Printer with low cost of ownership?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by G4scott, May 12, 2005.

  1. G4scott macrumors 68020


    Jan 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    My roommate is looking for a printer with a low cost of ownership. His parents bought him a Lexmark printer, and he's been through 2 cartridges and less than 100 sheets of paper already...

    I was going to recommend HP printers, because I have a HP deskjet 3650, and I can't remember the last time I had to change out the cartridges...

    Any advice would really help my roommate. 1 more lexmark cartridge, and he will have paid full retail price for my printer in just ink...
  2. Zachariah macrumors member

    May 10, 2005
    If he doesn't need color, then go with a laserjet printer.

    or if he has $600, there's a samsung color laserjet out there
  3. brap macrumors 68000

    May 10, 2004
    Get a cheap laser, and toner refills. Crazy low TCO... like, 2-4p/sheet. That's a few cents to you ;)
  4. G4scott thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jan 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I think he needs color, so laser isn't really an option.

    That, and a $600 laser printer would cost more than his computer...

    He's trying to convince his parents to get him a Mac mini to replace his (at least) 8 year old Dell machine...
  5. mcmav37 macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2004
    Ann Arbor, MI
    I'm not sure how much truth there is, but many people believe that HP has very high costs because they only sell combination ink cartridges. When I bought my last printer, I went to CompUSA and they showed me that one combination HP cartridge had about 13mL total of ink and cost almost $30, whereas the Canon inks are separate for each color (so you don't throw out yellow ink when the cyan runs out, etc) and are about $15 each for 13mL of ink. Also, I have read in a few places that HP printers put down more ink compared to other printers for the exact same document or printer...that's why HP prints need time to dry.
  6. MacinDoc macrumors 68020


    Mar 22, 2004
    The Great White North
    From what I have read, Canon has the lowest cost of ownership. Their cartridges are usually the least expensive, and their sensor system seems to make the cartridges last longer than most others. If you get a Canon iP5000, there are separate cartridges for each color, and the droplets are half the size of most other inkjets' droplets (only 1 picoliter). I have an iP5000, and I love it, BTW.
  7. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    If they buy a mini, you can get a $100 rebate on some printers.

  8. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    I can vouch for the canons. I have an i850 and it can print an entire book -- 300 plus pages -- on one $15 black cartridge.
  9. caveman_uk Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    The printer with the lowest cost of ownership is the one you don't pay for - In my case the HP laserjet at work during lunchhour. ;)
  10. SFVCyclone macrumors 6502a

    Feb 24, 2005
    Pasadena, Ca

    GO for canon, and then tell him to buy some of those refill kits. they save you a TON of money!
  11. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    With HP, you also have to avoid the cheap ass printers -- they have yields that suck.

    But at least HP gives you the estimated yield for most cartridges, along with what printers they work in.
  12. 40167 macrumors regular

    Sep 5, 2004
    I'd have to say canon myself aswell... they make some nice working printers, ive had a few inket ones in the past that ran cheap for the desktop systems themselfs; also got my networked CLBP 360PS color laser for when I print large amounts of stuff (currently the onboard computer reports over 20,000 pages have gone trough the printer, and the black toner cartridge is finally reporting to be low [now to be fair I will have to say the cartridge is freaking huge (its like 2 feet long and 8 inch diameter) and recently one of the loader motors did fail]
  13. sw1tcher macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    I say go with a Canon. A Canon IP3000, if he only needs a basic printer, is ~$80 after a $20 MIR (mail-in rebate) right now. If he does a lot of black and white printing, I'd also recommend a separate laser printer which can be had for ~$100 and the toner cartridge will last him for years probably since they typically yield 2,000 - 2,500 page per cartridge.

    That's what I do. Inkjet (Canon i850) for color documents and photos, and a laser (Apple LaserWriter Select 360 and Minolta PagePro 1250E) for black and white printing.

    Canon ink tanks are separate for each color and are super cheap. They're also not chipped like Lexmark and Epson printers to prevent you from refilling them yourself. You can also find very inexpensive replacement cartridges for them online. I've used Tyler Martin and Swift inks and they work very well for day to day stuff. But if he's going to print photos, I say stick with manufacturer inks and papers. You'll get much better quality and permanence from them.
  14. shane-o-mac macrumors regular


    Jan 24, 2005
    I had a similiar issue.

    Very much was in the same position when I got my new powerbook. Apple even offered me an epson c86 for free, after the mail in rebate. I politely refused, low end Epsons suck ass, had a c62 and that damn machine made my life hell and cost a small fortune in ink.

    That said, I did a lot of research not only on my next computer (now I am a switcher) but also on my printer. I second all the kudos for Cannon, they make a great machine and cost wise definitely not a bad buy. However, I ended up with a low end commercial printer by HP, a HP6840. The reason really was the cost, yield, and form factor. In comparison with Cannon the HP98 cartridges yield around 800 pages, the cannon cartridges 350. When you factor in the cost of ink, you end up with about an extra hundred pages for the same cost in ink, not too mention you have to change the ink in cannons more often. However, I do believe cannon my now offer a high performance black cartridge for around $30 bucks.

    Have your bud do some research and remember that you generally get what you pay for, so if he goes with a$80 printer there is usually a downside. I picked mine up for $150.00 after rebate and I love it.
  15. G4scott thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jan 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Hmm, well I paid about $80 for my HP 3650, and although I don't use it for much color stuff, it's been printing forever on its current black cartridge, and I think that's what my roommate's looking for more, is the amount of black and white text it can print out...

    I will let him know about all these recommendations, though. Thanks.

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