Good Inkjet Printer

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Fall, Mar 28, 2004.

  1. Fall macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2002
    I see there is a thread on lasers, but I only want to spend as little as possible...and it's only going to be printing a letter here, and a PDF there, something that can handle decent post scipt though of course.

    I'm a graph designer, but only small atm, I'm concerned about the ability of cheap printers with small amounts of Level 3 Post Script I may need to be printing.
  2. MacRAND macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2003
    Phoenix AZ USA
    Post Script 3 printer - cheap?

    Since you have not completed your Profile (where you live on planet Earth, occupation, computer, signature, etc.) I have no idea where to send you at your locale, nor how to compliment your Mac.
    Filling out your Profile helps us help you. Also, you didn't tell us what you have, or have had, for a printer.

    Suggestion: Burn a CD of Post Script jobs, Graphs you like, and other files you want to print as a TEST. Take the CD with you to your favorite computer store - Fry's Electronics, MicroWorld, Apple Store, whatever. If you have an iBook or PowerBook, so much the better - take it and a USB printer cable with you to the store.

    Things to look for:
    1. Individual ink tanks - so if Yellow runs out, you don't have to buy a whole new "color cartridge". The more color tanks, the more likely it is "photo quality". In the long run, this saves you money.
    2. Price - set a budget before you go; realistically, $80 to $300 is a good medium range. Over that, and you get 7 color tanks and double-letter size (tabloid). Less than that, you get all-in-one "color cartridge", and very cheap printers. If you don't do that much printing, you may not care.
    3. Paper & Print Media - the range can be amazing. Make sure the kind of paper or media you like to print on is covered.
    4. Photo quality - which has to do both with DPI resolution and the number of ink colors - usually 6 minimum. Run PRINT samples and compare.
    5. Ask a salesman or company rep (they usually wear polo shirts with EPSON, CANON, HP, etc. on them. Remember, they are there to pitch their company's product).

    CANON printers often have individual ink tanks starting with even low end (low cost) models. Very Mac friendly, sold in Apple stores.
    CANON Photo Printers

    b]EPSON[/b] has a wide range of printers, Photo Stylus printers, including printers that will print directly on blank CD and DVD media, that no one else does. These are great all around printers.
    EPSON Photo InkJet Printers [​IMG]

    HP has an excellent reputation for text printing - text can look very sharp. COSTCO usually has a good selection and price on HP printers.
    HP InkJet Printers

    Before you go shopping, run a Google on Printer REVIEWS for 2003 and 2004 done by Macworld, MacAddict, MacHome and whomever, especially where the writer is comparing 3 or more printers in a test group. Print it out and take it with you.

    Look at what your local Dealer is selling at a clearance discount or specail deal, pay attention to warranties.

    Find out and price the Ink Cartridges like you have to replacement; look at the size of the ink tank. Compare costs among several printers. The initial cost of a printer is peanuts, a steal, and almost irrelevant -- they get you back when you buy the ink... ;)
    (It's like buying a razor - cheap; just wait until you have to buy a pack of 10 blades. Gilette or Shick will give away the razor so they can hook you into refill blades.) :D

    Bottom Line: buy what you like and what makes you feel good.

    I own a mobile CANON for its portability with my iBook and the great print job it does, but the cartrides are COLOR and BLACK, not individual, and expensive. No problem, I only use it on the road - office on wheels.

    The EPSON is important because it prints directly on DVD and CD discs, which is important to me. For the price and capability, I like the $99 R200 and the R300 printers best. Instead of the mobile CANON, I use the EPSON to print ordinary inkjet jobs in the office.

    I also have a XEROX/Tektronix color wax printer ($4000 range) that I use for daily printing up to 1200 dpi, and it is superb. However, WAX ink on paper does not auto-fed through a copy machine because they stick to the glass (requiring one at a time copying). InkJet masters flys through the copier, which is black & white anyway; it doesn't know from COLOR. :)

    EPSON has some really great new individual tank printers that print photo quality and directly on CD/DVD discs for $150 to $300. Great all around printer.

    CANON has some excellent $80 to $200 printers with individual ink tanks that produce some stunning prints.

    In a dozen years, I've owned several HP laser printers, but none of their inkjets.

    You don't need to go expensive, and you should probably avoid real cheap printers. The middle ground of ($99 - $200) is just loaded with lots and lots of good choices.

    Where to buy? Local stores often charge full price, unless they have a sale or deal; and retail stores charge State/Local Sales Tax. However, it is "cash & carrry" - instant gratification.

    Internet Price-Search, No Sales Tax for out-of-state buy, sometimes sale priced, watchout for the hidden cost of SHIPPING, which can exceed Tax and other savings, plus it takes TIME to get to you. Just do your homework. Look for Mail-in Rebates; check the Manufacturer's sites for special deals that trickle down to the dealers

    Anything else?
  3. Fall thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2002
    Forbid me to think hrmf, only one reply...


    I'm in Aus, so prices will vary, but still be in the same ranges of each other I guess, I'll check prices, get numbers, then compare them with reviews. I was always looking at HPs but I think I might just have to look at this Epson majiggy...CD PRINTING!

    I once asked a shop guy if I bought my PB in or a cd could he test some prints and he laughed, jerk.
  4. MacRAND macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2003
    Phoenix AZ USA
    InkJet PRINTERS down under

    FALL, if you send stuff to clients, family or friends on CD or DVD, printing the labels directly on the disc is far superior to sticking a printed paper label on it. However, if I don't have a "printable" disc with a white surface handy, I stick the label on THEN I print on it using the Epson's DISC tray. Works great. The label printing DISCUS software comes with it and works for 90% of your needs, and it's only $20 USD to upgrade the DISCUS software to full printing capabilities, you'll see the difference when you get the included software - you may only need what it comes with.

    Check out the Maxell (I think) PRINTABLE surface CDs at your favorite store, or look for an online DVD media store to purchase 4x or 2x DVDs with inkjet PRINTABLE surfaces, they are becoming much more abundant now that the CD/DVD printers have been out for about a year now, prices have come down (both on printers and printable disc media) and where EPSON used to have only 1 DISC printer, the 900, it has more than half a dozen now. Everyone is getting one. ;)

    You do realise that sticking paper labels on DISCS is harmful for 2 reasons:
    1. adding a paper label destabilizes the balance of the spinning disc, the faster it spins the worse it gets, which can hurt any CD/DVD player. 52x speed for CD is super fast, and 8x for DVD is about half maximum safe speed, and the new 16x which is about to come out later this year, is maximum speed for a DVD. Manufacturers of DVD burners are reluctant to exceed 16x because the plastic discs can disintegrate and explode at that speed destroying your SuperDrive or the player.
    2. the glue on the paper labels eats into the plastic disks, which can destroy your data over time.

    You'll attract plenty of OZ and NZ blokes to come to your rescue if you add your location to your Profile. They'll know where to go and how to get things done downunder.

    You are right, just take your PB, the sample CD, and the USB printer cable with you when you go shopping. If some stiff laughs, find someone else to handle your TEST. You do have stores with printers out for display and plugged in for testing right? I always try-out stuff like printers before I buy them, that way, no surprises...well, fewer. :p

    And don't forget mail order, rebates and discounts. Can't help direct you down under for that, your tax laws are not the same as here in the states.

    Start collecting "names" and either iChatAV (AIM) or eMail addresses of fellow AUSSIES that participate in the Mac-Forums so you can ask more directly about "where do I purchase" type questions.

    By the way, what do you mean you do "graphs"? Do you work for yourself, a company, the government (spy?), or what?

    If I can be of any more service, let me know.
  5. Fall thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2002
    Graphic Designer I mean, brochuers business cards and letterheads etc.

    Thanks for all the help mate!
  6. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    I like the Canon i860. Very good with CMYK. Though Glossy or Matte paper is a must for best quality. I use it for class projects when the lab laser is on the fritz (and by fritz I mean the prof forgot to call for a new yellow cartridge when it was low).
  7. mklos macrumors 68000


    Dec 4, 2002
    My house!
    As long as its not a Lexmark printer then you'll be ok! Both HP and EPSON make pretty good printers that are cheap and have a pretty darn good resolution. As far as a specific printer...well I can't be much help there since I don't do very much color printing. I have an EPSON Color Stylus 8 Cubed printer that prints really nice color pictures, but they don't make it anymore.

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