Cheap printer advice please

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by ump3, Feb 12, 2004.

  1. ump3 macrumors member


    Jul 4, 2003
    anyone advise me on a cheap inkjet printer? mainly to be used for text documents, letterheads and the odd photo. I'm predominantly a web head and really won't be using it that often.

    been looking online at the LexmarkZ55se, the Canon i550 or the Epson C62 but would apprieciate any other ideas.
  2. tomf87 macrumors 65816


    Sep 10, 2003
    I've always had great confidence in HP.. I have an Epson, and the only problem with it is the jets clog easily.

    In most printers, when you replace the cartridge, you are also replacing the jets, because they are built into the cartridge. With the Epson, the jets are installed on the printer, and you just replace ink tanks.
  3. telecomm macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    I've got an HP deskjet 5550, and I'm pretty happy with it. It good a good review on CNET (it was one of their editors' picks when I bought it), and the text quality is very good - that was a big consideration for me, since I am primarily printing text. It can do six colour photo printing too (with an extra photo printing cartridge). I've only done some three colour printing, and I've been pretty happy with it, though I'm no expert by far. It's got a big footprint, but it looks sorta cool regardless.
  4. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    I'd say go with HP. I've owned two Epsons in the past and have had nothing but problems with them, my current HP on the other hand (a 970Cxi) has been great.
  5. laserbeahm macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2004
    Central Valley, CA
    Go with the HP. I think every Mac user has had problems with Epson in the past. I have HPs from 15 years ago that run great.
  6. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    Like others, I've had trouble with Epson in the past. I *love* my Canon i850 (I think they're up to 860 now though). Cheap, long lasting ink cartridges, plus separate cartridges for each color. Does a fine job with photos when you use good paper.
  7. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    Canon are the best in the long run as their printers have the ink flow controller built in to the ink cartridge holder and not in the cartridge itself. This makes their ink much cheaper. I myself have a Lexmark 3 in 1 and love it but the ink is very costly although the unit itself was very cheap.
  8. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    i use a hp 5150 for 99 usd its okay quality

    prints fast and uses ink well
  9. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    I've used an Epson C82 and an Epson C84 and never had any problems with either one. My dad uses an Epson Photo Stylus 2200 for professional-level photographic prints and has never had an ink problem with it. Prints are gorgeous too, I've got two of his pieces hanging in my house.
  10. FriarTuck macrumors 6502


    May 26, 2003
    Chicago area
    I second the votes for HP and Canon and against Lexmark and Epson.
  11. stoid macrumors 601


    Feb 17, 2002
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    I recently got an Epson Stylus C84, and it's the best printer I have ever seen or owned (at least in terms of budget inkjets). It's fast, efficient, quiet, and the print outs are absolutely gorgeous. The inks it uses are comparatively cheap, and it uses the 3 color cartridges so that you are not wasting ink.

    This printer replaced my old Epson 740 which worked fine for almost 4 and a half years until I accidentally dropped it.
  12. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    Epson and Canon make the finest printers near the entry level. I wouldn't buy an entry level printer just because "you get what you pay for", as the saying goes.

    I've had 3 HPs, 1 Lexmark, 1 Epson printer, and 1 Epson all-in-one.

    The Epson C84 and it's all-in-one relative the CX5400 print quite well and are quite inexpensive.

    Canon is a little more expensive but the i475D and i560 should be considered.
  13. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    ok you said cheap. you want the best performance for the buck right.

    here is the thing about printers. printer companies make the money off the printer cartridges. so when deciding on a printer figure in the price you will have to maintain it and how much use it will get. ie checkup on the all different brands of cartridges, generic cartridges and ink refills.

    its seems like you won't use it very often so you just may factor in quality and black ink cost.
  14. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    The HP DeskJet 5550 I bought worked so nicely that I bought another one for another system.

    If you want to be economical, estimate your ink usage and consider the cost of supplies. That is likely to be more important than the cost of the printer.
  15. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    The times, they are a-changing.

    Ah, those were the days. The HP DeskJet 970Cxi was made back in the day when HP made its own printers. They were anvils. Alas, HP no longer makes its own printers, not the consumer models anyway. HP's consumer-grade printers are outsourced to some contractor(s) that builds POS that HP slaps a label on. Go to your nearest computer store and wiggle the plastic on what passes for a HP printer these days. Then wiggle the plastic on the venerable DJ 970Cxi. Daylight and dark:( Can you do better? Probably not at today's prices without going way upscale.
  16. cmx08 macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2004
    Canada, GMA
    Go laser

    cheap inkjet are cheap and the ink that comes with it are only 40 to 60% fill. (60% is rare) and the ink are very expensive

    laser gives u more even if u are the only one using it at college level.
    it might last u until u grad.

    and u'll have good memories with it.
    macworld made a research and the cost per paper print can be 50% cheaper

    january 2004 macworld page 58

    printer black ink pages cost
    inkjet 100$ 20 450 44c
    laser 400 72 2500 28c
  17. applemacdude macrumors 68040


    Mar 26, 2001
    Over The Rainbow
  18. spiffie macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2003
    Austin, TX
    I'll second that. I have the HP PSC 1210, also, and it's been pretty good. Sure, it's not perfect, but for $100, it's been more than adequate.

    Personally, though, if text is your primary concern I'd recommend a cheap laser printer. I've had an HP LaserJet 5L for six years now that's been wonderful for printing out the occassional document for school or work. And as others have mentioned, you have to figure in the cost of printer consumables (like ink or toner). In six years of very occassionaly use, I've never had to replace the toner on my LaserJet. In that same period, I'd likely have had to replace the ink cartridge on an ink jet several times, if only because they had dried up from lack of use.

    I wouldn't recommend a 5L, though, for Mac users, even if you could find one used. It only connects to a parallel port (a PC thing, don't worry about it). Luckily, my router has a built in print server with a parallel port, so that's how I print to it. Most entry level laser printers today should have standard USB connections, I think.

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