Workgroup Office Printer Shootout
HWM Singapore|March 2020
Office and workgroup printers are usually laser-based due to their high workload, print quality and speed. Surprisingly, the quest to drive down cost per print also see the inkjet printers among this class, thanks to the ink tank evolution.
Ken Wong

BROTHER MFC-L8690CDW

The Brother MFC-L8690CDW has a squat, chunky build that is meant for speed and quantity. It definitely won’t win any prizes in a beauty contest but within beats the heart of a hard worker. Coming in around a hefty 27.9 kilograms, its 435 x 526 x 539mm footprint gives it a size to match.

It can hold up to 300-sheets of paper in its two trays and 150-sheets in the central out tray, while the supplied black toner cartridge is good for a very respectable 3,000 monoprints. Higher yield cartridges are available that will double that figure. Now, laser printers tend to be lower than inkjet printers in this respect, but at 2,400 x 600dpi, the print resolution is pretty good. Strangely though, it can’t print in A3. Perhaps this is a new trend manufacturers are following?

You can connect via WiFi or Wi-Fi Direct and it’s supported by a free app called iPrint&Scan. The companion app allows users to print wirelessly from cloud services such as Evernote and iCloud and check your toner levels and scan documents remotely. During our tests, we found that it couldn’t detect our 5GHz network, only the 2.4GHz one.

Navigation through the menu options was no problem thanks to the size of the LCD. While the 3.7inch LCD is big enough to show all necessary detail and information, its fixed position means that viewing the information can be difficult under some lighting conditions.

Black text printed fine, looking crisp and sharp to the naked eye. However, when magnified, the text was splotchier and overall not as sharp.

Again, as with most laser printers, simple graphics within our documents were printed fine. But if you need to print something that is graphic intensive, think about using an inkjet or photo printer. The image was clear but not as sharp as some others tested. Colours were slighter than our source and we found evidence of some colour saturation and some bleeding.

AT A GLANCE

TYPE Laser

PRINT RESOLUTION 2,400 x 600dpi

DIMENSIONS 435 x 526 x 539 mm

WEIGHT 27.9 kg

PRICE $799.00

CANON IMAGECLASS MF746C

AT A GLANCE

TYPE Laser

PRINT RESOLUTION 1,200 × 1,200 dpi

DIMENSIONS 471 x 469 x 460mm

WEIGHT 24.5kg

PRICE $899.00

Designed for office use, the Canon imageCLASS MF746C certainly ticks all the boxes you think of when it comes to a workgroup printer.

Squat and big, laser-based, large paper capacity, fast print speeds, high duty cycle. All pretty much, check, check, check, check, and check.

Besides the usual printing, scanning, copying and faxing, Canon has included some nice bells and whistles in the MF746C, with a top print speed of 27 pages per minute (ppm) for both black and colour.

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