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Old 08-26-2014, 07:35 AM   #1
Dagofast OP
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Printer question

Almost 20 years ago, I bought a HP LaserJet 2100m printer that is still going strong, albeit now with a parallel to USB converter cable hooked to a single iMac.

A few short years ago we bought a HP 8500A Premium (one wonders how bad it would be if not a "premium?" ) so we could share it on the home network and do color & occasional photo printing and have scanning since HP, in their no longer infinite wisdom, makes drivers for the old stand alone ScanJet 3570c that is still hanging around here after the last win XP machine went to the big computer barn in the sky.

While the standard feature list was impressive (AirPrint! Wireless! Ethernet! Auto document feeder!) and the image quality was good, this new 8500A InkJet has never lived up to HP's hype of as low of cost per copy as laser. Worse, reliability has been awful. It was replaced once under warranty, again needed repair out of warranty and is now telling us it has the wrong paper size (um, hello? 8 x 11?) or there is a jam when no jam exists. We've cleaned it, reset it and its done it's hours long set up dance where it "cleans" the printheads while draining the fucking ink cartridges until it and myself are both blue in the face. Still no joy. HP support has become an even more horrible joke than their printers and I'm about ready to use this thing for target practice.

Some quick Google results show HP must consider these "consumer" grade printers for all intents as disposables. The local Costco have a new version on sale for $99 bucks and on the surface, its tempting to just toss a C-note at the problem and make it go away...but I'm loathe to repeat this process in a few more years plus the fact my current level of disgust with the "new" HP gives me zero inclination to give them one more red cent. Ever.

So, would any inmates here possibly be in the biz? Or would any civilians have some insight as to a good, reliable color printer/scanner? Should we eschew the big box stores and go directly to a professional office supply house? Or is that overkill?

Before we bought this boat anchor, I was leaning towards a color Brother laser all in one. Dagowife liked the HP scan quality better, so this monstrosity is on her. We are primarily a Mac family (5) with iPhones (4) and iPad (1) but do have a couple of windoze 7 laptops for the corporate drones that would need to work on the network printer as well.
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:41 PM   #2
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Do you really need an all-in-one solution?

You could buy a better MFP for copy, scanning and faxing with occasional hi quality color printing and then get a color laser for mainstream printing jobs.

My current home office is an Epson CX9400 for Scan/Copy/Fax/Photo printing and a Samsung CLP 315W wireless color laser printer that the whole house uses for print jobs, I refill the toner cartridges myself and save even more than buying recycled cartridges.

For an MFP I'd recommend either an Epson or a Xerox Workcentre. I haven't liked HP since they went past Laserjet 6.
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:57 PM   #3
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I have an Epson Workforce 845 inkjet. Setting it up with Linux was a breeze (first time ever) and it prints beautiful photos. It is fast, all the good stuff works, like double sides, wireless, etc..I've never had a printer this good. .....Until the printer head clogged within the first year from not using color enough, seems that high quality color comes at the cost of very fine print holes. And then it got pissy with me when I ran out of Cyan and wanted to print a black/white document. Sick of this, I am now looking at a well rated Samsung monochrome laser for just over $100. I'll keep the Epson for the scanner and for the rare occasion I need color photos, I'll take the file to Walgreens. Fuck 'em.
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Old 08-26-2014, 01:56 PM   #4
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You might find an errant scrap of paper in the paper path is interfering with a sensor and confusing the printer. Also, with inkjets, they produce a fine mist of ink that settles on the internal component of the printer. I've had to remove and clean many an encoder strip so the printer could tell where the printhead was. Then, of course, since Carly Fiorina got her mitts on the company, the overall quality of their products has gone down, and we've seen logic boards smoke, too.

HP commercial gear is OK. Residential gear, not so much.
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Old 08-26-2014, 04:13 PM   #5
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Well, newegg just sent me a code for an HP Laserjet Pro 400 M451dn color laser for $259.99

If a duty rating of 40,000 pages a month wasn't such overkill for my family I might actually think about it.

Plus the fact that I bought the Samsung for only $99 and I still haven't spent that refilling the toner.
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Old 08-26-2014, 04:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweaker View Post
for the rare occasion I need color photos, I'll take the file to Walgreens. Fuck 'em.

Yep
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:11 PM   #7
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I'm liking Tweakers idea for photo's. I haven't heard much about Samsung printers. Has your CLP 315W been good? How old is it?
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:03 PM   #8
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After researching, I've had this tab open for awhile waiting to pull the trigger. Brother has a couple cheaper and well liked models too.

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-SL-M28...cm_cr_dpwidget
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagofast View Post
I'm liking Tweakers idea for photo's. I haven't heard much about Samsung printers. Has your CLP 315W been good? How old is it?
I picked it up sometime in 2010 and it was old stock even then. It's been very good as a family printer and zero problems for Mac or Windows printing. It even supports printing from Samsung phones.

For B&W printing it's fairly speedy but on color printing it's slow. It's a "4-Pass" printer; having 4 toners but only one imaging drum each color page needs to make 4 passes before it's completed. But the tradeoff for that is a really small footprint. I have it sitting on top of a rolltop desk in the family room, it only needs a 15x12 space and a power outlet.

I bought it strictly on price point and wireless built in. The reviews on it were mediocre when it first hit the market. But I think the revised drivers might have improved it somewhat. I never expected it to be our best color printer (I've been an Epson-Seiko guy forever) but based on the way it's performed it wouldn't bother me at all to buy another one.

In fact, I've had my eye on one of his younger sisters
CLP-415NW

but according to the status printout I still have 76% life expectancy in the imager.
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:30 AM   #10
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Thanks for the feedback. Samsung wasn't even on my radar screen of possible printers until this thread made me aware of them. I'll add them to my research list. The problem with checking ratings and reviews is the turnover on these products is so fast that by the time someone reviews them, they have often already been replaced by a new model. That's why I'm placing so much value on peoples real world experience with actually owning one. Certainly our ownership experience with this last HP POS has profoundly changed my opinion of the direction that company is heading in.

Anyone have any ownership feedback on Brother or Lexmark printers? Yea or nay?
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dagofast View Post

Anyone have any ownership feedback on Brother or Lexmark printers? Yea or nay?
I had a bad experience with Lexmark, won't do that again. An old Brother all-in-one I had actually did pretty good, don't remember why I sent it packing. I've never had an HP. Epson has been overall good for me but they don't sell laser printers in the US, I got the impression they don't want to hurt their ink sales.
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:03 AM   #12
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One of the job sites I worked at (IT contractor) was an all IBM/Lenovo/Lexmark shop until an ownership change in the company. There wasn't one employee there who didn't swap out their Lexmark printer as soon as possible, even if it accidentally was pushed violently off the desk.

But that was 2005-2008. They might be better now.
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:29 PM   #13
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Okay then, scratching Lexmark off the list.

I've heard pretty much positive things about Epson but I'm not anxious to jump back in to paying liquid gold prices for ink. Are the claims they make about it being 50% cheaper than laser printing true or more marketing bullshit?

http://www.amazon.com/Epson-WorkForc...=epson+786+ink
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:07 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dagofast View Post
Okay then, scratching Lexmark off the list.

I've heard pretty much positive things about Epson but I'm not anxious to jump back in to paying liquid gold prices for ink. Are the claims they make about it being 50% cheaper than laser printing true or more marketing bullshit?

http://www.amazon.com/Epson-WorkForc...=epson+786+ink
Well...

I haven't done the math but it looks like they're comparing total cost of ownership, including purchase price. So in one sense, they're absolutely right. By the time you buy the Epson and buy enough replacement ink to equal a color laser MFP purchase price you should be several thousand pages ahead. Not to mention if you're thinking green, laser printers uses a lot more electricity and dump more heat into a room than an inkjet.
Plus, the cost of each color toner cartridge is more than a 4 color pack of ink cartridges.

The old paradigm was cost per printed page based on ink or toner consumed but with inkjet quality being so high now and the price of the color printers being so low compared to color laser maybe it is time to think about the total cost. Black and white it's no contest; laser all the way.

The one caveat with Epson is their ink is pigment based, not dye based. I haven't looked for any third party suppliers that also use pigments comparable to their Durabrite Ultra, which do print damn fine photos.
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:51 AM   #15
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Have a look at Kyocera printers. Good quality, but a little more $$.

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