There are printers and then there are printers. We are all familiar with the little cube shaped laser printers that spit out some bake sale flyers or a school book report that are designed to be placed on a shelf near your desk at home. So there are giants like Canon ImageClass MF743Cdw, a printer that ranks between the average home laser printer and the huge office all-in-one machine.
While this printer won’t collate or staple your projects, it will do just about everything else. It has a built-in scanner; just lift the cover at the top, release the page, and use the built-in LCD screen to send the file to a mobile device, PC or, if you’re in 1996, a fax machine. —And a couple of paper trays, one for odd sizes and one for letter / legal.
This boy is big. It weighs 64 pounds and is 43 inches tall with a 21 x 29 inch footprint. Takes a lot of space. Be aware of this before dedicating a space on your desk.
The printer outputs in duplex color or black and white and supports Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity. You can also connect it to a computer via USB. A generous 5-inch screen lets you choose various functions and settings, and you can also use the built-in NFC function to connect phones to the printer with a single touch. There is also a USB port on the front of the device for quick printing of documents and photos.
The speed was above average in my tests with about three seconds for black and white printing and seven seconds for color prints. That last issue that was definitely affected by a system where the printer spit out three color pages at a time and then heated the color toner for the next three pages. Canon estimates around 3,000 prints for the included black toner cartridge and around 2,000 for the color cartridge, though your mileage may vary.
As a standard printer, it works perfectly. It is one of the few printers I have recently tested that seamlessly connects to my home network and was available for all devices in the house, including phones and laptops. This was surprisingly refreshing, because I have definitely experienced the frustration of trying to get multiple printers to connect to my local network. The MF743 found my network and stayed connected constantly.
The speed, as mentioned above, is roughly average and I was able to make some pretty substantial prints – 50 pages or more – in a few minutes.
The device screen is large enough to access the basic functions of the printer. Configuration is best done in the remote management system which essentially turns the printer into a web server, which then allows you to enter address book entries for scanner emails and faxes, update user profiles, and change settings. Unless you have the task of setting up this printer for a small office, you can use it out of the box, and you can easily ignore the more complex settings.
Canon does not recommend photo paper in this printer so I tested all of these prints on normal letter size printer paper. The black and white reproduction was perfect and you won’t find fault with this model for text documents. The color test prints were surprisingly bright and clear and I found the color accuracy to be acceptable. Again, this is not a photo printer, but photos sent from an iPhone directly to the printer came out bright and clear.
The copy feature was a bit disappointing. I put in a hard copy of a color test page that I had previously printed and ran it through the copier again. The result, as you can see, is quite uneven. Each color had an orange tint and there were many artifacts caused by light shining through the print. I also tested the ID copier on a standard driver’s license and some other cards. The copied results were poor but legible and can be used for record keeping if you are not picky. The printer scans at 600 DPI, which should have been more than enough, but the built-in scan and print system doesn’t seem to work as well as it could.
The scan was a completely different story. The scanned images came out beautifully on the computer, and Canon includes the MF Scan Utility for scanning in Windows or macOS. Because it is connected to the network, you can start the scan from anywhere and the results are stellar. In fact, scanning and printing from a computer might be the only viable method of copying color documents with this printer.
But look: the best place for this printer is a small office. It’s too much firepower for home use – the paper tray holds 300 sheets, which is absolutely a lot more than what a family with kids needs. If, for example, you scan documents in a doctor’s office or other professional situation, this is the perfect printer. Because it costs $ 400, with black-and-white and color toner replacements for just under $ 100 each, you’d spend less than you would on a more powerful copier / printer combo, and this does almost everything you do. need for a small office. ID and passport scanning are nice add-ons (as long as you’re scanning and not copying) and the fax function is, as they say, the icing on the cake on the Pudding Pop of the 1990s.
There are some features that standalone devices could probably improve. If, for example, you bought this for the ID scanner and plan to print the IDs right away, a separate ID scanner might be the best solution. Or, if you are planning to copy a lot of color documents and images, there are definite limitations for this printer. But if you’re fine with transferring scans to your computer and then storing or printing them as needed, you’re definitely in good hands.
Canon makes excellent photo printers. This is not one of those. This is a heavy duty workhorse of a printer intended for small and medium offices. Print quality is fast, inexpensive, and robust, and a definite improvement over other MFPs I’ve seen in this price range.
- Great printing speed.
- Heavy-duty paper tray and design.
- Color copies are not good.
- Perfect for a small office.