Which new printer?


Taffycat

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My HP Photosmart 2575 All-in-one is showing its age, and basically, only works when it "wants" to these days, causing much tearing of hair and gnashing of teeth! So I'm looking for a replacement.

I still favour an all-in-one of some kind, so that we can scan/copy documents, etc., when necessary. But I am really hoping to find another printer which can match the excellent photo-quality of the old one. (A4 size is fine, we don't need to print anything larger than that - plus, we would lack the space to accommodate a much bigger printer.)

In the past, I would simply have plumped for another HP, based on the quality of photo-prints and inks. (Yes, the ink is pretty expensive, but over time, the photos we have on display, have not faded or deteriorated.) But, looking around at various reviews, HP seem to be getting a lot of very mixed reviews these days.

Their HP ENVY 7640 e-All-in-One looks a bit like an updated version of my current printer, but maybe I should be considering a different brand, such as a Canon Pixma MG7750, or Epson ET-2500? (Just random examples,) my mind is, at this stage, open to suggestions.) They are all in a pretty similar price range, but would most likely differ on whether they use individual replacement inks, or what-not.

I am not bothered about wireless printing, currently, the printer is connected via USB, and I transfer photos from my camera, via a card-reader. (Yeah, possibly considered a little clunky, lol, but hey, if it works eh..?)

If any of you happen to be using something which has similar criteria to the above; or you have a warning, about any which should be avoided, I would appreciate your views.

Thank you for reading. :thumb:
 
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nivrip

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The one thing I would say is to get one that has separate ink cartridges. Four in one cartridges waste an awful lot of ink.

I am still using an old Epson 200 series (an all in one) which does everything I need and turns out pretty good photos even with non-Epson ink cartridges, which I have always used without problems. I think the "proper" ink makers make a lot of noise about non-standard inks simply to protect their own backsides. :)
 

muckshifter

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Canon get my vote, the Pixma range give excellent print quality, however, the build quality can be disheartening. I've not had my MG3250 'fall to pieces' but it will give that impression, especially the paper trays. (it's a couple years old now)

Don't let the build quality put you off, the one you are looking at has an internal paper-loading tray, that'll make the printer feel a bit more robust, the print quality is, on the Pixma range (in MHO), second to none. :)

Separate ink cartridges is a must in a printer.


:user:
 

Taffycat

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Thanks for the replies :thumb:

I must admit to liking the looks and description of the Canon @muckshifter. It is also good to hear that you think the print quality is so good - which is really the most important thing. Also I'm feeling that it would probably be a good fit for the space we have available.

I am not at all snobby regarding compatible inks, btw, @nivrip but was totally put-off them after a very messy experience with some that I tried. They had a very bad odour and I found that the interior of the printer became covered in ink residue. It seemed to be everywhere! I daresay that things might have improved over time - or maybe I just tried the "wrong" brand - but ever since, I have just bitten the bullet and purchased the recommended inks. :nod:
 

floppybootstomp

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I'm going to be really helpful and say I don't know any printers to recommend :D Well, none for colour photo printing anyway. If you just wanted a general purpose colour printer that's economical and reliable I'd recommend the Brother HL-3140C Laser printer I'm using at the moment. Best printer I've ever owned in my opinion. But not really up there for photos.

Over the years I've owned a fair variety of printers and in my experience a good printer isn't necessarily going to be a brand, but rather a model. I've had good and bad in most makes. One of my favourites was an HP Inkjet but at the moment I have an Epson P50 for detailed colour prints including photos which I'm happy with.

But tbh the Epson hardly gets used much now, I use my wireless Brother all the time. I had used the Epson so little that when I went to use it recently the black ink print nozzle had become clogged up with dried ink, it took a little isopropyl alcohol to get it flowing again.

So to conclude I'd just say either go for a specific model somebody recommends to you or read as many reviews as you can on any printer that takes your fancy.

Another thing worth bearing in mind is whether the printer will accept third party ink cartridges. Some of these are very acceptable quality but some manufacturers configure some of their printers to only work with their own make cartridges - and that can work out expensive.

Both my Epson P50 and the Brother Laser take third party ink and toner cartridges and work fine with them. The Epson actually takes six separate ink cartridges.
 
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Taffycat

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Ooh, you have given me much food for thought there @floppybootstomp, thank you. :thumb:

I have indeed been reading quite a few review articles, and was interested to see that Epson have what they refer to as "better than photo-lab quality inks." This is very similar to HP and their "special" photo inks. Even allowing for advertising hype, we found that they produced some cracking pictures for us.

More often than not though, I find it necessary to change cartridges, when only one colour has actually been drained, so yes, most definitely time to switch to a printer which will take separates!

So to conclude I'd just say either go for a specific model somebody recommends to you or read as many reviews as you can on any printer that takes your fancy.

Good advice! I have noticed in the course of my "researches" how the models within a brand-name can vary. Some receiving glowing reviews, whilst another, identical-looking model gets the "avoid" advice, due to a particular "flaw" (for want of a better word) which (according to the article) spoils the user-experience.

I'll do a little more reading before deciding... sheesh! Canon and Epson both have so many different models!

Thanks again for taking the time to reply. I will let you know which one I decide to purchase.... after just a little more dithering, of course. (I'm a woman, it comes with the territory! :D)
 

muckshifter

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... also, the likes of Canon inks have the 'header' built-in, so every time you change the ink, you change the ink head.

:user:
 

Core

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I've been pretty happy with Canon's Pixma line of printers, too. I haven't tried their AIO models, just regular deskjets. Like @muckshifter said, the build quality can be a little here and there, I don't think these are machines you'll use for 10 years. But the print quality is great and the ink isn't horribly expensive.
 

Taffycat

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Thanks for your input @Core. I have to say that I am still very undecided right now.

What I have so far gleaned from some of the reviews I have read, is that Epson printers have a tendency to "drink" ink; whilst Canon's offerings are thought to be a tad flimsy build-wise - as you and @muckshifter mention.

The temperature at home, tends to be a pretty constant (and ink-drying) 25 deg C. So would the ink-guzzling Epson keep flowing a little longer? Or, would Canon's individual ink-heads be that much easier to clean-up? (Possibly, there is no easy answer to that one - other than to reduce the ambient temperature, which is not really an option.)

I guess that build-quality would not really be a huge disadvantage for us, because we tend to treat them with respect (if you discount a few - er - harsh words when they don't work as expected!) :)
 

muckshifter

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One of the reasons Epson's printers drank ink, especially early models, was they had to constantly 'clean' their head before printing ... you didn't get a new print head when changing inks as the print head is built-in, and this was another reason for dry-clogged-up ink heads ... not sure if that is still the case as I haven't bought an Epson since the Dot Matrix days. :)

If you get a chance, go to the like of PC World and ask for a 'demo' on the models you thinking of getting. They will have the lot.


:user:
 
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floppybootstomp

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I can confirm that my Epson P50 (now discontinued but probably about 4 years old) suffered from a clogged ink head when I didn't use it for about 6 months. But as mentioned in a previous post a few drops of isopropyl alcohol followed by the printer's 'clean' program and a test page sorted the problem.

It is, however, a problem that Epson printer owners could do without.

To counter that, again as mentioned earlier, I use third party ink cartridges - all 6 of 'em - which give the same quality as Epson ink cartridges and cost less than a quarter as much. I buy mine from an online media supplier named SVP but there are dozens of similar suppliers out there.

My P50 also prints blank CD's and DVD's, I've used that function a few times, it works ok.

I went for the Epson at the time based on reviews and my main concern was print quality because at the time I wanted a machine whose sole use would be to print photographs. But nowadays I don't print many photos and the printer suffered a clogged head as a result.

Swings and roundabouts...... ;)
 

Taffycat

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But as mentioned in a previous post a few drops of isopropyl alcohol followed by the printer's 'clean' program and a test page sorted the problem.
@floppybootstomp - do you mind if I ask where you buy your isopropyl alcohol please? Whenever I have asked around here, I get some very strange looks. Don't know if they think I'm going to wrap it in a brown paper bag and hang out in a shop doorway or something! :eek: :lol:
 

muckshifter

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you cannot 'buy' isopropyl alcohol over the counter anymore, it's a banned substance ... and you'll need to look for 'rubbing' alcohol to find isopropyl alcohol @ 70% usually on the tinternet.

has something to do with the fact that, err, 'people' were drinking it. :rolleyes:

Just use Vodka :nod:
 

floppybootstomp

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I buy my isopropyl alcohol from RS Components Ltd but you do need a trade account with them to use their services. That's not a problem, just make up a company name and apply for an account 'Taffy's Wizzo Computers' or summat ;) A Link

It can also be purchased across the counter from well-stocked pharmacists providing you can convince them you're not a mether and want to get (literally) blind drunk on the stuff. Just tell them you want it to clean electronic equipment.

I don't know the legal position but I've never had any probs purchasing from a pharmacist. It's also available on Ebay and Amazon I believe.

At a pinch methylated spirits will do the job but the alcohol leaves no residue whereas meths does leave a tiny residue. I use both liquids for different jobs, meths is better at cleaning heavily soiled electronics. Other uses include tape recorder heads; CD lenses; battery terminal connections, smoke and heat detector bayonet fittings etc.
 
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Taffycat

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Ahhh thank you again for your replies @muckshifter and @floppybootstomp!

I've just ordered some IPA from Amazon, which should save our local chemists from getting into a tizz! It is going to be very handy for lots of little clean-up tasks around - er - "Taffy's Wizzo Computers!" I'll be prepared for any little ink-clogs and can "practice" on the old printer meanwhile. (It's not going to influence my decision to get a new one, of course, because as mentioned in my OP, it has become very problematical over time, unlike its predecessor.) :thumb:
 
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Thanks for the replies :thumb:

I must admit to liking the looks and description of the Canon @muckshifter. It is also good to hear that you think the print quality is so good - which is really the most important thing. Also I'm feeling that it would probably be a good fit for the space we have available.

I am not at all snobby regarding compatible inks, btw, @nivrip but was totally put-off them after a very messy experience with some that I tried. They had a very bad odour and I found that the interior of the printer became covered in ink residue. It seemed to be everywhere! I daresay that things might have improved over time - or maybe I just tried the "wrong" brand - but ever since, I have just bitten the bullet and purchased the recommended inks. :nod:
I have just purchased a Epson Workforce WF-7610 to replace my XP-102 and it is really great. I needed an A5 scanner and got with extra inks and paper with a 3 year warranty for under £250
 

Taffycat

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I have just purchased a Epson Workforce WF-7610 to replace my XP-102 and it is really great. I needed an A5 scanner and got with extra inks and paper with a 3 year warranty for under £250
Thank you for your recommendation @abertillery, I appreciate your reply.

That does indeed look an awesome printer (and only £130 in Amazon.) But unfortunately, I think the footprint of this one, would be a bit too large for the (limited) space we have available here.

Epson certainly have a lot of very attractive "bells and whistles" and although I'm still dithering, I am leaning a little more into the Epson camp I think. :thumb:
 
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