PC Magazine Oem Printers Readers' Choice Awards 2015

  • 05 02 2016 429716a-cig-clearchoice-banner-902x177
  • 7035-overstock-banner-902x177
  • mse-big-banner-new-03-17-2016-416716a-tonernews-web-banner-mse-212
  • cartridgewebsite-com-big-banner-02-09-07-2016
  • big-banner-ad_2-sean
  • mse-big-new-banner-03-17-2016-416616a-tonernews-web-banner-mse-114
  • 2toner1-2
  • Print
  • Video and Film
  • 4toner4

PC Magazine Oem Printers Readers' Choice Awards 2015

 news 2015-07-28 at 11:24:02 am Views: 277
  • #43160

    PC Magazine Oem Printers Readers' Choice Awards 2015
    Printers are still as important as ever, but what company makes the printer you can trust, and backs it up? Our survey reveals all.
    By Ben Gottesman

    Whether you get excited when you get a new printer or you consider printers a necessary evil, the reality is that very few of us could live without one. There are still too many situations where nothing can substitute for printed paper output. Digital displays still cannot beat text and images on paper for resolution and clarity (although I have to admit that more than once I've absentmindedly tried to pinch-and-zoom a piece of paper to get a closer look). Often the easiest way to share information with or transfer something to someone else is to just give it to them on paper.

    Paper may seem old school, but manufacturers continue to make advances with printers to keep up with the technology of the day. You'll be hard pressed today to find a printer that you can't easily share with all the devices on your network through a Wi-Fi or wired connection. Many printers let you print from your smartphones and tablets using Apple's AirPrint, Google's CloudPrint, or the printer manufacturer's own sharing technology. You can also typically plug in your camera, USB drive, or memory card and print directly, no computer necessary. Many printers also support NFC (near field communications) so you can print by doing little more than laying your phone on top of the printer.

    The same companies have been fighting for domination in the printer market for years: HP, Canon, Brother, and Epson, as well as smaller players like Samsung, Dell, Lexmark, and Xerox. Choosing the right printer brand is very important. Printers can be incredibly reliable workhorses, churning out pages day in and day out, but if you choose the wrong one, you may find yourself constantly struggling with an unruly beast.

    As printers have added new tech to keep up with the times, they've also added complexity. You need a printer that gives you minimal hassle but that's backed by a company that's going to be there to help you when things go wrong. This is why we turned to you, our readers, to tell us about the experience that you've had with your printers and the companies that stand behind them. As we do with all of our Readers' Choice surveys, we asked you about your overall satisfaction with your printer and your satisfaction with the printer's reliability and initial setup, as well as a key measure of satisfaction: how likely you are to recommend your brand of printer to someone else.

    Deciding which printer company to choose should be partly dependent on the type of printer that you want to buy. There are monochrome and color laser and inkjet printers. There are dedicated printers and all-in-one multifunction devices that also scan, copy, and fax. Not every printer manufacturer makes printers for every category and even those that cross categories don't always deliver the same level of satisfaction in each one. Read on to decide which printer companies you should consider when making your next purchase.

    For each of the last six years, two companies, Brother and Canon, have won the PCMag Readers' Choice Award in the printer category. In fact, Canon earned the award every year from 2004 to 2014. This year, however, there's one clear winner and it's Brother. Brother stands atop the ratings in overall satisfaction (8.6, on a scale from 0 for extremely dissatisfied to 10 for extremely satisfied), satisfaction with reliability (8.9), and likelihood to recommend (8.7). In each of these key measures, Brother clearly outdistances all its competitors.


    ■ Red—Readers' Choice Winner. ■ Blue—Honorable Mention.

    Samsung receives an Honorable Mention this year, just as it did in 2013 and 2014. The company had the second best overall satisfaction rating (8.4) and satisfaction with reliability rating (8.6), and as noted above, it tied Canon for the lowest percentage of printers needing repairs. The vast majority of Samsung printers rated by our readers were monochrome laser printers and among just that kind of printer, its likelihood to recommend rating (8.4) trailed the other two companies in this category, Brother (9.0) and HP (8.7). Several respondents also reported on their Samsung monochrome laser all-in-one devices and in this category, the company's overall satisfaction rating (8.0) trailed Canon (8.8), Brother (8.6), and HP (8.3). Samsung needs to improve in its core categories if it hopes to win a Readers' Choice award in the future.

    Canon USA has a loyal following and, although its streak of Readers' Choice awards is now broken, it still earns an honorable mention. Canon's overall satisfaction rating dropped to 8.2 this year from 8.4 in 2014, putting the company behind Samsung (8.4) and Xerox (8.3). However, on the crucial likelihood to recommend measure, Canon received an 8.3—ahead of any competitor except Brother. One of Canon's strengths has always been its support, and this year Canon once again received the highest ratings for satisfaction with technical support at 7.2, although this is down from last year's 7.8. Canon also had the year's highest rating for satisfaction with repairs (7.0) and the lowest percentage of printers needing repairs in the last year (3 percent, tied with Samsung). Brother and Epson were right behind with only 4 percent needing repairs.

    Xerox, it should be noted, scored well overall, even a tenth of a point ahead of Canon. But it fails to impress in any other area, including still having that large number of devices needing repair (17 percent) and a low likelihood to be recommended score (7.6). Therefore, we felt it not even worthy of the honorable mention, yet again.

    Depending on how much you print, the real cost of printing may be in the consumables (ink and toner). This is an area where Canon consistently falls short. Last year, Canon only received a 5.2 in satisfaction with the cost of consumables, the lowest rating in the survey. This year that dropped down to 5.1, again the worst rating (tied with HP).

    A look at the printers in our survey that were less than a year old indicates that Brother will likely remain at the top for a while. Among newer printers, Brother's overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend ratings shot up to 8.7. No one else received an overall satisfaction rating greater than 8.3 on this slice of the data (Canon, Epson, HP, and Samsung). The highest recommendation ratings among the rest of the one-year-old pack were 8.5 (Canon and HP).

    A few companies stood out in specific printer categories. Epson received the top overall satisfaction rating in the inkjet printer category (8.4), ahead of Canon and HP (both 7.9). However, this is a relatively small category as most people looking for an inkjet printer opt for an all-in-one. Epson's overall satisfaction for inkjet all-in-ones was 8.1, tied with Canon and trailing Brother (8.4).

    Dell is certainly better known for its computers than its printers, but the company has a full line of monochrome and color laser printers and all-in-one devices. Dell's color laser printers rated highest in that category in overall satisfaction rating (8.6), satisfaction with reliability (8.8), lowest percentage of units needing repairs in the past year (3 percent), and likelihood to recommend (8.5). However, among all Dell printers rated, the company's overall satisfaction rating was only 7.6.

    Readers' Choice, 2015, Printers, Full Table