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Old 02-16-2012, 09:38 PM   #1
dgoddard
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What Printer to Buy Now


########### Basic System Data -- question follows ###############
Computer:
Dell Studio 1535 Laptop

Ubuntu
release 10.04 (lucid)
Kernel Linux 2.6.32-35-generic-pae
Gnome 2.30.2

memory 3.9 GiB
Processor 0: Intel Cor 2 Duo CPU T5750 @ 2.00 GHz
Processor 1: Intel Cor 2 Duo CPU T5750 @ 2.00 GHz

System Status
Available disk space 191.2 GiB

##############Begin Question ####################

-------------What I need is
A Scanner/color Printer to go with the above system.
But I need one that
-- does not rip me off on ink (or toner) costs after I have it.
-- does a decent job on color photographs (does not have to be super with photographs. 3 ink colors should suffice.
-- Colors that do not have serious fade problems are preferred

--------------- Other desirable features
-- Easy access to printer driver software
-- Printer driver software that I can keep handy without further recourse to the internet

--------------- What I don't like but might reconsider.
-- Hewlett Packard. That company pioneered or was at least an early pioneer of sabotaged ink & toner cartridges to force customers to have to buy expensive supplies. Why would I want to deal with a company like that ever !?

Used is OK if I can get a really good deal but I am thinking a new printer here.
 
Old 02-17-2012, 08:49 AM   #2
NyteOwl
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HP are actually pretty decent and probably the most supported brand in Linux. Lexmark I have found to be far more "predatory" when it comes to ink. The truth is that ALL manufacturers do this as ink sales constitute a continuing revenue stream.

My first recommendation would have been HP but since you discounted that I'll leave it to others. I have an Epson that works fine under Linux but it is a much older model and isn't available anymore.

Last edited by NyteOwl; 02-17-2012 at 08:50 AM.
 
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:12 AM   #3
H_TeXMeX_H
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I agree with NyteOwl. I would get HP. Don't worry about them ripping you off on the ink or toner, all companies do that from what I see (Lexmark being the worst at it). Never get a Lexmark for Linux, because they don't have any drivers (with rare exceptions of crappy drivers).

I also have an Epson and it works well, but is a bit slow and quality is not the best. Epson makes disposable printers, so you can expect cheap but lower quality.
 
Old 02-17-2012, 09:22 AM   #4
kuser:)
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The question is: does whatever you are trying to do require a printer and a scanner?
 
Old 02-17-2012, 09:22 AM   #5
Larry Webb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NyteOwl View Post
My first recommendation would have been HP but since you discounted that I'll leave it to others..
I agree with NyteOwl, you should reconsider HP. I think all of them have the 'use my ink only' except for the commercial units. HP goes the extra step to make their printers and scanners work with linux. Some of the last reports I have read say that HP ink in their office jet printers is cheaper per copy than others.
 
Old 02-17-2012, 10:52 AM   #6
DavidMcCann
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You need to look for the best buy when getting ink. I got my HP ink from Amazon at about half what a local shop was charging.
 
Old 02-17-2012, 04:06 PM   #7
dgoddard
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More Input, What Printer to Buy Now

Kuser I believe your comment is the most basic so I will address that first.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KUSER
The question is: does whatever you are trying to do require a printer and a scanner?
Absolutely, I have persistent need to reduce hard copies of text and image to electronic format. Likewise I have some need to make hard copies, though most are black and white. I have to be careful because color cartridges can go bad if they are not used often enough. Although I would prefer to have the space saving aspect of a printer and scanner in one unit. Having separate units would suffice, and that does offer certain advantages in case one unit fails.

#######################

The rest of you seem to be advising me to go with HP. Over several years I have gone through a couple of HP's that suffered hardware failure impractal to fix. Ironically there seems to be a concensus that Lexmark it the pits, but at the present my only printing and scanning capability is a Lexmark X 1185 unit hooked up to an old salvaged Win2k box, which I access by sliding over to it and back with my flash drive in hand. What a bloody pain! But the old Lexmark keeps chugging along and I have lost count of how many times I have refilled the black ink cartridge. However refilling the color cartridge seems to be utterly hopeless! If I could get a Linux driver for it I would try keeping it going. But I fully agree that they are ridiculous about ink price, although if they have a sabotage feature in cartridges for this model I am not aware of it.

######################

So then if I relent and consider HP and what I need is a basic scanner e.g. (1200 dpi, would suffice) and a basic color printer with the lowest practical ink/toner cost
A.
Can you recommend
-- a suitable printer
-- a suitable scanner
-- a suitable combined unit
B.
Can you recommend a source for the options in A.
C.
What do I have to do to get the necessary driving software that will allow me to use the majority of the features.

My usage pattern is:
a.
To scan images in to save as separate files for editing in Gimp and for embedding into files produced by other applications usually after editing.
b.
To produce hard copy of documents for distribution to others or notes for speaking engagements
c.
Produce hard copy images to be distributed to others at meetings.

My wife prefers "dead tree" photo albums, but for those we usually go to a photo print machine that reads jpg and other file formats to get an archival grade glossy print.

Should any of the printer options happen to be reasonable to transport, Setting up my own print capability in my motel room would be more reliable than my experience with motel "business centers" when I attend annual and regional meetings.
 
Old 02-17-2012, 09:41 PM   #8
frankbell
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I also have had great luck with HP. I've had no problem setting up my HP on Debian, Slackware, Ubuntu, Fedora, or CentOS in VirtualBox.

When I bought my Officejet Pro L7680, the "nano" ink technology was touted; it may no longer be touted, but it was a real thing.

The ink cartridges cost a little bit more than the cartridges for the Epson and Lexmark I use to have, but last four or five times longer. I went from using a set of cartridges a week (I was doing a lot of printing when I bought it) to using a set of cartridges a month.
 
Old 02-18-2012, 10:01 AM   #9
kuser:)
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dgoddard, the people you want to give handouts to: are they your co-workers, or your customers, or business partners?
What's your country? That could make helping you a bit easier.

As a warning: this post might be outdated because I'm not up-to-date with the current hardware solutions.

If they are your co-workers, you probably don't need to worry as much about the quality, as you should with customers and business partners.
So as far as your co-workers, why not skip all the printing, and just focus on scanning, editing, and then using either email, or file-sharing tools (SAMBA etc.).

If they are customers, or business partners, you either should know what tools they're using, or offer them a solution, that will be the most compatible with their tools.
The more you'll know about them, the more accurate your spendings will be.

Printing is more expensive than copying (printers versus copy machines), so it's better to print one copy, and then multiply it using a copy-machine, then it is to print all the copies,
especially if most documents are black and white. If you could scan the documents, and then transform them from color into black and white, that would make things easier too. But again, depending on the targeted audience, and on the type of your business, they might prefer color copies, so you have to decide.
So, wherever you can, use dithering, gradients of black color, and patterns, and use a copy machine.

Maybe you can rent some of the equipment, that you would otherwise have to buy for a high price?
For example if you want to make a slideshow presentation using Open Office, you might want to rent a projector, as those can be pretty expensive.
If quality is less important, you could use the old way:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transpa...8projection%29

Did you think about video conferencing? How about the classroom style: what the lecturer has on the screen, is also displayed on the other screens in the room.

It pretty much all depends on what you have, and what they have, and on how to optimally meet the two sides.

From my experience, the last option, in your point A (scanner-printer in one device), is the most expensive to use in the long run, but it's convenient.

As far as ink printers, one of the major differences are the printheads.
Depending on the printer's make/brand and model, the printheads go together with the ink cartridge, or are built-in the printer, and you just replace or refill the ink container.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each solution.
If the printheads go together with the ink cartridge, you get new printheads every time you replace the cartridge (convenient), but it's more expensive.
On the other hand, if they are built-in, and you just replace the ink container, you will have to clean the printheads sooner or later, depending on how you're using the printer, and that can be pretty expensive (unless you get to know how to do it).

As far as B, try newegg.com, but there are others. Search the internet for the best online computer hardware stores in your country/area.
Advice: always look at other things besides the price itself: warranty, other conditions such as return policies, RMA (Returned Materials/Merchandise Authorization) etc.

One of the most important things in scanners is the optical (hardware) resolution (versus interpolated, which is "software-simulated").

Last edited by kuser:); 02-18-2012 at 10:46 AM.
 
Old 02-18-2012, 12:03 PM   #10
EDDY1
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Hp has been the best printer for me in debian especially since all I have to do is plug it in & print. They only time I had a problem with my printer was when I first started with linux(Debian Lenny) & "thought" I had to set it up, which all I had to do was press the File button on top of the page & select Print.
 
Old 02-18-2012, 01:28 PM   #11
Roken
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I recently bought a HP OfficeJet 4500 (Wireless version) and couldn't be happier with it. Quality is decent, and works flawlessly with hplip (even wirelessly). Not too expensive, either.
 
Old 02-18-2012, 04:33 PM   #12
Tresmai1894
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I would not even consider anything but HP as that is all I have ever used easily (i.e., plug and play) and successfully with Linux. I did get a Canon Pixma 500 something all in one to work with Ubuntu and Mandriva and a few other distros but the ink cost made photo printing and even basic every day printing prohibitive. I currently have an HP 6L that even works with a parallel to USB cable. Try that with any other printer brand and let me know how you fare. I also have an HP 3050A all in one - scanner, copier, printer. I have only had it a month and had a weird issue with an Out of Paper error that was easily resolved. Other than that, the ink has not yet run out, and I use it every day. I don't print photos on it because it just isn't cost effective in my opinion. Scanner works flawlessly with XSANE even with my sometimes cranky Debian set-up - my fault because I mix my repos probably. It even has wireless capability which I do not use because my wireless card is a piece of junk - but for most set-ups - wireless does work especially with some of the more user-friendly distros like Ubuntu and MEPIS. Plus, the printer is only $79 at most locations Best Buy, Target here in the US. So, that is my 2 cents for whatever it is worth.
 
Old 02-18-2012, 08:37 PM   #13
dgoddard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuser:) View Post
dgoddard, the people you want to give handouts to: are they your co-workers, or your customers, or business partners?
Work group members oriented toward social issues, all but one deficient in computers a woman who does windows only. and her abilities are fairly specific. Hard copy at regional or national meetings is a must and often need to be generated at the meeting site. I have no control over meeting schedule time and place. I am the "technology leader" in the group (one eyed king in the land of the blind)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuser:) View Post
What's your country?
U.S.A

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuser:) View Post
you ... should know what tools they're using
Pencil and paper, copy machine, limited capability with word processor maybe. Pretty much RETRO!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuser:) View Post
Printing is more expensive than copying
Yep, I do that it does not come out of my budget that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuser:) View Post
you could . transform them from color into black and white,
I do that all the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuser:) View Post
they might prefer color copies,
Yes, expecially in photo identity of persons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuser:) View Post
Maybe you can rent some of the equipment
Rarely it is available but also rarely needed beyond having my own printing needs. High quality photos are sometimes needed but then I go find a photo machine at Walgreens or Walmart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuser:) View Post
Did you think about video conferencing?
Not an option, management wants real face to face interaction at these meetings including certain social activities to wide spread participants get to know each other personally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuser:) View Post
From my experience.....(scanner-printer in one device), is the most expensive to use in the long run, but it's convenient.
Concur

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuser:) View Post
As far as B, try newegg.com
Thanks I will explore that.
 
Old 02-18-2012, 09:19 PM   #14
dgoddard
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Can it scan from books

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roken View Post
I recently bought a HP OfficeJet 4500 (Wireless version) and couldn't be happier with it. Quality is decent, and works flawlessly with hplip (even wirelessly). Not too expensive, either.
I looked at that and apparantly it has a page feeder for the originals, However I very often need to scan a page from a book to get an image or diagram. Will it accommodate that need without having to cut the book up? Half or more of what I scan needs to be done this way.
 
Old 02-19-2012, 03:35 AM   #15
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I recommend an all-in-one printer, they have embedded flatbed scanners, which are more versatile than the feeder ones:
http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/sh...sort=top_rated

Also, check here for support:
http://www.openprinting.org/printers/manufacturer/HP

Not all printers are listed there, but series should work if listed.
 
  


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