Each year, due primarily to Brother (and to a lesser degree, to HP), the stable of available tabloid-capable (11×17-inch) all-in-one (AIO) printers widens. Many of them can print, copy, scan, and fax, and the AIOs themselves get less expensive to buy and to use.
Nearly all of Brother’s Business Smart Plus AIOs, among them the Brother MFC-J5830DW [amazon_link asins=’B01M0W4B32′ template=’CopyOf-PriceLink’ store=’store-1′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’39af68ee-c3ea-11e7-98c6-0fcc72448d99′], support at least tabloid-size printing, and several, including the recent Editors’ Choice Brother MFC-J6935DW [amazon_link asins=’B01LYA9D2C’ template=’CopyOf-PriceLink’ store=’store-1′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’4a666f74-c3ea-11e7-88d2-6111930fb3a8′], come with scanners and automatic document feeders (ADFs) that can handle wide documents for scans, copies, and faxes.
[amazon_link asins=’B0721MVP35′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’store-1′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’1f69cb10-c3ea-11e7-9ea0-1fbbdf87d2ee’]While Brother makes many wide-format printers with a myriad of feature configurations, HP up until now offered only one, the Officejet Pro 7740 [amazon_link asins=’B01JUCLLGK’ template=’CopyOf-PriceLink’ store=’store-1′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’e59e0004-c3ea-11e7-b0a4-1b1db07c5b59′], that had the ability to print, copy, scan, and fax in tabloid. Now, though, the Palo Alto printer giant is offering a pared-down version of the 7740, the $199.99-list Officejet Pro 7720.[amazon_link asins=’B0721MVP35′ template=’CopyOf-PriceLink’ store=’store-1′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’f76f4e8c-c3ea-11e7-ad6b-8391baff0c3c’] It’s different from the 7740 in several key ways. The newer model, for instance, comes with only one 250-sheet paper-input tray, versus the 7740’s two 250-sheet cassettes.
The biggest difference between these two Officejets, though, is that the newer one has a smaller scanner and ADF, rendering it capable of copying, scanning, and faxing only legal-size (8.5×14-inch) pages. Aside from the smaller paper-input capacity and the inability to run tabloid-size pages through the ADF and scanner, though, these two Officejets are the spitting image of each other. But as you’ll see as you read on, what you give up for the $50 list price difference between them is significant.
We should pause here to add that Epson, too, makes a few wide-format printers meant for small businesses or workgroups, including the WorkForce WF-7610 All-in-One [amazon_link asins=’B00JXLGETI’ template=’CopyOf-PriceLink’ store=’store-1′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’17d5602b-c3eb-11e7-a720-8fe4e0083e67′], the WorkForce WF-7620 All-in-One [amazon_link asins=’B00JXLGELG’ template=’CopyOf-PriceLink’ store=’store-1′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’250e6248-c3eb-11e7-8ce1-1d4cb331c6cf’], and the WorkForce ET-16500 EcoTank Wide-Format All-in-One Supertank [amazon_link asins=’B01IH2KLSI’ template=’CopyOf-PriceLink’ store=’store-1′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’a6311f0e-c3ea-11e7-8d52-21d6640dcf3c’]. The difference between the first two is that the latter comes with two 250-sheet paper drawers, while the former has only one. The ET-16500 is one of Epson’s “bulk ink” AIOs that comes with tens of thousands of pages’ worth of ink in the box, and, as a result, it lists for about $1,000.
Another significant distinction between the Epson models, compared to the HP and Brother AIOs, is that all three of them print wide-format pages up to 13×19 inches, instead of 11×17. All three are simply WorkForce models rather than WorkForce Pro AIOs, meaning that their printheads contain fewer ink-nozzle chips (two chips, as opposed to the four on the WorkForce Pro models’ printheads). In addition, the WF-7610 and WF-7620 have been around since 2014; they lack a few recent mobile-connectivity and other features, and, as we’ll discuss later, they have substantially higher running costs.
In any case, back to the Officejet Pro 7720, the newest of the bunch. As mentioned, you give up a fair bit versus the Officejet Pro 7740, including the features listed earlier, as well as an ADF capable of scanning and copying two-sided pages automatically. On the other hand, the footprint and price are both smaller, and you get the same exceptional print and copy quality. The 7740 is a highly capable wide-format inkjet with many desirable attributes, and so goes the 7720. Nowadays, though, the competition among tabloid-size inkjet AIOs is brisker than ever.