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Printer advice - inkjet/laser, wireless?

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The Duke +

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Printer advice - inkjet/laser, wireless?
Hey Everyone,

I just had some general questions on printers as I've been put in charge to buy a printer for a relative who's starting uni, and I haven't had to buy a printer in over 10 years. My relative will be doing a bit of printing but it doesn't need to be photo quality.

I'm just wondering -
- Are laser printers the way to go now? Or should I stick to inkjet?
- Are wireless printers reliable? While I can help with the initial setup, my relative isn't tech savy so I'd want something that's low maintenance and trouble-free. Anyone had any experience with a wireless printer?
- Also, do wireless printers pose any security risks to the network? I'm sure I've heard of some vulnerabilities caused by networked printers before.

I was thinking of a printer like this -
Canon Pixma MX895 Inkjet Multifunction (wireless) $159
http://www.officeworks.com.au/retail...ng-Fax/CAMX895

Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.
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NismoR31 +

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for cost of running, lasers are always significantly cheaper. Initial machine cost will be higher, esp for a colour laser. They also don't do photos that well but are great for general document printing.

Inkjets are awesome for photos (if you get a decent one).

MX895 has a fax & doesn't print on CDs. You're better off getting something like an MG5460. Cheaper to buy, newer model, has wireless & all that crap, mobile printing etc etc. Print quality is going to be pretty similar in photos. you won't tell the difference in general printing.

wireless is reliable. You can never rule out other factors like shit routers/malware infected/poorly maintained PCs & stuff causing problems. They'll cause problems with any type of connection.

Give me a budget & i can recommend some good machines
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On a uni student budget, I'd be looking at one of the cheaper usb canon inkjets, then use non genuine cartridges or refills.

Chuck the printer if/when it packs it in. Use printer sharing in windows in place of a network model to save money and allow you to buy a more disposable model printer.

A uni student isn't really going to be able to afford the big hit of toner cartridges or drum replacement - particularly on a colour laser.
Vote Quimby +

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If people are giving advice, looking for a home printer, for documents and photos, with more of the emphasis on photos. No fax needed, scanner yes. Budget anywhere from $100-$300

Thanks
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Thanks for the advice guys. For budget I was thinking up to $200, but if it needs to be more it can probably be stretched to around $350. Cost of replacements isn't too much of a concern but the less the better. The printing also doesn't need a scanner/copier but if I can get one with those features it would be more convenient.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by diarx View Post

then use non genuine cartridges or refills.

if you do this expect to replace the machine every 12 months & get no special warranty treatment (canon are very good outside of the warranty period, if you've been using genuine inks)

if your budget is only 200-350 then forget a colour laser. The only ones you'll get that cheap are going to cost 3 arms & 2 legs to run. Tiny toner capacity, expensive drums/belts with a low duty cycle.

MG5460 is the way to go
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Vote Quimby View Post

If people are giving advice, looking for a home printer, for documents and photos, with more of the emphasis on photos. No fax needed, scanner yes. Budget anywhere from $100-$300

Thanks

Canon MG6360BK can be had for ~$230-260 (RRP $269)
they do better fotoz as they have a grey cart as well as the usual bunch.

if you're really serious about printing photos you'll be spending ~$800+ on something like a Pro-100
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Yeah, but if you get a $90 printer the money you save on non genuine ink will easily pay for a new one (and then some) every 12 months. Genuine canon inks cost an arm and a leg, nevermind the fact they only half fill their cartridges.
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Seriously, unless you have a business running around photography it's actually typically cheaper to just print your photos/colour documents at a printing company and buy a monochrome laser printer if you are doing large quantities of document printing.

Monochrome lasers are way more reliable than color ones as they have 1/4 the amount of rollers so are way less likely to get paper jams.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by diarx View Post

nevermind the fact they only half fill their cartridges.

all inkjet cartridges are full carts. They only do half fills on starter toners for lower end lasers. All brands do this.

if you want to print photos, don't use generic ink. Colours are wrong, ink is shit quality so fades very fast when exposed to light & atmosphere. Genuine inks (again all brands - not singling out canon here) are all rated for 100+years now

i get where you're coming from on cost, but if you care about your output generic is not the way to go. If you're just printing out jimmy's school assignments then go for it, & replace the machine every year. Expect them to leak all over the place too.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Griggle View Post

Monochrome lasers are way more reliable than color ones as they have 1/4 the amount of rollers so are way less likely to get paper jams.

umm, no

colour lasers are pretty similar to mono. Some may have one or two more rollers but that's irrelevant to reliability. They have more toners & more drums (a requirement since you need a drum for each colour), & a transfer BELT instead of a roller like in mono machines.

depending on brand & engine design, they may have a separate drum unit with all 4 drums in one unit (brother/xerox/some others), or they may have a drum in each toner (hp/canon/some others * this is the better design imo. cheaper to run too)

paper jams are usually cause by worn out pickup rollers (all machines have these), separation pads (again, all - some use a reverse drive roller instead of a pad - better design & more durable), faulty components like drums & fusers jamming, and the one nobody ever believes until you prove it to them, PAPER. Paper absorbs moisture from the atmosphere & becomes really abrasive, so the machines fail to separate the pages & jam. Some paper is just shit & will cause problems anyway.

again, generic consumables are #1 killer of laser printers.


Spoiler:
have you worked out i fix printers for a living yet?
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Did the research on this just recently for the same purpose. If you want a straight up black and white printer for text only without the fax/scanner/whatever, I came to the conclusion that this would be the best bang-for-buck:
https://www.brother.com.au/products/...ters/hl-2270dw

You can get it from around $115 (http://www.staticice.com.au/cgi-bin/...-2270dw&spos=3)
Drum and toner replacements are decent, especially if you go no-name from ebay

Edit: this one is full duplex too to conserve paper, I'm pretty sure there is a cheaper non-duplex option if you'd prefer
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brother drums are not cheap. usually cost as much as the whole machine did to begin with
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most printers these days cost less overall than the ink supply.
best buy a cheap mono and when it dies or runs out, buys another one.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by NismoR31 View Post

brother drums are not cheap. usually cost as much as the whole machine did to begin with

True but when the price of the printer is just over a $100 bucks I don't think it's a suitable point. From the research I did the price per page of the Brother laser beat all and I did the comparisons based on genuine drum and toners.
In saying that, the non-genuine the price of a drum is ~$30 and high yield toner is ~$17; significantly less than the genuine parts.

I had a colour Canon pixma inkjet a few years ago and got sick of having to replace colour toner when I only printed black and white . Similarly, it wouldn't let you print black and white if a colour toner is out.

Next printer was an Epson multi function printer. Scanner died after a few months of use and it too used colour toner for pure black and white and wouldn't print black and white if colour toner was out . Great money making scheme but not so good for customer retention.

Brother laser printer so far is trouble free and cheap.
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inkjets all use colours to make grey shades. They also need to do cleaning cycles to keep the nozzles in the print heads from drying up. It's just how the inkjet system works. If your nozzles dry up, you get nothing on the paper & in turn will burn out the elements in the head which is permanent.

it's not some big conspiracy for oems to make more money.

not saying brother lasers are bad. The print quality is fine for everyday printing. If you put one side by side with a canon/hp/xerox you'll see the difference in quality though.

some people actually care about the environment & not filling it with another printer every 6-12 months, but the manufacturers aren't really helping this with their <$100 throwaway machines that they don't want you to fix
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Quote:

Originally Posted by NismoR31 View Post

it's not some big conspiracy for oems to make more money.

You can see how this isn't optimal for mainly b+w printing though yeah? I'm still not sold on the reasoning though. The canon printer even had a totally separate black toner on top of the CMYK toners. Why would you need to use colour to print grays? If you wanted to print pure magenta tone but not at 100% opacity you wouldn't expect other colours to be mixed in otherwise it wouldn't be magenta. Are you saying printers can't vary the intensity of a single colour from a toner? The nozzle cleaning argument holds more weight but it doesn't explain the rate at which colour toner was getting used. If that's normal then it's a massive deal breaker.

Quote:

If you put one side by side with a canon/hp/xerox you'll see the difference in quality though.

Yeah I assumed the OP was after something cheap for large quantity uni printing over quality.
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when you clean the nozzle and printer head it uses ink every time you click clean.
the head dries up if not used frequently and you need to clean it before use if it prints out all crap.

the more you clean the nozzle and head then the more ink gets used on the cleaning and not on printing
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Why repeat what Nismo said?
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fuzzy Rainbow View Post

most printers these days cost less overall than the ink supply.
best buy a cheap mono and when it dies or runs out, buys another one.

From memory this all started because the management of the Asian division of one printer manufacturer (I think it was Canon Asia but it was over a decade ago so I could be wrong) wasn't meeting their KPI's that year, so decided to sell a bunch of their printers in the Australian market undercutting their own Australian division's prices (and everyone else) by selling at near cost to simply push their sales figures up so they could get their bonuses.

As a result pretty much all the printer manufacturers in Australia had pushed their prices down to near cost to remain competitive and no-one could risk being the only company to raise their prices, so they all just gradually upped the cost of their consumables instead.

Add a decade and everyone in the industry just assume that this is the way the Australian market has always worked.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by budoo View Post

Why repeat what Nismo said?

because you didn't appear to understand it

Quote:

Originally Posted by budoo View Post

The nozzle cleaning argument holds more weight but it doesn't explain the rate at which colour toner was getting used. If that's normal then it's a massive deal breaker.

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printer companies are all fucked.

I refuse to give a cent to those pricks
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Quote:

Originally Posted by budoo View Post

You can see how this isn't optimal for mainly b+w printing though yeah? I'm still not sold on the reasoning though. The canon printer even had a totally separate black toner on top of the CMYK toners. Why would you need to use colour to print grays? If you wanted to print pure magenta tone but not at 100% opacity you wouldn't expect other colours to be mixed in otherwise it wouldn't be magenta. Are you saying printers can't vary the intensity of a single colour from a toner? The nozzle cleaning argument holds more weight but it doesn't explain the rate at which colour toner was getting used. If that's normal then it's a massive deal breaker.

FYI inkjets don't use toner, they use ink. Lasers use toner. Toner is a metallic compound that is melted onto the media. Ink is heated up and drops onto the page where it dries.

C, M & Y when mixed in the same quantities make grey & black (though printer ink black from this mix is still a dark grey). they use the 3 for shading/tone

also what you think it pure magenta is not necessarily the same magenta as in the ink cartdirge. All printers have ICC profiles for specific media types to reproduce accurate colour. They WILL use all colours to create what you see on the page.

No they actually can't vary the intensity of the colour. They just vary the density of the droplets to give the illusion of a lighter/darker shade. What you're getting at though, they still need greys to create dark shades of colours.

When they do general head cleans, all colours are cleaned (that includes blacks etc). Typically they use about 0.15ml of each ink in a standard clean. In fact that's an official volume from Brother I've pulled out of a service manual.

It's all just how inkjet/bubblejet tech WORKS. It's not a conspiracy to relieve you of your hard-earned.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fuzzy Rainbow View Post

because you didn't appear to understand it

Read it properly, I mentioned the rate at which it used the colour toner implied it was more than just nozzle cleaning. The printer did tell me when it was cleaning, it wasn't all that often relative to normal printing. So we go back to colour used in printing grays (especially given I had a separate black cartridge), it just doesn't add up.
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but yes i agree you're better off using a mono laser for general document printing. I always recommend that to everyone who doesn't want to print photos or colour. People in this thread had budgets & wanted colour, so inkjets were the only option.
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Thanks Nismo, that makes a bit of sense
Fuzzy Rainbow +

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oh. i always wondered exactly what toner was.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fuzzy Rainbow View Post

when you clean the nozzle and printer head it uses ink every time you click clean.
the head dries up if not used frequently and you need to clean it before use if it prints out all crap.

you don't need to click clean. The machine will do it anyway when certain criteria are met.

it varies between machines/manufacturers, but typically they'll do one every few days if you leave them powered on, also after a certain amount of printing has been done, and the biggest ink sucker is people turning the power off at the wall - they do a clean EVERY time after losing A/C power.
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used to have a massively old brother. the damn thing dried up so often it wasn't funny. even after the initial clean the printer does. i'd have to do like 5 cleans before i got all the colours to print properly.
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it probably had air in the ink lines & needed a stronger clean that you can only do via service mode. ie the end user can't do it

or you were using generic inks, or the print head was dying

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fuzzy Rainbow View Post

oh. i always wondered exactly what toner was.

try not to get it everywhere/touch it/eat it - it's carcinogenic
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Thanks for your help everyone. Griggle, I'll suggest that printer store/company idea to my relative. If not I'll look for that Canon MG5460
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