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bluebomberman
Apr 25, 2005, 06:00 PM
How long does a typical printer last?

My Epson Stylus c80, which I bought about 3.3 years ago, is spitting out horizontal bands in any color (except pure yellow) and black. New cartridges, cleaning and realignment all fail. I'm waiting for tech support to email me, but I'm not optimistic (their call center wants $10 from me).

After going through a similarly painful decline with an Epson Stulus Color 200 years ago, I'm left wondering if I have to buy a printer every 3-4 years or if I should expect better.

bluebomberman



bigsteve3
Apr 25, 2005, 06:09 PM
I think it will really depend on how much you use it. My HP DeskJet 932c is still working fine after 6 years but I don't print very often (just research papers!).

That said, it also depends on how you treat it. For example, if you store it in the attic with sun shining on it through a window for a year, I'm sure it would have something wrong (melted parts, etc.).

I'm personally hoping to get at least 10 years from my printer, so I take good care of it...except for that time I dropped it...oops.

-S

Sun Baked
Apr 25, 2005, 06:12 PM
You could spend the $10 on Epson print head cleaning solution...

There is the link to some of that info and the service manual.

http://www.fixyourownprinter.com/forums/inkjet/25914

James Philp
Apr 25, 2005, 06:12 PM
A lot of the problems with printers that you're describing can arise from using 3rd party inks. Is this what you're doing?

Bear
Apr 25, 2005, 06:28 PM
The current replacement for your printer, the C86, comes with over $60 worth of ink and is $100 list price - it can probably be had for about $75 after rebate.

And yes, printers and print heads do wear out.

Mechcozmo
Apr 25, 2005, 06:30 PM
...Epson Stulus Color 200 years ago...

200 years is a long time for a printer!

:p

I have an HP DeskJet 825C that has lasted for.... years. At least 6 or 7 years. :D It still works great, too. But it need paper. Note to self....

Pismo
Apr 25, 2005, 06:36 PM
I've owned two printers in the past 6 years. My first printer was an Epson Sylus Color 800 which died not even a year after I bought it. I had to have the motherboard replaced. That was the worst printer ever. It was louder than a Dot Matrix, the printer quuality sucked, it was slower than hell, the ink heads were always crusting over, and the ink economy was terrible. I donated the printer because I knew it wouldn't sell.

The printer I have now is awesome. I bought an HP Deskjet 932c in August of 2000 before college and I've had it ever since. I love this printer. The print quality is great for my needs, the ink economy is amazing (I replace the cartridges once a year), and it's quiet. I have it hooked up to my AE base station and works flawlessly. I'll never buy an Epson again.

Bear
Apr 25, 2005, 06:40 PM
Things printed on HP inkjets run when they get wet. Epson Ink is highly water resistant.

You never know how wet something mailed is going to get. You also don't know when accidental spills will happen.

Bear
Apr 25, 2005, 06:43 PM
I've owned two printers in the past 6 years. My first printer was an Epson Sylus Color 800 which died not even a year after I bought it. I had to have the motherboard replaced. That was the worst printer ever. It was louder than a Dot Matrix, the printer quuality sucked, it was slower than hell, the ink heads were always crusting over, and the ink economy was terrible. I donated the printer because I knew it wouldn't sell.
...I have had an Epson 2200 for over 18 months and I have not had one issue with the printheads. I have not had to run any cleaning cycles on it.

I have also had a C86 for several months with zero issues.

Epson has improved their printer quality.

On the other paw, the last two HP printers I had both had their rollers wear down and misfeed paper.

People seem to have different experiences with different brands, however, Epson has definitely improved and HP is a company that wants to region code printer cartridges so they can control ink prices.

spinne1
Apr 25, 2005, 07:11 PM
From my personal experience owning printers, ink jets have lasted a much shorter time working properly than lasers, therefore if it were me, I'd get a good laser printer. If your budget is a concern, several good lasers can be had on ebay. If you are REALLY in a budget pinch, but want a great quality laser, consider the Apple Laserwriter Select 360. You can get these now for DIRT cheap on ebay ($5-$30). There are a couple issues. One, to use it on Ethernet, you need an Asante Ethernet to Localtalk adapter (cheap on ebay). Second, you need to keep the printer on all the time for it to work properly with the Asante. The print quality is amazing, as with virtually all modern lasers. You also would want to upgrade the ram to 16mb. I have a Laserwriter 360, my mom has one, my mother-in-law has one (on a PC), and all work perfectly. Toner is also very cheap on ebay ($10-$30 per cartridge). All in all, it is probably one of the cheapest ways to first rate print quality.

If you want a new printer, consider a color laser. I have seen good reviews on some models in the $300-$500 range. Your cost per page is MUCH less with a laser, and the print quality is better.

For some perspective, I found some specs for the Select 360:

Codename: "Viper"
Introduced: October 1993
Discontinued: April 1996
Type: Electrophotography
Processor: AMD 29200
Processor Speed: 16 MHz
Language: PostScript Level 2, PCL 5
Colors: 1
Connection: Serial, Centronics parallel, LocalTalk
Pages Per Minute: 10
DPI: 600
Cartridge: M1960G/A
Power: 450 Watts
Weight and Dimensions (US): 26 lbs., 8" H x 15" W x 18.3" D
Weight and Dimensions (Metric): 11.8 kg., 20.3 cm H x 38.1 cm W x 46.5 cm D
ROM Size: 3 MB
Maximum RAM: 16 MB
Number of Sockets: 1, 72-pin SIMM
Minimum RAM Speed: 80 ns
History: The LaserWriter Select series was - just like the Personal LaserWriter series - designed for home computer users and small businesses. It was produced from 1993 to 1996 and was therefore a direct competitor of the Personal LaserWriter series. The Select series was always a little faster and had more RAM, but generally both series were very similar. The LaserWriter Select series was discontinued in 1996.



From the previous, the amazing part is that the three printers in my family are between nine and twelve years old!! And they all print perfect!! Try that with an ink jet. Also, the expected life of the Select 360 is 300,000 pages. Mine has just under 8000 pages, and the others in my family have 21000 and 27000. I also have a spare one that I am giving away that has 79000 pages on it and it too still prints perfect text.

Pismo
Apr 25, 2005, 07:19 PM
I agree with spinne1. Laser printers are getting a lot better and cheaper. My friend just bought an HP Laserjet 1320 and it's an awesome printer. I don't print any color photos so I'd be happy with a monochrome laser printer. I'd keep my inkjet in case I had to print anything in color.

mad jew
Apr 25, 2005, 07:42 PM
I've got a Brother laser printer which is a bit of a beast in that it really doesn't play all that nicely with Macs. It was a bit of a bastard to set up but it's now happily sitting on the end of a wireless Express connection and working really quite well. It's needlessly complicated (how often does a student need a fax machine?) but it's lasted for ages and it's showing no signs of playing up. It's been about seven years now and I reckon it's a fair bit cheaper to run than a bubble-jet, the ink and toner is really pretty cheap and it lasts forever. I recommend grabbing a cheap-to-middle-of-the-range laser printer if you don't need colour capabilities.

Sun Baked
Apr 25, 2005, 07:56 PM
I've only pushed 140k pages through my laser printer, so I really haven't used it that much.

But it's been zapped so many times by the power line, it's amazing it still running -- though it does tend to dim the lights when it kicks out of sleep, so it doesn't always wake up when it draws the power down too much.

dvdh
Apr 25, 2005, 08:18 PM
Still running a Epson 2000p which I bought as a refurb when the 2200 first came out. So that machine is probably in the range of at least 5 years old (of which I have been using it for almost 3 years.) So far it has shown no problems (other than it occasionally errored while connected with the parallel to my PC, but switching to USB solved that problem) My Canon i450 on the other hand (which came free with my iBook just under 2 years ago) is seemingly reaching the end . . . Oh well it was cheap.

Edit: And oh, for inkjet longevity, my parents are still using the Lexmark Colorjet that they bought with a IBM P75 in about 1994. And it never had an easy life, lots of cheapo cartridges and self-refill kits.

kidA
Apr 25, 2005, 08:26 PM
i have a 4+ year old HP deskjet 932c. it's been used a ton. the print quality is still great, but it has the occasional problem feeding paper through (sometimes it picks up multiple sheets). it'll probably last for quite a while longer. hopefully at least a few more years.

flyfish29
Apr 25, 2005, 08:27 PM
On the other paw, the last two HP printers I had both had their rollers wear down and misfeed paper.

People seem to have different experiences with different brands, however, Epson has definitely improved and HP is a company that wants to region code printer cartridges so they can control ink prices.

One thing that can lead to misfed papers is bad paper. Either a bad quality of paper or even a good quality paper that has been stored incorrectly- too much humidity in shipping or storage can lead to this problem- so before chucking a printer due to misfeeds I would check with multiple types of paper.

Laser is definately the way to do unless you have to have color- but sometimes it will pay to buy a cheap color and a good laser in the long run.

bluebomberman
Apr 25, 2005, 08:41 PM
You could spend the $10 on Epson print head cleaning solution...

There is the link to some of that info and the service manual.

http://www.fixyourownprinter.com/forums/inkjet/25914

@ Sun Baked: Thanks for the link. I guess I'll have to give this a shot...

A lot of the problems with printers that you're describing can arise from using 3rd party inks. Is this what you're doing?

Nope. I'm a genuine Epson ink man. Some good it did me. If I can't fix it, I'll probably go shopping for a low-end color laser and "outsource" photo printing to some online photo printing service. (Especially because I can't bring myself to color print every week just to keep the printer spry.)

fox2005
Apr 25, 2005, 08:43 PM
i've been running an Epson Stylus 800 for 7 years at least with minor problems, i use 3rd party inks and still going and going and going... Large files, lots of photos, backgrounds, the only problem is that the ADB connection is slowwwwwww...

James Philp
Apr 25, 2005, 08:52 PM
Been running an epson stylus C 740 for a while no without many probs (except the ink 'memory' is rubbish, and keeps telling me the ink is there when it's no not (and visa versa), but those kind of problems can be sorted out.)

Bear in mind that this kind of problem affects all printers if you tell them you have replaced the ink and don't. - I'm sure 99% of them simply go on the ammount/kind of pages you have printed though them!

pinto32
Apr 25, 2005, 09:25 PM
I have an Epson C82 (or C84..can't remember which...but all the C8x's are pretty much the same anyway). These printers seem to be designed to be left on all the time (I guess they realized thats what most people do anyway). I have seen lots of people on the net (Cnet.com to be exact) complain about clogged print heads that result when they turn thier printer off a lot (something about the printer not being able to park properly).

Since Epson keeps the print heads seperate from the cartiges (unlike say...HP printers, where the print heads are a part of the cartrige) I would suggest getting the (already mentioned) cleaning solution and using it on your print heads.

bluebomberman
Apr 25, 2005, 09:34 PM
I have an Epson C82 (or C84..can't remember which...but all the C8x's are pretty much the same anyway). These printers seem to be designed to be left on all the time (I guess they realized thats what most people do anyway). I have seen lots of people on the net (Cnet.com to be exact) complain about clogged print heads that result when they turn thier printer off a lot (something about the printer not being able to park properly).

Since Epson keeps the print heads seperate from the cartiges (unlike say...HP printers, where the print heads are a part of the cartrige) I would suggest getting the (already mentioned) cleaning solution and using it on your print heads.

I'm supposed to leave on a printer I barely use just to make sure it doesn't become a paperweight? That's ridiculous.

I gotta swear off of inkjets.

Bear
Apr 26, 2005, 06:09 AM
One thing that can lead to misfed papers is bad paper. Either a bad quality of paper or even a good quality paper that has been stored incorrectly- too much humidity in shipping or storage can lead to this problem- so before chucking a printer due to misfeeds I would check with multiple types of paper.
...Oh believe me, I had tried many types of paper. I also don't use paper until I've had it for at least 24-48 hours. (To let the paper equalize to room humidity.) It was definitely a printer feed issue and not a paper issue.

FireArse
Apr 26, 2005, 06:27 AM
Printers are mechanical - automatically unreliable. Possibly the least reliable peice of equipment on your desk - (the PSU's in the PC's are as bad cos they get hot)

Iv had a few HP printers in my time ( i buy them cos the software seems to work - no fiddling around) both laser and inkjet - the laser's seem to last about 6-7 years - whereas the inkjets get so annoying after 2-3 years. Either they pick up 6 sheets of paper, or the Cartridge cleaning tool doesnt do what it says or im in the mood for spending money on a new Printer.

Iv had a mobo go out on me for one of my HP's sadly it was out of warranty - it really is a case of luck - dont keep them dusty!!!
F

Poff
Apr 26, 2005, 06:54 AM
My cheapass HP is starting to fail me after 2 years. It will very often stop in the middle of a printout, requiring me to print it again.