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Paul MaudDib
May 2, 2006

"Tell me of your home world, Usul"


eighty-four merc posted:

My girlfriend and I are looking for a printer/all-in-one for our home office which I'll also be using for my new business

Definitely need duplex print, duplex scan would be nice, and I'm leaning toward laser since most of the use will be for documents

She would need it for printing documents and things like that

I would need it mostly for printing documents, technical documentation as well. However, I'd also like to use it to print marketing flyers / one-pagers (with color). It would also be convenient for me if I could print on A6 sized paper occasionally. Never tried to run anything but letter/a4 through a printer so that's something I know nothing about (I know nothing about printers)

We both would also like to use it to scan documents etc

Right now, I'm looking at something like the Brother MFC-L3750CDW, although I'm not married to that at all (again, I know nothing about printers)

How's the color printing on Laser/LED printers? Would it do "nice" marketing flyers on glossy paper?

I think I want to get a color all in one for documents and technical documentation in general, even if it doesn't end up being capable of doing the flyers. Any insight there would be cool

I am actually in the exact same situation and I came here to ask pretty much the same questions about the Brother MFC-L3770CDW as well. I believe this is just an updated version of the L3750CDW and right now it's cheaper because the L3750CDW appears to be out of production and being sold by third-party scalpers on amazon marketplace.

Right now I have an L2700DW which is one of their b+w all-in-ones. The upgrade I am looking for is specifically a duplex document scanner - my printer has a document feeder but it's only simplex, it only scans one side. I have a bunch of old bills and documents that I'd like to digitize so I can ditch the paper copies. I was looking at a Fujitsu ScanSnap ix1600 or one of the standalone Brother duplex document scanners (ADS-2700W for example) but it's attractive to potentially get a color laser for at least basic color document printing at roughly the same cost as just the scanner.

Not sure if that means I will be getting something lesser in terms of the scanner/document feeder though - it seems like there would obviously have to be some differences in quality seeing as both devices are around the same price but the MFC includes a whole printer as well. I won't say my brother MFC's document feeder has been the most reliable especially when handling damaged documents/etc. Supposedly the standalone unit has ultrasonic sensors and stuff to help it handle double-feeds and other problems and maybe it would be better in that respect?

Here's the rtings review. I absolutely figured on running out to Costco/Kinkos for serious color printing, but rtings is not impressed even for graphical design stuff. I guess it's better than nothing if you just want some basic color in a technical diagram or something. However, it also costs a little bit more to run even in B+W than my L2700DW (the 3750CDW is 4.1c per page, vs 3.4c for the 2700DW, and color documents and color photos on the 3750CDW are 13.2c per page and 32c respectively). Using third-party toner can probably bring that down a bit further on both printers of course, but that might worsen the color print quality even farther on the L3770CDW.

The driver situation has always been a selling point for me with Brother though. They offer a minimal driver package if you just want to print and don't want any of the scanner stuff, they offer Linux CUPS drivers, and their "full" driver package is far more reasonable than other brands (I had an HP at one point and it was terrible). I literally have never had any problems or hassles at all with Brother with any use-case I wanted it to do, and that's pretty much the highest praise you can give a driver package.

dunno, still on the fence. Maybe for now I will just scan the front+back of those documents separately and whip up a python script to interleave the pages of two PDFs (front and back). If I spent the money I dunno if I would be more pleased with my existing printer and a document scanner, or trying to go for an all-in-one that does both (whether color or not). Based on my print volumes I probably wouldn't notice a difference in cost either way but if the color laser is a gimmick in this price bracket and the scanner ends up being worse I would probably be less happy with that vs having a good scanner and a decent B+W and just going out for color prints if I needed.

Paul MaudDib fucked around with this message at 22:42 on Jul 12, 2021

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Paul MaudDib
May 2, 2006

"Tell me of your home world, Usul"


Looking for a color laser all-in-one, with single-pass duplex scanning with ADF, narrowed it down to the Brother L3770CDW ($430), L8900CDW ($558), and Canon MF743Cdw ($530).

How good is the canon driver stack, on windows and linux? I知 used to Brother and it痴 zero bullshit there, but the canon does have notably better color reproduction than the brother models.

Dunno, everyone but brother seems to be kinda poo poo overall, maybe I値l just suck it up on the color quality. It痴 not something I値l be using heavily, I値l mostly be doing B+W. But the ADF duplex scanner requirement locks me into a $270 printer anyway (L2750DW) and for an extra $160 it痴 worth stepping up to color just for occasional color graphics use. Serious stuff I値l go to Costco or fedex.

Paul MaudDib fucked around with this message at 02:17 on Oct 17, 2021

Paul MaudDib
May 2, 2006

"Tell me of your home world, Usul"


DrThief posted:

Fundus photos, slit lamp photos, OCTs. People want them printed even when I tell them that they're better served if I email it to them, and there's no point in printing a fundus photo if it's going to look like a pixelated pizza.
When I was a resident we had some HP lasers we used to print this stuff and they went through an ungodly amount of toner. I remember needing to change a toner every couple of weeks or so. Granted we printed about 40-50 pages a day in full colour. They were reliable though, I don't actually remember them ever breaking down.

Anyway, I think I'll spend a bit more and get a multifunction laser. Any recommendations on that?

if you print every day then inkjet isn't bad - print shops absolutely do not have the kinds of problems that home users do with heads clogging/etc, because if you keep the ink flowing it never dries out.

40-50 pages a day is absolutely well past that threshold, even a couple times a week is enough, it's just most home users don't have enough volume to make it worth it.

as far as really high-volume use like that, my understanding is that canon inkjets are head-and-shoulders above other inkjets because they support bulk ink tanks, so you can actually buy a 4-oz bottle of blue ink or whatever and that's way way cheaper than buying it already in a cartridge.

obviously inkjet is never going to get to the cost-per-page of color laser, but it's also going to be higher-quality, so it depends whether color laser is going to be good enough or not. You could go to a best buy or something and plug in a usb stick with a test image and give it a try.

Paul MaudDib fucked around with this message at 03:05 on Oct 17, 2021

Paul MaudDib
May 2, 2006

"Tell me of your home world, Usul"


pretty sure I'm gonna just get the 3770CDW the next time it comes back in stock. brother's a known evil at least, and I do see some complaints about the canon software/etc (even beyond the current bit about them turning off scanning when the printer is out of ink)

Paul MaudDib
May 2, 2006

"Tell me of your home world, Usul"


alright 3770CDW popped back in stock and I grabbed one.

man, I just don't know though. Rtings flatly says the Canon is the nicer printer, I just don't if I would regret the rest of the experience.

Comments on reddit do call out the Canon as the ADF as being bad, and good (duplex) ADF is literally the primary reason I'm upgrading and if that sucks that's really a non-starter for me. Or I guess I could stop worrying about ADF being integrated into the printer and just buy a standalone one. Ughh, I dunno.

https://www.rtings.com/printer/tools/compare/brother-mfc-l3770cdw-laser-vs-canon-imageclass-mf743cdw/1661/6298?usage=9435&threshold=0.10

https://old.reddit.com/r/printers/comments/dls24h/torn_between_2_printers_brother_mfcl3770cdw_vs/

Right now I have a placeholder order on the L8900CDW for $558 ($600 minus an additional 7% rewards I get on Amazon, to make the prices "comparable" vs the BB price) just in case the 3770CDW never came back / increased in price a ton. I'm thinking I should cancel that for sure now that the 3770CDW is on order. I don't think it offers anything besides "bigger, faster, better integration with enterprise software".

I still dunno about the Canon vs the brother though, ugh. Maybe I should just buy a standalone document scanner and not worry about having it all integrated into one device. That's about $200, and if I really wanted I could upgrade to a standalone color laser down the road (although that would leave me without easy access to a flatbed - I do have one but it's still tucked away and I don't have a great place for it to live).

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/search...ll%20Categories

edit: you know, the L8900CDW may not be "the same thing as the 3770CDW but bigger/faster/more enterprise software", there is a progression between the entry level brothers and the 3770CDW, and between the entry-level Canon color laser and the 743Cdw, so there may be between the 3770CDW and 8900CDW. The 8900CDW is obviously positioned more as a workstation and may actually be better.

Ugh. I wish there was an easy answer here, and only having half the reviews is making it all worse.

Paul MaudDib fucked around with this message at 20:17 on Oct 18, 2021

Paul MaudDib
May 2, 2006

"Tell me of your home world, Usul"


Among the tech community the consensus is basically "buy the brother that fits your feature needs" and that's 100% my answer and 100% the answer I'm sure anyone else here will give you.

I've never used them on mac specifically but I'm sure it's fine, they seem to have a MacOS driver package, and as a last resort Brother provides a "CUPS driver" which will work on any *nix type system (and I see in their guide that seems to include MacOS) - I've used those CUPS drivers on Linux and they work fine.

The one caveat is that color isn't necessarily a checkbox you automatically want to jump for - it will roughly double the price of a printer at a given feature set. Also, the lower-tier color lasers don't do very good quality color - it's there if you need it but it's not anywhere near photo quality and it significantly drives up the cost of the printer.

Right now Best Buy has the best prices on them almost certainly - cross check amazon history on camelcamelcamel (the MFC-L8900CDW is notably cheaper at many other places) but this is basically your list. They are bouncing in and out of stock a lot, so if something is out of stock don't get discouraged, check back every afternoon and see if it's available (their notification system isn't very good).

As you can see from my bellyaching above, I'm kinda in the same boat that have a feature set requirement (duplex ADF scanning) that makes it not particularly expensive to bump up to color laser, but even the mid-tier color lasers are not amazing quality. There is already a notable progression in quality from the very low tier models (like the HL-L3270CDW) to the midrange models (MFC-L3770CDW) and since there is a similar progression from midrange to high end models in the Canon lineup I'm kinda wondering if the L8900CDW would have better quality as well.

It was also pointed out to me that the L8900CDW uses much bigger (and actually cheaper) cartridges so the cost difference over the L3770CDW will be equalized basically as soon as the starter cartridge set runs out. If you haven't seen it in person though - it's a giant printer, absolutely enormous.

Anyway what's your feature set here? Do you need scanning/copying? Duplex scanning/copying? Basically those three features tell you where in the lineup you should look.

Paul MaudDib
May 2, 2006

"Tell me of your home world, Usul"


ugh, I still am thinking about printers. I keep talking myself in circles. The L2750DW seems obviously worth it considering the cost of a standalone duplex document scanner.

The L8900CDW vs the MF743Cdw, I don't know. It looks like Canon's linux driver situation is alright although not as great as Brother. It'll probably cover my needs for the occasions when I use Linux, and it'll scan to a network share. Not as nice as having full CUPS support for ARM/etc but it'll be OK. If worse comes to worst, I can leave it plugged into a NUC or something as a print server and it'll be ok. The Canon seems to have much better graphical/photo print quality - I'm not looking to do serious photo printing but on the other hand if I print something graphical I don't want it to look crappy either, then the extra money would just have been a waste. The Canon also seems to have a much more limited situation with non-OEM toner and the one brand I can find there's a fair number of people complaining about cartridges breaking and dumping toner in the printer and ruining it.

realistic answer is buy the L2750DW, that covers almost everything I really need, but I kinda want color laser for those rare occasions color would enhance my enjoyment of something I'm printing (a guide with graphics or something, etc). I guess on those occasions I'd be happy with the brother anyway, but if I'm gonna get it why not get the one that's better at actual color printing? But then that locks me into a much more limited set of aftermarket toners, etc.

Paul MaudDib
May 2, 2006

"Tell me of your home world, Usul"


Nostalgamus posted:

As far as I can tell there's no thread for scanners, but they're basically the same device these days, so I'll ask here.

Is there any significant difference in scan quality between cheaper and more expensive printer/scanners? Is a cheap one sufficient for most normal use cases? I'm planning to scan some old books, and trying to determine whether a cheap scanner will give me decent picture quality.

200dpi is more than enough for basic text and well within the reach of practically any scanner.

note that scanning books a page at a time is a pain in the rear end, doesn't produce good scans (due to the binding), and isn't real good for the book. Archivists use special scanners that push a glass platen down between the pages and they scan through the glass. No idea if there's a place that could scan them for you but if it's a real old/valuable book there might be someone interested.

to go back to the original question though, reflective scanning is not very technically challenging in the first place - like I doubt even archivists are scanning at anything above 200 dpi or maybe like 300dpi. There just isn't that much info on a printed page. Even scanning a photo print there just isn't that much resolution there. Where you really get into problems is transmissive scanning, where you're scanning negatives/slides and you are doing a significant enlargement.

Paul MaudDib fucked around with this message at 18:26 on Jan 3, 2022

Paul MaudDib
May 2, 2006

"Tell me of your home world, Usul"


lordfrikk posted:

My partner is an artist and wants to buy an "archival printer" (not sure if that's a thing or just marketing) for her art prints. The budget is ~1000 USD, though we are in Europe. Should any single person spend that much on a printer, and probably an inkjet to boot? Are archival printers a thing that is separate from color inkjet?

We currently have multi-function Brother laserjet that works nicely but that's not a color printer.

Archival is more about the paper and ink than the printer itself.

From my understanding, the Canon printers are the way to go there since they have bulk ink tanks and it makes it amazingly easy to use non-standard inks with different properties. There are special black inks for b+w photo printing with higher matteness/etc than the standard color inks.

Paul MaudDib
May 2, 2006

"Tell me of your home world, Usul"


stevewm posted:

Not really... It's still the xerographic process

what, exactly, do you mean by 田opy machine?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PZbqAMEwtOE

Paul MaudDib
May 2, 2006

"Tell me of your home world, Usul"


Thanks Ants posted:

If you check the Brother website there might be firmware updates available for it, which will do more to correct connectivity bugs than updating the drivers. With that said there's no reason not to update them.

Sometimes firmware updates do also update DRM and mess up aftermarket cartridges if you池e using them.

Paul MaudDib
May 2, 2006

"Tell me of your home world, Usul"


Brother's linux implementation is about as good as it gets for linux, it's pretty much just CUPS drivers iirc, and they even support having linux hosts (ie your NAS) show up as targets on the scanner's onboard LCD interface as a "scan to host" target so it'll just show up as a file on your network share, etc. I won't guarantee it works plug-and-play in linux, but I've had it plug-and-play before, and at worst it will be no more complicated than extracting a zip and pointing CUPS at the drivers. Furthermore all the linux nerds have pretty much standardized on brother at this point so you're getting network effect of "that's what the linux nerds are running so any issues will most likely get fixed quick". If Linux is a serious consideration then brother is the way to go imo. I'm not saying no other brands work in linux but Brother is pretty much a cult among nerds at this point and it's for good reason, it's as close to zero-bullshit as it's possible for a printer to get, brother is never going to be worse than another brand in drivers and especially linux drivers.

Color laser is a very difficult target, you can look back a page or two and see the responses to me asking basically the same questions, re "I mostly want B+W but I'd like to check the box on having color capability".

The short of it is that a color laser engine is a lot more complex so it will always be physically larger than an equivalent B+W laser engine - the "compact" ones you are also getting much smaller B+W cartridges with lower capacity and higher cost-per-page so it's not directly equivalent to a B+W in the same price range. For an equivalent one it will always be significantly more expensive (you can figure on ~2x the price) so you should ask yourself really strongly whether that's a box you absolutely need to check. They are also physically much larger - I see that's a checkbox for you.

rtings does really good printer reviews (I seriously need to just subscribe to rtings already) but if you accept brother and scanning as requirements then these are going to be your options. in brother terminology C = color, D = duplex printing, W = wireless. Note that the 3770CDW is where you get duplex scanning, that's a separate feature and if you care about things like scanning both sides of a bill, you want duplex scanning. The 3290CDW also only has a flatbed, no document feeder, so it's one sheet at a time. You don't have to buy from office depot, but the brother site is down for maintenance this afternoon so I can't look directly and best buy/amazon have a somewhat limited selection at the moment.

Brother does tend to refresh their models a lot and there may be like, a 3700CDW and a 3710CDW and a 3715CDW that are virtually identical, compare carefully to be sure (sometimes they will change the toner cartridge to add DRM!) but they do tend to do "rebrands" quite a bit just to have something new to sell (or for specific retailers to have a unique model), for example I can't really find a difference between my L2700DW and the current L2710DW.

You are correct that this is a market that moves extremely slowly, and actually beyond that right now laser printers are one of the things that has been hit pretty hard by shortages (better than a year ago tho!) since they're such complex/advanced products, so if you decide on something and it's actually in-stock then you might not want to hesitate too long before pulling the trigger. Best Buy has been pretty good with cycling stuff through occasionally and they usually have the best prices, maybe if you like one of the models they carry you might set a notification alert and pull the trigger within an hour or so when you get the email. Do check sams/costco as well if you have a membership, I see Brother printers in store pretty frequently but probably not the fancier models. They may have the nicer stuff on the website though.

(w/r/t Canon MF743Cdw vs Brother L8900CDW that I was asking about earlier, I ended up taking a USB stick to Staples and doing some prints to compare and I didn't see a difference between the canon and the brother. So basically to combine the data from rtings and my completely amateur testing - there does seem to be a significant print quality difference between a "compact engine" (3000-series) and a "workgroup engine" (8000 series) even for simple clipart/presentation style stuff, but within a tier Canon vs Brother both seem to be similar. I didn't end up going for it after all, but, if I did, I'd get the L8900CDW for the combination of print quality, larger cartridges/lower operating cost, and brother drivers - but this is for me and I'm not space sensitive at all.)

Be aware that much like inkjets, the "starter toner" is like 1/4th of a standard-yield retail cartridge so prepare yourself for a couple hundred bucks more expenses to come after a few hundred color pages. So this may tend to neutralize a lot of the difference of a "cheaper" printer - it's $500 for the 3770CDW and $400 for a high-yield set of the smaller toner cartridges, or $650 for the 8900CDW and $300 for a normal-yield/$500 for high-yield for the bigger cartridges. So the TCO-after-a-year isn't actually all that different for the higher-end printers - you'll make up the difference the first time you buy a set of toner cartridges and the bigger ones are cheaper to operate on an ongoing basis. In your case if physical size is a problem though you may not have a choice - the 8900CDW is a big boi and the 3770cdw is already 17" tall so it's not going to swing the flatbed open if you've got it stuffed in an 18" cubbyhole (actually you won't even be able to use the document feeder tray either most likely).

Some people have previously told me that you really shouldn't buy off-brand toner cartridges especially with an expensive color laser (color is a lot more complex) and that they've seen it wreck printers before, but, also bear in mind the situation with third-party toner compatibility if that's something you care about... some brands have locked it down a lot more tightly than others, and sometimes newer models within a brand will change to a different cartridge so they can add DRM and lock it down better.

Paul MaudDib fucked around with this message at 17:38 on Jul 11, 2022

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Paul MaudDib
May 2, 2006

"Tell me of your home world, Usul"


CaptainSarcastic posted:

Have you checked Best Buy?

yeah Best Buy has the best prices and they get shipments of printers every couple weeks

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