Printer choice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by maestrosteve, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. maestrosteve macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    Location:
    Toms River, NJ
    #1
    Hello everybody.

    Ever since I got my iPad a few years go, I hardly ever print. I now just store all my pdf files on my iPad. I print maybe 6 pages a week, with days in between the printing. This has caused my Canon inkjet printer to have clogged jets. I've removed the inkjets, cleaned them, I still have color issues probably from bad inkjets, or maybe they are worn out just from years of use.

    I'd like to buy something new, prefer to have color, but whatever I use will not get much use. I'm thinking color laser over inkjet because of the possible drying ink issues, but are there any issues with Laser Printers that I'm not considering, except for the initial cost?

    It doesn't seem worth it to pay so much for something I'd use 6 to 10 times a week, unless it was a multifunction device because I do scan a few pages as well. I checked out some inexpensive Brother Color Laser printers, still almost $150 more than an inkjet, but if that's the best choice, I would do it.

    Any opinions on this?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    #2
    Check out the Canon MG7520, $107.00 on Amazon, as well as the new Canon Eco Tank line of printers/ scanners
    To be released mid August, 6000 page ink tanks,$400 ish
    I have the a for mentioned Canon,fast beautiful output,wireless, prints from iPad,iPhone,all Lappies
     
  3. musique macrumors regular

    musique

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    #3
    I print as few pages as you do. Essentially I print the crossword puzzle (1 page) each day, using side two of the previous day's puzzle every other day. I had a HP inkjet printer (not multifunction) that worked well for a few years. But as the printer aged, the software became problematic.

    I recently purchased an Epson multifunction inkjet device (Epson Workforce WF-2660) at Costco for either $60 or $80 (I don't remember) for the exact same purpose. It works OK and I've not had any clogging problems. Although it worked fine via Ethernet, the software was a pain to get the thing up and running using Wi-Fi. Now that it's working, it's acceptable. However, the scanning software is simplistic and borders on dysfunctional.

    I would not necessarily recommend it, but it works. Maybe at this price point you can't expect much.
     
  4. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #4
    After my last inkjet died, I swore I'd never buy another inkjet again. Between the high costs of ink and failures due to clogged heads, it just wasn't worth the headache. Even when given away for free, they will find a way to fail when you need some prints most.

    I picked up a Samsung all-in-one color laser on sale for $200 and it has worked flawlessly for for almost 4 years. I haven't even had to replace the toner cartridges yet. Leaving inkjets behind forever was one of the best decisions I ever made.

    Staples is currently having a pretty good deal on a Canon color laser.
    http://www.staples.com/Xerox-Phaser...ID=AFF:552179:552179:10428703&CJPIXEL=CJPIXEL
     
  5. maestrosteve thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 5, 2014
    Location:
    Toms River, NJ
    #5
    I appreciate the great responses. I'm thinking that I should steer away from another inkjet printer. Even though they are really cheaper (initially), I'm worried about ruining an inkjet printer anytime I don't print for a week. I wouldn't have that problem with a laser printer. Cheap monochrome lasers go for under $100, but I really need color. I get a lot of documents with highlighted text, and that looks terrible on a monochrome printer. I also on occasion print maps, and you know how terrible they look in black and white.

    pastrychef - that looks like a nice deal, but I think I'm going to hold out for a multifunction machine, like your Samsung, or maybe a Brother. Spending more money than an inkjet is fine. I'd like to get something around or less than $250, something like a Brother MFC9130CW.
    http://www.amazon.com/Brother-MFC9130CW-Wireless-All-In-One-Printer/dp/B00C6MNP52
     
  6. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
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    New York City, NY
    #6
    Wow. That Brother all-in-one looks like a great deal. Good luck.
     
  7. maestrosteve thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 5, 2014
    Location:
    Toms River, NJ
    #7
    I'm not the kind of person who asks questions and then continues to shop around. I do my research and then make up my mind very fast. I'm still researching, but if I don't see other viable options, I'll most likely buy that Brother laser. Toner is pretty inexpensive for this laser compared to some others that I've checked out, even though with the small amount that I'd print, the starter cartridges will last me a LONG time.

    Again, I appreciate all the responses. Thank you everybody.
     
  8. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    #8
    Can't you just print at a copy-shop?
    Or at work?
    With so few pages per week, you throw away more ink from cleaning the heads than from actual printing...
     
  9. maestrosteve thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 5, 2014
    Location:
    Toms River, NJ
    #9
    I work at home, and going to a copy shop for stuff that I need to print today that I may throw away tomorrow is just a waste of time and gas. It's worth it for the convenience to own a printer, and I'm looking for a multifunction machine so I can scan and fax as well. I'm not going to leave the house to do that. You'd be right about the ink and cleaning the heads if I was going to get an inkjet printer, but I've eliminated an inkjet printer from consideration.
     
  10. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    #10
    You're of course entitled to buy whatever your heart pleases.
    But IMO, a laser-printer is a high-volume printing device. If you don't print much, it's a waste of money.
    Color even more so. Unless you want to print pretty presentation-handouts for clients (and those handouts then better be really good)
    But you haven't revealed what purpose the prints will serve.
    So, it's anybody's guess...
    What features would you need from the printer side anyway?
    AirPrint?
    Duplex?
    WLAN?
    Ethernet?



    Where I live now, there's no public "printing" facility in vicinity, too. Though, there are a number of commercial high-volume printing businesses.
    So, I'm not sure what I would do now, if I didn't go to the office every day (even there, I rarely print anything - much less in color, even though a huge HP Color Laserjet is available and there's no real limit on how much an individual employee can print (within reason)).
    I used to print lots of PDFs, eBooks etc. - but they usually ended up being never looked at again...

    I certainly wouldn't buy an all-in-one.
    It's bad enough with the iMac ;-)

    If you go for a cheap laser, chances are that it will break soon after warranty has run out (and shortly after you've bought new toner costing a fortune).
    As can be seen in the review of this (otherwise highly acclaimed) printer:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/RKX2S5U90HT01/ref=cm_cr_pr_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00BQU141C

    Good, department-printer grade lasers last much longer - but they're an even larger overkill for your situation.

    Does your neighbor have a printer?
    ;-)
     
  11. maestrosteve thread starter macrumors member

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    Location:
    Toms River, NJ
    #11
    What do I need it for?

    I need to print my airline tickets, my multiple travel itineraries, my scripts with highlighted text (ever try and read black text with yellow highlighted text on a black and white mono laser?), pages of sheet music, travel directions by car, rental car agreements, and non-business stuff like making copies of certain home and medical bills.

    Yeah, this week I need 6 pages, next week, 30, then nothing for a few weeks, then a few more.
    Inkjets clogging and wasting ink to clean the jets are a hassle. If I didn't need to deal with highlighted text on important business docs, then I'd just get a monochrome laser, but that won't cut it for my situation. I don't care about printing photos, I don't do it.

    I'm not going to any public facility, or my neighbors to look for a printer. I work in my home office, need to do things at all hours of the day and night, and the convenience of having a printer right here beats the aggravation of dealing with those options. So if it costs a little more initially for a laser over an inkjet, that's the price you pay to eliminate the potential problems with inkjet printers.

    A color inkjet that didn't clog would be my printer of choice, even if the ink costs overall were higher, but a moderately priced laser printer, although initially more money, might still cost the same or less over time, but a few dollars either way, money is not the issue for me.

    Anything can break after warranty, there are no guarantees. I buy my business equipment with my American Express card to increase the warranty so that helps. Saying that ending up with an expensive toner cartridge when a laser printer breaks is really just as bad as buying 5 color ink cartridges and then your inkjet printer clogs and won't print yellow anymore. You'll always get stuck with consumables either way.
     
  12. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #12
    I think maestrosteve's printing pattern is very similar to mine. I have no regrets with having gone with a color laser all-in-one several years ago. Deciding to never buy another inkjet was one of my best decisions.

    Going to a copy-shop every time I need to print something? That's ridiculous. I don't use my microwave oven much either, but I'm not going to run to a 7-11 to microwave something every time I need to.
     
  13. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    #13
    Well, I used to go to a public library over the street to print my invoices, while I was self employed (ten years ago).
    Of course, I didn't need to print a lot of them and I didn't need them "now".
    I would go once or twice a week.
    But at the time, it did make sense.
    I used to own a laser printer but because I hadn't used it in three years, it got stuck somehow (just rattling and not feeding any paper). I had used it to print drafts of my diploma thesis (50-100 pages), so it wasn't just an impulse-purchase.
    Instead of buying another one, I tried the "public library" path.
    None of my clients needed anything else on paper from me and I didn't want to print anything else (because I'd have to pay for it myself).

    These days, I'd probably go fully digital (cryptographically signed PDFs for invoices).

    The microwave doesn't need toner, drums, paper and other spare/repair parts, right? Plus, they're cheaper. Even the "decent" ones. So its running costs are more or less limited by the amount of electricity they consume.
    If that was the case with laser-printers, I'd have one, too ;-)

    OP mentioned in the opening line that it doesn't seem worth it if you don't print much - and I believe this is true.

    But if the economy of the purchase is not really an issue, then the whole question was worded wrong.
    Should have just said "I want to spend X on a printer/AIO with the following features: A, B, C".
    (Carefully electing to omit his monthly printing volume, or choosing an arbitrarily high number ;))

    Hopefully, OP doesn't buy too cheap (or too expensive).
     
  14. Micky Do, Aug 11, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015

    Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Location:
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    #14
    Likewise for my printing pattern, except that monochrome is fine for me, with highlighter manually applied as required.

    I was given an ink-jet printer by my HoD 10 years ago when I wanted to do more work at home, in an apartment with good natural light, air flow and a view (and no microwave oven!), rather than in an air-con, windowless, artificially lit office (with a microwave oven)….. just five minutes away on a bicycle. I found the ink-jet printer more hassle than it was worth (free!) for my low volume use, with clogged jets, and running out of ink at inconvenient moments. In addition, the ink smears if it cops a drop of rain. In my work situation, that can easily happen.

    When I spotted small form Xerox laser printer / copier, new to the market about six years ago, I got one and I am still using it. As a copier it is not very good; the small Canon they now have in the office on campus is much better, but otherwise the Xerox is OK for me. I get a year or 18 months out of a toner cartridge, which a shop nearby refills @ half the cost of a new one. The roller has been replaced once, and the paper feed has also been repaired once, both last year.

    Incidentally, a recently released small form Brother has the roller separate from the toner cartridge, as is the case on the bigger, higher volume models. The roller is reckoned to be good for about 10,000 copies and the toner cartridge does about 1,000 in typical use.

    For the odd colour copy I need (very seldom) there are print shops nearby. They and the printing department at work can handle larger volume requirements. Having a sharp, laser printed original makes for better quality copies.

    In my experience, for low volume home office use, a small form monochrome or colour laser printer is a convenient, cost-effective way to go.
     

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