Multifunction centre advise, please

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by MLJ, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. MLJ macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2008
    Hi everyone.

    I've just moved from an eMac to one of the new iMacs (and am really, really loving it!). I think I've also just conquered the steep modem/internet provider/VoIP learning curve - I found that this time it was not nearly as "plug and play, and it always just works" as the last Mac (8yrs ago!).

    And now I need to sort out a fax/scanner/printer/copier...

    We don't currently have a scanner, and I've never really used one either. I'm looking closely at Canon and Brother multifunction centres: because of prior and anecdotal experience with these brands and their tech support, these are the only one's in the race (apologies to HP, Epsom et al!).

    Printing will be photos/graphics and mostly text. A big part of the computers' use will be scanning-in text, diagrams, graphics and photos. I'd guess that our house is a moderate user at best of the printer/scanner, but the scanner quality needs to be good (but I can live with "slow"; mind you, I don't really know what "good" means). Also, the thing needs to be compatible with a PC laptop that is running Vista.

    - I think I should be looking at the Canon MX850 and Brother MFC440CN, would this be correct?

    - Should I pay for a laser writer? The purchase costs puts me off, but I like the quality and the permanent ink.

    - I've read that Brother replacement inks are much cheaper than Canon - is that true? Equally, given my small-moderate usage, does it really matter? Do cartridge refills work or worth the risk?

    - How reliable are scanners in correctly recording text. I suppose what I'm asking is: can a scanner just read text or will it only take a "picture" of the page that it scans. Is it reasonable to expect "scan > import into Word/iWorks > cut/paste as/if required > save", or must everything be laboriously proof-read and corrected first?

    - Also, a soft-ware question: Can I set up in-coming faxes to be received as emails?

    In case it's relevant, the specs are: OS10.5.3, ADSL and VoIP, TimeCapsule.

    Many thanks for any advise, and for your time.
  2. Burtonsnow9 macrumors regular

    Feb 22, 2008
    i just got a canon mp530 printer and it is an amazing all in one. its designed as a small business all in one so the focus is on printing and scanning and faxing as it should be instead of media card readers and what not. it is only $130 on apples site and it is really amazing. It estimates that it only costs 3 cents per color page and 2 cents per black and white page which is very cheap. this all in one destroys all the regular home all in ones and is just as cheap
  3. twig macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2007
    I've got at Canon MX 700 multifunction, which is an older version of the MX 850, without the duplexing unit. I'm quite impressed with the quality of the printing, particularly photos. The Canon scanning drivers for Mac are not perfect, but you can work around most issues. I've been using the Image Capture software in OS X for images, and the only thing it can't do is recognize multiple photos on the platten at one time.

    For text, most scanners have optical character recognition (OCR) which can convert an image of text into a text file with reasonable accuracy, depending on the quality, font, etc. of the original. Proofreading is usually required, but any spellchecker should pick up many of the mistakes. You'll probably have to work with the formatting somewhat. I hadn't actually tried OCR on the Canon, but with a little fiddling I was able to get it to work. The OCR software that comes with the Canon is called OmniPage SE. I've never tried scanning with a Brother, so I can't offer a comparison.

    I'm not sure about receiving faxes as emails, but I wouldn't count on it with the Canon. I haven't even been able to find a way to send faxes directly from a Mac via the Canon - I have to print out a document and then use the multi-function as a fax machine. That being said, I would still recommend the Canon as a good all around multi-function for a Mac.
  4. atlanticza macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2008
    Cape Town
    No fax driver for Canon MX850, alas.

    I just switched from an HP AIO to the new Canon MX850 and so far most impressed. But without a fax driver you cannot fax directly from your Mac (and I'm not sure that Canon will release one either - but here's hoping).
  5. aafuss1 macrumors 68000


    May 5, 2002
    Gold Coast, Australia
    I have a HP C4000 series MFP-a C4180. Bigger inks than Canon (saves on refills).

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