Anyone know any GOOD, cheap Printers?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Frozone, Dec 24, 2003.

  1. Frozone macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2002
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    #1
    Umm...I would mainly use this printer for just text documents and an occasional picture or two. By cheap I mean under 200 dollars. So does anyone have any good recommendations?
     
  2. benixau macrumors 65816

    benixau

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #2
    HP low end range. Just watch out for ink costs.

    DO NOT GET LEXMARK - they are crud - proof is that dell uses them (rebaged).

    Canon - ok - not liked personally

    Epson - good - ink costs are high as they have to depressurize the cartidges and clean them every time you turn the printer on.
     
  3. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
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    iowa
    #3
    i have a hp deskjet 3320. i think it cost like $60 or something, it was an impulse buy at target... it's not going to give you Kodak quality, but it does text and images very reasonably, i'm happy with it overall... ink carts are comparable to most other printers in this range, $20-30. one handy thing is that you don't have to have a black cart-- it will mix the colors into black, if you *really* use it infrequently, which saves you the cost of replacing black ink, too. of course this eats through color, but still, handy. Came with one color cart in the box, so buy the printer and a black ink cart for $85 or so, then use the $115 you saved to buy some christmas booze.

    paul
     
  4. iindigo macrumors 6502a

    iindigo

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #4
    Ok, I've researched this heavily -

    HPs might do alright, but they tend to get bad reviews. At the time of research (a month or two ago) I was very lucky to find an HP printer with reviews over 2 or 3 stars. And even then it was only the portable models. Their ink tanks are expensive - One black ink catridge for my particular HP is $45 (ouch!).

    Canon - Everybody loves them (with the exception of the guy above :p) They nearly always get 5-star reviews, even their cheapest models. I have one myself - the Canon i560. Costed about $120 @Amazon.com. Prints everything great, photos look like they came from a photo developer. Another great thing about them is that their ink is really cheap, generally about $20-$30 cheaper than HP or Epson ink tanks. I pay about $10 per cartridge.

    So, personally, I heavily recommend Canon. I think you'd be particularly insterested in this model: Canon i560. BTW: check out all those happy reviewers!


    hope this helps, iindigo
     
  5. iindigo macrumors 6502a

    iindigo

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #5
    Oh, almost forgot - The Canon i560 also uses seperate ink tanks for all the colors and black. That way, if run out of just one color, you don't have to buy a whole new multicolor cartridge.

    EDIT: GRR, I keep forgeting stuff!

    anyway, The i960 prints black at 22ppm (Pages per minute) and color at 15ppm.

    It really is a sweet printer. I bought one for my mom and she's thrilled with it.
     
  6. thehuncamunca macrumors 6502

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    NJ
    #6
    i have an HP photo 7660 it makes great color pics and prints excellently, ink costs 20 for black and 35 for all 3 colors, a photo catridge is 25
     
  7. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
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    Gone but not forgotten.
    #7
    I'm really happy with my Epson CX5200 all-in-one and the newer CX5400 can be had for $150. Don't need the scanner? The Epson C84 uses the same print bits and costs less than $100. They use 4 cartridges and personally, I haven't had trouble with clogging when printing every 3 days or so.

    Canon also have great stuff and their low end is even good compared to the remainder. I've got a Lexmark Z42 in the other room and while I'm satisfied, I would not recommend them to everyone--they don't always have the drivers on CD-ROM for Mac users. That's not necessarily a problem since Apple includes them, but still...it's a detail, if you're on Mac OS 9.x
     
  8. 1macker1 macrumors 65816

    1macker1

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    A Higher Level
    #8
    I recently bought a Epson C820 for $79.99. This thing prints great. Color and black n white. And the photos that i printed are stunning. It's kind of loud when printing, but cant be beat for 79.99
     
  9. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Location:
    Denver
    #9
    I have a Lexmark z53 that I got two years ago that I've never had a problem with. The ink is also reasonably priced. I would happily recommend it.

    Before that I had a Canon bjc4200 that I hated, the cartridges always dried out instantly and were hella expensive to replace. I also worked for Canon tech support, so perhaps I'm prejudiced against them. And maybe their product has gotten better, I don't know, but I won't buy another.
     
  10. Frozone thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2002
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    #10
    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I'm checking into all the different ones that ya'll suggested. Thanks again!
     
  11. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    #11
    When you get right down to it, you can't go wrong with Epson, Canon, or HP. Don't spend under a hundred dollars on a printer though. My experience with sub-$100 printers is that the build quality sucks butt. To get a quality printer that you'll be happy with for a very long time, plan to spend at least $150.
     
  12. Error Type -43 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    #12
    Did you have any trouble getting it to print stuff from a classic app? I just bought the RX500 all-in-one and it works fine while in OSX mode. But when I go to the chooser in classic and select the printer, nothing shows up under "select a printer port." I've uninstalled and reinstalled drivers, downloaded the most recent updates and it still won't work. Any ideas?

    Despite my recent troubles, I would still suggest an Epson. I've had a Stylus Color 800 for 6 years and it still prints great (I use it w/ my old 6500 PPC). They are built like tanks. IMO, Epsons are second to none in terms of image print quality in the inkjet world.
     
  13. Awimoway macrumors 65816

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    Sep 13, 2002
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    at the edge
    #13
    If price is a big issue, you need to look at cartridge prices more than printer price. Printer manufacturers have basically decided to make their money on the cartridges, not on the printers. So you can probably find some pretty cheap printers, but cross-reference their ink prices before making a decision. Also, find out which printers use ink more quickly and require a quicker turnaround in cartridge purchases. As for me, I care more for quality than cost, so I use an ink-guzzling Epson C80 (current model number on sale is C82, I believe) and am mostly happy with it.

    Just anecdotal, but I've never had an HP (I've owned 3 of them) that didn't begin to suck royally within a year. I'll never buy HP again.
     
  14. me_94501 macrumors 65816

    me_94501

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    #14
    I've had pretty good experience with HPs myself. i have a DeskJet 5150 and it blows the doors off of the Epson I owned. Of course the epson was a low end piece of crap.
     
  15. Paolo30 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    #15
    Just to chime in on this one -
    I've got an Epson Stylus Photo 830. It does a pretty mean photo, but the price of Epson Ink is ridiculous, and the cartridges are chipped so you can't refill them (when the printer says there's no ink left you can't print, either)
    I wholeheartedly recommend getting a printer with separate ink carts for each colour - and yep, check out how much the ink costs for each brand before you buy.

    thus ends my two cents.

    Printer ink costs more than Dom Perignon by volume. If only it tasted like it...:rolleyes:
     
  16. Awimoway macrumors 65816

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    #16
    That gave me a hearty laugh. I guess if you were synaesthetic, it might taste like it. ;)
     
  17. MattG macrumors 68040

    MattG

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    May 27, 2003
    Location:
    Fletcher, NC
    #17
    Epson hands down makes the best printers for printing photographs, however I've found them to be more high-maintenance. They clog more. Unlike HP printers where the jets are in the cartridges (and therefore, you get new jets every time you change cartridges), the jets in the Epsons are built into the printer. If you don't use the printer very often, the jets tend to clog as the printer sits. Sometimes I've got to clean my printer heads 3 or 4 times before it'll print correctly. Despite all that, if you're looking for the very best print quality, I'd still recommend Epson.
     
  18. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    Jun 25, 2002
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    Gone but not forgotten.
    #18
    Sorry, I have no experience printing in classic. As long as you installed the Mac OS 9.x drivers as well as the Mac OS X drivers, you should be set. It could be a situation where the drivers work fine when you're booted into Mac OS 9.x or Mac OS X but the classic environment is different.
     
  19. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #19
    Sounds like the original poster has more than enough info, but having heavily researched this area more than once and personally dealt with printers from several manufacturers, I've got a strong opinion.

    But first: Epson's drivers really do seem to have a problem with the Classic environment, don't they? My dad's Epson scanner, though it works beautifully, absolutely refuses to run from X when Classic is running, and the last time I tried to set up an Epson printer it usually wouldn't print from X once you'd printed something from Classic. The printer drivers have improved, but I was sorely disappointed.

    As far as printers go, at this pint it seems to break down this way:

    HP: Solid quality, reasonable prices, outrageously expensive ink, since the print heads are on the ink cartridges. But they don't clog, at least. I wouldn't buy one on account of the per-page cost (and I just don't like HP, but for different reasons).

    Epson: Spectacular photo print quality, suck ink like nobody's business, and the print heads aren't easily replacable and are very prone to clogging. I've set up several, but I'd only buy one if photo quality was paramount regardless of cost and hassle.

    Lexmark: Cheap, and you get what you pay for.

    Canon: They *used* to be pretty lame in terms of color rendition, but the past two generations are awesome general purpose printers. Text is good, photos look very, very good if you use Canon ink and good paper, they've got good drivers, and not only do they have long-lasting individual color ink tanks, but the print head is user replaceable if it ever does clog.

    Perosonally, I wouldn't even consider buying anything but a Canon inkjet at this point. I have an S750, and I've set up another; they both have reasonable ink prices, produce good text, and great photos on Canon Photo Paper Pro. I just set my dad up with an i860, and that thing is even better--gorgeous photos, and it only cost $130.

    To be honest, I don't know why anybody would buy anything but a Canon these days. I wouldnt've said the same four years ago, but they're hard to beat now.
     
  20. benixau macrumors 65816

    benixau

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #20
    I need to justify:

    Yes, HP has some horrible ink prices BUT i have owned three - an ORIGINAL HP portable Inkjet Black Only - DeskJet 710C (dark ages (read Windows98 pre-OSX)) - and my current DJ5550C.

    Some other posters have actually lightened my Canon fears. The only reference I have is an old cheapo model and a not new middle model. Both were horrible, but seeing this thread I may give them another shot in the future when I replace my DJ if i get an inkjet.

    Lexmark - cheap and, yeah - Cheap.

    Epson - wastes alot of ink and will not let you use anything but official cartridges. Also ink thanks are pressurized so you can't ever get refils.

    I reccomend in the following order

    HP/Epson (HP for "home" usage, Epson for "Heavy Duty Home")
    Canon (seem good but if you stab a guy he doesn't come near you for a while)
    BrandX (great price, ok quality)
    JoChans (as above)
    Lexmark (cheap cheap cheap (that makes sizx times, cost more to type than the printer itself)
     
  21. Marlon_JBT macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2003
    Location:
    Detroit, Michigan
    #21
    Run, don't walk away from Lexmark. Yeah, they're cheap, but don't expect anything but poor build quality, print quality, and cheap materials. I always thought their cartridges cost more for what you get. My experience comes from a Z23.

    However, I now have an HP Deskjet 3820. Hands down, it is the best printer I have ever owned. I believe I paid $89 for it. Worth every penny. I also have a really old HP Deskjet dating from about 1995. Last time I plugged it in, it worked, and I'm sure it works now.

    HPs are a little on the heavy side, but that's quality for you.

    I have no experience with Canon, but I've heard good things.

    Grab an HP!
     

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