Printers Survey - Laser Printer Review Comparison

By: James Kara Murat

To get a perspective of the best printers in the market, recently PC Mag conducted the Reader's Choice: Printer's Survey. After all, who better than the consumer to review which printers are the best! In the Reader's Choice survey more than 6500 printers, including color ink jets to mono lasers were analyzed.

Service levels being the new driver

According to the Reader's Survey, the top two in the list are Canon and HP respectively. While HP has always remained the favorite, Canon has moved ahead of it this year. Product features are no longer the sole yardstick of competitive edge. The new 'mantra' of success is the service levels and maintenance required. That's why overall, parts needing repair have declined from 11% to 8% over a one year span! Among printers less than a year old, the ones which stood their ground were Konica Minolta and Samsung. These printers did not need much repair as far as their units were concerned.

Service levels have not been up to readers' expectations although the basic technical support is fine by them.

Printer type scores

As far as home printers go, Samsung seems to be the top on the list. Another interesting observation is that HP, which used to be the strong favorite, isn't anywhere among the top 2 in the photo printers category. In fact, Epson and Canon take the top 2 slots. HP does seem to do well in the monochrome lasers category, with a good margin. Brother and Samsung lag behind HP in this segment. Konica and Lexmark are next in line.

Ink jets: The most popular ones

Ink jets, being the most widely-used printers that they are, deserve special mention. That's why the Reader's Choice survey chose to pick the top 6 favorites in this segment:

1.Canon: Canon tops the list in this category. With more than average ratings, multifunction ink jets, as well as photo printers, Canon has distinguished itself well. Another interesting aspect - less than 3% of Canon printers needed repair on average and their technical support is much superior than others. Even Canon's ink is top quality with affordable rates. Canon ink cartridges cost has a score of 4.9 out of 10, with an overall rating of 5.7.

2.HP: The overall score for HP is better than average. However their technical support still remains unpopular, in spite of their Instant support utility which maps dysfunctional printers to the call centers for instant action. The root of the problem lies in HP's support providers. HP ink is costlier and also the 3rd party ink of HP printers. Even their photopaper is costly!

3.Brother's: The quality of ink is not as good although cost of ink does not pose a major problem with consumers. Their mono lasers require minimal maintenance and have scored well. However Brother's ink and photos overall get a poor score.

4.Epson: Their first-year printers have received very good scores- an 8.2 rating. However since 2005, there's been a sharp rise in repairs needed - almost 6% of the new printers needed repair - a disturbing trend for Epson.

5.Dell: While Dell as a brand commands respect and trust, when it comes to printers, it doesn't seem to get the same level of trust. Even their web based support is below satisfactory levels.

6.Lexmark: The only saving grace for Lexmark would probably be its repair rating - a good score of 6%. Apart from this, all other aspects score poor - be it reliability, recommendation from consumers or even technical support.

Printers
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Printers
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles