Inkjet printer - compact, cheap, reliable

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by stevo1, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. stevo1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
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    UK
    #1
    My Epson C42UX has just gone kerputt, so I'm looking for a new inkjet printer. Something:

    • fairly inexpensive (pref under $105 USD/£60 GBP)
    • compact
    • reasonable quality/speed
    • reliably Mac supported
    No special features required per se (no need for card reader, scanner, wifi, etc) ....unless it's still roughly in the price range!

    Any printer recommendations based on this info would be appreciated.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #2
    You might want to take a look at Brother Inkjets. :) I've used their laser products, and have had great results. Consumables costs are also low. :D

    Another member posted that he was happy with his Kodak 5100, and it was also cheap on ink, even using name brand.

    They all run under OS X, and meet your cost requirements if it's the same cost in the UK. I've noticed that this can be a major issue at times. :(
     
  3. hughvane macrumors 6502

    hughvane

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    Location:
    Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
    #3
    I recommend Canon. Good quality printing, economical with ink, low maintenance and they work really well with Mac. Take a look at these examples (there are more):
    http://www.canon.co.uk/For_Home/Product_Finder/Printers/Inkjet/PIXMA_iP3500/index.asp
    http://www.canon.co.uk/For_Home/Product_Finder/Printers/Inkjet/PIXMA_iP2600/index.asp
     
  4. stevo1 thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    nanofrog and hughvane - that's great, thanks for your recommendations guys. Will take a look from there.
     
  5. Libitina macrumors 6502

    Libitina

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    UK
    #5
    Canon replacement cartridges are expensive. Mine need replacing and it'll actually work out cheaper to replce the printer with the same model as Canon have a promo on it in the uk.
     
  6. BBC B 32k macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Do you have a link? Or where is the Canon on offer?
    Thanks
     
  7. Libitina macrumors 6502

    Libitina

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  8. stevo1 thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    That's a shame about the expensive cartridges. I think the Canon would have been perfect otherwise. Do they want customers to see them as disposable printers?

    EDIT: just found these two links for black/colour cartridges...
    http://www.inkfactory.co.uk/exec/c/printerproducts/5845 (£12.49/£14.50)
    http://www.refreshcartridges.co.uk/canon-pixma-ip2600-c-22_451_2719.html (£10.49/£12.49)

    Anyone here used remanufactured cartridges before?
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #9
    Yes. They were a disaster, and the name brand stuff costing too much per page. Which is why I switched to a laser. :D :p
     
  10. stevo1 thread starter macrumors member

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    #10
    Hmm, think i may go take a look at some affordable lasers instead...
     
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #11
    Finally! :D :p

    Not sure exactly what you're looking for, but this may help.
    Brother B&W Laser (product list)
    If you need basic B&W printing only, the HL-2140 is an inexpensive model, and works quite well.
    I even found it at amazon.com for $58.94USD & $4.49 for S/H.

    Brother Color Laser (product list)
    Brother Color Laser Multifunction (I'll list them, but they get $700MSRP for some)

    Keep in mind, street prices make them more attractive, and they work with a Mac. :)
    Consumables are decent in cost as well. Definitely cheaper than HP, and they don't expire. :D

    Hope this helps. :)
     
  12. stevo1 thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    Hey thanks for the info!

    I was looking at the Brother printers a while back but one thing I found about them compared to other brands is that they all seem so BIG! Well, they're typically not as tall as others, but they're nearly all wider and deeper, using up more desk space, which is the opposite of what I need. (that or a bigger desk!)

    The HP laserjets are absolutely ideal size and affordability, but their reputation with (and my past experience of) their Mac drivers is putting me off.

    A couple of the Canon lasers also look ideal, but they're not Mac compatible. At all.

    Hmm..... might have to be a bit more flexible in one of my requirements. Think I'll look through those Brothers again...

    Thx again for posting the links.
     
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #13
    The HL-2040 is
    • 14.5" (~37 cm) wide
    • 14.25" (36.2 cm) deep
    • 6.75" (17.15 cm) high. Allow a bit more depth for cables. ;)
    It's size isn't too bad, and it fits your printing requirements, so find/make a "hole" for it. :p
     
  14. stevo1 thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    I wish I could!

    It really is the depth that makes it a non-starter - the room it will be going in will be very small. I'm not too bothered about the height or the width. But compare these depths...

    Current Epson that just went kerputt = 22.9 cm
    The Canon inkjets I was interested in = ~23/25 cm
    HP LaserJet printers = 22.4 cm
    Brother HL-2040 = 36.2 cm!!!

    Why do the Brothers always seem to have such large footprints! :confused: (although the Kodak AIO 5100 is even deeper than that)

    A shame the cost of refills makes inkjets so uneconomical, and the HP laser printers have such unreliable Mac drivers/support.

    Not even too fussed over whether it's b&w or colour, inkjet or laser now, tbh - I just need something inexpensive (which also doesn't cost a bomb in refills), Mac friendly, and compact (at least depth).

    I'm tempted to bite the bullet with an HP and hope that their Mac drivers do the job. The HP LaserJet P1005 is only £59.22 on Amazon, and it says it's compatible with 10.4 and 10.5. While their drivers have been temperamental, I know the print quality is generally very good.

    Decisions.......
     
  15. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #15
     
  16. stevo1 thread starter macrumors member

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    #16
    Thanks for the suggestions nanofrog. Appreciate your responses.
    I didn't realise that! I have an HP LaserJet 1020 at the moment (in a different room) which has had fairly hefty usage for almost 2 years and still hasn't run out of toner! Not sure what you mean by expired (does a message on screen prevent you from printing further?) but that sounds dodgy if it's something HP have since introduced.

    Anyway, I'll need to think about all this - and yes, that includes my room. ;)

    (EDIT: re. what I was saying about the HP drivers, the 1020 was a nightmare to get working in the first place - installing, uninstalling, installing a new version that someone had linked from a forum, etc etc. Then finding out it wasn't Mac compatible at all despite how it was advertised... then another driver that was supposed to work on it didn't... Arrgh!!! Dreading going through that all again when I upgrade to Leopard.... )
     
  17. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #17
    Anyway, I'll need to think about all this - and yes, that includes my room. ;)
    You're welcome. :)

    As for the expiration, it's on the newer printers. I was told it's the drum section of the toner, and it's rated for a year. But as the thing is an all-in-one, you can't replace the drum to use the rest of the toner. Stupid. It just seems like a way to force end users who don't do a lot of printing to buy new cartridges, even if they don't need it. :mad:

    The large industrial/corporate machines aren't subject to this. They do use separate components. But as they are used so heavily, they go through supplies like mad. :D The cost of the service contracts/parts/supplies, are another matter. (I've dealt with both).
    I should have caught this earlier. Sorry. :eek:
    The HP LaserJet 1020 does not run on OS X. :eek:
    No OS X drivers for it, and it's also discontinued. :(

    No wonder you've had such a hard time. :p

    By chance was the link referring to a universal driver?
    Another possibility, as this sometimes works for units built on the same board, is to use drivers from a similar model. Looks like the P1006 OS X drivers, may work. :)
    Worth a try, and I think it may actually work. :eek:

    Good Luck, and let me know how you get on. :D
    NF.
     
  18. stevo1 thread starter macrumors member

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    #18
    That sucks big time. I've just sent a message to HP to find out if their P1005 is affected.

    The 1020 is my current laser printer. It was advertised as Mac compatible in the store I purchased it from, but I only realised much later that this was faulty information - after having fiddled with different versions of the 1022 driver and eventually got it working.

    Unlike that one, at least the HP LaserJet P1005 specifically says it supports 10.4 and 10.5. If that issue with the toner expiry doesn't affect it, I might just go for it. Otherwise.... well, I'll keep you informed! ;)

    Thanks again for the info. :)
     
  19. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #19
    I've had to learn the hard way a couple of times myself. :p
    Usually features that needed new firmware or drivers. Pre-internet! That was fun. :rolleyes:
    Since the internet, definitely check the web site. And if you have questions, submit them to the sales department. You will usually get a response. ;)
    I linked the P1006, as it's the newest incarnation, and may have the the newest drivers, though they should also be the same for the P1005. As I indicated earlier, I think you'll get lucky on this one. :D
     
  20. stevo1 thread starter macrumors member

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    #20
    Nanofrog, do you mind if I ask where you heard or read about this decision?

    Is this something you experienced with one of your HP printer/toners? (If so, where did you find out that it was a decision by HP that affected more than just your printer?)

    When you say it expires, are you actually prevented from using the printer until the toner is replaced, or is it just a reminder/warning message that pops up on screen that you can over-ride by clicking OK?

    Please don't think I'm doubting your sincerity by asking this(!), but as I wanted to find out if the P1005 was likely to be affected, I've been fervently searching and ringing around to try and get more information on what you wrote, including from HP themselves (by phone and on their website). So far no-one has heard anything about it. :confused:

    The only things I've been hearing from people is that there's a shelf life (as there is with all refills), and a warranty (again, something that's kind of separate). But no expiry date that prevents their toners from being used irrespective of ink remaining.

    (It may be that HP don't know what they're talking about of course - I've been passed from one department to another over the last couple of days, speaking to numerous people, both sales and technical, at home and abroad - and their website seems almost designed to hide information rather than divulge it! ;) )

    Thanks.
     
  21. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #21
    Two reasons.
    1. I had this issue with a printer.
    2. I used to work for HP. :eek:
    It would quit working. At one time, like an inkjet cartridge, when it got low, you could remove it, then replace it. The ink/toner message would pop up on screen, and the user would click "OK". Then the printer would work for a bit if any ink/toner remained.

    Then HP decided to encode date data on the drum. The technical reason stated was to prevent a drum from being used past its designed service life in order to maintain print quality and the service life of the printer. I didn't quite buy it. A bad drum will affect the output quality, but not damage the printer. To me, it was an excuse to force users to purchase a new all-in-one toner cartridge. In practice, this even occurred if the toner wasn't empty. Strictly a financial decision IMO. :( Other people that I knew that had experienced this, would switch to 3rd party supplies. Cheaper, but they tend to have far more problems than the name brand stuff. Especially once the printers have been around a while. Recycled parts only last so long. :p

    Keep in mind, that this isn't done on the industrial/professional units. They separate all the consumables, and don't expire. Due to their heavy use, they tend to go through consumables rapidly anyway.
    I don't mind. I'm just giving you the latest information that I had when I left. ;)
    I hope HP's reversed this policy, as it was the wrong thing to do IMHO.

    HP may have changed their policy, and no longer encode the cartridge drum. The techs may be under a gag order. I just don't know.

    It's not the end of the world if this is still done, but if it does happen, I seriously doubt you will be happy about it. :p
     
  22. stevo1 thread starter macrumors member

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    #22
    Thanks for the info. Well, with an inkjet, I'd barely get through one set of cartridges in a year, so if it's the case that HP are still chipping their drums (at least for this printer) and I'm having to replace my toner each year regardless of amount of ink left, then the HP laser would work out considerably more expensive for me than the inkjet.

    I know someone from HP told me they knew nothing about the P1005 toners being chipped, but that's not quite the same as them saying they're not chipped - and to be honest I could hardly understand what he was saying, he could barely understand me (not that I'm saying all foreign call centres are like that) and I didn't feel much trust in the information he was giving me.

    I also sent a question through the pre-sales form on their website, and they replied simply by directing me to their support website where I had to enter my product serial number! Arrghhh!!!!

    I think I'm going to venture into their labyrinth of a phone system once more to see if I can speak to someone else about it.... dial 1 to speak to someone who will have no idea.... dial 2 to be passed to the wrong department.... dial 3 to speak to someone with an impenetrable accent... dial 4 to hear these options again..... :rolleyes: :D

    Thx again. :)
     
  23. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #23
    If it isn't used, yes it will be more expensive than it should. That said, inkjets are quite expensive in their own right, and I've had far more problems with them.

    The units affected were those that used the all-in-one cartridges. Not those that used separate components (drums, toner, transfer roller, and waste receptacle).

    I recommended the Brother lasers as they don't do this. Even the least expensive model uses separate components. :) The printers are inexpensive, as are the supplies. They also seem to work well with Macs. :D Please keep in mind that I don't attach printers via a wireless network. I much prefer Ethernet or USB. (Wireless is too easily tapped into even with encryption. Run a google search. You should find a program or two that can defeat WEP and WPA). :eek:
    I doubt the overseas based tech support even knows about it. Or if they do, they may not be allowed to discuss it. :rolleyes:
    Good luck on this. It's worth a shot I guess, but I wouldn't hold my breath. :p
     
  24. stevo1 thread starter macrumors member

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    #24
    Update: I rang HP again... got passed from one person to another... eventually spoke to a guy from tech support who was able to confirm that the cartridges for the printer I'm interested in (HP LaserJet P1005) is indeed chipped so that it's set to expire, preventing further printing until a new cartridge is added. The only consolation is that it's not 12 months, but 24. Which tbh isn't quite so bad.

    I take on board your recommendations of Brother printers though NF - next time I have a big desk and need a laser, I will certainly look at them first. ;)
     
  25. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #25
    If you want some compact, cheap (in the long run), and reliable, a laser is the way to go. I got a laser 3 years ago. Have been printing tens of thousands of pages over the years, and not even a jam yet! *knocks on wood*
     

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