When you need a business printer, be it in a skyscraper or home office, you need easy setup, reliable performance, the knowledge you can get it repaired or easily supported, and speed and quality to spare. Only one brand handles all that and more, according to PCMag readers.
Brother has long dominated the PCMag Business Choice survey for printers. Since we started rating business printers in 2013, Brother has shared the top spot a few times, but not this year. Epson, which came in second, earned some excellent numbers, but Brother stands alone in the most important categories—overall satisfaction (8.5 out of 10) and the likelihood to be recommended to others (8.6).
Brother’s latest win also comes with the lead scores in areas like setup (9.1), reliability (8.9), and repairs (8.1). Those numbers are all up from last year, as are its scores for document quality (from 8.9 to 9.1), photo quality (from 6.7 to a still pretty dismal 6.9), copier functions (from 8.7 to 8.9), and scanning (8.5 to 8.8). Almost all its other scores held steady from 2019.
Last year, Brother shared the top spot with Canon, both of which got an 8.4 overall satisfaction score. But while Brother went up, Canon went down to an 8.1, putting it out of the running for 2020. Still, if your primary function at work is to print photos, you don’t want a Brother; its 6.9 for photo quality is the brand’s worst score and is consistent year to year. For photos, you want a Canon or an Epson, which both get an 8.0 for photo quality.
Epson’s never had a strong showing in our Business Choice survey but that ended this year, with scores that in a few cases even outpaced Brother. Epson is ahead when it comes to ease of use (8.7), direct printing (8.6), and copier functions (9.0). It ties with Xerox on network sharing (8.9), while its 8.6 for paper handling tops Brother but both are behind the 9.0 for Ricoh and Xerox.
In 2019, Epson only had an overall satisfaction rating of 7.7, so it climbed more than half a point this year, a pretty astounding boost. The company is doing something right, and if it can keep it up, it might give Brother some serious competition in this survey in 2021.
Bottom of the business heap, surprisingly, is Dell. It placed third last year with an 8.3 overall, but dropped to 8.0 this year. It’s even more surprising since it scored so well in the at-home version of this survey, Readers’ Choice.
For more, read The Best Business Printers of 2020.
The PCMag Business Choice survey for Work Printers was in the field from June 22, 2020, to July 13 , 2020. For more information on how our surveys are conducted, read the survey methodology.
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