9.4
Expert Rating

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, albeit 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 business and the best all in one printer for prospective buyers on a budget.

Why We Like It – Canon imageCLASS MF445dw

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.

Pros
  • Extreme versatility
  • Quick print speed
  • Touch control panel despite low price
Cons
  • Mediocre print quality
  • Heavy

Speed

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.

Print Quality

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.

Efficiency

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.

Advanced Features

With WiFi support, the ability to print to mobile devices via WiFi 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.

Value

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. It’s in long-term costs that Canon’s product falls apart; replacing its toner cartridge is an expensive task despite the fact replacement cartridges have high capacities.

Canon imageCLASS MF445dw Wrap Up

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, printing text, or both, it’s incredible for the price; it’s very hard to beat it at 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 it’s incredibly low up-front cost makes it worth looking at despite its middling long-term costs.

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Brady Meyers

Brady Klinger-Meyers is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He regularly contributes to websites such as Hardcore Droid, Gamepur, and Homebli. His work remains primarily in technology, from video game journalism to consumer technology.

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