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Tom's Hardware Benchmarks Inkjet Printer Paper

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the this-time-a-jump-rope-can-be-hi-fi dept.

Printer 160

An anonymous reader writes "We all know that the specs of your inkjet printer, driver settings, and ink cartridges can make a big difference in the quality of your prints. But the cheapest and simplest aspect of printing can also have a big impact on the final quality: the paper. This short article is an interesting read, the author actually found ways to 'benchmark' inkjet printer paper."

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Inkjet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36256676)

People are still taken in by this scheme?

Re:Inkjet? (2)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 3 years ago | (#36256762)

People that need color printing for only an occasional document find benefit in inkject, especially if they print off an random photo here and there. But for B&W use only obviously laser is the way to go. Still some people just don't print much and need color only every now and then. The thought of having 2 separate printers for those people doesn't make sense, nor does buying an expensive color laser.

Re:Inkjet? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257048)

Then get the color printed some place else. The drug store will do proper photo prints for $0.10/each. On real photo paper with real photo printing. Not some cheap inkjet smudgy mess.

Re:Inkjet? (1)

mdf356 (774923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257440)

My kids like to print out color stuff from the web. They don't care if it's photorealistic. For that matter I rarely print stuff at home (or at work) and I don't need it to look awesome either. So yeah, there's still a good reason for some people to have an inkjet printer.

Re:Inkjet? (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257832)

I switched to laser because the cost was far less then what an Inkjet ran us in ink. As an example, I've got an HP1600Color Laser that cost $400 when new, and I'm still operating on the original toner cartridges after 4 years. If I'd been using an Inkjet, I'd have replaced the cartridges every month simply from lack of use causing them to dry out at an avg cost of $40 per cart. That's 48 months worth for 300 or 1900+ for and inkjet.

Re:Inkjet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36258086)

^^^This is the motherfucking shit right there. I'm glad somebody finally said it.

Even colour lasers are cheap enough now that inkjet just doesn't make any sense these days no matter what kind of user you are. It's a total sham exploiting people who don't know any better.

Re:Inkjet? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#36258296)

Exactly right. Very few people ever mention the fact that you have to replace those inkjet cartridges every month whether you use them or not. The technology is utterly stupid, except for a few exceptional cases (like doing extremely high-volume printing with one of those continuous-flow ink systems).

You know there's something wrong when there's a store on every block that does inkjet cartridge refilling.

My wife is an ex-legal secretary, and has a bad habit of printing all kinds of stuff that doesn't need to be. But with my HP LaserJet 2300 and remanufactured cartridges available on Ebay for $25 each and printing 5-6000 pages, it still takes 9-12 months for me to need to replace the cartridge. $30/year for toner is pretty easy to swallow, but if we were using an inkjet, I'd be replacing carts every week or so for that same cost, adding up to a lot of money (most inkjet carts are lucky to print 500 pages).

As for color lasers, you can get low-end ones for around $200 now, maybe less. They seem to suck, however, because the cartridges are tiny, and the black one is just as small as the color ones, but they're still a much better deal than an inkjet. In fact, for the price, it'd make sense to have a color laser just for color printing, and a dedicated B&W printer for regular printing, since lasers don't have to worry about ink drying out from disuse.

Re:Inkjet? (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 3 years ago | (#36258558)

In fact, for the price, it'd make sense to have a color laser just for color printing, and a dedicated B&W printer for regular printing, since lasers don't have to worry about ink drying out from disuse.

That's what we are doing in our network.... the colour laser is much higher end than the basic entry level, because it actually does get used to publish a quarterly newsletter for about 1500 members of a local charity (and for the cost of one of the quarterly prints we were able to buy the printer and all the toner for the print, and each subsequent print we have saved $600 over the print shop cost), but other than that, all the printing gets done on a b&w laser except the rare occasions that I want to print something in colour... which is exceedingly rare. :)

Haven't used an inkjet in almost a decade. Went without colour printing for years because of exactly the reason the GP said, but when colour became an option, I did exactly what you suggest. :)

Re:Inkjet? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#36258708)

the colour laser is much higher end than the basic entry level, because it actually does get used to publish a quarterly newsletter for about 1500 members of a local charity (and for the cost of one of the quarterly prints we were able to buy the printer and all the toner for the print, and each subsequent print we have saved $600 over the print shop cost)

Yes, in general it seems that the higher-end and more expensive your laser printer, the lower (sometimes dramatically) your consumables cost is. The $200 color laser is good if you rarely print anything at all, as a set of replacement carts is probably > $100 and run out after 1-2000 pages, but if you're doing much printing at all, it's worth it to spend more on your printer. Besides, unlike those infernal inkjets, you don't have to worry about the ink drying out, so even if you get some giant office printer with 5000-sheet bins, you won't lose anything by it sitting there except power consumption (the big printers seem to have higher standby power consumption).

Re:Inkjet? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#36259462)

I don't give a crap if it's photorealistic either. I give a crap when it works out to something like, what, $1.75-$3.50 a sheet? You get maybe 200 sheets of paper out of an inkjet cartridge, and they're usually $35 at the cheapest.

Re:Inkjet? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257222)

There's a copy shop downstairs. No matter how "cheap" you could print with your inkjet, they're cheaper.

So unless you're printing pictures that you don't want anyone to see, this is the obvious better choice.

Re:Inkjet? (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 3 years ago | (#36258576)

I actually found it cheaper to run a colour laser printer. $350 3 years ago and it still has 80% toner. It's a network printer and installs quicker on OSX/Linux than Windows.

In contrast, my $80 Inkjet printer was costing me over $100 every time I went to use it because thinks had dried out from lack of use. A colour laser can be sitting there for months turned off and after a page or two to knock the dust and toner that's settled out, it's printing as good as the day you turned it off.

Inkjets are a scam, they were touted as being a cheap way of printing. Yes, they seemed to be at first, when your ink carts were only $10. Now they are $50 for blacks usually, $60 for a colour set (that's here in Australia). In contrast, when I do eventually need toner (I can't see it happening before the printer dies as it's a home printer), it's going to cost $110 per colour (CMYK). I probably won't buy new toner, I'll probably end up getting a newer, cheaper model and having mine recycled.

There's no reason to waste your time with an inkjet printer at all, unless you're just buying it for the scanner or faxing facilities, even then you can get a decent scanner cheap enough.

Razors? (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#36256764)

People are still taken in by this scheme?

I believe the Discworld character Samuel Vimes had something to say regarding this "scheme." Being poor, he had to buy cheap shoes that wore out quickly and ended up costing him more over the long run, but he simply could not afford the more economical option because of the higher up-front costs. So yes, people are still being 'taken in' by this scheme because, being poor, they don't have any other real options. Luckily, every poor person is to blame for their own poverty and so we can continue to look down are noses at those inferior folks whose lack of options are their own damn faults.

Re:Razors? (2)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36256988)

Ah yes, the "Boots" theory of socioeconomic unfairness. To quote:

"A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while a poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet."

Emphasis his. See also: payday loans, rent-a-center, reasons why the so-called "fair tax" is anything but.

Re:Razors? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257540)

yea but they would be in current style and much less stinky =)

Re:Razors? (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 3 years ago | (#36258532)

reasons why the so-called "fair tax" is anything but

What part of "prebate" do you not understand?

Re:Razors? (2, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257560)

Poor people are to blame for their poverty in current society, as they are a voting block, which demands bread and circuses paid by others, and the others end up being those, who actually do provide society with businesses (jobs), products and services, that make the society wealthier.

The 19 century USA gained so much wealth because of high levels of innovation and production based on capitalism and mostly free market.

My point is that cheap and plentiful boots are not a function of government intervention into the incomes of those, who actually do create products and services, but it is the function of those who create products and services. The more of those people are, the more products and services compete for the same money, this drives up efficiency and drives down the costs, and that's why USA had deflation in 19 century, which caused products to become cheaper and at the same time created huge amount of competition, which based on gov't idea that deflation is 'bad' is a paradox, but it is not, it is the idea that deflation based on competition is 'bad', that is wrong.

Get the businesses to compete not in the halls of government offices, but in the market for the customers' money, and you get more and more wealth, which is literally products, such as boots, and you get them cheaper and cheaper.

Get the government into that, start insuring businesses/individuals with government promises, start printing fiat, start living beyond the means, start borrowing and create inflation to write off the debt, and what you'll get is less and less investment, because savings get wiped out, and you get capital flight, which means production flight, and then you are left without wealth and so you are left without cheap good boots.

Re:Razors? (1)

Cryolithic (563545) | more than 3 years ago | (#36258216)

Ehh I've got karma to burn on OT. The problem with the idea of free market competition is today's market. The invisible hand doesn't work when you have huge corps that can use economics of scale and pure financial clout (I'll sell my shoes at a loss for years just to stop little guy X from getting a foothold (pun intended)) to kill competition. The job creators (small to medium sized business) are unable to compete with the big players and can *not* get started to a point where they could.

Re:Razors? (2)

sco08y (615665) | more than 3 years ago | (#36258596)

Ehh I've got karma to burn on OT. The problem with the idea of free market competition is today's market.

Fuck karma, fuck the mods. It's a hybrid economy. It hasn't been a free market since the New Deal.

The invisible hand doesn't work when you have huge corps that can use economics of scale and pure financial clout (I'll sell my shoes at a loss for years just to stop little guy X from getting a foothold (pun intended)) to kill competition.

Megacorps like Amazon? Got something to sell, they'll set you up with the same facilities that they have for virtually the entire process. Hell, you can rent a fucking supercomputer. Want to publish? Same deal, there are self publishing places galore, places that will help you sell your software, your music, other art, etc. And, yeah, if you're trying to set up a burger chain, you might be SOL, but damned near every immigrant starting a restaurant knows that Americans are sick of burgers and fries.

The job creators (small to medium sized business) are unable to compete with the big players and can *not* get started to a point where they could.

The job creators can't compete with the full faith and credit of the Federal Government. We have $14 trillion of public debt, and if you're trying to raise capital, your business has to compete with the 14 trillion pound gorilla that is the US government.

When they issue bonds, they will raise the rate until they get it. If you need a million dollars of capital, you have to prove that you can promise a better return, in spite of the 80% risk of you failing in the first year, than the guaranteed return of a Treasury bond.

If you're trying to hire employees, you have to provide a better wages and benefits package than the local, state and federal governments are offering.

And, of course, you have to comply with a raft of regulations, affecting everything from the building you're in, to your employees from the day you first meet them to the day they leave, any materials you handle, let alone the materials in your product, to arcane taxation and business filings.

And, unlike the government, you actually have to meet the bottom line while doing all this.

Re:Razors? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#36258344)

The problem with this theory is that it completely neglects other options that poor people have. The biggest omission is the used market. If you can't afford a good new item, and the cheap new items are that bad, then you look at the used market.

While used shoes are a bit of a stretch, with many luxury and high-end goods, the rich people who buy them get tired of them early (earlier than their reasonable lifespan) and toss them so they can buy the newest, fancier model. That's why it's possible to get yourself a luxury car like a Lexus for the same cost as a brand-new Aveo, it just won't be a brand-new Lexus.

Same goes for printers. I'm too cheap to buy a brand-new mid-range laser printer, so I got one on Ebay for about $100. It's a HP LaserJet 2300; has a built-in duplexer, each cartridge prints 5000 pages, and I can get the carts on Ebay for $25. A 10/100 network card was another $12 or so on Ebay. This thing is designed for a monthly duty cycle of 50,000 pages (it's meant for workgroups and offices, not homes), so it's quite reliable.

When you're poor (or cheap), instead of consigning yourself to the cheapest brand-new item, you make do by getting stuff used, and sometimes fixing it up if you need to. At least, that's what smart poor people do. Stupid poor people just listen to what marketers tell them and buy all their stuff brand-new and suffer when it falls apart early.

A good way to tell smart and stupid poor people apart is to see what they do with their spare time, and what they spend their spare money on. The smart ones spend their time fixing up their stuff, learning to weld, etc., and their money on tools so they can be self-sufficient, and make up for their lack of income with the ability to do things for themselves and fix things up if they need to, and having the knowledge to do so. The stupid ones sit around and watch Jerry Springer and don't have a single tool in their home, and no idea how to accomplish the simplest thing.

Re:Inkjet? (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 3 years ago | (#36256788)

yeah what a fraudulant scheme... i mean, who would want to print photographs on a inkjet when you got dot matrix and laser, right?

Re:Inkjet? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36256860)

No one. It makes poor quality prints and costs more than having good quality ones made. Go look what your local place that prints photos costs, it is amazingly cheap.

Re:Inkjet? (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#36256934)

I'd rather not run the risk of being arrested.

Re:Inkjet? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36256960)

Perhaps you should stop taking pictures of illegal acts.

Re:Inkjet? (1)

hjf (703092) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257360)

You laugh, but in some countries (apparently, the UK), trying to print a photo of your 2-year-old playing in the bathtub can get you arrested.

Re:Inkjet? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257282)

Then I would refrain from printing those pictures either and keep them stored encrypted on a hard drive that you can easily bang against the next wall if the police kicks down your door.

Thermite. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#36258732)

Banging them against a wall is just not sufficient.

Re:Inkjet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36257470)

Head over to a pro photo lab, then. If what you're doing is legal, your chances of being arrested are nearly non-existent. The pro photo lab folk are used to erotic stuff, artistic nudity, and naked baby photos. They usually know the law really well. On top of that, they'll even give you their printer profile so you can make your prints match what you see on the screen.

Re:Inkjet? (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257136)

If you print on photo paper with non-generic ink, you can hardly tell the difference. You will NEVER get a laser printer to print a photo that looks that good.

Re:Inkjet? (4, Informative)

hjf (703092) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257328)

Ah, I was just waiting for this comment. I have news for you: the "local placethat print photos" is just amazingly cheap. It's not always great.

Photo printing, done right, gives perfect results. 1) An incredible gamut (more than you can get out of your inkjet); 2) extremely long life photos 3) paper that won't turn yellow or degrade.

But in local, cheap photo shops, this is not the case.

1) The gamut comes because of the printing system. A properly calibrated minilab (that means once a week at least, though it can go for months with no calibration and still do acceptable output) has no issues *printing* the correct gamut. The problem is the chemicals needed to develop the paper. Remember, it's regular, chemical-based printing. After a certain amount of square meters developed, the chemicals *need* to be changed. Cheap photo shops get away with adding some chemicals (Replenisher) to the solution that extends its life a little - which is fine and acceptable. It's made by the manufacturer and under certain conditions it will work just as good. But often, these guys at photo labs keep adding the chemicals until all you have is a useless liquid that won't develop anything and we're back to 1980s colors, and only then, they will change the developer. Respectable shops can change the developer and other chemicals as needed - but they charge more than the 1-hour lab at the mall.

2) the long life of the photo comes from proper developing. Because of the destructive process used to develop photos ("ink" is removed from the paper, not added to it, like in the Kodachrome process, which lasts forever), if not done properly, the chemical reaction keeps going for years after the photo is developed (that's why photos fade). There are two steps: stopping and washing, that need to be properly done, in order to actually stop the reaction. If you remove the photo from the stopping bath (or if it's cold, old, contaminated, etc), or don't properly wash the print, the chemicals will continue affecting your print for years.

3) photo paper is not regular "wood fibre" paper, which would disintegrate in all the liquids it needs to be processed in. It's either resin-coated or polyester. Polyester won't turn yellow, and it's not food for bugs, among other benefits.

So, try to develop your photos at a respectable lab.

And for that one-off print you want to give grandma of the kids playing with her that day, the inkjet on photo paper (especially a 6-color epson - even better if 9-color) is much more practical than driving to the lab and having just 1 print developed.

Re:Inkjet? (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 3 years ago | (#36258840)

There are so many errors in your post I hardly know where to begin

No photo process of any type that relies on broadband white light passing through or reflecting off the produced image can be "perfect": this is just the spectral limit of chemical compounds. Replenishers don't extend solution capacity a little. When used at manufacturer's recommendations, they extend it many times. Kodachrome is not forever, it is one of the worst processes for resistance to fading from exposure to light. The image in Kodachrome is formed by three developers each of which forms a particular color when acting on exposed silver halide. Other silver based color processes form an image using a color-coupling developer which reacts with exposed silver in each layer, forming colored dyes with the chemicals embedded in each particular layer. Truly archival color images require different processes, such as gum-bichromate or the azo dyes of the ilfochrome (cybachrome) process. The causes of image degradation vary by process, but it is true that generally speaking chemical purity (and freshness) and good washing are necessary. Some photo paper is still wood based, but modern photo paper is easier to use and easier to get long-lived results. Some inkjet printers use pigments instead of dyes, and (generally speaking) pigments provide much better longevity than dyes.

Re:Inkjet? (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 3 years ago | (#36256980)

Who would want to print photographs on an inkjet when the drugstore less than a mile away can print it on real photographic paper? And for less money, once you factor in all the partial ink cartridges you will be throwing away if you're actually serious about printing photographs on an inkspray printer.

Re:Inkjet? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257254)

who would want to print photographs on a inkjet when the print shop downstairs prints in better quality and at roughly the same cost/picture.

Re:Inkjet? (1)

hjf (703092) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257520)

http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2188752&cid=36257328 [slashdot.org]

Also, inkjet is always more expensive than the print shop downstairs, even after you print enough photos (a few hundred) to pay for the printer - unless you use a CISS but it's hard to find quality inks. Right now I use a german brand (OCP) in generic chinese paper (60cm wide roll) and I'm simply amazed at the results. But it takes just too much work:
1. Check if your printer driver lets you print in color managed (ICC) mode. Choose Adobe RGB, and disable any post processing at driver level
2. Make sure your monitor is calibrated, or at least, it's configured for 6500K white. The sRGB function should work relatively good.
3. take photo in adobe RGB, if you have a pro camera; or convert to it from sRGB, if you have a consumer camera.
4. Make sure the gamma setting on the printer is right
5. make sure you're setting the right paper kind in your printer "Ultra High Quality Super Gloss Eternal Archival Pixie Dust Photo Paper", or some other silly name.
6. Print, and see if you got it right.
7. Repeat 6 when you figure out which of the other 6 steps you screwed up.
8. Repeat everything again when you notice you forgot to enable "borderless printing"

Good luck if using alternate brands of paper and ink. You can have them profiled for a few bucks, if your printer driver lets you load ink and paper profiles, and save a lot. But for the odd print, stick with original ink and the manufacturer's paper.

Re:Inkjet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36259162)

This post is relevant to my interests. Posting AC since I spent some mod points on this topic.

Can you mention what ink jet printer you are using? I recently purchased a DSLR and am getting into photography. I thought it would be fun, down the road, to purchase something like a Canon Pixma Pro9000 to make large format prints at home.

Re:Inkjet? (1)

TechNit (448230) | more than 3 years ago | (#36259474)

As a working professional photographer I can easily vouch for the quality of high end inkjet printers such as the Canon Pixma line. The real key to success in using one of these printers is going to the effort of color calibrating your computer monitor.

Buy this video: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/videos/camera-print.shtml [luminous-landscape.com]

I am in no way associated with the owner of the above site. Trust me it will be money well spent to get you on your way with successfully printing your images in a predictable/repeatable manner!

Remember folks - not all injet printers are created equally! The crappy ones really are crappy and a waste of money. The high end inkjet printers for photographers produce stunning results and will outlast previous wet darkroom prints.

Re:Inkjet? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#36258950)

who would want to print photographs on a inkjet when the print shop downstairs prints in better quality and at roughly the same cost/picture

Because they don't. Prints from the print shop look like crap, and they charge out the wazoo for anything bigger than 4" x 6". Prints on the Canon Pro 9000 are great if expensive. Prints from mpix are also great and similarly priced, but the turnaround time is much greater.

Why wouldn't someone find a way to benchmarkpaper? (4, Insightful)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 3 years ago | (#36256700)

A benchmark is a fancy word to describe a process where a set of items are evaluated objectively based on pre-defined parameters and following a standardized set of procedures. To put it shortly, benchmarking is a process to determine the best option.

Knowing this, why is it so odd that someone found a way to test paper and determine what's best for a given application? Does timothy actually believe that only computer parts can be evaluated by potential buyers?

Re:Why wouldn't someone find a way to benchmarkpap (5, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36256716)

I'm really glad they did this. I've been getting terrible frame rates from my usual printer paper.

Re:Why wouldn't someone find a way to benchmarkpap (2)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257248)

It's time to upgrade from your ASR-33, grandpa.

Re:Why wouldn't someone find a way to benchmarkpap (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257412)

I would laugh but I still remember receiving telexes on the ASR-33.

Re:Why wouldn't someone find a way to benchmarkpap (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257276)

I've been getting terrible frame rates from my usual printer paper.

You may be positioning it across the grain rather than with it. Holding it up against a bright light should show that. Also, try using a green marker to trace a rectangle around the edges.

Re:Why wouldn't someone find a way to benchmarkpap (1)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 3 years ago | (#36259498)

Also, your printer may work better if you plug the right kind of clock [stereophile.com] into the outlet next to it. Between that and the green rectangle trick, my printouts are so realistic they give me a giant Mpingo woodie [shunmook.com] every time I look at them.

Re:Why wouldn't someone find a way to benchmarkpap (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 3 years ago | (#36259026)

Who cares how they found a way!

I've already cracked my printer open and began rewinding the motors with more copper.

When I'm done it's going to have exhaust valves that release pressure like a turbo charged car.

Sure it might spray a fine cloud of ink each type I print, but at least it will be faster.

Get to the important stuff (2)

hellkyng (1920978) | more than 3 years ago | (#36256770)

All I really want to know is if it can print Crysis 2?!?!

Re:Get to the important stuff (3, Funny)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 3 years ago | (#36256832)

Yep but the framerate sucks.

I've printed Cysis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36257260)

The frame rates are much better on a laser. I can't quite figure it. Maybe its the 3d graphics card.

Re:Get to the important stuff (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257300)

But to be fair, it depends on the skill of your thumb when flicking the book.

Be careful with laser printer's paper! (-1, Troll)

goodresistor (2202976) | more than 3 years ago | (#36256864)

For laser printers, the situation is worse as some kinds of cheap paper can cause physical damage [thoughts.com] to printer. It happened to me once, back when printers weren't cheap throwaways .Had to replace the heating module. For injects, maximum, bad paper will jam it. And don't put clips into laster printer!

Re:Be careful with laser printer's paper! (3, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36256922)

Did not look at it, but rest assured it is GOATSE.
Same link.

Can you not afford normal entertainment?

Re:Be careful with laser printer's paper! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36257002)

I wonder sometimes what the point of posting goatse links is, the world has moved on and it's not even that shocking anymore.

h4rr4r is karma whore! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36257262)

I think h4rr4r posts them, probably to improve his karma.
h4rr4r, please stop whoring!

Re:h4rr4r is karma whore! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257820)

I have never posted a link to that image. unlike you Anonymous Coward. Mod me funny to avoid karma boost.

Re:Be careful with laser printer's paper! (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257372)

Maybe he's a hipster and is posting goatse ironically.

What a coincidence! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36256868)

The recomended paper is from HP, and the most expensive on the "review". Must be to match their expensive and very small ink cartridges.

Get a shark (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36256882)

Inkjets went out with the Turbo switch on the IBM PC-RT.

If you want clean results, get a shark with a fricken' laser-printer on its head.

I am offended! (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 3 years ago | (#36256944)

Inkjets went out with the Turbo switch on the IBM PC-RT.

I am missing the joke here; IBM PC-RT never had a turbo button. But six quadzillion x86 PC clones (and their 286/386/486 children) all had it, and I loved it (if only for the silliness that it was.)

I am Impressed! (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257334)

Searches for "IBM PC-RT turbo button" on Google are already turning up this thread.

Answer: Google is lurking on /.

Also, if the RT has no turbo button, what's it doing with a speed indicator?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/31231773@N02/4468867321/in/set-72157623718669848 [flickr.com]

You got it all wrong... (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 3 years ago | (#36258166)

That's no speed indicator. That's a POST code display, so if power up self test chokes somewhere, you can tell which test choked.

Re:Get a shark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36257496)

Inkjets went out with the Turbo switch on the IBM PC-RT.

If you want clean results, get a shark with a fricken' laser-printer on its head.

Not true, for speed a laser is a lot better but for really high quality an inkjet is better because a toner grain is a lot larger than the smallest drop of ink that can be sprayed onto the paper. This size controls the quality of the print, but having said this if your paper is shit the print will be shit no matter what sort of printer you have.

Re:Get a shark (4, Informative)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257714)

"a toner grain is a lot larger than the smallest drop of ink that can be sprayed onto the paper"

Are you speaking from knowledge of the nozzle diameter of inkjet printers?

Toner powder is minuscule; tens of microns, maybe in diameter.

Pretty sure to keep from spending 100 years per page, inkjet nozzles are not that small.

Wikipedia says a 600 dpi printer should spec 8-10 micron toner powder. Various sources show inkjet nozzles down to 20 microns, but point out that they work by spitting out a bigger droplet than their nozzle, that then spreads before hitting the paper to make a flat disc of ink much wider than the droplet. Toner powder would spread, too, but the disc radius would be proportional to the 3/2 power of the radius of the droplet or toner grain, so that makes the droplet spread a lot more than the toner spread.

Laser resolution is limited more by the size of the laser (which draws the page in electric charge on the drum) than it is on the size of the grains. Which is one reason that laser print always looks sharper than inkjet print.

For quality just use a Laserprinter (1, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#36256908)

The quality is basically perfect, and the laser printer is cheaper overall (the toner lasts 5000 pages, not a mere 100 like inkjet carts). I'll never go back to my old Commodore dot-matrix, or an inkjet like my brother got. It's worth it to get the Laser.

It's about the toner. (5, Informative)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 3 years ago | (#36256952)

But the cheapest and simplest aspect of printing can also have a big impact on the final quality: the paper

The biggest expense is the most avoidable. The ink. Don't buy an overpriced spray-and-pray blotter printer. Get a real laser printer. I bought mine at a University Surplus auction for $10. Toner for it was expensive, I paid $90 for a cartridge. But that's enough toner to print on several cases of paper.

The ink sellers will love it if you keep on using their expensive ink in your spray-printer, though.

Re:It's about the toner. (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257172)

But the cheapest and simplest aspect of printing can also have a big impact on the final quality: the paper

The biggest expense is the most avoidable. The ink. Don't buy an overpriced spray-and-pray blotter printer. Get a real laser printer. I bought mine at a University Surplus auction for $10. Toner for it was expensive, I paid $90 for a cartridge. But that's enough toner to print on several cases of paper.

The ink sellers will love it if you keep on using their expensive ink in your spray-printer, though.

Exactly. I bought my Mac-compatible laser printer new for $135 last year (newegg offer). There are some below the $100 mark. I have an old PC-only laser printer from years ago that still works and hasn't gone through the OEM toner package after 1000+ pages. Most toner packages are generic now, you can get a knockoff for $30 and the real thing for 2x.

You don't need to get lucky to get a cheap, decent, long-lasting printer... they just don't do color (unless you pay much more).

Re:It's about the toner. (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257196)

It's not /really/ the ink vendors, either. When you buy official "ink", what you're really buying is a junk of hardware with a few mils of ink in it. If you want a cheap inkjet, get a continuous flow system [wikipedia.org] . You can buy ink in volume, and you don't have to pay the extortionate amounts for the redundant hardware they sell you with each refill.

Re:It's about the toner. (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257286)

"junk" should have been "chunk". Freudian slip there.

Re:It's about the toner. (1)

Trufagus (1803250) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257352)

Yes, the biggest expense is the ink, but getting a "real laser printer" is NOT the solution.

We've reached the point where the price you have to pay for re-fills, whether for laser printers or ink-jets, has nothing to do with the actual cost or with the efficiency of the print system. It is purely a question of what the seller can get away with.

Here is a review of a modern laser printer that is not recommended due to "horrendous running costs".
http://www.trustedreviews.com/HP-LaserJet-Pro-CP1025-Color_Printer_review [trustedreviews.com]

The solution is to select your printer based primarily on the running cost rather then the sticker price.

Re:It's about the toner. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36259038)

Yes, the biggest expense is the ink, but getting a "real laser printer" is NOT the solution.

Yes, it is. You can easily buy a decent laser printer for the price of a few ink cartridges, and you'll print so many more times the pages that you would've with your inkjet that you end up saving a ton of money. It's really that simple.

Re:It's about the toner. (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36259672)

Here is a review of a modern laser printer that is not recommended due to "horrendous running costs".
http://www.trustedreviews.com/HP-LaserJet-Pro-CP1025-Color_Printer_review [trustedreviews.com]

Yeah, it's a color. Most color lasers have horrible toner costs - replacing an entire set of 4 can often run easily $600+.

But a cheap laser printer that only does black and white can be had very cheaply, and for most of them, even the toner cartridges tend to last at least 1000 pages on the one packed in. 2500 seems to be around the standard for consumer lasers, and 5000+ for office lasers. And we're talking about cartridge prices of $100 or under normally (versus $100 for inkjets that barely do 500).

We've moved from an inkjet to a laser, and I don't think I've ever run into a situation where I've missed the ability to print in color.

Photos are best done with a real printer using real photo paper - they'll last longer and look better than those inkjet based photo printers at the store. Costco digital prints can be had very cheaply.

Re:It's about the toner. (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257446)

You sound hipster. 99.99% of the population buys their printers from Best Buy. Your smug superiority is irrelevant.

Re:It's about the toner. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36257494)

99.99% of the population that purchased printers also wants to print in color, which is why they buy crazy ink priced printers.

Re:It's about the toner. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36259332)

Smug superiority? Laser *is* superior in every quality benchmark. And cheaper. The only reason to not use it is ignorance.

Re:It's about the toner. (1)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257484)

Don't buy an overpriced spray-and-pray blotter printer. Get a real laser printer.

It is indeed possible to buy a color laser for only $229.99 new [newegg.com] (or $309.99 [newegg.com] if you want reasonably priced consumables), but the colors are not as brilliant as an inkjet's. The brilliancy of color laser tonor works for almost all applications, but there are some applications where you want the extra oomph of brilliancy from an inkjet.

Dye sublimation is almost as brilliant as inkjet and of course much better resolution, but is expensive [eri-iowa.com] for full 8.5"x11" (although it's very cheap [amazon.com] for photo size, evidently due to mass production; I still don't know why dye sub hasn't caught on enough for mass production after 20 years for 8.5"x11").

Re:It's about the toner. (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36258490)

That's a medical image reproduction device. I don't know if there are any cheap 8.5x11 ones out there, but anything certified for clinical use will be hideously expensive.

Re:It's about the toner. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36258880)

I don't know if it falls in the "cheap" ballpark for you, but the Xerox ColorQube is a "solid ink" printer that you can get from NewEgg for ~$600. The ink is a bit expensive compared to some laser printers, at about 10-12 cents a page (estimated based on full CMYK), but that's probably in the same range if not cheaper than a dinky inkjet.

Re:It's about the toner. (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36259098)

I don't actually need any of that stuff - with as little color as I print, the cheapest printer is Kinko's. Or Walmart/Walgreens for photos.

Re:It's about the toner. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36257650)

That's great if you're doing B/W text printing 99% of the time. Still if you're doing something where you need to produce a greater color gamut, it's hard to beat the ink. Pricier, yes. But even color toner can't match the color gamut CMYK ink produces because it doesn't have the same translucent qualities. It lacks depth. Of course in order for the ink to come out ahead in this, you still need a decent quality paper.

Then again if you don't give a shit about photography or graphic design but still need color, then sure, color toner is great.

What I don't get is why they're wasting time benchmarking everyday paper. At those grades, most people don't care if there's some bleed-out or less than ideal reproduction. Average printing of stuff like map directions or a website coupon are what fast/draft/economy-mode printing is for. Ditto for any hard copies of text-only documents. I don't even bother printing high-quality unless doing photos on inkjet-photo-paper. What they should be benchmarking are the photo-grade papers where the quality of prints actually matters to people. (Of course if you really care you could take stuff to professional printers, but that kind of misses out on the convenience that an ink-jet printer provides. Perhaps paying extra to run some proofs to make sure its right, and driving somewhere and dealing with business hours.)

Re:It's about the toner. (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36258848)

That's great if you're doing B/W text printing 99% of the time. Still if you're doing something where you need to produce a greater color gamut, it's hard to beat the ink. Pricier, yes. But even color toner can't match the color gamut CMYK ink produces because it doesn't have the same translucent qualities. It lacks depth. Of course in order for the ink to come out ahead in this, you still need a decent quality paper.

Indeed. I use a cheap (free!) black-and-white Laserjet 5 for my printing needs. It's perfectly adequate for running off the occasional widget, or the occasional short hundred-or-so-page manual. I added an Ethernet card and some RAM, and the only thing it's missing is Postscript (and if anyone has a Postscript SIMM for it, let me know).

I've had it for about 7 years. It's been maintenance-free during that time, aside from one replacement toner cart (Ebay, sealed genuine HP, $20 shipped).

I've also got a respectably good inkjet, but it's been packed away in the closet for a few years and I haven't bothered with it. I used to use it a lot to print Google maps; but these days when I travel very far, I'm accompanied by both Droid (which can access the same Google maps wherever there is bandwidth) and Garmin (for when there is no bandwidth) and the old fashioned way (asking for directions/buying a map).

So, since I don't print maps much, I don't bother much with worrying about that inkjet. It'd revive easily enough with a new set of ink cartridges, but I find that I just don't care anymore.

If I want to print snapshots, I just send them over to Wal-Mart online and pick them up with my shopping. The results of their Fuji photographic/chemical printer are better than I can do myself, anyway, and the prices are awesome. Hell, they've even got a large-format HP inkjet there if I want to do an enlargement, which I've found is also rather economical to use.

If I want to print something more than a couple of hundred pages long, I send it over to a locally-owned print shop. They don't bat an eye at printing huge jobs, they're good people, they work fast, and it's both cheaper and better to just have them do it than mess with it myself.

Color laser printers have a place in the world with medium-volume business graphics and sales brochures, but for small volumes even this sort of work often looks better when printed on a good inkjet with high-quality paper.

There's at least one or two big, not-so-old, HP Color Laserjets at work which aren't being used, and which I could probably legitimately grab one of for myself. I just don't have a need for one, and don't want the pain of buying the initial set of toners for it, just to print color at home when I simply don't care anymore.

Re:It's about the toner. (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 3 years ago | (#36258870)

If you're printing quality photos using the manufacturer's best paper, the cost of the paper can easily exceed the cost of the ink.

Photoquality colour laser? (1)

LongearedBat (1665481) | more than 3 years ago | (#36259618)

I don't think you can buy a laser printer that's as good as inkjet printers at printing colour photos... and is cheap enough to buy for sporadic home use.

I'd be happy if you tell me I'm wrong. Have I've just been sucked in by marketing?

Good to see that someone has made a benchmark test like this. It'd be interesting to see the results of testing the differences between printers too.

Benchmark The Printer Dots Instead! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36256966)

Re:Benchmark The Printer Dots Instead! (1)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 3 years ago | (#36259524)

You can buy a $5 Mini LED flashlight [eff.org] from the EFF that makes the yellow dots much more visible. I like to keep it around for when people accuse me of being too paranoid when I'm ranting about privacy and such. Grab the nearest color printout, shine the blue light on it, and show there are hidden yellow dots that can be used to track you; that's a good way to make people really nervous as they consider what else I'm saying is true. More fashionable than tin foil, too.

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36257076)

Is paper software or hardware?

Dah rules (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257270)

If you can hit it its hardware
if you can't its software
if its software going to a device then its firmware

so the manual for your new program is hardware
the DVD/CD/FD your program is on is hardware

your download folder is full of software

Interesting, but I really don't get it (1)

nomel (244635) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257214)

Sure, I care about contrast and such when printing on regular paper so that I can see the lines and words and simple pictures or diagrams that I'm printing. But I don't and never will care about anything beyond mediocre color accuracy if I'm printing on plain paper. Even if the color is 100% accurate, anything beyond text and line art, it will still look like complete crap...it's regular paper!

If I want a pretty prints that I give even the slightest care about, I'll use photo paper (matte or gloss).

Re:Interesting, but I really don't get it (1)

hjf (703092) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257636)

"Regular" coated paper, which is usually 108gr (vs 75-90gr), for inkjet it's much, much better than regular paper. It's whiter, feels softer, and doesn't suck ink like regular paper. You can print photos on it and they will look pretty good (not just a brown smudge). Ink will not go through so you can print both sides (but it usually is coated in only one side).

A pack of 100 sheets costs like $5. It's expensive, but if you need to print a nice report and don't have a color laser, it will give great results. The colors, especially the reds, will appear much brighter in that paper.

Toms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36257342)

Tom's
<page break>
Hardware
<page break>
reviews
<page break>

.

.

Ah fsck it, can't be bothered...

Whats an ink jet printer ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36257398)

Whats an ink jet printer ?

May Fools? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36257464)

Even when reading the headline I thought this might be a joke.

Wilhelm Imaging Research (1)

lemur3 (997863) | more than 3 years ago | (#36257568)

of course, i didnt rtfa.

but.. i think this "Tom" was beaten out by Wilhelm long ago!

http://www.wilhelm-research.com/ [wilhelm-research.com]

Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc. conducts research on the stability and preservation of traditional and digital color photographs and motion pictures.

Wilhelm was a founding member of the Photographic Materials Group of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, is a member of the Electronic Materials Group of AIC, and was a founding member of American National Standards Institute/ISO subcommittee IT9-3 (now called ISO WG-5 Task Group 3), which is responsible for developing standardized accelerated test methods for the stability of color photographs and digital print materials

yeah!!! but uhh, maybe this geek website is doing better?

Re:Wilhelm Imaging Research (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36258012)

Honestly I wouldn't trust Tom's hardware less. If you haven't heard of Tom's hardware before this then maybe Slashdot isn't the place for you.

Biased Article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36257788)

After reading TFA twice now (seriously!), I really can't shake the feeling that this article isn't on the level. Their winner was the HP Multipurpose paper, but actually going back over their results, the HP Multipurpose is near the bottom of all of their quantitative tests. Meanwhile their subjective tests are subjective - I wouldn't say any of the multipurpose papers are all that different.

Meanwhile the conclusion reads as if it was written by a PR firm:

The difference between these six reams is not significant enough to cause a printed bar code to be unreadable, but paper is still an integral part of our lives. We print family photos, legal documents, bills, rebates, and school papers. Why not buy the best value that also yields optimal results?

Basically their data supports the Dynex paper as the best multipurpose paper, and given their focus on "value" in conclusion it's also the cheapest.

I don't like accusing sites of being underhanded because I don't believe in unnecessary cynicism, but given the content of the article and the outright odd nature of suddenly reviewing printer paper, this thing reeks of payola from HP.

Re:Biased Article? (1)

sco08y (615665) | more than 3 years ago | (#36258810)

Basically their data supports the Dynex paper as the best multipurpose paper, and given their focus on "value" in conclusion it's also the cheapest.

It was best in color gamut, but not text reproduction or bleed through.

I don't like accusing sites of being underhanded because I don't believe in unnecessary cynicism, but given the content of the article and the outright odd nature of suddenly reviewing printer paper, this thing reeks of payola from HP.

Toms is going to decide on someone, since these are all relatively good brands of paper. That someone will probably will be more likely to quote their review if it sounds spammy, and that will send more people back to their site.

I'm fine with my inkjet (2)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#36258128)

I have a Brother MFC-6490CW inkjet printer. At the time I bought it, it was on sale and Amazon.com shipped it to my front door for $190, total.

I chose this particular printer largely because of a novelty: It is a multi-function machine that can both scan and print at sizes up to 11x17" (aka Tabloid or Ledger, the ISO equivalent being A3). You won't find any laser printers that can do that for less than a couple thousand dollars.

My printing needs are best described as "light." I realized that 90 percent of what I print out I print for my own use. I carry it around for however long I need it, probably a few days, and then it ends up in the recycle bin. I never print photos on photo paper, because as many people have pointed out, that's a waste of ink (and hence money). I do often print things with photographs in them, though (Web pages, etc.) so I like those printouts to be in color. I also like my text to be in color -- it makes it easier to see things like hyperlinks, highlights, annotations, etc. But I really don't care if any of it is "presentation quality," because I'm likely to be the only one who sees it.

The printer came with a set of high-capacity ink cartridges. That set lasted me, I would guess, about a year and a half. Since then I've bought off-brand, generic cartridges, and I've been mostly happy with them. The genuine Brother black ink is more water-resistant than the generic ink, but for my purposes, it mostly serves.

I don't remember what I paid for them, but checking Amazon right now, I can order a set of four high-capacity black cartridges, plus two sets of all three colors, for $10.48. They get cheaper if you buy them in bulk.

So all in all, I'd say I don't feel ripped off. I get to scan big things from time to time and print them out on big paper in color from time to time, and the rest of the time I have an adequate ink jet office machine that costs me less per year than I'd usually spend on lunch.

Re:I'm fine with my inkjet (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 3 years ago | (#36258998)

Are the cartridges region coded? After moving from Europe to Asia, I've discovered I can no longer buy cartridges for my printer, and the ones that are locally available, which differ in model number by one digit but are physically identical refuse to work unless I swap the chips from my old cartridges (which also require resetting due to the counter in them, supposedly to protect the printer from damage caused by running the cartridge completely dry, but we all know the real reason is to prevent them from being easily refilled). I want to dump my printer on the manufacturer's doorstep with a note about what I think of their environmental responsibility in making their products so unreusable, but first I need to find a replacement that doesn't come with such idiotic profit-protection measures.

Re:I'm fine with my inkjet (1)

Confusador (1783468) | more than 3 years ago | (#36259658)

I have to agree. It only works for me because I print at home no more than couple times a year, so an ink cartridge set lasts for about 2 years before they dry up, and then it's only $10 to replace them.

color is a perception (4, Interesting)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 3 years ago | (#36258832)

I've worked on photocopiers, printers & wide format units for over 30 years. I carry a paper sample card with me that shows the color red, in different shades. Some glossy, some matte finish, some bright, some dark. When I get an end user that says "the colors don't look right", after I determine there isn't anything wrong with the machine, the driver, or how it is set up, I check their paper. Usually they will "cheap out" on inexpensive big box paper, and less than 92 bright. I whip out my sample card that shows all the colors through the front and ask them which one is red. They most likely pick one of the middle red colors, which is a bright glossy red. I then open it up, and show them that the red color they see in different brightness levels or hues, is the EXACT SAME SHADE of red, but printed on different paper stocks. Most of the time they get it, and once I show them how to set different driver profiles for each type of paper, I never hear about it again.

Can't print it?!? WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36259270)

So an article about printer paper... that you can't print unless you have some sort of account. Ironic.

did this over 20 years ago (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 3 years ago | (#36259392)

I did this long ago, shortly after the HP500 came out and noticed that results were pretty varied in my office. We went to a large office supply store and bought a ream of every type of paper they had. Went back to the office and ran some comparison tests. We found that the difference in paper was significant and the most expensive paper was not the best. And the recycled paper was worse than the cheaper non-recycled paper. We also found that the side that we printed on made a big difference, one side was definitely producing better results than the other. We ended up picking the best paper and telling the office manager to only buy that type for the inkjets. Put up signs to show which side of the paper to load pointing down in the tray. And used all of the reject reams in the copier and the laser jets.
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