✅Laser Printing: Best Laser Printer 2019 (Buying Guide)
This Canon laser printer is a cost-effective choice for home offices
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- Whether it's due to the high ink costs, the rampant planned obsolescence in the industry, or terrible customer service, just about every printer has a long list of consumer complaints.
- Canon is one of the few brands to receive a high reliability rating in Consumer Reports' survey of all-in-one printer owners.
- In my lifelong battle with terrible printers, the was a breath of fresh air with its long-lasting toner cartridge, fast two-sided printing, and wireless connectivity.
- Though the Canon imageCLASS MF426dw Monochrome Laser Printer is more expensive than most people would typically spend on a home printer (), the toner costs are low at under 2 cents per page.
I have a hate-hate relationship with printers.
As a writer, I regularly have to print out a wide array of text documents. And I have suffered through a long line of printers — usually in the to 0 price range — that would have terrible print quality, expensive ink cartridges, and eventually, they'd just stop working even if I stayed current on the software updates.
I'd resigned myself to visiting the copy shop or relying on friends when I needed something printed. Then, after reading my guide on printers for college students, Canon asked if I'd like to try out their imageCLASS MF426dw Printer for free. I figured it wouldn't hurt to take it for a test drive.
Below is my experience with this impressive device.
My first experiences with the Canon imageCLASS Printer
The is an all-in-one printer: It prints, scans, copies, and faxes. Despite its ability to scan in color, it only prints in black and white. At first, this may seem terrible, and it is if you want to print photographs, art, or other colorful items. However, for my purposes — mainly printing text — black and white is great because I don't have to worry about replacing color ink cartridges when I inevitably print a massive document in full color by accident.
The printer arrived in a large box. Between removing the packaging and setting it up, it took 15 minutes to get the printer up and running. The MF426dw comes with a disc for installing drivers and other software on your computer. But with today's computers, the disc is unnecessary. My PC doesn't even have a CD drive. Fortunately, it was easy to download the drivers on the Canon website.
There are several ways to connect your phone, computer, tablet, or any other smart devices to the printer. The easiest way was connecting via your Wi-Fi network. I was able to do this with all of my devices. For added functionality — such as scanning — you need to install the drivers on your computer or the Canon Business Printer app on your smart devices.
You can purchase the MF426dw with or without a toner cartridge. The Canon High-Capacity Toner Cartridge has an advertised yield of 9,200 pages and . This works out to less than 1.8 cents per sheet, which is quite a bit less than other top models. The cost for toner is even lower if you don't mind trying an off-brand alternative.
Read more: The best printers you can buy for the office
How the Canon imageCLASS Printer performed
The was designed to be used by up to 10 users in an office environment. They recommend it for printing 500 to 4,000 pages per month. My wife and I both work from home, but we didn't come anywhere close to approaching these numbers. According to the printer's Status Monitor, we printed 346 pages in two months. The cartridge that came with the printer is still 90% full.
Printing was effortless from just about any device we tried, including my Android phone.During the testing period, we didn't experience any paper jams or toner shortages. The only hiccup we had was our preschooler regularly raiding the 900-page-capacity paper drawer for items to color on. I'm not going to blame Canon for this.
To test the printing speed of the MF426dw, I printed out a 41-page home appraisal. This document includes text, tables, and photos. Seventeen seconds passed from the moment I clicked "Print" until the first page was printed. The entire document — from click to finish — took 85 seconds.
This printer is also capable of duplex printing. In other words, it can print on both sides of a sheet of paper. I decided to test out the duplex speed with the same appraisal document. The first page took 24 seconds from click to print. And, the entire document was complete in one minute and 43 seconds.
Speed isn't everything. Quality also matters. When it comes to text, the characters produced by the imageCLASS MF426dw were crisp and clear regardless of font.The picture quality did leave a little bit to be desired though. The grays were a little bit fuzzy and not as precise as I'd like. But, this printer wasn't designed for graphics.
Some concerns about the monochrome printer
Using the touchscreen was a bit of a pain at times. I have fat fingers, which made it hard to navigate the 5" color screen. This was especially true when it came to the smaller icons that had minuscule touch areas. If, like me, you're afflicted with sausage fingers, I recommend having a stylus nearby.
I've brought this up before, but I want to make it clear that this is a monochrome printer. If you like to print out color photos or graphics, then you would be better served by a full-color printer.
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of the user manual, I tried to figure out how to use the printer and scanner without any help. I was able to print from my computer without installing anything, but it was finicky at times. You really need to take the time to visit the Canon support site to get the drivers and other useful info. The site is incredibly intuitive and helpful.
Read more: The best printers you can buy for less than 0
My last concern also speaks to my final recommendation. The Canon imageCLASS MF426dw Monochrome Laser Printer is expensive for a home printer.
This is best suited for a small office environment.
However, I would still recommend this for a few specific home users: buyers who work from home, print out a lot of text or other black-and-white documents, or people who have a little extra to spend on a reliable printer and are tired of the hassle associated with the cheap options out there.
Though the MF426dw costs 5, Canon backs the quality of this printer with a three-year standard warranty, and the per-sheet cost of purchasing toner is much lower than what you'd expect for other devices in this price range.
Video: Inkjet Vs Laser Printers? Which one to buy?
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