Copy Cat

by David Haskin

Canon PC425
Rating 78

The photocopying options for a small office are notoriously limited. Most owners wind up spending big bucks for a copy machine or a multifunction printer. Canon’s PC425, however, takes an affordable middle ground approach to copy needs.

This $199 photocopier is a good choice for budget-conscious users who don’t have a heavy copy load or a tolerance for hassles. We made our first copies after simply unpacking the PC425 and plugging it into a wall socket. Likewise, the PC425 is easy to use and has controls for selecting the number of copies, job cancellation, and manual setting exposures.

At 32-inches wide (including paper trays) and about 16-inches deep, the PC425 doesn’t occupy much space. It is unusually quiet, and it saves energy by turning off automatically after a few minutes of inactivity. It has a straight paper path, which resulted in no paper jams during our tests, and the single push of a button reveals the inside of the machine for clearing jams or cartridge replacement.

Despite its merits, the PC425 does not offer much power or flexibility. It doesn’t enlarge or reduce, and the small paper tray handles only 50 pages at a time. The unit is slow as well, capable of making only nine copies of one page at a time and copying only four pages per minute. Another limitation is that the PC425 copies only standard 8.5 by 11-inch pages, not legal-sized or European A-4 pages. The replacement cartridge — which contains toner, the drum, and the development unit — is rated for only 2,000 pages and costs a pricey $90 a pop.

The PC425 remains a decent choice for your office if you only have occasional copy needs and don’t want to spend loads of money.

Canon U.S.A., Inc.

PROS: Good for budget home office use

CONS: Not designed for heavy workloads

Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing addresses the technology needs of small businesses, which are defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees and/or less than $7 million in annual sales.
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