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Topic # 22384 26-May-2008 19:34
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Hi all,
I'm having my arm twisted to buy a printer for home.  I've never had a printer before, because it's always been easy and hassle free to use whatever is convenient at work.  However, the GF has a fancy camera and wants to print a few piccies at home, plus it's kind of useful to print out letters at home and be ready to post them, rather than trot around the office doing it.

So, the big question is, what comments, grizzles or recommendations do you have about brands, technologies, specs etc.

I've spent the weekend looking at a few specs and reviews online and am thoroughly unlightened.  What with printers not working when one colour has run out, printheads reported to fail after a few weeks, noisy printers, slow printers, colour not matching reality, paper jams, poor service, no service, cartridge cost, there is so much not said.  It's kind of noticeable that the reviewers (whether online or in magazines) are good at repeating vendors specs, but say very little about reliability and ongoing cost.  Perhaps they think they would put themselves out of work by telling the downsides to owning these.

So, what would be good to have some reaction on is:
Do you have an inkjet printer?
What brand?
what model?
How long have you had it?
Are you a light/medium/heavy user (make up your own definition if you like)?
Is the printer quality good?  for b/w & colour?
Is it noisy?
Is it slow?
Would you recommend the same again, or not?

Printers seem pretty cheap these days, as I presume they are making the money back on the consumables.  So, I don't mind spending upto $300 or $400 provided I don't live to regret it.

By the way, setup is a a home laptop with wifi to a 4 port router.  I would prefer to have 10/100 connection so that the printer can connect to the router in the office room, but many home printers seem to be only USB.

I also have a Thecus 2100 NAS on order http://www.pctronix.co.nz/product_info.php?products_id=10238 that can be setup as a print server with USB or 10/100.  Can't comment on how successful this might be yet.  Idea with this is to configure it wifi also, and lock it in a cupboard as a secure backup.

Hope the question prompts some response.

cheers to all,
FF

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  Reply # 133371 26-May-2008 20:00
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farfields: What with printers not working when one colour has run out

That's a result of many vendors stopping your printer from going ahead with more printing until you replace your cartridges (which can be worked around, but is annoying and very, very, very expensive)

farfields: printheads reported to fail after a few weeks

Well I haven't heard so such short term failures, print heads do fail at some point, and they seem to get more easily broken than ever.

farfields: noisy printers

Some are noisy - you can't judge a printer by it's noise, but...

farfields: slow printers

If you need quality - you will obviously have a slower printer than a person who sets it on draft. If you're after some quick document printing, then it doesn't matter that much unless you're always on edge (or just lazy and do things at the last minute)

farfields: colour not matching reality

That's the ink's problem. This is usually a worry for photo printing - and there are specialty cartridges out there - just for more $$$.

farfields: paper jams

Usually due to poor paper.

farfields: poor service, no service

Can't say much here.

farfields: cartridge cost

Always expensive if you go with the vendor's originals, with their fancy packaging, marketing and so forth. You are legally required to be given a choice to an alternative - so they can't force you to use theirs. Even when they say that warrantees will be broken for refilled or recycled cartridges, that is not true (unless the cartridge is to blame for damage)

farfields: So, what would be good to have some reaction on is:
Do you have an inkjet printer?
What brand?
what model?
How long have you had it?
Are you a light/medium/heavy user (make up your own definition if you like)?
Is the printer quality good?  for b/w & colour?
Is it noisy?
Is it slow?
Would you recommend the same again, or not?

  • My printer is an inkjet.
  • It's HP.
  • A Deskjet F4185 Multifunction.
  • Around 5 months
  • I'm a light user (but sometimes when I've got exam revision, heaps of paper gets wasted there)
  • Printing is sharp with original cartridges, but I refill them as I'm not into photo quality printing. It's just economical.
  • It's noisy alright.
  • Slow when on "Normal" - it's slow and a waste of ink. I use "draft normal" mode to save ink, but the quality is still very good.
  • Recommendation: 6/10. I would recommend it to a light home user, otherwise forget it.
farfields: Printers seem pretty cheap these days, as I presume they are making the money back on the consumables.

You are absolutely right there - my multifunction cost $47! Cartridges out there for it are at around $30 a pop! They've also gone down in ink volume - cheating us of more money. The retail cartridges for my one have a volume of 5mL!!!!

I can't really give you more advice, as I'm not really into printing.

Hope this sheds a little more light!




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Reply # 133378 26-May-2008 20:08
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Thanks for taking the time to reply.

any more out there....?

 
 
 
 


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Reply # 133384 26-May-2008 20:13
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manhinli: Always expensive if you go with the vendor's originals, with their fancy packaging, marketing and so forth. You are legally required to be given a choice to an alternative - so they can't force you to use theirs. Even when they say that warrantees will be broken for refilled or recycled cartridges, that is not true (unless the cartridge is to blame for damage)


You'd be surprised how often aftermarket cartridges do cause damage. When I managed the business machines department at a major retail chain the majority of faulty inkjet printers that I saw had had aftermarket cartridges used in them. Some aftermarket cartridges are better than others but you need to be really careful what you buy because an inkjet printer is a precision instrument with the ink nozzles being finer than a human hair so it is imperative that the purity and viscosity of the ink matches the manufacturer's specifications.

Most of my customers were in the sub-$400 market and I sold mainly three brands : HP, Epson and Canon. Anecdotally HP buyers were the least satisfied with Canon and Epson buyers being generally happy. Canon seemed to be slightly more reliable with Epson being slightly better for photo quality.

I was given a Dell all in one printer at the recent Wellington Geekzone meeting and it seems to be pretty good but I would want to use it for a few months before making a proper assessment of it. Dell seem to be targetting this market aggressively so it will be interesting to see how it pans out for them.

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  Reply # 133392 26-May-2008 20:22
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alasta: I was given a Dell all in one printer at the recent Wellington Geekzone meeting and it seems to be pretty good but I would want to use it for a few months before making a proper assessment of it. Dell seem to be targetting this market aggressively so it will be interesting to see how it pans out for them.

Aren't some Dell printers are the same as Lexmarks?




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Reply # 133401 26-May-2008 20:35
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manhinli: Aren't some Dell printers are the same as Lexmarks?


As far as I'm aware they were badge engineering Lexmarks some time ago but have since started making their own.

I would be willing to stand corrected on this though if anyone has any inside knowledge.

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  Reply # 133409 26-May-2008 20:51
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Reply # 133411 26-May-2008 20:59
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I've been reading...
http://www.epinions.com/Printers--reviews--technology__list__inkjet--prices--multifunction
to compare specs and read user reviews.  Nearly everything seems to have a horror story though.  Are the manfs dropping product quality so much that nothing is reliable?  I can (almost) understand making products this cheap with a short operating life (say < 3 yrs), but I don't how representative the bad reviews are.  I guess irate users are more inclined to make the effort to rant online...

I kind of like Canon, but wonder if a USB only connection will make me regret the inconvenience it may cause with laptop use.


FF

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Reply # 133415 26-May-2008 21:03
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farfields: I've been reading...
http://www.epinions.com/Printers--reviews--technology__list__inkjet--prices--multifunction
to compare specs and read user reviews.  Nearly everything seems to have a horror story though.  Are the manfs dropping product quality so much that nothing is reliable?  FF


I'm always cynical when it comes to user reviews as a lot of the whingers seem to have an axe to grind, or are simply suffering from operator error.

I'd recommend sticking to professional reviews whereever possible.

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  Reply # 134171 29-May-2008 14:43
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G'day mate! I have an Epson RX5000 I've had for a few years and I'd have t say I'm a light user because it's too darned expensive! It's one of those with six cartridges that won't print if just one is too low.

Quality is actually extremely good, but you have to be careful to replace cartridges at least two at a time, because if you replace one when another is low, it will run the other out during the print check upon installing the first. I once went through four cartridges at once doing that, including one that was 40% full when I started. Ouch!

The printer makers think they've got us overcharging for ink, but they don't really, because I upload my photos to Walmart and let them print them for 9 cents or 12 cents apiece. So who really wins? They're not selling me much ink after all.

I have been looking at color lasers. They are pretty cheap and good quality now, although they won't take photo paper. The toner claims 2000 pages at 5%, which sounds good until you do the math. That's only 100 8x10 photos, or 200 5x7's, etc. My brother has a new Canon inkjet and seems happy with it, but I haven't checked on his costs yet. For photos I recommend pigment based inks above dye-based inks for long-term retention. I have a friend who worked at HP who says that one of their nice office-grade ink jets is actually lower cost than a color laser.

I have heard though, that some of their models come with "demo" ink cartridges that are only half full, then you have to buiy new ones right away. Also, maybe look around teh web and see which models have 3rd party refillers that use larger bottles of ink for less money. Unfortunately mine doesn't.

And, STAY AWAY from cartridges that say they're out after a certain date, rather than based on the ink levels, or that can't be refilled because a logic chip expires them! I guess you pays your money and takes your choice. Good luck, and, Hooray!

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