ZDNet's Business Bargain Hunter scours the web for great deals on computers, phones, services and much more. Prices and availability are accurate at the time deals are shared. Some products and services may not be available outside the U.S. Follow BBH on Facebook and Twitter, where he's known as The Cheapskate.
It'll be a cold day in hell before I recommend an inkjet printer to small-business owners.
Except for today, because although it's cold (up here in Michigan, anyway), there's nothing hellish about this deal: For a limited time, and while supplies last, BuyDig has the Canon Maxify MB5420 all-in-one printer for $124.99 shipped. That's after applying promo code zdnetrick at checkout.
Original list price on this bad-boy: $399.99. Price just about everywhere else: $299.99. And you may have noticed the "marchmadness" coupon code listed right on BuyDig's product page. That brings the printer down to $129.99.
Yep, that's what civilians get. BBH readers get an extra $5 off on top of that. You're welcome!
Of course, whether it's $125 or $130, this AIO is a steal. For starters, because it's an inkjet, it'll do a much better job with photos than a laser, in part because it can accommodate actual photo paper. If you're in sales, real estate, photography (duh) or another profession that relies heavily on printed pix, an inkjet definitely makes more sense.
Beyond that, it's chock full of office-friendly features, including dual paper trays (each able to hold 250 sheets), an auto-duplexer for double-sided printing and a 50-sheet auto document feeder than can also do double-sided scans in a single pass. (Another cool perk: You can scan directly to a flash drive. Or print from one.)
The printer has a maximum monthly duty cycle of 30,000 pages and supports Ethernet, USB and Wi-Fi connectivity. As you'd expect, you can print wirelessly from Android and iOS devices, using either Canon's apps or native AirPrint/Google Cloud Print support.
For any business, consumables represent the real cost of operating a printer. If you spring for Canon ink, expect to pay around 1.5 cents per monochrome page and 7 cents for color.
However, you can lower those costs considerably by opting for third-party ink. For example, here's a complete set of compatible high-yield cartridges for about $43. A Canon-branded set: more like $120. Will you get the same color accuracy and image quality from the off-brand ink? That's harder to say, but at least you have the option of spending less.
ZDNet hasn't reviewed the Maxify MB5420, so I recommend checking out PCMag's review. The verdict: four stars (out of five) and lots of love for the output quality and low operating costs.
At this price, it's awfully compelling -- even if it is an inkjet.