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Thread: Laser versus inkjet/bubblejet

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    Laser versus inkjet/bubblejet

    Hi

    I have a mono laser printer for regular use and find that cost per page is cheap and quality is good.

    I also have a dye-sublimation printer for high quality photographic output but this only prints max size of 6" X 4"

    My daughter wants a colour printer for school projects and the like. What is best to get for that - colour laser or colour inkjet/bubble jet.

    If I get a laser I could just have one printer (apart form the dye-sub) - desk real estate is an issue but I really want to get the best product for the job so will work around that.

    So which is better for prints pics for school projects - colour laser or colour inkjet? Any recommendations of a particular printer also appreciated

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    Re: Laser versus inkjet/bubblejet

    I've been using HP CP2025 laserjets at work and a J6410 inkjet (officejet range) at home - no appreciable difference in photo print quality in my opinion.

    It'll all come down to cost at the end of the day I would think. My J6410 is an everything in one - borderless printing, wireless lan, auto doc feeder, fax, scan/copy, duplex, so on so forth, and cartridges are about £35 a pair for HP original XL versions. Came in around £100 when I bought it. The CP2025 is more like £250 for printer only, depending on what offer is running, and then £80 per cartridge so £320 when it runs out. It comes in a few varieties though, n for network capable, d for duplex, and an all-in-one variant I think as well. So cost can vary depending on what you want. Since the starter cartridges don't last long at all, you'll need a new set fairly rapidly at £80 each, so it'll have cost you a total of £600 very early on.

    Compared to a standard HP inkjet, which will be £30 in any retailer (think Ryman, Robert Dyas, PC World... literally anywhere), plus £35's worth of cartridges off Amazon for when the starters run out, that's a heck of a lot in startup costs - £600 vs £65. While we're on the subject, if you want an inkjet, I'd recommend an HP unit that takes 350XL and 351XL cartridges. Obviously in the long term laser is cheaper, or businesses wouldn't bother, but for home usage it really doesn't suit me. Also bear in mind that laser photo paper can be a bit more difficult to get hold of on the high street than inkjet photo paper.

    Hope that helps

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    Re: Laser versus inkjet/bubblejet

    Hmm, given the initial outlay I would be inclined to go the inkjet route but I thought the lasers had come down in price somewhat from their initial launch.

    I suspect however that the cheaper colour lasers don't produce high quality prints e.g. a Samsung CL310 at circa £120

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    Re: Laser versus inkjet/bubblejet

    Hmm, don't know about that to be honest. At the end of the day, I guess the money's got to be going somewhere, and considering that the HP laserjets I use don't do anything special apart from print (they don't even fit 500 sheets of A4 at standard spec) I can't see where the money would be going.

    My only experience is with HP because that's all we use, excluding the photocopiers which it beats hands-down for quality.

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    Re: Laser versus inkjet/bubblejet

    Colour lasers have come down in price a lot and you can get a perfectly workable machine with pretty impressive output at around the £100 mark.

    But be careful to check how many pages it'll print with the introductory cartridges it's supplied with, and the cost of a full set of cartridges .... and with some designs, other bits that have to be changed regularly. With the very cheap lasers, you're likely to find it a toss up as to whether it's worth buying cartridges or just buying a new machine when they run out!

    If the machine is going to get fairly heavy use, then for a colour laser, the maths works out that it's better to spend more buying the machine, because the cost per page will typically be a lot lower ... and often a LOT lower. I've done detailed analyses of this for clients before, but not recently enough to recommend current machines. Do your research though, or you could make an expensive mistake.

    As for photos, while lasers have improved and improved hugely, I still don't think there's one on the market that'll touch a half decent photo printer. They're certainly (IMHO) good enough for photos in school work or a business report, but not good enough to satisfy a half-discerning photographer, even of amateur standing. So a lot depends on what you ant from it. If photo quality in her school work is key, I'd suggest going inkjet. If not, then it's down to usage levels and budget over whether to go inkjet or laser. Bear in minds that while inkjets are cheaper to buy, they're more expensive to run, so if usage is light, a cheap latser is a strong bet, and iuf usage is heavy, look at midrange lasers versus inkjet, but do it over the life of the printer, not just on up-front costs.

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    Re: Laser versus inkjet/bubblejet

    The issue with inkjets is that is they are not used all the time they clog up and thats that.
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    Re: Laser versus inkjet/bubblejet

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay View Post
    The issue with inkjets is that is they are not used all the time they clog up and thats that.
    Okay that is a big consideration as I don't know how often she will need to print stuff but I suspect that its not going to be every day, perhaps once a week.

    So its going to be fairly low usage and because of that I've been resisting buying one. when she does need to print in colour I've been using my dye sublimation but the pressure from mum and daughter now is too much.

    Will do some maths and report here for others who are interested.

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    Re: Laser versus inkjet/bubblejet

    I'd be interested in your findings. The only other consideration with lasers when considering runnings costs is the replaceable parts that can be very expensive. I have a Xerox which requires a maintenance kit every so often which I didn't consider when I purchased.

    I'm considering buying a Canon MP640 to run alongside my Xerox as I hate waiting for the noisy blighter to warm up before printing a single page. The Xerox is great for large print jobs but I'd prefer an inkjet for small jobs and photos.

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    Re: Laser versus inkjet/bubblejet

    Lasers are cheaper to run on a per page basis but the toners tend to last so long that when they do run out its a large expense. E.g. £150 once per year.

    Inkjets are expensive to run, but since you get so little ink in a cartridge they "seem" cheaper as you are only paying £20 at a time (but every month!)

    Most people are better off with inkjets unless they are going to print 100s of sheets a week TBH,
    or need printouts to be waterproof...
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    Re: Laser versus inkjet/bubblejet

    Quote Originally Posted by mikerr View Post
    ....

    Most people are better off with inkjets unless they are going to print 100s of sheets a week TBH,
    or need printouts to be waterproof...
    Well, there's a balance to think about isn't there?

    Lasers are typically faster, don't have the possible issues with clogging if left unused for extended periods, and so forth. The Samsung CLP-315 is worth a look, because with a cost of around 5-6p per page including the cost of buying the machine (and £100-ish), over the life of a couple of thousand pages, it's pretty cheap to run.

    For heavier use and a faster machine, maybe the Dell 1320cn, but I'd suggest carefully researching consumables costs on that one. The machine is cheap and at about £120, great value, but consumables are pricey unless you hunt down a discounted source of supply (of legit items).

    Until fairly recently, I've have agreed that inkjets were the better bet for home users, but the costs of the lasers have come down so much that it's a much harder call now. I think the case can be made both ways.

    And if you need to cost laser consumables carefully, that applies with bells on to inkjets.

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    Re: Laser versus inkjet/bubblejet

    It is true that an inket can clog, but if it is being used on a semi-regular basis, that shouldn't be an issue - I use an epson and I've left it weeks between prints before and maybe needed to clean the heads once.

    One thing that you need to bear in mind with inkjets (well epsons definately, not used an HP in a while) is that each time it is turned on it goes through a startup process that uses ink, so if it is constantly turned on and off you will get far less prints out of your cartridges (may even be the same for some lasers).

    Lasers can be great things and last a hell of a long time, but you need to make sure the maintenance is done on them (drums / cleaning kits), and you need to make sure that you don't go moving the printer about with the toner still in it as that'll cause you problems.

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    Re: Laser versus inkjet/bubblejet

    Our HP officejet has lasted 7 years so far.
    It can go a couple of weeks without clogging.
    3+ weeks - I've had to take a cotton wool bud + some IPA to the heads for a clean.

    Costs of consumables varies tremendously. eg CostCo are typically less than half the price of say PC World.

    Mainly highly reliable - although I'd buy it from a decent retailer, with a decent warranty - the HP "24-hour business support" - managed a response within 9 business days (and hours wasted)

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    Re: Laser versus inkjet/bubblejet

    Do all inkjets go through a startup routine that uses/wastes ink? My old HP 990cxi doesn't and maybe that's why it's so economical on ink...

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    Re: Laser versus inkjet/bubblejet

    Quote Originally Posted by cotswoldcs View Post
    Do all inkjets go through a startup routine that uses/wastes ink? My old HP 990cxi doesn't and maybe that's why it's so economical on ink...
    I'm not sure - I know my old ones didn't, but the latest Epsons I've had certainly do.

    Mind you on my old printer I could also carry on printing even when a cartridge was empty - which was very handy at times when a colour ran out, and all you needed to print was black and white

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    Re: Laser versus inkjet/bubblejet

    nor my office jet (which replaced a 990cxi)

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    Re: Laser versus inkjet/bubblejet

    Quote Originally Posted by speardane View Post
    nor my office jet (which replaced a 990cxi)
    What model did you get speardane? Are you pleased with it?

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