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Printers to look out for at IT Show 2016

By Ng Chong Seng - 10 Mar 2016

Printers to look out for at IT Show 2016

Buying a printer at IT Show 2016?

You know what a lot of people buy at tech shows? Printers, that’s what. If you saw someone pulling a small trolley around Suntec and City Hall areas this coming Thursday to Sunday, chances are, he or she has just bought a printer at IT Show 2016.

Whether you’re buying a printer for the school dormitory, for the home, or for the office, there should be something that fits your needs at IT Show 2016. Here are a few recommendations.


1.) HP DeskJet 3630 - A low-cost AIO for those who print infrequently

The HP DeskJet 3630 is a S$79 is an all-in-one device that sports print, copy, and scan features. It supports wireless connectivity, and along with the HP Printer Remote mobile app, you can manage print tasks from your smartphone or tablet conveniently or even scan on the go. Performance-wise, HP lists an ISO print speed of 8.5ppm for mono and 6ppm for color; I tested about 9.2ppm and 6.3ppm respectively.

With a 1,000-page monthly duty cycle, 60-sheet input tray, 190-page yield for the black cartridge (S$26, for S$0.13 cost per page), and 165-page yield for the tri-color cartridge (S$33, for S$0.19 cost per page), the HP DeskJet 3630 is clearly not meant for heavy use. Yes, the printer cost is low, but the consumables will cost you if you start printing a lot. But by all means go for it if you print infrequently.

Another super low-cost inkjet worth taking a look is the S$59 Canon Pixma MG2570S, which prints at 8ipm for mono and 4ipm for color.


2.) Epson L655 - A low cost per page inkjet printer for those who print a lot

The Epson L655 is an ink tank system printer designed to offer high-capacity printing at a very affordable cost. The black ink bottle costs S$18.90 and prints up to 6,000 black-and-white pages, which translates to just S$0.0032 per page. Each of the color inks costs S$9.90; and combined, they’re able to print up to 6,500 pages, which amounts to S$0.004 per colored page. If you’re heavy user, the S$539 L655 certainly makes a lot of sense in the long run.

Equipped with the company’s new Precision Core printhead, the L655 is capable of ISO print speeds of up to 13.7ipm for black-and-white and 7.3ipm for color (simplex). And in draft mode, it can go up to 33ppm and 20ppm respectively. An all-in-one device, it also does copy, scan, and fax, with an automatic document feeder that accepts up to 30 sheets. It supports Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity (including Wi-Fi Direct), and you can easily print wirelessly from mobile devices and the cloud.

Alternatively, you can take a look at Canon’s Pixma Ink Efficient G series, which goes from S$169 to S$329. In a nutshell, the G series is Canon’s first ink tank system printers, and the company’s answer to Epson’s ink tank offerings.


3.) Canon Maxify MB5370 - A high quality inkjet AIO for business use

The current Tech Awards winner for Best AIO Color Inkjet Printer, the S$459 Canon Maxify MB5370 is a fast printer, clocking 24.1ppm for B&W and 15.5ppm for color in my tests. And for duplex, I measured 11.2ppm for B&W and 7.8ppm for color.

Print quality is good too, and since the printer uses a new pigment-based ink, its printouts are resistant to marker ink and water spills. Other features that I found useful are the two 250-sheet paper trays, and the 50-sheet, single-pass, duplexing automatic document feeder (DADF) for faster scanning of two-sided documents. For business users, its appeal gets stronger thanks to features like Settings Restrictions, Operation Restrictions, and scan/fax to network folder.

If you don’t need the ADF to be able to do single-pass scanning, and can forgo one of the 250-sheet trays, the MB5070 in the Maxify series is a more affordable alternative at S$369. The S$219 iB4070 uses the same print engine as the MB5370 and MB5070, but is a print-only model.


4.) Fuji Xerox DocuPrint CM225 fw - For those who must have that ‘laser’ quality

The reigning Tech Awards winner for Best SOHO Color Laser/LED MFP, the S$499 Fuji Xerox DocuPrint CM225 fw is actually an S-LED printer that uses the company’s Self-scanning Light Emitting Diode and Digitally-Enhanced Lighting Control Imaging System print technologies to deliver up to 1,200 x 2,400 dpi print quality. The key difference between laser and LED printers lie in the way the image is drawn; though ultimately, since both use toners and a photosensitive drum to print, the final output is comparable.

A PCL5e/6 and PostScript 3-compatible printer with print speed of 18ppm for both mono and color, the CM225 fw is also equipped with copy, scan, and fax functions, as well as Wi-Fi support, including the ability to work with Apple’s AirPrint and Google’s Cloud Print for wireless and over-the-web printing.

You should be wondering, since this CM225 fw MFP and the aforementioned Canon MB5370 are priced quite similar, why would anyone buy an inkjet over a laser model? The answer lies in the features beyond the printing technology. To remain affordable, a color laser MFP priced around S$500 usually don’t have a duplexer and it’s unlikely that the ADF can do single-pass scanning. A good laser or LED MFP that has such features can easily cost upwards of S$800. In short, if you don’t want to spend too much, and are willing to trade these features for that ‘laser’ quality, then the CM225 fw is a great choice.


Before you buy…

Have I just piqued your interest on printer tech? Here are a couple of additional reads I recommend:

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