Jump to content
  • 0
itsme51

Buying new printer

Question

I am shopping for a new printer. Not interested in an all-in-one. Looking for an inkjet that will print BW documents and good color photos. I don't care about speed of printing, how much paper the paper tray holds, etc. Main concerns are reliability and color quality. Any recommendations for a decent printer under $150?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

38 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

Personally I first price the ink cartridges and go from there.

 

In the end I opted for Epson because I can get the replacement carts a LOT cheaper than any other make.

 

Avoid Lexmark - there's nothing wrong with their printers but when you go to replace the ink in their basic one, you'll find it actually costs more than buying another printer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Personally I first price the ink cartridges and go from there.

 

In the end I opted for Epson because I can get the replacement carts a LOT cheaper than any other make.

 

Avoid Lexmark - there's nothing wrong with their printers but when you go to replace the ink in their basic one, you'll find it actually costs more than buying another printer

Thanks for the tip. I am going crazy reading printer reviews and comparisons and have printouts all over my desk. I would much rather hear from the Roxio community who I trust. Lexmark just went in the trash. What model Epson did you choose? If this is not below $150 do you have an Epson suggestion? Am I unrealistic expecting good photo quality under $150?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Actually my last one was an all in one - the Epson DX5050.

 

However, I pay sterling here - so mine set me back £80 ($160 at present rates) but it's probably cheaper for you - for some reason computer products over here tend to cost an arm and a leg compared to US prices.

 

Photo quality on this is excellent - it also has photocopy, scan and card reading capability. Plug in the meory card from your camera directly into the printer and it prints out a contact sheet of all photos - scan that after ticking the box for number of copies, put in photo paper and it prints the ones you want directly from the memory card.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Daithi has a real good point about printers. There are quite a few good printers that will do what you want, but be sure and check out the print cartridges not only for price, which is very important but also how many "ml" of ink and how many cartridges there are. I have had both Epson and HP and some of the cartridges that come especially with the HP printers (2 cartridges, color and B/W) are really small in quantity of ink they hold. This means if you do much "good" quality color printing, you will find yourself buying new ink cartridges quite often. Epson has more than just 2 cartridges and although they are cheaper, you end up buying more of the ones that runs out.

 

Do some searching around on the internet for some good articles on printers. That will also help you decide

 

Frank...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I have had both Epson and HP. Quality of photos is good on both. However, I will never buy another Epson. To many problems with cartridges actually leaking the ink into the bottom of the printer. My R320 actually had a foam pad below the cartridge path to catch the ink. It was always wet. I tried an R260. Printed about 5 color pages (no picture), and 3 DVDs with full color of the printable area. Cartridges at that point were down to half.

As I wanted something to print full color on DVDs/CDs, I was stuck with Epson until recently due to licensing issues in the US. Now other manufacturers are allowed to do this in the US and I have an HP D5160.

As I said before, Epson, never again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Can't say I've had that problem with leakage on either of my Epsons (the old 3500 died when the photo paper jammed and emitted a nasty grunching noise as it stripped the plastic cogs - but all printers nowadays have plastic cogs)

 

Maybe it was just bad luck but then I also never had one that printed to disc either (I use sticky labels for CDs myself)

 

Then again - I'm a cheapskate and buy 'compatible' carts instead of the 'official' Epson ones :)

Edited by gi7omy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I'm happy with my Epson R300. It has the feature to print labels directly to inkjet printable CD/DVD.

 

The ink cartridges are not that cheap though; always have to wait for sale (usually Costco comes up with a pack of the required 5 color cartridges for a lot cheaper) .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Can't say I've had that problem with leakage on either of my Epsons (the old 3500 died when the photo paper jammed and emitted a nasty grunching noise as it stripped the plastic cogs - but all printers nowadays have plastic cogs)

 

Maybe it was just bad luck but then I also never had one that printed to disc either (I use sticky labels for CDs myself)

 

Then again - I'm a cheapskate and buy 'compatible' carts instead of the 'official' Epson ones :)

All I can say is I had the problem with both of the Epson printers. Difference was on the R260, there was no foam to soak it up. It just puddled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

A friend bought a new HP 6150 all-in-one. It even has wireless feature! PRINT AND SCAN wirelessly. Way cool although scanning wirelessly was too slow for me (IMHO), but it did work. I noticed that the cartridges were quite small.

 

If your priority is QUALITY, I woud look at the newest 7, 8 or 9 color ink system printers. Epson and Canon have a few models, but doubt they would be in your price range. Personally, I've used Epson for the longest and you can get 3rd party brand cartridges.

Edited by ggrussell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Guest ml

I just recently bought a HP 3180 that has a scanner. I like the quality and ease of use and so far, I like the quality.

 

For photos they recommend a special cartridge with fade resistant inks that was under $30 and it is supposed to print over 100 photos with the one cartridge.

 

Got it for $79 on sale.

 

I like Epson, too, and had one for years. I just couldn't justify the cost. For photos that I want printed with lab quality, I figure that I can order them online from a lab.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

"...and it is supposed to print over 100 photos with the one cartridge."

 

Did "they" suggest what size those 100 prints were ? If you are printing color photos with any inkjet printer, the larger the photo or print you make the more ink it takes. So maybe that 100 prints was for possibly a

3"x 5". But I'm not so sure if it would do that many at full sheet prints with the printer options set to "BEST" quality. Especially if the color cartridges are small. Somewhere between "Draft Fast" and "Best", there is a drastic change in the amount of ink used when printing color photos too.

One other thing to take into consideration is that on some inkjet printers, the B&W cartridge is used to help make up the color, and that IMO is not good.

 

Frank....

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

The 'common' size here in the US is 4X6. B&W cartridge? Just Black and in some cases photo black, gray and photo gray. You have to use BLACK. Otherwise the 'black' in a photo would have to consist of a mixture of all the other colors. That is the old way of doing it and people complained of greenish tinted 'blacks'.

 

My R320 actually had a foam pad below the cartridge path to catch the ink.
marlinsinger - actually that foam pad is for printer head cleaning. During the cleaning phase, the printer forces ink thru the nozzles to unclog it. That ink has to go somewhere. :) I've had my Epson PhotoStylist 1280 almost 6 years. Several times I used a paper towel soak up the ink on the foam pad. I don't use the Epson as much as I used to so the head dries out which means I need to clean it more often than I should.

 

I have no idea how the other brands keep the printer heads clean. I know with HP printers, the print head is part of the cartridge. That's why they tend to cost more. With most Epson and Canon printers, you only replace the ink cartridge and the print head is permanent. I'm sure there may be exceptions since I'm not familiar with all the latest printer lines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Guest ml

I'm certain that the cartridges won't print as many photos as advertised.

 

One member of my family is getting a photo printer for Christmas and that's what we'll probably use for 4x6 prints.

 

Most of my printing is documents and the print head being included in the cartridge was one of the reasons I bought the HP. The print head failed on my last printer long before the printer itself was out of date (although it was out of warranty). It didn't respond to recommended cleaning and wasn't worth repairing.

 

You might want to try one of the computer magazines for recommendations. Most of them do NOT recommend all in ones for quality printing. Most of them recommend the multiple ink models, but I don't know how affordable they are or how available the inks are.

 

Good luck. It's not an easy choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

"B&W cartridge?"

 

That's my mistake Gary. What I meant to say was just the "Black" cartridge is used on some of the inkjet printers to help make the color, rathet than the term B&W. Anyway, I think most knew what I was referring to :)

 

 

 

Frank...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
The 'common' size here in the US is 4X6. B&W cartridge? Just Black and in some cases photo black, gray and photo gray. You have to use BLACK. Otherwise the 'black' in a photo would have to consist of a mixture of all the other colors. That is the old way of doing it and people complained of greenish tinted 'blacks'.

 

marlinsinger - actually that foam pad is for printer head cleaning. During the cleaning phase, the printer forces ink thru the nozzles to unclog it. That ink has to go somewhere. :) I've had my Epson PhotoStylist 1280 almost 6 years. Several times I used a paper towel soak up the ink on the foam pad. I don't use the Epson as much as I used to so the head dries out which means I need to clean it more often than I should.

 

I have no idea how the other brands keep the printer heads clean. I know with HP printers, the print head is part of the cartridge. That's why they tend to cost more. With most Epson and Canon printers, you only replace the ink cartridge and the print head is permanent. I'm sure there may be exceptions since I'm not familiar with all the latest printer lines.

 

Actually I had never run the cleaning process. After printing anything, I could take a paper towel and blot up quite a bit of ink from the pad, especially on the left hand side. This started from day one. I had talked to others about this, and they had the same problem. On the R260, there was no pad, but would find drops of ink on the plastic underneath the path of the cartridges.

Also it seemed funny that the levels of all the cartridges went down at the same rate. On my HP, you can see that the black usually goes down faster as that is what is printed most on regular documents, or the color goes down faster when printing pictures, CD/DVDs, etc. The Epson's always went down the same rate.

 

I also like that the HP print heads are on the cartridge. Then if it gets clogged too bad, you just throw away a $25 cartridge, not a $150 printer. I will say that I have never had to throw away an HP cartridge before it was empty.

Edited by marlinsinger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
The 'common' size here in the US is 4X6. B&W cartridge? Just Black and in some cases photo black, gray and photo gray. You have to use BLACK. Otherwise the 'black' in a photo would have to consist of a mixture of all the other colors. That is the old way of doing it and people complained of greenish tinted 'blacks'.

 

marlinsinger - actually that foam pad is for printer head cleaning. During the cleaning phase, the printer forces ink thru the nozzles to unclog it. That ink has to go somewhere. :) I've had my Epson PhotoStylist 1280 almost 6 years. Several times I used a paper towel soak up the ink on the foam pad. I don't use the Epson as much as I used to so the head dries out which means I need to clean it more often than I should.

 

I have no idea how the other brands keep the printer heads clean. I know with HP printers, the print head is part of the cartridge. That's why they tend to cost more. With most Epson and Canon printers, you only replace the ink cartridge and the print head is permanent. I'm sure there may be exceptions since I'm not familiar with all the latest printer lines.

 

The print heads and cartridges are separate on my 2 (actually) 3 Hp's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Actually I had never run the cleaning process. After printing anything, I could take a paper towel and blot up quite a bit of ink from the pad, especially on the left hand side. This started from day one. I had talked to others about this, and they had the same problem. On the R260, there was no pad, but would find drops of ink on the plastic underneath the path of the cartridges.

Also it seemed funny that the levels of all the cartridges went down at the same rate. On my HP, you can see that the black usually goes down faster as that is what is printed most on regular documents, or the color goes down faster when printing pictures, CD/DVDs, etc. The Epson's always went down the same rate.

 

I also like that the HP print heads are on the cartridge. Then if it gets clogged too bad, you just throw away a $25 cartridge, not a $150 printer. I will say that I have never had to throw away an HP cartridge before it was empty.

Instead of throwing away the emptys, go to the HP website and get the info for the little baggies to send them back postpaid :)

 

Lynn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Instead of throwing away the emptys, go to the HP website and get the info for the little baggies to send them back postpaid

 

 

In my area, office supply stores like Staples give a $3.00 credit for them.

 

cd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
The print heads and cartridges are separate on my 2 (actually) 3 Hp's.
Wonder if HP is changing their strategy or just a few models? My first inkjet was an HP that wasn't even color! :) Back in those days, it was really easy to refill the cartridges yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Wonder if HP is changing their strategy or just a few models? My first inkjet was an HP that wasn't even color! :) Back in those days, it was really easy to refill the cartridges yourself.

It may be those models that have the individual color cartridges. The ones I have had were the black cartridge, and a tri-color cartridge. For photos, you replaced the black cartridge with another tri-color cartridge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

You still can refill your own carts - I did (used JR Inkjet kit and had technicolour fingers for a day or so after)

 

Once I found compatible Epson carts at £2 each ($4) I stopped refilling :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Wonder if HP is changing their strategy or just a few models? My first inkjet was an HP that wasn't even color! :) Back in those days, it was really easy to refill the cartridges yourself.

 

I have 3 Hp's. My Hp Inkjet 2000 is in storage, and I think it is about 6 years old. I also have a Business Inkjet 2200, which is about 4 years old and a Business Inkjet 2800, which is about 5 months old.

 

These printers are upper end models, so that could be the reason why they have separate print heads. I am not sure, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Hi All,

Over the Holidays I printer shopped with my son and we decided on the HP 7160. I can't even remember why but I do remember both he and I researched various printers to arrive at this choice. Got it on sale for $130, had to purchase a USB since it wasn't included with the printer. Printer also came loaded with 5 color cartridges and 1 black. The color cartridges normally sell for $9.99 each. I picked up an additional Photo Value Pack which included 6 ink cartridges and 150 sheets of 4x6 photo paper for $35.99. Although the printer has PictBridge technology, I will probably never use it. I am always fiddling with my photos and rarely would be happy to print the "original" photo directly from the camera. The HP Advanced photo paper is much better than the everyday photo paper I had been using :) . I managed to find a sale online and found a BOGO sale so I stocked up on full sheets and 4x6. Free shipping too ! My first run through on developing I always use a professional lab. But there are always those prints I am unhappy with or decide I need one more copy or want to enlarge, etc. That is where the HP 7160 will be useful. Much easier to make 1 or 2 reprints or an enlargement at home than to make a run to the photo store. Or, in the same amount of time it would take me to upload to an online service I might as well print myself. Having only used the printer for a week, so far I am satisfied. Being a newbie, I need to perfect my printing techniques and learn more about the printer. And now I need to learn how to use one of my Christmas gifts - a Sony DSC H2 camera with 12x zoom. I'm gonna love that zoom. I take a lot of photos at the race track and it will be great to actually get close ups of the car and driver. Thank you all for your suggestions and comments. I learned a lot about printers. I REALLY appreciate the Roxio community and these forums. I would be lost without all of you. Happy New Year !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Glad you got everything sorted out

 

BUT, bear in mind

 

Do NOT stand in front of the moving cars when taking happy snappies :)

Edited by gi7omy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Guest ml

You got some great deals! :) They were practically giving stuff away before the holidays and it was a great time to go printer and print paper shopping.

 

Congratulations! That's great camera. You're going to be able to take some great pictures with that zoom and low light capabilities.

 

One note of caution: You're probably going to need the adapter that comes with your Memory Stick (Pro) Duo. I had the unfortunate experience of having a friend put a memory stick in the computer's card reader without the adapter, and the memory card reader ATE IT!

 

I finally got it out by finding and inserting the adapter, wiggling it around til it grabbed the memory stick ( backwards ), and it pulled out easily. Luckily neither the card or the reader was damaged. ( The local computer store was going to disassemble the computer for around $200 to get it and they couldn't guarantee that the reader wouldn't be damaged.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×