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Need Suggestions for a Fax Machine
Thread poster: Sandra Alboum

Sandra Alboum  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:07
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Apr 4, 2004


I hope this is the right forum to be posting in.

It's time to replace my "baby" fax and get a full-fledged heavy duty fax. I'm not sure whether I should get one of the multi-function ones, and a friend suggested the Brother Intellifax, but I'm not sure what's good and what's not.

It would be nice to be able to send faxes from my PC. If it's a scanner, too, I need a document tray (because scanning a multi-page doc is such a pain doing it page by page).

One thing it must have -- the capability for manual dial and sending. I usually use a cheap phone card to send long distance faxes, so I need to be able to enter pin numbers and whatnot without it beeping at me that time's up and no connection was achieved!

So ... what does everyone have? What do you like? What would you avoid??



Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:07
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Very simple Apr 4, 2004

Either buy a laser fax or let your PC play a fax machine for you. The latest one is not that convenient in fact, if you want to fax something you got only as a paper - as then you would need to scan it prior to sending.
But don´t let you be blended by all these devices of "all-in-one" kind. These are bubble jets, and they are very expensive if used in an office.
I have had a bubble jet fax and replaced it some time ago by a laser one. It is easier to use and much cheaper. I use Samsung 5100 - it offers very good value for money and is really small.


BTW I´m moving this to technical support - surely a better place for such discussion.

[Edited at 2004-04-04 21:33]


Andrzej Mierzejewski  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:07
Polish to English
+ ...
my advice Apr 4, 2004

Have a look at Panasonic. One of their latest fax machines includes RS232 connector so you can send not only paper faxes but also "electronic" faxes straight from your PC. Besides: handset, directory for 100 or more numbers, copying capacity with some enlarging options, easy menu, dozens of functions and options. Probably also scanning + computer input. Sorry, I do not remember the type at the moment. I'd consider buying this one, but I've been quite happy already with an earlier Panasonic model for nearly 3 years. The new machine almost for sure features thermotransfer print on normal paper as my machine does. This solution is good in terms of print quality and durability if you need to store incoming faxes, but more expensive than that with the special fax paper. With thermotransfer, you need a special film (similar to the carbon copy from the past)in the machine. One set of two thermotransfer film rolls is sufficient for approx. 2 x 160 pages.
But if you mean to use a fax machine for full-term scanning, I'm afraid such scans would be of inferior quality compared to a normal scanner, i.e. a separate unit. You'd better check out before buying.


Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:07
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Think again about fax Apr 5, 2004

For recieving faxes efax is much cheaper and convenient than a physical fax machine. For 100 bucks a year you have limiteless fax2email, that means no paper, no spent cartridges, no quality loss when sending recieved faxes further, and easier translation from fax, as you see the source document on screen, can zoom in and out etc. For sending documents scanning and emailing them is much more reliable than faxing, as you see at once, if the image is alright or not. With a fax machine only the reciever sees, what he gets, calls get interrupted and have to be repeated etc etc.
But if you buy a fax machine, buy only a laser-fax, no multimachine, as others have pointed out.


Lucinda Hollenberg  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:07
Dutch to English
+ ...
Brother Intelli Fax Apr 5, 2004

Hi Sandra,

I have a Brother Intelli Fax and it is a fine little paper fax machine that also makes reasonable copies. My only problem with it is that it seems to go through the ink cartridges like there is no tomorrow. It says in the manual that it prints out 400 sheets per cartridge - I do not know, it seems a lot less to me. But, I have not physically counted each sheet. I just notice that I frequently need a new cartridge. Another negative, one of the cartridges costs about USD 28.00 at the Best Buy where I shop.

Then I have a Panasonic thermal roll paper fax. Again a good fax machine which does not use cartridges. The image is not as shart as the Brother, I must say. However, the thermal paper fades after a rather short time, so you have to copy each sheet if you wish to retain the document and be able to read it properly.

Perhaps I see the best solution as the e-fax mentioned before. The annual fee is reasonable and the features are what it says.

Depending on the amount of faxes that you send or receive (it offers unlimited sending and receiving), this might be your best bet.

Happy hunting for the fax machine!



Henk Peelen  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:07
Member (2002)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Take a broader view? Apr 5, 2004

I don't know whether my contribution is usefull or not, but Id' like to suggest you consider if it would be the right time to upgrade your whole computer system.

I don't understand your phone card sytem. Wouldn't it be possible to fax and make calls via the cable? Must be more convenient and cheaper, in my opinion.

Just my story: December 2001 I decided to upgrade my computer system including the fax machine. At that time, I internetted, mailed, called and faxed via an analog line resulting in monthly bills of up to 300 Euros, so I asked my computer supplier about the possibilities of changing everything to a cable connection, of course! Secondly I was thinking about the possibilities af scanning et cetera, but also liked to save room. Thirdly I liked two computers: one for e-mail, internet and displaying reference documents, and another one exclusively for working.
I ended up with two computers in a small network and a flatbed all-in-one officejet (HP officet G85).
Tooks a lot of money, that month. But it's more than two years ago and I didn't feel a reason to make additional changes since then, and I think I can another two year go ahead with this configuration.

As to the fax machine: print, fax, scan and copy in one machine (all functions in color, but for faxing only if the sender / receiver has the colour feature as well), and like sombody said, you can still redirect incoming faxes to your PC where they are stored digitally. As to refilling: a color cartridge costs about Euro 70, and a refill kit Euro 30, good for refilling two times.
(See for instance
http://www.inktec.com/english/ )
I like to stress the money and environment saving features of refilling and redirecting incoming faxes to your PC. Next to that, redirecting incoming faxes to your PC, offers the possibility to forward them to colleagues, free of quality loss.
I guess I used in this two year about four packs of 500 sheets paper, two black cartridges, two colour ones and a refill kit, about Euro 200 in total.

I'm not the kind of guy who want to buy or wants to urge other people to buy every gadget and everything that glitters or makes a lot of noise, but I think from time to time everybody wants to make a judicious investment.

So, things to consider: what do you and / or your inmates want to scan / copy, or want to show new activities (kids for their school projects, for instance, or an acquintance who wants to scan his photo album to put it on the internet).
I mean, it's a business investment, so tax-deductble, but there is always some private use allowed.

Lack of money? Seems no problem in your case! Just do another Jeopardy! game (although I don't know what it is all about).

I have to admit that I never faxed with my PC, but I hardly hear of people who have neither a fax machine nor a printer, and personally I like to copy regularly (for private or business goals) and scan old photo's to put them on my website.
So I like my flatbed all in one machine!

What I especially like to stress: ask your computer supplier (and probably some other computer suppliers) to offer you a (some) total solutions for you business / private use of your configuration., and wait a month or so before you really make a decision.
Maybe you end up making an investment, maybe you do what some people suggest: let your PC fax for you.

Just my two cents.

[Edited at 2004-04-05 10:33]


Nedzad Selmanovic
Local time: 18:07
English to Bosnian
+ ...
suggestion Apr 5, 2004

Use fax/modem and appropriate software. It's cheaper, as fast as fax machine, and more reliable. That's what I am doing. Think about toner and its price for fax machine. Isn't it better to use your printer and print out desired pages only? This way you save on both paper and printer toner/cartridge


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