Best Printer for College?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by gamestriker, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. gamestriker macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    #1
    I'm looking for a good printer for college. One that has good ppm, color and black-and-white, not too overpriced (less than $200, preferredly around $100-150), and low ink/maintanance costs. Also good Airport Express compatibility; PictBridge is a plus.

    I've had a few already suggest the Canon PIXMA IP4000 and it seems very solid. Would it be good as a printer for a college student?

    And should I buy now and get it over with or wait until I'm about to start school (in mid/late-August)? Would it make any difference if I wait to buy a printer?

    I appreciate the help.
     
  2. G5Unit macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

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    I'm calling the cops
    #2
    I have an R300 and it is really good. It has Pictbridge.
     
  3. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #3
    I got an HP 5150... i think that's the number, it was free when i bought my PB...great printer, fast, ink last.....thumbs up in my book,only thing is it doesn't do photos
     
  4. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    #4
    HP is evil

    I had an HP, some deskjet model, I don't remember which. It was horrible. A black ink tank lasted barely 200 pages (my degree is in English and Creative Writing, so thats not very much time) and cost upwards of $20. For some reason, when the black tank ran dry, I couldn't print anything out unless I replaced the color tank too, so tack on another $30. $50 a month for just ink is crap. For my last semester, I replaced it with a Canon Pixma (iP 1500) and it's absolutely wonderful. Good print quality all the way from full to empty and the ink won't break you (around $7 a tank for black). I highly recommend something from that line.
     
  5. gamestriker thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 18, 2004
    #5
    I have an HP on my old PC. Ink costs are crazy, its not that fast, and I've had some other problems so I'm hoping to avoid HP altogether.
     
  6. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

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    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    #6
    I have a 5150 from the same Apple/HP promo. I've been able to print photos nicely. Good photo paper is important of course.
     
  7. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

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    May 26, 2004
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    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    #7
    Hey, dude, looks like we're only an hour apart! Anyway, I'm back in grad school and doing a lot of writing, too. The ink usage does suck on inkjet printers. I've considered investing in a laserjet. They run as little as $200.

    I've wondered lately, why colleges don't have some sort of plan where people who have to do so much printing have a place where they can go use high speed laserjets. Some kind of user fee per semester or class, or bring your own paper or something like that. It sure would be helpful. If you've never used a nice laser printer, they can spit documents out in a breeze!
     
  8. gamestriker thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    #8
    In the future, I might invest in a LaserJet, but I really need something sub-200 because I don't have a lot money to spend.

    Right now, the Canon PIXMA IP4000 looks like the best value.
     
  9. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    #9
    Yeah, I've been over there a time or two. Lovely drive that is through Pickens County :rolleyes:

    I don't know how it is there (what school btw?) but here at UA we have several open computer labs. You get something like 300 pages per semester. That's enough for most people, but for people like me, a 15 page short story x 13 copies for everyone in workshop x 4 stories per term = 780 pages for *one* class. If you're like me and did two workshops a term, figure in another 160 pages or so (poetry workshop not fiction - less paper). Then add in another 20 or so for 4 literature papers. That's near on 1,000 pages per term, and everything over the first 300 are 10¢ each. It adds up. Total cost = (960-300) x 10¢ = $66. Ouch. Average cost = $66/960 = 6.7¢ per page.

    A Canon ink tank (here at Sprawl-Mart) is about $7 with tax, and a ream of paper is about $3. Assuming I can get 300 pages out of one tank, roughly 3 tanks of ink service 2 reams of paper. (3x$7) +(2x$3) = $27, $27/1000 = 2.7¢ per page. I can probably get more then 300 pages since I have the print settings turned down and I hardly print out anything other than straight text, so this is a worst case scenario. Anyway, that's that.

    P.S. Is Harvey's restaurant still there? They closed the one here down a couple years back and I miss it sorely.
     
  10. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

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    May 25, 2004
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    NY
    #10
    I never really tested it for photos cause i use my HP photosmart 7960.
     
  11. nerdykarim macrumors member

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    Feb 14, 2005
    Location:
    atlanta, ga
    #11
    why do you need color? (that's the question you really need to be asking yourself...especially if you're going off to college and have a wide variety of tech resources available to you)
    what you do need, however, is the ability to print off a 30-50 page first draft and still have enough ink to print the final draft a week later.

    look into the samsung ml-1740. it's the best entry-level laser printer on the market, works great with my powerbook, and can be had for $60 after rebate (and sometimes as low as $25AR). check sites like www.slickdeals.net or www.fatwallet.com for more info.
     
  12. sw1tcher macrumors 65816

    sw1tcher

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    Jan 6, 2004
    #12
    If you're interested in a laser printer, they can be had for about $100 when on sale. Otherwise, they range from about $150-$200... so you might actually want to look into one. As for Airport Express compatibility, I have no idea how they are with it.

    EDIT.....

    Just checked and Staples has a Brother HL-2040 laser printer for $149.98 - $20 instant coupon - $30 rebate - $99.98. The toner cartridge is $62.69 and is rated for up to 2,500 pages (at 5% coverage).
     
  13. JDOG_ macrumors 6502a

    JDOG_

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    Oakland
    #13
    Ink costs are gonna be a beeeotch no matter what brand you use frankly.

    Your best bet for college (having just graduated) is an all-in-one solution. Printing obviously, PPM isn't super important, as huge print jobs will probably be done at Kinkos or your schools library/print facility right? The scan & copy function of these things is awesome, and comes in handy bigtime if you're borrowing notes from somebody or need to put pictures of your roommate in comprimising positions all over your hall for people to see and mock.

    To top it all off, going for the fax option is a huge plus. Despite it being the 21st century, Fax's are still a big part of office life and when you're a senior going for grad school or sending out job applications, this is one less thing worth worrying about in the last few months of school.

    HP makes good hardware although the software for Macs is horrendous. Laserjets are cool too, but don't forget you're going to need to buy toner eventually and it ain't cheap. Hit up Costco, they've usually got the best deals and instant gratification you're looking for. Hope this helps :cool:

    P.S.--I'm totally serious about the embarassing roommate thing, it's a must.
     
  14. Steven1621 macrumors 6502a

    Steven1621

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    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #14
    I really don't think there is a need to buy a printer in college. For all my printing needs, I use my college's laser printers. I put the file on my network drive, go to a campus lab or library, swipe my card, and there you go! No cost to me or anything. Perhaps a small walk, but certainly worth it in the end.
     
  15. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

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    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    #15
    I'm at Mississippi University for Women and yes it's a woman's college and yes I'm a male. They've been admitting men since 1982, and the graduate education department is excellent. Plus my wife works there so I get a little tuition break.

    Yes, Harvey's is still here. I waited tables here back in the early 80's when it first opened. My brothers and I grew up with the family who owns University Management (www.eatwithus.com), and they have done very well with their group of restaurants. The food is always good, consistent, and new items come out all the time.

    Yeah, Mississippi and Alabama backroads are wonderful. Hwy 82 is much better than it used to be. I saw plans to complete the four lane by like 2012 or something like that.

    Great disc golf course here, too, if you play.
     
  16. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    #16
    I did discover there's a grayscale selection, as well as fast draft printing that saves ink. The quality is certainly good enough to submit for classes. I see no determinable difference. It's under Color/Quality when you begin to print.
     
  17. michaelrjohnson macrumors 68020

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    54140
    #17
    Before you purchase a printer, check out DealInk.com or EZInkjets.com. You will save so much money, you may just want to send me some! ;)
     
  18. spinne1 macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

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    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    #18
    First off, as someone who typed a lot of papers in college, I can give this advice:

    1) You don't want an inkjet. Period. Thus color is out. The ink costs will KILL you and will quickly out cost almost any laser you buy.

    2) You can get a decent laser for $200. Do a lot of research. Make sure it's got a lot of memory and a fast print speed and ideally a fast first page print. Anything over 600 DPI will basically look perfect.

    3) If you really want to save some dough, get a used laser off ebay. Be very careful about researching both the printers and the sellers if you do. Also, factor in the shipping costs and whether a toner cartridge comes with it. Even with shipping, you can get a fine printer dirt cheap (a laser printer's life span usually far outweighs people's willingness to use them that long).
     
  19. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    #19
    Dell's $99 Laser Printer

    Just heard this on CNN. Dell is offering their own $99 laser printer. It's not compatible with OS X however. How silly, isn't that just left up to developing the right driver?
     
  20. Alicia4065 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    Location:
    NJ
    #20
    I have a HP 5150 which does photos to just need to use the correct paper. HP 1210 all-in-one for scanning and copying. Epson R300 so I can print on DVD's.


    Alicia :)
     
  21. gamestriker thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    #21
    Wow...toner is very pricey...I'll stick to Inkjet printers. I'm doing Computer Science btw as my major, if that has any effect on future suggestions. I tend to print out my source code and debug on paper when I need to, and I like to be able to see the syntax coloring.

    An all-in-one solution could be a possibility; faxing my resume would make it life much easier. Any suggestions on a good All-in-One printer (w/ with preferrably good Airport Express compatibility)?
     
  22. hhlee macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 19, 2005
    #22
    look for deals on the samsung ML1740. there are some rebates that gets you down to $50 for a b+w laser printer. the mac osx drivers are listed on samsung's australia page but not on the us page...strange. works great for me.

    oops, nerdykarim already said it!
     
  23. MacHarne macrumors 6502

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    Mar 3, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia, U.S.A.
    #23
    I second JDOG's recommendation for an all-in-one. My all-in-one, the HP 1210, was the cheapest one available at the time of my purchase so it was the one in my shopping cart. It is loud and shaky, but I have found that putting it on the floor keeps it from rumbling off my desk. But it gets the job done. I have not spent a fortune on ink; I use draft mode in printing nearly all of the time and I've gone through two cartridge combinations in two years.

    Having an all-in-one is very important for me, because I do actually copy quite a bit of stuff. The libraries are very close by, but being able to get it done instantly and head to class is a nice touch.
     
  24. noetic macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    #24
    I loathed my Epson ink jet photo printer and was determined to do better. After a lot of research last year, I bought a Canon i860 and have nothing but good things to say about it. I was careful what I bought because I was tired of Epson photo printers that gulped ink. All colors were packaged together so that much ink was wasted as all colors had to be replaced when one went dry - which was often. When I did have ink on the printer, it would take 2 or 3 cleanings to get the Epson to print. I used as much ink on cleaning as printing. Then it was so noisy it sounded like it would explode. This was a top rated photo printer for 2002.

    The Canon i860 was given very high ratings. Cnet and Amazon user ratings are very high and so were editorial reviews. It makes outstanding photos (they are indistinguishable from higher priced photo printers made by Canon) and its graphics were considered outstanding - unusual for a photo printer which are often weak in that area (my Epson was).

    There are two black inks instead of one. One ink is for photos and one for text. All inks come individually packaged. I have had the printer a year and have only now bought new inks (I would have been on my third cycle with the Epson by now).

    The machine is so quiet when printing you wonder if its on until the paper starts spitting out. It is a quick printer and is way faster than my Epson was.
    The software that came with the printer was much better than Epson's as well.

    The printer was 200 dollars when new. I got it for 135 at Circuit City last July. Now it's under 100 dollars. I think the Canon printers are the best there are and reviews of the past two years refelct that. Publication reviews always seem to give top spot to Canon's and user reviews are even higher.

    If you want a cheap printer that will work when you want it to and won't suck ink or keep your roomates up with the noise - the Canon i860 is perfect. I'm sure other current Canon models are good as well. The Canon i860 does great photos on top of it all. Google the thing and read the reviews.

    I don't like all-in-ones because you increase the amount of things that can go wrong when you bundle hardware and drivers into one unit. Upgrading is a problem as well and you get stuck with a weak link somewhere. Have a good scanner and printer for 200 bucks total and dont cut corners that just kick you in the arse when you least expect it.

    Good luck
     
  25. ITASOR macrumors 601

    ITASOR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Oneida, NY
    #25
    I have an HP Deskjet 5550. Really nice printer. It was free with my grandma's iBook 14" G3 900Mhz a while back.
     

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