the entire review at PCMag