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# 14997 30-Jul-2007 15:11
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Can anyone tell me if dot matrix printers can print photos/images/graphics? I understand that if they can it will be grainy and poor quality, but out of the box can it be done? Or can dot matrix printers ONLY print text?
I am planning on buying a modern colour dot matrix, but unsure if they can print images, etc.

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  # 80363 30-Jul-2007 15:15
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Yes. Dotmatrix can print anything that an inkjet can.

Of course, the question is, why would you want a dot matrix in this day and age, noisy, slow, rare and expensive (these days). Unless you want a wide carriage one or something?




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  # 80364 30-Jul-2007 15:20
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Why on earth would you want a dot matrix printer, I haven't seen a new one for years! The only purpose they serve these days is for business use where duplicate carbon copies are required for invoicing!


 
 
 
 




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  # 80365 30-Jul-2007 15:22
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Thanks for the reply. I tried looking for samples of graphics printed from a dot matrix and was having no luck, and after emailing printer manufacturers, their replies were dot matrix could only print text, but that seemed strange cos I'm pretty sure I used to print off low res pictures 11 years ago.

So if I did a printscreen or printout of a website, it will print in same layout with all text and graphics just as an inkjet does?




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  # 80367 30-Jul-2007 15:29
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I was only considering a dot matrix on running cost. I could buy a laser, but at $100 a toner per 3500 pages, thats pretty steep, considering I may print off a ream in a day. From what specs I've read, a dot matrix should cost $15 per 2000 pages.
My inkjet is cheap to run compared with other inkjets, but even that costs $24 per 500 pages (continuous).

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  # 80373 30-Jul-2007 15:36
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So if I did a printscreen or printout of a website, it will print in same layout with all text and graphics just as an inkjet does?



Provided the driver supports it then yes certainly, a dot matrix is basically a noisy, slow, low resolution inkjet, just instead of squirting ink it hammers it out of a ribbon. Of course, finding a driver for a modern Windows/Mac machine might be your hardest job, if you're running Linux, I'm sure ghostscript would still support it no trouble.




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  # 80377 30-Jul-2007 15:45
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Comradehunt: I was only considering a dot matrix on running cost. I could buy a laser, but at $100 a toner per 3500 pages, thats pretty steep, considering I may print off a ream in a day. From what specs I've read, a dot matrix should cost $15 per 2000 pages.
My inkjet is cheap to run compared with other inkjets, but even that costs $24 per 500 pages (continuous).


Printing a ream of paper on a Dot Matrix will take more than a day!

There isn't really any way to beat the running cost of a laser, you just have to pick the right laser.




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  # 80379 30-Jul-2007 15:54
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Plus they sound terrible...

 
 
 
 




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# 80380 30-Jul-2007 15:54
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Are they really that shocking?

I remember in 1990 my first dot matrix on the highest quality setting would take 3 passes to do top half of lettering, then 3 passes to do bottom, so it took ages, and was noisy.

But thats NLQ, I thought super draft would be much faster. Specs I read say 300 characters per second. Elsewhere read typical page has 1,500 characters, so I though it would be 5 seconds a page. My inkjet does text page in 3 seconds.

The stuff I print is just read, then shredded, so quality is not important.

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  # 80383 30-Jul-2007 15:59
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If you're just printing draft-quality black text (and I mean, straight ascii text, not like a word document), then the dm may equal the inkjet for speed, may.

But, I have to ask, do you really need to kill so many trees? Print-read-shred, 500 pages a day? What's wrong with email?




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  # 80391 30-Jul-2007 16:22
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Ok, firstly lots of computer shops sell new dot matrix printers, even dick smith does.

I don't print off 500 pages a day, every day, but I can print up to that in a day. For an example, if I go geocaching, I might need to print off 50 pages for 1 day. Maybe other people carry their laptops around with them, but thats a bit inconvienient when carrying everything else.

Also I need shredded paper as packaging, so this way packaging is free, otherwise if I didn't have so much paper to shred, I'd have to pay big $$ for it. We have recycling bins where i live, so even if it wasn't reused, it would be recycled.

Also as far as noise, my old 17 year old one was 65 dB. Modern ones are Approx. 47.5 dB. This is quite an improvement if you understand logarithmic scales. So I thought the noise would not be that bad. Especially when considering my Epson inkjet is 42 dB.

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# 80393 30-Jul-2007 16:26
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You are talking about a technology which saw the last enhancement probably 15 years ago! Draft quality on dot matrix is poor - can't even compare with low quality inkjet. And you won't print anything decent - or readable - involving graphics on draf. Other than this it will take forever to print a single page.







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  # 82867 19-Aug-2007 10:49
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I bought a heap of old printers of all types, plus a brand new Epson Lx-300+ dot matrix.

My conclusion is that yes dot matrix printer can print anything, from text right through to full page photos.

My new dot matrix prints twice the speed of say an older star lc-20 or lc-100, the head prints in both directions and moves at twice the speed. It is also quieter than old dot matrix printers by heaps, and I'd even say its quieter than my Brother HL-630 laser printer. This is probably due to sponge bits inside the printer, and fact it is all enclosed much better than old printers.

As for speed, the inkjet drills the new dot matrix for 3 second draft mode with plain text, but the inkjet does a really rough job at that speed, so it is not a very fair comparison.
To print off in NLQ text, the dot matrix is same speed if not slightly faster than inkjet.
Printing full page graphics/photos is where the inkjet speeds ahead (obviously), but even so, the dot matrix does an A4 photo in about 3 - 5 minutes. And yeah, the dot matrix doesn't even compare in quality, but its still readable, I've even printed off road maps ok with it.

I have also bought a colour dot matrix (old), and it will arrive next week, so then I'll be able to see how good colour dot matrix printouts are.

And i did get a secondhand laser, which had very little use (only just had 2nd toner put in), but it arrived ruined - it prints black lines all over page and has repeating images on page, and loose toner on the back. I took it to a computer shop who said it was not economical to repair, and that it was caused by fact it was shipped to me with toner/drum installed.

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