Need Printer Help
My 5 - 6 year old color laser printer is getting low on color toner and I'm hoping the good folks here can help me decide what to do. I'm debating whether to purchase a new printer or replace the toner cartridges in the old one. I'm leaning towards getting a new one for the following reasons.
1) Cartridges cost about $80 each and I need to purchase 3 for a total of $240.
2) The cartridges are becoming hard to find so this would probably be the last time I would buy them (I'm still using the original color cartridges).
3) The printer has to be hooked directly up to a computer. No network capability and cannot use a router with print sever capabilities.
4) Does not have Vista 64 or Windows 7 64 bit drivers.
Reason number 4 alone means I will most likely replace since I'm currently using Vista Ultimate 64. The main question is should I replace it with an inkjet or color laser. I can get a really nice inkjet for $240 or should I go ahead an spend an extra $150 - $200 and get another color laser. If I go with an inkjet what would be a good one? I would like one with a high page yield and low cartridge cost and would like to get an "all in one" type printer so I can get rid of my out dated scanner (doesn't even work with Vista).
I've looked at what appears to be some very nice injets but was leery about getting one if I was going to have to buy ink cartridges for it every month. Although I do like the fact that I can print around 5000 pages with a color laser before I have to buy toner. Any advice on the subject, well not the "you're a fucking idiot" type of advice, but any that would give me a clue as to what's good and what's a piece of shit will be helpful.
There's still a lot of unknowns in your question.
The most important one is: What sort of printing do you mainly do?
I certainly think you should replace the printer for the reasons stated. The question is then with what? Search the forum, we've had quite a few "recommend me a new printer"-threads and while they might be dated for specific printers, they're still good for general advice.
If you print a lot at a time, a laser is the way to go.
If you print your own photos, inkjet is the only way to go.
If you only print B&W draft, then nothing beats a laser.
Between that there's pros and cons.
Inkjets gets a bad rep because of printing cost, but the good inkjets are actually cheaper per print when printing colour graphics than laser (but slower).
Last edited by Hans Lauring; 01-30-2010 at 01:59 PM.
We do a lot of different printing tasks. We print about 1000 color pages, including photos, and 1500 b&w pages for a total of 2500 pages a year. This might actually be higher because the wife and I haven't been able to print because we are using Vista 64 which our printer doesn't support. Because I got such a great deal for my current laser my printing costs are really low. Thanks for your perspective and I will keep on doing research.
Well, that makes it simpler.
Lasers don't print photos, they print pictures. So if you're printing photos you need either dye sublimation or inkjet. Since you also print text, dye sub is out.
You say you have a broken scanner, so you'll want a multifunction (stand alone scanners are solely for pros nowadays). If you want photos that don't fade much even in direct sunlight, that leaves only Epson. If you keep your photos mostly in an album then HP and Canon can play too. Forget about anybody but those three if print quality is important.
If price per print is really important then Kodak is in the running, but those printers are only on the US market, so I have no idea how good they are. Runners up in price per print are HP and Canon respectively, but it depends very much on the specific model and not just brand, but a rule of thumb is that the cheaper the printer, the higher the cost per print in ink. Personally I prefer Canon, and they're certainly the fastest non-lasers, but look at what's on offer and what specifications are important to you.
It's so much cheaper to have your photos printed at Costco or even Walmart/Target. If I had to do again, I would not buy a specialized photo printer. Yes, you will run through a lot of toner if you are printing photos on a laser printer.
I just bought a Samsung 315 and it's been pretty good. A set of toner costs about $120. Also have you looked into generics with your existing printer? My HP color laser was costing about $240 for a set, and then I started using a recommended generic that cost $100 less than that. The generic worked fine, but be sure to read reviews on Amazon before buying it.
This is true, if price matters more than quality.
Originally Posted by Lorini
If you're the type who likes every photo you take on print, then a photo printer will probably ruin you. But if you do just a little bit of post work on your photos before printing, then you'll quickly notice how much the big printing service mess up your photos.
Of course some are better than others, but Costco, Snapfish, Walmart etc. all use big automated processing plants - some even use the same - and a quality inkjet is better every time.
What I recommend is to send off bulk standard prints to the printers and then do those destined for a frame, a card or bigger size print on your photo printer.
But if the OP was already happy with the quality from a laser printer, then I agree - a printing plant is a better choice than an inkjet.
Just note that he did say he printed photos already and regardless of quality, the good inkjets are cheaper per print than lasers when running quick colour prints (comparable to the quality of laser photo printing).
Proper photo printing (which also means photo paper) is more expensive but a completely different quality.
Odd that you mentioned Epson as having the inks that fade the least because there was an Epson Artisan 810 on sale in my area for $219 and when I did some research it had good ratings and had decent page yields.
Originally Posted by Hanzii
I'll probably go with an inkjet simply because of initial cost ($400 compared to $200). Now I need to decide what inkjet to get and how much I will spend.