27 April 2007

New Networked Printer, Scanner, Fax: Epson AcuLaser

This is an initial blurb on the new Epson AcuLaser CX11NF all-in-one laser I recently hooked up. The short story so far is, there are a few setup tricks, but the thing is awesome in general. I am only using this machine from a Mac, but it works with at least Windows machines as well (and has a few more features when using Windows - like being able to do scans from the unit and send them to your machine).

The CX11NF is a color laser printer, color fax, color copier, and both flat bed and sheet fed scanner. That's a mouth-full. So far I've used the printer, copier, and flat bed scanner. Setup was easy - they provide very good clear instructions on unpackaging it and getting the toner carts installed, etc. Also, the box it came in is designed really well. The unit weights in at 75 pounds, so you dread having to "dump" it out of the usual cardboard box, but no. With this setup, there are plugs at the bottom of the box that you pull out, and then the top and sides of the box pull right off, leaving the bottom of the box and printer there. REALLY NICE.

Software setup is my only gripe so far, and it wasn't too bad. I'm using it as a network printer. When I first ran their software, it just seemed to sit there forever trying to launch the first sub-installer. I had to go manually launch that, and then things worked fine. I also found that in order for Bonjour printing (the "easy" way use it as a network printer) to actually work, I needed to download the latest drivers. I also got the latest scanner drivers while I was there.

Also, for network scans, you need to run their Epson Scan Settings app that they silently put into your Applications/Utilities folder. This app launches and finds the printer (or you can type in the IP address, if say you're using it from a different subnet/VPN). Then it works great.

I am using the printer from both PowerPC and MacTel Macs, all over network, and on different subnets (one is also behind VPN, but which tunnels into my main subnet for access to things like printers). For the Mac on VPN, I needed to setup the printer using IPP, but once I typed in the IP address, it found it and detected the model and the right driver, etc.

The printer is very fast (at least for B&W, I haven't tried color yet). I don't recall the exact speed, but it spits out pages nearly instantly for B&W, and the quality is excellent.

The scanner works well too. I've only used it from Photoshop so far, using their TWAIN import, but it has all the usual stuff (seems like the scan interface is very similar to the one for our higher end Epson Perfection V700 Photo scanner (which rocks - I highly recommend for photo).

So far so good. Having a real network printer, etc. is great in my situation since we have a lot of machines in the house. It's also nice to get rid of the few separate devices I had before, and to pick up a sheet fed scanner in the process. Also, having a color printer that isn't a photo printer is handy at times. We'll see how continued use goes, but I would recommend this unit so far.

Tip of the hat to Macworld for the useful review on this device.


Printer Cartridges said...

Congratulation on the purchase! Have you used the fax function yet? Epson AcuLaser CX11NF is said to have trouble picking up a line.

Do you print a lot? I just wonder how much toner there actually is in cartridge.

Chris said...

I've used the FAX quite a bit actually, and never had a problem.

As for toner, the black does seem to be going fast if the little meter on the LCD is any indication. I haven't done a ton of color printing, but those indicate they are still full. As a multi-person office printer, that may be an issue, but for me it's basically a single person/household printer, so probably won't be an issue.