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  1. #1
    Elite Member Sigarms's Avatar
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    Default Ink or Laser Printer?

    We have an old HP ink printer that may be on it's last leg (about 7 years old or so).

    Top it off, the number 15 black ink is up to $55 for a twin pack, and the number 23 color cartridge is up to $35 for a single.

    My wife works out of the house, and I have an office downstairs, so we use the printer on a regular basis for both work and other endevors.

    I'll end up printing technical documents, sometimes 100 pages or so, usually in black and white, and some "sales stuff" for presentation and handouts. My wife is a programmer for a company out of the state we reside in, so she ends up printing a bunch of documents as well. We also use the color a lot for pictures of animals for the humane society, so all in all, we probably go through in a months time a twin pack of black, and a single pack of color. This has been adding up a lot to a lot of dollars the previous year ink wise, and I'm going to start to look for another printer.

    Ink or laser?

    Stopping in at an office supply store, talked with a sales guy who mentioned that ink was still a good way to go. This sales guy actually seemed well informed. however, have a co worker that has a laser printer and he loves it.

    I'm a little perplexed.

    Can anyone give me the "in's and out's" of printers and which direction I want to lean to?

    Price is not a huge factor, however, if I don't need to spend $700 or so on a printer, why spend that much? However, I don't want to spend $200 and get something that becomes "outdated" to quick and I get put back into this "ink crunch" or find out that I could of had other options available for a little more money.

    1. Color printing a must

    2. Would like something "quick" to print off documents

    3. Would love for the printer to print on both sides of the paper so I don't have to "re feed" the printer like I currently have to.

    4. Would like something that uses cheap ink on a regular basis (if that even exists).

    5. Doesn't need to be a fax machine

    6. Very little "high quality" paper for home color pictures is used.

    Thanks!
    Just because you can't do everything, doesn't mean that you have to chose to do nothing.

  2. #2
    Advertiser kennyd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ink or Laser Printer?

    I gave up on ink years ago...just to expensive in the long run-but I don't need color either.

    The newer color laser's are attractive but still costly. One thing to be careful of is all the new printers (ink or laser) come with "starter" cartridges that are usually only 1/4 to 1/2 capacity of a new one, so whatever you decide you will be buying replacements soon!

    IF I needed color occasionally, I think I would but a ink-but just use it when I needed a color document. 99% of the time all you need is B/W and the laser is very economical for that.
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  3. #3
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ink or Laser Printer?

    I picked up a Brother Color Laser Printer from Tiger Direct a year ago.It cost right around $400 on sale (went to $489 after the sales). Here's a link to it.

    Great printer, but don't expect photo quality prints. However, it has all the other features you're looking for, including duplex (both sides of the paper) printing and wireless connectivity (which I don't use, but it's a nice feature). It can also print directly from a thumb (USB) drive.

    The cartridges (this one holds 4 or 5) are about $65, but last a long time (2500 pages or so).

    Doubt I'd ever buy another inkjet printer. This is the second Brother laser printer I've had. First one was B&W. It still works great, but I wanted a color printer.
    Roy Jackson

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  4. #4
    Super Star Member
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    Default Re: Ink or Laser Printer?

    I would recommend a printer similar to the Canon MP830 my parents have a older MP830 and say that the ink is about the cost of laser... instead of having the nozzle on the ink cartrige it is in the printer and you just get a ink tank (Like this, ~20 for a set of color tanks) the ink tanks last longer than the cartridges did as they hold more ink...
    <edit(add)>
    IIRC this printer does print both sides of the page, however it only scans one side. it does do photo quality prints and works well with photo paper, for normal use we leave it in "Black and white Fast Draft" mode, it does a decent job and uses less ink (and in B&W mode it only uses black ink).
    </edit>
    Just my $0.02


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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Ink or Laser Printer?

    Would almost think you need both. If you think ink is expensive, price some toner. For laser, Brother makes good durable monochrome and the toner is relatively cheap. Have used he MFC series (have one, used one for Little League - very heavy use for years, and MIL has one). Good quality, and toner comes in plastic tube, so it's only like $30, unlike the expensive cartidges in other brands.

    For color and pictures - still think ink is the way to go unless you go very high end color laser.

    As far as double sided - I assume you want one that "automatically" prints both sides (not one that will print the one side and then you re-feed the entire stack for it to complete the other side). Again, somewhat high end there - office type printers.

    Just some thoughts....

    -Eric
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  6. #6
    Super Star Member
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    Default Re: Ink or Laser Printer?

    For your needs, I'd get a b/w laser with the duplex option and a color inkjet. No matter the vendor, supplies will be costly, i.e., cheap ink doesn't exist. I've always had good luck with HP products.

  7. #7
    Elite Member Sigarms's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ink or Laser Printer?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikePA
    For your needs, I'd get a b/w laser with the duplex option and a color inkjet. No matter the vendor, supplies will be costly, i.e., cheap ink doesn't exist. I've always had good luck with HP products.
    I'm given to the fact that cheap ink does not exist, however, it seems that once a model of printer that uses a speciffic ink goes "by the wayside", that particular ink goes up in cost due to supply and demand.

    I'm figuring we go through no more than 1000 prints a month, about 30% of that for color prints.

    Heck, the office box stores wants .80 for one print of 8"x11" in color, no matter how much color you use in that print. Do a couple hundred color prints at the office box store, and that adds up quicker than the current high priced ink cartridges I buy.

    I do notice a difference in cost in the ink however. Seems my #15 (black) and #23 (color) is one of the most expensive cartridges out there.

    I appreciate the comments guy, but I'm sort of scratching my head a little more.

    I'll need decent color photo prints. Fact is, we've noticed that once we got a decent camera to take pics of animals, more people we're interested in them due to the quality of photo. Same token, when we print a photo up, like the quality to be just as good for the same reason.
    Just because you can't do everything, doesn't mean that you have to chose to do nothing.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Ink or Laser Printer?

    Our church office has a large HP b/w laser (4600dn) for large print jobs and an HP color laser (2600dn) for brochures. That's another way to go instead of the inkjet.

    We do someting similar at work. Numerous, fast HP or Lexmark b/w lasers and fewer, color lasers.

  9. #9
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ink or Laser Printer?

    You also need to look into sourcing this type of printing to a professional...for professional quality results. You might try Kinko's or Print-O-Stat, for example.
    If this work is for a business, this kind of thing is a deductable business expense.
    Roy Jackson

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Ink or Laser Printer?

    Years ago I was searching for a really good laser printer and after reading all the reviews I bought the best one in my price range, a NEC. What I didn't know was that it wasn't going to become a commercial success and now toner refils are uneconomical.
    I should have gone with the HP laser jet III which, though of lower quality, survived.
    If you buy a laser printer, make sure that it's a popular brand and check the availability of toner from several vendors. then buy a couple large capacity refills for spares. They tell you that toner lasts only three years, but mine is ten years old (I bought three refills with the printer).
    When my NEC printer runs out of toner, I'll have to junk it.
    Eastern PA -JD2320 w/R4; 200CX w/61" bucket & Markham toothbar or JD adj forks; 46BH w/16", Imatch, ballast box & York rake-blade-scarifer, 54" front plow and trailer receiver. Case 580K w/fel+bh, mule 610XC

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