For home use, inkjet printers still make the most sense because of their flexibility and ability to print lab-quality photos. While the majority of inkjet printers today still use ink cartridges that have limited yield, many printer makers have started making ink tank printers that can literally print thousands of pages with just one set of ink bottle refills. As a result, ink tank printers have also found favor with SOHO users.
For this category, we tested three ink tank printers from Brother, Canon, and Epson. They are all-in-one printers that support fax and have an ADF to make light work of multi-page scan jobs.
Among the three printers we've tested, the Brother MFC-T910DW offers the best balance of features and performance. As a reminder, this is an ink tank printer, which means refills are easy and you can quickly check ink levels from the front. Also, each refill set can last for up to 6,500 pages in black and 5,000 pages in color. (To sweeten the deal, the printer comes with two black ink bottles in the box.) The printer also sports a regular 150-sheet paper tray, an 80-sheet multipurpose tray for envelopes and other specialty paper, and a 20-sheet auto document feeder at the top.
More importantly, the Brother MFC-T910DW gets our vote because it was able to handle the majority of the tasks we've thrown at it. Print quality-wise, the MFC-T910DW is about on a par with the Epson L5190 for text, though when it comes with graphics, its colors don't look as vibrant. However, the T910DW is a faster machine, with a print rate of up to 12 ipm in mono and 10 ipm in color, faster than the L5190’s 10 and 5 ipm speeds. For the most part, we found their one-pager and black-and-white print speeds to be about the same, but the T910DW did noticeably pull ahead in our multi-page color test.
The other advantage the T910DW has over the L5190 is that it supports automatic two-sided printing. This means you don’t need to manually flip the sheet over if you want to print or copy on both sides of the paper. For Epson, you need to look at the L6000 series if you want this auto duplex function.
|Criteria/Model||Brother MFC-T910DW||Canon Pixma G4010||Epson EcoTank L5190|
For more details on how we selected our winners, check out the full reviews and articles listed in the References section at the end.