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Best Value SOHO printer: Tech Awards 2023 Editor's Choice series

By Ken Wong - 2 Mar 2023

Best Value SOHO printers

Best Value SOHO Printer

The best all-in-one (AIO) printer makes working from home relaxed, efficient, and productive. Not only will you be able to print documents, photos, labels, and other things with ease, but an AIO also lets you scan, copy, and sometimes even fax too. That's a much better use of space than having dedicated gadgets to tackle these functions, and much cheaper.

But even multi-functioning devices can have differences between them. Some may have fax capabilities, some may come without an ADF,  some with duplex printing capabilities, and some can even perform duplex scanning. As such, it's essential to weigh in the need for these features based on your usage expectations. Of course, the more, the merrier, but it will also increase the size and raise the price of the printer steeply.

This year, we looked at printers targeting home and SOHO users on a budget and another category for more demanding needs via our SMB Office category covered in another article. However, unlike our usual qualification criteria to consider only new products launched within the last 12 months, printer manufacturers have increasingly diversified their offerings and launch cycles, making it almost impossible for us to pick a set of candidates to meet our Tech Awards requirements. Due to the uneven release cycles for printers,  we've decided to qualify suitable contenders launched within the last 24 months that meet our category of test requirements (and that they've not participated in any previous awards category). The extended qualification period may become a necessity for other segments that see a slowdown of new direct contenders in a shrinking field of adversaries, but for this year, this exception is only for the printer categories.

For the Best Value SOHO Printer segment, we have qualified compact AIO printer options launched within the past two years that support app-based print management and were priced at under S$400. Creature comfort features outlined earlier are welcome, but not mandatory at this price point. Additionally, we placed no restrictions on the type of print engine featured.

 

Nominees: 

  • Epson L3550
  • Canon Pixma G4770
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 9010e

 

And the winner is...

HP OfficeJet Pro 9010e

After our tests, we accorded the HP OfficeJet Pro 9010e as the Best Value SOHO printer winner for Tech Awards 2023.

The OfficeJet Pro 9010e wasn’t the smallest or lightest printer we tested, but it was well built and didn’t feel flimsy or as though parts would break or drop off when handled. 

In terms of its features, it comes with a nice sized (2.65-inches) touch-screen LCD that can tilt, a fax facility (if you still need this for some reason), a 35-page ADF, and it was also the only one in the category to have a paper cassette for 250 sheets of paper. A feature I’m guessing its more squat design allowed for. Additionally, it is the only contender to have duplex printing capability, and it also has duplex scanning capability too. This makes paper handling for double-sided printing and scans a breeze. Plus, it has an app with both business and consumer functions. It has a recommended monthly print volume of up to 1,500 sheets.

The HP OfficeJet Pro 9010e didn’t disappoint when it came to printing. It was a fast printer, easily printing our twenty-page test document with an average speed of just under 17 seconds, and it didn't sacrifice quality for speed. The text in our test document was clear, crisp, and black, while the test image was clear and not overly saturated, though slightly lighter in colour than our original image. If you see the need for scanning documents every now and then, you'll be happy to know HP was again the fastest in this category.

The only complaint we had was about its running costs. Compared to the other two printers in the category that we tested, the OfficeJet Pro 9010e wasn’t an ink-tank-based printer, so its running costs are higher. Fortunately, this is offset somewhat by the lower price of the device, and unless you need to print extensively (which is a necessity in our next category of contest), the ink cartridges are rated for 1,000 prints in black, and 2,100 prints in colour, which should last you for a while.

Overall, we liked the OfficeJet Pro 9010e's mix of qualities from its design, a fantastic set of features, user-friendliness, print results, and its high speed in both printing and scanning that it is hard to turn down its proposition.

Scoring Breakdown
  Epson L3550 Canon Pixma G4770 HP OfficeJet Pro 9010e
Design 5.5 7.0 8.0
Features 5.5 7.0 9.0
User-friendliness 6.0 7.0 7.0
Performance 7.5 7.0 9.0
Value 8.0 8.5 8.0
Overall Score 6.5 7.0 8.5
Price S$369 S$389 S$269

For more details on how we rated our nominees and to find out our usage experience of each device, check out the full reviews and articles listed in the References section below.

Meanwhile, check out our other Tech Awards 2023 Editor's Choice winners from the team behind HardwareZone and HWM.

 

References:

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