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Author Topic: Buying a new printer  (Read 7041 times)

moerl

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Buying a new printer
« on: November 04, 2005, 03:20:50 AM »
My long lived Brother HL-1440 B&W laser printer crapped out on me just days ago. I've had it for about three years now, still with the same drum & toner cartridge (I think)! It served me greatly while it lasted.. but last week I got this loud rattling noise whenever I printed something. Prints would still come out fine, but the rattling was very loud and it was pretty damn obvious that something was wrong with the interior of the device. It doesn't appear to be the toner.. rather, it seems that it is the "drum". I'm not sure, however. My problem is that this printer is 4 to 5 years old and I'm not exactly having an easy time finding a drum replacement. I took the toner and drum components out and disassembled the drum as far as I could and identified where the rattling is coming from but was unable to fix it. No matter what angle I looked at it from and no matter what I tried, I couldn't figure out why the hell this long "roll" part was so terribly stuck as to call the rattling. This printer is worth next to nothing these days (check eBay) and I'm thinking I want to buy a multi function printer. I'd love to be able to copy documents without having to rely on my computer, and the ability to scan would be a great plus as well.

Add to this that I just got done with a shopping spree for digital photo equipment, (complete list here), and you can imagine I could use something that's not to bad at printing photos either. I don't need a world class photo printer, otherwise I'd get a dedicated photo printer and not an all in one device.. but I'm looking for the printer with emphasis on good text output, low maintenance cost and good scanning quality.

There are so many printers of this kind out there that the research I've done so far is making my head spin. I've decided to go with Canon for a brand as I trust the company and have been using their cameras my whole life. Not only that but their printers also get consistently good reviews almost across the whole board.

I'm rather lost on the price range.. this one looks to be a good one: the Canon Pixma PM130 (check out the user comments!), but according to Canon's site the Pixma PM170 is newer than the 130, and then there is the MP450, the MP500 and the MP760. There are reviews up for the MP130 from CNET.com and PCmag.com and neither have anything terrible to say about it. They say scanning is kind of shitty, but one user commented on CNET that once you increase the scanning resolution, the color issues almost vanish. That's great, but as I said then there's the MP170, which is newer than the MP130, but I have not found any reviews of it yet. I have mixed feelings about the MP450 and MP500, partly due to the fact that again, I was unable to find any reliable reviews of them. The MP760 seems to be a surefire winner as all reviews I've read pretty much rave about it and place it among the very best all in one printers of that price range. But then I'm looking at a price difference of a hundred dollars between the MP130 or MP170 and the MP760.. I'm not sure if I want to spend over $200 dollars on a printer, even if the 760 seems to kick ass. I've been spending money left and right like a madman lately, (just look at the photo equipment link I provided earlier), and I can't say that I'm done either. I'm still new in my apartment and having your own place is the devil... you realize only then how many freaking things you need/should have. It really drains your pocket rather quickly..

What are your opinions? Does anyone have experience with these printers.. any advice? Generally I much prefer laser over inkjet, but the all-in-one color laser devices far exceed what I'm willing to pay right now, so that's out of the question.

I'm grateful for any tips/recommendations/links.. anything, really. Share your wisdom with me :)

mouser

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Re: Buying a new printer
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2005, 03:24:08 AM »
CANON!!!!

I LOVE MY CANON (older pixma ip4000) - i spit on my old HP inkjets.

i made a post a long time ago talking about how easy and convenient the photo printing software for it was - almost worth the cost of printer!

moerl

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Re: Buying a new printer
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2005, 03:42:55 AM »
Good to know. Yeah, me likes Canon too. My Canon A620 is one hell of a camera. I'm just waiting for the SD card.. I've got everything else. Can't wait :). Now to buy a printer too.. just when I thought the universe is contained within the internet, in other words, if it's not online, it certainly isn't offline :D, I can't seem to find nearly as much info as I'd like in this printer research ordeal :/

Things I forgot to mention:
  • I don't need fax
  • One of the main reasons I'm really liking the MP760 is that it has built-in duplex support.. that's something I've always missed in a home printer
  • I'm not sure how much I'll use the printer's ability to directly print from memory cards like my new Canon's SD card... I suppose I'll want to see the pics in their full glory on the PC screen before printing anything. Hmmmm
  • I sure as hell don't need the ability to scan negatives or anything like that.. I've been all digital for almost three years now :)

The three prime things I need to know/find out:
  • The difference between the Canon PIXMA PM130 and PM170 (performance and quality, since price is about the same)
  • WTF is the deal with the Canon PIXMA PM450 (can be had pretty cheaply! Only like.. 20 bucks more than the PM170) and PM500 (similar story)!? How much better are they really compared to the PM130 and PM170?
  • The PM760, the object of my desire. Is it worth it? What's the best deal you can find on this one? I haven't found it anywhere for less than 200

Carol Haynes

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Re: Buying a new printer
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2005, 04:33:51 AM »
Another vote for Canon ...

I had an old S520 which served me well (and still does as a backup), but I LOVE (with a capital LURVE) my ip5000.

I know in the US people were frustrated with the ip5000 because Canon didn't supply the CD printing side, but as a general printer it is really excellent (and in the UK the CD/DVD printing is superb).

As far as printing goes I would buy Canon every time. I used to have a Lexmark printer, and before that HP and Epson, but the Canon's not only beat them for quality but also on cost per page basis. I use so much less ink, and the cartirdges are much cleaper than HP and Lexmark - helped by the muliple cartirdge approach which means you don't throw away a half full cartridge because the yellow ran out!!

The more I play with Canon gear generally the more I like it ... I have two canon scanners (both of which are brilliant) and four Canon cameras!

Go for the big Gun !!!

moerl

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Re: Buying a new printer
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2005, 04:40:39 AM »
I totally forgot that I called T-Mobile on Monday and that they're sending me a $600 cheque for a deposit I made a year ago :). That means I should be able to get the PIXMA 760 or 780.. I don't need fax, so I'm undecided about which one to choose. I just checked my online banking as well and realized that I have to pay rent.. after rent, I'm broke for now!! Need to hit up the parents for the next wire transfer :D. I've been spending money like crazy.. but the digicam and equipment were something I was long planning to get and my parents never sent me money for that. I just spent it and have to transfer money to my dad's account from my own account back home.. he never gave me the transfer information though.. Argh.. not good!

Oh well.. it'll work out.

Mark0

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Re: Buying a new printer
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2005, 06:46:08 AM »
Another vote here for the Pixma 7xx serie.
I have a 750 at home, and the Fax version at work.
They works flawlessy, and are very economic on the consumable side.

Previously I had a good old HP OfficeJet 1150c. It worked perfectly for about 9 years, so I really cannot say any bad about it's quality, but HP is gone really off the mark with the Ink price to be even taken in consideration, IMHO.

Bye!

moerl

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Re: Buying a new printer
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2005, 06:54:44 AM »
Perfect. Thanks everyone for the input. I'm trying to decide between the MP760 and MP780 now :). The price is about the same, except for some reason 760 availability is quite a bit worse than the presence of the MP780 in the marketplace.

moerl

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Re: Buying a new printer
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2005, 05:32:00 PM »
My dad's saying I should just get a monochrome laser printer because I'll mostly be printing text. That's true, but I really like the idea of having a Pixma MP760 or MP780. Having that said, how is the ink usage on those Pixma's? That's my single biggest concern about going inkjet over laser. It's true, I WILL be printing text more than anything else, but I plan to get some images in there as well, being that I bought a brand new camera recently. The scanning feature is important to me. That's why I landed with these Pixmas. They seem to be great for scanning, copying and with good quality on all fronts. How long do the ink cartridges last.. and are they expensive? I know they are seperate, which is great.. but how long will the black cartridge last me if I print a lot of text? And I don't print THAT much, really. Papers of course.. guides, an article here and there, some spreadsheets. I'm just wondering how long the black cartridge would last me for average text printing. I guess it's average after all, not "a lot".

If the cartridges are expensive or if they don't last long at all.. I might consider getting a laser printer after all.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2005, 06:17:27 PM by moerl »

mouser

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Re: Buying a new printer
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2005, 05:36:43 PM »
i might have to agree with your dad here.

i love my color inkjet, but no matter how fast or good they get, i would NOT want to use one to print out papers.

so if you're going to be writing a lot or printing out academic papers, etc. - i'd recommend a laser printer.

moerl

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Re: Buying a new printer
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2005, 06:23:49 PM »
Why would you not use one to print out papers?

I like the Pixmas because they're color and they are great all-in-ones. Once you try to get a laser all in one, even just monochrome, it gets more expensive quickly. A color laser all-in-one is very, very pricey. Or maybe I haven't done my research well enough? It happens quite often that I have to copy something and I like being able to scan in documents for various reasons. I also like how most of these devices will let you copy a paper without even using the computer.. just put it in and hit copy :).
Another feature I really like is duplex printing. It saves paper and is compact and nice. Sometimes it's pretty annoying when data is printed on only one side of the paper, especially when you're printing  longer documents.

All of the above are nicely combined in the two Pixma's I ended up with through research. The question of how fast you go through the black cartridge and how long it lasts for text printing remains, however.

I need to start the research over again looking for a B&W all-in-one laser printer. That's the other thing.. with inkjet technology, I can get the Pixma MP780 for like.. 200 bucks. That gives me duplex printing, a good scanner, a fast printer, an independent copier, excellent and computer independent photo prints, and all of the preceding in color. Try to find that with laser technology for 200 bucks...

mouser

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Re: Buying a new printer
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2005, 06:38:46 PM »
well maybe i spoke too generally but -
i print out TONS of academic papers, and the idea of using an inkjet for that is just not pleasent.

laser printer text looks better, its faster, cheaper, more reliable, less smudging, etc.

so for pure text, which is what i use 99% of the time, i use a laser printer.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2005, 09:23:32 PM by mouser »

moerl

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Re: Buying a new printer
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2005, 07:36:46 PM »
Good point. Well.. there go the dreams of having a color printer then :(

mouser

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Re: Buying a new printer
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2005, 09:22:15 PM »
you might do like this:
buy a cheap laser printer for printing papers.
buy a cheap ink jet for occassional photos.

i would rather do that then try to buy a highend inkjet.

the lower end ink jets are extremely good, and most of the price is the ink, so if you dont use it much it should be very cheap.


moerl

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Re: Buying a new printer
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2005, 10:27:40 PM »
Hmmm.. that works. Or I could get a cheap color laser! I'm reading reviews on pcmag.com now :D

mouser

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Re: Buying a new printer
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2005, 11:11:21 PM »
color lasers have come really far in recent years, but you still probably wouldn't want to use one to print pictures, just keep that in mind.
fine for color charts and stuff though.

moerl

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Re: Buying a new printer
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2005, 11:22:21 PM »
Doing research on this is really hard. Yeah.. I know color lasers aren't exactly what you'd want for pictures. I think I'm dreaming here. I should really stick to a B&W laser printer. I don't seem to be able to find one with duplexing though :(
That's why the Pixmas are so damn attractive.. duplexing, great color & photos, scanner, copier and all that.. good text.. it's got it all! I just wonder how long the cartridges last, because that could become pricey pretty quickly.

moerl

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Re: Buying a new printer
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2005, 12:08:23 AM »
I don't know if I'll be able to resist the lure of all the benefits the Pixma's offer... as opposed to buying the best monochrome laser printer I can find :)

Carol Haynes

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Re: Buying a new printer
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2005, 06:02:32 AM »
Canon/Pixma consumables are pretty good value compared to other inkjet manufacturers and the output is excellent.

If you want to see what they produce Canon provide a service on their website where you send them a document to print, they print it on the printer(s) you are considering and send you the printout so you can see what to expect.

moerl

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Re: Buying a new printer
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2005, 10:18:19 AM »
I'm not worried about quality. I'm worried about maintenance costs, especially considering the ink. I already know that they are great printers with great quality :)

Carol Haynes

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Re: Buying a new printer
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2005, 12:21:07 PM »
Hmmm ... I never thought of laser printers being esp. cheap to run ???

moerl

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Re: Buying a new printer
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2005, 12:46:46 PM »
They are! The initial price may be higher.. but on the laser printer I have now... I had ZERO maintenance costs for its entire life. I didn't have to replace my print toner ONCE. It lasted three years. You can't say that anyone could pull that off with a Pixma :)

Still, I've pretty much decided to get a Pixma. Just don't know whether to get a 760 or a 780. The inks are seperate so I'll be buying black ones more often but that's ok. I don't print TONS of papers ;). How much would a black ink cartridge for it be?

Mark0

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Re: Buying a new printer
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2010, 09:08:24 PM »
I know the thread is old, but I have to add something, with about 5 years of hindsight.

To this day, my old Canon Pixma MP750 have never failed to load a single sheet of paper!
In facts, when some weeks ago the printhead failed, I started to look around for a new all-in-one to buy. But in the end, I just got a new printhead from eBay, because I haven't found one that really convinced me (whithout being borderline overkill, like some multifunctions color laser units).
It just works well, don't make too much noise, scan & copy fast enough, the Win 7 drivers are very well done. I can scan 20 sheet of paper and produce a searchable PDF with no effort at all, without using any 3rd party software.

And the ink cartdriges are just stupid, chipless ink tanks, so I can buy 1 for about 1 Euro, as I have done for the last years!