Good output quality, with slightly above-par graphics. Connects via USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi Direct.
No optional paper trays. No port for USB thumb drive.
- Bottom Line
The Canon ImageClass MF249dw is a mono laser all-in-one printer for a home office or micro office that provides an ample feature set, solid speed, good output quality, and a wealth of connection choices.
By Tony Hoffman
The Canon ImageClass MF249dw ($299) is a compact monochrome laser all-in-one printer that is a good fit (literally and figuratively) for a home office or micro office, or as a personal printer in any size office. It gives you a good range of connectivity choices, adding Wi-Fi Direct to the USB, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi found in the Canon imageClass MF227dw. The MF249dw also has a larger automatic document feeder (ADF) than that model, and it adds support for the automatic scanning of two-sided documents. The MF249dw takes the MF227dw's place as our Editors' Choice shared home office/micro office mono laser all-in-one.
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Design and Features
Measuring 14.2 by 15.4 by 14.9 inches (HWD) and weighing 30.3 pounds including the cartridge, the matte-black MF249dw is compact enough to share a desk with, although you might want to put it on bench or table of its own. It should be easy enough for one person to move into place.
Atop the printer are a letter-size flatbed and a 50-sheet duplexing ADF, which lets users copy, scan, or fax both sides of multipage documents. It first scans one side of a document, flips it over, and then scans the other side. Beneath the flatbed is the front panel, which includes a 3-5-inch, six-line monochrome touch LCD; function buttons including Stop, Start, Home, Back and Energy Saver; and an alphanumeric keypad.
For paper handling, the MF249dw includes a 250-sheet main paper tray and a one-sheet multipurpose feeder, as well as an automatic duplexer for printing on both sides of a sheet of paper. The printer is set by default to two-sided printing as a paper- and money-saving measure. There are no options for additional paper trays. The MF249dw's maximum monthly duty cycle is 15,000 pages, and its recommended monthly print volume is 3,000 pages.
The MF249dw is well equipped with connection choices, including Ethernet, USB, Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi Direct. It supports printing with the Canon Print Business and Mopria Print Service apps, as well as Google Cloud Print. It lacks a port for a USB thumb drive. I tested the printer using our standard test bed, an Intel Core i5 PC running Windows 10 Professional, over an Ethernet connection. Printer drivers include Canon's host-based (UFR II) driver, as well as PCL5e and PCL6.
In its default duplex printing mode, the MF249dw averaged 15.8 pages per minute (ppm) in printing the text-only (Word) portion of our new business applications suite, a touch faster than its 15ppm rated speed. In printing the full suite, which includes PDF, PowerPoint, and Excel files in addition to the aforementioned Word document, it averaged 11.9ppm. These times were similar to those of the Canon imageClass MF416dw, which we clocked at 17.2ppm on the text document and 11.5ppm on the entire suite.
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In testing in simplex (one-sided) printing mode, the MF249dw printed our text document at 27.5ppm, in agreement with its 28ppm simplex speed rating. In printing our full business suite, it averaged 16.3ppm. These are a bit slower than the Canon MF416dw, which we tested at 32ppm in printing the text document and 17.4ppm for the full suite. Although we can't directly compare the MF249dw's speed with that of the Canon MF227dw or the Canon imageClass MF229dw, which we tested using our old business suite, they have the same speed ratings for simplex and duplex printing, so their speeds would likely be similar if we could test them head-to-head.
Overall output quality in our testing was typical of a mono laser, with average text, slightly above-par graphics, and average photos. Even average text for a mono laser is good enough for any business use except for those requiring very small fonts.
Most of the graphics looked okay, although I did notice some mild banding in one illustration. Graphics should be good enough for PowerPoint handouts. Photo quality is fine for printing out images from webpages and the like.
Running costs for the MF249dw, based on Canon's prices and yield figures for toner cartridges, are 3.5 cents per page, typical of a mono laser all-in-one at its price.
Delivering solid speed and good output quality, the Canon ImageClass MF249dw is a compact and capable mono laser all-in-one printer for use in a micro or home office. It offers enhancements over two previous-generation models: the Canon MF229dw, which it is replacing in Canon's line, and the Canon MF227dw. It is rated for higher-volume printing than either of these printers, is built for higher-volume use, and adds Wi-Fi Direct connectivity. The MF249dw also has a better ADF than the MF227dw, and it inherits that model's Editors' Choice as a shared micro-office monochrome printer.
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As Analyst for printers, scanners, and projectors, Tony Hoffman tests and reviews these products and provides news coverage for these categories. Tony has worked at PC Magazine since 2004, first as a Staff Editor, then as Reviews Editor, and more recently as Managing Editor for the printers, scanners, and projectors team. In addition to editing, Tony has written articles on digital photography and reviews of digital cameras, PCs, and iPhone apps Prior to joining the PCMag team, Tony worked for 17 years in magazine and journal… More »
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