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Thread: Which Printer?

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    Which Printer?

    Hi guys just looking help on finding a printer?

    Im not interested in all these stupid all-in-ones!

    I just want a printer than can print sheets in colour and have good refils.

    Im sick of buying epson printers that drink the ink and fall apart!

    Ideally I really dont want to spend much.

    Thanks

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    Re: Which Printer?

    Go for a secondhand model with compatible ink. (Like 4+ yrs old that would have been top of the range).

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    Re: Which Printer?

    Im still looking for one guys lol, it seems its hard to find just printers. The majority seem to be all in ones :/
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    Re: Which Printer?

    Quite a few printers here

    http://www.printerbase.co.uk/

    It is a company I have used - without problems. Might be worth giving them a ring and talking to the, and getting some print samples.

    If it is specifically inkjet that you want, your choice is more limited. Canon do a range, although aimed more at photo printing (and will give better results than a laser printer for photo printing) Otherwise there is the HP range.

    The Xerox solid ink lasers look very good, but are more expensive to buy, and are best left running 24x7

    Just spotted the Ricoh Gelsprinter - not sure what the USP of that is, but running costs look low. Info here http://www.gelsprinter.com/

    Of course, the running costs are really more important than the initial purchase price, so look at the cost of cnsumeables!

    Hope that helps.
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    Re: Which Printer?

    Thanks I have some reading to do!
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    Re: Which Printer?

    As a student I went for a laser colour printer. I don't need colour all the time but its handy to have, and the ink lasts for a long time.

    I got mine on offer from here but that was a few months ago.
    http://www.oyyy.co.uk/section.php/5471/1/laser-printers


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    Re: Which Printer?

    Quote Originally Posted by neonplanet40 View Post
    ....

    Im sick of buying epson printers that drink the ink and fall apart!

    Ideally I really dont want to spend much.

    ....
    Sadly, part of your problem lies with those two statements.

    If you want build quality, it's going to cost. Try, for example, the OfficeJet class of printers from HP. They're built for a relatively heavy duty cycle. Epson do (or did, haven't looked recently) similar machines. I'm still using one (Stylus Color 900 IIRC). I've had, and used, that since, oh, 1999. It hasn't fallen apart yet. But, it was a £400 printer, not a £50 one.

    Most ink-jets are produced for home use, and that means very much built down to a cost, not up to a build quality. It also tends to mean relatively expensive cartridges.

    I'd suggest thinking about how much printing you do, because that tells you something about the type of machine to get. If you either do a LOT of text/simple graphics, or a fair bit of photo printing, I'd suggest looking for a more expensive machine, perhaps second-hand, and a continuous inking system. The CISS will cost you anything from £25 to £100-ish, depending on model, but it'll save on ink costs IF you use a lot.

    Also, don't necessarily rule out second-hand. There are bargains to be had, for instance on eBay, but obviously, you've got to watch yourself.

    Another option might be low-end colour laser. You REALLY do have to be careful here, in terms of consumables costs, but there are machines and deals around that are very good. For instance, there's one deal that's been on here several times for a Dell color laser and, IIRC, two full toner cartridge sets, for about £200. It's a decent sum up-front, but if each cartridge gives you, say, 3,000 to 5,000 pages (of typical letter, with occasional graphics, charts, etc), then that £200 gives you what might be several years of decent quality colour laser output with NO more costs, other than paper.

    Again, it's a function of how much and what type of printing you do, but essentially, if you want solid build quality, it'll cost you up-front but you should recoup some of that in lower page costs with business-grade machines, whether laser or ink-jet.

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    Re: Which Printer?

    Sorry to hijack the thread but a quick question - before reading Saracen's post I had never seen / heard of continuous ink systems. I am very interested now though I can spot systems for my PIXAMA MP970 for just £50 which is less than a full set of cartridges.

    Is there any danger of clogging etc, or inaccuracy caused by the inks not being quite the right colour. And also do you have a recommended place to buy them. All the sites I have found selling them look like they were made in Frontpage 97 and while that isnt a crime in itself it does make me more wary!

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    Re: Which Printer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Champman99 View Post
    Sorry to hijack the thread but a quick question - before reading Saracen's post I had never seen / heard of continuous ink systems. I am very interested now though I can spot systems for my PIXAMA MP970 for just £50 which is less than a full set of cartridges.

    Is there any danger of clogging etc, or inaccuracy caused by the inks not being quite the right colour. And also do you have a recommended place to buy them. All the sites I have found selling them look like they were made in Frontpage 97 and while that isnt a crime in itself it does make me more wary!
    Yes, there is .... but there's a risk of clogging with manufacturer original cartridges, too. If air gets in, or if ink dries out, there's that risk.

    But yes, sure, the risk goes up with non-manufacturer inks.

    One thing you have to bear in mind is that not all CISS are made to the same standard, and even more, not all third-party inks are equal. Let me stress that, there are good inks, and far, FAR less good ones. And telling the difference is not easy.

    The first thing to check is whether the inks are dye-based or pigment-based. Unless it's a photo printer, almost certainly the former, the dye type. Having fitted the CISS, you need to know what type of ink to buy. The only thing I can recommend there (as I use mainly Epson printers) is to go on recommendations, and photo forums are often a good place to start, especially for photo printers.

    Next, colour accuracy. Again, yes, it can make a very large difference. A printer's colour rendition is a combination of the interaction of the ink, the paper you print onto and the printer algorithm and settings in the driver. Vary any one of those and the colour balance will change, perhaps by a tiny bit, perhaps by a lot. Again, some inks are pretty close to manufacturer originals, and some are, well, not.

    The best way to deal with that is hardware calibration. If you're serous about colour accuracy, you need hardware capable of physically reading a monitor's colour output, so you calibrate the monitor, and then something to read the colour of printed samples, and read the colour from that. You then have a colour profile for the monitor, and a profile for the printer .... by which, I mean a specific printer/paper/settings combination.

    Do all that, and then use the relevant profile to control printer output and you'll get pretty consistent colour output accuracy with any half-decent ink. But if you change the ink, or the paper, or the driver settings, you need a profile to match. The bad news is that good profiling hardware isn't cheap. I use a Color Munki (ignore the daft name, the device is very good indeed) but last time I looked, they were about £300. And that's the budget end of the high quality devices.

    I would suggest that people printing lots of photos think about a CISS, not least because an A4 (let alone A3 or bigger) print uses a LOT of ink, compared to the average letter, or report page, even if they include a graphic or two. But whether it's worth it for non-photo printers is, well, much less clear.

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    Re: Which Printer?

    Another thing to consider if you do a lot of printing is a second hand laser printer.

    I got an HP 4600dn from a place called Printer Trader up in Manchester for 100 quid with a page count of about 50,000 which is about a month in a busy office. They even gave me £10 trade in for my old (faulty) HP2500.

    That's a professional office printer for about the same price as a reasonable inkjet.

    It's networked, it does double sided printing and I get about 5000 pages out of a set of cartridges which often come up on Ebay for about another £100.

    Considering that inkjets often only get a few hundred pages for 30 or 40 quid I reckon that makes it about as economical as it gets.
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    Re: Which Printer?

    Quote Originally Posted by pp05 View Post
    Go for a secondhand model with compatible ink. (Like 4+ yrs old that would have been top of the range).
    bad plan as they will be close to end of life when the waste inks pads are nearly full.

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    Re: Which Printer?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoNz0 View Post
    bad plan as they will be close to end of life when the waste inks pads are nearly full.
    That depends - the higher-end inkjets (the 8 or 9 colour £300+ new semi-pro inkjets) tend to last much longer than 4 years. Heck, my cheap IP 5300 lasted 4 years before I upgraded to a Pro 9000 Mk II.

    The plus side is you can get continuous ink systems/refillable cartridges, where you're not buying cheap compatibles, but you buy the bottled ink, so you can get ink comparable to the original ink, but still at a fraction of the cost (like 10% of the cost).

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    The Irish Drunk! neonplanet40's Avatar
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    Re: Which Printer?

    Idealy what I want is a prtiner which can use compatable inks. I hated my epson printer which was a stupid sx115. If the blue ink ran out it would not let me print even if the document was only black and white.

    Compatable inks also never worked with it so I was always having to buy epson cartridges which lasted no time at all.

    So what do I want? A cheap printer that is known to work with compatables and have low running costs.


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    Re: Which Printer?

    Again - apologies for thread hijacking!! Found a website I'm a bit more impressed with (for my specific printer this is). Nice installation videos etc.

    http://www.cityinkexpress.co.uk/ciss...series/dye-ink

    I don't print alot to be honest, but the price for the ink included is fantastic compared to cartridges. (as it says, 71p per cartridge, compared to say £5 for compatible, and £8 for Canon) With 7 cartridges to fit it out completely with canon cartridges costs about the same as the CISS!

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    Re: Which Printer?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoNz0 View Post
    bad plan as they will be close to end of life when the waste inks pads are nearly full.
    A risk, certainly, with many models.

    But, as with the CISS route, there's often a way round that. I can't speak for all models, but for many, you can get an external waste tank. You then have some fiddling to do getting inside the machine to find the waste tube that feeds the pads, and sure, you risk damaging the machine doing it, but for a cheap second-hand machine the risk is minimal. You then feed the waste ink tube to that external tank, and empty the tank when/if it's getting full. Oh, and use software to reset the "pads full" error message.

    For obvious reasons I do not recommend that for new-ish, under-warranty machines, and certainly, you have to be careful how you do it or risk, for instance, cocking up the alignment. In fact, I don't recommend it for anyone - if you do it, you do it at your own risk. And I certainly don't recommend just ignoring the "waste full" error code or just resetting it without dealing with the problem.

    And, ideally, buying a new machine is a safer bet. But it's simply not a practical option for many people, especially for the better quality, and therefore more expensive, machines. A CISS and an external waste tank on a second-hand cheapie off of eBay might be.

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    Re: Which Printer?

    Quote Originally Posted by neonplanet40 View Post
    If the blue ink ran out it would not let me print even if the document was only black and white.
    I've not seen a printer myself that will print, regardless of what colour has run out, inkjet or all the laser printers at work. It's annoying and presumably unnecessary technically, but in my experience, it's industry standard.

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