Friday, 11 June 2010
Epson BX610FW (BAD) versus Canon MP640 (AWESOME) - Reviews
[Summary - Canon Pixma MP640 is awesome, Epson BX610FW is rubbish]
I needed a new office printer recently. I print a lot of fairly average stuff - address labels, instruction leaflets etc - about 1000 sides a week, mostly double sided.
I have been using an Epson R285 with a CISS from cityinkexpress.co.uk - this has been a good combination, even though it was a photo printer really - cheap to run and mainly reliable. It did regularly get clogged ink nozzles though, which sometimes meant ruining 100 instruction leaflets, when doing the second sides of them.
So I figured I should get a dedicated office printer, because that would be better, right?
First I got the Epson BX610FW - in theory a nice multi function office printer.
Well - its RUBBISH.
- The WiFi setup is arcane, to say the least - took me best part of half an hour to figure out how to set it up with my standard security WiFi - a non-techie user would just give up
- The paper feed is RUBBISH. The simple act of putting paper in the back of the thing requires precision guidance - there are things sticking out the back of where the paper goes, so you have to guide the paper over it - otherwise it always catches and you cannot get the paper in
- It has TINY paper capacity. I could only get about 90 sheets of 90gsm paper - nothing like as much as in my old R285. How you can call it an office printer, with such a miserable paper capacity, is beyond me
- It has a ridiculous ink system. I had a good CISS but the BX610FW is impossible to use nicely because every time it thinks an individual cartridge is empty, you have to reset the CISS. This means that you are forever having to reset the CISS, and each time it only 'fills' one of the 4 ink tanks it has.
- Print Quality - well, it was rubbish. The output was nothing like as sharp as with the old R285, and it took about 10 head cleanings to even get the brand new heads working cleanly (and that didn't last long)
So I started looking again for a printer and decided to try the Canon MP640. It was the same price as the Epson, and had the bonus feature of Double Sided printing.
Well, the list of what is good with the Canon is as long as what is bad with the Epson.
- WiFi set up is a doddle
- It has TWO paper feeds - an undertray that holds about 100 sheets of my 90gsm paper, and a rear tray that holds about 110 sheets. So I can have two types always loaded (labels and paper eg). You can choose which tray to use in Printing Preferences, and there is a mode that uses both, giving you over 200 sheet capacity. I have saves preferences for Labels and Instructions, that use the appropriate settings.
- The double sided duplex option is AWESOME. Instead of having to feed half printed stuff back in, I just set it to print 200 double sided instructions, and out they come - no messing around at all.
- It works REALLY WELL with the CISS. The first time a tank empties, it gives you the option to disable ink level monitoring for that tank. So I have done that for each of the 5 tanks and now I NEVER have to reset the CISS - it just keeps on working. I can leave the printer and it doesn't stop with some silly out of ink warning, it just keeps going.
- Print Quality - its EXCELLENT. I cannot get over how much clearer it is than the Epson. The Canon has some fancy droplet technology and it just works better. It also doesn't continually clog. For the same speed, the Canon quality is twice that of the Epson.
- Photo Print Quality. Well, I never intended to use it for this, but it turns out it is VERY GOOD. In fact its better than an Epson Photo Printer (much newer than the R285) that it happened to get compared against - even with only 4 colour printing, it was brilliant - easily good enough to do really good prints.
- Scanning is really nice - once you have installed an app on the computer, you can scan on the Canon and it just sends it straight to the computer. If there are multiple computers with the app installed, the printer gives you a list of them, and you choose where to send the scan to.
- Copying - works really nicely
All in all I cannot say enough good things about the Canon - its an amazing piece of kit. In fact the pleasure of using it compares to the pleasure I got from using my first Canon SLR camera - an EOS 650 - which was also Awesome.