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Color Printing Without the Inkjet Mess?

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the pick-any-two dept.

439

Above writes "Many recent /. stories have been about the problems of inkjet Printers. Seems they all want to sell the printer for cheap, and then use the ink to make up the difference. There are also problems where a lack of printing, or printing too much, could make it much more expensive to use your inkjet. So, since mine just died, what are the best options? I'm intersted in two catagories, a 'personal' color printer, probably USB to a machine, and a 'workgroup' color printer, with ethernet, postscript prefered. While Windows is good for my application, something that plays well with FreeBSD and Linux would be a major win as well. I'd consider laser if it's cheap enough (read $500/printer), and I don't think that it is. I'm willing to pay a bit more for the printer if that means bigger ink tanks, better cleaning, and easier to buy replacement supplies, the question is, are there really good options out there or have the low-end 'throwaway' printers taken over the market?" One option is a modded inkjet like the ones here, liberated from tiny ink cartridges. Any recommendations out there for decent color lasers?

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GNAA EARLY POST SYSTEM (-1, Troll)

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Re:GNAA EARLY POST SYSTEM (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496418)

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Greedy (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496186)

All printer companies are greedy!

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Color Laser Printeres (4, Insightful)

Scalli0n (631648) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496195)

You're looking for a hardcore printer it sounds like. Pay the extra buck and get a color laser printer - it'll do everything you want (sounds like it) and it'll last a while - postscript won't go out of date for a long time! Besides, toner costs are pretty low given how long they last.

Re:Color Laser Printeres (5, Informative)

shrinkwrap (160744) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496212)

I have never regretted the $2K I spend for an HP Color Laserjet 4600... even at toner refill time! It is a very fast, very reliable machine. My old B&W laser seems soooooo slow now!

Re:Color Laser Printeres (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496241)

Since speed was mentionned, let the record show that the "Pages Per Minute" metric is usually measured for 10-15% "coverage", which is something like a page of plain text. So yes, so and so printer can do 20 PPM, but not of full-page pictures.

Hmmmm.. A quick search for "printer ppm coverage" on Google seems to show a lot of "5% coverage"... If speed is an issue, bring a floppy with a PDF or whatnot to the store and ask that it be printed in front of you.

Re:Color Laser Printeres (4, Informative)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496352)

Most laser printers are immune to the slowdown for high coverage.

For one offs they slowdown for photos, but for multiple prints they will put out high speed continually for even high coverage.

Also your print quality should be a non issue for multiple prints too.

Once the data is to the printer and prossessed everything will run about the same.

Re:Color Laser Printeres (5, Funny)

philipdl71 (160261) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496264)

Pay the extra buck and get a color laser printer - it'll do everything you want (sounds like it) and it'll last a while

Don't you mean an extra couple thousand bucks?

Re:Color Laser Printeres (1)

Lord of haha (691304) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496295)

It might sound like im repeating but the above, but from personal experience for just black&white printing a laser will give you the best bang for your buck. But for color... with a 500$ start-up limit I think you will do better going for a modded inkjet, but just make sure you get a good one, or in the end your not going to save the money that makes these worth it.

Sam's(or Costco) is your answer. (2, Informative)

parc (25467) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496308)

They've got a color laser at $500. I dunno what the brand was, but given today's printer market, it's probably a rebadged HP,Lexmark, or Epson.

Re:Color Laser Printeres (4, Informative)

vladkrupin (44145) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496304)

Well, if he were really looking for a "hardcore printer", as you put it, he would've checked out Tektronix [xerox.com] . We have one at the office (model 850) and it's been printing volumes for a while. Very reliable, nice quality, works without a hinch with Linux, PostScript and all. Even supplies seem to be reasonably priced (considering how long they last).

And the coolest thing about it is that it uses ink sticks! You just feed them into the printer, so there is no catrige to replace, no scam with expiring catriges, no ink wasted. As it uses up a certain color, you add more sticks of that color. That's all.

If they ever become available in my price range, I want one at home!

Re:Color Laser Printeres (5, Informative)

dkh (125857) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496394)

We got a great deal on Xerox NC60.... or so we thought. It was probably the single worst computer equipment purchase we've ever made.

Wonderful features, price was around $1k, great prints.

When you could get them...

I think we probably printed about 150 sheets with the thing. And we had to have the fuser replaced even to get that.

It was impossible to keep it running. It is impossible to get it repaired (without an expensive service contract it costs about $500 plus milage to get someone to look at it.)

Right now it just sits there. It jams every time a sheet goes through.

Any time I see a Xerox product now I run.

Re:Color Laser Printeres (1)

Gudlyf (544445) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496428)

The problem I seem to always have with Color laser printers is the lack of true photo quality printing. I have a Tektronix Phaser 5400 at work, and an HP OfficeJet G ink-jet at home. The OfficeJet actually doubles as a photocopier. I once photocopied an actual photo with it on its next-to-highest setting, then cut it out to the same size as the photo I copied. I was happily suprised when I showed the photos side-by-side to people, and more people thought the copy was the true photo!

The color laser, however, just has never been able to print that quality. I've never timed it exactly, but from the time you send a one-page job to the Tektronix to the time it warms up (ooohhh...that annoying whining and whining it makes -- you know what I mean if you own one of these) and prints is about 5 full minutes or more. It's crazy. This is the 2nd Tektronix we've owned, and they're both the same.

Perhaps other color laser printers are better -- as they should be -- but the Tektronix ones that we've used bite it. If you want close to (or better than for some reason in my case) photo quality printing, you have to stick with ink-jet or pay many thousands of dollars, not to mention a hefty maintenance contract on it once warranty's up (unless you're interested in really getting in the guts of one of those suckers. Personally I absolutely HATE printer maintenance.)

Funny side story -- I once worked at a company that required all sysadmins to wear a tie to work. Although I hated it, I did as I was told, seeing it was my 1st job and all. Once day while clearing a printer jam, my tie got sucked into the workings of the printer and nearly took my head off. That was the last time I wore a tie to work as a sysadmin.

I WIN (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496197)

blah

GNAA LATE POST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496199)

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| ______________________________________._a,____ |
| _______a_._______a_______aj#0s_____aWY!400.___ |
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| _j#'_.00#,___4#dP_"#,__j#,__0#Wi___*00P!_"#L,_ |
| _"#ga#9!01___"#01__40,_"4Lj#!_4#g_________"01_ |
| ________"#,___*@`__-N#____`___-!^_____________ |
| _________#1__________?________________________ |
| _________j1___________________________________ |
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| ____!4yaa#l___________________________________ |
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` _______________________________________________'

Thief (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496205)

If you weren't too busy stealing paper, toner, movies, music, and software, maybe you could find something better to do with your life than look for a way to get a perfect copy of the inkjet toner are trying to steal. Here's an idea : How about moving out of your parent's basement, and getting a real job? Maybe someday you can actually have sex with a living, breathing, *biped* (of the OPPOSITE sex)! ... Nah... That's asking too much.

werid (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496206)

First

Canon (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496213)

I recommend Canon printers with the seperate color cartridges. I laugh at my friend who saved 50$ on his printer, but has already thrown out 2 good tanks of red/blue because his yellow ran out.

Re:Canon (2, Insightful)

LittleVito (625033) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496249)

I used to have a cannon with separate cartridges, a BJC-600, and while it was convenient to replace them one at a time, i noticed that they all usually ran out at about the same time. Also, the printer was plagued with slow, lousy printing and caused frustrations more often than it worked. Slashdot seems to consider the cost of ink as the primary cause of concern with printers, but the quality of printer is also a major concern, I don't want to buy a lousy printer just becuase it has cheap ink.

Re:Canon (1)

chriso11 (254041) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496266)

Absolutely love my s800. Awesome printer - fast, reliable. Much more robust than any HP I've ever had. Ink is cheaper, and prints beautiful photos. Canon is the way to go. No stupid chips like HP or Epson. No outrageously priced ink like Lexmark.

Re:Canon (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496349)

My father has a BJC-6000. And and I must say, it sucks. It takes for ever for the printer to boot-up (recalibration and what-not), and the ink is always washed out as though it's printing from a cheap water color kit. And this is when using verious brands of paper. I'm not saying that all Canon printers suck, but this particular model takes the official "suckage award".

Re:Canon (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496268)

what exactly does your friend print, if he runs out of "Yellow" ink so often?

Could it be photos from this place [tubgirl.com] ?

Re:Canon (2, Informative)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496414)

I use a cannon BJC-3000 and love it. No problems with it, and individual tanks. Seperate print head/tank holder too, and the cost of a print head and all 4 ink tanks is about the same as the cost of the 4 ink tanks without getting an extra free print head/tank holder! On top of that, unlike all the problems with Lexmark or Epson carts with chips to keep you from refilling, or HP carts continually redesigned to make refilling harder and harder, refilling these little plastic tanks is clean and easy, and does not leave you with anything that leaks ink all over the place. Just drill a tiny hole in the side of the tank near the top (above the ink line), refill, and seal well.

I don't think they offer the BJC3000 any more, and don't know what current Cannon printers (if any) use the same ink tank system, but I wish I had bought a few more of these at the same price when I got my first one.

HP LaserJet 4600 (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496216)

Best color printer I have ever used. Fast and reliable. Tonner should last quite a while, however at $200 a pop (x4), it's probably going to be out of your price range. Most lasers today, and even some high end inkjets support PostScript, so they should be compatible with Linux.

Re:HP LaserJet 4600 (1)

Triumph The Insult C (586706) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496277)

the 4600 is nice, but compared to the 45xx, it's slow and can't even print certain colors.

sure, it can print the first page from sleep much faster, but the single pass 4600 can't produce the same colors as the 4 pass 45xx, and they seem to print slower too.

the speed is my opinion, but the inability to print colors due to it being single pass is a known issue with hp.

i did like that they resolved the footprint issue though. the 45xx are huge.

Samsung SCX-5312F (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496218)

Multi-function...approx. USD$850.00 [pricerunner.com] - Mac/PC

Re:Samsung SCX-5312F (0)

36526542DD (456961) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496235)

Multi-function is almost always a bad idea. Unless space is REALLY in short supply you're far better off with a separate printer, separate fax, and separate scanner.

Re:Samsung SCX-5312F (1)

gr0ngb0t (410427) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496320)

At the university library I work at, we have a Xerox multifuntion printer/fax/scanner/photocopier, nfi how much it is worth but its superb. Its been under *heavy* usage for the past 5 years, and has been serviced maybe once or twice in that time. I realise you're talking about smaller machines, and this may be the exception to your "almost always a bad idea" but this one is great.

Re:Samsung SCX-5312F (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496307)

Quote from tehat webpage: "There are four varieties of printers: dot matrix (older technology, high volume, lesser printing quality), inkjets (high quality prints considering the price, with good colour print outs), laser printers (high quality and small cost per print out in black and white) and LED (Light Emitting Diode). It is usual to find inkjet printers at home while LED/laser printers are more common in the office. Dot matrix printers are excellent for label writing or when the printer has to "hit through" double copies, for example carbon paper. "
I didn't know that LEDs are printers?

Re:Samsung SCX-5312F (3, Informative)

vladkrupin (44145) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496346)

I didn't know that LEDs are printers?

a.k.a "cheap laser" printer. Okidata, I believe, was one of the first to make those available at prices that I (student at the time) could afford.

And, if you think about it, there isn't much difference between a LED and a laser in this context - both are just a monochromatic (hopefully tightly focused) beam of light that polarizes the drum.

Low Cost Laser (3, Insightful)

ThurstonMoore (605470) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496219)

Samsung's ML-1650 offers Linux compatability and Postscript level III as an option. All for around $300.

Re:Low Cost Laser (1)

dfung (68701) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496292)

> Samsung's ML-1650 offers Linux compatability
> and Postscript level III as an option. All for
> around $300.

I'm sure it's a very nice printer, but the original poster was looking for a *color* printer - and that's something that this one most definitely does not do.

Might depend on where you live / dumb laws. (4, Insightful)

veddermatic (143964) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496231)

If you live somewhere that accepts 3rd party cartages / refils, then inkjet is probably the way to go... cheap printer, cheap source of toner.

If you live in a backwards nation like the US (not-so-proudly a resident as of late) where the DMCA makes you pay out the ass for toner, then you are in a bind... pony up for a color laser, which, if you can expense out over time, or know you will be printing a lot for the next 4 years, will more than pay for itself, or.... Hmm, I dunno if there is a low up-front cost solution for long term color printing in a country that doesn't allow 3rd party ink carts / refills.

=(

I hopr somebody gives a better answer than this.

Oh. My. GOD. (2, Insightful)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496265)

If you live in a backwards nation like the US (not-so-proudly a resident as of late) where the DMCA makes you pay out the ass for toner, then you are in a bind...

What does printer ink have do do with the DMCA?! I'll answer that for you. NOTHING!!!

Re:Oh. My. GOD. (3, Funny)

limbostar (116177) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496286)

The ink is, uh, a copyrighted formula? And the printer access hatch is an access device. Yes, yes, and by opening up the printer to refill it and walking backwards, you are reverse engineering!

Et voila!

Re:Oh. My. GOD. (2, Informative)

Mundocani (99058) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496288)

I think he's referring to the chips in the manufacturers cartridges which have features specifically to prevent refilling. DMCA might have some influence over whether a 3rd party can "hack" the cartridge's chip back to a full state after doing a refill.

No, because (1)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496305)

The chip is not a copyright access control, since copyrights are not involved, neither is the DMCA.

Re:No, because (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496408)

Dont you read slashdot? (i see you post all the time, love the site btw)

Everyone sues everyone with the DMCA nowadays, for things that you wouldnt think would fall under the DMCA.. I wouldn't be surprised if you get sued because your site removes copyright access control (clothes).

(ok sorry that was retarded)

Re:Oh. My. GOD. (5, Informative)

dspeyer (531333) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496334)

This is precisely what Lexmark has done [theregister.co.uk] . AFAIK, no other inkjet company has done this yet, but I wouldn't be surprised.

IMHO, Lexmark's arguments are very strained, but resellers aren't looking for a fight, even one they can win. As a result, generic ink cartridges are hard to find.

obTopic: I think a lot of people are boycotting Lexmark over this, so don't go there, whatever you do.

Re:Oh. My. GOD. (5, Insightful)

keesh (202812) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496297)

Actually, it does. Certain manufacturers are sueing people under the DMCA for refilling ink cartridges. The cartridges contain a chip saying whether they're empty, so cracking this chip is arguably circumvention...

Re:Oh. My. GOD. (1, Informative)

Synesthesiatic (679680) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496361)

What does printer ink have do do with the DMCA?! I'll answer that for you. NOTHING!!!

Plenty [slashdot.org]

Why should the DMCA have anything to do with printer ink? That's a much better question.

Color laser... (4, Informative)

Garion911 (10618) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496232)

Check out ebay... I snagged a Phaser 740 for $100 or so, plus $100 shipping.. Though I had to replace a few of the consumables (which can be expensive), its been a great printer.. Networkable, Postscript level 3... Slow to warmup (3-5 minutes..), but hey, it works, and prints great..

I got that for the reason that I don't print enough, and my ink was constantly drying out...

Re:Color laser... (1)

Trashman (3003) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496324)

I personaly use this paticular printer at work. This thing is awesome and very fast especially for bulk jobs. The *nix OS support is very good since it runs an LPD service. but as you said the consumables cost $$$.

Re:Color laser... (1)

dave_f1m (602921) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496363)

How well do those Tektronix printers actually print color? Yeah, I'm sure they do charts and graphs fine, but how about photographs? I keep tossing around the idea of getting one, but it would only be worthwile if I could at least do proofs on it. I'm currently getting my prints done at Sam's for $0.19/4x6 and $1.96/8x10, and would love to do them at home. I would need to do ~1000 4x6's a month. Since the proofs are actually sold as well, inket won't cut it. So, can I do wedding pictures on one of these?

Not for $500 (2, Informative)

Joystickit (529613) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496239)

You're not going to find a color laser printer for $500. Not even close. You'd be pressed to find a decent black and white laser printer that does postscript for that price. You might want to look into a printer like the Epson 2200. We have several of them where I work, and while not postscript or laster based, there is a continuous flow kit that works pretty well, and they're firewire based so not too bad in terms of speed. As a note on the price range, we spent ~$5k on our last crummy color laser printer and are finally getting a really nice one in a few weeks for $25k. They're not cheap by any means.

Re:Not for $500 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496331)

Last Friday (July 18, 2003) Fry's in the SF Bay Area
was advertising a Minolta Magicolor 2200 Desklaser
(color laser printer) for $499 after rebates: $799 -
$100 (instant gift rebate) - $200 (mail-in rebate).
Seems to have 10/100 NIC and Parallel according to
the ad. Not sure if this model has PS.

Re:Not for $500 (1)

parc (25467) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496344)

Try the Lexmark Optra E312 PS. I bought one for $299 about 2 years ago. I think they run about $199 now. PS level 2 and pretty good toner life (there are two toner cartriges -- standard and long duty). I've been incredibly happy with it.

Re:Not for $500 (5, Informative)

Mundocani (99058) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496367)

I, too, recommend the Epson 2200. I got one about eight months ago and it's pretty excellent.

It uses seven inks, which makes the printed images very smooth (cyan and magenta both have light-colored versions which improve dithering on all the shades of those colors). I've only changed cartridges once so far, so it's been ok on ink usage (though it doesn't seem exceptional).

There's also a hot-swappable black ink cartridge, so you can switch between Photo Black (for glossy papers) and Matte Black (for matte papers). The Matte Black is really impressive -- I printed an underwater photo of a Jellyfish and the blackness of the water is excellent.

Another nice thing is that it prints large formats -- up to 13" x 19".

I think they cost around $600 - $700 (mine was a gift :-)

Why not one of both? (5, Insightful)

petabyte (238821) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496240)

Well, consider the technology for a moment. If you're not willing to shell out the ton of money a color laser costs why not get a deskjet and a B&W Laser?

I have an older laser printer that prints reems of black and white (text documents mainly) and I've never replaced the toner. For photos I have a 100 dollar epson that prints out 7200x7200 or something ridiculous. The laser was 70 from ebay and the color printer was 60 dollars on special from best buy. Figure you'll print 2-3 cartridges worth of color and then buy a new printer (specs will have improved and at the cost of color printers a new one isn't much more than new cartridges).

The HP 4L I have is old but its a workhorse. 300dpi but it never complains about the documents I send it. Its outlasted 3 colorprinters now.

Free Color Printers (4, Informative)

lseltzer (311306) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496248)

Go to http://www.freecolorprinters.com [freecolorprinters.com]

A friend of mine has two of these solid ink lasers. She has to buy ink from them at normal prices, but she gets all the black ink she wants for free. Service included. You have to qualify in terms of how much of various types of docs you print.

Leave the last 's' on for 'savings' (1)

lseltzer (311306) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496283)

Beware of freecolorprinter.com. Not as good a deal.

Re:Leave the last 's' on for 'savings' (1)

shfted! (600189) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496350)

Can you expand on that?

Re:Leave the last 's' on for 'savings' (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496422)

1. the wax costs $50 per 'brick'
2. $175 fee if you don't send them a usage report on time
3. $150 fee if you don't print enough pages per month (see #1)

Re:Free Color Printers (0)

andymoe (449502) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496399)

This really is the way to go. We have one of these at work and it is great. It is not the fastest thing though (16ppm) but it sure beats the hell out of a buck a page at kinkos or a pricey laser printer. You have to meet a monthly usage, I think the minimum is 1500 sheets. Also it has held up well under heavy usage. After 60k pages we only had one minor problem.

Andy

Re:Free Color Printers (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496416)

The place I work at will no longer buy Xerox printers due to the high repair costs. We had a Phaser go a couple years ago and it cost almost as much to fix it as it would have to buy a new one. Before buying any printer make sure you check the average repair costs.

Thermal wax printers (1)

SeanTobin (138474) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496252)

About 10 years ago a few companies experimented with wax based color 'laser' printers. I haven't seen any advertized in quite some time though. There might be one or two companies out there still doing them. As I recall, thier advantages were very low 'ink' (read: wax cartrage) costs, color, price (As compared to color laser at the time... was still 8-10k then). Thier disadvantages were: long warm up times, very slow printing, requiring special paper, poor image detail, inability to laminate, and probably a few others.

Some quick googleing hasn't produced much for results aside from a few kodak photo printer models in the $800-900 range

If anyone has any knowledge as to how these printers evolved, I'm interested as well.

Re:Thermal wax printers (1)

kevin_osborne (691303) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496318)

whatever happened to desktop-style 'Dye Sublimation' printers? a sales exec touted them as the next big thing to me a few years back, did they vaporize or what? ps - hmmm... thermal wax ;-)

Re:Thermal wax printers (1)

Idealius (688975) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496330)

YES, those wax color printers are very cool. I agree with all the disadvantages that you listed (especially the inability to laminate!) One thing I think you should have expanded on though, is that while the max DPI's are generally going to be lower than some of the higher quality copiers/printers, the resultant image from a wax printout is going to look better and more professional than a regular laser printer any day, even at higher DPI's. They look like pages ripped from a magazine -- excessively shiny.

Re:Thermal wax printers (4, Informative)

dfung (68701) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496354)

The Phaser "wax" printers were originally popularized (and I believe developed at) Tektronix. They got out of the printer biz some years back and the Phaser is now sold by Xerox.

They still have a number of models, mostly still in the high-end departmental area.

There are certain tasks where the Phaser output is pretty nice. Because the wax-based pigments are opaque the colors are really saturated. Cost and mess factors are very low relative to inkjet printing. All these things make these printers continue to be a pretty strong choice for printing business graphics (charts, graphs, etc.). And as the RIP hardware has gotten much faster, it's not quite as long a lifetime to wait for output as in the old days.

But in terms of capability, I don't think they can touch the flexibility of inkjets. These days there are choices for pigment-based or dye-based inks so you can print opaque or transparently. And inkjets have much higher resolution, more flexibility on printing media, and are cheaper too.

Re: your clever sig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496377)

Since when did SQL require that you put apostrophes around column names?
The apostrophes are used to delimit literal character data.

Color ink cartrage for my Epson photo 820: $6 (2)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496253)

plus shiping. Just do a google search for "ink" and click on the ads. Brand name ink for this printer is about $50, but knockoffs are cheap, and work. I guess if you stay away from lexmark you should be OK.

Inkjets, I just don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496259)

I needed an ink cartridge for my Canon S450 and Lexmark X32. Well, I checked the prices on both, and it was $38 and $32 respectively (just black). While I was at Best Buy, they have a new Epson C82 printer special. $99.99 and you get two mail-in rebates for $20 and $50, making the cost of the printer $29.99.

My friend calls them disposable printers.

Crayons! (4, Funny)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496262)

Printing is for wusses; crayons add so much "feel" and atmosphere to a picture!

Re:Crayons! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496274)

At this point, I'd give someone a thousand bucks if they could make a decent reliable color printer out of crayons and lego robot sets.

Re:Crayons! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496356)

Apparently you've never used a Phaser solid stick printer. As close as you can come to the crayola feel without the grape jelly stickyness!

Say no to Contiouous flow (dot com). (2, Informative)

brandorf (586083) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496267)

While that is a very cool idea, and one I've never heard of, one look at the price says why. It seems logical to me that any 4 color, CYMK printer would cost pretty much the same to convert, but obviously this is not the case. Epson C60 sells regulary for about $65, and the converted one sells for $499 Wheras the C80 sells for about $85 and the converted unit runs $749. Why the extra cost I have no idea. And that website is very porrly designed and aparenty unfinished. While a cool idea, and a 6 color large formant printer like the ones they sell would give great results cheaply. This site [galleryprint.com] offers the kits to do it yourself, so you can save yourself from cartridges and save yourself $200 by doing it yourself in true slashdot fashion.

Continuous Re-inking System (3, Interesting)

SuperHick (691302) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496269)

That's what you want my friend if you want the lowest cost per page. Quite a few people are running these in Cannon S series and some of the middle tier Epsons for commercial use. More Info here http://www.weink.com/ecart/crs.htm although I'm sure there are other manufacturers as well. The inks in the kits are rated for 20 years under glass. I've been using them myself (not the CRS, but the same inks) for about 7 months now and I'm happy as a pig in slop.

color lasers.. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496272)

there have been a lot of specials on color lasers lately.. the cheap minolta has what you need but is a bit more spendy in the long run in terms of toner life.. we just purchased an HP 1500 color laser and just love it. plus.. even the coated and photo-style paper is far far cheaper than their inkjet equivalents (like.. 3 to 12 cents a page when compared with 50 cents with some premium inkjet papers...) in a workgroup situation, i see a color laser far out-producing the inkjet and paying for itself in savings even before the toner runs out.. (the 1500 is good for about 4,000 sheets per drum. plus, it also actually keeps track of how much toner it's used from each color and recalculates the life expectancy of the cartridge.. neat huh?) We're still using up our inkjets.. (two canons, an 8200 and a 800) and love them.. got a big stack of the spendy ink too gott sell or use. oh yeah.. the color last much longer too and is definitely waterproof.. I hate to hock HP a lot, but they have some archival quality paper they call tough paper, waterproof, tear resistant, coated both sides, and are supposed to last 30 years or more.. priced it just under the paper we had been using (premium kodak photo paper) and couldnt believe it.

Inkjet vs. laser (5, Interesting)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496280)

I've been dealing with LOTS of printing issues and printer headaches for years and years. (I did PC support for 6 years for a company with lots of networked printers, not to mention doing sales for a few years that often involved printer recommendations.)

I really do like a good color laser printer, BUT, I'm not convinced these are practical yet for most home users. I know prices have come down quite a bit - but a color laser is still a very complex piece of machinery. You generally have 4 toner cartridges, plus all the additional hardware that allows the printer to mix those toner colors on the page, fuser rolls, charger grids, and other assorted "disposable" items that aren't a factor with a plain black and white laser.

Everyone I know who bought a Xerox (formerly Tektronics) color laser is sitting there now with a broken laser in need of expensive repairs.

Inkjet printers have virtually no repair costs, because if one stops feeding paper properly or a print nozzle just quits squirting ink - you throw the thing away and buy a whole new (likely faster and better) printer for less than the cost of a service call, and you're back up and running.

Last time I saw a real cost analysis done, a color laser cost you about 2 or 3 cents per page to print in full color. If you buy the right inkjet printer, the cost is probably about 4 to 5 cents per page.

These cost calculations don't factor in the issue of repairing or replacing broken printers. They make the assumption that both units are fully functional for the duration of time you print those pages. Figuring in repair costs, I'd say an inkjet becomes cheaper and more convenient in the long-haul. (They use less electricity too.)

Re:Inkjet vs. laser (2, Insightful)

j_dot_bomb (560211) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496405)

2 or 3 cents for color ??

Try 2 or 3 cents for many $1000k printers at 5 percent coverage. Page coverage of toner is the big issue. Printing photos ? Try 50c to 1 dollar a page.

By the way if you want truly low cost (per page) black and white printing try kyocera. But these printers cost thousands.

http://www.kyoceramita.ca/en/about/ecosys/ecosys .c fm

http://www.hp.com/cposupport/printers/support_do c/ bpl02416.html

There are good inkjets (4, Insightful)

Logger (9214) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496285)

I'd venture that a lot of those inkjets people want to get rid of are from the cheaper end of the spectrum. No matter the era, you get what you pay for. In this case, regardless of the price of the cartridge. When looking at inkjets set your minimum price to about $280 for light use consumer printers, or maybe something like $380 for a heavier duty/business higher use unit.

I've had an HP Photosmart 1000 for over 2 years now with no problems. This printer goes through a couple of idle months, followed by couple days of heavy photo printing. Runs like a champ. Of course cartridge prices are a little high, but printers with dedicated black cartidges are a lot more economical to run that ones without. Given the amount of printing I do, it's still more affordable than laser.

I think you'll have a hard time buying a color laser in the price range your looking for. If your willing to pony up the cash, today's color lasers are really nice and the way to go. If you are going to do a lot of printing, the laser will be cheaper in the long run.

Oh Fuck I just SHIT MYSELF AT WORK tsarkon (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496298)

I was sitting there pondering if I should fart. My ass was percolating something fierce. It was a shit earlier. I thought i cleared my colon. I was thinking, the percolating bubbling brown paint like mixture with bergs of snickers - was it all out?

I ripped a few sets of ass without event. The farts came off as a sour rhubarb and garbage smell; quite relieving.

Then the mother of all farts came. This was promising to end my ass cheek shifting and squirming to expulse the trapped air in my seat cushion.

I ripped ass, and instead, I got a brownie batter mud pie in my ass made of feculent slime. Oh fuck, It stinks so bad. Now, as I sit here I am stuffing Kleenex in my ass through my fly and the barn door on my underwear. If I can get enough of those in there I might have a chance to congeal this liquidy mess into a brown potato of feces and Kleenex.

Fuck, I just ran out of Kleenex and poop is on my fingers and now as I'm typing smearing on the keyboard. Fuck. This shit smells so bad. I just took my nice champion socks off and put them in there in hopes of arresting further doo doo river flow.

Welp. After about 8-10 minutes and two rolls of TP I'm back. I grabbed a can of Lysol and some anti bacterial soap and am spraying off my area and replacing the chair. I lost my keyboard in action; listed as KIA, by action of the South Colon Regular Army.

Oh fuck, that was a percolating brown festering quagmire of swampy, rhubarby smelly caramelized shit.

Minolta magicolor 2300W (1)

rchatterjee (211000) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496302)

You might want to take a look at the Minolta magicolor 2300W [minolta-qms.com] , Its $200 over your budget but the 2300DL one we have here has served us well so far, the main difference between the W and DL is the addition of a ethernet port and an extra $100 to the price.

Laser + Postscript (1)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496312)

While I can't comment on particular models, as my laser is a b&w, lasers kick the ass of ANY inkjet quite handily. As long as the printer can handle postscript, getting it to work in unix is a snap.

mod guide (1)

seanpark (690789) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496316)

Is there a guide out there to modding an inkjet yourself? I can't even afford to have a printer, I just get by without.

For a bit more... (1)

DraconPern (521756) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496327)

Recently we bought a HP 2500 Color laser for ~$800. There are other cheaper color laser out there, but having used a few Xerox (Tektronics) laser printers at work, the HP's work much better.

Ah well.. (1, Funny)

MrP- (45616) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496335)

I'd like a girlfriend..cant have it all now can we?

j/k*

Good question, i need to buy some more ink for my injet real soon, everything prints in light grey/pink, I keep putting it off because itll cost me like $60 (color and black) argh!

(*actually i'm not kidding, i want a gf, any takers?)

It's called a dye-sub printer (1)

thelizman (304517) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496353)

The color is usually superior (at a given price point, it's almost always superior), and the price per print of a dye-sub is much better than an inkjet. The resolution is higher as well.

you're going to want to keep your inkjet printer for b&w document printing, because it'll be slightly faster, and much cheaper than than dye-sub for this purpose.

Wrote a story [kuro5hin.org] about it....

Solid wax printers (5, Informative)

dstone (191334) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496368)

We bought a used Tektronix Phaser printer several years ago for the office. We've never looked back. Maintenance is virtually zero. Adding more wax is trivial, possibly easier/cleaner than toner. Black wax is free with our model (ie, ultra cheap per-page costs for B&W documents), and you pay for color wax. Output quality is fantasic whether it's B&W text, solid color regions, or near-photo quality. You could certainly burn a lot of wax if you printed color photos or solid pages all the time, but your B&W docs will be cheap.

As far as connectivity and compatibility...

Windows: Great. Drivers are easy found and work great.

Linux: The printer sits on our LAN with its own IP address, etc. so when I print from my Linux desktop I simply have a script that fires the [text/PDF]->Postscript straight into the printer's listening port. And I'm sure there's a better way to print to this printer from Linux (with Samba) that allows for proper queuing, etc.

First cavaet: The printer has a warmup sequence that keeps itself clean and ensures liquid wax is ready when needed. The good news is you never really have to think about turning it on or off or whatever; it just wakes up and warms itself up. (In fact, don't turn it off or it goes through an extended power-up cycle that burns additional wax.) The downside here is that it does burn a small amount of color wax each warmup and eventually I guess you'd run out of the color wax even if you weren't doing color printing. In real usage, this hasn't been an issue for our office, but I thought I'd mention it.

Second cavaet: This is a fairly big, heavy, expensive printer. It performs like a professional printer, not a light-duty home inkjet. So you do get what you pay for here, in my opinion.

Ours is an 800-series Phaser, but here [xerox.com] are some current models from Xerox. And check into the free black wax issue -- I'm not sure if it's still the standard policy.

Why? (1)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496369)

You might want to consider why you want the printer. It's probably cheaper these days to buy a whole computer for everyone you'd want to share them with and send them burnt cd's full of images...

If you are making pamphlets and the such, then shell out the cash for a swanky laser printer. In my experience HP networked printers are good while not being outrageously expensive.

Buying new ink cartridges VS buying a new printer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496370)

Now days it seems that buying catridges run 40-50 dollars for a low-end inkjet and Cosco and the likes sells brand new printers with ink for 50-70 dollars. So what about buying new printers every time and selling what you don't use on ebay. seems you could get ink fairly cheap with just a little extra time spent on posting and shipping printers.

QMS (1)

CatPieMan (460995) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496372)

I recommend anything by QMS [qms.com] (which is now minolta-qms). In the past, I've used a QMS 2040 (which is a b/w laser than can handle at least 11in wide paper) that was 8-10 years old (give or take).

It is still working today, more than 5 years since I have last used it.

Is it slow, yes, is it old, yes, but it is still working after 13-15 years.

QMS has traditionally been a bit more expensive, and the price of the toner was no more than an equivanent HP.

-CPM

Xerox (1)

notetoi (690572) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496373)

A few months ago Xerox was offering a "free" color laser printer if you were willing to buy a few hundred $$$ per month in toner from Xerox.

ALPS! (2, Interesting)

fuzzeli (676881) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496378)

I still have an ALPS MD-1300 "micro-dry" thermal printer, with tape-based cartridges like a typewriter. It's a workhorse, never has any inky mess, and puts out great output, especially in dye-sub mode. Alps doesn't make printers anymore, and although the cartridges sets are on par with inkjets as far as package cost, they're separate for each color and last quite long.

I'm not sure I'd buy a discontinued printer, but I wish someone would continue developing this superior technology.

SOLID INK (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496382)

It may be out of your price range, but when you consider just how much better a solid ink printer actually is, it becomes worth every extra penny. i have used a Xerox Phaser 850 for years. It has been the best printer i have ever used in just about every regard from print quality and reliability to cost and ease of use.

and it is sort of like printing with crayons :)

do not buy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496389)

DO NOT BUY XEROX!

HP BJ30000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6496391)

Outside of the connotations the model number may bring about, The BJ3000 is pretty awesome. large ink tanks, not small cartridges, capillary ink feed (gets all that weight off of the moving parts) and pretty spiffy print quality.

Workgroup Inkjets (4, Interesting)

LoadStar (532607) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496406)

Networked inkjets, as late as a year ago, were fairly prevalent, with models available from just about all of the major vendors. I don't know what happened - whether it's a sign that color laser is entering the sub-$1000 marketspace or what - but when we looked for a networked color inkjet, HP was really the best option out there.

Epson seems to have dropped their mid-range workgroup inkjets. The only model they have networked out of the box is the C82, which is a rather low-end printer - nothing I'd consider a workgroup printer. Canon likewise has absolutely no networked inkjets at all.

Lexmark has a few networked inkjets, but what with the recent stuff with their using the DMCA to corner the inkjet cartridge market, and given we've used Lexmark printers and had mediocre quality out of them, I decided to pass. The only model they are still marketing/selling is the Lexmark Optra Color 45n, if you're interested.

HP has a couple of decent models - the 2280 and the 3000. We ended up going with the 2280 here, but both are very good models. The one caveat that I'd have to say - make sure you get the latest JetDirect EIO card. The older ones had a PITA for a web interface, while the new ones are a dream to work with (and support ZeroConf/Rendezvous!)

No more ink for me: Kinkos KFP and clubphoto.com (5, Informative)

Fubar411 (562908) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496410)

For day to day printing, I use a cheap HP 3100 monochrome printer. Toner can be stored a long time, costs little, and gives excellent results. However, businesses learned long ago that owning and maintaining and owning something like a color laser printer can be expensive. When I want to print something special, I use the Kinkos KFP tool and just pick up my prints anytime (open 24 hours). If I want a photo, I upload it to clubphoto.com when they're having a promotion or I'll use the Fuji machine at the local super wal-mart. I generally avoid using the Kodak kiosks as they use thermal dye sublimation, like a color laser printer. The Fuji's use real photo paper and expose the image. Pretty decent results. But my best prints have been from clubphoto and yahoo photo prints. So I've completely eliminated little ink cartridges from my life, that is except for relatives needing them. I usually direct them to ink4art.com.

why [ink|laser]jet when you can crayon? (1)

gooser23 (113782) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496415)

My school [spu.edu] got a pair of Phaser 840 [xerox.com] s for free under some stress-test program for the main lab. All we had to do was provide the paper, and call the service guys when it broke (which it did only once in my four years there).

Seeing that this model has been discontinued, you may want to check out the $300 savings on the Phaser 8200 [xerox.com] .


Canon is good for "uncommon usage" (1)

marcushnk (90744) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496423)

As their carts are smaller, and much cheaper.. plus normally their colors are sold in individual colors..

Qualit is good too..

For work group, go Laser.. if you can afford it..

You get what you pay for... (2, Insightful)

RESPAWN (153636) | more than 10 years ago | (#6496424)

Generally, my experience with color inkjet printers has been that you get what you pay for. My first color inkjet was a Lexmark 5700 that my folks bought for me. I think it was moderately priced back in the day. And that printer performed admirably. It was fairly quick, produced good quality output, and was pretty reliable until it up and quit on me for no real reason one day.


I replaced that one with a Lexmark Z23 because on paper it had similar specs to my old 5700. Yeah, it was cheaper, but I just kind of assumed that the Z23 was a cheaper, updated version of my old 5700. Wrong. I had more problems with that printer than I've ever had with any other printer. It seems like every time I printed out a document to turn in for school, I had to clean the nozzles 2 or 3 times and realign the cartridges. Even then, I would still have some gaps in the print where the printer just didn't seem to cover.


Since then I have bought a used HP Deskjet 895ci. The thing was in practically brand new condition and I have yet to experience any problems with it.


I don't necessarily think that the market has been taken over by the cheap printers. Yes, they are quite common and they sell very well. But, I think that as long as you are willing to spend a little more than the average consumer (I'm guessing above the $150 range) then you will probably get a halfway decent color inkjet printer.

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