Reviews related to : Printers

Printers have changed dramatically over the last few years moving from office work-house to home gadget

The technology leading this shift from office to home has been 'inkjet' where the printer shoots high-quality liquid ink at paper through a fine array of nozzles.

Although Inkjet technology has come to dominate most home printers, laser printers have also quietly improved and dropped in price. Most notably here it's now possible to get a colour laser printer for under £100 (although consumables can remain very expensive!).

Like many other areas of technology, printer manufacturers have integrated what were separate devices into single units to deliver 'multi-function' or 'all in one' printers incorporating scanners, copiers, printers and faxes into a single compact device.

A small A5 page printer for photographs which can be printed direct from either an SD or Micro SD Card the latter via an adapter but also direct from your SmartPhone via an App as this unit has its own Wi-Fi you can link into.
The Canon Selphy CP1200 photo printer measures 17.5x30x5.5cm but you will also need clear space behind the unit as the postcard sized sheets are passed from front to back of the unit. The front is initially from a cassette but after moving through the first time it then comes through above the cassette and does the task four times, first for yellow, then for pink, then blue and finally the protective coating.
This is of course larger than an A4 unit but not by as much as you may think. It has tanks – five – that are filled by bottles of ink that reduces the cost per page. You can see the actual ink levels of each colour by looking at the side of the machine.
The Epson EcoTank ET-14000 measures 70cm wide, 36cm deep when the paper output tray is closed and 45cm deep when it is open and 32cm tall. It weights is 12.2kilos. The ink bottles fill the tanks on the right side of the unit in theory this is mess free but while the tipping of the ink into the tank is easy enough removing the foil on the top of the bottle can be tricky so as this is stated to be a once in two year task for ‘average’ use.
In the past I have checked out numerous All-in-One, Multifunction and standalone printers, either of the inkjet or laser variety, from various manufacturers. On this occasion, however, the printer under the microscope is the first printer product that I have had the opportunity to check out from Ricoh. The product in question is the Aficio SG2100N model which offers colour print facilities.
With dimensions of 395 x 360 x 215mm (W x D x H), the Aficio has a sturdy and solid box-like appearance.  Predominately black in colour, with white front and rear face plates, this printer’s connection options are located on the left side of the unit.  Here you will find the mains power socket plus USB and wired Ethernet ports – sadly there is no Wi-Fi connectivity with this model.  Both the USB and Ethernet ports are initially concealed within a covered compartment.
Rather than a range of print facilities, this next product concentrates its functionality on the production of labels.
The Leitz Icon is a label printer that certainly did not get off to the best of starts when I began to review the product.  Unpacking the kit revealed the printer unit, decked out in white and dark grey, a two-piece power lead and adapter, a micro-to-standard USB lead, label cartridge, a Quick Start Guide plus a Warranty and Disposal document.  The printer unit was of a rather unusual shape.
I saw this unit at the BETT (Education Show) at the end of January and the quality of its output was the reason I requested it. I knew it would be big and expected the normal review place in my cramped office not to be enough, I was wrong.
The Epson Sure Colour SC600 measires 60x28x22cm when shut. Add 15cm to the last figure the height to put a stack of A4 in the sit up and beg back tray. Add 21cm to the depth to cover the paper output tray, so 60x49x37cm is the total space needed to have an A3+ unit in your office. If you use A3 paper in the tray make the last figure (height) 49.5inches.
I understand that Epson claim this to be their smallest printer ever. It runs either on a solid internal battery or by mains power. It can receive data via Wi-Fi, eMail or USB. So will this mobile offering be in place in every sales person’s car?
When shut it is 31x15x5cm and weights 1.623 kilos. When ready for use the lid tips back to form the paper input tray and the 15cm depth becomes 25cm, the height with A4 paper in situ is increased from 5 to 29cm. For many reasons you are unlikely to print huge documents as it’s not that fast, the ink cartridges are small and only a few sheets can occupy the input tray at a time.
On the one hand there is continued talk regarding the possible myth of the paperless office while developers continue to come up with technology to increase the use of printers and I am not just referring to recent initiatives regarding ink use.
Lantronix, a company well versed as a global provider of smart networking and communications solutions, has come up with its xPrintServer Cloud Print solution.  This product has been developed to enable data to be sent from Chromebook and Android devices to a range of network based printers.
Adding to its range of label printers, Brother has released its P-Touch D600VP model.
As with the company’s D450 model, reviewed recently, the Brother P-Touch D600VP is a “Professional PC labelling machine” that comes packaged in its own rigid carry case.  This black case, with built in handle, bears more than a passing resemblance to an old portable typewriter I used many years ago. Opening the moulded plastic case reveals the same arrangement of content as found with the D450 unit.
We often use labels to identify items for our personal benefit and that of others. These labels can be tags which we add to digital data or physical markers such as name badges. This next product offers the means to give those physical labels a professional appearance.
Unlike the other Brother label printers that I have looked at over the years, this next model immediately stands out due to the fact that it arrives with its own carry case.  This is the Brother P-touch D450VP product.  Possible to justify the presence of its business-like carry case that reminds me of an old portable typewriter, this product is described as being a “professional PC labelling machine”.
While the majority of printers, whether of the laser 0r inkjet persuasion, can produce a range of documents, there is one particular skill at which they do not excel. The skill in question involves the creation of stick-on labels. Based on the concept of horses for courses, the solution would be to use a device that was specifically designed for the creation of labels that can easily be attached to where ever they would be most beneficial. One such product is the P750W designed by Brother.
Described as a “Professional Wireless PC Labelling Machine”, the P750W is a black box with dimensions of 78 x 152 x 143mm (W x D x H) and weighs 884g.  While a little too bulky and heavy for slipping in a pocket, this device is portable enough to be moved between various locations.  This printer makes use of thermal technology to create its labels on various widths of tape supplied in cassette form.
Not everybody needs a printer with various bells and whistles such as Wi-Fi and remote printing capability. The subject of this next review is just such as basic device.
The Canon PIXMA iP2850 is an inkjet printer.  This model concentrates all its functionality on the print aspect using two ink cartridges (Black and Colour).  Connectivity is via Hi-Speed USB 2.0 with the user providing the necessary lead to link the printer to a computer. Apart from a couple of Canon Logos and a Fine Print sticker, the printer is decked out totally in Apple White signifying that Canon feels this unit has been designed specifically for home use rather than in an office.
While multifunction capabilities and various bells & whistle features have their obvious appeal when considering a new printer purchase, the needs of some users can be satisfied with basis printing operations in monochrome. In such instances, the Brother HL-1110 monochrome laser printer is a possible candidate.
I have to state right from the start that I was surprised at the arrival of the Brother HL-1110 printer for review.  It was not the model I was expecting and had requested following my recent briefing with Brother.  Plus this model arrived in a plain brown box rather than the usual blue and white Brother box.  But maybe Brother is taking the opportunity to offer me the chance to compare a competitive product to the Samsung M2022W which I reviewed recently.
While many printers now offer a remote print solution through their own dedicated app, this next product offers a wide ranging solution for multiple printers.
The xPrintServer Cloud Print edition is a product that has been designed by Lantronix to allow users the functionality to send print jobs from Android based mobile devices to network based printers.  Developed as part of the company’s family of mobile print solutions, the xPrintServer can also handle those devices that are running Google’s Chrome Browser and the Chrome operating system plus other units running off the network.
Continuing my look at various Canon printers, it is the turn of a model more suited to an office environment.
The PIXMA MX925 product is another model in Canon’s family of All-in-One devices.  One look at the overall size of the product should be enough to convince the casual observer that this model is more suited to an office environment rather than for use in the home.  It is not that this unit is particular large but it does have a substantial and impressive presence.
This is a printer, and this unit has multiple connection types, USB, Ethernet and Wireless, so it can work in the home, SOHO, small office and even larger office settings as a workgroup unit, so it is an all round unit.
It is quite beefy in size at 45x55x44cm with paper output tray extended. You can subtract 18cm from the last figure the height when you do not have thick paper, letterheads or envelopes in the back top 80 sheet capacity paper feed. All the controls are on the sloping front panel, there is no display so you rely on the eight LEDs and seven well marked buttons. The main paper tray at the front base takes 250 sheets so it should work without attention for a reasonable time.
When I think of Brother my thoughts go towards inkjet and laser printers but the company does have another printer string to its bow with a thermal Label Printer.
While most printers are generally regarded as multi-purpose devices carrying out a range of printing tasks as they churn out documents of different types with the occasional photo tossed in for good measure, there are one or two types of printers designed for a specific purpose.  One such one-trick pony printer device is that developed purely for producing labels that can be attached to all-manner of objects and even people.
When you think of label printing you tend to think of Dymo, as I discovered earlier this year Brother makes label printers and now I find so do Epson, here I am looking at their latest offering the Epson LabelWorks LW-400.
Of course early label printers were onto impressed metal and you stamped them out one at a time with a revolving wheel, yes I know even Dymo moved into the 21 century but this unit is more like a tiny computer as you are able to store designs, templates and it can even print barcodes all on adhesive tape strips. It is 17x12x6cm and weights 456grams. Mine was a creamy white with black keyboard and a sort of lime green button on the side.
The latest range of Kodak All In One devices, USB and Wireless and software that can do more than the average software package. Here I am looking at the basic All In One offering units cost less than they did and ink is cheaper as tanks are larger.
The Kodak Hero 7.1 All-In-One printer measures 45x41x19cm, all black and rather boxy, certainly not something to please the lounge police but it can be USB or Wireless and of course the latter means it can live out of sight in a cupboard or maybe behind a settee.
This is a multi function unit (it has fax) and it can connect either by USB or Wi-Fi. In fact I used both with equal success. I did however have a failure as no matter what I tried it refused to feed photo paper in any way.
The Brother MFC-J430W measures 40x37x18cm, the last figure the height will need a little extra to slip an A4 landscape page onto the flatbed, probably around 5cm which is around the same amount as using the ADF which flips open from the top. This is a four ink and four cartridge unit.
I have reviewed a number of these small (they still print A4) printers, however the last was a while ago and this has just been launched by HP. So if you work away from power will it do what you need to do or is portable not on?
The HP OfficeJet 100 measures 33.5x19x8cm either with leads plugged in or with the supplied battery pack plugged in, in the latter configuration it weights 2.585kilos. It comes with decent sized ink cartridges – something other mobile units have not seemed to have – it is also stated to have battery power to print ‘up to 500 pages’ between needing power.