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Ask Slashdot: Best SOHO Printer Choices? 381 381

rueger writes "I can remember trading up from a daisy-wheel printer to dot matrix, and can remember when Jerry Pournelle used to say 'Buy the most expensive HP printer you can afford.' Mine was a 4P. Times have changed, though, and I'm looking for trustworthy advice before buying a couple of new printers. Specifically, a B&W Laser with sheet feed scanner, and a color inkjet with a solid flatbed scanner for copying music. We want solid, reliable machines that will give a few years of small office service, that have reasonably cheap consumables, and that will "just work" with Windows and Linux. Network ready of course. Let me expand. These days there seems to be no market leader in printers — they tend to be cheap disposable items. Part of the reason is that it is hard to find any real user reviews of these machines — most of the comments on Best Buy or other sites are full of fanboy enthusiasm, or extreme negativity — nothing that can be relied on. Between those, and the sock puppets, and the astroturfing, there's nothing I'd trust. I do trust Slashdot, though, for things like this. People here are able to offer realistic advice and experience that can usually tell the story. So, I ask: who's making good printers these days?"
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Ask Slashdot: Best SOHO Printer Choices?

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  • by Chrisq (894406) on Wednesday October 23, 2013 @06:14AM (#45210499)

    I have in the past owned an inkjet, these days if I want a photograph printing, I use an online photographic printing service and get my prints delivered to my door printed on real photographic paper. By the time you factor in the cost of the printer, inks and paper it works out just the same for a better result.

    Seconded. I now have a B&W laser and for the small amount of colour/photographic printing I do I use online services - or if I'm in a hurry I put it onto an SD card and take it to the local supermarket that has a photo/print kiosk.

  • by AC-x (735297) on Wednesday October 23, 2013 @06:40AM (#45210599)

    I don't think it's the lack of Ethernet in itself that's the problem, I suspect it's that:

    • Has Ethernet port = printer is a business oriented printer and thus is aimed at people who know are relatively savvy and know what to look for in a printer, thus printer is relatively good
    • No Ethernet port = printer is a consumer oriented printer and thus is aimed at people who know nothing about printers and will by and old crap, thus printer is any old crap
  • by Connie_Lingus (317691) on Wednesday October 23, 2013 @07:47AM (#45210901) Homepage

    ahhh....Dads...gotta love them :)

    I miss mine...he passed away about 8 years ago and I went through the exact same IT-thing with him.

    I realize now that he did that stuff on purpose because it was a way for us to connect and spend time together.

    Not that you need to hear it from some random stranger, but you need to hear it from a random stranger...enjoy every minute with Dad he won't be around forever.

  • by Alain Williams (2972) <> on Wednesday October 23, 2013 @08:23AM (#45211087) Homepage

    The cartridges that come with a new printer do not (usually) contain as much ink as a replacement. However: if you don't need to use photo printing very often and have a laser for most printing - this could be worth it.

    If enough people do this, then the printer manufacturers might get the message that people do not like them taking the piss on ink prices. They sell the printers for less than it comes to make them and coin it on ink cartridges.

  • To be fair.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drainbramage (588291) on Wednesday October 23, 2013 @09:00AM (#45211309)

    The question did not limit recommendations to printers in production.
    If my color laser printer came from Goodwill and it works, I'm a happy camper.

  • by Copid (137416) on Wednesday October 23, 2013 @11:34AM (#45212855)
    My rule for inkjets is similar. Unless you're a pro-grade graphics type doing pro-grade graphics stuff on a pro-grade inkjet printer, you probably bought a machine with one design intent: Turning full / working ink cartridges into empty / dead ink cartridges. Any printing the machine does during that process is purely coincidental. Don't do it. You'll only encourage them to make more.

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated. -- Poul Anderson