Comparative Test: Eleven multifunction printers: How to get inside
DC examines, what procedures you have to go through opening a printer, and if an exchange of consumables can be performed without much ado.
Brother DCP-165C and MFC-790CW
Both Brother-AIO´s need to be opened only when connecting or disconnecting a USB- or networkcable - the connectors are inside the printers. A green lever keeps the cover open.
To replace a cartridge you just open a lid on the front right side. Brother´s printers are the only ones in this test with ink tanks connected to the permanent print head by tiny hoses.
Canon Pixma MP490, MP560, and Pixma MP640
Canon´s AIO´s use three different approaches to open their covers. The Canon Pixma MP490 has a lever, which clicks into place automatically. To close the cover you have to push it to the back manually.
Their MP560 has a lever on the left side as well, but this one backs automatically when the cover is closed.
The most elegant solution provides the MP640: The heavy cover of the scanner stops in every position you put it. This makes sure the cover doesn´t come down with a clatter when being closed.
All three AIO´s grant sufficient clearance to exchange ink tanks.
Epson Stylus SX510W and Office BX610FW
Epson found a simple and convenient solution to open and close the covers: They stay open, until you press them down. Handle the cover with care, if you let go it suddenly might slam down.
You can get at the ink tanks without difficulties. Epson´s printers are the only ones with the printhead not automatically navigating into exchange position, when the cover is opened. You have to specify in the menu that you want to exchange ink tanks.
HP Photosmart C4680 and Premium Fax C309a
HP´s Photosmart C4680 has no cover. To exchange both ink tanks with their integrated print heads you open a lid on the front side. You don´t have much room to maneuver - it´s fairly difficult to exchange the two tanks.
The Photosmart Premium Fax C309a is considerably easier to handle. The heavy cover of the scanner can be opened using the blue handles on both sides. The cover needs no support. And if you close it with one hand, it comes to a gentle halt. The five ink tanks are in easy reach.
Kodak ESP 5250
The Kodak uses a similar system as the Brothers do. A lever is catching, holding the cover in place at the top. To close the cover you have to push the lever aside.
Both ink tanks, which are embedded in a permanent print head, are in easy reach.
Lexmark Impact S305
Lexmark´s printer opens and closes just as easy as the HP Photosmart Premium. And the four single ink tanks can be replaced easily.