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Which All-in-One Inkjet Printer is Cheapest to Use?

Cliff posted more than 7 years ago | from the easy-on-the-wallet-please dept.

Printer 119

Ray asks: "A year or so ago, I got my dad a new computer system that included a Canon PX-160 printer/scanner/copier to replace his aging Lexmark with similar capabilities. On my next visit, I asked him how the new printer was working and he said the ink was killing him. The cartridges are expensive, they don't have much ink in them and there are no third party or refilled carts for it or (apparently) any other Canon. It looks like HP and Lexmark are the most likely to have (relatively) inexpensive supplies but what has your experience been with inkjet All-in-Ones as far as TCO goes?"

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Slashdot answered it... (3)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598309)

Cheap Inkjets? "Nothing for you to see here. Please move along." Has never been so appropriate!

Re:Slashdot answered it... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19598365)

Nothing for you to see here.
A cheap inkjet with ink might fix that!

Re:Slashdot answered it... (1)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598383)

While the price was about $150, my HP5510 does great with ink usage. When I was starting a business and we had to run on a budget, we got a $60 Epson and it burned through ink. In the long run, it would have been cheaper to just buy a new printer each time the black ink ran out, it was that bad. I think I had to refill it ever month to six weeks. Under the same usage, I don't have to buy ink for the HP5510 that often. It goes over a year before I have to refill the ink. I don't print pictures much, but I print a fair amount of program listings that are syntax highlighted with different colors.

My experience is that the cheaper printers are designed to sell ink cartridges but if you go for the higher end printers, as in over $120 or more for the printer, the refill frequency drops drastically.

Re:Slashdot answered it... (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 7 years ago | (#19603221)

I had the opposite problem, I wasn't printing much at all, and my ink jet catrdiges were drying out on their own. It was costing me something like $5.00 per page. So got a laser multi function instead, a dramatic saving on printing costs.

Which All-in-One Inkjet Printer Cheapest to Use? (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19600881)

The one that uses a laser.

First Post (2, Funny)

ReidMaynard (161608) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598315)

Which is cheapest? My neighbors, naturally.

Wal-mart (3, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598321)

Get a b&w printer for regular crap. For photos, let somebody else handle the headache at a cheap price: Wal-mart (or whatever floats your boat.)

Work-mart (2, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598489)

For photos, let somebody else handle the headache at a cheap price: Wal-mart (or whatever floats your boat.

That works out well, actually. There are very few pictures most people actually want to print, but then you get good quality for a fraction of what ink costs, let alone the printer. Add in a few gimp edits and you have nice holiday cards.

For regular stuff, there's the printer at work. Who else wants print anymore anyway? The digital copy is more portable and durable.

We are all on one big curve where the ratio of material we read and use, paper/electronic, goes from infinity to zero. Paper, though cheap, is the fifth largest consumer of electricity in the US. It's demise is welcome.

Re:Work-mart (2, Informative)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19599157)

100% agreed. b&w and anything more have them printed. Walgreens lets you upload photos to their site for pickup in an hour and they cost like 20 cents a piece or something. For the number of pics I actually need of good quality, it's well in my favor to use walgreens and keep a p.o.s. b&w around for the every once in a while things.

The other day, I had them print 5 photos off and it cost me a buck - o - seven or so. They probably lost most of their margin on the visa I used to pay for it.

Re:Work-mart (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19600177)

Who else wants print anymore anyway? The digital copy is more portable and durable.
Not everybody owns a laptop to look at a digital copy away from his/her computer, a relative's computer, or the computer in the break room.

Re:Wal-mart (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#19600263)

Black and white laser for $79.
Toner for $30.

Done for a few years. Never clogged when you need it. Does not run in water. Sharp dots- not fuzzy.

And yes- pay to print pictures at your local walgreens. then you get actual plasticy photos.

I believe the correct answer is... (5, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598327)

absolutely any LASER all-in-one printer.

Re:I believe the correct answer is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19601413)


My all in one solution (not one peice of equipment)

1) I'm still using a 6 year old laser printer for BW
2) I bought my dad (lives nearby) a great color printer so he can print pictures for me and pay for the ink.
3) Work for scanning / comp

Or Kodak Inkjet (1)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 7 years ago | (#19602019)

Just mentioned this on here earlier today, but Kodak has a new line of multifunctions....$10 black $15 for the 5-color cartridge. Definately the cheapest in the long run (black is supposed to last ~300 pages of text).

None at all (1)

SigNuZX728 (635311) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598347)

What on earth could your dad possibly be printing?

Re:None at all (1)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598463)

Pictures of his grandkids from his digital camera at uber-ridiculous resolutions?

Re:None at all (2, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598501)

I wonder this every time one of these questions come up. I used to design all in ones for HP. At that time, when I could have had a loan of the best of the line from work and ripped the ink from the supply closet without nayone noticing (hey I need to print tons to test the damn things), I actually threw out my home printer. I realised I had printed 2 documents all year- my state taxes and my federal. With efile I don't even do that anymore. I'd basicly be buying a cartridge per print at that rate. What the hell are people actually using a printer for these days?

Re:None at all (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 7 years ago | (#19599047)

What the hell are people actually using a printer for these days?

Anytime I have a reference that I want to mark up (annotations, highlight passages, add postits, etc), I print it.

I'd love to save the trees, but I've never found electronic documentation to be as convenient as having a hardcopy version.

Re:None at all (1)

jascat (602034) | more than 7 years ago | (#19604255)

I have two printers at the house. One is a laser and the other an inkjet AIO. My wife is a speech language pathology student and doing her practicum. Between papers for class, notes professors put online, patient and management reports for the clinic or anything else that doesn't have to be color, she uses the laser. For materials for her clients (mostly 3 to 8 year olds), color is important for stimulation, so she uses the AIO. She also scans a lot of stuff, so rather than buy separate inkjet and scanner, I got her an AIO. So what do I print? Bathroom reading material... because the laptop is too hot for my bare thighs.

Re:None at all (1)

Ray (88211) | more than 7 years ago | (#19603187)

He probably prints 15-20 pages/wk related to stocks, including color graphs and such.

I bougt a laser all in one (4, Informative)

eakerin (633954) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598361)

Last time I was in the market for a new printer, I got a laser all in one (HP 3052). That was 6 months ago, and I'm still on the toner cartridge that came with it. Of course, the woman and I are relatively light on the printer (only a few hundred pages since we got it)

It cost me about $300 to buy, so there's a significant initial investment. But it's very fast, reliable, and toner is very cheap compared to ink, and lasts a long time.

My previous laser lasted me 10 years. I expect this one to do the same.

Re:I bougt a laser all in one (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598441)

I went *to* a Canon *from* an HP. I had absolutely no luck with HP PSC 950 refills working, so I was stuck with their uber-expensive official cartridges. I decided that, so long as printer companies are allowed to get away with all of the tricks needed to sabotage the refill market (as they are currently), I'm not going to mess with that headache. I value my time more than that. At least Canon's Pixma 530 (my printer)'s official cartridges are cheap compared to how much you get out of them. Printer is nice, too.

Re:I went *to* a Canon * from an HP (1)

davecb (6526) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598897)

I did too, and found that Canon deservedly has the best reputation of all the inkjet vendors for having refillable/individual cartriges. I'll likely buy another... --dave

Re:I went *to* a Canon * from an HP (1)

Kiralan (765796) | more than 7 years ago | (#19601581)

That is what I have done, as well. The only issue nowadays, is that Canon is putting a custom chip on each cartridge that, once a cartridge has run out, refuses to monitor ink levels. It requires you to tell the print driver to go ahead without monitoring the level, by holding the resume button on the printer for 5 seconds, once for each refilled cartridge, any time you open and close the access lid. If you are willing to refill it yourself (Stores typically don't refill the 'chipped' models) and keep tabs on the levels manually, this will be, at best, a minor annoyance. At least you can force the printer to continue, unlike HP (IIRC), where the cartridge is permanently out of ink, and will not allow an override.

Re:I went *to* a Canon * from an HP (1)

Ray (88211) | more than 7 years ago | (#19603251)

That's my current tactic. I just got a couple of refill kits for the thing that I'll probably try out this weekend. Glad to hear some success stories in that regard.

Re:I bougt a laser all in one (3, Funny)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 7 years ago | (#19599877)

the woman and I are relatively light on the printer

I hope you used the scanner part while on the printer. Lonely Slashdotters want pictures.

Re:I bougt a laser all in one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19602309)

Seconded. Forget the inkjets; spend some money on a laser printer that'll last far longer than any inkjet could ever hope to. By the time you bought 3 ink cartridges, you've already spent as much money as a single toner cartridge will cost you, and the laser toner will last the average light use user *years*.

Some Canon Printers Have Refill Carts (1)

the_crowbar (149535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598413)

I have a Canon MP600 Printer/Scanner and I can purchase refill kits for it or refilled ink. (web search will find plenty for sale. Also there is a Cartridge World close tome that sells the refilled inks) I think the Canon ink is not that expensive. I have had my printer for about 6 months and just replaced the black cartridge. I printed a couple hundred pages (almost no color) on one cartridge. The new Canon branded cartridge cost me ~$18. I have only printed a couple of pictures with the printer so the color is still almost full. I think that photo printing is going to eat the ink of any printer.

Linux support for the MP 600 is a bit spotty. Canon has a binary (x86 or amd64 with emulation) driver that can be made to work under Linux. I currently just use the Turboprint drivers (commercial ~$40 or free for the 300 DPI version). The Turboprint driver had worked quite well for me. The scanner works with cvs sane drivers.

Cheers,
the_crowbar

Re:Some Canon Printers Have Refill Carts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19600701)

I've been using a Canon i9900 printer for about 3 years to do oversize near-photographic-quality work (up to about 13" x 19"). I've been refilling cartridges using 3rd party kits and aside from the occasional stained fingers I've had excellent results. This is with 6 of the printer's 8 cartridges: I still have to buy Canon Red and Green cartridges (around $12 each every 6 months or so— these last more than twice as long as the other cartridges in the work I do).

Is author of TFA certain that the cartridges for the Canon AIO are not refillable? I have to drill a filling port in mine, but the tool to do that, and the caps to plug the holes, come as part of the refilling kit.

Re:Some Canon Printers Have Refill Carts (1)

Ray (88211) | more than 7 years ago | (#19603299)

Six months ago there weren't any refills or refill kits for the 40/50 series this MP160 uses but now they're starting to be readily available.

Now that I've been a wiseass, (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598417)

Go to alotofthings.com. They have some good info on refilling Canon carts, and sell aftermarket ones (for my model at least).

Two devices (3, Informative)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598431)

You get nailed for trying to do an inkjet AIO. I got a Brother 7820N (refurb) for about $179 which is a laser AIO and then I have an Epson R220 (about $79 at Sam's Club) for printing photos, brochures, business cards, and CD's. I use InkjetMadness cartridges when they're on special ($28 for 12 single-color carts or so) and Taiyo-Yuden inkjet-printable CD's and DVD's (supermediastore or others). I think I'm still on the starter toner with the Brother, as I try to not print anything for in-house use.

Another upside is my B&W communications (letters, whitepapers, invoices) look more professional as laser-prints.

Re:Two devices (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598633)

I have that Brother, the toner carts seems to have a lot less toner than other brands with similarly priced toner, maybe a third or half the toner as the cart for my HP laser.

I only use inkjet for photo printing, everything else I just use a laser. I hope to buy a color laser soon.

Re:Two devices (1)

jrmcferren (935335) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598701)

Remember with the brother printers you will eventually have to replace the drum unit as the HPs have the drum integrated into the toner cartridge. I know this because I have a Brother HL-2040 that I bought when my old Epson went to shit on me.

Re:Two devices (1)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 7 years ago | (#19599167)

And if you go for a slightly better printer, you get a $200 maint. kit (with drum) that lasts 100K pages AND has cheap toner bottles resulting in printing costs that are 1/2 the brother or HP units. HP's workgroup and above printers are tanks, but can be a little expensive to operate. I personally avoid SOHO printers from any manufacture as they are slow, expensive to operate, and don't last. If you are willing to deal with messy refill kits, you can get 3x the pages from the all-in-one toner / drum style printers. Even the cheapest laser will be less expensive to operate than any inkjet, without the clogging / print quality problems.

Re:Two devices (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 7 years ago | (#19601579)

I have that Brother, the toner carts seems to have a lot less toner than other brands with similarly priced toner, maybe a third or half the toner as the cart for my HP laser.

I only use inkjet for photo printing, everything else I just use a laser. I hope to buy a color laser soon.


Yeah, they're rated for 2,500 pages rather than the normal 5,000 pages. Still, the cost of a toner cartridge is around the cost of a set of ink cartridges ($60), and lasts way longer. Heck, until a couple months ago, we were still on the original "starter toner" (1250 pages) cartridge - that thing lasted us 1 1/2 years! (I don't do heavy printing, but have gone through at least 4-5 reams of paper before the toner cart gave out).

For home use, it's perfect - network, postscript, works in Linux (printing and scanning), fast (enough).

It won't replace an office workhorse, but it costs much less to run than my inkjet did, plus the copy/scanner work great, so for low-volume printing, it's great. We don't have a color printer anymore, and we've not missed it.

Yeah, we probably have to replace the drum eventually, but well, that thing's supposed to last 12,000+ pages. Maybe by the time we have to do it, we'll just replace the printer - it'll be ancient by that time.

Re:Two devices (1)

b.thompson (542104) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598817)

I'd second this notion. Does he really need a copier/scanner? Does he need color? It'd be cheaper in the long run to get a laser AIO if he doesn't need color. If he does for the occasional color photo he wants to print, I'd think it'd be cheaper to throw the image on a thumb drive or cd and take it to Walmart's self serve photo machine, as long as he isn't printing tons of color photos, of course.

I got rid of my inkjet after the 3rd time I had to buy $35 ink cartridges that had dried up because I hadn't printed in a couple of months. I now have an old HP Laserjet 4+ with over 100,000 pages on it and still going strong. If I need to print a color document, I either take it to work, or ask a friend.

Re:Two devices (1)

Ray (88211) | more than 7 years ago | (#19603427)

He does use the thing as a copier and he prints color charts. We'll definitely reevaluate the color need when this thing croaks.

College to the rescue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19598493)

Your local college computer lab?

All-in-one HP works great for me (3, Informative)

scuba_steve_1 (849912) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598525)

I have an HP PSC 1350 all-in-one inkjet printer, scanner, and copier...with built-in card readers.

Put me in the minority, but I love it. I have had it for years and just this week replaced my first B&W cartridge. I am still on the original color cartridge. Yes, I don't print every single day, but I do print fairly regularly.

The printer was bargain at $79 (US)...and getting the scanner was a nice benefit, which I have used many times. An OEM HP B&W ink cartridge costs $17 and an OEM color cartridge costs about twice that. Given that I have only spent $17 on the printer since I bought it and that only a fraction of that money goes to HP, I think they are still in the hole on this one...and I probably don't have much to complain about.

Price per page? Who knows, but if he prints that much, then you should consider a laser. Yes, consumables are expensive, but they sell inkjet printers at a loss...and they have to make it up somehow. That is the business model. It benefits people like me and penalizes heavy print users.

If he is bothered that much by the cost, I suggest having him estimate page per month counts for printing, faxing, and copying...and then perform a TCO for various all-in-one inkjets, lasers, and dedicated devices for each task based on their initial cost and cost of consumables. Honestly, if the quality of inkjets is inadequate, I would think that some model will still win out. The consumables on my color laser printer at work aren't exactly a bargain.

Another benefit of the all-in-one inkjet approach - I have one device, which does not take up much room, and it was so inexpensive that I will not even think twice about replacing it when it eventually breaks.

Re:All-in-one HP works great for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19598605)

B&W cartridges, eh... Never seen one of those. What are you printing on, colored paper?

Re:All-in-one HP works great for me (1)

EnderGT (916132) | more than 7 years ago | (#19599267)

I have a PSC 1350 also, and it has more than paid for itself over the 2 years I've had it, even counting the 2 refills I've had to buy (We've had to use it to do a lot of printing... my wife uses it to print holiday cards, birthday cards, etc, we print photos, used it to print legal documents, etc).

As the previous poster noted, it's also quite compact, a nice neat rectangle. You can put things on top of its flat surface, although this does hamper the scanning utility somewhat.

The scanner works quite well for image scanning and for copying (b&w and color copies), and the multiple card readers are a nice feature although I've only used them twice.

I would definitely buy another of these if (when?) this one breaks.

Re:All-in-one HP works great for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19600431)

I also have an HP PSC 13xx. Works great with Linux. Ubuntu recognized it from the USB ID. Ink price has been acceptable so far.

Re:All-in-one HP works great for me (1)

groovebot (999254) | more than 7 years ago | (#19600599)

I've got an HP PSC 1210 (basically the same as the 13xx series, but without the card readers) and I like it as well. It's quite good on ink and the scanner works well.

As far as *NIX support goes (if that even matters in this case): CUPS, hpijs, and hplip (for scanner support). On the plus side, hpijs is now included in hplip ;) Everything works.

Google? (3, Insightful)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598547)

Is it so hard to type "Inkjet Reviews" into Google? If it's too hard, here's a link right to it. [itreviews.co.uk] . Or look up ink prices on eBay.

I'm all for pulling on the knowledge of the tech community, but seriously-- this isn't exactly difficult information to find. I've seen some pretty nifty questions asked on Slashdot, about things like cosmic rays [slashdot.org] , full-house renovation tips [slashdot.org] , clever telemarketer avoidance techniques [slashdot.org] , and even which button not to press [slashdot.org] .

But seriously-- this is about a half-step away from Slashdot's front page being a place to ask "ne1 gt dell cupn codz?"

Forget RTFA-- try STFG (Search The Floving Google)

Re:Google? (1)

Ray (88211) | more than 7 years ago | (#19603809)

Thanks but been there done that and it's not all that useful. Let me give you a tip I'm surprised a smart guy like hasn't picked up on, yet. When I see a link on /. to an article that is of no interest to me I don't click it.

Isn't it obvious...? (1)

3p1ph4ny (835701) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598551)

The one at work.

I kid. Actually my university forces students to buy 1500 pages of what they call a "print subsidy". If we don't use it by the end of the semester, we lose it (and don't get any money back). This is counter productive to saving resources, because people will print off books like Dante's Inferno rather than leave themselves with 1400 pages of printable paper at the end of the semester. This is the reason why I don't own a printer.

Plus, I print stuff out so rarely that the place I work at doesn't bat an eye when I use work printers to do it. Owning a printer is overrated.

Lexmark ink (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598571)

I just picked up new ink (Black and Color) for my Lexmark bubble jet printer. The Lexmark brand combo pack was $59.99. Buying both ink cartridges individually under OfficeMax's label for refurbished units cost ~$55.

Not sure if having alternative's available for ink will really save you that much money.

-Rick

Any printer with refills (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19598585)

Because you're concerned about ink, use that as your shopping guide.
  • Look at drugstores and your favorite large shopping stores for ink cartridges. Buy the printer with the cheapest ink prices.
  • Look for refilled cartridges. Buy only printers for which refilled cartridges are available.
  • Look for ink refilling kits. Buy only printers whose cartridges can be refilled.

Inkjets damn you two ways... (4, Insightful)

nweaver (113078) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598635)

If you use them a lot, the ink costs a fortune per page, several times what a laser printer costs per page, so that a more expensive laser printer quickly becomes cheaper to own.

But if you don't use them a lot, the ink evaporates and the inkjet clogs up and stops working, forcing you to buy even more cartridges, so that a more expensive laser printer quickly becomes cheaper to own.

Buy a laser printer based all-in-one.

Re:Inkjets damn you two ways... (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 7 years ago | (#19599763)

I agree with this. I rarely print, but when I want to print, I want it to work.

When I had an inkjet, it never worked because it got dusty and the printhead smeared the ink. I bought a laser printer. They are more-or-less impervious to dust. And they are getting cheap now.

Re:Inkjets damn you two ways... (1)

jabuzz (182671) | more than 7 years ago | (#19599949)

Add to that there are some incredibly cheap colour lasers now, and online and walk in services to put your photos on real photographic paper it seals the deal entirely.

For the lazy person who prints alot. Kodak? (3, Interesting)

bevoblake (1106117) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598649)

Kodak came out with a line of printers they were trying to sell by touting the cheap ink [arstechnica.com] . For a lazy person like me (who has also managed to spill ink from a do-it-yourself refill onto my carpet), I'd prefer to go buy a cartridge and not think about it. If you're printing a heap of pages, the Kodak might be the cheapest than the competition due to their cheap ink strategy. Anybody used tried them yet?

Do you need color? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19598653)

If you don't need color, get a laser/toner based all-in-one.

If you need color, get an Epson because they have the cheapest generic ink prices (They have the printer heads in the printer, so the ink cartridges are just ink bottles.)

Kind of a silly question for Slashdot

None (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598673)

The cheapest way to get photo quality prints of photos is to get them made at the local photo store.

The cheapest way to print anything else is a laser printer. I have a Konica Minolta which can also do magazine-quality photos, is networkable, and under $400.

Also, generally all-in-one devices are crap compared to separate ones.

how about a portable laser all in one? (1)

notthepainter (759494) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598715)

I need one of these for my wife. She is all set for an ink-jet and I just don't want to maintain one. It doesn't have to be backpackable, just not huge. It needs to move, by car, at least 6 times a year.

Thanks!

Re:how about a portable laser all in one? (1)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 7 years ago | (#19599245)

If you want color, they are going to be big. No choice. The better ones are also quite heavy - 100lbs is not uncommon.
B&W lasers / AIO's can be a lot smaller and lighter.

Re:how about a portable laser all in one? (1)

notthepainter (759494) | more than 7 years ago | (#19599295)

Don't need color. Sorry, should have mentioned that.

Re:how about a portable laser all in one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19599781)

Toner spills.

Re:how about a portable laser all in one? (1)

notthepainter (759494) | more than 7 years ago | (#19600261)

I'm not juggling the device, I'm hauling it out to the car and putting it in the trunk. If the device is on its side, then the car is on its side and I have bigger things to worry about.

Which All-in-One Inkjet Printer is Cheapest to Use (3, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598721)

That's an extremely strange question... A bit like asking "Which Hummer Has The Best Gas Mileage?"

Getting an inkjet guarantees high prices, lots of maintenance (eg. cleaning) etc. Then, getting an all-in-one printer ensures operating costs will be more expensive still, with a low-end printer, low-end scanner, etc., all in one.

I have a hard time imagining any scenario where space could possibly be that limited, so I have to believe you're just unaware of those problems, or have been sucked-in by the advertising.

IMHO, a B&W laser printer is the best way to go... Cheap purchase price, cheap consumables, far better looking text, and 10X faster than any inkjet printer. Color is unnecessary for the vast majority of people, the vast majority of time, but if you really want it, consumables for a color laser printer aren't much more expensive.

Re:Which All-in-One Inkjet Printer is Cheapest to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19601195)

IMHO, a B&W laser printer is the best way to go... Cheap purchase price, cheap consumables, far better looking text, and 10X faster than any inkjet printer. Color is unnecessary for the vast majority of people, the vast majority of time, but if you really want it, consumables for a color laser printer aren't much more expensive.


Up front cost or over time? How many ink cartridges would one need to buy and how long would it last (assuming moderate use,) before it exceeds the purchase price of that laser? And by then, would one be inclined to buy a new, more wizbang printer (that's just as cheap thanks to technology advances.)

Kind of like the Mac vs PC debate. Get an "overpriced" Macintosh that'll last years and works great or get a PC at half the price and upgrade the components piecemeal over time? The dozen latest CPU punishing FPS games are unnecessary to the vast majority.

Re:Which All-in-One Inkjet Printer is Cheapest to (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#19604149)

Up front cost or over time? How many ink cartridges would one need to buy and how long would it last (assuming moderate use,) before it exceeds the purchase price of that laser?

It depends on how overpriced the inkjet is... Epson and HP trys to sell their high-end (still crappy) inkjets printers for $150, more than what a B&W laser would cost, and only $50 off a color laser. You're saving money as soon as you run out of ink. Canon's high-end models run about $100, so you'll get a couple refills before you could have paid-off a color laser.

But more importantly than that, is that the prints from the cheapest (1200x1200DPI) color lasers printers, even on the cheapest paper, look better than even high-end ink on high-end paper. They don't bleed, they don't come out dark due to the volume of ink, they don't need to dry, they don't have heads that clog-up and spatter ink on the finished print, the prints are as durable as the paper itself, etc.

And by then, would one be inclined to buy a new, more wizbang printer (that's just as cheap thanks to technology advances.)

That actually NEVER happens in printers. You can get a 10 year-old laser printer (600x600 DPI) and it will just as good as brand-new model. The situation is almost entirely the same with inkjet printers... Once the DPI gets up to 1200x1200, there's nothing else to do, except try to save ink (since it costs so much). They add gimmicky color LCD screens and SD card slots on them, but print quality basically doesn't ever improve.

Re:Which All-in-One Inkjet Printer is Cheapest to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19605187)

How about the low end? Doesn't sound like the original poster is running an office with the printer.

My HP PSC1200 cost me $40 after rebate ($80 at the register,) and in the two years I've had it, only replaced the ink twice (most recent being last month.) While I haven't been able to do any side-by-side comparisons, I'm sure it looks just as good if not better than my old DeskWriter 680c. Plus I get a scanner on top of that.

Re:Which All-in-One Inkjet Printer is Cheapest to (1)

Jack Schitt (649756) | more than 7 years ago | (#19605223)

I have a hard time imagining any scenario where space could possibly be that limited, so I have to believe you're just unaware of those problems, or have been sucked-in by the advertising.

A typical sales conversation goes like this:

Me: What kind of printer are you looking for?
Customer: Ooooh I want an All-In-One(tm). [Typical positive response to advertising hype.]
M: I can't recommend one of those unless you really need one. We have much nicer scanners separate for a fraction of the price.
C: My home office used to be a closet.

You'd be surprised how many people actually think a 12 square foot area is an acceptable area to use a computer. I am reminded by this when people stop asking about features of the printer and pull out their tape measure to get the physical size of the machine. HP makes it convenient by providing the dimensions of the printer on the box.

The scary part? We actually sell computer desks that small. Want a good desk? Go to costco an pick up one of those 6 foot long white injection-molded plastic folding tables. Optical mice hate them, but that's what a mouse pad is for. I have Two 21" monitors (one's a CRT), a 14"x14" graphics tablet, largish bookshelf speakers, and room to eat on this thing.

Canon Pixma IP1500 (1)

mushupork (819735) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598819)

Bought it a few years ago. It was only on the market for a few months it seems, replaced by the 1600. The 1600 uses cartridges that are like $15-20; the 1500 cartridges consistently cost $8 or less. So I see why they discontinued the 1500. If you can find one, snag one!

It even survived a printing on silly putty experiment by the kids.

ditch the inkjet and go for laser (2, Informative)

GURU Meditation 8000 (790934) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598863)

i'll have to agree with others on this list. i used to run inkjets... epson, canon, lexmark... but they drink thsoe carts like crazy..AND if you dont use them in a while they become painful with nozzle cleaning etc etc. I got an HP 2600n a while back and though the initial outlay was higher, the printing is quicker cleaner and the running costs are lower. for really fancy printing (eg glossy 8x6 photos) i prefer to just head to local supermarket and use their 10p per picture printing service.

kodak (4, Informative)

Surt (22457) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598903)

http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-pa th=10581&pq-locale=en_US [kodak.com]

Their new printers have half the ink costs of their closest competitors.

Re:kodak (1)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 7 years ago | (#19599283)

Yeah, but half the cost of ink is still 5x-20x the cost of laser, and you still have the clogging problems.

Re:kodak (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 7 years ago | (#19599485)

I assumed he wanted an inkjet for some reason (since he requested an inkjet), for example, printing photos.

Apple Stylewriter II (2, Interesting)

charleste (537078) | more than 7 years ago | (#19598953)

I bought my Apple Stylewriter II in 1991-93 (somewhere in grad school). It still works great, I can get cheap cartridges and/or refill. For a black and white indestructible printer, the quality is fantastic, and the cost (~$150 in 1991) is VERY cheap per year.

Re:Apple Stylewriter II (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19602923)

Canon based StyleWriters are awesome (I've never used the HP based ones so I can't speak for those.) I owned several models, (SW SWII SW1200 SW1500 SW2400) all acquired from thrift stores, eventually selling or giving them away.

The only problem I've ever had with one that wasn't caused by human dumb-assedness was a worn roller grip in the sheet feeder. The roller is set off-axis so it only grips a sheet when at a certain point in its rotation. I opened the printer, repositioned the rubber loop to a non-worn spot, and it worked perfectly thereafter.

I still have a SWII sitting around, one of these days I'll have to dig up the procedure to get it working under OSX.

Trivia: Open a SWII (and I think the SW1200 too, used the same case,) and you'll find the designers' signatures inside.

HP PSC 1410v (2, Informative)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#19599041)

  • Under $20 per cartridge at Walmart
  • USB
  • Works with Linux fully
  • Works with Windows fully
  • Works with some print servers
  • Light (weight)
  • Low maintenance

Re:HP PSC 1410v (1)

FuzzyDaddy (584528) | more than 7 years ago | (#19599599)

You forgot:

  • No longer sold

Re:HP PSC 1410v (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#19600713)

I wasn't aware of that. eBay has 5 of them though (as of this posting)

Stylus Scan 2500 (2, Informative)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 7 years ago | (#19599107)

- the 3rd party inks are about $3 each
- inktanks aren't chiped
- there is a lot of good web articles on maintenece.
- provides a flatbet scanner and inkjet.
- interfaces for USB and Parallel
- The downsidse is is is slow compared to more recent machines

Re:Stylus Scan 2500 (2, Informative)

sfcfagwdse (805746) | more than 7 years ago | (#19599237)

A similar printer/scanner/copier/fax minus the parallel port is the Brother MFC-210C. I pick up ink refill tanks at the dollar store and just use a syringe to fill them up. A $1 refill tank lasted me through an entire school year. The only problem is the quality isn't on par with the latest stuff. Oh and it has good Linux drivers too.

Stylus Scan 2500 cheap older tech and refillable (1)

beachdog (690633) | more than 7 years ago | (#19604937)

Yes, my Stylus Scan 2500 cost me $40 used.

This was a quality business scanner & printer for it's time.

I disassembled one ink cartridge to understand how the ink feed works. (Hacksaw around seam in top cover plate, wash pieces in sink ). Now that I have seen how the cartridge is arranged, I use bulk refill ink in a bottle with a stainless steel needle tip. I leave the cartridge in the printer, lift up a piece of tape, squeeze in 20 ml, run clean heads three times.

The flatbed scanner is pretty good. Scans of 2 1/4" b&w negatives and documents are decent.

Canon MP830 (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#19599213)

Does anyone know if the Canon MP830 HAS to use the CLI carts instead of the less expensive BCI carts? Can I use BCI cartridges in it?

Need to Understand his usage requirements.... (2, Insightful)

twitchingbug (701187) | more than 7 years ago | (#19599323)

Basically we can't answer this question without having some clue of what and how much he's printing. Is it 5000 B&W text documents? Is he a big photo nut printing 500 full 8x10 photos? Does he only print in red ink? :P

Once you understand what he's trying to do you can attack this from 2 ways.

1) Get a printer that suits his need.
2) make him aware about how he's using so much ink.

Canon Pixma IP3000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19599919)

This is not an all in one, but I think Canon has ones that use the BCI cartridges. No chip on the cart. Level is detected by optical sensor. I bought a universal refill kit from Costco 2 years ago for $20. 300+ full-colour 8.5x11 pages later and I've almost used up half of the ink. Refill is a breeze, maybe 4 minutes per cartridge and very little mess.

B/W Laser Printers are cheaper than ink... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19599971)

I picked up a Samsung ML-2510 [compusa.com] last April for my taxes. (Pay to efile? Are they nuts?)

CompUSA sells them for $130. But last April there were frequent $60 rebates. $70 for a laser printer seems.... Acceptable... That's less than what an ink refill will cost for my InkJet. Besides, the InkJet takes a couple hours of fussing with to get all its jets unclogged and printing again. (And cleaning up the ink it spills all over the rollers.)

The Samsung ML-2510 [amazon.com] is a lot faster (25ppm). More reliable. The jets never clog. Works with USB or Parallel interface. It supports Windows / MacOSX / Linux (SuSE Linux 8.2, Red Hat Linux 9, Red Hat Linux 8.0, Mandrake Linux 9.2, Red Hat Fedora Core 1, Red Hat Fedora Core 2, Mandrake Linux 10.1 Discovery, SuSE Linux 9.2, Red Hat Fedora Core 3) out of the box.


How can anyone justify continuing to use an inkjet for b/w printing, when new laser-printers are cheaper than ink?

Brother (1)

Paul Carver (4555) | more than 7 years ago | (#19600031)

I bought a Brother MFC-5460CN this past spring for under $100 after rebate, but it looks like Office Depot may be screwing me out of the rebate which was $40 or $50. They claimed I didn't send in the UPC from the box (which I certainly did) and I haven't heard anything since I called to argue with them and mailed them photocopies of the UPC and the original paperwork.

Anyway, I've had it for 3 or 4 months now and the software says the ink cartridges are about half full. I just ordered replacement cartridges, 2 of each color including black, for $42.95 total including shipping which doesn't seem terribly expensive to me.

The Brother replaces a Canon S750 ink jet printer. I hardly ever bought ink for that thing and when I did, I think the cartridges were under 10 bucks even at a retail office store. It lasted me 4 or 5 years and then developed a logic fault. Print quality was still fine, but it would hang with an obscure error message and a flashing light after printing a single page. If I didn't mind power cycling it between every page I could still be using it now.

Seems to me that a laser printer could develop that sort of logic fault just as well as an ink jet so I think I got my money's worth out of that inexpensive printer.

I've got a 19" and a 21" monitor plus an ultraportable laptop, so I don't print much. If you just need the occasional hard copy and the convenience of being able to make photocopies at home I recommend the Brother. If you need to print high volumes get a laser. Oh, and don't count on the rebate, seems to me that a lot of these rebates are pure scams.

Re:Brother (1)

rueger (210566) | more than 7 years ago | (#19603579)

I've set up a couple Brother all in ones in the last year or so.

Certainly not the fastest machines on the planet, and not the best print quality, but for general use they're cheap to buy, the ink is relatively inexpensive and they seem happy with refill cartidges.

For $100-150 CDN (watch for deals) they offer OK printing, scanning, faxing, as well as being network capable, which makes them perfect for typical home wireless networks.

Personally I've always defaulted for mid range HP printers, but these Brothers sure do offer value.

laser printers are the way to go (3, Insightful)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 7 years ago | (#19600143)

If all you are doing is black and white stuff there's no contest -- buy a laser printer. I don't know anything about color laser printers since I don't have one but But I went from taking forever for papers to print out, clogged ink heads, and empty ink cartridges to a laser printer that was fast, never given me a bit of trouble and had a toner cartridge that lasted 3 years.

Lexmark? (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 7 years ago | (#19600411)

Whatever you do, do NOT buy Lexmark. In my experience, it's cheaper to throw out a Lexmark printer and buy a new one than buy a new cartridge for it. I use Canon, and I have no problems. $20 cartridges (with 20% off next purchase if I give back the empty one) - not Canon brand obviously. HP is fairly meh. Brother is ATROCIOUS.

Dot matrix? (1)

KC1P (907742) | more than 7 years ago | (#19600645)

Seriously, does anyone know of any dot matrix fax machines being made anywhere? I loved dot matrix, it was ridiculously reliable, and whether the ribbon is out of ink is highly subjective so you can limp along for ages if you don't care that much (I'm really sick of my OfficeJet 500 cutting me off because it let all my ink evaporate ... again ... since I hardly get any faxes). A 24-pin dot matrix printer might not be quite up to inkjet resolution, but it's still OK, and doesn't have the smudging/streaking and total intolerance to a raindrop or two.

They all suck. But if you must.... (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#19600737)

Epson printers (and hence the all-in-one machines based on them) have substantially less intelligence in the cartridge than HP, Lexmark or Canon and are thus generally far cheaper for 3rd party inks.

The only snag is that the printhead isn't built into the cartridge and can (if not used regularly) be prone to clogging.

Though to be honest, I am of the opinion that unless you have a very particular need for an inkjet printer today (and I'm hard pressed to think what that need might be...), you're a fool to buy one.

Fool (1)

Espectador (1118561) | more than 7 years ago | (#19600867)

I work in cartridge world and lexmark are the dearest and a big crap people call them toy printers HP or Canon is a good choice and I guarantee that any franchise of CW can reman or refill 99% of any f-in inkjet or laser supplies on the market there is a few we cannot because of manufacturers and other crap

Re:Fool (1)

rholland356 (466635) | more than 7 years ago | (#19601149)

I work in cartridge world and lexmark are the dearest and a big crap people call them toy printers HP or Canon is a good choice and I guarantee that any franchise of CW can reman or refill 99% of any f-in inkjet or laser supplies on the market there is a few we cannot because of manufacturers and other crap
Yeah, I had my fill of Cartridge World when the wrong color ink went into my cartridges.

Crap is relative, no?

some of the all in one HP Laserjets to _avoid_ (1)

compwizrd (166184) | more than 7 years ago | (#19600967)

HP Laserjet 3052
HP Laserjet 3055
HP Laserjet 3352
HP Laserjet 3390

Avoid these, as HP is saving a few pennies by putting 4 meg roms in, instead of 8's.. to make room they removed PCL5e support.. this makes printing off an AS/400 or with premade forms that rely on PCL5e rather difficult.

Canon? (2, Insightful)

Zero_DgZ (1047348) | more than 7 years ago | (#19602409)

Later Canons, notably the Pixma series (like mine) use ink cartridges that are actual cartridges. Unlike traditional "cartridges," where a cheap print head is built into the cart, a better print head is built into the printer. The print heads are in the carts to lower the cost of the printer (E.g. Lexmark $19.99 Wal Mart specials) but jacks up the cost of the ink (30-35 dollars for a color cart for said Lexmark...) when the balance of cost could be put elsewhere.

I dunno from the model the OP is describing, but the "cartridges" in mine are just tanks of ink, and they're drop dead simple to refill with one of those As Seen on TV kits or whatever else you can lay your hands on. I've probably refilled the stock carts that came with my printer about... Oh, seventy times by now. I've had it for about three years, and when the urge strikes me to do graphic design I piss away a lot of ink fast.

Look into it. It's probably about the best you're going to get for consumer inkjet printing...

Re:Canon? (1)

Jack Schitt (649756) | more than 7 years ago | (#19605009)

I sell printers daily and, I confess, being a common consumer myself, I bias all my sales towards the best deal for the customer. Based on everything he said about the printer...

  • Canon
  • PX-160
  • printer/scanner/copier
  • The cartridges are expensive, they don't have much ink in them and there are no third party or refilled carts for it

...it looks like he meant the Canon PIXMA MP160.

This uses those cartridges that have the cheap head built in. I try not to sell these kind of printers. Instead I show customers the ones without head on the ink tanks.

As far as Canon printers go, I recommend anything that takes the 3e series of inks, the 6 series of inks, or the 8 series of ink. I still haven't figured out why some Canon printers take a 5 black in addition to an 8 black... at the same time...

Most of Epson's and all of Brother's inks have no head attached to the cartridge.

HP, Dell, and Lexmark all typically have the head attached, but HP has a few floating around that don't.

HP 02 series, 10 series, 11 series, 14 (both black and color) and 88 series all have separate heads. Most of the modern photosmart printers use the 02 series, and all of the OfficeJet Pro series use the 88 series.

Apparently, I've become a printer geek so I'll now check it off the list.

HP L7680 (1)

Wordplay (54438) | more than 7 years ago | (#19602487)

If you believe the advertising, one good choice might be the HP Officejet Pro L7680, at 1.5c and 6c a page for b/w and color respectively. I just purchased one of these and am quite happy with it.

Continuous Ink (3, Insightful)

Pav (4298) | more than 7 years ago | (#19603087)

I haven't seen anyone mention continuous ink solutions [http] yet. I don't have any experience with them myself, but if you are doing any volume they seem to be the way to go. Not all printers are an easy mod so you might need to do some homework. Also they say you need to print at least once or twice a week or else you'll be re-priming the kit, which is a hassle. These kits are definitely worth a look however if you are a high volume printer.

I've gone with a b/w laser myself with an inkjet multifunction (an Epson RX430 because of their Linux support) for when I need colour copy. Looked at colour lasers, and inkjets beat them on cost-per-copy believe it or not(!!!). If I needed to do high volume colour I would have gone with continuous ink. As a side note - check out Xerox... I seem to remember they have some kind of wax(?) print technology which was pretty cheap for toner.

-Mark

Re:Continuous Ink (1)

Jack Schitt (649756) | more than 7 years ago | (#19604917)

Ahh... good ol' solid ink printing... Xerox Phaser 8400 [xerox.com] . We use this one at the $large_retail_store I work at for printing all of the price tags and other sale related things (full page ads, web pages, etc). Think about 500 pages a day.

I don't have a good estimate on the price per print, [read: I'm tired and don't want to do the math] but the site says a typical box of six sticks of black ink [xerox.com] will give you about 6,800 pages for $104.99. Slightly more expensive than your typical toner printer...

If I get into a real pro vs. con session, this post will likely be modded down because some bastard thinks it's spam. I just happen to like the printer.

Funny... my store's website [staples.com] has a much higher price than Xerox for the same ink...

never buy inkjet, never buy all-in-ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19603237)

Inkjets, all of them, are ripoffs. They're sold at a very low price, then you're overcharged for their cartridges. This is called loss-leader sale in the marketing world and is always a sign of a ripoff. Stay away from them.
Also, avoid all-in-one printers/fax/copiers: if a function breaks and you have to send the product for repair, then you lose all of them until the repair is done.

Get a color laser instead, they're dirt cheap these days, a good scanner and the software to perform the needed tasks. The laser printer will pay itself in much less than one year.

Other costs of color lasers (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 7 years ago | (#19604873)

Color lasers are not all that cheap, besides the color toner (which is usually double the price of black toner or more) lasers have a bunch more hardware that needs replacement, such as the drum or imager roll, fuser, and fuser roll, then some may also have the charge grid, etc.

Look at the Xerox laser parts list to get an idea, you usually don't see it in the HP list as in the fine print the fuser and other parts fall under service and maintenance (you pay them to replace it).

One that has pretty compelling costs is the Solid Ink printers (which we refer to at work as the "Crayon Jets" which are part wax based inks (look a lot like big chunks of crayon) and full-width inkjet printing. Vibrant color as lasers, very fast printing (even duplexing), though the 'ink' is a lower melting point then toner so you can't heat laminate them with good results.

After a year or so of use page cost is about 7 cents a page (factoring in costs of ink and the maintenance kit, which is the only other replacement part) This is with printing bunches of signs and brochures.

They have a multifunction solid ink all-in-one [xerox.com] but that's overkill for us so I can't say much more about it.

Re:Other costs of color lasers (1)

Jack Schitt (649756) | more than 7 years ago | (#19605059)

I dunno about double the price...

Some of the newer HPs that come to mind, specifically the LaserJet 2600 (the no frills color laser printer) has exactly five consumables: Four Toners and Paper. They put the drum in the toner cartridges. This makes them slightly more expensive up front but eliminates a bi-quarterly drum replacement that can cost as much as $190. The toners average about $79 each.

Some of the other ones out there have very in expensive cartridges: the Samsung CLP color machines use a set that averages about $55 for each of the four toners. Don't know the drum replacement price though.
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