Category: Printer Reviews

Epson Workforce 845 Printer Review

If you are looking for a workhorse for your home or small office, this printer fits the bill. It handles printing, copying, scanning and faxing with ease.

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HP ENVY 114E All-in-One Printer

If you are looking for a beautiful printer, the HP ENVY is a great choice. It’s the best-looking printer I’ve ever seen. It’s  a sleek and svelte shiny black beauty with silver trim. Yet it is not just good-looking. It is also one of the sturdiest printers I’ve ever handled.

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Lexmark Genesis All-in-One Printer Review

Lexmark Genesis Printer

If you think that all printers are boxy blobs of plastic, this Lexmark Genesis S816 printer is sure to change your mind. As you can see, it is taller than it is wide and the entire front cover pulls forward toward you to reveal the scanner bed.

This unique design was created around a new form of scanner found in this printer. Rather than the usual line-by-line scanner, this printer has a full digital camera chip that scans by taking a full picture. This makes it very fast for both previews and scans.

This printer is an all-in-one that faxes, scans, copies, and prints. It can be set up on a wireless network. It performs all functions quite well and is even good at printing envelopes. This is not a photo printer, but picture quality is good enough for occasional photo printing.

This is an Internet connected computer, which uses Lexmark’s Smart Solutions to access the Internet for things like news, weather, and stocks. Smart Solutions also lets you do things like printing graph paper, music paper, calendars, and more.

As with a previous Lexmark printer, we had trouble setting up Smart Solutions on our Windows 7 computer.  We spent several frustrating hours on the phone with Lexmark support and they decided to send us a new printer. However, there was actually nothing wrong with the first printer. We were able to get it working properly after the Smart Solutions website was updated.

Summary:

Lexmark is trying to break out of the mold with this Genesis S816 printer. It has an upscale look and good quality. It offers ease of use as well as the fastest scanning that we’ve seen in an all-in-one printer. The Genesis  performs all of its functions well, including printing, scanning, copying, and faxing. Features abound in this printer, including an automatic duplexer, a front-side USB port, and a three-year extended warranty with registration. Anyone who scans a lot of single-sheet documents will be happy with this all-in-one. Unfortunately, its lack of a document feeder makes it unsuitable for heavy use of multiple-page document scans or copies.

This is the second Lexmark printer where we had a problem with Smart Solutions. Although this time we got everything working properly with an update from Lexmark, we cannot say whether or not the Smart Solutions is yet ready for prime time. Smart Solutions does, however, have good potential and is being upgraded on a regular basis.

Lexmark is promoting this printer as a small office all-in-one and for that reason has included fax capabilities. Yet, because of the 100-sheet capacity of the paper input tray and the relatively small capacity of the ink cartridges, we cannot recommend this printer for office workgroups. We feel it would be more appealing for home or home-office users.

When this printer was released, the retail price at the Lexmark website was $399, which was a little pricey, but a recent reduction means you can find it under $200. That combined with low ink costs  make it an attractive acquisition for home or home office.

Pros

  • Compact footprint
  • Striking appearance
  • Quality build
  • Responsive touch-screen
  • Ultra-fast scanning
  • Straight-forward paper path
  • Wireless
  • Web-connected, SmartSolutions

Cons

  • Difficult to scan small documents or photos
  • No document feeder
  • Smart Solutions needs more stability
  • Poor technical support
  • Small print capacity, even in high-yield cartridges

To read my more detailed review and see pictures, go to the Hardware Secrets website.

Inexpensive Laser Printer Brother 2140

Brother HL-2140 Laser Printer
Brother HL-2140 Laser Printer

Brother HL-2140 Laser Printer

For years I have been using a laser printer right next to my ink jet. Since the toner for a laser printer is much less expensive than the ink for an ink jet printer, this saves me quite a bit of money.

When I need to print in color, I use the ink jet. When black and white will suffice, I use this monochrome laser printer. My current laser printer is a Brother HL-2140 and I must say that I have been very happy with it.

Since both the ink jet and the laser printer hook up by USB, you can easily have both attached at the same time. You simply choose which one you want to print to.

The printer is very easy to setup. It is not net workable, but rather attached to your computer with a USB cable. It has good print speeds, up to 23 ppm. It also has a good resolution up to 2400 x 600 dpi. The print is very clear and easy-to-read. The input tray holds up to 250 sheets, so you don’t have to add paper as often as you do with some other printers.

This Brother has a toner-saver mode which can save you even more on consumables. It also has a single sheet feeder so you can easily print labels and slightly thicker paper. When printing 3-up checks, my demo unit left an imprint of first check on the 2nd and 3rd checks when using the sheet feeder, so for checks, I have to use the paper tray. It’s a slight inconvenience, but not a major problem.

The only other problem is that the toner light comes on way before the toner is actually depleted. There are, however, plenty of YouTube videos that will show you how to put a piece of tape over the toner cartridge sensors so you can get to use every last drop of toner. I  used this trick and it worked beautifully.

Although the estimated street price is $119, this printer is often featured for less. It’s one for which you will certainly want to shop around.

Summary:

This is a good printer for use when you don’t need color and don’t want to spend a fortune on ink. The cost per page for laser printers is inherently less than the cost for ink jets. So you can keep costs down by having a printer like this along side of your color ink jet.

The compact design, low profile, and small footprint allow this printer to fit most anywhere. It handles legal paper, card stock, and envelopes quite well, as long as you don’t mind feeding them in individually. Our only caveat was in printing three-up checks.

The Good:

  • Quality prints
  • Low price
  • Toner Saver mode
  • Low profile, small footprint
  • Good speed
  • Energy Star rating

The Bad:

  • Premature low toner warning
  • Expensive drum replacement
  • Trouble printing three-up checks
  • No USB cable included

HP Officejet Pro 8000

HP Officejet 8000 wireless printer
HP Officejet 8000 wireless printer

HP Officejet 8000 wireless printer

Looking for a wireless printer that produces good quality prints with low ink costs? Then you will want to take a look at the HP Officejet Pro 8000. This printer is called an “Officejet”, but it is also suitable for home use and you get quite a bit for the $179 price tag. The wireless setup, though time-consuming is easy. The duplexer is wonderful. You can use it to print on both sides of the paper. This combined with the low ink costs, make this a fairly inexpensive printer to operate. I did have trouble with the cover of the paper tray. If not placed on the printer accurately, it can fall off and break. I also found that the printer does a lot of grinding and noise-making. This is part of the normal HP process, but it can be very disconcerting.

You won’t have to put paper in this printer too often. It holds 250 sheets. Text is clear and crisp and color reproduction is good. One thing I really loved is that the ink is quite waterproof. After printer some colorful brochures, I left them out in the pouring rain. The next day, the paper was wet, but the brochure was completely readable with no smearing of any kind….Quite impressive.

The Good

  • Inexpensive ink
  • Very good text quality
  • Wireless setup is quick and easy
  • Excellent ink cartridge design
  • Fast printing
  • Good connectivity
  • Good duplexer
  • Excellent waterproof ink
  • Compatible with HP iPhoto iTunes app

The Bad

  • Setup takes too long
  • Too large
  • Aggravating bumping and grinding noises
  • Paper tray cover placement must be exact

Check out my more detailed review with pictures at Hardware Secrets.

Samsung Monochrome Laser Printer ML-2525W

Samsung ML-2525 Laser Printer
Samsung ML-2525 Laser Printer

Samsung ML-2525 Laser Printer

As laser printers go, the Samsung ML-2525W is a pretty stylish unit. The all-black printer has a boxy look, but it is softened by rounded corners and an elegant-looking textured top. One of it’s best features of this monochrome printer is the fact that it is very compact and has a small footprint, making it perfect for home and/or small office use.

It has excellent print quality and good paper handling. These two features combine to makes it a good all-around printer. It  can be attached to a network with an Ethernet cable or it can easily be set up to link to a wireless network. If you have a wireless network, this lets you put the printer anywhere, which is another nice feature.

This printer has high-capacity replacement cartridges available which keeps the cost of toner low. If you don’t need to print in color, owning this printer can save you a lot in consumables. In fact, it is a nice printer to add right alongside of your color ink jet printer. Use the ink jet when you need color. Use the laser printer when you don’t. If you have been using your ink jet to print everything, you will see an immediate savings on your ink costs.

The printer also has a single sheet feed and that handles envelopes, labels, and thick paper quite admirably. Samsung has also developed software called AnyWeb Print that lets you format a Web page or combine information on various web pages for printing only what you need. The ML-2525 also has a very useful “Cancel” button, which stops the printing immediately.

The Samsung ML-2525W retails for $149.99. It also has a baby brother, the ML-2525, with similar features, but no Ethernet connection, for $119.99. Unless you need the network connection, go for the 2525 and use the USB connection to keep it near the computer or place it anywhere in the house if you have a wireless network.

The Good

  • Small footprint
  • Stylish
  • High-quality print
  • Compact
  • Generous paper capacity tray
  • Inexpensive
  • Cancel button
  • Wireless networking
  • Both Ethernet and USB connectivity
  • AnyWeb Print software

The Bad

  • No EasyScreen Print button, which is available on the cheaper ML-2525
  • No autoduplexing
  • AnyWeb Print software only available for Internet Explorer
  • Demo button fairly useless

Epson WorkForce 610 All-in-One Printer

Epson WorkForce 610
Epson WorkForce 610

Epson WorkForce 610

The printer market has recently exploded with a variety of new choices. The All-in-one market is especially hot with every manufacturer vying for a spot at the top.

All-in-ones can do many different things, like print, fax, copy, and scan. There are, however,  few printers that perform all of these functions admirable. The Epson WorkForce 610 that I just reviewed  is one of the rare printers that handles each function well.

Not only does this Epson print well, but it has clean lines and a good-looking black case. It also takes multi-media cards, can be hooked up by Wi-Fi, and has a Stop button. Ink costs are lower than many others. Oh, and you can feed in multi-page documents to be faxed, scanned, or copied. If it had an automatic duplexer, it would be a little closer to perfect. However, that said, it is a great all-in-one printer for a busy home or small office.

Wrap Up

The Epson WorkForce 610 performs admirably in all its all-in-one functions. Although it is not meant to be a photo printer, it even does quite well, abet slowly in that area as well.

Although the suggested retail price is USD 200, street prices are quite a bit lower (only USD 100 at Newegg.com with free shipping, for example) and even the Epson website offers an instant rebate and free shipping, giving you a lot for your money.

The easy setup, wireless capabilities, fast printing speeks, good quality output, low ink costs, and great paper handling make this a winner. It is perfect for light office or home use.

Pros

  • Quality text, color documents
  • Excellent paper handling
  • Very customizable fax controls
  • Sleek, modern design
  • Speedy printing and copying
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Fast and easy to set up
  • Ethernet, USB connectivity, and Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Low ink cost
  • Automatic document feeder
  • Wireless capabilities
  • Two-year warranty available with registration
  • Hinged scanner lid
  • Excellent cost/benefit ratio

Cons

  • Manual duplexer
  • Fax software could be intimidating to home user
  • LCD screen a little small

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