Top positive review
Good print quality. 3rd party ink friendly.
Reviewed in the United States on October 29, 2020
This review is for the Canon TR8620.
Running away from bad experiences with HP printers and that company's anti-consumer practices (i.e. programming their printers with kill switches, rejecting generic inks, and suspicious subscription services) gave me enough motivation to search for better or less evil alternatives. I bought this Canon printer with some reservation but so far my experience has been very positive.
The printing quality when using the TR8620 at default settings looks pretty good. Black text printing looks sharp and the black color looks, well, black. Not reddish black or watered down black but true black (as you would expect). Color printing is also pretty good with some slight grainy-ness at default settings (using plain paper though).
I like that the printer asked for permission to "call home". I've grown wary of printers reporting to their makers. If you want to be able to print with your cellphone you must give the printer permission to access the Internet and Canon's related online communication services for the feature.
I like that (so far) I can use 3rd party ink without the printer refusing to operate. Being able to choose what kind of ink to use, whether it is official or not, is important to me. I don't know what counter measures Canon has put in place on the printer (if any) but being able to choose promotes a lot of goodwill.
I like the touch panel's size. It's big enough to see and operate. The "Scan to PC" feature just works. I can begin scanning from the printer without having to do anything on the laptop. The printer guesses what format to use (PDF or JPG) when scanning documents or photos. Saves me the trouble of having to convert formats after scanning. If using the document feeder on top while scanning then the printer will automatically merge the scans into one PDF for you. All of this can be manually overridden should you need to.
As much as I liked the auto document feeder (ADF) attachment I did run into some trouble. One time after an hour or so of use the printer began complaining the ADF was jammed even though there was no paper jam. The computer also started giving "cannot communicate to scanner" error messages. After searching the Internet I found a support page at Canon's website that said the ADF was susceptible to heat and high humidity. Although I can still use the flatbed side of the printer when this quirk happens, I was a little bummed out. Months later I learned (after trial and error) the printer sometimes has trouble re-connecting to the monitoring tool on my laptop after long periods of inactivity. Restarting one or both devices usually fixes it for me.
As other reviewers have said the plastic parts that make up the printer's many trays feel kind of flimsy. It gives the impression that it could break easily. On the other hand the trays can be quickly tucked away when not in use.
It is worth mentioning the printer's initial setup requires an Internet connection. Canon designed the install process as a website that takes you through a series of short presentations. You can choose to see pictures or watch "how to" videos as you go through the motions. You can't just jump to the "Download Drivers" section and be done with it. Truth to be told I felt impatient and just wanted to skip it all but I still found it helpful. I later learned there is a download link at Canon's website but you have to search for it on your own.
Configuring Wi-Fi settings was automatic. At some point the installation program uses your laptop's own Wi-Fi to connect directly to the printer and transfer your PC's network settings to it. After this is completed the install program switches back your home network and you are done. It took me about 20-30 minutes to set it all up. Once the printer was on the network, adding it to other family member's laptops was a piece of cake. Using Windows 10 own settings application all I had to do was click on the "Add a printer or scanner". Windows automatically found the printer and installed the necessary software.
Other than the quirks regarding the ADF and plastic tray I am very pleased with this purchase. It does everything I need and it meets my expectations. Here's hoping the printer will last for many years to come.