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What is the best printer/scanner for Macbook Pro and PC?
May 20, 2014 4:05 PM   Subscribe

After exclusively using PCs for the past 20 years, I just purchased my first Macbook Pro (OS X Mavericks)! I am now looking for a color printer/scanner that will be compatible for both the Mac and a Toshiba PC (Windows 8.1).

It would be awesome if it was wireless and could also be used to print from an iPad. However, I will be happy if it can just scan documents and photos and print occasionally (scanning is more important than printing) for both computers.

Google searches have only confused me - there are so many options and I cannot find a clear answer on if a single printer will work for both machines. Therefore, I turn to AskMe for recommendations. Price range is no more than $250.
posted by ainsley to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
We've been able to connect our Macs wirelessly to the HP printer/scanner we've had for several years (purchased when we only had Windows laptops). It's a Photosmart D110A and it probably cost around $150, maybe less. I downloaded the HP Utility program for Mac after a Google search and have the same capabilities.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 4:15 PM on May 20


I currently have an Epson Workforce 3540 which is my favorite printer I've owned. Mobile printing, auto duplex, scans/copies well, Mac and PC compatible (I use a MacBook to connect to it).
posted by pitrified at 4:26 PM on May 20


I don't know about best, but this is what we have at work and it works just fine and meets all your criteria.
posted by O9scar at 4:29 PM on May 20


I have an HP Deskjet 3510 talking to Macs, PCs, and iOS devices wirelessly and have no complaints. Their drivers are a lot better than Epson's in my experience. Only thing I haven't tried is scanning to an iPhone.
posted by JoeZydeco at 5:37 PM on May 20


Seconding an Epson Workforce. I've had the (colossal) WF-7520 for a few years now, and it's really good. You might not need 13×19" scanning, so maybe the smaller one will do. The scan to memory card network share feature is glorious, as is the reliable duplex scanning.
posted by scruss at 6:09 PM on May 20


I'd recommend not getting an ink jet. Your TCO and CPP end up being stupid expensive. Spend the upfront money and get a laser. I know you said no more than $250, but the first time you have to buy ink you'll regret getting an inkjet. Seriously the last time I bought ink for my inkjet is was cheaper to buy a new printer than replace the cartridges. I was also replacing them all the time. I bought a color laser a couple years back and it still hasn't run out of toner.

I'd also advise against buying an all-in-one unit. Get the scanner now. Save, get a printer than doesn't suck cash.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:51 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


I've had a Brother MFC black and white printer/scanner for 8 years. Every time either Microsoft or Apple puts out a new OS I'm worried that this'll be the last time it works, but then Brother puts out an update shortly after and things are good again. It's a laser so cost of operations is low. When I got tired of spending more on ink-jet cartridges than on the printer to use them I got a color laser.

Unfortunately the cheapest color laser MFC Brother makes is $100 more than your budget, but I gotta say what I spent on this thing has been saved many times over compared to ink-jets.
posted by Runes at 6:34 AM on May 21


I'd recommend not getting an ink jet. Your TCO and CPP end up being stupid expensive. Spend the upfront money and get a laser. I know you said no more than $250, but the first time you have to buy ink you'll regret getting an inkjet. Seriously the last time I bought ink for my inkjet is was cheaper to buy a new printer than replace the cartridges. I was also replacing them all the time. I bought a color laser a couple years back and it still hasn't run out of toner.

I don't necessarily disagree with this, but keep two things in mind:
1. Laser printers are fine for color business documents, but they can't print photo quality prints. (It's better to send photo printing out anyway).
2. Generic ink for ink jets is really cheap and generally works OK, except that the highest quality photo prints may not be perfect.

I'd also advise against buying an all-in-one unit. Get the scanner now. Save, get a printer than doesn't suck cash.

The scanners on printers are generally hideously slow, often don't have a feeder and rarely duplex. They're OK for scanning one page at a time.
posted by cnc at 11:01 AM on May 21


Thank you all for your input! I have marked the Epson Workforce as best answer because it does hit every criteria I asked for in the question. The point about speed of scanning and cost of ink is well-taken. However for my purposes, this does look like the right machine.
posted by ainsley at 12:32 PM on May 21


Noooo, it's Brother! The ink is cheap and it works with Mavericks!

Get the wifi one (I have the MFC J825 DW) and connect it to your network. It's the closest thing to a corporate $6000 network printer/scanner I've used. And I buy the ink from a 3rd party for like $13 a pack.
posted by Sphinx at 4:45 PM on May 21


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