Canon’s ImageClass MF419dw Black and White Printer

Good-looking black-and-white pages

Canon ImageClass MF419dw monochrome MFP
Canon ImageClass MF419dw monochrome MFP. Canon

Pros:

  • Sturdy, durable build
  • Expandable paper capacity
  • Legal-size (8.5x14 inches) scanner and auto-duplexing automatic document feeder (ADF)
  • Adobe PostScript 3 and HP PCL6 emulation for greater print shop compatibility
  • Automatic two-sided (duplex) printing and scanning

Cons:

Bottom Line:

This multifunction monochrome laser printer churns out good-looking prints at reasonable speeds; only a too-high cost per page, or CPP, relegates it to much lighter duties as a low-volume multifunction printer (MFP).

Introduction

As printscan.about.com has reported a few times now, one of the lessor-known players in the laser printer business is Canon, a company better known for its cameras and other imaging devices, such as consumer-grade and professional-quality photo printers. Laser printers, too, are a major part of the Japanese imaging giant’s wears, as About.com has shown with its reviews of higher-end Canon models, such as the $1,000-list Color ImageClass MF810Cdn, as well as smaller, lower-capacity black-and-white machines, such as today’s review model, Canon’s $665.99-street ImageClass MF419dw Black and White Printer.

Then too, there are several competing models, such as HP’s LaserJet Pro M402dw Monochrome Laser Printer, as well as others from OKI Data and Brother. As is the case with most Canon laser printer, this one is durable, it prints, scans, and copies well (for a black-and-white printer), and its relatively fast. My only real complaint, as you’ll see in the Cost Per Page section later on, is this monochrome laser’s cost per page; it’s high enough to relegate this MFP to a low-volume printer.

Design and Features

If you’re looking for a personal laser printer, this one is probably a little too big to fit on your desk beside you. At 17.7 inches across (from side-to-side), by 18.6 inches from front to back, by 18.3 inches high, and weighing a portly 47.2 pounds (with the toner cartridge installed). Besides, the MF419dw is designed as a workgroup printer connected to multiple users; it’s better situated in a central location where everybody can get to it comfortably, without infringing on a coworker.

Starting at the top, this multifunction printer is loaded with productivity and convenience features, such as a 50-sheet auto-duplexing automatic document feeder (ADF) that allows you to feed up to 50 two-sided sheets (100 pages in all) to the scanner without your having to manually turn them over to scan the other sides.

Copying, faxing, and a few other walkup, or PC-free functions are handled from the 3.5-inch touch LCD display, as are several configuration options. In addition, you can scan to and print from numerous cloud sites, as well as network drives and most iOS (iPad and iPhone) and Android smartphones or tablets.

Additional features include:

  • Canon PRINT Business, Apple AirPrint, Mopria Print Service and Google Cloud Print
  • Legal-size (8.5x14 inches) platen (scanner glass)
  • Secure Print to help protect your privacy
  • Print from and scan to USB thumb drive
  • Low energy consumption (under two watts in Energy Saver Mode)
  • Supported paper sizes: Letter, Legal, A4, A5, B5, Executive, Statement
  • Bundled software: Printer driver, Fax driver, Scanner driver, Network Scan Utility, MF Scan Utility, Presto! PageManager

Performance, Print Quality, Paper Handling

Canon rates the ImageClass MF419dw at “up to” 17 pages per minute, or ppm, double-sided (duplex) and 35ppm single-sided (simplex). Keep in mind that 17 duplex, or 2-sided, pages actually comes out to 34 pages. Compared to Canon’s test documents, though, mine contain a lot of images, color, and text formatting, where the manufacturers (all manufacturers) do not.

As a result, on About.com’s tests, the MF419dw got just under 13ppm simplex and about 6.5ppm duplex. Keeping in mind that all colors must be converted to grayscale prior to printing, print quality, too, isn’t half bad—if you don’t mind everything being black-and-white, that is. Text looks good, near-typesetter quality most of the time, as do the business graphics—you know, the pie charts, bar charts, tables, and so on that adorn our business documents. Photos, of course, are also converted to grayscale, making them appear similar to newspaper photos, which is fine if that’s the look you’re after.

Paper handling consists of a large 500-sheet cassette located at the bottom of the chassis, with a 50-sheet override, or multipurpose, tray just above that. The smaller tray is for, of course, printing envelopes and other off-size media without having to take the printer out of service. If 550 sheets is not enough, you can add another 500-sheet tray for about $150, for a total of 1,050 sheets from three sources.

Cost Per Page

If you buy your toner from Canon’s online store, you’ll pay far too much for it on a per-page basis—as much as 4.7 cents per page, when you buy the lower-yield cartridge of the two available for this printer. If you buy the higher-yield (6,400 pages) from Canon, it will cost you about 3 cents per page. To get the lowest possible price, we had to shop around. We found the high-yield cartridge for $154, for a cost per page of 2.4 cents. Unfortunately, this is still too high for a printer designed to print up to 50,000 pages per month. To print that many pages or close (or even half or less), you really need a CPP of under 1 cent.

The End

If you don’t plan on using this MFP much, say for no more a few hundred pages each month, it will work perfectly for that, although it’s a bit overpriced for a low-volume printer, and the durability is overkill; it should last you forever. Then too, there are the other things it does, such as scan, copy, and fax; this printer makes more sense if your usage includes more of the tasks that don’t require toner. Other than how much it costs to use, this is a fine printer.