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Thread: New printer time...

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    New printer time...

    So our %&@*£$ HP printer is reaching the end of it's life. Head cleaning doesn't seem to help, printing a solid black page made it mostly work but it's beyond frustrating paying by the page for illegible text to come out. So yeah, no more HPs and no more ink subscriptions!

    Anyone bought something decent recently? We print sporadically so something that won't just clog up and 'just works' when we need after a month. I did see Epson were offering tank printers - anyone got one / any thoughts?

    Wi-Fi / ethernet pretty much a must. Scanner a nice to have but given phone cameras not really necessary. Colour probably needed, will check when I've got some options (potentially rules out affordable laser printers, but if laser is the best option then that might swing it). Budget... erm < £200 for something all singing all dancing I guess.

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    Re: New printer time...

    I do have an epson ecotank L805, of course they cost more but good quality third party inks work.

    I do find even with occasional use (I print a lot a few times a year)it rarely needs head cleaning and when it does its a couple of cycles at most, compared to other printers with after market CISS tanks or cartridges its just better in this regard.

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    Re: New printer time...

    As someone who uses a printer only sporadically, I gave up on inkjet printers due to all the issues described. Expensive ink that is quite unreliable unless you're using the printer on a daily basis. For me at least, colour is a 'nice to have' facility, but by no means essential. I now just use a Brother mono laser printer which is happy to use third-party toner cartridges, and so far at least, has been very reliable.

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    Re: New printer time...

    I would go the Laser route as well. There are some reasonably compact lasers now, no need for bulky things (unless colour turns out to be essential). I have a local Post Office that prints colour documents for the rare time I would need it. Once in 8 years maybe...

    Our office uses this, we print so little: I use it mainly for sending eBay parcels
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00NUB8J3Q

    As soon as it runs out we'll sell it or charity shop it and buy the latest model.

    Samsung did an even smaller one than this but I believe their printing business has been bought, possibly by HP?

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    Re: New printer time...

    Looks like it's a toss up between colour tanks (probably Epson) or mono laser (Brother?). Will discuss whether we need colour or not.

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    Re: New printer time...

    I have been using a Laser for years, while mine was expensive at the time its paid for itself without having to be incredibly over-priced ink. My colour toner lasted years as I only ever really print in black and white. Thousands of pages with black toner and even after market refurbished toners aren't badly priced.
    Jon

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    Re: New printer time...

    Also this time of year lots of students finishing their studies etc, worth looking at the local second hand market for people getting rid of their laser printers. Last thing they want to take home is those things.
    Jon

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    Re: New printer time...

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbouk View Post
    So our %&@*£$ HP printer is reaching the end of it's life. Head cleaning doesn't seem to help, printing a solid black page made it mostly work but it's beyond frustrating paying by the page for illegible text to come out. So yeah, no more HPs and no more ink subscriptions!

    Anyone bought something decent recently? We print sporadically so something that won't just clog up and 'just works' when we need after a month. I did see Epson were offering tank printers - anyone got one / any thoughts?

    Wi-Fi / ethernet pretty much a must. Scanner a nice to have but given phone cameras not really necessary. Colour probably needed, will check when I've got some options (potentially rules out affordable laser printers, but if laser is the best option then that might swing it). Budget... erm < £200 for something all singing all dancing I guess.
    I'm sure someone with a more modern colour laser will offer a more up to date opinion, but 15 ish years ago, even a decent colour laser printer was rubbish for printing photos. They were fine for adding colour to documents though. These days photo printing online is dirt cheap and probably less than the photo paper!
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    Re: New printer time...

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbouk View Post
    . I did see Epson were offering tank printers - anyone got one / any thoughts?
    I do, and I have thoughts .... but mine wa a fair bit over £200. What else there is in the range? Dunno.

    IMHO, inkjets are inkjets and will, sooner or later, clog if not periodically used. So .... use it periodically, then. I do.

    I knocked up a quick test page with a little text, and a modest box of each colour, and I run it once a week. Monday morning's first task. I don't do a huge amount of printing, and without that regime, it'll start to clog. Oh, and this is a 'general purpose' printer, not a photo printer. I have those too and they get more use, most of the time. But for the general printer, I'm still on tthe first set of cartridges, and got a set of spares as part of the deal I got on the printer.

    I'm not aware of whether 3rd party inks are available, though. Nor do I care. At my level of printing on this thing, it'll be years before I need more ink, and the refills aren't expensive enough that I'd even look at 3rd party. But, remember, as a tank printer, replacemnt ink is just a largish bottle with a fancy shaped nozzle and unlike many 'cartridges', doesn't include a whole new head every time I top up. But those fancy nozzles mean two things :-

    - it's pretty hard to spill ink. I've never managed to do so. Everything is clean as a whistle.
    - As the nozzles are a unique shape, you CANNOT fill a tank with the wrong colour. The refill bottle only fits one tank.

    For my purposes, the only real downside is that if I don't print my 'exercise' page every week or two, I have to go throgh the nozzle cleaning process. It's a price worth paying, for me, to get the other benefts of this type of printer.

    If you want colour and aren't prepared to do the 'exercise page' trick, my advice is buy a cheap-ish colour laser. BUT ... beware models that are too cheap because the odds are they'll have "starter" cartridges that will do a very small number of pages before you need "proper" cartridges, and a set of those on such dead cheap printers will very possibly cost you more than the printer did. Colour laser cartridges can be VERY expensive. So before buying a given printer, :-

    - check the page capacity of the included cartridges, and
    - check the price of a full set of new carridges.
    - Oh, and check if cartridges are the only user-replaceable consumables.

    On that last point, if a set of carridges seems cheap, check if you periodically have to replace other units, like fuser, or whatever. And if so, what they cost, and how often they'll need replacing. Do a TCoO, or total cost of ownership, over the full life of the printer.
    Last edited by Saracen999; 08-06-2024 at 09:06 PM.
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    Re: New printer time...

    This may fit your needs, ecotank, wifi, scanner. £183.99.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Epson-11730.../dp/B09MZN9W9L

    As mentioned above using periodically certainly helps, mine runs every 3 months or so but a small print on a regular basis seems to work.

    It does seem the ecotanks are less prone to clogging from personal experience, not sure on the science behind it.

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    Re: New printer time...

    We have a Samsung ML-1660, replacement cartridges are about £12 on Ebay, and my wife as a lecturer does lots of home printing. We probably go through about 2 cartridges a year. Does the job and is relatively compact.

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    Re: New printer time...

    Unfortunately I can't comment on anything recent, but based on the general idea that Brother tends to be a good brand that doesn't add chips to stop you from using third party ink/toner, I did a quick search on a colour laser that I saw mentioned on HUKD recently.

    However it seems that particular one wasn't one that had cheap toner, as a search suggested third party toner selling at something like £150 (which obviously wasn't exactly far off the printer itself apparently being ~£225 with cashback if I recall correctly).

    As someone who is a sporadic printer too, I'm certainly glad that I bought my Dell 1320c (USB 2.0 + Ethernet) for ~£135 in 2010. Not only is it still usable on Windows 10 (although from what I gather using a different type of driver than what Microsoft prefers to be used these days, and I obviously can't comment on whether it also works on 11 but I'd imagine is still should as if I recall correctly Microsoft didn't say they were removing the ability to install that type of driver for the devices that use it), but third party replacement sets of toner are still only ~£20.

    No Wi-Fi on that of course, but that's not something that bothers me. I also don't try to print photos, so I have no idea if that is unsuitable for that (which could easily be the case given its age, as I'd like to imagine there may have been some advancements in colour laser printing since then).

    I think it being said at the time that replacing the drum on mine would be expensive in that it would be more than the original cost of the printer if I got to the point it needed doing though. This link suggests that point for mine is 20,000 pages (although if this is accurate, it might actually be usable for longer with a reset chip if it still seems to be doing good prints), but even though I'm not sure how many times I've printed over the years, I'd imagine it's still less than 2,000 and thus unlikely to be something that I'd have to worry about for a very long time to come (although I have no idea if anywhere still sells replacement drums for it now anyway, let alone in the future).

    In case it helps, there's this eBay listing for a Dell 1320c which claims to have an opened but new and unused one, but obviously I have no idea if that being unused is truly the case.
    Last edited by Output; 07-06-2024 at 04:50 PM. Reason: Added note on replacement drum availability.

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    Re: New printer time...

    I have an Epson inkjet. It is nice and compact and it works fine with compatibles from prink.

    The downside is that is isn't good for images and photos. When you look at the output it looks like the colours are layered. Note this was even with official ink carts.

    If photo printing and for getting decent images on normal paper I would go for canon.

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    Re: New printer time...

    Thanks all again. Spoken to my wife and black and white is fine so leaning towards mono laser at the moment. Almost did something rash as Amazon have a like new Brother HL-1212W Mono Laser Printer sneaking in under £100. Toner seems cheap as well, though don't know when I'll be getting through the first 1000 pages! Will sleep on it first, yawn

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    Re: New printer time...

    Looks like that model is rather old which is a good thing for cheaper toner but potentially an issue with drivers keeping it for a long time. It's also rather compact which means the paper tray isn't actually internal from a closer look - a bit of a faff having to put the paper back in a bag when not in use.

    I hadn't thought to check hot UK deals for something so mundane as a mono laser printer so thanks Output for the reminder. There's a newer Brother HL-2445DW for just over £100 back order from Viking. Toner twice as much arrived £35 for a compatible one but not exactly breaking the bank. Almost convinced myself!

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    Re: New printer time...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kumagoro View Post
    ...

    If photo printing and for getting decent images on normal paper I would go for canon.
    This, IMHO, is one of those "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" issues. By which I mean, a LOT depends on your expectations of photo printing.

    When I mentioned having photo printers earlier, I should perhaps have added that photography is a hobby, and in a specific and not relevant way, used to be a business interest too. And by "having photo printers" I mean, at least half a dozen of them, including A4, A3 and even A2, and also even A4 dye-sublimation.

    Which is why I say a lot depends on expectations.

    I've also reviewed dozens (probaly 100+) over the years, and have been to (some of) the manufacturing facilities for Epson, HP and Lexmark. Never did Canon though. Not sure why. Hmmm.

    So with that hat on, I'd say you won't get 'good' photos on plain paper from any inkjet, though your defintion of "good" matters. I'd follow it up by saying there isn't really any such thing as a simple "plain" paper. I mean, I get the point - paper designed for general purpose printing (letters, reports, school work, etc) and NOT specialist photo paper. The trouble is, such "plain" papers vary HUGELY. Some are much more 'fibrery' ( if there is such a word). i.e. visible and absorbent little fibres. The result is ink bleeds along them. It's called wicking. Even with such non-photo papers, results can vary hugely from one set of ink chemistry to another, and from one brand of paper to another, and on that latter point, it's not really even price-dependeent.

    So my point is that with paper A, Canon might work best and with paper B, Epson might. Worse than that, with paper A Canon model 1 might do well but Canon model 2 won't, while Epson model 1 isn't great but model 2 works much better.

    In short, I don't think generalisations work very well.

    Aslo, of course, you're never likely to get close to the standard of photo reproduction a generic (especially dye-based) inkjet can manage on plain paper that a specialist (very possibly pigment-based) photo printer will on photo papers .... which also vary a lot in price, suitability and Lord knows, price. Im partial to ilford and especially Hahnemuhle (excuse spelling of that) papers, though since retirement, I'm out of touch a bit (or lot).

    I'd also say before ditching an Epson to buy Canon (if photos are the issue), try different papers. Ironically, I'm currently using some Canon 'laser' paper with my Epson (non-photo grade) inkjet printer, and am pretty happy with the results (though rarely print photos on it). I've found that that Canon paper doesn't produce much 'dust', and even for blocks of colour, wicking is minimal. Oh, and I generally stick to 90 gsm or even 100 gsm paper, except for large draft prints. And when i find one I like (such as that Canon) I buy a box or two, five reams per box, because there's no guarantee that even paper supposedly identical will, in 6 months or a year, give the same results. My guess is that they buy whatever is close enough from whatever mill gives a good price at time of order, and you can never be quite sure what you'll get. In other words, it's a lottery even just on the paper, never mind which printers do or don't work well with it. And if you use 3rd party inks, that's yet another level of variable introduced, whether for better or worse.

    It's more of an art, maybe a black art, than science, trying to match ink to paper.
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