Friday, June 30, 2006

Relacing my Brother 8840DN with a 8860DN MRC laser printer

My networked 8840DN laser printer had a stroke - or at least it's equivalent of a stroke. Some paper went in, but never went out. Even after dissassembling the machine.
I was very distraught.
We depended upon this wonderful machine for most of our personal administrative tasks.
The sheet feeder and Paperport document management software let us scan images of all our important financial documents into .pdf format. As a matter of fact we almost never fax things - rather we mail the .dpf's.
It's a networked printer (and fax) so everyone in the house can use it.
It even has a nifty scan to computer function where you can place a pile of documents on the sheet feeder and it will send the scans over your network to computer. I've never mangaged to get this function working - perhaps PC firewall feature blocks it.
There are also many nifty features I've never tried. It sets up with little difficulty.

I ordered a new Brother 8860DN MFC laser printer from Costco. It arrived on Tuesday and I'm very happy with it. It's a bit easier to use, with better duplex functions (for scanning and printing). The software is still dependent upon Scansoft's Paperport 9, but they seem to have upgraded the Brother drivers, which make a difference.

At $450 from costco, it's reasonably price. The cost of a high capacity 7,000 print toner cartridge was $70. That comes to about $.01 a page. Very very cheap compared to most other laser printers, which average $0.025 per page as well as ink jets which rnage from $0.18 to $0.45 per page.

Like the 8840DN it runs on a network having a 10/100 connection. I wish it had a 1000 mb/s connection, but I'm a bit unusual. It comes with 32 MB RAM and can be expanded with fairly standard DIMMs to 512 MB. I think this will be handiest for document imaging and scanning - perhaps also for picture printing. I plan to upgrade the memory if it's not expensive (I suspect not).
Like the 8840 DN, the 8860 DN has the following core functions:
  1. Duplex network printing laser printer (upgraded to 30 ppm)
  2. Duplex network color scanner
  3. Duplex (I think) network fax
  4. Duplex photocopier (they've added a collate button which will save time)

It also has some unusual features which befuddle me, but I'd like to explore them:

  1. scan to machine (from the 8860DN you can stack paper and specify which machine to send the scanned images to)
  2. internet fax / ifax
  3. fax polling
  4. secured faxes

Another nifty feature is Nin1. It can copy x pages onto a single page. This might be handy for reference.

In the past I found the 8840DN to be a bit slow when scanning large color images. I expect it may be due to a shortage of RAM. I'll be scanning a few today and see how it goes. Scanning is not my expertise.

Week after next I'll return the old printer to costco. It's a bit over a year old, but they should honor their return policy. Especially since the lifetime of the printer should be 5 years.

Have a great day,


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