Can anyone recommend me a good printer?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by smeind, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. smeind macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2008
    I'm ordering all my stuff for school tomorrow, and I know nothing about printers. I don't want an expensive one by any means, as most likely i'll be printing the occasional picture, and mostly word documents.

    I'll be printing from a 13" Macbook Pro. Any suggestions?
  2. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000


    May 22, 2009
    HP C4680 or Canon MP480 ( or
  3. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    Brother laser printers work great and they are much cheaper to operate than most due to the separate drum and toner cart...
  4. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    any of the current HP All-In-One with WiFi that you can afford.
    The Scanner and Copy functions are very useful.
  5. suekitch macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2009
    +1 for the HP Wireless all-in-ones.

    I have a C4380 which is an older model, the C4680 is what is around at the moment in the rebate offer and I can only imagine it's as good.

    Some people say they've had trouble setting these things up well, my C4380 has been a dream. I've set it up on two Windows laptops and my iMac and it was all easy - the iMac was actually by far the best which was nice :)

    You can scan wirelessly, print wirelessly, and photocopy things. I can't tell you how much of an asset this machine has been to me during my first year of University. I scanned in some pages from books so I could return them to the library quickly, I've photocopied some forms, and of course, printed many many things.

    My favourite thing about these printers in particular is the ink cartridges. Cheaper printers invariably come with smaller cartridges, and you can't get "XL" carts. On mine (and the C4680, I checked), you CAN get an XL cart and the difference is immense. In the UK at least we call them the 350 XL and 351 XL - the difference in the black cartridges is 200 to 1000 pages (and nowhere near five times the price of course).

    So whilst I appreciate you don't want to spend a lot, believe me, if you spend more on the printer you will reap the rewards when it comes to your cartridges. The really cheap printers just have those smaller capacity cartridges and you end up spending way way more on ink. (For me I spend around £20 on the higher capacity black cartridge, the lower cap is about £12. I'd have to buy four or five lower cap cartridges though depending on my usage to get the same yield, so it becomes £20 vs £50-60..)
  6. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Yes, there are a couple cheap lasers at office depot/max/staples -- just grab the one with the cheap plentiful cartridge in your area.

    aka, look around. If you don't it'll end up mail order only on cartridge, which sucks when you print a long paper due the next day and it quits.

    The Brother (with the ethernet) is a decent one, easy to double the cartridge life by sticking a post it note over the light beam hole on cartridge.

    Just look at the Brother or Samsung network laser, they usually come on sale every now and then for $79-89.
  7. atlanticza macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2008
    Cape Town
    Canon printers appear to be the most "Mac-friendly"
  8. AstrosFan macrumors 6502


    Jul 26, 2005
    I second the laser-printer recommendation. Since I print primarily documents, I chose a B&W laser printer.

    Previously, I had a Samsung ML-2010 printer (standalone). I recently upgraded to a Samsung multi-function device (4725), with copy/print/fax/scan features. The copy/print/fax work great; I haven't used the scan function yet.

    Good luck!
  9. DELLsFan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2009
    Laser doesn't work for the "occasional picture", but really ... who needs to be printing pictures much these days?

    Send your stuff to SNAPFISH, SHUTTERFLY, or head in to your favorite retail photo-geek kiosk and have them print it for you. :D
  10. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    I got my brother AIO 7840W from for $265.00 shipped on sale and its great with my winXP & Mac machines run thru my WPA2 wireless network... for the few and far between color prints I use an HP 7260 run via ethernet to my AEBS and it was on sale cheaper than a photo printer I could get at the time ($79.00)...
  11. guydude193 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2009
    I have the Canon MP480. It's a great printer. Nice looking, and with a screen. :D
    ( It also works ;) )
  12. kuchu macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2009
    My only comment on printers is to watch out for the cost of ink cartridges if you're planning on getting an inkjet printer. These printers are generally much cheaper to buy and it's for a reason. I've read articles saying that people generally pay as much as 10 x the printer price over 4 years if they print a lot. Per my understanding, an ink cartridge is supposed to be good for 150-300 pages. A laser printer's toner cartridge, in comparison, is good for 2000-3000 pages. I think a toner cartridge would cost about 3-6 times the price of each ink cartridge. So assuming you have an HP inkjet printer which takes two ink cartridges, the cost of printing the first 2000 pages could be ($15 x 2) x 10 = $300. A laser printer, on the other hand, could potentially print the first 2000 pages without any toner replacements. Something to think about.

    Of course, the major disadvantage with getting a laser printer would be you would lose out on most of the all-in-one features if you want to keep it reasonably priced. I know that amazon has some monochrome laser printers going under $100 (like the samsung one) but you're getting very little in terms of features.

    I personally am buying a macbook pro using my wife's student discount and I've decided to get the HP Photosmart C4680 all-in-one mainly because it's rich in features and my wife doesn't need to print more than 500 pages in a year. So I figure after getting the printer for free, the annual cost will not go over $100.

    I'm not a printer expert by any means but if you're still looking and money is a factor, I think you should at least ask around about the cost of a laser printer vs inkjet printer over however long you're planning to keep it before simply settling for an inkjet.
  13. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    If you're only planning on doing "a few" photo prints, just get a Brother laser printer. I had one for 4 years and it was still going strong, only had to replace the toner once. I was a fairly heavy user too, printing 50-100 pages per week.
  14. joehahn macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2009
  15. xIGmanIx macrumors 6502a

    Dec 21, 2008
    i have had two and this second one has been nothing but a pain in the :apple:ss. My first one was great, but it would drop your configurations the second you lost power
  16. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Mar 2, 2009
    I highly recommend the HP C6380. It prints, scans, copies. Ink is cheap enough, but is not available at all stores. I usually get it at Staples.

    It is wireless and networkable. I've got it setup that way and it works just great.

    My only beef is that the printer is kinda noisy.
  17. rlb2444 macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2009

    I have been through many different brands and types of printer in the past ten years. Photography is my hobby and I have gone from 13" wide to 24"(maximum print width, not width of printer) wide printers in the past ten years. I have owned HP, Epson and Canon. It is my experience that HP printers have consistently gotten worse and after spending over $3000 for an HP printer and never capable of consistently getting it to work properly and spending many hours on the phone with them I decided to get rid of it and all HP products. HP wants to take over your computer with software that does not work with all operating systems. Their customer service is the worst I have ever experienced. Try to remove HP software from your computer and you will find out.

    EPSON has gone from excellent to mediocre in my opinion and I no longer buy this brand. However Canon photo printers and their all in one home/office printers consistently are given high marks by Consumer Reports and other review sites. They are intuitive, work flawlessly and if customer service is needed they are easy to get to, you can understand what they are saying and they resolve issues.
  18. suekitch macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2009
    I think maybe some people are recommending things that may not be suited to the OP. He's at school, printing documents and the occasional picture. Also, some inkjet cartridges can print as much as 1000 pages (as I said previously).

    I may be assuming wrongly but these laser printers people are recommending aren't colour right? Even if he's only printing the "occasional picture" it means he can't even print coloured headings or highlighting on his printer..

    I really cannot underestimate how valuable having a colour printer scanner copier combination has been to me at university. Yes I could go to the library to scan/copy stuff, but that'd cost extra and be an hour's round trip. Being able to just do it in my own home has been a huge asset, both for work and for administration purposes. (e.g. photocopying my identification documents when I've needed them, photocopying my loan forms, my accommodation contracts...).
  19. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Instead he doesn't have to spend $50 on black ink every 4 months. Trade off.

    My university's library charged $.25 for color copies, and $.15 for B&W. It was $.75 for 8x11 color prints. If I needed the "occasional color print," I didn't really harangue over the extra expense. But obviously different people will have different experiences.
  20. suekitch macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2009
    That's the thing; colour printing has been the norm for me. Maybe I'm just odd that way.

    As an example, I'm currently assembling a large portfolio and I'm using colour coded cross referencing. Every single page has a word or two in colour. Yes, I could achieve the cross referencing in black ink alone and just number it, but the colouring really helps pinpoint things a bit more (as the colours correspond to the tabbed sections).

    But yeah, the scanning function is also something I've made great use of.
  21. iMav macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2008
    Columbus, WI
    Another vote for Canon AIO's. I was a loyal HP fan back in the day ANSI agree that their products are seriously on the decline.
  22. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

    Jul 8, 2008
    my house
    Check Consumer Reports

    Attached Files:

  23. mags631 Guest

    Mar 6, 2007
    For photo printing, consider using a store that offers photo printing services. It will be less expensive, and the quality will be better.

    For normal printing, we have been huge fans of the Brother laser printers. I bought a Brother 8xxx series on a lark in Frys over five years ago, and it exceeded my expectations in print and scan quality. We recently replaced that printer with a Brother 7840W -- it has built-in wireless networking, scanning, and copying. The only downside to Brother is that their custom software is awkward and ugly, but does work.
  24. djkny macrumors 6502

    Sep 30, 2003
    HP 1012 laser. The best small foot printer out there; unfortunately, Hp discontinued this a few years ago, replacing it with cheaper replacement models that have less installed memory, feel like cardboard, etc.

    Case and point: 1012's still going for close to retail on ebay last time I checked.
  25. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    This was the biggest one for me. Ink jet cartridges will "self-dry" over time and WILL need to be replaced pretty much every 90-120 days after installation regardless if you printed 5 pages or 50. A laser can sit all year without printing one page and will be ready to go at a moments notice with no toner loss based on time.

    Unless you plan on printing photo's several times a week or making a bunch of color charts, laser over ink jets IMHO.

    You can cheaply print superior color prints at on-line printing services or even your local walmart that won't smudge like cheapy ink-jet photos (I understand the >$500 ink jet printers use almost waterproof ink)

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