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Author Topic: best home laser mono multifunction printer: Canon MF4890dw?  (Read 1938 times)

aceOfWands

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best home laser mono multifunction printer: Canon MF4890dw?
« on: December 17, 2013, 12:56:25 AM »
Guys, the subject says what I am looking for--do you have any thoughts on what is the best current or soon to be released model?

Rant mode on
I want a laser because I hate how inkjets are evilly engineered to not work in any function if any ink cartridge runs dry.  I have have had a single color cartridge run dry, even tho I almost never print color, and then the whole device does not work.  I will never use such detestable technology.  MBA swine should be shot.
Rant mode off

I did a bit of web searching over the weekend, and my search led me to conclude that the Canon imageClass MF4890dw is probably the best model that I can currently buy.  Here are the criteria I care about (in descending order of importance):

  • quality results (text more important than graphics)
  • connectivity: ethernet, USB, wireless, Wi-Fi Direct (for portable devices)
  • small (needs to fit on top of a filing cabinet)
  • scan into several different file formats, especially PDF files
  • double sided (duplex) ALL OF functions (print/copy/scan/fax)
  • Linux support
  • international voltage (needs to work anywhere I might move to)
  • LCD control panel: tiltable, touch control

Here are some positive reviews:

I know that the MF4890dw lacks Wi-Fi Direct.  If anyone knows about its Linux support and international voltage, I would love to hear what you know.

In addition, I would really really appreciate it if you guys had any insight as to when Canon will be refreshing this line of products.

I ask because I see that I can get this unit on Amazon with free shipping for the amazing price of $215.95: http://www.amazon.com/Canon-imageCLASS-MF4890dw-Wireless-Monochrome/dp/B008YD1V76.

Such a low price hints to me that maybe this model is old and about to be replaced with something much better.

Do any of you follow Canon's printer product development?

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best home laser mono multifunction printer: Canon MF4890dw?
« on: December 17, 2013, 12:56:25 AM »

danski0224

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Re: best home laser mono multifunction printer: Canon MF4890dw?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2013, 06:58:54 AM »
"List price" on Amazon is meaningless. Estimated retail of $299 at Canon USA webpage.

The MF4890dw was available 8/2012 on Amazon, not sure if these devices get annual-ish updates.

I have (had) a MF4690 and began seeking a replacement due to scanner incompatibility with new Windows OS. The WIA driver portion was no longer supported. It figures that shortly after buying a new multifunction, Canon decides to update something and now it works. Kinda peeved about that, and the driver issue was well known on the web- which is part of why I decided to get a different machine. That said, it has been reliable and inexpensive to operate.

For a little more, I'd suggest getting a color laser multifunction.

I have a Lexmark cx410 series, and the print output is pretty darn good at 1200 x 1200 dpi. There aren't many color lasers with a native 1200 x 1200 print output at that price point (1200 x 1200 for monochrome is more common, but typically near $1k USD price point). It will do wireless, but you have to get an add-on dongle. It won't do wireless/ethernet/usb at the same time. Kind of a pain to set up, but as mentioned before, output is very, very good.

Color output is near inkjet photo quality. PS3 emulation, too.

The Lexmark print app works for me. I didn't know about the wi-fi dongle and didn't order one.

Lexmark has a toner return program with some benefits.

The cx410 series does have Linux driver support.

The cx410de is $400 at Amazon as of this posting: http://www.amazon.com/Lexmark-CX410de-multifunction-printer-scanner/dp/B009RS0Y16/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1387280788&sr=1-1&keywords=lexmark+cx410

Not sure if you will find much multi-voltage support in a consumer level machine.

For an extra $100 or so, seems like a no-brainer to me.
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aceOfWands

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Re: best home laser mono multifunction printer: Canon MF4890dw?
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2013, 10:56:37 AM »
danski: thanks for your detailed and thoughtful response.

Quote
"List price" on Amazon is meaningless. Estimated retail of $299 at Canon USA webpage.

Not at all.  You really can order the MF4890dw from Amazon at that price.

Not only that, but because I decided that I wanted easy returnability if the unit does not work out as planned, I called up Best Buy yesterday and pointed them to that Amazon URL.  Since they now price match Amazon, and Amazon now charges state sales taxes, I now favor buying stuff at Best Buy.  It took a bit of patience dealing with Best Buy, but eventually I was able to place an order for the MF4890dw at about $227 (after tax, but also with free shipping).

Quote
For a little more, I'd suggest getting a color laser multifunction ... I have a Lexmark cx410 series

Thanks for the suggestion.

The printer looks to be a bit big to fit on top of my filing cabinet.

This review claims that it has "...an output tray that discharges in the rear" which again might be problematic for me, if my printer is on a filing cabinet next to a wall.

Also, that review was for the more expensive CX410de model "... which integrates a duplex unit and lists for $799".  Does that mean that the cheapest model in that series, the CX410e, does not auto duplex?

Quote
Not sure if you will find much multi-voltage support in a consumer level machine.

Multi-voltage support seems to have almost nothing to do with the expense of a device, and everything to do with the type of device.

For example, my el cheapo laptop supports every international voltage, I think.  (It for sure works in all the countries in Europe and Asia I have been to.)  Same for my home workstation (a bare bones Supermicro that I custom fleshed out.)  My cheap shaver also works with all voltage standards.

In contrast, my high end LG smart TV stupidly only supports US voltage.

danski0224

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Re: best home laser mono multifunction printer: Canon MF4890dw?
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2013, 11:57:53 AM »
The 410de is a full duplex machine- ADF and printing. You can hard enable duplexing in the built-in print server menu or do it each time through the "print properties" dialog.

http://www.lexmark.com/US/en/catalog/product.jsp?catId=cat170005&prodId=7939

The 410dte is the same machine, with an extra paper tray in the box vs ordering it later.

Will it fit onto a filing cabinet? I guess it depends on how big the filing cabinet is. It would fit on mine.

There is a demo video on the linked page above that shows how the rear paper output works. It comes out and up on an angle, not straight out the back. This arrangement probably benefits paper handling within the machine.

If it is within the budget, an extra ~200 for color laser seems worthwhile.

I looked long and hard at color laser multifunctions. For home office use, you can't get a true 1200 x 1200 color laser until you go over $1k USD- except for this one. Post Script support is another bonus.

Color output can best be described as "matte". It isn't shiny or waxy looking.

If I print this test image with the Lexmark:  http://outbackprint.outbackphoto.com/printinginsights/pi048/essay.html and hold it up to my calibrated monitor, there is very little difference. The color output is *very* good. It doesn't look as good as a photo inkjet, but that is to be expected.

If you deal with legal size paper, unfortunately, it sticks out the back of this machine by about 3" (about how far the paper output tray sticks out). The OKI C530 series is the only color laser I am familiar with that will fully enclose legal size paper at or near this price point.

As far as power goes, the international compatible devices you list all work from a transformer and use DC voltage internally. The TV and I bet the printer uses 60HZ as a time base for internal clocks. Given that the USA is 60HZ and much of the rest of the world is 50HZ, I predict problems even if you got a transformer big enough to step down the voltage... in addition to the joys of using a precision device like a printer after it is shipped again after being unboxed and set-up.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2013, 12:13:05 PM by danski0224 »
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Re: best home laser mono multifunction printer: Canon MF4890dw?
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2013, 11:11:53 PM »
Guys, the subject says what I am looking for--do you have any thoughts on what is the best current or soon to be released model?

Rant mode on
I want a laser because I hate how inkjets are evilly engineered to not work in any function if any ink cartridge runs dry.  I have have had a single color cartridge run dry, even tho I almost never print color, and then the whole device does not work.  I will never use such detestable technology.  MBA swine should be shot.
Rant mode off


I have four Laser printers, two color Xerox, and two monochrome HP printers.  None of them function once a toner runs out.  You are not going to see a change there.  It used to be that you could set certain color inkjets to keep on printing if color was out, but I haven't had a inkjet home printer for 15 years.
 
There are some pretty good reviews of laser printers.  Beside quality and speed, some of the weak points to look out for are:
1.  Low tray capacity.  I prefer 600 pages.
2.  Flimsy paper trays
3.  No network connection
4.  Crappy scanner software that makes it neigh impossible to scan to your computer over a network.
5.  Poor or unreliable paper handling, jamming, etc.
Its very likely that you can find a good used Xerox printer for a couple of hundred dollars that will blow away the cheap home printers.
 
You can also get toner on ebay for the older machines much cheaper than for home machines in terms of price per page.
 
 

danski0224

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Re: best home laser mono multifunction printer: Canon MF4890dw?
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2013, 09:14:39 AM »
I have four Laser printers, two color Xerox, and two monochrome HP printers.  None of them function once a toner runs out.  You are not going to see a change there.  It used to be that you could set certain color inkjets to keep on printing if color was out, but I haven't had a inkjet home printer for 15 years.
 
There are some pretty good reviews of laser printers.  Beside quality and speed, some of the weak points to look out for are:
1.  Low tray capacity.  I prefer 600 pages.
2.  Flimsy paper trays
3.  No network connection
4.  Crappy scanner software that makes it neigh impossible to scan to your computer over a network.
5.  Poor or unreliable paper handling, jamming, etc.
Its very likely that you can find a good used Xerox printer for a couple of hundred dollars that will blow away the cheap home printers.
 
You can also get toner on ebay for the older machines much cheaper than for home machines in terms of price per page.

I am almost positive that my Dell 1320c laser *will* do black prints if a color is out.

I'd have to do some digging to see if the new Lexmark has that option- but it isn't an important feature to me.

Considering that both models are more targeted towards small businesses, that may be a factor.

I had 2 small inkjet printers at one time and one would do black prints if a color was out and the other wouldn't, but that was almost 10 years ago. The one that wouldn't pushed me to buy the Dell laser, which was on sale at the time.

I suppose if the ability to print black if a color was out is an important feature, that would require extra digging before purchase.

Scanning utilities can be challenging in a Windows environment- at least in my recent experience.

When I went to W7, I lost the WIA drivers for the Canon MF4690, which drove me to consolidate two machines. The WIA driver issue for the MF4690 is well documented on the web and I couldn't get mine to work despite downloading the new drivers from Canon. Interestingly enough, that scanner now shows up in the "printers and faxes" and I can initiate a scan through Windows- so something was fixed- but it was broken for a long time.

The lack of OEM driver support is what pushed me away from Canon this time. It would have been nice if the driver packages were updated a while ago, but that won't force you to buy new stuff. That Dell 1320c is ancient in tech time, but the drivers have been supported.

The scanner portion of the MF4690 could be controlled with VueScan, and this produced way better results than going through Windows. I never got the hang of the Canon utility.

The new Lexmark has a TWAIN driver utility that must be used to get a scan- I suppose VueScan would work there too. The Lexmark does *not* show up in the Windows "Cameras and Scanners" dialog box- probably due to the lack of WIA drivers.
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WPJ

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Re: best home laser mono multifunction printer: Canon MF4890dw?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2013, 06:36:01 PM »
I have only used HP they are the best printers, I only recommend them, I have seen many over the years but always replace with HP and typically they last 5+ years....i have an old HP LaserJet 6 from 98 still kicking and printing just fine, I have had larger 8500's units last 5+ years with over 1,000,000 prints a year with no down time they are just simple reliable printers...oh and I must mention I do hate printers they all break except hp.  The only thing worse than a printer is a mac, joking the only think worse than a printer is a copier.


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Re: best home laser mono multifunction printer: Canon MF4890dw?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2013, 06:36:01 PM »