Many years ago I had a colour inkjet printer. I found it had two modes:
1. Use it frequently and pay dearly for refills.
2. Use it infrequently and find the ink dried up and plugged the jets.
Aftermarket refill kits were a pain and produced disappointing results. I switched to a mono laser and was very happy with the print quality and operating costs. I buy refilled toner cartriges which last over a year.
Now I find family members need colour for various projects so I'm looking around again. Colour lasers have come way down in price, so I'm wondering if anyone has found a good unit that is not too expensive to operate? Most of my printing will still be black only. I could keep my present laser for those tasks. I don't plan on printing photos, except as part of a document. Any advice would be appreciated.
Colour laser is the way to go. It's much much cheaper per page and the hardware isn't much more either these days. The hardware is more reliable too.
I have a networked HP2605 (there is a thread discussing in the forum if you search). Prints all colour jobs (except photos of course) very well.
Two years ago we bought a small colour 4 x6 or 5 x 7 photo printer and use that for teh odd photo we want printed.
2009-02-13, 11:28 AM
Colour laser's a good option, but be vary wary of the super-cheap models.
I've heard some bad reviews about the "tiny" Samsung (I think that was the brand?) which is about the size of a regular inkjet and like $150-200.
For traditional inkjet, NEVER buy HP or Lexmark, you end up paying exorbitant amounts for ink.
Canon or Brother have reasonably priced units and lower cost ink.
I used a canon pixma ip1500 and the ink was $20 for colour (single cartridge) and $10 (or less) for black.
We now have a Brother MFC-685cw multifunction which has separate colours and the black. I can buy a complete set of ink for $60 and that's about twice the volume of the canon ink, if not more (each cartridge is about the size of the colour one for canon). Definitely a very good value.
Cost per page is very relative. If you're printing photos vs lots of mostly blank pages, there's a huge difference there.
That being said, check out some colour lasers within your price range, and definitely see what their output looks like. If you're doing mostly documents and the photos arent that important, the cheaper lasers might be the best choice for you.
If you want best quality, you're going to want to stick with inkjet or to get a higher end laser.
I'll check on the colour lasers. Are you guys using the manufacturer's toner or a third party?
Most of the time I too print on a monochrome laser and that does the job nicely. By chance today at work I needed to print a few pages of product information sheets in colour so I used Staples online printing service and submitted my job (a four page PDF) via their website. Total cost for 12 pages was $6.58.
For me this makes more sense as I just don't print enough in colour to justify a hardware purchase.
Just thought I'd mention it as an alternative to purchasing a printer.
Marc, I use third party toner. It cuts the cost significantly. 3rd party toner is most available with HP printers so a reason to go HP.
I also recommend a network printer and one that does two sided printing. It's an extra $50 or $100 but you'll the convenience of a network printer and two sided printing is well worth it.
2009-02-13, 02:37 PM
3rd party toner is most available with HP printers so a reason to go HP.3rd party toner is available for most brands. Most of the printers we have in our office (5/6) are all Brother and that is all I order, 3rd party toner and never had any problem. Matter of fact, Brother toner cartridge are readily available and cheap compare to most brands since they are so popular with most customers.
2009-02-13, 04:15 PM
Saw this thread earlier and just got an email with a deal on a Oki colour laser CN3400n and thought I come back and post. It's at the direct feline place.
Toners are 110 each but last a few thousand pages rather than a few hundred for ink cartridges.