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Your New Office Assistant ! & MX870 vs Epson Artisan 810 Review
on March 3, 2010
If you are looking at these reviews for the MX870, you are probably wondering what I was wondering... "What is the difference between the MX870 and MX860 and possibly also how does it compare to the Epson Artisan 810?" They are all top rated by Amazon customers for inkjet all-in-one printers.
They are all awesome! The Epson has more color cartriges, but I am not sure if that matters. I give the nod to the Epson on photo quality, but it might just be a subliminal issue of 'more is better'. My last Epson printer was the Epson 785EPX and it printed amazing photos and graphics, and it also used 6 colors.
Both the Canon and Epson have beautiful quick drying inks. The Canon has a special black ink that is a pigment instead of a dye, which you might like since pigments don't run when wet, so theirs is good for flyers and such. And, by the way, if you've discovered that you really benefit from pigment ink, look into the Epson Workforce 610. It is fast, and all its different colored inks are pigments. Graphics and text are outstanding, but photos a little lacking.
The Canon is a little slower to start printing, but once it gets going it is pretty fast. Both Epson and Canon models have an optional duplexer mode (prints on both sides to save paper - this feature significantly slows down print time if that is important to you) and an automatic paper feed. The paper feed on the Canon is fully integrated and two-sided, so it can copy/scan both sides of a document automatically as well. There are a few hiccups with the 860 on this that the 870 solves.
It's a small pain to reload the reglar A4 8 1/2 by 11 paper in both machines in their lower tray. The Epson has an additional slot on its lower tray for photo paper that some may like. The Canon has an extra paper feed at the back of the unit that is great for printing envelopes, prints, or other types of paper, so you don't have to change your main tray. The rear feeder should accommodate heavier papers and have a less likelihood of jamming because the paper comes straight through the machine with little bending. The projecting tray on the Epson looks and feels flimsy and most people seem worried about that, but remarkably I have never heard of anyone breaking it. The Canon has a cool feature... when you send it a wireless command to print, it automatically lowers its front door for the paper to be collected on, so you can keep the unit all closed up when not in use.
If you use OCR, and I love OCR (optical character recognition that allows you to turn your document scans into text files), you will prefer the Epson because it is integrated into their software package. Canons used to have OCR software, but have stopped in the recent year. Note: If you have Microsoft Office Student and Home version, its program 'OneNote' has OCR for you to use. Most people are totally unaware of it being there. By the way, OneNote is the best program on Microsoft Office. It is what keeps me from just using the free open source office software that is so amazing.
Price-wise, the Epson is about 100 more than the Canon. Amazon has some of the best prices. The newer Canon MX870 isn't even available in most stores yet and probably will run about 50 dollars more than the MX860 for the next six months. Apple users will like the smoother integrated software application of the MX870 that was a small problem on the MX860.
Space-wise the Canon is bigger. Look-wise, the Epson is sharper with its shiny black finish, like a piece of fancy stereo equipment. The Canon has a neutral light beige look. Very officey with clean lines.
They both fax if you ever need that every now and then instead of having to run to your local print shop.
The user interface of the Canon and Epson are both easy to use in different ways. I sort of wish the Canon buttons weren't so flush with the unit, but its not really a big deal. You will need to use the interface to copy and scan, but most print jobs you will want to do from your computer.
The Epson has some fun graphics software extra on it. Again, mostly 'fun' stuff. It also prints on printable CDs and DVDs. This could be important to you. It is the best of any printer at this. I don't need it because I print on CDs using LightScribe on my HP. I like that look better if I am going to customize the CD face.
The Canon has some very useful proprietary software that you will love if you surf the Web and want to copy and print out multiple bits and pieces of articles with ease... even on the same sheet of paper. You can do this anyway with Windows, but Canon's program is easier and faster.
Both Canon and Epson have ink cartridges that are separate from the print head, so it is easier to find third-party ink and save money. Third party ink is better than what it used to be, but the OEM (original equipment manufacture) cartridges are truer and faster drying for important projects and to bring out the full glory of these machines.
I chose the Canon MX870, but all the printers I mentioned here are rated tops at their price-point. I hope I covered a few of the more notable differences to help you narrow in on your search.