New Printer Required

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Crazy Badger, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

    Apr 1, 2008
    I know this is somewhat off-topic, but I'm guessing most of you are still using printers in the home/office.

    I've had 2 for the past few years - a small Brother Mono Laser (HL2030) and a HP All-in-one Colour Inkjet (C8180) - but this evening I went to print a photo on the HP and I ended up covered in magenta ink. It doesn't look like it's repairable, or at least not cheaply, and as I've had it 5-6 years it really doesn't owe me anything.

    I started looking for a replacement, but then thought I might be able to replace both with a single machine and free up some desk space. From what I can gather, Laser/LED colour printers are now pretty cheap (<£200) and would do everything my Brother does and also deal with the scanning and colour (and duplex) printing from the HP. Most of the reviews suggest the problem will be with photo printing, which seams to be the weak spot for laser printers in general. Is this true even with photo quality paper? I'm not looking for results to match the local and online print services, but would like to be able to print my own photos that look respectable in a small frame.

    Any suggestions and/or recommendations much appreciated.
  2. Zenithal macrumors 603

    Sep 10, 2009
    Yes. There are forms of laser printer, or rather solid ink that work better for photos, but they're terribly expensive. My suggestion for you would be to do some research on printer "hacks" so you can buy a decent printer that accepts a aftermarket tank system modification. I use one myself that I configured several years ago. Quality third market inks are easy to obtain over Amazon or other online retailers once you know/figure out who makes the best inks.
  3. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    What SwitchFX said. Laser printers are great for printing just about anything except photos. Get a good, quality inkjet printer unless you need high-volume or professional quality photo printing.
  4. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    For good technical reasons, color laser doesn't do photos well - certainly at the retail level. I suspect you photography expertise and aspirations will determine what level of ink printer will work for you. For day-to-day color prints, we use a very inexpensive HP4500 (about $50 on sale at Best Buy), which includes a scanner. Using photo paper and setting the printer to high quality creates nice prints. For documents/envelopes, we use an HP 400 laser, but there are several manufacturers that produce good mono printing, and probably for less. As has been suggested, consider the cost of consumables when evaluating what to buy.
  5. LiveM macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2015
    Your local photo printer will be the best option for photos from a practical amd cost point of view.

    Cost-wise, your own printer will also be more expensive than your local office print service, so you might want to focus on convenience such as AirPrint compatibility and to avoid a laser printer next to your computer for your health's sake.
  6. thisismyusername macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2015
    Stick with a black and white laser printer at home and let photo printing services handle photos unless you really have a need to print photos at home.

    FYI, lots of multi-function black/white laser printers these days support color scanning (and duplex printing). I recently got a Brother HL-L2380DW and it supports that.
  7. Zenithal macrumors 603

    Sep 10, 2009
    Yep. I believe my Brother AI1 has fantastic scanning at absurd resolutions. Better results than competitors' apart from standalone scanners.

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