A.everything digital? That will probably take a while, because a printer will often still have to be used in 2020: presentations, tickets or holiday pictures are needed on paper after all. And there are always plenty of printed documents that should also be stored digitally on the hard drive. No problem, a scanner reads them in. Multifunction devices can do both, i.e. print and scan. This saves space in the office and at home. The color printer test from COMPUTER BILD shows which multifunctional devices bring holiday pictures, graphics and portraits to paper with a high print quality.
Color printer test: Only the print quality counts
The core discipline of color printers is still printing, which is why COMPUTER BILD does not grade equipment extras in this test, but only one test point: How well and inexpensively do the devices transfer color photos and graphics to paper? In our comparison test, the models with the best print quality of the recently tested and currently commercially available multifunction devices compete against each other.
Long equipment lists for color printers
Because it is primarily the color rendering that determines the quality of printed graphics and photos. Nothing is more annoying than when the sunrise shot with the sinfully expensive camera shines in a rich orange on the PC monitor, but lies behind a gray veil in the printout. Even wrong colors destroy the entire motif, such as a green cast in faces.
In addition, cameras with high resolution offer enormous image sharpness and display the finest details down to individual grains of sand on the beach. This requires a printer that can reasonably put the many pixels on paper. Otherwise the device will only deliver spongy, blurred images with a brown soot instead of sand. This also applies to Excel and PowerPoint presentations.
The IQ Analyzer software checks the printed graphics and photos and determines the deviations from the original.
Finely graduated instead of monochrome
Color transitions and shading are another challenge for printers. Example: A yellow rapeseed field in bloom only really comes into its own on a printed photo when the viewer recognizes every single one of the many plants. Condition: In this example, the printer brings all yellows to paper cleanly. But if the flowers are blurred in a quagmire of yellow ink, the photo doesn’t belong in the picture frame or album, but in the bin.
High smear resistance
In addition to being beautiful, the printed pages should also dry quickly. Because often several printouts end up one above the other in the paper compartment – a subsequent sheet must not smear the ink on the one below. It must be possible to mark text passages with a marker after 30 seconds without the letters becoming blurred. This only worked with four of the eight multifunction devices tested. At the HP OfficeJet 5230 clearly mixed the ink with the marker, the highlighted text areas were illegible.
Printer, scanner, copier and fax in one
ENVY Photo 7830 (Y0G50B)
Lots of light, but also lots of shadow: the HP Envy 7830 prints texts with crisp sharpness and photos with rich colors. He starts copying at full speed. But the ink cartridges are empty comparatively quickly and not cheap, which drives up the printing costs. The Envy is therefore unfortunately only a recommendation for those who do not use many printers.
- High quality print
- Low energy consumption
- Many connection options
- Very high printing costs
PIXMA TS9550 series
The Canon Pixma TS9550 was top among the multifunctional devices with a maximum retail price of 200 euros. It prints photos, graphics and documents very detailed and very smudge-proof. On top of that, its printing speed was high in the test. Great: He can also print large A3 paper with documents, pictures and diagrams. A shame: the TS9550 does not send a fax.
- Fast and very good photo printing
- Low printing costs
- Prints A3
- Card reader
- WLAN, Bluetooth, LAN, USB
- Printing and scanning a bit noisy
- Operation on the device a bit cumbersome
- Slightly slow text printing (from standby)
The Pixma TR8550 won the multi-function printer test. The reasons: It delivered the second best print quality, and on top of that, it worked economically and quickly. And if you still need a fax today: The TR8550 has it.
- Good print quality
- Low printing costs
- High printing speed
- Lots of connections
- Very loud
- Texts not waterproof
Color printer comparison: test conclusion
Summary: only smudge-proof colors or only good results on photo paper – that alone is not enough in the race for the top color printer. The Canon Pixma TR8550 (3rd place), the Canon Pixma TS9550 (2nd place) and the HP Envy Photo 7830 (1st place) offer the best overall package with high print quality and acceptable smear resistance.
* The cheapest price may be higher in the meantime.