: All-in-one printer recommendation?


Fuji
Dec 8th, 2007, 03:01 AM
Hello fellow ehmacers,

A friend of mine is looking for an all-in-one solution for a printer for his small business. I don't have much experience with these units so I thought I'd put out the ask for recomendations from some fellow mac users here who have a stronger degree of familiarity.

His needs are relatively modest. I don't picture him having high yield demands. Here are some thoughts regarding his needs:
- Colour capability would be nice.
- Fax capability would be nice.
- The cost of ink/toner replacements are a consideration.
- Double-sided printing would be nice (at minimum you'd be able to "manually" accomplish good quality double-sided pages).
- Ease of use (it's a family business and his parents [non-computer users] need to be able to copy something or send a fax).
- All around reliabilty and decent printing performance a must.

I don't imagine he wants to spend a lot of money on this unit, so expect the solution for him would be an ink jet. But I will entertain recommendations for laser printers should you have a strong opinion re: their value/performance/quality/long-term toner savings etc...

Many thanks for chiming in with your opinions!!! It is much appreciated. :clap:

20DDan
Dec 8th, 2007, 03:12 AM
All I've got to say is DO NOT... get a Brother All-In-One.... nothing but hell with them! We paid a few hundred dollars for ours n it's just problem after problem, it freezes a lot, leaks ink on papers, does an irritating "cleaning" every so often that lasts a long time ( longer than I'd like to wait), n many other irritations!! I'm not the only one to have problems with them, I know 3 other people who hate them too bc of similar issues.

Oh... I've had an HP all-in-one... a cheaper model($130) and it's suited me well for about 1.5yrs... just now it's starting to die on me. I don't mind bc I got many of full-screen colour photos off it n sold them =)

tacsniper
Dec 8th, 2007, 03:16 AM
Epson RX680 will suit his needs and within budget:

STAPLES Business Depot | BUREAU EN GROS (http://www.staples.ca/ENG/Catalog/cat_sku.asp?webid=714243&AffixedCode=WW)

scan, fax, color printer, double side printing, hook up to digital camera directly... i want to buy one too

Isight
Dec 8th, 2007, 03:59 AM
I like either Epson or HP I have a lexmark portable photo print that is ok. The Hp os a all in one. The Epson is a single function but has conked out on me a month a go but it was 5 years old. My parents have a single function Hp and they bought it in 2000 and it is going strong. Knok on wood.

HowEver
Dec 8th, 2007, 04:42 AM
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guytoronto
Dec 8th, 2007, 07:28 AM
The cost of ink/toner replacements are a consideration.

I don't imagine he wants to spend a lot of money on this unit, so expect the solution for him would be an ink jet.

Do NOT get an inkjet all-in-one. You will not get the speed, dependability, cost-effectiveness that a small business needs. Spending $200 on a cheap inkjet unit is like throwing money away. A good quality printer, scanner, fax is an investment. Tell your friend he has to think long-term costs (inkjet is the worst offender for long-term costs), durability (inkjet printers have the worst long-term durability track-record), speed (inkjet printers are the slowest printers on the market).

The ONLY reason to ever consider an inkjet printer is:
1) Need photo quality printing (in which case have a small, cheap inkjet JUST for that, and a laser for everything else)
2) Low up-front costs, with no cares for long-term costs (doesn't sound like a smart business investment)

Take a look at models like these:
Manual-duplexing: MFC-9420CN | Multi-function centres | Brother Canada (http://www.brother.ca/en/products/description.asp?Prodid=310453708746686283&features=on)
Auto-Duplexing: MFC-9840CDW | Multi-function centres | Brother Canada (http://www.brother.ca/en/products/description.asp?Prodid=3153443240977154399&features=on)

Xerox: (duplexing)
Phaser 6180MFP Colour Multifunction: Colour Laser Printer Specifications (http://www.office.xerox.com/multifunction-printer/color-multifunction/phaser-6180mfp/spec-enca.html)

HP:
HP Color LaserJet 2800 All-in-One series Products and Services (http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/ca/en/sm/WF25a/12144670-12145036-12145038-12145038-78400142-78400150.html)

These are the low-end models I'm suggesting if up-front costs are a big issue.

Stay away from inkjet multi-functions!

krs
Dec 8th, 2007, 12:33 PM
For a small business, I would definitely only consider a laser printer as my main unit.
Even for my home, I just bought a low cost Brother Laser for $130.- that does black and white printing, scanning and copying and has a feed tray to do up to 30 or so copies automatically.

There are a lot of choices and I think we need to know a bit more about the requirements and the actual budget.
You say
- Colour capability would be nice.
- Fax capability would be nice.
- The cost of ink/toner replacements are a consideration.
- Double-sided printing would be nice (at minimum you'd be able to "manually" accomplish good quality double-sided pages).
- Ease of use (it's a family business and his parents [non-computer users] need to be able to copy something or send a fax).
- All around reliabilty and decent printing performance a must.

Perhaps a good solution would be to get two printers, a laser one for b/w printing, scanning and copying (assuming these are the tasks performed more often) and a inkjet for colour and faxing.
That way you also have a back up if there is a problem with one of the printers - depends what happens to the business if a printer fails - can the business run without it or does everything come to a grinding halt.

@ Gabriel - Which brother all-in-one do you have? I bought the cheapest MFC-120C for less than $50 on sale about two years ago when I needed a scanner. Cheapest scanner then was $130, so this Brother was a lot cheaper. My Epson 880 gave up the ghost after many years of faithful service, so I use the Brother now as a printer as well and have had no problems.
The only issue is the paper feed. The paper needs to make a 180 degree turn inside the printer and I can therefore not use heavier cardboard-like paper like I could with the Epson.

@ the RX680 - I'm looking for an "all-in-one" that prints on CDs and DVDs, and the RX680 was one of the contenders. However, the reviews I have seen so far rate this printer pretty poorly when it comes to print quality and ink consumption.
HP and Canon don't seem much better - aqnyone have recommendations for an 'all-in-one' that prints on CDs? And is has to be less than $150.-.

Fuji
Dec 8th, 2007, 02:20 PM
Thanks for all who have taken the time to provide some feedback.

I think that I should elaborate a little further on a couple of things.

Epson RX680 will suit his needs and within budget:

scan, fax, color printer, double side printing, hook up to digital camera directly... i want to buy one too

I checked out this link, and it does seem like a cool ink-jet... but I don't see the faxing capability. Am I missing it? or perhaps it doesn't indeed have the fax option?

Enter this Staples coupon code at the checkout if you order online, and save $20:
67560

Thanks However!

Do NOT get an inkjet all-in-one.
There are a lot of choices and I think we need to know a bit more about the requirements and the actual budget

I hear you on the concerns re: cost of ink-jets long term.

Perhaps I need to elaborate a little further as suggested by KRS.

My friend runs a restaurant (not the type of "small-business" that generates a lot of print material). So his printing needs are limited to menu, wine list and invoices for catering type things and perhaps some general occasional correspondence. He has recently installed a mac for generating documents.

I don't think they will be generating a lot of paper, just occasional wine list or menu print runs and the one-off requirements of printing the occasional document.

The size of the printer is also an issue. Their office is a small cramped room in the basement and the printer would have to fit on their desk. I mention this because although the laser machines that guytoronto mentioned do look sweet, they also appear to be large enough in size that they would be ruled out as an option by the family. Are there lasers that are no more than about two feet tall? This also generally rules out krs's suggestion that he consider two printers. I understand the rationale, but it really is a cramped little low-ceilinged room. A desk, a love-seat, a chair and a person... the room is full.

I am also concerned that the cost of these lasers are more than makes sense for a unit that can print a menu. (A $1000 printer to print some menus seems steep to me). So let's keep the cost of the unit below $500 and ideally lower than that.

So, to narrow things down a bit:

- Colour would be ideal (you can make nicer looking menus/wine lists with colour ink and nice paper).
- I think that fax capability would be ideal (we would not be able to teach his parents to use the mac to send a fax).
- Because we are talking about generating menus and wine lists: the capability to generate good double sided prints is highly-desireable.
- Ease of use for sending a fax or copying a document is also important (parents).

Well, I know I really should have written more last night before I went to bed when I originally posted, but I didn't want to make you folks read a book. In hindsight, I realize that I should have provided some more details. I was a little na´ve to not be as precise as I could.

Many thanks for the opinions already registered.

I am sure if any of you helping out in the deliberations on this are ever in the Kensington Market in Toronto and have worked up a thirst, a glass of wine or pint of beer could easily be arranged in appreciation of your assistance. (They are very nice people).

kps
Dec 8th, 2007, 02:57 PM
Now that you have elaborated, I will 'second' guytoronto's advice and reafirm staying away from inkjets.

A low cost B&W laser all-in-one, such as this HP (http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/ca/en/sm/WF25a/12144670-12145036-12145038-12145038-12145054-12245306.html) (or similar) is more than capable of handling the location and usage you described.

--Forget the colour menus...get fancy reusable sleeves or covers.
--The laser will last longer and is ultra fast for printing (or copying) many menus.
--No ink to dryout or runout and a laser can print hundreds more pages between cartridge changes.
-- inkjet pages, printed on standard paper have issues with wetness which causes buckling and unevenness.

meall
Dec 8th, 2007, 03:00 PM
If you don't need the color, my girl friend has a DCP-7020 laser/scanner/photocopier that works just fine with Leopard. It is cheap on ink too.

krs
Dec 8th, 2007, 04:03 PM
If you don't need the color, my girl friend has a DCP-7020 laser/scanner/photocopier that works just fine with Leopard. It is cheap on ink too.

Rather than a 7020, a 7220 or a 7820 would be more appropriate since it provides FAX capability as well.
Brother MFC-7220 All-In-One Laser Printer (http://www.brother-usa.com/mfc/ModelDetail.aspx?ProductID=MFC7220)

How well does a laser printer handle heavier cardboard paper stock? I think menus tend to be printed on that rather than just plain paper.

If faxing becomes a "must" requirement, then I think one of the Brother printers becomes your primary choice.
Here is a list of the these laser printers that Staples carries - look for a 4 or 5-in-one.
And remember, if you do but from Staples on line (with free shipping), there are also a bunch of discount codes you can apply to reduce the price.

STAPLES Business Depot | BUREAU EN GROS (http://www.staples.ca/ENG/Catalog/cat_class.asp?CatIds=83%2C320,425&name=CA%5FCL%5FMonochrome+Laser+Multifunctions)

PS: Forget what I said about Brother - Canon, HP and Samsung make these 4 or 5 in ones as well.

PPS: Here are some Staples coupons you can use if you need to buy now and can't wait for one of these to go on sale.
Also, a colour laser with copying and Fax capability seems to be over $800 and is also quite large.
Not much competition in colour laser plus Fax - I assume that's why those prices are still high.

Macified
Dec 8th, 2007, 05:35 PM
I picked up a Canon laser all-in-one from Staples for $299 on sale from $399. I don't remember which model but I can find out. It was a "G3" or something like that. I found that I could not get a fax through to the other end no matter where it was going. Tried all the possible settings changes and it just wouldn't work. It was usb only as well so I had to connect to the Airport Express to network print which was less than ideal.

I took the Canon back and moved up to the Brother 7820N. I have had absolutely no problems with the Brother. In the past I have had Brother ink-jet all-in-ones and the only complaint was ink shelf life. The tanks dried out really fast. I have been blowing through laser prints and copies on the Brother with absolutely no issues. You won't get photo quality greyscale but I have photo printers for that. Faxes work, copies work, network printing and scanning work like a charm. This printer is "da bomb".

Fuji
Dec 9th, 2007, 02:58 PM
I took the Canon back and moved up to the Brother 7820N. I have had absolutely no problems with the Brother. In the past I have had Brother ink-jet all-in-ones and the only complaint was ink shelf life. The tanks dried out really fast. I have been blowing through laser prints and copies on the Brother with absolutely no issues. You won't get photo quality greyscale but I have photo printers for that. Faxes work, copies work, network printing and scanning work like a charm. This printer is "da bomb".

Many thanks to all who piped in. I am going with the laser option and like macified's suggested model for three reasons, one: it has all the featuers my friend is looking for (save the sacrifice of colour), two: macified swears by it and three: it has a flatbed scanner rather than the feed type which seems to dominate the lower end of these machines.

I think my buddy wants to wait a week or two before we pick it up, so if anyone sees it on sale anywhere, I'd love a head's up.

Thanks again for your inputs!

krs
Dec 9th, 2007, 03:41 PM
I was going to suggest that you also look at the 7220 since it's $100 cheaper and I thought you only lose colour scanning - however turns out that is not true, there are many differences including sheet-fed vs flat-bed scanning.
I agree, flatbed scanning is much more useful.
Here is a handy feature comparison put together by Brother:
Brother International - Multifunction Centers (http://www.brother-usa.com/mfc/CompareList.aspx?ModelList=MFC7220,MFC7820N&tab=full)

Seems NCIX has the best price currently at $247.00.
Cost $33.00 in shipping but you save the PST unless you live in BC.

I wonder if you can price-match at Staples and get that price plus another 10%.

ACfly
Dec 10th, 2007, 04:34 PM
I bought several HP Printers and discovered after the fact that some are not compatible with OSX!

krs
Dec 10th, 2007, 04:48 PM
I bought several HP Printers and discovered after the fact that some are not compatible with OSX!

Could you list them and indicate what is not compatible with OS X.
Do they not work at all or are just some features incompatible.

I find a lot of people swear by HP; I never owned one, only Epson, Canon and Brother.

Lawrence
Dec 10th, 2007, 04:57 PM
If I had a small business...
I'd probably buy this Samsung CLX-3160FN Colour Laser Multifunction Machine (http://www.staples.ca/ENG/Catalog/cat_sku.asp?CatIds=83%2C320%2C425,4397&webid=649895&affixedcode=WW)
Looks pretty good to me, Not too pricey and it works with OSX,
Weighs a friggin ton though, Although heavy is good right? Less chance it'll get stolen.

Thing about this All in one printer is is it isn't exactly that fast,
Expect to buy a cartridge with it as well.

CNET Review (http://reviews.cnet.com/multifunction-devices/samsung-clx-3160fn/4505-3181_7-31628162.html)

Dave :)

krs
Dec 10th, 2007, 05:09 PM
I always find the C/Net and user reviews quite useful:

Samsung CLX-3160FN Multifunction Device reviews - CNET Reviews (http://reviews.cnet.com/multifunction-devices/samsung-clx-3160fn/4505-3181_7-31628162.html)

Flip
Dec 13th, 2007, 05:14 PM
What would you recommend for use as a colour scanner (for print pictures to upload to i photo) and printer that will be used occasionally? A small printer will be preferrable. I have the latest Macbook.

Thank you.