In need of a new printer

GSMiller

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 2, 2006
1,664
0
Kentucky
Some advise would be much appreciated.

I currently have a HP PSC 1210 all-in-one that I purchased in about 2003.

I'm pretty torn as to what brand of printer I should purchase. One thing that has always bothered me with my current printer is that whenever I print on paper thicker than standard 20 lb paper, it either goes in crooked, prints off center, or jams. Since I mainly use my home printer to print mailing labels and envelopes, this is a major pain. I would prefer a printer which you load the paper in the top and it goes straight through, instead of in the bottom which takes the paper up and around.

I like the print quality of Lexmark printers, but I refuse to buy a printer which forces me to change the ink cartridges. Are all Lexmark, Canon, and Brother printers like that? It's the reason why I've always purchased HP. I'm not in need of an all-in-one printer either, or one with a fax machine as I have a stand alone scanner and if I ever need to fax anything I just do it from work (Shh!)
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
Must it be inkjet, or are you willing to switch to a laser?

I ask, as if it's mainly for monochrome documents, the laser is typically less expensive for consumables than inkjets (perhaps some inkjets with continuous ink systems are close, I've not followed the cost on those).

I got away from HP for any printers, as their consumables will expire used or not (ink and toner), and they're some of the most expensive out there. I got sick of it, and went with Brother (both brands lasers in my case).
 

GSMiller

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 2, 2006
1,664
0
Kentucky
I actually need a color printer, and with the price of color laser printers, they're way out of my price range.

I've actually not found the price of HP ink to be that bad (I use that term loosely, as all ink is overpriced) and have been able to use cartridges for up to two years before running dry.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
I actually need a color printer, and with the price of color laser printers, they're way out of my price range.

I've actually not found the price of HP ink to be that bad (I use that term loosely, as all ink is overpriced) and have been able to use cartridges for up to two years before running dry.
IIRC, the chip on the cartridges/toners are set for 2yrs as well.

But MisterMe has the right question, as to what the budget is. You can find color lasers cheaper than you might think, but we need some numbers.

Also, you can always use a laser for monochrome documents, and a color inkjet for other needs.
 

pastrychef

macrumors 601
Sep 15, 2006
4,520
1,017
New York City, NY
Color laser printers may be less expensive than you think. I've seen color lasers on sale for less than $150. I purchased my color laser multi-function printer last year for $200 and it has performed wonderfully. After having multiple Epsons and an HP fail on me, I gave up, moved on, and haven't looked back.

One thing to be aware of is that, typically, color lasers do not print photos as well as good inkjets. If printing photos is not a major concern for you, in my opinion, lasers are the way to go. The savings from consumables can pay for itself rather quickly.
 

GSMiller

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 2, 2006
1,664
0
Kentucky
I could go $150. Printing photos isn't an issue, I rarely use my home printer for that. Thanks for all the comments.
 

Revelation78

macrumors 68000
Dec 18, 2008
1,507
11
North Carolina
You could also buy your ink from Amazon. There are some third parties on Amazon that sell ink for most printers really cheap. For instance I have an AIO Brother and I can get ink for $2.50 a cartridge. How long the last depends entirely on how much you print.
 

idea_hamster

macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2003
1,096
1
NYC, or thereabouts
SAMSUNG CLP-315/XAA Personal ($99.99USD & free shipping from newegg)
CLP-315 print quality is fine.

HOWEVER: I have never gotten this to work reliably when connected to Airport for wireless printing. Generally, it will print one short document.

Two consistent problems arise. (1) Any document longer than 3-4 pages simply prints the first page or two and then a corrupt data error page. (2) After power-up, the documents generally print. After some down time, when one sends a document to print, the CLP-315 will wake and cycle, but fail to print. The only solution seems to be to power cycle the printer.

These issues are so significant that I have unplugged the printer from my Airport and simply walk over and plug in when I need to print -- effectively a total loss of Airport's wireless print capability. I was SHARPLY disappointed by this.

Consequently, if you plan to print via USB, then the CLP-315 is fine. Considering wireless? RUN -- do not walk!

Hope this helps....
 

SnowLeopard2008

macrumors 604
Jul 4, 2008
6,772
8
Silicon Valley
Don't bother with color lasers. The printer may seem cheap (< $200) but the toner is expensive.

Let me clarify this, you refuse to change ink cartridges? All printers use cartridges or toners of some kind. And once they are used up, they must be user replaced. So you're refusing to do that? Even your HP printer does this.

I would stick with HP printers, those are top notch. For budget printers, Brother and Canon are good choices. If you need an AIO, I had a HP that lasted for years.
 

GSMiller

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 2, 2006
1,664
0
Kentucky
CLP-315 print quality is fine.

HOWEVER: I have never gotten this to work reliably when connected to Airport for wireless printing. Generally, it will print one short document.

Two consistent problems arise. (1) Any document longer than 3-4 pages simply prints the first page or two and then a corrupt data error page. (2) After power-up, the documents generally print. After some down time, when one sends a document to print, the CLP-315 will wake and cycle, but fail to print. The only solution seems to be to power cycle the printer.

These issues are so significant that I have unplugged the printer from my Airport and simply walk over and plug in when I need to print -- effectively a total loss of Airport's wireless print capability. I was SHARPLY disappointed by this.

Consequently, if you plan to print via USB, then the CLP-315 is fine. Considering wireless? RUN -- do not walk!

Hope this helps....
Thanks so much for the information on this printer, I have mine connected to my AEBS so this was very informative.

Don't bother with color lasers. The printer may seem cheap (< $200) but the toner is expensive.

Let me clarify this, you refuse to change ink cartridges? All printers use cartridges or toners of some kind. And once they are used up, they must be user replaced. So you're refusing to do that? Even your HP printer does this.

I would stick with HP printers, those are top notch. For budget printers, Brother and Canon are good choices. If you need an AIO, I had a HP that lasted for years.
You aren't kidding about the price of laser printers. With as little as I print a laser printer would be a major waste of money as the toner would expire before I could use it all.

I don't refuse to replace the cartridges, but I do not want a printer that will force me to replace them because they are supposedly low. This is one aspect I've always liked about HP printers because even though the printer will say the toner is low, it will continue to print for quite sometime with no loss in quality.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
CLP-315 print quality is fine.

HOWEVER: I have never gotten this to work reliably when connected to Airport for wireless printing. Generally, it will print one short document.

Two consistent problems arise. (1) Any document longer than 3-4 pages simply prints the first page or two and then a corrupt data error page. (2) After power-up, the documents generally print. After some down time, when one sends a document to print, the CLP-315 will wake and cycle, but fail to print. The only solution seems to be to power cycle the printer.

These issues are so significant that I have unplugged the printer from my Airport and simply walk over and plug in when I need to print -- effectively a total loss of Airport's wireless print capability. I was SHARPLY disappointed by this.

Consequently, if you plan to print via USB, then the CLP-315 is fine. Considering wireless? RUN -- do not walk!

Hope this helps....
I only linked the NON Wireless version, which does seem to do OK, from what I've seen about it.

Don't bother with color lasers. The printer may seem cheap (< $200) but the toner is expensive.

Let me clarify this, you refuse to change ink cartridges? All printers use cartridges or toners of some kind. And once they are used up, they must be user replaced. So you're refusing to do that? Even your HP printer does this.

I would stick with HP printers, those are top notch. For budget printers, Brother and Canon are good choices. If you need an AIO, I had a HP that lasted for years.
Toner is still cheaper than ink when you work out the cost/page.

I've had HP lasers, which were expensive on toner. The newer units are chipped, and will expire if used or not. I have a Brother AIO Laser now, and it's cheaper on toner, and works better, particularly the software.
 

CylonGlitch

macrumors 68030
Jul 7, 2009
2,925
109
SoCal
Almost 5 years ago I switched from Inkjets to Color Lasers (I don't print many pictures besides what my kids need for school). I purchased a Dell CN3100 for $240 (back then) and it came with full toner cartridges. I also have a cheap black and white laser I use for daily prints. After 5 years that Dell still prints BEAUTIFULLY and I am still on my FIRST toners!

Considering how expensive color toner is (4 toners, $100 each -- although it has come down) you are often better off selling or giving away the machine and buying a new one. If the toner lasts you 2 years, then every 2 years you buy a new color laser, you'll get faster, better, and up to date printers, for about $75/year.

I will never waste my time or money on an Inkjet again. If I want to print pictures I send them to Costco, Target, Rite Aide, via the web and pick them up in an hour.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
I will never waste my time or money on an Inkjet again. If I want to print pictures I send them to Costco, Target, Rite Aide, via the web and pick them up in an hour.
If the color printing (particularly photos) is really low, this is the best way to go IMO, as there's no printer or cartridges to worry about. Ever.

You do sacrifice the convenience of being able to print them at home though, but the reduced aggravation and lower cost is worth it IMO. But I may be in the minority here... ;) :p
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
28
USA
...

You aren't kidding about the price of laser printers. With as little as I print a laser printer would be a major waste of money as the toner would expire before I could use it all.

...
What color is the sky on your planet? The toner used by laser printers is powdered plastic. What makes you think that plastic has an expiration date?
 

GSMiller

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 2, 2006
1,664
0
Kentucky
What color is the sky on your planet? The toner used by laser printers is powdered plastic. What makes you think that plastic has an expiration date?
According to this and these toner cartridges listed on Amazon, they have a shelf life of 24-36 months. An earlier post in this very thread also claims that HP ink expires after 24 months.

Anything else?
 

CylonGlitch

macrumors 68030
Jul 7, 2009
2,925
109
SoCal
According to this and these toner cartridges listed on Amazon, they have a shelf life of 24-36 months. An earlier post in this very thread also claims that HP ink expires after 24 months.

Anything else?
Ink != Toner. Ink has expiration dates because they start to dry out and then they can clog the jet of the printer. Where as toner needs to stay dry, it is stored as a powder that is applied and then fused to the paper.

Yes, color toner is expensive, but you can have it for many years without a problem (as long as it doesn't get damp), after 5 years I'm still on my first set of toners; and I have almost 50% life still! If tomorrow I needed to get new toners for it, I might just buy another one. But prices are down and if it lasts 5 to 10 years (in my minimum use environment) it is well worth it. In fact, laser printers, black and color are MUCH better suited for minimum use then ink jets because the toner lasts forever. My problem with ink jets is that I would print one picture every year or so; thus when I went to print, the ink was always dry and I'd have to buy more. That would end up costing me $30 or $40 for one picture. :( With the way my color toner is going I'll have about 4000 pages before it is empty, even if it cost me $400 to replace, that is only 10 cents a page.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
What color is the sky on your planet? The toner used by laser printers is powdered plastic. What makes you think that plastic has an expiration date?
Ink != Toner. Ink has expiration dates because they start to dry out and then they can clog the jet of the printer. Where as toner needs to stay dry, it is stored as a powder that is applied and then fused to the paper.

Yes, color toner is expensive, but you can have it for many years without a problem (as long as it doesn't get damp), after 5 years I'm still on my first set of toners; and I have almost 50% life still! If tomorrow I needed to get new toners for it, I might just buy another one. But prices are down and if it lasts 5 to 10 years (in my minimum use environment) it is well worth it. In fact, laser printers, black and color are MUCH better suited for minimum use then ink jets because the toner lasts forever. My problem with ink jets is that I would print one picture every year or so; thus when I went to print, the ink was always dry and I'd have to buy more. That would end up costing me $30 or $40 for one picture. :( With the way my color toner is going I'll have about 4000 pages before it is empty, even if it cost me $400 to replace, that is only 10 cents a page.
Some companies are chipping thier supplies, such as HP. 2yrs is all you'll get, used up or not. In the case of toners, no, they don't dry out. Technically, they can get damp, but if you store it in the conditions you're supposed to, it will last. But the chip can force users to have to go buy toners they really don't need. It's all about $$$. There's far more profit involved in the supplies than the unit itself. Always has been.
 

pastrychef

macrumors 601
Sep 15, 2006
4,520
1,017
New York City, NY
I picked up a Samsung CLX-3175FN (a multi-function, networked version of the CLP-315 mentioned earlier in this thread) in March, 2009. I'm still on my original toner cartridges and all four are still 71% full. Obviously, I don't do any heavy printing, but it's comforting to know that if/when I do need to print something, I don't have to worry about print heads that have clogged up or ink carts that have dried up.

I used to keep spare ink carts around for my inkjets for fear of running out of ink because of the limited number of prints each cartridge can print. On more than one occasion, when it came time to replace the ink carts, I found that they had either dried up or "expired". What these companies have done to these ink carts scam their customers is deplorable and I try to recommend people purchase lasers instead every opportunity I get.
 

CylonGlitch

macrumors 68030
Jul 7, 2009
2,925
109
SoCal
Some companies are chipping thier supplies, such as HP. 2yrs is all you'll get, used up or not. In the case of toners, no, they don't dry out. Technically, they can get damp, but if you store it in the conditions you're supposed to, it will last. But the chip can force users to have to go buy toners they really don't need. It's all about $$$. There's far more profit involved in the supplies than the unit itself. Always has been.
1. This is why I don't buy HP stuff anymore, they have tried things like this several times in the past and I don't think I can give them any more money. I have been using Brother for B&W printers, and a Dell for my color.

2. The chip typically can be ignored, there is a way to disable the chip directly from the control panel of the printer. Just did a quick google search and found out the steps. Sure it disables the ink level sensors as well but at least you can use all of the ink/toner.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
What these companies have done to these ink carts scam their customers is deplorable and I try to recommend people purchase lasers instead every opportunity I get.
I'm the same way, but you even have to be careful with lasers, as some such as HP are chipping those supplies as well.

1. This is why I don't buy HP stuff anymore, they have tried things like this several times in the past and I don't think I can give them any more money. I have been using Brother for B&W printers, and a Dell for my color.
I've switched to Brother for both B&W and color laser. So far, so good. The supplies are decent in cost, and definitely cheaper than HP's.

2. The chip typically can be ignored, there is a way to disable the chip directly from the control panel of the printer. Just did a quick google search and found out the steps. Sure it disables the ink level sensors as well but at least you can use all of the ink/toner.
I'm wondering if they've re-thought that, and disabled the capability in the newer printers (I've not looked into it, and just try to find companies that haven't chipped their consumables at all if possible). The companies that remanufacture either disable or reset them IIRC. But I've not had good luck with remanufactured toners, and even worse with refilled ink cartridges (when I've had to deal with them).
 

Jaro65

macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2009
3,703
563
Seattle, WA
About 6 months ago or so I replaced my HP OfficeJet with Canon MX860. I have it connected to my AEBS for wireless printing. Overall I'm very happy with the printer.
 

idea_hamster

macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2003
1,096
1
NYC, or thereabouts
I only linked the NON Wireless version, which does seem to do OK, from what I've seen about it.
I understand -- that is the version that I have.

The wireless version has its own built-in wireless capability. The non-wireless version should be able to be plugged into a USB outlet on the Airport and accessed normally. But, as stated, my experience is poor.

Not saying the printer doesn't work -- just that it doesn't work if I use Airport's printer-sharing feature.

Just sharing my personal experience....
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
I understand -- that is the version that I have.

The wireless version has its own built-in wireless capability. The non-wireless version should be able to be plugged into a USB outlet on the Airport and accessed normally. But, as stated, my experience is poor.

Not saying the printer doesn't work -- just that it doesn't work if I use Airport's printer-sharing feature.

Just sharing my personal experience....
I was under the impression it was the wireless version, and it wasn't playing nicely with the Airport. But once swapped to USB, they were fine with one another.

I hadn't realized the USB port didn't work properly for you. :eek: I wonder what the deal was, as there's others with that printer that haven't had issues. :confused: