HP printhead cost problem

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by arogge, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. arogge macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2002
    My serial-port inkjet printers always had ink cartridges that cost about $20-$30 for a replacement. One cartridge was the black ink and the other was for the colour ink. They generally lasted a few months with my printing demands, the black being used faster because I would normally print basic text documents.

    The updated printer was an all-in-one device, a d135 from HP. It uses the two separate ink cartridges, but separates the integrated printheads from the ink cartridges into four printheads. These four printheads always seemed to have been a problem for me. The printing quality was never as good as my old printer.

    The black wasn't really black, but rather had a mix of blue and red added. The colours were streaky, often mixing different colours together and making unacceptable colour tones. I tolerated it because I really wanted the all-in-one device for the faxing and printing of my text documents.

    As my requirements expanded to include colour printing, I found that I could not print basic colour charts. Darker colours were unreadable, and the lighter colours were mixed with other colours that made the documents look bad. The self-check on the printer suggested that a printhead was bad, so I replaced that printhead. The improvement lasted for a few weeks, and then the colours started streaking again. Although the self-check didn't report it, I replaced another printhead to see if the problem could be fixed, but the colour streaking persisted.

    One of the apparent problems is that this printer is using the colour ink to print the blacks. It is mixing blue ink with the black, instead of using only the black ink cartridge. If I remove the colour cartridge or leave it empty, the printer refuses to print anything. That is a stupid method of printing.

    Another problem is that the new ink cartridges must be replaced more often. A single page of a colour print would use about 7% of the ink cartridge, according to the printer. A text document would use 3% of the black ink cartridge. Those cartridges are still about $30 each, even though they lack the integrated printheads. HP claimed that these separate printheads were saving me money, but my costs definitely increased when compared with the integrated ink cartridge systems.

    Now the printer is reporting that all of the printheads are bad. I tried to buy new printheads, but they cost about $30 each and are not available in any of my local stores. The cost of replacing the printheads exceeds the cost of buying a new printer. Now I'm wondering if I should stop trying to fix the printheads that obviously don't last very long, and simply buy a new printer. Should I pay the replacement fee for the printheads, and if it doesn't work, send all of the printheads back to HP for a refund?

    This all-in-one printer is a nice standalone unit, but I've also had problems with OS X compatibility. Printing often failed or stalled, with the Print Manager reporting that the device was busy. If I stopped the printing from the controls on the printer, the Print Manager refused to see the attached device anymore until I logged-out. HP later dropped support for OS X, and so no fixes for these problems have been available.

    I would definitely not buy another printer that uses separate cartridges for ink and printheads. The printing costs have been ridiculous, and the maintenance complications have increased those costs. Printheads can fail suddenly, and they are not replaced with each ink replacement, necessitating buying extra printheads that can be installed if a printhead fails unexpectedly.

    I really like having an all-in-one device because I can use it as a copier and a fax, without an attached computer, and it saves space. What other options are available for my printing problems?
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    A $79 B&W laser if you do a lot of that, or an integrated laser Fax machine if you don't need color copies.

    Then dragging out the old color printer if you still have it and a cheap color scanner.

    Personally i hat the integrated units because you lose a lot of equipment if it breaks, or an OS upgrade renders it useless.

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