on September 27, 2010
I'm one unhappy customer.
I've had several laser printers before this one, and it's adequate in terms of its functions. However, the Canon seems to have created a business model that enables them to make most of their profits from the sale of replacement toner cartridges. In the past, I've gotten around this by buying a cartridge refill kit: you melt a hole in the side of the cartridge with a special tool, refill the cartridge with (much less expensive) toner, tape over the hole and you're on your way.
In this game of countermeasures and counter-countermeasures, Canon has now installed a counter chip in its cartridges. At a certain number of copies, the machine gives you an out-of-toner message AND JUST QUITS! No warning and no "light" copies to get you by.
When I attempted to refill the black cartridge, I discovered two things. First, it was more than half-full when the chip decided that it needed to be replaced. I'll control myself and refrain from disclosing my emotional reaction when I realized how much toner I was forced to throw away.
The second thing was that when I refilled the cartridge I expected, perhaps naively, that the cutoff device would sense that the cartridge was now full. OK, so maybe I was dropped on my head shortly after birth.
Some investigation has revealed that the chips are encrypted, such that third-party manufacturers haven't yet been able to create reasonably priced substitute cartridges or replacement chips to defeat the copy cut-off.
The bottom line is that I'm stuck paying on the order of $90 for each of four cartridges, three color and one black. The manufacturing cost for these cartridges is about $15. The company can make nothing on the actual machine and because of the rip-off profits on the consumable cartridges, finds the overall product line immensely profitable.
I've considered dropping this printer from the roof of my house, but it's so heavy that I'd have to set up a pulley rig.
Needless to say, I will be very careful when I replace this printer to make sure that I can refill the cartridges myself in the next brand that I buy.
11/30/10 Update: I replaced the black toner cartridge only 2 months ago, and with fairly light usage, the display reports that the black cartridge's toner is low! The cartridge is half-full or more. However, the counter chip has caused the machine to stop printing AT ALL. No way around it.
Worse, When I print in B&W or color, the edges of the pages are smeared with reddish & yellowish colors. It's bad enough that it's making the copies hard to read. I use the printer at home and sometimes print documents to carry with me for later reading. Ugh!
The machine is out of warrantee, so I will have to pay for any repairs. Since estimates tell me that the cost of repair is a sizeable fraction of the cost of a new machine, I'm getting rid of it.
I'm planning to ship it back to Canon with a letter telling them two things.
1. I will never buy any other canon product.
2. They may keep the machine since to me, it's now a big, ugly, heavy, expensive paperweight.
on January 9, 2010
This printer is now too obsolete for me to recommend buying it new. Maybe makes sense to grab it used for a good price, but the canon cartridges are way too expensive so you'll still be paying too much unless you risk using off-brand cartridges (I've never tried... was too afraid to damage my expensive printer). I owned it for three full years (Jan 2010 to Dec 2013), and it worked like a charm during that time. The quality and reliability are great. But there are now newer models which would be a better deal. Also, Brother's cartridges are a much better value, so I purchased a new Brother printer, with the only downside being slightly lower print quality (but still quite acceptable for my needs).
The features of this printer are awesome for the price, and I would highly recommend it. I purchased this product on sale for $569. I was also seriously considering the Brother DCP-9045CDN, which has slightly lower ink prices (with their high capacity cartridges), but I'm pretty sure that I won't regret sticking with the Canon brand. After purchasing several Canon products (including this one), I have a lot of respect for Canon's consistent product quality, customer service, features, and value.
This is my first home laser printer. I'm quite pleased to finally graduate from the world of inkjets: no more slow printing, annoying print head cleaning cycles, frequent cartridge replacement, or tedious management of print settings to save every drop of ink! The cost per page is about the same, but the reliability is so much better!
Some features that I really appreciate include:
1) Reliability: This printer always _just works_ when I need it to. Beats even the best inkjet printer out there. For my usage level, I fully expect to do zero maintenance or cartridge replacement within the next 2.5 years!
2) Speed: Wow, this thing makes quick work of any job!
3) All the little things that Canon gets right. Just one example: the print driver can automatically detect whether to use color or B&W mode...something I've always wanted a print driver to do for me!
The only notably missing features are:
1) The automatic document feeder only supports single-sided scanning/copying. So doing double-sided scan/copy requires manually flipping the stack and passing it through again.
2) No built in wireless.
3) Photo quality, while very good for a 600dpi consumer laser, is not competitive with inkjet-based photo printers. I still use this printer for many photos and am happy with the results, but I keep a second inkjet photo printer on the side for times when I really care about photo quality (i.e. scrapbooking, etc).
Although those features would be nice additions, I'm still very happy with what this machine can do for the price.
BTW, Canon's own online store had the best prices I could find for cartridges for this printer, with free shipping.
on February 14, 2010
I bought this unit around the new year with the hope of bringing some organization to my home office. I was able to set it up and start using it very quickly (less than an hour, even counting the time required to unbox it). I wanted to be able to print from several devices on my network, so I plugged it into my router and followed the simple instructions. As a network printer, it works extremely well for me. I can print from my mac laptop, from my main desktop and from other wireless devices (such as friends' laptops) that I add to my network from time to time.
However, I was also really looking forward to using the scanner. When I first set it up, the scanner worked okay. The resolution is low (like 600x600) but adequate for scanning in documents. (Forget about trying to scan pictures or your kids' artwork, of course). Unlike the printer function, the scanner can only work with Windows boxes. No problem.
After a couple of weeks, when I scanned a document I got an error on the windows box I use as my primary workstation and scan destination. I tried uninstalling and reinstalling the drivers and all the usual voodoo that usually fixes stuff (all of this was incredibly time consuming). No luck, so I called Canon technical support.
I spoke with a nice guy who walked through a checklist of issues. I should add that I'm running a clean and plain-vanilla vista box. However, as soon as he found a step that I couldn't take---in my case, moving a windows scanner driver from one folder to another---he considered the case closed. Can't move twain.ds out of the folder? Not our problem any more. He advised me to contact the company who manufactured my computer, or Microsoft. I'm morally certain that when I do talk to these people they will blame Canon's drivers and bounce me back to their tech support. Why haven't I called them yet? Because it costs some ungodly amount to talk to live human, and there is nothing on the internet, the help boards, the FAQS, or Canon's own technical documentation to help me try to resolve this issue without talking to human.
So: nice unit, shame that it doesn't work. And even more shame that Canon has provided me with zero technical information to try to fix the problem myself.
on September 21, 2010
In a small office without servers, the MF8530's quality, speed, and silence might make it the perfect fit, but beware the price of toner per page. There are some nice features - it particularly sells itself on the basis of only taking a couple of seconds from cold to print - but for me those are outweighed by the negatives. I'm not a fan of older Canon multifunctions, and this reinforces that impression, though I was really hoping they'd improved.
* The black prints are excellent, and the color prints are above average quality. Only Xerox is better.
* Huge address book, and can fax in color.
* Always quiet.
* Prints right away, no long loud warmup.
* Scans are clear and vibrant as long as they're flat, scans to PDF (only).
* Very thorough manual and a good quick-reference sheet.
* Never wastes color toner on b/w prints unless you change the settings.
* It's among the heaviest and largest workgroup MFCs out there.
* Cannot scan to Email or a network share. This is our #1 missed feature, scan to USB doesn't cut it here.
* Toner is above average cost for an average page count. TCO is above average.
* No PCL or Postscript, both would be expected at this price.
* No private address books or secure printing.
* Menu and button layout is complex and the web interface is just plain bad, web configuration mirrors the regular menu.
* No warning for low toner. Just stops printing.
* There have been no firmware releases to fix bugs or add SMB/Email scanning, now a year after release. Apparently it won't happen.
* Took two days on the phone with tech support to get rid of a long beep every print, despite no error message and all sounds turned off. They finally told us to disconnect the speaker.
It's also annoying that you have to press the energy saver button every time you want to use the control panel. Every printer I've used except Canon lets you touch anything - but then every non-Canon MFC I've used lets you do network scanning. I'm peeved because we were told it has network scanning, but it turns out that mean starting Canoscan from the local PC, pointing it to the printer, and clicking scan. In the meantime you have to drop your paper off, go back to your PC and do it, then go pick the sheet up again. Thumb drive scanning doesn't make up for this, that has its own inconveniences. Obviously they prefer to artificially segment their markets, and haven't caught up to Sharp, Samsung, Xerox, or even HP at the low end featurewise. Unfortunately my boss bought this over competitors' offerings assuming that more expensive is better.
The printer would cost more to return than it's worth, so I'll update later with reliability information.
on August 20, 2011
Unit arrived DOA. Powered on and indicated a paper jam. Yet, no paper is actually jammed. Canon has no weekend support, either. I now have a $449, 70lb printer I can use for workouts because it's not going to be printing, faxing or scanning any time soon.
on September 8, 2011
I had a tree fall on my house and office and smash, among other items, my Canon MF8170 that I had for 4 years and LOVED. The MF 8170 print quality was better than the print shop and I did all of my own brochures and ads using that machine. Unfortunately, after moving to a MAC when my PC was also smashed, I found that the MF8170 wasn't MAC compatible, so I went with another Canon thinking the print quality and the ease of use would be the same. NOT AT ALL. The MF8350 is a machine that is NOT easy to use and the print quality is horrid. I have tried to adjust every setting recommended and it still looks horrible. I wasn't able to set up the printer until after the allowed return time was passed, otherwise I would have returned this immediately. It was very hard to set up even with the tech support that wasn't really knowledgeable on this model and a MAC, and it still does not do all the functions it is supposed to with my Mac (scan or fax---things that I really need). The print quality is awful and the paper is curled when it comes out (I even use 24# paper and it doesn't make a difference). I am extremely disappointed in this model and as soon as I can afford a different multifunction, will get rid of this one.
on October 16, 2011
I bought this Canon ImageClass MF8350 on the basis of price, successful experience with my battery portable Canon Pixma iP90v, and that this version is ether-networked for printing and scanning functions. I had just retired a six year old Samsung CLP 550N, which is printer only.
It took six times before Canon's scanner and printer drivers would install because they could not find the printer on the network. Canon telephone techs could not get the canon install wizard to work. I found the Printer using Firefox (DHCP) and set it up from the printer server/firmware. I could print using a Standard TCP/IP port, but not the Canon MFNP port (which allows scanning). After attempt six, the canon port installed. An unexplained minor miracle. I re-set it to static so it would not get lost again.
Soon after installation, my paper copy and print jobs started to curl. It kept getting worse, even with weights from 20 to 28 pounds, not to mention index cards and card stock. All the settings for these papers were properly set in the most amazingly complicated manipulations in the control panel. I thought I might have changed too many settings (I did not), so I wanted to re-set this 70lbs monster back to factory defaults --YOU CANNOT. No default re-sets. There is little "intuitive" in the settings of this printer.
Examples of horrible controls: to cancel a print job takes pushing controls FOUR times. To print from the multi-purpose tray (envelopes, cards, labels, card stock, etc) requires a number of settings in various menu windows, including paper size and paper type, but, that is is not all. If the application "names" a paper type (i.e. label,card stock, bond), regardless of the settings set up in the printer, the printer reports "CUSTOM SETTINGS" "NO PAPER in DRAWER (TRAY). Thus requiring resetting manual settings in the printer menu window and then printing the job "manually" (press OK to start printing). Creating custom paper types in the master printer preferences (printers and faxes) does not accomplish anything, except confusions.
To make multiple copies, the ADF will pull in and scan the sheets and then stops, waiting for the operator to (manually continue) by pressing "START (again), however start (B&W and Color buttons) are disabled. The menu window message should have been press OK which is another button in a different place.
There are numerous hidden/secret settings that change how the printer handles jobs. It would take a one week short course to learn the about this software engineered monstrosity.
If one has a scan job and does not return the copy/fax/scan settings to copy, then the machine will not print.
In seven weeks of ownership, I have had on-sight service scheduled twice: once to replace the toner fixer/fuser assembly. That did no good. Paper variously comes out wavy, curled in one dimension or the other, and sometimes both ways. I have paper that comes out almost forming an enclosed cylinder. Plus, ghosting. All this on a machine that has pumped out less than 500 sheets of paper. Next scheduled service will replace a feeder roller and two power supply assemblies.
For the most part, I find the tech people at Chesapeake, VA to do their best. They know their way around the machine, mostly. This does not explain paper curling, and cannot change the arcane controls and setups. The user manuals, by the way, are not much help.
I fear LEMON, but I will return it including drawer 2 and the spare toner, rather than exchange it for another software/firmware Dr. Frankenstein's monster.
While I have not tested it, I suspect a comparable Samsung might be a good alternative.
One other comment: The out-of-toner toner cartridge chips may put Canon at law. HP about nine months ago settled a long standing class action suit regarding ink warnings on the menu screen about "expired cartridges." which in some cases stopped the ink jet from working until cartridges were (unnece$$arily) replaced.
on August 27, 2010
Feb 2014. I have to update my review because while I didn't like this printer at all initially, I have to say that it has been a workhorse. We've had no problems with it over the past 4 years - has done the moderate level of printing fine. This past month, however, we have had to do a lot of in-house color printing (roughly 4,000 pages so far)and this printer has never jammed during the task even once; it has worked perfectly. The toner cartridges produce about as represented and overall, the printer has been a good purchase. I still use an ink jet for things that need accurate color but the copier deserves better recognition than my earlier review. I am trying out LD toner cartridges for the first time (always used Canon up til now) and they seem to be working fine. We have a lot more printing to do that I'd planned to outsource but we decided to do it in-house as the other project went so well.
I purchased this in Jan '10 for my small business. Overall, I wish I'd never bought it and I'm disappointed in its performance. I researched carefully prior to purchasing. I bought based on previous good experience with Canon and because it had Win7 drivers. My reason for buying new printer was I could not get Win7 driver updates for my perfectly good old laser printer. When I encountered problems, Canon tech support was very rude and unhelpful - essentially told me I'd purchased a low end model and was expecting too much (I wanted it to print a standard business logo in the right color - not a photograph - just a standard business logo) Never mind that a Xerox Phaser printer has no trouble with it nor do any of the ink jet printers we've used. I spent hours reading the manual, trying to adjust the colors but finally gave up.
- It's very fast once it gets going and print quality seems good on most things
- Ink cartridges seem to last awhile
- Aside from not printing our logo, it cannot print colors accurately from what you see on the monitor either.
- When it runs out of any ink, it stops working - will not do anything
- There is no warning that you are going to run out of ink until it happens - there should be an option to have it show up on your computer screen or flash red or give warning in display. The toner gauge is only indicator and it's annoying to have to manually check something like this. Again, no other printer I've had does this.
- It is very, very noisy - don't plan to talk on the phone if you're printing something
- It is very, very heavy and bulky - big footprint
- If you want to download something and print it cheaply, it takes many steps to make the Canon do it in B&W as the color print is automatic.
Overall, because I could not return it for a different model, I kept the printer and purchased a cheap ink jet to print anything that requires our logo to be in color. So it has turned out that the ink jet does most of the printing in our office these days - not the $600 Canon color laser. Which is probably why it seems like the ink is lasting so long. Canon didn't do a very good job with this printer.
on April 9, 2011
After comparing multiple All-in-One color laser printers, this one had the best features and decent customer reviews online. One thing to note when purchasing online is the weight. 85 lbs!! This thing is a beast! After letting it do its configurations and setup, everything installed fine. A wireless feature would have been nice but in my case isn't necessary, I just ran another wire from the hub. Its a good, quick printer but my only grip (currently) is the multi-purpose tray. On just about any other printer I've ever used the logic for this tray is, if paper exists in this tray, feed from that tray then the standard draw when the MP tray is empty. Not this printer. You have to change the printer preference each time you want to print to the MP tray EVEN THOUGH there are 3 options, Multipurpose tray, Tray 1, or Auto. In my mind Auto should be doing the logic I stated before, but it clearly does not. And after trying to convey this to Canon Support I got no where.
on January 17, 2013
I purchased 2 of these last year for my business. Terrible decision.
As previous commentators have mentioned, canon has programmed a hard coded maximum print limit into the toner cartridges, making the cartridges useless after a certain number of prints in spite of the fact that they have plenty of toner left.
Also, the cost for a full set of canon cartridges actually EXCEEDS my purchase price on the unit!
The user interface is terrible, and we've had persistent problems with print quality. Not at all suitable to business applications; I'm going back to xerox.