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Color Copier Reviews

The best all-in-one printer we've tested is the Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw, a color laser model with a sturdy build and tons of features. You can connect to this printer via USB, Wi-Fi, or Ethernet and even print directly from a USB flash drive. Though a little slow, its ADF-equipped scanner produces high-quality scans and supports single-pass duplex scanning, so you don't need to scan double-sided sheets manually. It also has lid hinges that extend to accommodate thicker items like textbooks and magazines.

Color Copier Reviews

As for its printing performance, it produces outstanding quality black and color documents and is fast, printing up to 29 pages per minute. The toner cartridges yield a large number of prints, around 3000 black and 2000 color, so you don't need to worry about frequent maintenance. The cartridges are expensive; however, they contain the drum, meaning you won't need to spend extra to replace the drum separately. The downside is that, like most laser printers, it isn't ideal for photo printing, as printed pictures look grainy and lacking in detail.

If you need something for home use but don't want to go too cheap, the mid-range price segment is where you'll find the best options. Our pick is the Brother MFC-J4335DW, an inkjet model. It's more compact and affordable than the laser models we recommend above, but you still get plenty of features, like an ADF-equipped scanner, wide connectivity options, and fast printing speed. It produces high-quality documents, and while it doesn't have the best color accuracy or color gamut, printed photos still look very detailed.

Unlike cheap printers that tend to have a very low page yield, this model's ink cartridges yield roughly 2000 black and 800 color prints, and they aren't overly expensive, which will help you save money in the long run. You can also get XL ink cartridges that'll last longer, further reducing maintenance. It has Wi-Fi and USB connectivity, and it's compatible with Brother's feature-rich mobile app, allowing you to print, copy, scan, and perform maintenance tasks from your smartphone.

For the budget-conscious, we recommend the Brother MFC-J1205W. It's an inkjet all-in-one intended for people who don't print all that often and only need basic features. It feels sturdily built, prints decent-looking photos, and yields around 1100 black and 700 color pages. Naturally, since it's a budget model, there are fewer features, and in this case, it's the lack of an automatic document feeder and Ethernet connectivity. It also doesn't print very fast at nine black or six color pages per minute, so you'll have to be patient. Nonetheless, it's still a good option if you're looking for something affordable and don't mind a few compromises.

Finally, we have cheap printer options, the most entry-level and basic models you can get. For something at this price point, our recommendation is the Canon PIXMA MG3620. This inkjet all-in-one produces good-quality documents and photos, and that's about it. Aside from its not-so-sturdy build and lack of an automatic feeder for the scanner, the biggest downside with a cheap model like this is its page yield. Its black and tri-color cartridges are only good for about 200 black and color prints, and while the ink cartridges aren't overly expensive, the cost will still add up quickly if you print a lot.

If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here's the list of all our all-in-one printer reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no printer is perfect for every use, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.

The 9015e comes with enough ink in the box for roughly 850 black-and-white pages or 420 color pages. Depending on your usage, that could last you a while. But when it comes time to re-up, running costs are user-friendly: A full set of HP 962 XL ink cartridges costs you about $150 and lasts for approximately 2,000 monochrome pages or 1,600 color. Bear in mind that these estimates are based on the stated page yields for each cartridge type; your real-world results are likely to differ due to the ink that gets wasted during cleaning cycles.

The 9015e is plenty fast for just about anyone who plans to use it in a home or home-office setting. HP rates it at up to 22 pages per minute with black-and-white documents or 18 ppm for color. In our testing, it got pretty close: With a text-only Word document, we saw 19.6 ppm single-sided. Switching to PDF documents, we saw the typical drop-off in speed, to 15 ppm in monochrome and 11.5 ppm in color. (These figures include the lag time between our hitting the print button on our computer and the printer feeding the first sheet.) Printing two-sided documents slowed things to 12.8 ppm with Word files and 10 ppm with PDFs, which is still just fine.

Who doesn't want to reduce the number of machines around the house or the office that they need to keep fed, watered, filled, and powered up? (Pets and plants are enough of a commitment.) Any printer, by definition, can of course print. Not every printer, however, can help shuffle your old fax machine, copier, and flatbed scanner off to the great recycling bin in the sky.

If you need a four-function AIO for a small office or home office, it's easy to find less-expensive ink cartridge-based models with similar speed, output quality, and features as the Epson ST-C4100 Supertank Color MFP. But for offices that print enough for cost per page to be a major consideration, the savings in initial cost for those printers can quickly be eaten up by ink costs. With the ST-C4100's running cost of 0.3 cent per mono page and 0.9 cent per color page, it doesn't take many pages per month to hit the break-even point, especially considering that it ships with two complete sets of black and color ink bottles you have to use up before spending a penny on ink. The ST-C4100 also offers a solid feature set, including a 250-sheet paper drawer and automatic print duplexing. There's also a letter-size flatbed and a 30-page ADF for up to legal-size paper for scanning, copying, and faxing. Finally, you can count on text and graphics output quality that's just short of top-tier for business inkjets.

The six-color ink system is another key feature, adding Photo Black and gray to the usual cyan, yellow, magenta, and black. The extra inks help deliver good color accuracy and subtle gradations for both color and grayscale photos as large as a borderless 8.5 by 11 inches. Paper capacity in the front trays is suitable for printing more than 80 small-format photos and 400 sheets of plain paper per month while holding paper refills to once a week on average. An additional 50-page rear tray also makes it easy to add or switch to different papers, and the printer can even handle printable CDs. AIO functions beyond printing are limited to copying and scanning using a letter-size flatbed.

The Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 offers all the same strong points as the ET-8500 does, including low-cost ink in bottles that brings the ink cost for a 4-by-6-inch borderless photo to about 4 cents each. It has the same six-color ink system, and it offers the same high level of photo quality, delivering good color accuracy and holding subtle gradations. It can also handle all the same non-photo printing most families need, and it even offers the same paper capacities. Where it differs is the size paper it can print on. Instead of being limited to a maximum legal-size paper, it can handle sheets as large as supertabloid size. This lets it print 13-by-19-inch borderless photos, a trick that's easily enough to make it worth its higher price. It also has a slightly larger maximum scan and copy size, offering a legal-size flatbed.

The HP Color LaserJet Enterprise MFP M480f is a workhorse color laser AIO for any small to midsize office. It's rated at 29ppm for both color and mono printing, and its 50-page ADF offers speedy single-pass duplex scanning, helping to reduce the time spent making copies. In addition, it also faxes, delivers excellent print quality, and has ample paper capacity for up to medium-duty printing in a midsize office. Two trays divide its standard 300-sheet capacity into 250 sheets in one tray and 50 sheets in the other, while a $199.99 optional 550-sheet tray is available for a total of 850 pages. Welcome conveniences include a 4.3-inch color touch screen for the control panel.

Don't let the "Enterprise" in the name get in the way of considering it for your non-enterprise office. Although packed with a wealth of security and network management features that many small and midsize offices won't care about, there's no reason you have to use them. At heart, the M480f is a solid workhorse for medium-duty mono and color printing, as well as scanning, copying, and faxing. And you might well appreciate some of its features that most printers leave out, including private printing, which lets you send a print job with sensitive information to the printer, and not print it until you enter a PIN at the front panel, instead of leaving it sitting in the output tray where anyone can see it.

Between inkjets and lasers, each has different advantages. Inkjets can churn out text that's almost as high quality as lasers can manage, but laser-printed text has the advantage of not smudging if it gets wet. For graphics, most color (but not mono) lasers can deliver higher-quality color graphics on plain paper than most inkjets can. If, however, you take advantage of inkjet heavyweight (and more expensive) matte and photo papers, most inkjets can deliver higher quality graphics than laser printers. (Read more about the inkjet versus laser question.)

If you never print in color, there's no reason to spend money on this feature. Keep in mind, however, that many color laser MFPs can print at high enough quality to let you print your own marketing materials. This could be less expensive than printing small quantities at your local print shop, which may be enough reason to choose a color laser even if you don't need its color output for anything else.


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