Hands-On Competitive Test Report and Videos: Canon MAXIFY vs. HP Officejet Pro Inkjet AiO’s — Which Brand is Best for Your Business?

Feature Set – Both product lines offer apparently similar feature sets on paper. However, following are key differences:

MAXIFY Strengths: Scanning software has the ability to stitch two individual scans into a single larger scan; there are several built-in methods for scanning to and printing from the cloud; Custom Profiles allow for storage and quick retrieval of frequently used job settings from the control panel.

MAXIFY Limitations: No editing of photos when printing from USB flash-memory devices; OCR output is text-only (no MS Word-ready RTF format); no NFC touch-to-print; duplex printing is limited to 105 g/m2 (28-lb. bond); no automatic duplex scanning (only available with top-of-the-line MB5320 [not tested]); no draft-print mode that is commonly used to save ink; the MAXIFY MB2020 has neither touch screen nor QWERTY-style keypad – instead, text is input via T9 numeric keypad method; feature-set is not expandable via downloadable applications; one-year warranty.

Officejet Pro Strengths: All models feature duplex (two-sided) borderless printing capabilities and the ability to duplex-print onto substrates as thick as 200 g/m2; all models evaluated are equipped with touch screens; the feature set of all models is expandable via downloadable “Printable” applications; Printable applications provide a customizable mix of mobile- and remote-printing and scanning solutions; three-year warranty.

Officejet Pro Limitations: Refer to MAXIFY Strengths.

Deployment – All of the tested devices were comparatively easy and quick to install. While the OJPs had considerably more protective material to remove (especially films to protect gloss-black areas), MAXIFY installation took somewhat longer due to a seven-minute ink priming and print-head alignment procedure. Nevertheless, installers can walk away and multitask while this procedure is underway, while the OJPs demanded more constant attention. Software and network installation was also comparatively quick and easy, but the OJP on-screen instructions were more succinct. Both product lines required a software-installation package, and neither provides installation-packaging utilities for silent installations, nor allow for remote software setup.

Networking – All the devices evaluated have standard wireless IEEE 802.11b/g/n networking. However, the MAXIFY MB2020 is the only device to lack IEEE 100BASE-T CAT 5 wired Ethernet networking that is somewhat more reliable than wireless networking. This means that when a company considers MAXIFY products, it must also take into account the prevailing network infrastructure.

Device Management – Officejet Pro can easily be integrated into and managed along with an entire fleet of printers using the industry-leading HP Web Jetadmin remote-management solution, which results in significant time and cost savings. MAXIFY is not supported by Canon’s imageWARE management solution, and each must be individually monitored and managed via EWS (Remote UI). Moreover, the MAXIFY EWS (Remote UI) administrative password must be manually set from the control panel before it can be accessed from a networked PC.

Ease of Operation – The MAXIFY MB2020 has neither touch screen nor QWERTY-style keypad – instead, text is input via T9 numeric keypad method. The remainder of the models tested feature touch screens with larger displays, with the Officejet Pro 8620, which has the largest touch screen in the group, providing superior usability. Moreover, MAXIFY printers utilize hard keys while Officejet Pro printers utilizes a touch panel. The Officejet Pro features a single source of help (with how-to videos) for easy access, while with MAXIFY, help resources are split between onboard software (basic help) and a Web site, making accessing help for MAXIFY more cumbersome.

Software and Support – Both brands feature identical print-driver user interfaces (UIs) between models that facilitates support and training. However, the MAXIFY installation results in the installation of multiple utilities that require user training and support. These utilities are also somewhat redundant, and also clutter the PC start menu/start screen, and their functionality is sometimes redundant. MAXIFY installation also clutters the add/remove programs function with 10 items, while the Officejet Pro requires only two items. Finally, MAXIFY has two taskbar items that run in the background, while Officejet Pro has none.

Mobile and Remote Printing – Both brands have WiFi direct printing that establishes a wireless network connection directly to the printer without connecting to it via a wireless router or access point. Both brands feature downloadable print and scan apps for mobile devices and multiple remote- and mobile-print and scan solutions, but the MAXIFY solutions are built-in, while Officejet Pro allows customization and expansion via downloadable “Printable” apps. Finally, the Officejet Pro 8620 features NFC touch-to-print technology while MAXIFY does not.

User Maintenance – Both brands feature easy ink additions and the availability of high-capacity ink cartridges minimizes the frequency of ink additions. However, it is somewhat easier with MAXIFY to access and remove misfeeds from the back access point. On the other hand, MAIXFY ink cartridges cannot be removed until they are empty, or Canon warns that the printer will malfunction. Finally, while ease of adding and changing media varied somewhat between models, it was overall comparable between the MAXIFY and Officejet Pro brands.

Printing Performance – Stacking of printed output was sloppy in the fastest print mode (black text) with MAXIFY MB2320 and MB5020, which resulted in sheets ejected onto the desktop or floor. MAXIFY also intermittently paused for re-inking during printing high-coverage documents such as PowerPoint documents and full-page photos. However, with the exception of the Officejet Pro 8260’s scanning speed, MAXIFY had faster overall tested FPOT, FCOT, and ADF scan speeds.