TIPS: Buying An Inkjet Printer - Comments Page 1

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Posted by:

BillK
12 Feb 2013

Best advice - Don't!
Buy a laser printer instead (mono or colour).

Ink is more expensive than gold. If you don't print frequently, the jets get clogged. If you do print frequently, or run jet clearing prints every day, it costs a fortune.

Laser printers used to be expensive but the price has come down a lot. You can get little ones for low volume printing, up to large office printers. I got a small home laser printer and wouldn't dream of ever buying an inkjet again.

Posted by:

Bill Borne
12 Feb 2013

I've been buying Epson C88+ printers for years. Ink over internet is cheap for them. Only thing is print head is not on cartridge but built in printer, so you must print something with all colors once a month to keep ink flowing.
They claim it doesn't work with Win7, but don't believe it!! Works fine!

Posted by:

Jean Oiler
12 Feb 2013

I've only owned Canon printers so admittedly I'm biased but you cannot own a better printer. It does everything!

Posted by:

Jean Oiler
12 Feb 2013

I've only owned Canon printers so admittedly I'm biased but you cannot own a better printer. It does everything!

Posted by:

Catherine
12 Feb 2013

I have the HP 3510 and it's great but one thing I never thought of when buying it...it doesn't copy legal sized documents. I know for home use that it wouldn't be used as much, but I did need it more than a few times and wish my printer had that feature.

Posted by:

Cliff
12 Feb 2013

We have tried nearly all Brands over the years.
The Brother MFC- series Multifunction is our preferred device. A Laser model for cheap Black&White; color ink for other.

Posted by:

MartyS
12 Feb 2013

I have been working with technology for nearly 50 years and need to comment on this article. My last HP purchase was an all-in-one, the HP 7680. It is a great printer – seems to run forever and does not hiccup – from the hardware perspective.

From the software perspective, HP execs should be indicted for crimes against humanity. I run a mixed network and the software continually aborts functions based on what the other machine is doing. One machine needs to sleep before I can get through the scan of a document. On the Mac, you cannot switch from the glass to the sheet feeder without closing the software and reopening it. On the PC, it is virtually impossible to get the software (beyond basic printing) to work at all and, yes, I have downloaded new installers and installed latest drivers.

I have sworn of HP for life despite the hardware excellence. I am not pro-anything else, just anti-HP. A final note, if you think the software is insultingly bad, try the service. They are not knowledgeable, not courteous and charge for everything unless the machine is just out of its carton. Beware HP, they do not care about you once you have made the purchase.

Posted by:

snert
12 Feb 2013

I've used seversl different brands and I keep going back HP's. When I print photos the colors are closer to real life and text is sharper in draft mode. But that's just my opinion.

Posted by:

Robert
12 Feb 2013

I recall reading not too long ago that Lexmark has exited the consumer printer business, and will only produce commercial units from now on. A check on its website indeed shows there are no such units in its line-up, although replacement ink cartridges are still available. With that in mind, any Lexmark inkjet printers still in stock at retailers should be available at discount prices, as retailers seek to clear out remaning units.

Posted by:

bem
12 Feb 2013

Good review and advice, as always. I would like to add a different criterion and see if you can possibly help me. After a long and onerous relationship with a Photosmart 2610 across multiple machines and platforms I have to ask, "Does a printer need to install 300M of programs to scan?"
My question to you is, "Are there any all-in-one machines that are completely self-contained regarding all functions?" It would be my next.

Thanks for all,
bem

Posted by:

Bill
12 Feb 2013

Sorry Bob, you lost me at "HP".

Quality has taken a huge hit on the HP Printers, and when they STILL have a problem with the printer not waking up, even after over 2 years of complaints, I am finished with them.

Granted, this problem is only present on some of the Office Pro models, but it is indicative of their overall lack of Customer Support now.

Yes, they used to make decent printers, and at one time I was a happy customer. Those days are gone, I'm afraid.

For my part, I have abandoned HP and taken my business to Samsung. I have no intention whatsoever of ever returning to HP.

Posted by:

Lee McIntyre
12 Feb 2013

I've used HP Officejet Pro printers for years. These are four-in-one printers (fax, scan, print, copy) that use a flatbed scanner.

They're not cheap, compared to the under-$100 printers Bob reviews here. Look to pay around $200.

These machines are designed for business use, and I've used them to crank out hundreds of copies of a class syllabus in a reasonable amount of time.

These printers come with a document feeder that allows you to feed a stack of originals. They even have a way to scan both sides of a sheet fed through the document feeder.

The machines can handle all possible combinations of one- and two-sided originals and copies, and the paper tray holds about 200-250 sheets. You can buy a model with a second paper tray (it raises the height of the machine 2-3 inches), in which you can load envelopes, or post card stock, etc.

There is one downside: These machines have approximately a zillion moving PLASTIC parts. I don't usually buy a service contract, but I have for my Officejets, and I've been glad.

On my first machine, without a service contract, a single sheet of paper jammed in the document feeder, and I could find no way to remove it. Customer service said I had to buy a WHOLE NEW PRINTER! Figuring I had nothing to lose, I carefully disassembled the document feeder mechanism and was able to finally clear the jam. I even got it put back together, with tiny springs and clips all in the right place.

Realizing my close brush with printer-death, I decided to buy the service contracts going forward, and have had machines replaced twice - for free, under the contract - in the last 10 or 15 years or so.

I have the HP Officejet Pro 8500A Premium, which is not the current model. The current model, HP Officejet Pro 8600, lists for $199.99 on the HP Website. The printer uses four separate ink cartridges, and HP claims the price per copy of color copies rivals color laser printers.

Posted by:

old gobbo
12 Feb 2013

One important point for me is ease of use. I have an HP C4500 (at least that’s what it’s called over here in cheese-eating country – also known as the HP37BF74) Printer/Copier/Scanner, which is economical and reasonably speedy. When I tried to get one for my ex who also has a home business, turned out the C4500 was discontinued and the nearest replacement was the HP B8500. (These both cost around 100€, 2-3 years ago - probably 50% more than you pay in the States.)
First, and unlike my dear C4500, the new one was a cow (and I apologise to cows, damn it, I like cows) to set up - I eventually had to settle for a lead rather than WiFi, and even then it was by no means easy to connect. It is much slower to warm up and in printing, and shakes about on the desk like an old-fashioned washing machine. But the worst thing is the touch screen controls.

To copy something, you press the screen and the choices light up. So you navigate to Copy. Then it offers you the choice of BW or Colour, and 10 times out of 10 you have to navigate to BW – it is not the first choice. Then it ask how many copies and you have to navigate again to get to 1. By that time, I feel it would be quicker to go 10 minutes away round to my place and do it there, where I press one button and get a copy.
But everyone seems to be going over to touch screens, and I fear the worst when it comes to getting a new machine.

Posted by:

James
12 Feb 2013

I purchased a Canon MP970 several years ago. It had 7 ink cartridges but the printing was fantastic. I downloaded Canon's MP Navigator for pdf's which was great. I did have some problem in finding it but called Canon and it took them less than 10 minuets to get it downloaded. The cost of the cartridges were a concern at first but then I discovered that you could find them online for about $5 each. For a small home office my printer gets used almost every day. It's a real workhorse.

Posted by:

Stuart Berg
12 Feb 2013

A Continuous Ink Supply System (CISS) is the way to REALLY save money on printers. I have an HP Officejet Pro 8000 Wireless printer and have used a CISS with it since the day the first cartridge ran out of ink. It's dramatically less expensive to just buy the ink instead of buying cartridges. The CISS makes it a breeze to add ink to the system. I use this one http://adaptiveink.com/ and have been very happy with it.

Posted by:

Steve
12 Feb 2013

Many printer companies follow the razor blade marketing concept--sell the printer cheaply and then charge a lot for ink cartridges. There is a long standing war going on between ink cartridge manufacturers and cartridge refillers. The manufacturers have lost lawsuits against refillers and try to prevent refilling by putting chips on cartridges that hamper or prevent refilling. I just refuse to pay $30-$40 for an ink cartridge and have been refilling my own for many years. I will also buy refilled cartridges. I have mostly older HP printers whose cartridges do not have chips in them. They are built so much sturdier than the new ones and are workhorses that always work.
Another thing to consider is whether or not the printer has print heads in the cartridges or permanent or semi-permanent ones in the printer. In the event of stubborn printhead clogs, one can always choose to replace the cartridge and get a new printhead on those so equipped. On printers with permanent or semi-permanent printheads, it can be a real headache to clear a stubborn clog and expensive to replace the printhead.
Before buying a printer, I always look up as to how much cartridges cost and whether they are available refilled

Posted by:

Rick
12 Feb 2013

I have an HP photosmart C7280 All-in-one. It has served me well. I'm told that HP doesn't support it any longer but I see no need to replace it because it just keeps printing. It does everything and everyone in the house is connected to it wirelessly. I have had cartridges expire before they went dry so I just buy the less expensive ones. I will be buying another HP when this one bits the dust but the way it is going that might be awhile.

Posted by:

East-Slope Charlie
13 Feb 2013

MY first printer was an HP Desk-top - B&W only, it worked so hard and so long in a student lab I ran, (think hundreds of pages a day until midterms or finals), that when it started to not pick up papers and the tooth-brush, alcohol, and scrubbing the rubber wheels didn't work, I was told: it's cheaper to get a new one than clean this one. The college threw it out and I saved it from the trash bin. It STILL works as a semi-reliable back-up (IF I pay attention to the arrow on the paper and fan the paper first). My next printer was a 'special' - again an HP 'all-in-one' office. Bought it CHEAP from a friend who belonged to the 'club' where it was sold. Problem, 10 years later it STILL won't send scans to the computer!!!!! So be VERY careful to READ what a printer will and won't do.

The 'Special' was picked up by a friend as a 'super deal' -- and I didn't get to read what it did and wouldn't (couldn't) do. But in my book, an HP will go outdated before it breaks (says my 20 year old printer in the basement which proves it - say!!, I wonder if a Diamond Dell fingernail file will let those glazed wheels pick up paper easier rather than jamming with several sheets grabbed all at once??? -- that file kept my Land Rover Series IIa with 550,000 mi. running for 2 years in one grad program when there wasn't money to buy points, plugs, or such. - the Diamond Dell saved me then, it just might save you when tooth-brushes and Ethanol fail) Next time I need it, I'll give it a try.

For all you who believed in NEAR LETTER QUALITY (NLQ) -- the HP was the first one that REALLY DID IT! --

One magazine which accepts NO advertizing dollars (subscription supported only) rates the

HP 7570 photosmart @ $100 as top of their test and a recommended 'Best buy' (without having a company pay for that rating as another magazine with a similar title does). @ $0.08/month (??sic!??)for paper and ink. This is about what the HP is across the board.

"The HP Photosmart 7520 prints using inkjet technology, which sprays liquid ink onto the paper from a moving head. It prints very good photos on glossy paper that most people would be happy with. Photo printing was very quick, only 0.8 minute for a 4x6, costing 35 cents. On plain paper, it prints very good 8x10 color photos, which are fine for casual viewing. Plain paper photos printed very quickly, in less than a minute. It prints text very well, nearly as good as a laser printer. Text printing was reasonably fast, 9.4 pages per minute, costing 5.3 cents per page. It prints color graphics such as charts and web pages beautifully, in presentation-quality, with no noticable defects. It has an auto duplex feature that lets you print on both sides of the page, though there's a slight loss of quality. Individual cartridges for each color let you change only the ones that are empty." from magazines web site 2/12/13

Epson XP 800 @$280, is second in line and is also a best buy, but all Epsons seem to run in the $0.10-$0.11/mo. range for 'paper and ink'.

"The Epson Expression Premium XP-800 prints using . It prints excellent photos on glossy paper, making it one of the best models for photographers. Photo printing was reasonably fast, 1.6 minutes for a 4x6, costing 50 cents. On plain paper, it prints good 8x10 color photos, OK for non-critical uses. Plain paper photos printed very quickly, in less than a minute. It prints text very well, nearly as good as a laser printer. Text printing was very quick, 10.7 pages per minute, costing 4.9 cents per page. Its color graphics printing is very good for reports, newsletters and web pages. It has an auto duplex feature that lets you print both on sides of the page, with no loss of quality. Individual cartridges for each color let you change only the ones that are empty. There's a second tray for full-size paper, allowing you to load letterhead paper, for instance. The printer can print directly on inkjet-printable CDs and DVDs." From magazines web site 2/12/13

You can find this magazine on store racks, or better yet in a library (those places with books inside that are for lease, not sale). This allows you to look for newly tested models, plus a 'yearly buyers guide' will let you compare brands year by year to see if they are good for only X years before Y fails. By law this magazine cannot allow it's name to be used in ANY kind of advertizing. The Librarian will whisper the name to you if you don't know it. They say the speed is for a sample size of 5 pages, using the average per page to calculate the cost/page.

The LOW seems to be in the $0.05 range and the high seems to be in the $0.10.x to $0.11.x range

Once there you can look for the one Bob mentions for $29.00. (ah, did I mention Bob mentioned one for, ah, $29.00?) But that was probably NOT for an 'all in one' printer. As the magazine points out ". . .[O]ne thing to consider when buying an all-in-one printer is that if one part breaks, the entire printer breaks."

Printers alone (bare bones) still has HP at 5 cents per text page, and others in the 11 cents to 13 cents per text page (Printers are $110 and $160 respectively, so price doesn't buy you economy of use).

A printer is my next purchase only because my 'feed tray' for copies (and faxes) has (finally) broken in a way I can't fix though the rest of the printer is perfect! - it's an HP! duh!

Posted by:

Michael Merrill
13 Feb 2013

One thing that I point out to clients looking at inkjet printers is to look for those that feature independent ink cartridges for each color. So that they do not have to replace a cartridge that carries all the colors when only one runs out.

Posted by:

Colin
13 Feb 2013

I was very impressed with your Inkjet common sense. You failed to mention however, or comment on the disabling action of waste pads. This is completely avoided by Octojet (http://www.octoink.co.uk/2m).
I have used this add-on successfully now for 2 years on my fortunately supported Epson Inkjet.

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