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Small business inkjets preview: Fast and affordable

There has always been a sizeable gap between inkjet and laser printers, in terms of both speed and quality. Laser printers are faster and inkjets have superior print quality. While we've been able to depend on these old truisms for a long time, things have become less black-and-white in recent years. Inkjets have become quicker, and laser printers are now able to produce much higher-quality photo and colour prints. The price difference between the two types has also decreased. The cheapest laser all-in-one in this test costs about as much as the most expensive inkjet all-in-one.

Now Epson and HP have claimed that their models in our current test are up to 50 per cent more cost-efficient in use than their laser-powered counterparts. Epson doesn't pull any punches and even says that its inkjet in this test is just as fast as a laser printer. Bold claims, which we will gladly put to the test.

We asked Brother, Canon, Epson, and HP to provide an inkjet all-in-one aimed at the small office market segment, and they happily obliged. Brother provided the MFC-J6510DW, Canon sent the PIXMA MX885, Epson the WorkForce Pro WP-4525 DNF, and HP the Officejet Pro 8500A Plus and Officejet Pro 8600 Plus.

In order to compare the fast inkjets with their laser all-in-one brethren, we picked two that we were reasonably impressed by. The HP Laserjet Pro M175nw and the Samsung CLX-3185FW will provide comparison material.

We put the printers through our own rigorous testing process, including speed and quality checks. Printer manufacturers nowadays include page yields (the number of pages that can be printed with one cartridge) based on standardised ISO norms. We've found that the claims from the manufacturers are on the conservative side, making our own tests unnecessary. You can read the rest of Small business inkjets preview on