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Save $50 on a do-it-all Brother printer that shakes hands with your phone

Shopping for a new printer? You can get the high-scoring Brother MFC-J480DW at half price right now at Office Depot or Staples.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Back-to-school shopping is only fun if you're getting new clothes or a new computer -- not so much for printers. But if you need one anyway, the Brother MFC-J480DW is a dependable multifunction inkjet with a fax machine, copier and scanner built into a compact machine. Staples and Office Depot both have it on sale right now for $50 with free shipping -- that's half off the retail price.

The J480DW is nearly identical to the Brother J470DW inkjet that we reviewed last year. Printer manufacturers often update model names for retail stores and change very little about the features.

The newer version still has everything we like about the old one: quick output speeds and student-friendly additions like an auto-document feeder, an auto-duplexer to print on both sides of a single sheet of paper, a software suite that allows for remote prints and scans and the ability to output documents and photos from iOS and Android devices.

The J470DW is slightly smaller than last year's model and it has a USB port so you can print photos directly off a storage card. You can save scanned documents directly to it as well.

The Brother MFC-J480DW is on sale at Staples and Office Depot now for $50. Be sure to check out CNET's full Back-to-School Tech Guide here.

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