I just got a new laser printer/scanner. I don’t use a scanner very often and my needs aren’t great — just basic scans for web pages. Every once in a while I scan an old family photo for this blog or for Cognitive Daily. But I was beginning to get tired of paying exorbitant prices for Canon’s ink, and I knew laser printers offered a much more affordable price per page. Now that laser printers are nearly as cheap as inkjets, it seemed like a reasonable time to make a change.
Since I rarely use a scanner and I don’t need high quality scans, it made sense to just buy a multifunction device. For about $50 more than just a printer, you can get a combo. But I wasn’t prepared for this. Here’s an example scan I just made from my new printer/scanner (A Brother DCP-7040 if you’re interested):
Not bad (and, of course, adorable), but take a closer look at the grays along the wall:
It’s not a smooth transition from lighter to darker gray — it’s okay for a fax, but lousy for a photo.
I don’t have this same photo on my old scanner (a Canon MP-500), but here’s a similar shot:
And again, focusing in on the grays:
See the difference? Now I’m faced with a dilemma: return the laser printer and suck it up with my old device, keep the old printer around just for scanning, or perhaps buy a separate stand-alone scanner.
A big problem with multifunction devices is that they often don’t work with Macs. Indeed, the Canon multifunction laser’s scanning features don’t work on a Mac, so the Brother is one of few options for me if I want a multifunction device.