I need a new wide format office printer (Q1 2015). I have utilized a Brother MFC-J6910DW Wide Format Multi-function Inkjet printer in my office for the last 4 years and it has been a good overall machine for me. Color prints on normal paper are pretty mediocre but having both 8.5×11 and 11×17 paper ready to print at the click of a button as well as a giant scanner bed with network capabilities made it the right choice. I keep a Brother HL-2270DW black and white laser next to it for printing documents and I have been satisfied with the combination. This multi-function has made it through a couple cross-country moves but this last move has finally knocked something loose. The 2nd paper tray is no longer feeding reliably and clearing paper jams might be one of the most frustrating productivity killers invented by man. Its time for a replacement.
- 2 Paper Trays for 8.5×11 (Letter) and 11×17 (Tabloid) simultaneously
- Wireless Networking (with native AirPrint support)
- Acceptable Photo Printing Performance (On the right paper)
- Acceptable Small Text Performance
- Low cost of ownership/ink
- Flatbed scanner with ADF
Heading to my normal sources for printer reviews; PCMag.com, CDW.com, BHPhoto and general Googling; the following is what I have found.
Brother MFC-J6920DW : $199.99 Street
Manufacturer Site: Brother MFC-J6920DW
- Colors Washed Out
- Sub-par Graphics Output
Based on the reviews I have read, this unit suffers from the same problem as the previous 6910 of washed out colors and not great graphics quality. I got away with these limitations with my last machine but I can’t help but want a machine that closes this gap a bit. This will be my fall-back if nothing else stacks up.
After much scouring of the internet the only other available printer under $5k I can find that also meets all of the specs is the Epson WF-7620.
Epson WorkForce WF-7620 : $199.99 Street
Manufacturer Site: Epson WorkForce WF-7620
- High Cost Per Page
- Sub-par graphics output
It looks like the Epson suffers from similar problems as the Brother which is really just typical of Inkjet printers vs Laser or Solid Ink. I have been impressed with the quality of Brother printers in general but they do not have the same reputation as Epson for color printing. Based on that alone I am leaning towards the WorkForce. The cost per page is reported to be higher for the Epson but if the print quality is at all better it will be worth it to me.
There is a dark horse in the race that I have not been able to get pricing or availability on as of yet. The Epson WorkForce Pro WF-8590 also checks all of the spec boxes, is built for higher duty than the WF-7620 and you can add accessory paper trays as needed.
It seems like the perfect fit if it can still be found for under $1000, but even Epson support has been unable to provide any further details. These printers are only available through the “Epson ImageWay Partner Program”. I am not sure why they are making it harder for me to spend money with them.
Unless I wake up on the other side of the bed tomorrow or get an email from Epson about the WF-8590 I think I will be pulling the trigger on the WF-7620 from Amazon tomorrow. They have a deal with extra standard replacement cartridges for $240 going on now (savings of about $5) and I like to have replacements on-hand anyways.
Do you have experience with any of these? Tweet me @willcoffin