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Let the Debate begin
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6,378 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I want to buy a reliable printer that's easy to set up, easy to use,
that I can use with my smart phone, (android)Samsung Note 9,
and my wife can use with hers (Apple). 8 +

I read that if you don't use inkjet printers very often they will
have problems because of it. Maybe that's why my old one
has problems.

I am open to either color or monochrome.

Being able to copy with it would be a plus
but its not important.

I am leaning towards getting a Brother laser
Printer because of good reviews and a good
rating on Consumer Reports. But the bad
reviews and the one that caught fire got me
to start this thread.

Want to keep the price under $200 because
I don't use a printer very often, but miss
having one.

I didn't do a search on this forum because new
printers come out all the time.

I am open to all suggestions from $20 to
$200 as long as its a great value.

Printing speed is not important as long
as it finishes eventually. :D:

Picture quality is not important.

I would probably average about
5 pages a month.

Its not that I don't want a fast
printer that prints pictures well,
I just hate calling tech support.

I almost bought an Epson Ecotank
but Consumer Reports rated them
unreliable. Amazon gave it great
average reviews.

I do realize I can get a lemon of
what ever.

Does anyone make one for the
US that's not made in China?
 

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Come and Take Them!
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There are dozens of all-in-ones under $200 that will do all you need to do. Print, scan, fax, or copy, including photo quality prints, and wireless connectivity. The cheapest is not always the best deal. The companies, essentially, give away the printers, and make their money on cartridge sales. The cheaper printers use small capacity cartridges that overall increase your ink costs.

I have been partial to HP products, as they have been reasonably reliable, and good customer service. Cartridges are expensive, but a little search time on Google will net genuine cartridges at about 1/2 of retail. Most all my printer problems with them stemmed from using reman, or refilled cartridges. I had one printer that the photo quality was out of register, and they sent me a new printer.
 

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As a stand-alone device I would say laser printer. When printing text, it is fastest and good quality and paper isn't damp when it comes out of the printer.

Cheapest in the long run is just monochrome laser that prints like 2000 pages with one cartridge.

Color lasers are more expensive, but that does not really matter either because you don't print that much. Print quality is usually excellent except photos, inkjet printers are still better at those. Photo quality is something you would see in newspaper or magazines.

If you choose laser, it doesn't really matter what brand you buy if you don't print that much. Few thousand pages a month, then reliability comes in.

Then there is the X-factor:
HP Instant Ink. It is a service with monthly bill that reflects how much you print every month. The kicker is, there is a FREE plan for those who print less than 15 pages monthly. If you print more than 15 pages, they will bump you up to the next class that costs something and you cannot get back from there. Because the thing is, those 15 free pages can be full page photographs that use a whole lot of ink.

Well, at least here the 50 pages max. is only 2.99€ month so that's not bad.
100 pages 4.99€ and 300 pages 9.99€. These prices include ink cartridges, if you are running low, they will automatically ship you new ones for free.

Obviously internet connection every now and then is required to keep track of printing and ink usage so it is not 100% offline compatible.

As an example one dealer here lists 9 different printers being Instant Ink compatible, they range from 49.95 to 319€, latter being large printer/scanner office machine.

I've seen the cheapest being sold on sale for 19.90€. I almost bought one just for fun (and the free subscription). I have a b/w HP laserjet 2055DN that's roughly a decade old now, I'm still on the first cartridge. That has served all my printing needs for years (I got it for free as it was out of warranty but hardly used). I don't have color print capability.
 

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Most all my printer problems with them stemmed from using reman, or refilled cartridges.
Only cheap on cartridges, if you aren't the one who has to vacuum and blow the damn thing clean when a cartridge leaks in. Not a warranty issue, btw...

I've had to do that a few times. Not fun and messy as heck.
 

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Wile E Coyote, Genius.
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LOL, I have a whole stack of printers that I got fed up with, unplugged and put a new one in. right now downstairs I have an HP Envy 4500 that has been doing really well. Works from all my devices on the wifi, and some other printer upstairs that seems to need a new ink cartridge every time I want to print something. ;)

Then there is a table upstairs with a bunch of old printers on it waiting for me to care enough to throw them out. .

I have started buying cheap cartridges on line and they seem to be working better than the originals.

Cheap ink cartridges online I have been using is:
www.CompAndSave.com

I tried to find the printer for sale, but it is discontinued and the remaining new one's price has gone through the roof. Like $230!
Probably a new model that is in the $60-70 range
 

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I print 10,000 pages at least a year for my business and most are shipping labels that take up half a page. I have found using the cheap canon mg2522 from Walmart for 35 dollars was the cheapest option for me. Downside I do go through 2 every year. I only have this problem because if the issue can not be solved in 5 minutes it gets tossed and I pull a replacement from storage. But I can drill a hole into the black ink cartridge and inject more ink into it. I bought a bottle of black ink for 8 dollars which last a year for me. I have not bought a replacement ink cartridge in 3 years. Going this route saves me hundreds each year.

I am convinced printers are designed to fail and have a short shelf life so buying a 200 dollar printer seems nuts.
 

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I only use Laser, for normal printing looks more Professional. Black only is the cheapest way to go. I have a cheap Black Laser and I have a Cannon Multi-Use Color Laser Best Printer for everyday use I have ever owned. I also have a High-End Photo Printer, using Right Paper and Ink when its done you think it was done, Professional.
 
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Let the Debate begin
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Discussion Starter #8
I really appreciate all your opinions :thumb:

I got started looking for another printer when I was
walking through Walmart and saw one on sale for about
$20 that had wireless printing so I thought maybe I should
start researching them.

My last printer was an HP, which I have never been happy
with. That does not mean I will never buy another HP because
I am on a HP computer right now which is the best Window's
computer I have had in 20 years.

I considered buying the Epson EcoTank ET-2720 because I
always thought the print cartridges were over priced on
other printers but don't want to sink that much into a
Printer if it won't be reliable. Plus I don't print enough
pages to justify the price up front.
 

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Had a color laser, was way too much money for toner replacement at the time >$400.

Then I used to refill my color inkjet it worked good and was cheap. With the inkjets I found they did dry up and clog if I didn't use it. Also if I used a highlighter it would smear the text. Not sure if it was the refill ink or not.

Eventually I just got a brother multi-function laser (black only) and couldn't be happier. Check the cost on the toner cartridge and pages they can print. Keep a spare on hand in case your model is discontinued. I think I went with brother because their cartridge was used in several of their printers and everyone had them in stock.

Printing in color was nice for my spreadsheets, now I just select colors that work in grey scale. Built in wifi allows all my laptops to print from any room in the house. Scanning and copying documents is the main thing I use it for now

I never install any of the extra software they offer. Just the basics to use the scanner and printer.
 

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I know a thing or two about printers having managed deployment of HP / Canon / Ricoh printers for 3 BUs where I work. In general:

- I have only 1 HP printer at home. An OLD Laserjet 6MP that has been absolutely bullet proof. With the addition of a JetDirect, it is on the network and works with our Win10 PCs
- I had an HP 1300 series color laserjet. Junk! Started to print vertical lines on the paper after only a couple thousand prints. Multiple efforts to clean per HP never solved to problem. I junked it.
- personal printer in my office at home is a Brother HL-5470DW. Talk about rock solid quality printing.
- Low end HP ink jet printers for the home consumer market are junk. HP should consider giving them away. They make their money on the ink.
- Low end HP laser printers for the home consumer market are only a little better

My personal preference for the home market is Brother, Canon, Epson. Ricoh may even have a home office unit but it will be pricier. For just a general all-around laser printer, look to the Brother or Epson. If you need multifunction capability, both have an offering.
 

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I'm an IT guy, so I've done 100s of printer installations. Brother makes really nice laser printers. If you aren't going to use them much, they will last years and years. Their inkjets are okay, but I don't like them as much as their laser printers.

We generally recommend HP for inkjets, but some models have been better than others. While on the topic of HP, their Pro line of laser printers are good, but more expensive than your budget.

Now, about HP Instant Ink (and I think Brother now has something similar). It is a giant ripoff. It's pretty much just like the contracts businesses have for their copy machines. You get a certain allowed number of pages each month, go over that, and you get charged for each page past your allotment. It's worse of a deal than the copy machines, though, because the typical printer doesn't cost as much as a car and the Instant Ink program doesn't cover any repairs or maintenance that your printer may need. The pricing is ludicrous when you consider that you have to pay someone for the "privilege" to use your own printer. To make it worse, if you don't have (or lose) an internet connection, the printer will not allow you to print at all.

What you heard about inkjets is generally true. If you don't use them much, eventually the cartridges will go bad. Sometimes, changing out the cartridge is enough to resolve the problem, but some models have ink delivery systems built in to the printer that get clogged and basically turn the printer into junk.

Laser printers usually don't have this problem, but I've encountered some that have leaky toners. Almost always, this is due to using recycled/remanufactured toner cartridges, but I've seen some factory ones leak (usually color laser printers, come to think of it).
 

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Isaiah 41:10, Acts 5:29
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Since you don't print very much, ink will clog, dry.... so a laser will work better for you. If possible, get wireless so you don't have to have cables. A printer that will work with bothe cable and wireless would be even better.

I've had an el-cheapo B&W HP laser printer for over 20 years and put tens of thousands of pages through it. All I've done is change cartridges, dust it, and occasionally blown compressed air around the inside. The fuser's still good, although it's probably on its last legs, and by its rated life, it should have worn out b'zillions of copies ago. $99 then, and I've seen the current equivalent model for $59 at MicroCenter.

I haven't needed to buy any cartridges for awhile, but I got cartridges from i-Market and never had a problem with leakage, etc. Even after moving them hundreds of miles in a rental truck :)

Once, I bought an emergency cartridge from Cartridge World and it had leaked before I opened the package :eek: It went right back for a refund.
 

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Now, about HP Instant Ink (and I think Brother now has something similar). It is a giant ripoff. It's pretty much just like the contracts businesses have for their copy machines. You get a certain allowed number of pages each month, go over that, and you get charged for each page past your allotment. It's worse of a deal than the copy machines, though, because the typical printer doesn't cost as much as a car and the Instant Ink program doesn't cover any repairs or maintenance that your printer may need.
I would probably average about 5 pages a month.
The whole point is to use the free offer, those paid options are useful in my opinion only if user prints a lot of pictures (thus receives a lot of free ink cartriges).

https://www8.hp.com/us/en/printers/instant-ink.html#&pd1=3

"6. $0 Plan: The free printing plan allows you to print 15 pages per month at no cost (paper not included) for the life of your printer. Additional pages are excluded and will be charged to customer credit/debit card at the end of the month at a rate of $1 per each additional set of 10 pages (Customer to be charged $1 for each set even if customer doesn’t use entire set)."

https://www.walmart.com/c/kp/hp-wireless-printers

Deskjet 2652 $39
Deskjet 2640 $24
Envy Photo 6222 $49

At those prices, I'd consider printer to be disposable if it breaks down after warranty period.
 

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Wile E Coyote, Genius.
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Since you don't print very much, ink will clog, dry.... so a laser will work better for you. If possible, get wireless so you don't have to have cables. A printer that will work with bothe cable and wireless would be even better.

I've had an el-cheapo B&W HP laser printer for over 20 years and put tens of thousands of pages through it. All I've done is change cartridges, dust it, and occasionally blown compressed air around the inside. The fuser's still good, although it's probably on its last legs, and by its rated life, it should have worn out b'zillions of copies ago. $99 then, and I've seen the current equivalent model for $59 at MicroCenter.

I haven't needed to buy any cartridges for awhile, but I got cartridges from i-Market and never had a problem with leakage, etc. Even after moving them hundreds of miles in a rental truck :)

Once, I bought an emergency cartridge from Cartridge World and it had leaked before I opened the package :eek: It went right back for a refund.
Do you have a link?
How much are the toner cartridges?

I had no idea you could get them that cheap.

I found this, but more money
https://www.staples.com/brother-mfc...pYDlMZJoGOaqvjsf-TvA7PcekRzODwuRoCdroQAvD_BwE
 

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Inkjets are specifically designed to fail or require you to buy more ink. Even when you print black and white it will still mix in a little of the color inks with the black. This is to prevent you from printing if you run out of ANY color. The hardware is cheap on purpose.

Spend a little more, get a black & white only laser toner printer.
 

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Wile E Coyote, Genius.
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Inkjets are specifically designed to fail or require you to buy more ink. Even when you print black and white it will still mix in a little of the color inks with the black. This is to prevent you from printing if you run out of ANY color. The hardware is cheap on purpose.

Spend a little more, get a black & white only laser toner printer.
Would it kill you guys to recommend a brand or give a link?
 

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The whole point is to use the free offer, those paid options are useful in my opinion only if user prints a lot of pictures (thus receives a lot of free ink cartriges).

https://www8.hp.com/us/en/printers/instant-ink.html#&pd1=3

"6. $0 Plan: The free printing plan allows you to print 15 pages per month at no cost (paper not included) for the life of your printer. Additional pages are excluded and will be charged to customer credit/debit card at the end of the month at a rate of $1 per each additional set of 10 pages (Customer to be charged $1 for each set even if customer doesn’t use entire set)."

https://www.walmart.com/c/kp/hp-wireless-printers

Deskjet 2652 $39
Deskjet 2640 $24
Envy Photo 6222 $49

At those prices, I'd consider printer to be disposable if it breaks down after warranty period.
At those prices, I'd consider the printer to be disposable after the starter ink cartridges ran out. But I still wouldn't sign up for a program that was going to charge me to print from my own printer. Especially not 10 cents per page if I print more than 15 pages in a month. The only way Instant Ink makes any sense to me is someone who is going to be doing a lot of color printing, like photos. But in that same case, it would be more cost effective to take the photo files to a local shop and get professional quality photo prints there. The same if you are printing lengthy documents with large amounts of color printing. You're better off going to Kinko's or a local print shop to have something like that printed.
 

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Gumpherhooberpelt
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I have an old Brother HL-1440, that I've used over the centuries. I lucked out, and bought a new drum and toner on clearance ($15), and she's like new, dude.

As to a recommendation, here's a "do everything" machine. $189.
https://www.amazon.com/Brother-MFCL...+scanning&qid=1578319991&s=electronics&sr=1-3
+ duplex scan, 36 ppm.
+ duplex print / copy
+ fax (great for 'archaic' medical offices that need paperwork faxed to them)

PRINTING ON THE GO – Send print jobs wirelessly from your desktop, laptop, smartphone, and tablet(2); The "Touch to Connect" printing with NFC gives added convenience
. . .
A separate duplex scanner, like the Epson ES-400, runs $269. 35 ppm speed.

Why get a duplex scanner?

If you file itemized returns, keeping track of receipts can be a hassle. So instead of a pile of receipts, you simply scan each receipt into a pdf file. And depending on software, can OCR the amount and input it into a spreadsheet or tax filing program. (The Epson has software that can OCR the date and business, and automatically name files)
CAVEAT : high speed duplex scanners aren't like the old time flatbed scanners. Don't run photos or thick inflexible material through them.
 
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