[24hoursupport] Re: Need Printer

  • From: Ron Allen <chizotz@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Lynda <24hoursupport@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2003 22:30:24 -0500

Hello Lynda,

Several things to consider when buying a printer. I don't claim this
to be a comprehensive list, but these are the things I look for.

First, I have a real issue with all inkjet printers. Namely, the ink
is absolutely ridiculously expensive. The printer itself, usually, is
fairly inexpensive, but the ink will end up eating you alive if you
print things regularly or print large jobs, or both. Some printers are
better than others, for example I've been told that Canon printers
generally use less ink than comparable HP models, but as far as I can
tell all inkjet printers are expensive to feed ink to.

With that said, on the plus side is that a modern inkjet printer can
produce text output that rivals laser printers for sharpness, and even
with the cost of ink if you want to do color printing an inkjet is
probably still your best bet; color laser printers are still very
expensive, and the cartridges are not cheap either.

When first comparing the cost/benefit ratios of inkjet v. laser about
10 years ago, I decided on laser. I recently went through the same
process, in February of this year, and came to the same conclusion.
Laser printers are a bit more expensive up front compared to inkjets,
but the ongoing costs are quite a bit lower on average. A typical
laserjet cartridge may cost between $70 and $100 depending on the
printer model, but your per-page cost of printing is much lower than
buying ink.

The downside of laser printers is that color printing is still
prohibitively expensive. Also, for those on limited incomes, it is
easier to come up with the $30 or so for an ink cartridge than it is
to come up with the $70 or more for a laser cartridge unless you plan
ahead, put it in your budget, whatever.

I strongly advise you to carefully consider the potential problems
with those "all in one" copier/scanner/fax machine/printer things. We
have had a few of those at work, from various manufacturers, and every
single one has caused problems. It seems like they try to do
everything, and end up doing nothing really well. A very common
problem seems to be paper jams. Also, consider that if one thing goes
bad -- say the paper feed mechanism breaks -- you lose all of your
various abilities at once and could be in an even tighter fix than if
just your printer went out.

And so, my own conclusion for myself was to stick with a plain B&W
laser printer. I chose a HP 1200 series, and have been very happy with
it. I have some issues with HP, they tend to want to extort you down
the road by charging fees for upgrades to the drivers and software for
different operating systems. I ran into this with both Windows 2000
and Windows XP. On the other hand, I can say that the only company
whose products I have been able to use for so many years that an
upgrade due to a major operating system change was necessary has been
HP. Their printers do seem to just keep on chugging. My original
laserjet 5p, purchased in about 1994, is still going strong; my
brother needed a printer and couldn't afford one, so I gave him my old
one and bought a new one for myself.

If you buy a laser printer, be sure to find out how much the
cartridges cost and, very important, how many pages they are rated
for when doing your comparisons. I discovered a pretty wide range of
cartridge prices and lifes that could add up to a significant
difference in total cost of ownership over the life of the printer.
One model I looked at had cartridges that cost something like $69.99,
but were rated at only 2500 pages. Another model used $90 cartridges,
but they were rated for 5000 pages each. Twice as much printing for
only $20 more or so, a big difference, especially when multiplied by
years of buying cartridges.



Sunday, June 22, 2003, 5:50:52 PM, you wrote:
L> I am finally going to be able to throw this Canon Multipass printer =
L> out..., now the question is what do I get for a printer, it will be just =
L> for home use, I was looking at the Lexmark x73 printer/copier/scanner =
L> but when I read "epinions" they said it was loud, slow and the ink costs =
L> as much as the printer??? Any suggestions

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