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The Canon imageCLASS MF445DW is a budget all-in-one Canon laser printer that manages to provide a litany of features in a $260 package. It seems impossible that one printer at a low price point could provide so much functionality, but Canon made it work at the expense of welcome features; print quality could be better, and there’s no color support to be found. Even so, its low price and incredible versatility arguably make it the best printer for small businesses and the best all-in-one printer for prospective buyers on a budget.
Related: Our team also recommends the Canon imageCLASS MF424DW review
The Canon imageCLASS MF445DW is an Energy Star-certified printer with very high paper capacity (up to 900 pages), great print speed, and a slew of features thanks to its all-in-one design. It can scan, copy, and even fax alongside its normal printing capabilities, making it a solid one-stop shop for businesses on a budget. Check out our Hp PageWide Pro 477DW review for another printer that is great for businesses. And if you need the ability to print in large format, you can read our HP DesignJet T120 review.
Related: If you would like to try other units, have a look at the Canon imageCLASS MF644CDW review
Beyond its impressive array of features, the Canon imageCLASS brings another impressive feature for its low price point to the table: incredible print speed. Canon rates it for 40 pages per minute, but when printing a single-sided text document, it exceeds that figure by a small amount, blowing past most of its competition; it more than triples the anemic 15 pages per minute of the $800 Epson ET-4750, while the $500 Brother MFCL2750DW nips at its heels at around 36 pages per minute. Its high throughput and high paper capacity make it perfect for businesses that need to print pages off rapidly, and it’s competitive even against very pricey options in single-sided prints.
If you’re only printing text, print quality is great on the Canon imageCLASS MF445DW. Text clarity is great even at smaller font sizes, and its monochrome nature isn’t a limitation at all for standard business-oriented documents where colored text is unlikely to be used; to put its text quality into scope, it’s not far off from the pricier HP OfficeJet Pro 9025 when it comes to printing text. Picture quality is another story; unlike the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479FDW, it struggles with gradients, and its lack of color makes it poor overall for any serious picture prints. It’s fine for what it is, but if you’re buying it for pictures, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
Canon didn’t do a great job with efficiency on the Canon imageCLASS MF445DW. As is common on budget printers, the low cost is offset by expensive toner cartridges; it falls well short of efficiency-focused printers like the Brother INKvestment MFC-J985DW, making it a potentially poor pick for very long-term costs. You can check out the Canon MX492 for another printer with a low running cost.
With Wi-Fi support, and the ability to print to mobile devices via Wi-Fi Direct, Apple AirPrint, and Google Cloud Print, the Canon imageCLASS MF445dw has an impressive number of advanced extras for its low price point. WiFi nor an in-built touch screen are guaranteed even at higher price points, so it’s nice to see Canon managed to fit those in.
Up-front, the Canon imageCLASS MF445dw provides incredible value. It’s less than $300 and works as a genuine budget all-in-one that serves most business functions, and its print quality (when printing text) is great for the price. In long-term costs, Canon’s product falls apart; replacing its toner cartridge is an expensive task despite the fact that replacement cartridges have high capacities.
As expected of a Canon product, the Canon imageCLASS MF445DW is a solid printer, albeit one with a few minor but noteworthy flaws. If you’re printing in high volumes, text, or both, it’s incredible for the price; it’s very hard to beat that price when it comes to those specific features. If picture quality or long-term costs matter, it’s a bit tougher to recommend, as it’s monochrome, and its image quality isn’t exactly great. With all that said, though, it excels at typical business use cases, and its incredibly low up-front cost makes it worth looking at despite its middling long-term costs.