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Printer The Almighty Buck

Which All-in-One Inkjet Printer is Cheapest to Use? 119

Posted by Cliff
from the easy-on-the-wallet-please dept.
Ray asks: "A year or so ago, I got my dad a new computer system that included a Canon PX-160 printer/scanner/copier to replace his aging Lexmark with similar capabilities. On my next visit, I asked him how the new printer was working and he said the ink was killing him. The cartridges are expensive, they don't have much ink in them and there are no third party or refilled carts for it or (apparently) any other Canon. It looks like HP and Lexmark are the most likely to have (relatively) inexpensive supplies but what has your experience been with inkjet All-in-Ones as far as TCO goes?"
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Which All-in-One Inkjet Printer is Cheapest to Use?

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  • by blackmonday (607916) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @01:48PM (#19598309) Homepage
    Cheap Inkjets? "Nothing for you to see here. Please move along." Has never been so appropriate!
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Nothing for you to see here.
      A cheap inkjet with ink might fix that!
    • While the price was about $150, my HP5510 does great with ink usage. When I was starting a business and we had to run on a budget, we got a $60 Epson and it burned through ink. In the long run, it would have been cheaper to just buy a new printer each time the black ink ran out, it was that bad. I think I had to refill it ever month to six weeks. Under the same usage, I don't have to buy ink for the HP5510 that often. It goes over a year before I have to refill the ink. I don't print pictures much, bu
      • by rtb61 (674572)
        I had the opposite problem, I wasn't printing much at all, and my ink jet catrdiges were drying out on their own. It was costing me something like $5.00 per page. So got a laser multi function instead, a dramatic saving on printing costs.
        • Laser is absolutely the way to go. My side-gig (real estate) is one that uses an astonishing amount of paper, and I would highly recommend a laser all-in-one to anyone whose printing needs are high enough that the cost of ink is killing them. The high up-front cost of the laser will be recovered soon enough by low per-page costs.

          Or if they're like you, and the cartridges dry up. I've found that HP are very good about not drying up, but Lexmark/Dell is terrible. Someone gave my wife a free Dell all-in-one af
  • Wal-mart (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Captain Splendid (673276) <capsplendid.gmail@com> on Thursday June 21, 2007 @01:50PM (#19598321) Homepage Journal
    Get a b&w printer for regular crap. For photos, let somebody else handle the headache at a cheap price: Wal-mart (or whatever floats your boat.)
    • Work-mart (Score:2, Insightful)

      by twitter (104583)

      For photos, let somebody else handle the headache at a cheap price: Wal-mart (or whatever floats your boat.

      That works out well, actually. There are very few pictures most people actually want to print, but then you get good quality for a fraction of what ink costs, let alone the printer. Add in a few gimp edits and you have nice holiday cards.

      For regular stuff, there's the printer at work. Who else wants print anymore anyway? The digital copy is more portable and durable.

      We are all on one big c

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by fimbulvetr (598306)
        100% agreed. b&w and anything more have them printed. Walgreens lets you upload photos to their site for pickup in an hour and they cost like 20 cents a piece or something. For the number of pics I actually need of good quality, it's well in my favor to use walgreens and keep a p.o.s. b&w around for the every once in a while things.

        The other day, I had them print 5 photos off and it cost me a buck - o - seven or so. They probably lost most of their margin on the visa I used to pay for it.
      • by tepples (727027)

        Who else wants print anymore anyway? The digital copy is more portable and durable.
        Not everybody owns a laptop to look at a digital copy away from his/her computer, a relative's computer, or the computer in the break room.
    • Black and white laser for $79.
      Toner for $30.

      Done for a few years. Never clogged when you need it. Does not run in water. Sharp dots- not fuzzy.

      And yes- pay to print pictures at your local walgreens. then you get actual plasticy photos.
      • by Calinous (985536)
        I've printed more than a thousand pages with a cheap laser printer (some Canon), and it is still in great shape. When time to refill the toner will come, it might cost some $15.
        At work, one of the toners was refilled four times until print quality dropped, another was filled 2 times, and the current one is on the second refill - and prints like new. At a quarter of the cost of a new toner, it is quite cheap.
        As a comparation, we use a HP 145 officejet multifunction
  • by R2.0 (532027) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @01:50PM (#19598327)
    absolutely any LASER all-in-one printer.
    • Just mentioned this on here earlier today, but Kodak has a new line of multifunctions....$10 black $15 for the 5-color cartridge. Definately the cheapest in the long run (black is supposed to last ~300 pages of text).
  • by eakerin (633954) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @01:52PM (#19598361) Homepage
    Last time I was in the market for a new printer, I got a laser all in one (HP 3052). That was 6 months ago, and I'm still on the toner cartridge that came with it. Of course, the woman and I are relatively light on the printer (only a few hundred pages since we got it)

    It cost me about $300 to buy, so there's a significant initial investment. But it's very fast, reliable, and toner is very cheap compared to ink, and lasts a long time.

    My previous laser lasted me 10 years. I expect this one to do the same.
    • by Rei (128717)
      I went *to* a Canon *from* an HP. I had absolutely no luck with HP PSC 950 refills working, so I was stuck with their uber-expensive official cartridges. I decided that, so long as printer companies are allowed to get away with all of the tricks needed to sabotage the refill market (as they are currently), I'm not going to mess with that headache. I value my time more than that. At least Canon's Pixma 530 (my printer)'s official cartridges are cheap compared to how much you get out of them. Printer is
      • I did too, and found that Canon deservedly has the best reputation of all the inkjet vendors for having refillable/individual cartriges. I'll likely buy another... --dave
        • by Kiralan (765796) *
          That is what I have done, as well. The only issue nowadays, is that Canon is putting a custom chip on each cartridge that, once a cartridge has run out, refuses to monitor ink levels. It requires you to tell the print driver to go ahead without monitoring the level, by holding the resume button on the printer for 5 seconds, once for each refilled cartridge, any time you open and close the access lid. If you are willing to refill it yourself (Stores typically don't refill the 'chipped' models) and keep tabs
          • by Ray (88211)
            That's my current tactic. I just got a couple of refill kits for the thing that I'll probably try out this weekend. Glad to hear some success stories in that regard.
    • by TeknoHog (164938) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @03:36PM (#19599877) Homepage Journal

      the woman and I are relatively light on the printer

      I hope you used the scanner part while on the printer. Lonely Slashdotters want pictures.

  • I have a Canon MP600 Printer/Scanner and I can purchase refill kits for it or refilled ink. (web search will find plenty for sale. Also there is a Cartridge World close tome that sells the refilled inks) I think the Canon ink is not that expensive. I have had my printer for about 6 months and just replaced the black cartridge. I printed a couple hundred pages (almost no color) on one cartridge. The new Canon branded cartridge cost me ~$18. I have only printed a couple of pictures with the printer so the col

  • Go to alotofthings.com. They have some good info on refilling Canon carts, and sell aftermarket ones (for my model at least).
  • Two devices (Score:4, Informative)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Thursday June 21, 2007 @01:58PM (#19598431) Homepage Journal
    You get nailed for trying to do an inkjet AIO. I got a Brother 7820N (refurb) for about $179 which is a laser AIO and then I have an Epson R220 (about $79 at Sam's Club) for printing photos, brochures, business cards, and CD's. I use InkjetMadness cartridges when they're on special ($28 for 12 single-color carts or so) and Taiyo-Yuden inkjet-printable CD's and DVD's (supermediastore or others). I think I'm still on the starter toner with the Brother, as I try to not print anything for in-house use.

    Another upside is my B&W communications (letters, whitepapers, invoices) look more professional as laser-prints.
    • I have that Brother, the toner carts seems to have a lot less toner than other brands with similarly priced toner, maybe a third or half the toner as the cart for my HP laser.

      I only use inkjet for photo printing, everything else I just use a laser. I hope to buy a color laser soon.
      • Remember with the brother printers you will eventually have to replace the drum unit as the HPs have the drum integrated into the toner cartridge. I know this because I have a Brother HL-2040 that I bought when my old Epson went to shit on me.
        • by walt-sjc (145127)
          And if you go for a slightly better printer, you get a $200 maint. kit (with drum) that lasts 100K pages AND has cheap toner bottles resulting in printing costs that are 1/2 the brother or HP units. HP's workgroup and above printers are tanks, but can be a little expensive to operate. I personally avoid SOHO printers from any manufacture as they are slow, expensive to operate, and don't last. If you are willing to deal with messy refill kits, you can get 3x the pages from the all-in-one toner / drum style p
      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        I have that Brother, the toner carts seems to have a lot less toner than other brands with similarly priced toner, maybe a third or half the toner as the cart for my HP laser.

        I only use inkjet for photo printing, everything else I just use a laser. I hope to buy a color laser soon.

        Yeah, they're rated for 2,500 pages rather than the normal 5,000 pages. Still, the cost of a toner cartridge is around the cost of a set of ink cartridges ($60), and lasts way longer. Heck, until a couple months ago, we were still

    • I'd second this notion. Does he really need a copier/scanner? Does he need color? It'd be cheaper in the long run to get a laser AIO if he doesn't need color. If he does for the occasional color photo he wants to print, I'd think it'd be cheaper to throw the image on a thumb drive or cd and take it to Walmart's self serve photo machine, as long as he isn't printing tons of color photos, of course.

      I got rid of my inkjet after the 3rd time I had to buy $35 ink cartridges that had dried up because I hadn't
      • by Ray (88211)
        He does use the thing as a copier and he prints color charts. We'll definitely reevaluate the color need when this thing croaks.
  • by scuba_steve_1 (849912) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:04PM (#19598525)
    I have an HP PSC 1350 all-in-one inkjet printer, scanner, and copier...with built-in card readers.

    Put me in the minority, but I love it. I have had it for years and just this week replaced my first B&W cartridge. I am still on the original color cartridge. Yes, I don't print every single day, but I do print fairly regularly.

    The printer was bargain at $79 (US)...and getting the scanner was a nice benefit, which I have used many times. An OEM HP B&W ink cartridge costs $17 and an OEM color cartridge costs about twice that. Given that I have only spent $17 on the printer since I bought it and that only a fraction of that money goes to HP, I think they are still in the hole on this one...and I probably don't have much to complain about.

    Price per page? Who knows, but if he prints that much, then you should consider a laser. Yes, consumables are expensive, but they sell inkjet printers at a loss...and they have to make it up somehow. That is the business model. It benefits people like me and penalizes heavy print users.

    If he is bothered that much by the cost, I suggest having him estimate page per month counts for printing, faxing, and copying...and then perform a TCO for various all-in-one inkjets, lasers, and dedicated devices for each task based on their initial cost and cost of consumables. Honestly, if the quality of inkjets is inadequate, I would think that some model will still win out. The consumables on my color laser printer at work aren't exactly a bargain.

    Another benefit of the all-in-one inkjet approach - I have one device, which does not take up much room, and it was so inexpensive that I will not even think twice about replacing it when it eventually breaks.
    • by EnderGT (916132)
      I have a PSC 1350 also, and it has more than paid for itself over the 2 years I've had it, even counting the 2 refills I've had to buy (We've had to use it to do a lot of printing... my wife uses it to print holiday cards, birthday cards, etc, we print photos, used it to print legal documents, etc).

      As the previous poster noted, it's also quite compact, a nice neat rectangle. You can put things on top of its flat surface, although this does hamper the scanning utility somewhat.

      The scanner works quite wel

    • by groovebot (999254)
      I've got an HP PSC 1210 (basically the same as the 13xx series, but without the card readers) and I like it as well. It's quite good on ink and the scanner works well.

      As far as *NIX support goes (if that even matters in this case): CUPS, hpijs, and hplip (for scanner support). On the plus side, hpijs is now included in hplip ;) Everything works.
  • Google? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by halcyon1234 (834388) <halcyon1234@hotmail.com> on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:07PM (#19598547) Journal
    Is it so hard to type "Inkjet Reviews" into Google? If it's too hard, here's a link right to it. [itreviews.co.uk]. Or look up ink prices on eBay.

    I'm all for pulling on the knowledge of the tech community, but seriously-- this isn't exactly difficult information to find. I've seen some pretty nifty questions asked on Slashdot, about things like cosmic rays [slashdot.org], full-house renovation tips [slashdot.org], clever telemarketer avoidance techniques [slashdot.org], and even which button not to press [slashdot.org].

    But seriously-- this is about a half-step away from Slashdot's front page being a place to ask "ne1 gt dell cupn codz?"

    Forget RTFA-- try STFG (Search The Floving Google)

    • by Ray (88211)
      Thanks but been there done that and it's not all that useful. Let me give you a tip I'm surprised a smart guy like hasn't picked up on, yet. When I see a link on /. to an article that is of no interest to me I don't click it.
  • The one at work.

    I kid. Actually my university forces students to buy 1500 pages of what they call a "print subsidy". If we don't use it by the end of the semester, we lose it (and don't get any money back). This is counter productive to saving resources, because people will print off books like Dante's Inferno rather than leave themselves with 1400 pages of printable paper at the end of the semester. This is the reason why I don't own a printer.

    Plus, I print stuff out so rarely that the place I work a
  • I just picked up new ink (Black and Color) for my Lexmark bubble jet printer. The Lexmark brand combo pack was $59.99. Buying both ink cartridges individually under OfficeMax's label for refurbished units cost ~$55.

    Not sure if having alternative's available for ink will really save you that much money.

    -Rick
  • by nweaver (113078) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:13PM (#19598635) Homepage
    If you use them a lot, the ink costs a fortune per page, several times what a laser printer costs per page, so that a more expensive laser printer quickly becomes cheaper to own.

    But if you don't use them a lot, the ink evaporates and the inkjet clogs up and stops working, forcing you to buy even more cartridges, so that a more expensive laser printer quickly becomes cheaper to own.

    Buy a laser printer based all-in-one.
    • by Kohath (38547)
      I agree with this. I rarely print, but when I want to print, I want it to work.

      When I had an inkjet, it never worked because it got dusty and the printhead smeared the ink. I bought a laser printer. They are more-or-less impervious to dust. And they are getting cheap now.
    • by jabuzz (182671)
      Add to that there are some incredibly cheap colour lasers now, and online and walk in services to put your photos on real photographic paper it seals the deal entirely.
    • Plug and play, no drilling, no mess, no chip re-setting. About $130 from here:

      http://www.echostore.com/coinksy.html [echostore.com]

      I haven't tried it yet but it looks pretty good.
  • by bevoblake (1106117) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:14PM (#19598649)
    Kodak came out with a line of printers they were trying to sell by touting the cheap ink [arstechnica.com]. For a lazy person like me (who has also managed to spill ink from a do-it-yourself refill onto my carpet), I'd prefer to go buy a cartridge and not think about it. If you're printing a heap of pages, the Kodak might be the cheapest than the competition due to their cheap ink strategy. Anybody used tried them yet?
  • The cheapest way to get photo quality prints of photos is to get them made at the local photo store.

    The cheapest way to print anything else is a laser printer. I have a Konica Minolta which can also do magazine-quality photos, is networkable, and under $400.

    Also, generally all-in-one devices are crap compared to separate ones.
  • I need one of these for my wife. She is all set for an ink-jet and I just don't want to maintain one. It doesn't have to be backpackable, just not huge. It needs to move, by car, at least 6 times a year.

    Thanks!
    • by walt-sjc (145127)
      If you want color, they are going to be big. No choice. The better ones are also quite heavy - 100lbs is not uncommon.
      B&W lasers / AIO's can be a lot smaller and lighter.
      • Don't need color. Sorry, should have mentioned that.
        • Smallest B&W laser goes to the Brother HL-2040 (or 2070 if you like network). It retails for $119.98, but I've seen it down to $79. The network version is $149.99.

          Toner: Brother TN-350 $62.99, 2500 pages at 5% page coverage (letter/a4 size)
          Drum: Brother DR-350 $108.99, 12000 pages

          The one I recommend:

          HP LaserJet 1020 (not available with network). Retails for $179.99, but I've also seen this one down to $79.99

          Toner: HP 12A $69.98, 2000 pages at 5% page coverage (letter/a4 size)
          Drum: Included in HP 12A car
  • by evilviper (135110) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:18PM (#19598721) Journal
    That's an extremely strange question... A bit like asking "Which Hummer Has The Best Gas Mileage?"

    Getting an inkjet guarantees high prices, lots of maintenance (eg. cleaning) etc. Then, getting an all-in-one printer ensures operating costs will be more expensive still, with a low-end printer, low-end scanner, etc., all in one.

    I have a hard time imagining any scenario where space could possibly be that limited, so I have to believe you're just unaware of those problems, or have been sucked-in by the advertising.

    IMHO, a B&W laser printer is the best way to go... Cheap purchase price, cheap consumables, far better looking text, and 10X faster than any inkjet printer. Color is unnecessary for the vast majority of people, the vast majority of time, but if you really want it, consumables for a color laser printer aren't much more expensive.
    • I have a hard time imagining any scenario where space could possibly be that limited, so I have to believe you're just unaware of those problems, or have been sucked-in by the advertising.

      A typical sales conversation goes like this:

      Me: What kind of printer are you looking for?
      Customer: Ooooh I want an All-In-One(tm). [Typical positive response to advertising hype.]
      M: I can't recommend one of those unless you really need one. We have much nicer scanners separate for a fraction of the price.
      C: My home

  • Bought it a few years ago. It was only on the market for a few months it seems, replaced by the 1600. The 1600 uses cartridges that are like $15-20; the 1500 cartridges consistently cost $8 or less. So I see why they discontinued the 1500. If you can find one, snag one!

    It even survived a printing on silly putty experiment by the kids.
  • i'll have to agree with others on this list. i used to run inkjets... epson, canon, lexmark... but they drink thsoe carts like crazy..AND if you dont use them in a while they become painful with nozzle cleaning etc etc. I got an HP 2600n a while back and though the initial outlay was higher, the printing is quicker cleaner and the running costs are lower. for really fancy printing (eg glossy 8x6 photos) i prefer to just head to local supermarket and use their 10p per picture printing service.
  • kodak (Score:5, Informative)

    by Surt (22457) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:30PM (#19598903) Homepage Journal
    http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-pa th=10581&pq-locale=en_US [kodak.com]

    Their new printers have half the ink costs of their closest competitors.
    • by walt-sjc (145127)
      Yeah, but half the cost of ink is still 5x-20x the cost of laser, and you still have the clogging problems.
      • by Surt (22457)
        I assumed he wanted an inkjet for some reason (since he requested an inkjet), for example, printing photos.
  • Apple Stylewriter II (Score:3, Interesting)

    by charleste (537078) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:34PM (#19598953)
    I bought my Apple Stylewriter II in 1991-93 (somewhere in grad school). It still works great, I can get cheap cartridges and/or refill. For a black and white indestructible printer, the quality is fantastic, and the cost (~$150 in 1991) is VERY cheap per year.
  • HP PSC 1410v (Score:3, Informative)

    by pembo13 (770295) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:41PM (#19599041) Homepage
    • Under $20 per cartridge at Walmart
    • USB
    • Works with Linux fully
    • Works with Windows fully
    • Works with some print servers
    • Light (weight)
    • Low maintenance
  • Stylus Scan 2500 (Score:3, Informative)

    by JoeCommodore (567479) <larry@portcommodore.com> on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:46PM (#19599107) Homepage
    - the 3rd party inks are about $3 each
    - inktanks aren't chiped
    - there is a lot of good web articles on maintenece.
    - provides a flatbet scanner and inkjet.
    - interfaces for USB and Parallel
    - The downsidse is is is slow compared to more recent machines
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by sfcfagwdse (805746)
      A similar printer/scanner/copier/fax minus the parallel port is the Brother MFC-210C. I pick up ink refill tanks at the dollar store and just use a syringe to fill them up. A $1 refill tank lasted me through an entire school year. The only problem is the quality isn't on par with the latest stuff. Oh and it has good Linux drivers too.
    • Yes, my Stylus Scan 2500 cost me $40 used.

      This was a quality business scanner & printer for it's time.

      I disassembled one ink cartridge to understand how the ink feed works. (Hacksaw around seam in top cover plate, wash pieces in sink ). Now that I have seen how the cartridge is arranged, I use bulk refill ink in a bottle with a stainless steel needle tip. I leave the cartridge in the printer, lift up a piece of tape, squeeze in 20 ml, run clean heads three times.

      The flatbed scanner is pretty good. Scans
  • Does anyone know if the Canon MP830 HAS to use the CLI carts instead of the less expensive BCI carts? Can I use BCI cartridges in it?
  • Basically we can't answer this question without having some clue of what and how much he's printing. Is it 5000 B&W text documents? Is he a big photo nut printing 500 full 8x10 photos? Does he only print in red ink? :P

    Once you understand what he's trying to do you can attack this from 2 ways.

    1) Get a printer that suits his need.
    2) make him aware about how he's using so much ink.
  • I bought a Brother MFC-5460CN this past spring for under $100 after rebate, but it looks like Office Depot may be screwing me out of the rebate which was $40 or $50. They claimed I didn't send in the UPC from the box (which I certainly did) and I haven't heard anything since I called to argue with them and mailed them photocopies of the UPC and the original paperwork.

    Anyway, I've had it for 3 or 4 months now and the software says the ink cartridges are about half full. I just ordered replacement cartridges,
    • by rueger (210566) *
      I've set up a couple Brother all in ones in the last year or so.

      Certainly not the fastest machines on the planet, and not the best print quality, but for general use they're cheap to buy, the ink is relatively inexpensive and they seem happy with refill cartidges.

      For $100-150 CDN (watch for deals) they offer OK printing, scanning, faxing, as well as being network capable, which makes them perfect for typical home wireless networks.

      Personally I've always defaulted for mid range HP printers, but the
  • by bigbigbison (104532) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @03:50PM (#19600143) Homepage
    If all you are doing is black and white stuff there's no contest -- buy a laser printer. I don't know anything about color laser printers since I don't have one but But I went from taking forever for papers to print out, clogged ink heads, and empty ink cartridges to a laser printer that was fast, never given me a bit of trouble and had a toner cartridge that lasted 3 years.
  • Whatever you do, do NOT buy Lexmark. In my experience, it's cheaper to throw out a Lexmark printer and buy a new one than buy a new cartridge for it. I use Canon, and I have no problems. $20 cartridges (with 20% off next purchase if I give back the empty one) - not Canon brand obviously. HP is fairly meh. Brother is ATROCIOUS.
  • Seriously, does anyone know of any dot matrix fax machines being made anywhere? I loved dot matrix, it was ridiculously reliable, and whether the ribbon is out of ink is highly subjective so you can limp along for ages if you don't care that much (I'm really sick of my OfficeJet 500 cutting me off because it let all my ink evaporate ... again ... since I hardly get any faxes). A 24-pin dot matrix printer might not be quite up to inkjet resolution, but it's still OK, and doesn't have the smudging/streaking
    • by vux984 (928602)
      If you hardly get any faxes switch to an internet fax service. You get a phone number (or toll free number), and a certain number of free incoming / outgoing pages per month, and after that its rated per page.

      Incoming faxes are automatically sent to you via email as PDF, or BMP, JPG attachments (usually your choice).

      You can also send out, by sending your email to a particular address, with the destination phone number, in the subject line, and they can usually take, word, excel, pdf, and image files as atta
  • Epson printers (and hence the all-in-one machines based on them) have substantially less intelligence in the cartridge than HP, Lexmark or Canon and are thus generally far cheaper for 3rd party inks.

    The only snag is that the printhead isn't built into the cartridge and can (if not used regularly) be prone to clogging.

    Though to be honest, I am of the opinion that unless you have a very particular need for an inkjet printer today (and I'm hard pressed to think what that need might be...), you're a fool to buy
  • I work in cartridge world and lexmark are the dearest and a big crap people call them toy printers HP or Canon is a good choice and I guarantee that any franchise of CW can reman or refill 99% of any f-in inkjet or laser supplies on the market there is a few we cannot because of manufacturers and other crap
    • I work in cartridge world and lexmark are the dearest and a big crap people call them toy printers HP or Canon is a good choice and I guarantee that any franchise of CW can reman or refill 99% of any f-in inkjet or laser supplies on the market there is a few we cannot because of manufacturers and other crap
      Yeah, I had my fill of Cartridge World when the wrong color ink went into my cartridges.

      Crap is relative, no?

  • HP Laserjet 3052
    HP Laserjet 3055
    HP Laserjet 3352
    HP Laserjet 3390

    Avoid these, as HP is saving a few pennies by putting 4 meg roms in, instead of 8's.. to make room they removed PCL5e support.. this makes printing off an AS/400 or with premade forms that rely on PCL5e rather difficult.
  • Canon? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Zero_DgZ (1047348)
    Later Canons, notably the Pixma series (like mine) use ink cartridges that are actual cartridges. Unlike traditional "cartridges," where a cheap print head is built into the cart, a better print head is built into the printer. The print heads are in the carts to lower the cost of the printer (E.g. Lexmark $19.99 Wal Mart specials) but jacks up the cost of the ink (30-35 dollars for a color cart for said Lexmark...) when the balance of cost could be put elsewhere.

    I dunno from the model the OP is describing
    • I sell printers daily and, I confess, being a common consumer myself, I bias all my sales towards the best deal for the customer. Based on everything he said about the printer...

      • Canon
      • PX-160
      • printer/scanner/copier
      • The cartridges are expensive, they don't have much ink in them and there are no third party or refilled carts for it

      ...it looks like he meant the Canon PIXMA MP160.

      This uses those cartridges that have the cheap head built in. I try not to sell these kind of printers. Instead I show custome

      • by Zero_DgZ (1047348)
        The various Canons that take two black ink tanks actually have two black print heads. In the case of mine, the smaller tank (the 5 black) is routed through the normal print head for printing photos and graphics, and the larger tank (8 black) is used with a separate, wider head that's used only for printing text. This lets the printer crank out plain black text faster - but I imagine at a lower resolution or something - than pure graphics.

        Canon allege that the types of ink in each tank are different, with
  • If you believe the advertising, one good choice might be the HP Officejet Pro L7680, at 1.5c and 6c a page for b/w and color respectively. I just purchased one of these and am quite happy with it.
  • Continuous Ink (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pav (4298) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @08:15PM (#19603087)

    I haven't seen anyone mention continuous ink solutions [http] yet. I don't have any experience with them myself, but if you are doing any volume they seem to be the way to go. Not all printers are an easy mod so you might need to do some homework. Also they say you need to print at least once or twice a week or else you'll be re-priming the kit, which is a hassle. These kits are definitely worth a look however if you are a high volume printer.

    I've gone with a b/w laser myself with an inkjet multifunction (an Epson RX430 because of their Linux support) for when I need colour copy. Looked at colour lasers, and inkjets beat them on cost-per-copy believe it or not(!!!). If I needed to do high volume colour I would have gone with continuous ink. As a side note - check out Xerox... I seem to remember they have some kind of wax(?) print technology which was pretty cheap for toner.

    -Mark

    • Ahh... good ol' solid ink printing... Xerox Phaser 8400 [xerox.com]. We use this one at the $large_retail_store I work at for printing all of the price tags and other sale related things (full page ads, web pages, etc). Think about 500 pages a day.

      I don't have a good estimate on the price per print, [read: I'm tired and don't want to do the math] but the site says a typical box of six sticks of black ink [xerox.com] will give you about 6,800 pages for $104.99. Slightly more expensive than your typical toner printer...

      If I get

      • I actually bought the current model of the Phaser, the 8560, and have been really impressed. It cost me 750 off of Newegg, and it's the ultimate non-proprietary printer. It fully supports PCL5e, Postscript 3, Zeroconf (Bonjour), and as far as the ink, they are blocks which makes compatible ink very easy and cheap to do (about 8 bucks per color per block for compatible ink), and the only moving parts are the actual roller, so there's also no issues with mechanicals not working with 3rd party or refilled to
  • RolandDGA sells their ink for about $130 for a half liter. If he doesnt mind cutting his own paper, thats the cheapest ink ive ever seen. Downside of course is the printers start at $13,000 :p
  • > what has your experience been with inkjet All-in-Ones as far as TCO goes?"

    Three words:
    Avoid, avoid, avoid.

    If you print more than about a page a day, get a cheap used black and white laser printer on eBay. I got a used LaserJet 6P on eBay over two years ago, and so far I have replaced the toner cartridge one time. Sure, the toner cartridges are like $60 each, but they print and print and print, then print and print and print some more. The cost per page works out WAY lower.

    If you must have color, the
    • Oh man, I *so* agree with you there! I've owned a Lasjerjet 6P ... Ended up reselling it to a dentist who wanted a cheap used laser printer to print out dental x-rays on occasion, and bought myself another one off eBay (this time a 6MP version), for the grand total of about $35 shipped.

      Toner cartridges for the 6P/6MP are often available for as little as $35 or so each, and they last me as long as a year each.

      Print quality and speed are pretty good, the printer is physically fairly small, and it even has an
      • by jonadab (583620)
        > the printer is physically fairly small

        Well, it's larger than any inkjet printer I've ever seen. Most laser printers are. I consider that a minor thing, compared to the cost per page being so much lower, but nonetheless calling the LJ6P small is perhaps overselling it a bit, in a thread about inkjet printers. At a rough guess from memory I'd say it's something like twelve inches by fifteen inches by maybe nine inches tall. That's not enormous, but it's hardly tiny.

        On the other hand, that larger desk

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