Which Printer Do You Recommend?

devilot

Moderator emeritus
May 1, 2005
15,588
1
Just an FYI, that link won't work after awhile, so either select a few specific printers, or make a screenshot or something.
 

Makosuke

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
6,174
367
The Cool Part of CA, USA
Canon. They're more ink-efficient and the ink is less pricy than HP or Epson, the print heads clog less that Epson and are user-replaceable if necessary, and the quality is all-around solid. Duplex printing is nice, too.

I did a whole lot of research on inkjets more than once over the past few years, and frankly Canon just seems to be the obvious choice right now. Epsons aren't the clog-prone ink-suckers they used to be, and you MIGHT get slightly better photo quality out of them, but for all practical purposes you get the best of all worlds with a Canon inkjet.

I've been using an old s750 for years, and it's been amazingly stable. My dads slightly newer, higher-end 860 (similar quality to the 4200 or 5200 series now, I think) produces photo prints that are VERY good if you use good photo paper. I know, because I actually sold a print from my digital camera for $100 at an art show.

I picked the IP4200 since it was free and an all-around solid printer, but if you need better photo quality or faster print speeds, get one of the more expensive ones that use more ink tanks.

Their OSX drivers are also good, and I can say that at the very least they work fine with an Airport base station--just plugged it in and I was ready to go. Don't know about other brands of router.

MacFixIt had an article about the best all-around inkjet about a year ago, and they came to the same conclusion--Canon.

One more thing: If you're printing 4X6 photos, buy Canon Photo Paper Pro--it's got a glossy finish that absorbs the ink, so the prints don't look like they're from an inkjet at all. Last time I experimented with a bunch of different papers, it was the only one that did this. Indistinguishable from an optical print for most folk unless you use a loop. Maybe there are others of equal quality around now, but not that I'm aware of.
 

bobber205

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Nov 15, 2005
2,182
1
Oregon
To all readers of this topic.

Will I have more troubles with a third party router and my Macbook that with an apple one. b/c they're over 100 dollars. :eek:
 

Artful Dodger

macrumors 68020
Canon ip5200
I have the Canon ip6600D and it's great. One nice feature is you can put a SD, compact flash or a few other memory cards into it and send the pics to your Mac or just print them up. Ink tanks are pretty good for cost wise and as they are separate that saves $$$ Great at making photos and as of late even using iPhoto you can get true borderless prints that match your screen :D
As a side note, I have an Epson R300, had an HP 2110, 2210 and find the Canon to be the best for my needs. With that said enjoy whatever one you choose.
 

jrober

macrumors regular
Jan 22, 2003
212
0
Heathfield, UK
Get down to your local retailer and have a look.

I used to have an HP excellent until I switched and the parallel port thing meant it had to go. Next was a c****y epson which is noisy and made me appreciate the quietness of the HP printer. Especially as we are all mac noise was a big deal and while rear paper loading allows a thicker stock the paper load underneath is quieter.

We are just about to buy an HP again, a Photosmart 3310

John
 

coopdig

macrumors member
Feb 29, 2004
56
0
Choosing between the Canon 5200 and 4200, I recently settled on the 4200. I appreciate that it is smaller than the 5200, while their specs are nearly identical in all the ways that matter to me -- I'm assuming the greater # of nozzels on the 5200 only affects printing speeds, given that the print resolution for both machines is identical (printing speeds don't so-much matter to me, unless the difference is REALLY significant). Plus, the 4200 is $50 less than the 5200, affording my otherwise too-costly purchase of iWork! (I'm on a tight budget...)

... just curious, though: Is there a significant difference between the 4200 and the 5200, aside from printing speeds? I haven't been able to discover any, from my readings...

Relatedly:
Though I'm glad I chose the printer I did--Canon does seem to be the best, and I really appreciate the duplex printing feature--I was saddened to find at a review site that the 4200 has software/hardware features that prevent refilling (or make it undesirable to continue refilling).
Well, so it was with my last HP printer, so no big deal--at least the cartrdiges from Canon are cheaper. I wonder, though: Does the 5200 block/punish refilling as well, or not? If not, it might have been worth the extra $50.
 

Makosuke

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
6,174
367
The Cool Part of CA, USA
coopdig said:
Is there a significant difference between the 4200 and the 5200, aside from printing speeds? I haven't been able to discover any, from my readings...
Pretty sure the 5200 is just faster than the 4200, although I suppose it's theoretically possible those extra nozzels could do something for quality. Doubt it.

And since both use the same ink tanks, if something prevents refilling in one, it will in the other, too.

One thing I like about Canon's ink tanks is that you can see how much is left in them visually, and the printer checks the level (and will continue printing when empty) rather than just assuming it's empty like some others. I guess the newer tanks have a little chip on them to discourage refilling (not sure how--maybe it has an upper limit on the amount of ink it'll dispense).
 

coopdig

macrumors member
Feb 29, 2004
56
0
Makosuke said:
And since both use the same ink tanks, if something prevents refilling in one, it will in the other, too.

One thing I like about Canon's ink tanks is that you can see how much is left in them visually, and the printer checks the level (and will continue printing when empty) rather than just assuming it's empty like some others. I guess the newer tanks have a little chip on them to discourage refilling (not sure how--maybe it has an upper limit on the amount of ink it'll dispense).
Ah! Thanks for the knowledge re. the 5200 and 4200.

And, from what I read, the analysis in the last part of your post sounds correct: there is some software/hardware setup that counts pages printed so once you hit, say, 300 pages--assuming that that should drain the black cartridge--you are informed that your cartridge is empty. If you choose to refill yourself, the computer can tell that the cartridge hasn't been changed and continues counting. Once you exceed the allowed limit by a certain amount, (maybe 100 more pages--some # beyond what one would reasonably be able to squeeze from a low cartridge), you'll actually be asked if you refilled the cartridge yourself; from there, you can choose to buy a new cartridge, or continue with the refill--however, continuing with the refill will disable the ink-level detection and little red leds. (I got all that from an angry customer review off cNet, I believe.)

Kind of a sneaky ploy by Canon, but if you can visually discern the ink-level, then no big deal, right? I'm still glad I got the 4200!

Thanks, again.
 

Prelude2Tragedy

macrumors regular
Apr 9, 2005
150
0
New Jersey
coopdig said:
Ah! Thanks for the knowledge re. the 5200 and 4200.

And, from what I read, the analysis in the last part of your post sounds correct: there is some software/hardware setup that counts pages printed so once you hit, say, 300 pages--assuming that that should drain the black cartridge--you are informed that your cartridge is empty. If you choose to refill yourself, the computer can tell that the cartridge hasn't been changed and continues counting. Once you exceed the allowed limit by a certain amount, (maybe 100 more pages--some # beyond what one would reasonably be able to squeeze from a low cartridge), you'll actually be asked if you refilled the cartridge yourself; from there, you can choose to buy a new cartridge, or continue with the refill--however, continuing with the refill will disable the ink-level detection and little red leds. (I got all that from an angry customer review off cNet, I believe.)

Kind of a sneaky ploy by Canon, but if you can visually discern the ink-level, then no big deal, right? I'm still glad I got the 4200!

Thanks, again.
Im a canon ISR and canons ink tanks dont limit droplets, its just there to make sure you got the tank in the right place. Canons ink level system uses a prism inside the tank and a sensor to detect if the main bay is empty. once it is then there is another system that figures out what is left in the sponge. So as long as your willing to compromise quality of ink, refill to your hearts content, but if your not doing photos its not really a big deal. if your looking for affordability get the 4200 the quality difference is almost impossible to tell.
 

Makosuke

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
6,174
367
The Cool Part of CA, USA
Prelude2Tragedy said:
Im a canon ISR and canons ink tanks dont limit droplets, its just there to make sure you got the tank in the right place. Canons ink level system uses a prism inside the tank and a sensor to detect if the main bay is empty. once it is then there is another system that figures out what is left in the sponge. So as long as your willing to compromise quality of ink, refill to your hearts content, but if your not doing photos its not really a big deal.
Well, that's tremendously informative. I almost want to try refilling just to confirm, but frankly I see little point in it, since you're just as likely to ruin your print quality or clog the heads to save a few bucks.

For what it's worth, my dad (tremendously picky old-school print guy, among other things) did a whole mess of tests on his Canon with various brands of ink and paper, and his conclusions were:

*The off-brand ink just doesn't look as good as the Canon stuff if you're printing photos. I believe it also clogged up on him, but not sure about that.

*Canon Photo Paper Pro is the best 4X6 you can get, bar-none.

*For 8.5X11, it wasn't as important--the high end of most major brands seemed to be similar. I think he alternates between Canon and Kodak paper now, but I'm not sure.
 

coopdig

macrumors member
Feb 29, 2004
56
0
Prelude2Tragedy said:
Im a canon ISR and canons ink tanks dont limit droplets, its just there to make sure you got the tank in the right place. Canons ink level system uses a prism inside the tank and a sensor to detect if the main bay is empty. once it is then there is another system that figures out what is left in the sponge. So as long as your willing to compromise quality of ink, refill to your hearts content, but if your not doing photos its not really a big deal. if your looking for affordability get the 4200 the quality difference is almost impossible to tell.

Thanks for the correction, Prelude! I hate to be spreading false-info! :eek: :p

... and, like I say, of all the companies manufacturing printers, Canon does seem by far to be the best!
 

Prelude2Tragedy

macrumors regular
Apr 9, 2005
150
0
New Jersey
Im glad Canon does a good job too because it would really suck trying to sell inferior products to people. In the Best Buy and CompUSA I rep at, it's lights out for the Epson and HP reps when I enter the store. Their products just don't compare at all.

But for the original poster the Canons are a good deal they won awards in practically every magazine out there (PC magazine, PC world, Consumer Reports)

Depending on what style your looking for the ip4200 is a good inexpensive printer. The mp500 is a really nice multifunction regularly 200 but has a 30 dollar rebate. You may need a print server to hook these up to your network in which case if you go with a multifunction you may lose your scanning abilities. The ip5200r and mp800r have built in networking but will be a bit more pricey. If you or anyone has any question, i'd be more than welcome to answer them.
 

medea

macrumors 68030
Aug 4, 2002
2,517
0
Madison, Wi
Having used HP, Epson and Canon printers I would recommend any of the Canons to any looking for a new printer. I've got a pixma ip4000 and am very happy with it. Hope you like your 4200!
 

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