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Our Office Printer Run Down - What's yours?
Printer Dood Is Baaaaack.
Brett_Tabke




msg:1568441
 4:38 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)


There is little in the way of hardware that excites me these days. However, Printer Tech is one area that I find fascinating. So, I buy alot of printers ;-) Some in the last year:

HP 9110 InkJet all-in-one.
Printer Dood Rating: 8 of 10 way kewls. (lol!)
Cost: $699 + $250 for keyboard and network print server.
Verdict: we will use it till it drops or breaks - mainly as a copier, fax, and scanner.
Acquisition: Just needed a good all-in-one.

  • A very nice printer. So far, no problems.
  • Speed - well, not bad for inkjet, but I think it could be better.
  • Auto duplexing. We don't use it too often, but it is great when we do.
  • Auto Scan Doc feeder. Scans directly to a pdf and dumps it on any network machine. An awesome feature. We scan a lot of stuff that way.
  • Scan to email. A luxury item, but nifty none-the-less.
  • Optional Keyboard - a bit pricey for what you get, but a nice touch.
  • Fax in to PDF. Every fax not only prints, but gets scanned to a PDF. So, not matter what part of the world you are in, you can see your faxes online.
  • Separate ink tanks. Why do they always seem to run out at near the exact same time?

Lexmark Z816:
Printer Dood Rating: 7 of 10 way kewls.
Cost: These little babies came bundled with some systems we bought.
Verdict: we will run through the ink cartridges we have on hand, and then probably hit the dumpster with them.

  • I use it as a backup printer for little jobs or something to plug into a laptop when you need a quick print.
  • Speed is outstanding - it rips out in draft mode.
  • Print quality is as good - if not BETTER than the HP mentioned above.
  • The thing is pretty light and small.
  • Very pricey on the cartridges and I don't think they are lasting as long as they should.

Brother HL2040 Mono Laser:
Printer Dood Rating: 8 of 10 way kewls.
Cost: $75 after rebate.
Verdict: jury is still out, but looks like a winner. We ended up buying one for everyone in the office.
Acquisition: Impulse buy.

  • very fast.
  • first page out in short order - not the fastest, but not the slowest either.
  • print quality is excellent.
  • print speed is on par with lasers costing 10 times as much.

HP 1350 Inkjet
Printer Dood Rating: 1 of 10 way kewls.
Cost: $85.
Acquisition: Got these with some systems we bought and thought they would work good at conferences....wrong.
Verdict: Dumpster bound after the cartridges are gone.

  • Speed: molasses. I mean, we are talking 5 mins a page for photo quality stuff. just absurd.
  • Print quality is excellent.
  • Problems : springs popped out : printing aborts for no reason - cartridges wearing out very quickly.
  • Worst HP printers I have ever heard of, or been around.

Canon i70 Portable:
Printer Dood Rating: 6 of 10 way kewls.
Cost: $250.
Acquisition: Needed something to carry around to conferences and road trip with.
Verdict: Glad we had it to try it, but won't buy another one just yet.

  • Speed, slow.
  • Print quality. Good as other low end inkjets.
  • Features : small, light.
  • Chews through cartridges very very fast and very expensive. Most expensive print per page I have had in years.
  • Leaked ink on itself in the suitcase a few times. Not real cool to have to poly bag your printer like your shampoo.

HP 3550 Color Laser:
Printer Dood Rating: 8 of 10 way kewls.
Cost: $650.
Acquisition: Wanted color laser to do good bar code printing for name badges at conferences. (ink jet printers don't work good on that card stock). So I got one for the office too.
Verdict: cross fingers - so far - they rock.

  • Speed, excellent. They say 4 pages a minute for color, but I think it is closer to double that. B&W is near 20 pages a minute.
  • Print quality. It rocks - it's a laser already and looks like it. You forget how splotchy ink jet printing is until you see the real deal again.
  • Features : came with a print server. Other than that, I wish it was a duplexer.
  • First page out is a bit slow when the printer has been idle for awhile.

RIP2005:
HP712 - Finally threw it to the dumpster. You'll be missed. (it ran through about 50 cartridges in it's day). That's pretty good for a little ol InkJet from 99.
HP932 - It was due to go.

Thats mine - whats yours?

 

jatar_k




msg:1568442
 4:56 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

hp deskjet 5550

original cost was $240, I think it's worth about $60 now after 3 years

good printer, bullet proof, pretty easy on ink, doesn't print full colour very well but it really depends on what it is. All black or dark bg's isn't great but printing photos on photo paper is stellar.

speed is ok, probably 20 ppm black and 10 ppm colour

haven't found a reason to change it yet as it does everything I need and really if I need production quality printing, I build it and take it to a printer.

Automan Empire




msg:1568443
 5:57 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have been wondering why "they" have not gotten sheet-picking down 20 years after tractor feed went out of style! So sick of jams on new, name brand machines!
I have had no less than 4 all-in-ones die for various reasons in the last year, in a modest-volume office environment. Three were various HP models, and one was a brother. (I guess the brother and sharp faxes that lasted a month are off-topic.)
My HP business inkjet 1110 has been very satisfactory. I was ready to give up on the HP brand. I now also have an HP 1012 laser that is a dream- fast first page and PPM rates that actually approach the speed claims on the box!
I have a cheapie deskjet 3845 that has frequent paper jams, but to be fair it is in a rather harsh, dusty environment. It is slow, but was not chosen for the speed.
One last note: Box-store brand refurbished laser cartridges are $10 cheaper but $100 worse in print quality in my one bad experience.

bill




msg:1568444
 12:56 am on Dec 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

home:
HP Deskjet 5550
I agree with jatar_k, it's a tank. The ink prices on the cartridges seem to be going down as well.

office:
Fuji Xerox DocuCentre 450 I
The words "industrial office machinery" come to mind. For a printer, fax and scanner it does a decent job. It's even got a hard drive inside with a few gigs of storage for scans. It prints and collates mass quantities of documents very quickly, but unfortunately is only black and white (no color). But that's what you get for 1,480,000.

Hester




msg:1568445
 10:01 am on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

We bought an HP Color Laser Jet 2820 for the office. It's a multifunction device capable of printing in colour, black and white, scanning and making tea. (Oh, OK, not the tea bit.) You can get the next model up if you want fax too.

We've printed a ton of stuff out on it so far and the cartridges are half full, so it seems good value.

Print quality is superb.

Scanning is good, and you can go up to 1200 dpi if you need it. The software scans to PDF, but I found you can use Windows XP's built-in scanner applet to save to other formats such as TIFF.

It's networked, so we can all use it in the office.

Downside
It'll often go to sleep if not used for a few days. Sometimes trying to print or scan something just does nothing! You have to turn it off and on again.

We also couldn't scan at all when it first arrived. After some advice from HP, we had to download a patch.

There was a recent software upgrade, so I installed that. Now the icon in the taskbar corner doesn't work. (It should open the browser and display the status, including progress bars for each colour (showing toner remaining).) I got it to work another way and bookmarked the link.

Overall
Recommended, if you can afford it.

We also have a variety of desktop printers in the office. We have found the Kyocera FS1010+ to be poor, not matching the durability or print quality of the HP Laser Jet 2100. However, that has 4Mb whereas the Kyocera comes with 16Mb! But I would go for the HP every time.

There is also a problem with the Kyocera coming up as new hardware on reboot sometimes, on one machine. Once, XP lost it altogether, even though it was plugged in! We had to reinstall the drivers.

I did once have a printing spool problem with the HP - it got stuck on a large document that resulted in blank pages oozing out every time you rebooted, no matter what we did. Eventually I had to change the cable to another port!

Tips

  • Always make sure your printer is on the fastest port - USB rather than the printer port if possible. If not, invest in a converter cable!

  • Always check the printer settings to ensure the quality is set to the highest (eg: 1200 dpi not 600 if available) unless you're working in Draft/Economy mode.

  • Go into your programs as well to make sure they match your paper size. We always find Word defaults to "Letter" not "A4", which we use.
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