Best $100 multifunction inkjet of these 3

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by maestrosteve, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. maestrosteve macrumors member

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    #1
    Can't use a Laser printer so don't get into that.
    Which would you get, and why?

    HP 8610/8615

    Epson Workforce WF-3620/3640

    Brother MFC-J880DW/MFC-J885DW
     
  2. vkd macrumors 6502a

    vkd

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    Sep 10, 2012
    #2
    I would only advise to invest in bubblejet printers if you propose to use it daily. Otherwise there is a high chance that ink will dry up in the fine jet channels and thus make ownership cost prohibitive.
     
  3. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #3
    I can only suggest you check out sites that do reviews of each or have a run down from best to worst of printers in that price range. What would be the main use of such a multi-function inkjet for you?

    Things I consider -

    Ability to do photo printing (or not)

    Size of Ink cartridges and cost per oz. - This is a big deal as some inkjets eat up/waste a crap load of ink.
    Between use, do the heads clog up requiring self cleaning and again, how much ink is wasted.

    Quality of output for both regular use and draft mode

    Ease of software use for scanning etc.
     
  4. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #4
    I'm normally fond of HP equipment, but this HP doesn't have wifi printing available (not that I noticed, anyway). That's a dealbreaker for me.
     
  5. maestrosteve thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    I print music on a heavier paper. When I use any laser printer (and I did for years), eventually the print flakes off, so lasers are out. When I switched to inkjet, the problem was solved. Not every printer can handle the heavier paper that I use, and these 3 can. I tried them all at Staples with my paper.

    I've also checked out every possible review site, from Amazon reviews to printer review websites. Every printer seems to have an issue, but I also realize that people mostly post when they have a problem.

    I've narrowed down to these 3 printers so I know about ink costs, how good the photo printing is, speed of copies, etc..

    If you don't own one of these, or not shopping for one, you can't really answer, right?
    I don't know what your opinion would be based on.
    I need people to respond who have maybe shopped and decided on a certain one, or tell my why you ruled out one of these, or tell me after having it for 6 months it crapped out, or something useful.

    That's not to say that I don't appreciate your responses. After all, you took the time to respond, and for that I thank you.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 27, 2016 ---
    The owners manual says this model does have wifi printing.
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #6
    I have the Brother MFC-J870DW, which is a model below what you are looking at, but it appears very similar. I am happy with it and have no issues. Once thing I really like over other AIO printers I have had is the top is completely smooth and closed with no openings to collect dust. When not using the sheet fed scanner, you just flip over a little door that makes the top completely sealed up. Other AIO printers I have had had large openings on the top like the Epson and HP you are looking at, and that area always seemed to collect dust and it was hard to clean.

    I also like the more finished look this smooth top gives.
     
  7. maestrosteve thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    That's very helpful. The 3 printers I'm considering are SO close in terms of features, and practically everything else. The Brother has the cheapest ink prices by far, almost half the prices of the others. The Epson might have an edge on graphics printing (which is what I need to print music) and the HP might have the edge on text. The Brother printer seems to be a "right in the middle" compromise. I've owned stuff from all 3 companies as well (Epson scanner, HP printer, Brother Fax) and they were all trouble-free, however if you read reviews online, all the printers, not just these but all others as well, have troubles.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond.
     
  8. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #8
    Just a thought here - if you have something like a Staples or Best Buy etc. near by, some of those models or similar may be on display and you might be able to get a demo print from them. Having long ago printed music for various friends, I don't think you need the best graphics capable inkjet as it often refers to multi-colour photo work. See if you can print from those models you listed or one above or below (assuming they are that similar). You might even wait an hour or two and then see how the ink sit on the paper or gets blotted within and of course do your own version of scuffing the ink.
     
  9. maestrosteve thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    phrehdd wrote: Just a thought here - if you have something like a Staples or Best Buy etc. near by, some of those models or similar may be on display and you might be able to get a demo print from them.


    I did that yesterday. I went to Staples, tried a bunch of printers just to find a few that could print on my 90 pound paper that I brought along with me, and narrowed the choice down to these 3. I guess what I'm looking for is not info on print quality or speed, because I found them all to be comparable, but info on problems that the owners might have had a few months down the line, or maybe I'll hear someone say they are sorry they bought 1 particular model.

    I could be happy with any of these 3 since I know they fit the bill, but aside from reading online reviews, if I could hear from someone who actually owns one of them tell me why they don't like it after using it for 6 months, that would surely be helpful.
     
  10. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #10
    Fair enough.

    I have used both the HP and Epson similar models. I found that both can have paper jams and the Epson was notorious for using up more ink when printing colour. At one time, Lexmark did well on very low end printers. Since you investigated printers, do you know how their low end printers fair? (just curious here)
     
  11. maestrosteve thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
    I didn't see any Lexmark printers out on the floor, and if they were there (they had to have had them), I just didn't see them since I didn't go in there looking for a Lexmark, so I can't say anything about their printers. I also considered Canon, but found that their better quality printers didn't have the fax feature, and while I rarely fax anymore, I had to do something a few months ago where the bank only wanted faxes and not forms thru email. My current Canon printer MP530 has been great, but lately too many problems with clogged inkjet, wrong colors coming out onto the page, and no updated drivers in the last few years to be compatible with the last few Mac operating systems.

    The real common thing between most of the printers I looked at, was how flimsy all the hardware was. The paper drawers were flimsy, and you had to be real careful opening and closing all the openings and ink drawers. They all had to be handled very carefully otherwise there would be broken parts, for sure. The exception were the HP printers. Solid pieces of hardware, heavier printers, actually bigger than they need to be. The HP 8610 is twice the size of some comparable printers.

    I'll probably be making my purchase tomorrow, I'm leaning toward the HP 8610. It worked flawlessly in the Staples at printing my test files off my flash drive when the other printers didn't even recognize the flash drive (formatted in the more compatible FAT, not the Mac format). It was fast, and I've been pricing ink today, and while not the cheapest, it is among the best priced and readily available. I'm pretty sure that once I started using 3rd party cheaper ink in my Canon printer, the performance suffered plus ink clogging became a factor. I intend to stick with the OEM ink this time around regardless of what I choose and expect things to work out.
    To test all the other printers that didn't recognize my flash drive, I just used the copy feature, just to make sure that the printer could take my paper without jamming.

    Too many issues with the Epson printers, lots of problems that I don't want to potentially deal with. It didn't help that none of the Epson printers on the floor at Staples worked at all. I really wanted to like it, since the specs for graphics and scanning are great, but I need something that won't give me consistent trouble.
    The Brother line is a very solid choice. Does everything well, just not anything great, and is pretty much trouble-free with the cheapest ink costs.

    I might have done myself a disservice not looking at Lexmark, but I'm past going back to the Staples.
    I settled on checking into those 3 printers in my original post, and the narrowing down has begun.
     
  12. MrAverigeUser macrumors 6502a

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  13. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

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    #13
    One other thing to keep in mind is that the HP is eligible for the Instant Ink program, where you can actually have ink shipped to you for no extra cost; all you pay is a monthly cost that based on how many pages you print out ($3 for 50 pages/month, $5 for 100 pages/month, etc.). If you don't print often it's probably not worth it, but it's something to consider if you're tired of constantly buying ink. I sold quite a number of printers back when I worked at Office Depot and it was always something I mentioned to people who were interested in an HP printer.

    Also, Lexmark stopped making inkjets in 2012 so that's why you didn't find any.

    The Officejet 8610 does indeed have Wi-Fi.
     
  14. maestrosteve thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    ApolloBoy - some very good points there.

    Thanks.
     

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