Looking for a "prosumer grade" printer with ADF scanning, Ethernet and AirPrint support


Dec 23, 2006
I'm in the market for a new printer at home, the reason being my girlfriend has started with her college studies which means my Canon Pixma MP990 has gotten a run for it's money to say the least.

It's not that the Pixma MP990 isn't a capable printer, but when she drags home twenty-four pages she needs to get scanned (in order words.. I have to scan for her) and there is no ADF scanner so you have to manually add and remove the paper for each and every scan things start to take one hour instead of a few minutes.

Not to mention the huge waste of ink.. Today I had to print about 60 pages that she needs for her exam preparations. 60 pages, even though I have tweaked my very own "ECO" mode within the Canon drivers leaks ink left and right. For the past couple of months we have had to replace the ink cartridges several times and even though they aren't really that expensive it becomes expensive over time when you have to replace them after about 200 pages worth of printing.

All-in-one home printers like the MP990 isn't designed for this kind of usage, it's design for taking an occasional scan every now and then, it can even do negatives and Diaz if I'm not totally mistaken. It's designed for being capable if you use the right piece of photo paper to actually make some really decent photographic prints and whatnot. But it is most certainly not design to act like a "office printer" of sorts, at least not if you don't want to make yourself your very own yearly ink cartridge budget.

This is where this topic comes in.. I don't want to just grab a half decent printer, I want something that can replace the MP990 as our primary printer so it can act like our printer of choice for photos and the occasional scanning of negatives.

So I'm in the market for a "prosumer" printer, something that is very cost effective on the ink / toner but at the same time is fully capable of printing high quality text documents, featuring a ADF scanner capable of at least 600 dpi and having Apple AirPrint support wouldn't hurt either.. The reason why I'm looking at more business / enterprise grade printers is because I'm so sick and tired of the rather lacklustre quality of consumer grade printers, even our "top-of-the-line" MP990 isn't built to last, it's build quality is quirky and it's driver package at times is a mess.

Going more into the business / enterprise line-up you tend to get better overall build quality, drivers not containing all kinds of nonsense and what not.

The biggest question to take into consideration is whether to go inkjet or laser... Normally people tend to recommend laser, their toner doesn't dry up, most laser printers are perfectly capable of pushing out at least 1500 pages per toner at blazing speeds and overall it seems like most people tends to have less malfunction with laser printers but that might be because if we got five years back laser printers didn't really exist in the consumer grade world.

On the other hand I've been looking at some very tempting inkjet solutions, like these three:

- Hewlet Packard (HP) OfficeJet 8600 Pro Plus
It got colour prints, it got decent print resolution (I guess?), it claims to be almost as fast as laser, it has ADF scanning at decent resolution, it has Ethernet port and it supports Apple AirPrint. What is there not to like?

The XXL ink cartridges claims to be capable of 1800 pages on the colour ones, and 2300 pages.. That's not bad at all, and it gets even better as you can purchases "value packs" which includes all four XXL cartridges for an very attractive price.

- Epson WorkForce WP-4545 DTWF
It seems to feature pretty much all the same as the OfficeJet 8600 Pro Plus, but the look of the printer resembles more of a laser printer and might seem somewhat more compact and sturdy compared to the OfficeJet 8600 Pro Plus.

The XXL ink cartridges for this one claims 2000 pages on the three various colour cartridges and 2400 pages on the black one. Not bad, but the overall price of each are somewhat higher in my country (Norway) and they don't seem to be that easy to find either.

- Epson WorkForce WP-4595 DNF
Seems like a more enterprise aimed version of the above, I have actually no clue what the differences are to be honest, besides the colour.

Uses the same ink cartridges as the above.

The closest thing in regards of features of laser printers I've found available in Norway have been this:

- Hewlet Packard (HP) LaserJet Pro 200 MFP M276N
About the same feature set, but obviously this one is a laser printer while the three others uses inkjets.

The price of these various printers are about the same in my country, other than the OfficeJet Pro 8600 Pro Plus which is quite a bit cheaper. They are all within my budget though so the price doesn't really matter that much. But the price of toner cartridges for this M276N is way above the inkjet solutions, it features a black toner claiming 2400 pages, and three colour toners claiming 1800 pages. So that's not all that impressive compared to the three others, and the price of these toners are way above.. If I wore to replace all three it would actually cost me 2-3x times as much as it would for the three other solutions (!).

This all makes it seem almost too good to be true with these business inkjets, there have to be some downside involved here somewhere? Is the print quality lacklustre, aren't they build to last? Why would one not chose one of the three inkjets instead of the laser one considering the large gap in price?