Help us decide which TYPE of inkjet printer is best for us

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by DewGuy1999, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #1
    We need to get a printer for very occasional use. Mostly black & white, maybe some spot color, maybe a photo, but not really for photo quality pictures. A laser is NOT an option due to their power requirements.

    Researching inkjets we've learned that there are basically 2 types of print head/cartridge designs used, integrated into the ink cartridge, Integrated Print Head (IPH), and a long-life print head integrated into a printer which has Individual Ink Cartridges (IIC). This article HP Printers - Ink Usage in Inkjet Printers explains a lot of the differences as relates to ink usage with the 2 different types.

    From my understanding of the above article and our anticipated usage, we think that a printer using a integrated print head with black and tri-color cartridges would probably be best. I'm going to be ordering a new Mac soon and would like to get something that the Apple $100 printer rebate would apply to. We're thinking of this HP Photosmart C4780 All-in-One Printer. Any opinions? Thanks.
     
  2. MKSinSA macrumors regular

    MKSinSA

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Location:
    Alamo City, Lone Star State
    #2
    I'm probably biased

    because I have a HP 7400 series all-in-one and just love it. It uses the integrated cartridge and for doing my personal, day-to-day print jobs, it's just right. Back when I was producing documents and mock-ups ranging to poster size for customers, I had a Canon that used the individual cartridges. For the number I consumed then, it was a more cost-effective system. For home use, the smaller IPH should be just fine.

    HTH .. Cheers! :cool:
     
  3. virgomac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    #3
    I was wondering what sort of power requirements you were talking about there. I mean, all of my printers just have always plugged into a standard wall outlet.

    My current printer and one that I have to say is the best i've ever owned hands down is a Samsung color laser printer that I picked up from Circuit City going out of business sale for less than $100. Text quality is VERY good, and picture quality is actually quite impressive.

    But for me, the absolute number one reason I switched to a laser, I never ever again have to worry about going to print something and the dang ink cartridge being dried up, clogged up, or printing 10,000 "cleaner" pages to get things up to par and print clearly again.

    I've had this thing for close to a year now and am STILL using my starter cartridges on it. Yes, once they run out they will be pricey (relative term) to buy (80$). But also I know that a new one will last me a VERY long time as compared to my already rather lengthy time of use out of the current ones, and again with zero of the ink jet hassles.
     
  4. MacFanUK macrumors 6502a

    MacFanUK

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    I too would be interested to know what you mean by power requirements. Maybe we can then help a little more.

    I have a solid ink (wax printer) which, yes, takes a lot of power, but I think a cheap Samsung laser would be ideal and very low on the power.
     
  5. DewGuy1999 thread starter macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #5
    We had looked into the Brother HL-2170W laser printer. In a number of the user reviews it's mentioned that it's a power hog and there were a number of mentions of dimming lights, tripping circuit breakers, causing PCs to restart, sending UPCs into a tizzy, etc. According to Brother it uses 460W printing, 80W Ready and 8W sleeping.

    Further research into laser printers in general has turned up that apparently most (if not all) laser printers use a large amperage for periods of time to heat the fuser, this apparently does not play well with other things on the circuit and some of the recommendations on the net that I've run across recommend a dedicated 20 Amp circuit for laser printers. That is not possible here, heck a dedicated 15 Amp circuit isn't a possibility either. This is why we're looking at inkjets and trying to determine which would be best suited for limited use.
     
  6. DewGuy1999 thread starter macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #6
    Thanks. That was our thinking as well. With limited use we'd probably get some evaporation, head cleaning etc, that would use up the ink and that it would be more economical to replace 1 or 2 ink carts rather than 1-5. Also the C4780 allows you to print with one or the other cart if the ink is depleted or the cart isn't installed. That sounds useful for limited use.
     
  7. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #7
    I was under the impression that HP stopped producing IPH printers...

    Anyway, from my experience with HP inkjets, their drivers are extremely bloated. Just go to the support page for one of their printers and take a look at the size of the download.
     
  8. MacFanUK macrumors 6502a

    MacFanUK

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    UK
    #8
    Never had issues like that with any laser printer I've owned. Maybe they reviewer just had bad circuits or something as I don't think that'd pass safety checks if that happened.
     
  9. DewGuy1999 thread starter macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #9
    From what I've been able to learn it appears that if the HP printers use 2 carts, black and tri-color, then they have the print head integrated into the cart. If they use 4 or more carts then they use a print head separate from the carts.
     
  10. DewGuy1999 thread starter macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

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    Jan 25, 2009
    #10
    Basically, we have just about everything on one circuit. My understanding is that new laser printers use less wattage (Energy Star) than their predecessors but they use a higher amperage to insure a quicker warm up time and faster printing. This high amperage use causes a drop in voltage that causes the lights to dim, etc. This drop in voltage (like a mini brown out) can cause damage to sensitive devices like computers etc. Since we have basically everything on one circuit we thought that an inkjet would be the prudent choice.
     
  11. MacFanUK macrumors 6502a

    MacFanUK

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    UK
    #11
    ah ok, I get you now. I don't really know alot about electrics. The main problem I have found with inkjets is that the cartridges dry up very quickly so I'm not really sure what to suggest.
     
  12. DewGuy1999 thread starter macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

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    Jan 25, 2009
    #12
    That's one of the things that we've kept in mind concerning inkjets, the other is that they use the ink for head cleaning, etc. We were leaning toward a printer with the print head integrated into the cart as these type supposedly use less ink for cleaning etc. and only have 2 carts. The printers with multiple carts, such as 4 or more have separate print heads. A 2 cart printer (C4780) would cost about $35 to replace the carts (OEM) versus something like $50-$70 to replace all the carts (OEM) on a 4 or 5 cart printer. Plus the integrated print head printers have the advantage of getting a new print head with each cart avoiding the problem of clogged expensive print heads.
     
  13. MacFanUK macrumors 6502a

    MacFanUK

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    UK
    #13
    Yeah I think the integrated print heads are the way to go for you. I'm amazed these manufacturers haven't come up with a way to prevent the print heads from drying up though.
     
  14. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #14
    Where do you get this stuff? A laser printer is not an electric range or window air conditioner. People have been using laser printers without special wiring in the office environment for decades. Several years ago, I got tired of wet pages produced by my ink jet printer. I replaced my HP DeskJet with a Xerox Phaser 8400DP dry wax printer in my home and never looked back. It sits next to my HDTV. Just plugged it into an existing wall outlet. No problems. Love it. I love it so much that I purchased a Xerox Phaser 8550DP for my office. There, I also just plugged it into the wall. No worries. No problems.

    If you were talking about an enterprise-level document printer with attached sorter/collator, then you might have had a point. For a department printer or one smaller, these printers should cause no more concerns than a desktop computer.
     
  15. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #15
    Put me into the camp of people who believe that you are getting bad info on laser printers. If you had three of the 460W laser printers going full tilt at the same time... that would be the same electrical load of a single hair dryer.

    I have given up on ink jet printers, and have a very nice Xerox color laser MFD. The only thing that color lasers are not good at is photo quality pictures. For that... just upload the pics to Costco or Walgreens... and they are done before you can drive to the store... and they cost less than you would pay in consumables printing at home... plus you get nicer prints. Clearly this is not what HP wants you to believe... but the economics of printing pictures at home just doesn't make sense.

    /Jim
     
  16. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #16
    I, too, have converted to a colour laser. A Samsung all-in-one, to be exact. It may have been the best $200 I ever spent. After going through several Epsons with irreparably clogged heads and an HP that would no longer recognize that a new ink cartridge had been installed, I gave up. Also, my laser is plugged in to a standard power strip without and special wiring required.
     
  17. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #17
    This would only be an issue if the load on the circuit (wall) is near the max capacity (breaker current limit).

    If that's the case, get a UPS, and place the computer on it. :)

    Recommended to have for brown-out situations anyway (they happen often as a result of Utility conditions out of your control). But more importantly, turn on devices in some sort of order. Say the printer first, then let it warm up. Followed by the computer or other devices. This will help mitigate startup currents on the AC circuit. ;)
     

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