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Thread: Way OT: Cheap inkjet printers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Between Aledo and Fort Worth, TX

    Way OT: Cheap inkjet printers

    Our printer just died. Last Epson I will own, with the waste ink problems these things have. LOML uses enough color with her music students that she doesn't want to go to black only laser. What brand have you all had good/bad luck with? I'm leaning toward the low end HP. We don't do pictures quality stuff. At most I might do Christmas cards, although didn't even do that this year. Usually a picture of one of the dogs in a Christmas setting on the front, but the card stock for this is not great quality anyway, certainly not photo quality, so most anything that is decent will most likely work fine. I've heard of a 150.00 laser from a co-worker that the toner carts are very cheap. But like I said, LOML prefers to have color.
    Any ideas would be appreciated! Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...
    Exclusively Irish!
    Home of Irish Setter Rescue of North Texas
    When Irish Eyes are smiling, they're usually up to something!!
    At a minimum, I'm Pentatoxic...but most likely, I'm a Pentaholic. There seems to be no known cure. Pentatonix, winners of The Sing Off, season 3

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Northville, MI
    I bought a low end HP that prints and scans. Got it about two years ago and it's still the best printer ever to grace my home. I bought one for my parents this Christmas and they like it too. The printer was somewhere in the $70 range. I will however warn you that the ink cartriges in these low end printers aren't full. You will need to get extra ink cartriges. The guy at the office store said that the new printers some with low level cartriges now a days.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Indianapolis area
    I have an Epson color printer at home and a HP color printer at work. Both are low end, less than $100 each. If you were close I would probably pay you to take the HP. It uses 1 color cartridge--it seems like 2 of the colors are less than half used when it runs out of the 3rd color. Seems very wasteful. At best the print quality is marginal. Paper jams are frequent. The Epson has much better picture quality and individual color cartridges. I seems more economical to operate. That being said, color ink jet printers, especially the low end printers, are much more expensive to operate that high quality ink jets and color laser printers.

    I also have access to a B&W laser printer and a color laser printer at work. More expensive up front, but much less cost per copy. But I doubt you could justify the printer cost unless you are a high volume user.

    My favorite low end color printer was a Canon that I used for years--it just wore out. I would have replaced it with another Canon if I had not been in a time crunch when it died.


    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
    Vince Lombardi

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    33.8736N, 117.7627W
    If you don't need "photo" quality, a color laser might be the answer.

    There's a Frys in the DFW area, isn't there? They had refurbed Konica-Minoltas on sale in the $200 range recently. In any case, new KM or HP color lasers are only about $350-400 now.
    Where are we going? And what am I doing in this handbasket?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    I have come to consider ink jet printers disposable items. I buy the HPs from Wal-Mart, usually in the $50 to $70 range. They do a good job while they last but internal parts are so flimsy that you should expect to replace it in a couple years. I have had mixed results with refilling cartridges. I bought a kit, wadda mess A place in town hardly puts anything inside and I was running back for refills in a couple weeks. As far as factory cartridges are concered, I'm afraid companies like HP have us by the tender parts and there isn't much alternative.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Jim, I have an Epson 890 that I hardly ever use. It was highly recommended by our photog at work but she doesn’t have to buy the damn cartridges. I also have an HP1000 that I bought ~10 years ago primarily because it will do 11X17 which is handy for CAD drawings. I run the heck out of the HP and it hasn’t skipped a beat. Unlike the Epson, it will totally empty the ink cartridges, so you know you got your money’s worth out of them. It was expensive at the time at around $550 but last time I looked, its decedents had dropped substantially in price.
    When I do end up having to replace it, I will likely go with HP again.
    "I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a
    friend...if you have one."
    --George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

    "Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second..if there is
    --Winston Churchill, in response

  7. #7
    Alan DuBoff is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    I've had an Epson 900N which my wife has been using primarily for the past 6-7 years. Ink has been not only costly but hard to change.

    I just got my wife a mac mini for Xmas. Apple had a promotion with HP where they give you $100 rebate for a printer, the low end which was $100. Essentially you get a free printer.

    My son got a similar free printer a couple years ago, but upgraded to an Epson CX6600 so he would have scan capability.

    However, now the low end HP has scan/copy/print, and the ink is a no brainer to change.

    I don't expect ink to get any cheaper, but with Cartridge World popping up all around town, the cost of ink is not as much of a problem. I have already scan'd a bunch of docs, and it prints/copies/scans just dandy. It's the HP C3180 (FWIW), and we're very happy with it. It's not the fastest, but I wouldn't expect that from a $100 printer.

    In fact, we're very happy with the Mac Mini for my wife, it's quiet, easy to use, came with a free printer...and handles the Japanese she needs to do just fine.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Wake Forest, NC
    Regardless of what you buy, I would check that it has seperate cartridges for each color. That way one color running out isn't as much waste.

    We bought a Canon i560 a couple years back based on recommendations form Consumer Reports and have not regretted it whatsoever.

    I do agree with everyone else, most inkjets are disposable and spending a lot of money on them is a waste IMO.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    I have two HP 960c's that are five or six years old. Both have been absolutely flawless. So it the multi-function HP 6110 that we've had for about three years.

    Never had an Epson that I liked. All were fussy, and drank ink like crazy. HP ink cartridges aren't cheap, but the Epson cartridges were about half (or less) the capacity, and cost just as much.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Punta Gorda, Florida
    Another happy HP user. Between my wife and myself we have had one pretty expensive HP and three cheap HPs the last few years and they have all been great. Someone that uses a lot of printers suggested the HP Inkjet 3650 for normal things a good while back so we bought two and have pretty much run the dickens out of them with no problems. A very small unit that works well and last a long time.

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