2 small office workhorses – at under $200!

In today’s exceptionally competitive printer market you better have your “A” game on before you release a product to the market. The competition is fierce and the stakes are high. The stakes are high, but the price is certainly not — the 2 units we are featuring will set your credit card back for under $200 each!

For the small office choosing the right tools and taking the time to implement them correctly can make a huge difference.

There are 2 small office multifunction printers that stand out in my opinion. These are products designed from the ground up to support small work groups.

Every MFP (Multi function printer, or all-in-one) from the main manufacturers (Epson, HP, Lexmark, Cannon) does a great job performing the basic functions, printing, scanning, copying and in many cases faxing, when plugged into either a MAC or PC. What sets these 2 units apart is how well they work and play with others.

Epson Workforce 600 (610) $199

Epson has greatly simplified their line of MFPs, with the Workforce the flagship product for the office environment. In my mind the key benefit of the Workforce 600 is its networking capabilities. A MFP in a small office environment needs to serve many masters. It needs to network with fixed desktop PCs, and it needs to easily and reliably connect with the mobile workforce, notebooks coming into and out of the office.

When I evaluate or use a printer today I expect excellent results in printing, scanning copying, I expect them to be fast and accurate and I am never disappointed.

I also expect them to be easy to use, and intuitive and reliable. Here I can sometimes run into issues. Especially in reliability. I am not referring to the printer itself, but in the robustness of the setup and how well it connects and serves those mobile computers visiting and leaving the office.

The Epson really impressed in these most crucial tasks. Firstly, configuring the Workforce on my small office network was simple, the installation on my hybrid network of Macs and PCs did take a few hours, mainly waiting for files to copy install etc. But the actual process of configuring the Workforce was done in minutes with no difficulty. Much of this is due to an excellent interface that is very user friendly.

Increasingly it is the scanning functions that I use more and more, as PDF documents replace fax machines, I often scan in documents to sign digitally. Here the Espon performs exceptionally well. In fact, it has a built in ADF (Automatic document feeder) which makes scanning in multiple page documents (or faxing them) simple.


HP OfficeJet 6500 $99

Just down the aisle from the Epson you will find our friends at HP. They have a few more models than Epson, covering a wider range of budgets. For about half the money you get pretty much the same package.

We are looking for ways to be more environmentally responsible, more fiscally responsible, more efficient and more productive. These multifunction devices meet all those needs.

Multifunction printers mean we use far less resources than stand alone units, less manufacturing, less shipping and packaging. Less power is consumed, less waste to go in the landfill when the products is no longer useful. And, of course we save a lot of money.

The concept of a hot office — being able to take your notebook and be as productive in your home office as you are in a large corporate office–  is essential to being productive in this day and age. These 2 units will serve an entire small office effectively, efficiently and affordably.

Steve Dotto is Canada’s most respected geek. For over 15 years, as host and executive producer of Dotto Tech, a nationally syndicated TV show, Steve has entertained and educated millions of Canadians on all aspects of technology. Steve has a passion for understanding the social impact of technology. His DVD Cybersafe with Steve Dotto , teaches parents and caregivers about the opportunities, dangers and challenges of social networking.