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Macworld Buying Guides: Multifunction printers

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 09:47 AM

Post your comments for Macworld Buying Guides: Multifunction printers here
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#2 User is offline   btb83 

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  Posted 08 December 2011 - 05:45 AM

This article completely ignores the most economical multi-function device, the monochrome multi-function laser printer. Unless you need color in most of your printing, every home office should have one of these. In fact, I would recommend one for just about every one who needs to print documents at home (e.g. school assignments). We have a Brother black&white laser MFP that handles 95% of our printing (and copying), and then we have a small Canon color inkjet for when we need color. The cost per page of the monochrome laser is less than an inkjet and much much less than a color laser.
This article also glosses over the first decision that you have to make when shopping for a multi-function: do you need fax capability or not? This can add significantly to the price of the printer, but if you need it, that eliminates a lot of print/copy/scan multi-function printer.
Other critical questions include whether or not you want to pay extra for duplex capability, and whether or not you need to copy/scan items on the flatbed glass that are larger than letter size. Also, you can save money by getting a model with no flatbed function - it can still copy/scan documents, but not books or odd-sized objects.
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#3 User is offline   Xenu 

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  Posted 08 December 2011 - 06:43 AM

Another critical issue is how much driver support there is for Macs. I own a high end HP multifunction printer and the driver simply doesn't support scanning on a Mac. For Macs, this printer is really just fax print and copy-- no scan.
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#4 User is offline   spinoza2 

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  Posted 08 December 2011 - 06:50 AM

My Artisan 810 died after a year of light use--the ADF failed on it, rendering it useless for me. I checked online and poorly designed and cheap ADF is apparently an inherent problem with the Artisan, there are complaints from users everywhere.
I won't be buying an Artisan printer any longer, and this experience soured me to Epson printers in general.
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#5 User is offline   hayesk 

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  Posted 08 December 2011 - 07:47 AM

Unless you print photos, I would avoid inkjet altogether. The price per page is extremely high. And if you don't print often, the inkjet nozzles dry up and you end up either hoping the clean mechanism works (wasting paper and ink) or you end up replacing a half-filled cartridge.

I bought a Brother laser colour ethernet/wireless all-in-one and couldn't be happier. And if you don't want to use the scan button on the printer itself, you don't even need to install their software - Lion has remote scanning, faxing built in that works with this printer.
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#6 User is offline   alterbentzion 

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  Posted 08 December 2011 - 12:15 PM

If you need to scan small items (checks, receipts, business cards) with an automatic feeder, make sure the MFP you want can handle them. Many, if not most, MFP's have a minimum original size of 4-5 inches on each side. And you may have to download an operator's manual form the manufacturer to get that info. (So saith experience.)
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#7 User is offline   monty214 

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  Posted 12 December 2011 - 09:36 AM

I have had an epson printer for many years. Previous ones and my newest Artisan 725 have the option of installing a continuous ink system. If you have never seen one of these Google it up.
It replaces those factory cartridges with new ones that are connected to a tank arrangement with a 4 to 6 tube hose. This means that you will never have to buy a new cartridge in the middle of the evening when you run out of a color. Costs about $100. Which is less than buying one set or replacement cartridges alone. One of the best kept secrets. That's why printers are so cheap. It the ink cartridges that you buy that make up for it.
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#8 User is offline   RedpointRik 

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  Posted 12 December 2011 - 11:49 AM

Just a recommendation to stay away from the Canon ImageClass MF4570dn (multi-function laser printer.) Although it functions great for copy and print, the scanning functions are operated with very archaic software, and requires button selections on the printer every time. Very inconvenient. The Canon Pixma series works great, but they are not lasers.
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#9 User is offline   Jaygyver 

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  Posted 12 December 2011 - 03:40 PM

Also if you do a LOT of envelope printing then make sure you know how it works BEFORE you buy it. Some are extremely easy and others are horrendous.
I love my Brother MFC9320CW, BUT, it absolutely sucks green peppers for printing envelopes. It's not so much hand feeding them one by one or leaving room in the back to open the rear door,(also for thick paper stock), it's the way it starts the feed. I had done my reading up on it so I was ready but for someone printing a lot of envelopes, they probably should just do them all at one time instead of when you need them individually or should maybe pass.

You touched on the cost of the ink/toners but didn't give "The Rest OF The Story". Sure ink cartridges cost $20/$40 and toners are $50/$100(name brands), BUT, you only _average_ 200ish pages for ink as compared to 1,400ish pages per toner. (starter/basic cartridges)

Another item is to ALWAYS look to see how much the ink/toners cost for the machine your looking at. There is a HUGE difference sometimes between models and makes.(name brands) Definitely shop around.

Some MFC Laser printers are also able to upgrade the ram for better print & copier performance.
You might also look to see if the printer is able to "sleep" or you'll have to leave it on 24/7 or turn it off/on when you need it

And as mentioned before, make sure it has the latest/updated drivers for the Mac OS (Lion) or the latest Windows (XP/Vista/W7) drivers for the machine you looking at. Mac users especially. (or older Windows os users.)
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#10 User is offline   Malcolm 

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  Posted 13 December 2011 - 10:19 AM

Of the 4 printers in my office, we've had one color multifunction printer at the front desk for scanning in all kinds of things a being able to make quick copies with color. That front office printer has gone through 2 canons (each died shortly after their warranties expired) and an HP (also not long after 1 year). Beyond the annoyance of having to replace the damn things every year or so, I was also left holding the bag of those crazy expensive inkjet cartridges that don't last long enough and so you need a big supply so you don't run out. Luckily, I got a pretty good return on the carts on eBay. That ink is more expensive than gold.
During this time, the other 3 printers in the office have hardly had a speck of trouble. All 3 are Brother lasers. So, when the HP died, I gave up on inkjets and haven't looked back. Another Brother in the office without any problems. It's not color, but having the color isn't worth the pain and expense of the inkjet printers.
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#11 User is offline   macjap3 

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  Posted 08 January 2012 - 08:18 AM

I had an old HP DeskJet that I absolutely loved. I gave it to my dad in favor of an Epson RX600. What a mistake. One topic I would like to see addressed is the printer's ability to print a black and white page when one color runs out. This absolutely frustrates me with the epson. Need to print a black and white text report before that important meeting? Not if your Light Cyan cartridge is out. Take it out, shake it and you can still here there's ink in there but that doesn't matter. The printer is useless at that point.
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#12 User is offline   aguamala 

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 02:21 AM

Hi,
may I know the model of Brother laser colour ethernet/wireless all-in-one do you have?, I'm looking with interest this kind of printer, I never had a laser printer.
Thanks!

View Posthayesk, on 08 December 2011 - 07:47 AM, said:

Unless you print photos, I would avoid inkjet altogether. The price per page is extremely high. And if you don't print often, the inkjet nozzles dry up and you end up either hoping the clean mechanism works (wasting paper and ink) or you end up replacing a half-filled cartridge.

I bought a Brother laser colour ethernet/wireless all-in-one and couldn't be happier. And if you don't want to use the scan button on the printer itself, you don't even need to install their software - Lion has remote scanning, faxing built in that works with this printer.

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#13 User is offline   python33 

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:37 AM

View PostRedpointRik, on 12 December 2011 - 11:49 AM, said:

Just a recommendation to stay away from the Canon ImageClass MF4570dn (multi-function laser printer.) Although it functions great for copy and print, the scanning functions are operated with very archaic software, and requires button selections on the printer every time. Very inconvenient. The Canon Pixma series works great, but they are not lasers.



Stay away from Canon MF8050cn too. Have had for less than 18 months and scanner has died completely and there is no support from Canon.
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#14 User is offline   Ellen999 

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  Posted 01 June 2012 - 03:04 AM

I am looking for an all in one that will scan incoming faxes directly to my Mac. Any suggestions?
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