Looking for a reliable inkjet All-In-One printer for photos and docs

  • Thread starter yungman
  • Start date
  • #1
yungman
5,726
242
I am having a hell of a time finding a good all-in-one inkjet printer.

I must have gone through 5 Canon, 2 HP, one Brother, one Epson and two 4 X 6 photo printers in the last 7 yrs. all have all sort of problems. I don't even know where to start anymore.

my price range is $180-$400, not exactly the cheapest ones.

Mainly it's for my wife which is not exactly good in tech. most of the problem is the printers kept changing the way it operate. Must be from auto update. I cannot turn off the auto update as the computer likely doesn't like it. We just leave it alone and things just change.

The Brother is consistent so far, BUT, it is sooooo sloooooow printing pictures. The scanner is bad too, no adjustment on brightness and contrast and cropping.

The Epson is the worst, never work right from day one.

Cannon is relative good, BUT THEY BREAK DOWN!!! Gone through 5 in less than 3yrs. One even exchange under warranty.

Our old HP worked very well, lasted 20yrs. When it broke down, I should have pay even $200 to fix it. I never imagine the new ones are so bad.

I am willing to pay more if I have to, really money is not a problem as I wasted thousands by now in the last 7yrs. All of them are NOT cheap, in $200+ range, some were even more.

Thanks
 
Computer science news on Phys.org
  • #2
Liquid ink printers are like keeping an elephant as a pet. A liability, if I may say so. Ink tank printers kind-of fix the "We support ONLY Original HP/Canon/Epson cartridge" issue, but the nozzle gets clogged up. Clearing it essentially empties the ink tank.

If you don't print every day, or print mostly in greyscale, consider buying a LaserJet. Won't work for photos, but otherwise they are a lot more durable, at least from the perspective of drying up ink. Can't comment on mechanical parts though.
 
  • Like
Likes russ_watters, DaveE, yungman and 1 other person
  • #3
Wrichik Basu said:
Liquid ink printers are like keeping an elephant as a pet. A liability, if I may say so. Ink tank printers kind-of fix the "We support ONLY Original HP/Canon/Epson cartridge" issue, but the nozzle gets clogged up. Clearing it essentially empties the ink tank.

If you don't print every day, or print mostly in greyscale, consider buying a LaserJet. Won't work for photos, but otherwise they are a lot more durable, at least from the perspective of drying up ink. Can't comment on mechanical parts though.
I kind of thinking of that. the ink tank might be cheaper on the ink, my Epson is literally new and now the color is all over the place. I tried doing head cleaning, it doesn't work.

I am thinking about buying the ones with ink cartridge like the older ones. a little more, but never have wrong color problem.

you think it's a good idea to go back to ink cartridge? Wife doesn't use it everyday, but when she use it, it's urgent.

Thanks
 
  • #4
About 10 years ago I did some proof-reading/copy-editing for a book author. As part of that I bought a Canon wide-carriage, color, Ink Jet printer, that way I could print color proofs on 11x17 paper and assemble them into an 8.5x11 format.

For my everyday printer I used, and still use, an HP LaserJet printer.

Each has their strong and weak points.

The Ink Jet:
GOOD: Faster, prints color (including on photo paper), generates less heat. Third party ink cartridges are about USD $0.75 each on Amazon and Black text ink lasts roughly 60 pages of text.
POOR: If you want double sided prints you have turn over the printed sheets and reinsert them. Printing photos I seem to be always replacing the color inks, which means some photos must be reprinted when the ink runs out mid-image. Ink must dry before handling and smears if prints get wet. If not used for more than a week or so the ink dries in the print head; sometimes they can be cleaned, sometimes it's a $100 - $200 replacement. If not being used, closing the cover to keep dust out requires unloading the unprinted paper. Removing the case for internal acces/repairs is an 8-step, non-obvious, poorly documented, procedure (rarely, if ever, needed).

The LASER:
GOOD: Double sided printing. Paper tray accepts 2/3 of a ream of paper. You can ignore it for a month and it still works. Prints are waterproof. Paper supply is totally enclosed. Cartridge lasts roughly 3,000+ pages. Minor to moderate repairs are possible if you are mechanically inclined.
Refill toner is available on-line for about USD $9.00 per kG, roughly 6 refills. Cartridges are USD $20-30 on Amazon and usually good for 3-5 refills before the photo drum wears out.
POOR: Initial cost. Uses more energy (heat). Refilling cartridges is messy, toner is extremely fine powder, wear old clothes, clean work area with damp paper towels afterward.

Of course another possibility is a Color Laser printer, the drawback is the $$$ needed, although the last time I looked there were some replacement color cartridges, and toner on Amazon.

Another consideration is you may occassionally want to print on heavier card stock, where a straight-thru paper path, or at least a manual single-sheet paper feed is needed.

Whew! Long post. Hope it helps.

Cheers,
Tom
 
  • Like
Likes yungman
  • #5
yungman said:
you think it's a good idea to go back to ink cartridge?
It depends on how frequently you print. If left for some weeks, the ink will dry out. Most companies now have systems to detect if the cartridges are original or third-party. You can't refill them either as the ink info is stored on the cartridge chip. Even if you refill, the printer will reject the cartridge.
 
  • Informative
  • Like
Likes symbolipoint and yungman
  • #6
yungman said:
Cannon is relative good, BUT THEY BREAK DOWN!!! Gone through 5 in less than 3yrs. One even exchange under warranty.
I don't understand. They have a 1 year warranty. Under three years means no more than 2 could be out of warranty. That's just arithmetic.

You have chosen the wrong technology for your application. Ink jets, particularly el-cheapo ones (and "in the $200 range is el-cheapo) do not do well sitting for long periods. Also, they are not fast, another of your complaints. Color lasers are better in both of these regards, but cost closer to $500.
 
  • Like
Likes Tom.G
  • #7
Vanadium 50 said:
I don't understand. They have a 1 year warranty. Under three years means no more than 2 could be out of warranty. That's just arithmetic.

You have chosen the wrong technology for your application. Ink jets, particularly el-cheapo ones (and "in the $200 range is el-cheapo) do not do well sitting for long periods. Also, they are not fast, another of your complaints. Color lasers are better in both of these regards, but cost closer to $500.
My wife mainly print pictures and cards, I don't think laser is good enough for pictures. I don't mind paying more. All my printers are over $200, those HPs are over $300 and so is the Epson ink tank one.

I am more wanting to confirm I should go back to ink cartridge that actually have the print head. Like those older ones that the cartridges actually running back and fore.

I cannot tell my big boss to run it everyday. it's like big rush job, sit for 2 to 3 months and then want it done yesterday. My guess is ink cartridge with print head might work better for this case as when I change the cartridge, I have a new head.

Also, is it hard to clean my Epison print head. I have no idea. Should I try doing that. That's quite expensive printer and we really don't get much use.

See, the problem is big boss print so random, it usually past 1yrs warranty. Only one Canon died the first year and I got a free replacement.
 
  • #8
Wrichik Basu said:
It depends on how frequently you print. If left for some weeks, the ink will dry out. Most companies now have systems to detect if the cartridges are original or third-party. You can't refill them either as the ink info is stored on the cartridge chip. Even if you refill, the printer will reject the cartridge.
Yes and "we" here did ruin a printer using a refilled cartridge. Always use the cartridge that the printer's product literature tells you to use!

Also somewhere I recall reading that the printer should be turned on most of the time because this is good for help keeping the ink flow from being clogged. I am unsure how reliable that is.
 
  • Like
Likes yungman
  • #9
@yungman, you made mention of Canon printers. From my own personal usage experience they can be expected to be very good for at least 4 or 5 years; or longer. (and yes, ink-jet).
 
  • #10
Perhaps your problem is expecting an inkjet printer to be equally good in photograph and document printing. Note that, even with high-rank models, what counts in color prints is the software and how capable the owner is of running it. Unless, of course, your expectations from photo prints are not too high. I use a monochrome Samsung laser printer, but my photos go to a pro lab.
 
  • #12
It seems printers are hit-and-miss. For instance, I currently have had an inkjet all-in-one from HP for years in one room that's been used quite a bit and is still going strong (wireless). In the room I'm sitting in now, I have a different HP (cheaper advertised for back-to-school) all-in-one that is not reliable - especially when I first got off of the plan (to cancel having ink delivered). You were forced to use only the ink mailed to you and when I first purchased this, no one informed me of that and it would not accept the ink I put in (so it was opened already and could not be returned). So.. if you need more ink you have to wait for it to mail more to you!

Immediately after canceling.. it continually lost connectivity and I spent hours and days with customer service on reconnecting (and I do have IT experience so I am aware of how to handle printers). Over time it seems it's improved somewhat - I surmise that something was changed in the code to connect on their end because I'm certain others had the same issue.

When it loses connectivity it doesn't connect the normal, reliable way you would do so thru the operating system. For instance we sometimes lose power here and this thing almost never reconnects without me helping it along, although the one in the other room (that never offered that plan) will restart itself. Also, this printer also would eat paper like crazy so you have to be really careful with it. Overall then, the cheaper printer costs more in paper, lost ink, and my time.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #13
apostolosdt said:
my photos go to a pro lab.
That's smart.

Walmart charges 14 cents to print a 4x6. That's less than the consumables cost on low-end inkjets, which run around 20 cents.
 
  • Informative
Likes apostolosdt

Similar threads

  • Computing and Technology
Replies
5
Views
1K
  • DIY Projects
Replies
30
Views
4K
  • General Discussion
Replies
4
Views
864
  • Computing and Technology
Replies
12
Views
5K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
8
Views
3K
Replies
152
Views
5K
  • Mechanical Engineering
Replies
1
Views
3K
Replies
17
Views
7K
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Biology and Medical
Replies
33
Views
9K
Back
Top