Customer Reviews: Canon Laser imageCLASS MF4890dw Wireless Monochrome Printer (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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on June 20, 2013
We purchased this MFP for a home office, primarily sharing it between two computers. We're using it with Macs and with Windows 8 running on the Mac via Parallels. Printing seems fine and the two sided feature is great (although it seemed to install in two sided print mode as the default and you may want to switch that), it's not quite as sharp as a 6 year old HP 1320 that we replaced, but that printer supported PostScript so that may be a factor. There are a number of other reviews that discuss the printing/faxing capabilities so I won't focus on that, rather I'll talk about scanning.

The scanning feature was very important to us. I wanted this to replace an older high quality document scanner that was not supported on the Mac and also have the ability to scan across the network (the document scanner had to be plugged directly into a Windows computer). The included Canon scanning app, MF Toolbox is not very good. While I was able to install it on Windows without a problem, I did have a bit of confusion in installing/configuring on the Mac. Canon's US based tech support helped me out and we got it working quickly. The UI of MF Toolbox is not at all intuitive or polished. I could scan both to the Mac and Windows (via Parallels), but as has been previously mentioned you have to go to the scanner, hit the scan button, and then select scan Remote Scanner to initiate the scan from the computer. Also, I felt the scan quality including OCR results were sub-standard. While the MF Toolbox claims it is scanning to PDF, I do not think the files they generate actually meet the PDF specification. If you want to append a scanned page to an existing PDF document which we frequently do, the original PDF must have been generated using the MF Toolbox. It will not work if the PDF had been originally created with another app like Acrobat. This limitation is documented in the MF Toolbox app. I tried to work around this by moving pages from the scanned document from MF Toolbox to another PDF file, but that didn't seem to work either.

Long story short, I was about to return the unit as I didn't think it would provide sufficient scanning capabilities. Then I realized that by installing the MF Toolbox, it also installs a TWAIN driver for the scanner. Thus, I am able to scan from the Canon MFP from within Acrobat. Acrobat seems to allow full control of the scanner, 1 sided/2 sided, document feeder, platen glass, etc.. Furthermore the scans from Acrobat were far superior in quality than those from MF Toolbox - better looking image, better OCR, smaller file size. I'm not going to claim that Acrobat is the best scanning app, but if you learn the appropriate settings you can get very good results. Also, if you don't have Acrobat you would need to purchase it and it's not cheap (you can't create PDFs from the free Adobe Reader).

Another trick is to change the preferences on the MFP so that the default mode is Scan. This avoids having to push the scan button on the MFP which removes the one step. Unfortunately, you can't change the scanner preference to default to "remote scanner" mode, so you need to select this at the MFP before you start scanning from the application whether it be MF Toolbox or Acrobat. The default mode is to send the scanned document to a registered PC but that I believe forces the use of the inferior Canon scanning software. Canon support also confirmed that you currently can't change that setting.

Using a different scanning application like Acrobat, I consider this unit 5 stars. If you use MF Toolbox and scanning is important to you I'd probably give it 2 or 3 stars so I'm going to put it at 4 stars overall.
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on November 1, 2012
I have had this printer for about a month and really really like it. I bought it to replace a Brother (click on my name to read my review on that one). Although my previous multi-function device worked well, this Canon has the following improvements: Scans in duplex, has an ID-card photocopy function that I love, and MOST OF ALL IT IS QUIET. I do not use the fax feature. I have a PC with windows 7 and I was able to install it easily. It connected to the wireless network very very easily, which was a big plus. My previous printer was also wireless BUT it required a hard-wire connection to the router with an ethernet cable as part of the initial installation process. With this canon, I was able to connect to the network wirelessly, type in the Wi-Fi password directly on the printer, and didn't have to use any cables. Marvelous! I did compare the printing side-by-side with my brother, and unfortunately I think this Canon is a little bit worse. However, for my purposes it is fine. The Brother was so loud and the fan would run for 10 minutes after every print job. This Canon is super quiet, and even has a quiet feature which I haven't even had to use yet. I anticipate being very happy with this printer for a long time. Five stars!
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on September 8, 2013
Pros: Does everything laser for less than 200. Wifi means you can hide the unit anywhere - even in a closet!
Cons: Not much control over scan - but it is a business scanner not photo scanner.

I always knew my next printer would be a laser instead of problematic and expensive maintenance inkjets. And I always knew that to save trees and bulk, it must be a duplex printer. Initially, I was looking at a home / light duty Wifi duplex like the Brother 2270DW, which about $150.

Then, I needed a scanner too to back up important docs, and upon shopping I am surprised and a little shock to learn that flatbed scanners are almost extinct being replaced by all-in-ones and sheet scanners such as those from Fujitsu are very expensive going at $300+. However, those sheet scanners added a requirement in my mind - duplex auto sheet feeding.

It didn't seem possible to find an AIOs that met those 2 main requirements at a good budget -- and it was difficult to narrow down the models since there are so many out there. Then I noticed this baby when I sorted by price. It met all my requirements for duplex print and scan AND be at a reasonable price. In fact a very good price -- too good!

I thought this is an EOL model, but upon going to the Canon website - it looks like this is a current model as well. I couldn't believe it and was still skeptical. Moreover this got priced cheaper than its lower sibling the 4880dw which doesn't do duplex scanning. Go figure how pricing algorithms work! It seems the MSRP for this was $500+.

I think you can read the other 5 star reviews on this printer and I can concur with them. Warm up and printing is super fast and crisp. Toner is not too expensive. Most of all, with the ADF and doing duplex scanning - I just don't know why I didn't shop for something like this earlier.

What I'd like to address though are these from other reviewers that threw some (unwarranted) skepticism in me, but hope now I can answer some other shopper's questions:
- Obsolete model: No, this is not (as of 2013).
- Drivers for Win8 not available: Go to the Canon site and download latest. The x64 bit is common across Win7/Win8. (I am on Win7 & Win8 x64 no problems).
- IP addresses keep changing: That is not the problem of the printer. Either:
1. Set your router's DHCP server to lock the Mac (hardware) address to a static IP address.
2. Set the IP address manually on the printer (Choose a number in the same subnet. Eg. If your auto IP is, then most home routers would not complain if you manually force it on the printer to Don't use .1 or .254 as that's usually the router's address.
- Scan settings. It is not as intuitive, but the settings for 'Custom' is actually at your computer's 'Toolbox' application. So if you want to, example, set Custom 1 to be 300 dpi, color, PDF, then set it in the Toolbox app. When you 'pull' or 'push' the scan using 'Custom 1' to your PC, then it will use those settings.
- Scan quality so so .. OK this is NOT a photo scanner which has high dpi and fidelity nor a fast one as those fast $400+ Fujitsu scanjet. Its designed more for business scans: Ie. Scan a doc and send/archive it. This means 300dpi is adequate, and don't expect photo scanner class accuracy.
- Scan formats are PDF, TIFF, JPG, BMP. As another reviewer posted, it has TWAIN and WIA drivers to scan to software (Eg. Photoshop, Acrobat etc.) that yield better quality scans.
- Fax functions - I don't use it and in fact, do people still fax?! Scan to PDF and send email!

Again, its about $200 (I got mine less, but note it has gone up in price now) and yet it prints at a zippy 26ppm, does duplex print AND scan, is a business class LASER printer with relatively big sheet tray but compact enough to hide anywhere in the house/office due to Wifi. Because of the ADF it can even scan Legal sized docs which is too long for the platen glass. Each toner is good for 2000 pages and if you get compatibles, they are $15 each.

Put that into perspective, and you'll see that those < 3 star grouses are really people with wrong expectations who just need a consumer-class AIO or should spend >$500 to get enterprise-class machines.
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on October 24, 2012
I got this printer at local store, Setup was easy, took 15 minutes to unwrap the packaging and it was up and running, I use Macs in my setup, printer is hard wired to my apple time capsule router( I am not planning to use its wireless capability as this printer is located next to my router but if I need an open Ethernet port on my router I might use it), there are three drivers for Mac OS X Mountain Lion Fax/scan/print downloaded from Canon web site they were installed on all Macs (5 minutes to install). I can confirm that this unit is mac compatible, I have not used all the functions fully yet, nor can say how the windows version of software works; I can access printer and scan functionalities via my software in Mac.
I like automatic duplex printing feature, no paper jams, it will save lot money on paper also, print quality is very good both copies and in printing from pc, scanning was no problem either, I am not sure how the scan to PC buttons (1,2 on machine) works since there is not software for Mac. Overall very smooth operation. Setting up fax was very easy entering Fax number information and what kind of mode the machine will be used, I will try to do some fax testing in few days. Overall the fit and finish of machine looks good, does not feel cheap plastic. Machine is very quiet goes into sleep mode when not in use. For $230 it is very good machine to do all functions.
Now the toner, it is around $80 which is very close to price Brother toner I was using, much cheaper than Samsung toner cartridge though. I am sure there will be cheaper alternative for this machine too, I was buying toner powder for my brother machine for last few years it was very cheap ($10) and it last long time. I recommend this machine.

update: 10/26/12
Scan function does not work with mac drivers, this is bummer, canon has to blame to put mac logo on their product and it does not work. print function work fine, i have other scanner on hp printer so not an issue for me but for many people it would be an issue. i have to reduce it to 3 star (from 5 stars) until canon fixes drivers for macs. I have also tested the wireless function of the printer, it works fine. scan function stil an issue on wireless network also, i am surprised canon has not addressed the mac driver issue as there are many users of macs now.
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VINE VOICEon November 23, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A very high quality full featured laser printer (Canon), now at a bargain price. Very impressed with this printer. It is full featured enough for a small business, yet compact enough for home use. It arrived well packaged with good shipping protection, and set up very easy. It runs quietly, and remains in "stand-by" very low power mode when "off". It receives wireless signals well, and prints with good speed. Software included is user friendly, and it scans very well. Documentation included is also high quality. Very high quality laser printing. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. UPDATE 6/2014: I still love this printer. It never disappoints me. High quality, and I recommend you pay a little more and replace toner cartridges with genuine Canon (at very competitive price here on Amazon.)
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on October 27, 2013
After using the unit for two days, here is what I have found:

What's good:
The software works well; if you follow the instructions, setup is easy enough; quick printing and copying. Scanning works well when the document feeder works (see below).

What's bad:
The document feeder gets paper jams 50% of the time when doing double-sided feeds. When it chokes, your scan job is ruined and you need to start over. And, if it jams once it won't work ever. You need to do single-sided scans and worry about doing the other sides of the pages manually. Majorly defeats a major feature of the scanner.

Now, what's worse, it failed (jammed) once when I did a single-side job of around 20 sheets (it's supposed to handle 50). That's an epic fail.

Summary: what the unit does well, it really does well. But the flaws are major. I'm going to continue to use it for a while to see if it gets any better. I'll report back.


Added after two weeks: increased to 3 1/2 stars

I really do like this unit for what it does well, as I mentioned above. The feeder has gotten a bit better and I think I've identified the root cause of the jams. This feeder just does not like some kinds of paper. It doesn't seem to have anything to do with the thickness, but your paper edges need to be almost pristine. When they are, the double-sided scans work fine. If you've got some crinkles or whatever, you really can't reliably perform two-sided scans.
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on June 23, 2013
I've been patiently waiting to finally post my review on this product. I've owned this copy machine for about 2.5 months now and, after almost 3000 copies, I'm still amazed and happy with this item.

I used up their "starter toner" after 1,149 copies (printed over 1000 copies in 3 days!) and my non-OEM (i.e., generic brand toner) replacement is still going strong without even a "toner low" warning for another 1,500 or so copies. So, for those people skeptical about buying toner for $15.00/each, these worked well for me (without any decrease in brightness or quality).

I've been hesitant about buying my own copy machine at home and have been using the one at my work for fear that it would cost an arm and a leg for a home copy machine of my own. And not one of those huge floor-standing models. One just like this one. Then I saw this deal for ~$200 shipped and I couldn't resist. I've heard that the toner is also very expensive but at $15.00 each, I don't see the issue.

The wireless feature hooked up instantly to my router and my laptop and computer upstairs hooked up to this device without any issues (after installing the CD drivers onto those computers).

One AMAZING feature of this copy machine is the fact that it boots up INSTANTLY! From the moment I even turn on this printer to when it prints a whopping 5-10 seconds passes! No more waiting an "eternity" just to "warm up" the machine!

And scanning documents into .pdf file is a breeze! I setup my copy machine to utilize those four scanning options so that I can instantly scan 1-sided black and white, 1-sided color, 2-sided black and white, and 2-sided color. Just click a button or press a button on my copy machine and I can feed documents into my machine and it will instantly show as a .pdf file in my computer. Which I can then email to my students if necessary. Great machine!

The duplex feature is also wonderful and saves tons of paper! Scanning and photocopying into a 2-sided document or copy is wonderful!

I HIGHLY recommend this machine and couldn't be happier! My ~$250 well spent (~$220 for the device plus tax and $30 for the two non-OEM toners). If you're also on the fence about getting a copy machine/scanner for your home or home office, don't wait any longer. This device is totally affordable and well worth it! I can't believe I waited over TEN years to get this and it makes my life SO much easier and more convenient!

- Curtis
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on March 12, 2013
I purchased this for home use after struggling with an HP1102W that had the most tedious wireless installation procedure, and then would not stay connected. Just Google "1102W wireless problem" for 10,000's of hits. I finally threw it away.

Looking for something that would Print when I wanted it to, I checked the reviews and settled on this machine. What a superb buy this was. To make a long story short this machine features:

- An effortless one-time wireless setup on each computer on your home network.
- It sets up over the network. No cable connection is necessary from printer to PC
- The installation software was obviously written by a company that makes products for the office, easy and robust.
- The duplex, two-sided copy/scan/fax is surprisingly useful.

Additionally this machine can scan documents to TIFF or PDF in two ways:

- You can start the scan at the printer, and "push" it to the computer using the printer for control. The computer's Canon software will wake up and take the document.
- You can start the scan at the computer, and "pull" the scan from the printer, using the computer for control.

So no matter where you are at or what workflow fits what you are doing, scanning is pretty easy.

It prints fine as well. No problems printing. It stays in power save mode until it gets a print command, wakes up, prints, and goes back to sleep in a few minutes. It's not noisy, completely silent when in power save mode, and doesn't dim my lights unlike another review I read on here where somebody obviously has something not wired to code. It's never failed to find the network and connect, or to wake from sleep mode.

Hewlett Packard needs to take a lesson from Canon on what a printer is about. This printer for a little over $200, for what it does and how reliably it does it, is a bargain. Cheap products should not work this effortlessly.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a multi-function printer/scanner/copier/fax for light duty uses. It's a black-and-white laser printer with built-in duplexing (back-to-back printing), so it prints more quickly than most inkjet printers, and the ink won't run off the page if the page gets wet. As a scanner/copier/fax transmitter, you scan by placing documents on the glass, or there is a built-in document feeder for multi-page unbound documents. As a fax machine, you can set up the device as fax only, automatically receive faxes, or receive faxes manually. The device can also save frequently called numbers in its own address book. The device has a quiet mode to make printing as quiet as possible, and sleep settings to save energy. Included in the box in addition to the printer itself are cables for power and phone, printed manuals, and a CD with drivers, electronic manuals, and Presto! PageManager software. Also included is a starter toner cartridge, good for about 1000 pages.

I was impressed with how easy this machine was to set up. It took me 30 minutes from opening the box to printing my first page over my wireless network. The install went smoothly, with no troubleshooting or false starts, which is rather impressive for a wireless device these days. If I had been planning to install a wired connection, installation might have gone even faster, but truly, the wireless setup was quite painless, unlike a lot of other devices I've tried lately. The printed test page was sharp and clear, and subsequent print jobs continue to be clear. As with any laser printer, per page costs for this machine are cheaper than you're going to get with an inkjet printer. You also don't have to worry about your ink getting old and drying up with a laser printer, which can be a problem with inkjet printers if you only print once in a blue moon. Toner cartridges for this printer are recyclable through office stores or through the mail. The paper tray will accept anything from envelopes through 8 1/2 x 11" or A4, or 8 1/2" by custom lengths. Plain paper went through fine, but the printer consistently choked on 110 lb cardstock.

It took me a few minutes to figure out the scan function. When you install the software, a Canon scan utility function appears in your program list, but clicking on it won't do anything because it's actually not a standalone application. Instead, you have to go to Canon>MF Toolbox and run the scanner from there. Scanning is available in color as well as black and white, with a maximum quality of 300dpi. Through the scanning utility settings, you can save scans as PDF, BMP, JPG or TIFF, or send them to an external program for editing or further save options. The included Presto! PageManager software adds OCR capabilities, but of a very mediocre quality--every sentence from my test page contained multiple errors. But at least it's a start.

I usually furnish my home office with used classic HP printers, heavy duty work horses that are capable of pounding out big jobs nonstop for years without trouble. Clearly, this little Canon clearly wasn't made for such use and abuse. Its plastic parts are a bit flimsy and feel cheap to the touch. On the other hand, this little machine is a fraction of the price of a heavy duty classic, and it combines several key office capabilities into a single small footprint. It's easy to install and the functions all work, so if you're looking for a device that will enable you to print, copy, scan, and fax in your home or home office, and you only need it for light duty or occasional use, this device will do the job without taking a big bite out of your pocketbook.
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on January 22, 2014
This printer is OK for the money. It is loud when it prints, beeps fairly often when it comes in and out of power saving mode. Sheet feed seems OK. It prints fairly fast, Software and support are lousy.

Good -
Fast printing.
Fairly light weight for it's volume with decent handles built into base for lifting.
Holds about 200+ sheets of paper in cassette.
Front panel tilts up for easier use when printer is on lower table.

Feels very cheap and light and rickety, likely doesn't matter but doesn't feel sturdy.
Loud when it prints, and beeps a lot.
When configured to operate is not as it appears in the shipping and most pictures, The front paper cartridge folds down and sticks out from the front foot print 3.5" as does the print output "foot". Not as good looking with all the extensions.
Unit is tall at 15" and when the lid opens to the platen it takes even more vertical space, trouble if you have it on a shelf with one above.

Terrible -
Software is unpredictable. Loaded fine on XP machine, failed on Vista. Would not load scanner drivers after help call and multiple attempts still no joy with Vista.
No way to scan to a thumb drive on the printer. this would fix the lousy software issue for scanning. You must connect to computer to scan, which cannot happen for me with Vista, works with XP fairly well.
When you print a page with colored text can be too light to read easily. When printing pure black text it is OK but nothing special.
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