Which printer is right for college?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by GelleCC, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. GelleCC macrumors regular

    GelleCC

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #1
    So, I know there are plenty of threads about good AIO printers, yet all the threads have stated that they typically cost a fortune. I need a decent one for college that is also compatible with my macbook.

    Here are my specs:
    I have a 13" macbook (white) with 2gigs of ram and 500gb hd (not that I would think those two make a difference). I am running Mac OSX Leopard (the most recent update). That being said, onto the questions!

    (If I upgrade to snow leopard, will this still be compatible?)

    So, without cutting off an arm and a leg to buy a printer, I've narrowed my search down to the "Brother MFC-290C" AIO printer. My questions are-does anyone have this printer? I've honestly never heard of "Brother" so I would have no idea (but then again, I don't really research printers all too often). I need a printer (with occasional photo printing), scanner, and copier. This has all that plus 'fax'. I've read a lot of threads that say you can't fax with a mac, but I don't really know why a mac would be different to fax with than a pc. This aspect is not a big deal to me. Fax or no fax, I'll live. I don't plan on doing a lot of faxing, but if I can fax with it, It could be useful (maybe). I have a $50 rebate so this would only cost $50. Are there any other cheap but good printers out there? Or any sort of promotions?

    I've added a link to amazon with a full description (although, I plan to buy it from my local office depot)

    Also, It looks like the ink cartridge is different than a regular ink cartridge. Does this mean that they are more expensive or unrefillable?

    Thanks SO much in advance. I'd like to apologize because my knowledge of printers is a little small.

    Thanks again,
    Corey
     
  2. stevegmu macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    A stone's throw from the White House.
    #2
    Given you will most likely have a tremendous amount of stuff to print, I would go with a laser, rather than have to keep buying ink-jet cartridges.
     
  3. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #3
    After my laser printer did not survive the venture to college, I purchased an ink printer. I am currently on Amazon purchasing a laser.
     
  4. coachingguy macrumors 6502a

    coachingguy

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    Location:
    The Great White, Albeit Frozen North
    #4
  5. RMo macrumors 65816

    RMo

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    #6
    I believe the Brother HL-2140 is basically the same printer but without the networking capabilities. It's cheaper and may also be an option, although since the OP seems to want a scanner as well, you'd have to buy one separately (as you would with the 2170 as well). I just purchased a 2140 and am anxiously anticipating its arrival via FedEx shortly. :) One week of class as a grad student was enough to convince me I should get a laser printer...

    In any case, if you're going to do a lot of priting, I'd definitely recommend a laser as most people here have. The two Brother models mentioned in this post and the quoted post are both good; and while operating cost is usually lower for laser than inkjet, you will want to watch out with laser printers for not only cartridge yield but also the lifespan of the drum (althogh sometimes the drum and toner cartridge are the same, so it doesn't matter). Reviews for the Brother models above indicate they seem to be OK (one drum lasts at least four high-yield cartridges, more for regular-sized). In any case, unless you do a lot of color or do highly infrequent printing (but not so infrequent the print head dries out!), laser is probably your best bet.

    Good luck!
     
  6. GelleCC thread starter macrumors regular

    GelleCC

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #7
    I was hoping you guys would all just say the mcf-290c would suffice so I could go out and get it tomorrow. lol. Low and behold, you guys are all saying to go laser.

    When I started researching printers, I thought about going the laser route and realized they don't do color. So I've been looking through all these inkjets because I do the occasional color printing. But not having been in college yet, and not having seen what the course work is like, I would have no idea what type of printer to get.

    Ink isn't that big of a deal to me as my parents would probably go ahead and buy it for me if/when I need it. I understand that lasers are cheaper in the long run because they last longer on one cartridge (drum or toner? Idk what the heck those are for) but aren't they typically more expensive to buy - even if you are purchasing them a quarter as often as you would ink?

    And unfortunately, I do need a scanner AND a copier +/- faxing abilities. The printers you all have mentioned have only given me either printing, or printing and copying, but no scanning. The scanning is probably the most crucial to me after printing and I'm in a college dorm (10' by 10') and won't have much room for a scanner, printer, computer, etc. (That's a joke though, its more like 15' by 15') lol.

    Also, networking and wireless printers (are those the same??) are not important to me. At least the wireless printers aren't. I don't mind hooking it up and unhooking it every time I need it. I'm trying to keep my price range below $100 (USD) and the laser printers are all well over $100.

    As it goes right now, I'm still leaning towards the mcf-290c until someone can convince me otherwise with another printer that is around the same price.

    Thank you though! Your help has been wonderful!

    Corey
     
  7. coachingguy macrumors 6502a

    coachingguy

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    Location:
    The Great White, Albeit Frozen North
    #8
    Not knowing what your Major is, I don't know how much color you'll need. I'm guessing very little unless your in the arts/advertising... If you need color once in awhile, you can get get from Kinko's or someplace like that or even the campus computer centers...

    I've got my Masters and I rarely needed color, I kept buying inkjets, just in case, and spent an arm/leg every time I needed to replace the black... I never went through one color cartridge, although I had to replace them whenever I ran out of black. The better color inkjets don't make you do that anymore but...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16828102327

    All in One laser, Canon

    Coachingguy
     
  8. creon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    #10
    I just got a cheap one that only prints black. Don't need anything fancy as long as it prints the stuff out.

    My first printer I had I never had to replace the color cartridge. Thinking of what a waste it was sitting in my dorm I gave it to my mom for our library. Bought a cheap black only lexmark and havn't noticed a change since.

    Call me a minimalist. Except when it comes to my Macs ;)
     
  9. Emulsion macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #11
    It seems every year we're having to print less and less, and turning in papers electronically more and more. It's a good thing I guess.

    I have an ink jet, wish I had a laser.

    I think I had to buy ink twice last year.
     
  10. GelleCC thread starter macrumors regular

    GelleCC

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #12
    Ok. I've been a little more convinced to getting a laser. My problem is that I don't want something bulky and I don't want one that costs $200. Are there any cheap all in one laser printers?

    As far as everyone reccomending hp printers. I've read many mixed reviews from very satisfied to extremely unsatisfied customers. It seems like you either hate it, or you love it when it comes to an hp.

    So. If I go the laser route, are there any cheap aio laser printers?Let's say one that cost $100 with a $50 rebate? Lol and of course, it needs to be compatible with a mac.
     
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #13
    I'd avoid HP's as well. They've gotten too expensive for consumables as well (they expire, used or not via a chip). Brother does better in this regard.

    You won't find a laser AIO for a $100 I'd imagine, but here's a few models to look for. Low MSRP's, and if you look hard enough, you might find a rebate or other deal that's still affordable.

    DCP-7030 (cheapest of all, MSRP wise)
    DCP-7040
    MFC-7340

    Here's the first two's pricing from newegg. They've an open box as well, but due to the potential of missing supplies, I'd be leery of it.
     
  12. -Ryan- macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #14
    Research how much it costs to print at university. At my university we get very heavily subsidized printing as a student. I get 500 pages for £10 which works out at 2p per page. This is ridiculously cheap when you factor in the costs of your hardware, and grossly overpriced ink while owning your own. Plus, you save on space by not having a bulky printer in your room. Much better option, and one most of my friends use as well. Anyway, you might find (I do a politics degree), that you rarely, if ever actually have to print something. Most of what I do can be handed in via electronic methods, which negates the need for having a printer.
     
  13. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #15
    I have the Brother 2140 mentioned earlier and it is a fantastic little printer. I would highly recommend it. Very cheap too. I have it hooked up to my airport extreme and print wirelessly, very convenient.

    My last printer was a canon all-in-one and after buying 6-7 (costly) ink packs it stopped working.. I am now left with a large scanner with crap printer attached. My advice would be to buy a separate scanner if you need one. Less hassle in the long run.

    I would never buy an inkjet again. Laser all the way!
     
  14. GelleCC thread starter macrumors regular

    GelleCC

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #16
    I'm convinced that I should probably go with a laser. Unfortunately, they are too expensive and too bulky. So, by the comments here, no one has said that the brother mfc-290c is a bad printer. It looks like i'm going to go with that one because it does all I need it to do and at 50 dollars, its a steal.

    Thanks for the input guys! I really do appreciate it (and by the looks of it, when I'm not in college and have a higher paying job, I'll go with a laser :p)

    Thanks!
    Corey
     
  15. lixuelai macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    #17
    You can find good laser printers for $50. I got my Samsung ML-2010 for that much and it does all I need it to do.
     
  16. tonyled macrumors member

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    Sep 4, 2009
    #18
  17. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #19
    :cool:

    I've always been nervous with remanufactured printers (consumer models at any rate). Computers, and monitors, not so much, but I tend to stick with workstation/server gear, and professional monitors. :eek: :p
     
  18. tonyled macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    #20
    i dont mind if its a good price point and includes a warranty. at $69 it really isnt much of a gamble, if its doa i return it and get a full refund. if it lasts through the toner that comes with it, its more than paid for itself since two black inkjet cartridges would have cost more than $69 and not produced half the prints.

    i also see the value in this printer enough that i wouldnt hesitate to have paid full price either. its that good to me. i also have a high end canon photo printer for my color printing needs (i used to work for canon and LOVE canon junk :D )
     
  19. star-fish macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    #21
    Unless you're doing an arts or design course, I think you'll end up using it far less than you assume anyway.

    I'm an English graduate and I only used my printer a couple of times a month, if that.

    A lot of students prefer to print on campus or borrow a friend's printer rather than buy one, lug it to your room and leave it there gathering dust.
     

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