Recommend printer for very low-volume user?

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

Hi all,

I'm looking for a replacement for our old DeskJet 610, which has served us
well for many years, but obviously can't match newer models for speed or
quality...

As the subject says, we don't print a lot - mostly CD labels, bits of
documentation I want to keep on paper, drafts of documents to be marked up,
the (very) occasional letter or envelope. Really no more than a couple of
hundred pages a year. The printer probably gets turned on once a week at
most - I've had ink cartridges clog up and die a couple of times after not
being used for months on end.

We have no particular need for high-quality photo output - we can get as
good or better results, probably cheaper, from Ofoto or any number of local
labs. In fact, probably the only thing we really need colour for at all is
CD labels. And the occasional T-shirt transfer :-) Of course if we had a
better printer we'd no doubt use it a lot more, but never to the thousands
of pages a month level.

So I'm looking for something that's reasonably economical to run, produces
good quality text and 'line art' output, can handle labels and envelopes,
and won't die an expensive death if left idle for weeks at a time. It
needs to work well with my FreeBSD UNIX machines, which for inkjets at
least seems to mean Epson or HP (see
http://www.linuxprinting.org/suggested.html). Upfront purchase cost is
less important than running costs - I don't really want to upgrade again
for another 5 years if I can avoid it.

As far as inkjets go, I've narrowed our possible choices down to the Epson
C86 or one of the mid-range HPs - 5150, 5740, maybe the 6540. We have a HP
5850 at work that seems to do a good job. The 5150 appears to be the baby
brother of this, without the Ethernet/WiFi. On the face of it the Epson
looks as if it would be cheaper to run, but they do seem prone to clogging
up. I appreciate that I can probably unclog it myself without much effort,
but I wouldn't want to do that every time I turned the thing on...

An alternative plan would be to pick up a mono laser - with cheap
consumables - on ebay and either keep the 610 or replace it with something
really cheap for those things that do need colour. Or just print those at
work :-)

Any advice or (anti-) recommendations will be gratefully received!

I'm in the UK if that makes any difference to anyone's replies...

Cheers,

Scott
11 answers Last reply
More about recommend printer volume user
  1. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    "Scott Mitchell" <this@address.is.invalid> wrote in message
    news:nNmqd.107$xs3.105@newsfe4-gui.ntli.net...
    > I'm looking for a replacement for our old DeskJet 610, which has served us
    > well for many years, but obviously can't match newer models for speed or
    > quality...
    [snip]

    Given your requirements the DeskJet 5150 is probably a good choice, low end
    (inexpensive) and reliable. Be aware that the 5150 is USB only, and also that
    is does not have the automatic paper type sensor found in the 5850. For your
    needs this will probably not matter. Any of these will print much faster than
    your current 610 and will provide much much better color graphics or photo
    printing. The DeskJet 5150 and 6540 have more expandability than the 5740 and
    may be better in the future if your needs change.

    Regards,
    Bob Headrick, not speaking for my employer HP
  2. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    Scott Mitchell wrote:

    >So I'm looking for something that's reasonably economical to run, produces
    >good quality text and 'line art' output, can handle labels and envelopes,
    >and won't die an expensive death if left idle for weeks at a time. It
    >needs to work well with my FreeBSD UNIX machines, which for inkjets at
    >least seems to mean Epson or HP (see
    >http://www.linuxprinting.org/suggested.html). Upfront purchase cost is
    >less important than running costs - I don't really want to upgrade again
    >for another 5 years if I can avoid it.
    >
    >As far as inkjets go, I've narrowed our possible choices down to the Epson
    >C86 or one of the mid-range HPs - 5150, 5740, maybe the 6540. We have a HP
    >5850 at work that seems to do a good job. The 5150 appears to be the baby
    >brother of this, without the Ethernet/WiFi.

    I can heartily recommend the HP 6540 as I have one here. I've been an HP
    fan for years, using various models of inkjet and laser. I switched to
    Canon last year for my inkjet needs, but after 16 months and only 4000
    pages, the printhead died. A new head was 95% of the cost of a new
    printer, so I trashed it and went back to HP.

    Operating costs are decent, with similar costs per page as the Canon
    using original cartridges (check page yields for comparisons, not ink
    volumes). And of course, if the head ever clogs or fails on the HP, I
    just toss in a new cartridge.

    To be honest, I haven't had the HP 6540 all that long nor has it sat
    idle for more than a week. But if my previous inkjet printers from HP
    are any indication, I expect the 6540 could sit idle for months, turn it
    on and print without any issues.
  3. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    I'd stay away from Epson and Canon. They are too prone to clogging. I use
    an old HP LaserJet 4L for non color printing. For color, I have an HP DJ
    5550. My old DJ 720 is still going strong. My mother uses it when she's
    here (snowbird) 6 months of the year. The rest of the time is sits idle.
    Never clogs.

    "Scott Mitchell" <this@address.is.invalid> wrote in message
    news:nNmqd.107$xs3.105@newsfe4-gui.ntli.net...
    > Hi all,
    >
    > I'm looking for a replacement for our old DeskJet 610, which has served us
    > well for many years, but obviously can't match newer models for speed or
    > quality...
    >
    > As the subject says, we don't print a lot - mostly CD labels, bits of
    > documentation I want to keep on paper, drafts of documents to be marked
    up,
    > the (very) occasional letter or envelope. Really no more than a couple of
    > hundred pages a year. The printer probably gets turned on once a week at
    > most - I've had ink cartridges clog up and die a couple of times after not
    > being used for months on end.
    >
    > We have no particular need for high-quality photo output - we can get as
    > good or better results, probably cheaper, from Ofoto or any number of
    local
    > labs. In fact, probably the only thing we really need colour for at all
    is
    > CD labels. And the occasional T-shirt transfer :-) Of course if we had a
    > better printer we'd no doubt use it a lot more, but never to the thousands
    > of pages a month level.
    >
    > So I'm looking for something that's reasonably economical to run, produces
    > good quality text and 'line art' output, can handle labels and envelopes,
    > and won't die an expensive death if left idle for weeks at a time. It
    > needs to work well with my FreeBSD UNIX machines, which for inkjets at
    > least seems to mean Epson or HP (see
    > http://www.linuxprinting.org/suggested.html). Upfront purchase cost is
    > less important than running costs - I don't really want to upgrade again
    > for another 5 years if I can avoid it.
    >
    > As far as inkjets go, I've narrowed our possible choices down to the Epson
    > C86 or one of the mid-range HPs - 5150, 5740, maybe the 6540. We have a
    HP
    > 5850 at work that seems to do a good job. The 5150 appears to be the baby
    > brother of this, without the Ethernet/WiFi. On the face of it the Epson
    > looks as if it would be cheaper to run, but they do seem prone to clogging
    > up. I appreciate that I can probably unclog it myself without much
    effort,
    > but I wouldn't want to do that every time I turned the thing on...
    >
    > An alternative plan would be to pick up a mono laser - with cheap
    > consumables - on ebay and either keep the 610 or replace it with something
    > really cheap for those things that do need colour. Or just print those at
    > work :-)
    >
    > Any advice or (anti-) recommendations will be gratefully received!
    >
    > I'm in the UK if that makes any difference to anyone's replies...
    >
    > Cheers,
    >
    > Scott
    >
  4. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    Canon i560 is a good match for your requirement. It is very cheap when it's
    on sale. As long as you keep the print head moist (cartridges installed)
    you can print only once a month with no problems.

    Scott Mitchell wrote:

    > Hi all,
    >
    > I'm looking for a replacement for our old DeskJet 610, which has served us
    > well for many years, but obviously can't match newer models for speed or
    > quality...
    >
    > As the subject says, we don't print a lot -
  5. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    On Sun, 28 Nov 2004 16:12:03 GMT, Scott Mitchell
    <this@address.is.invalid> wrote:

    >Hi all,
    >
    >I'm looking for a replacement for our old DeskJet 610, which has served us
    >well for many years, but obviously can't match newer models for speed or
    >quality...
    >
    Given your needs I'd go for a cheap colour laser. It will have low
    overheads because of lack of use <g>, will provide all the colour you
    need, and you won't have to replace the toner very often. In fact, the
    printer will probably die before you need to replace the toner with
    only a couple of hundred pages a year. Look at the following:

    Samsung CLP-500 at 351.32 inc VAT
    HP Color Laserjet 2550n at 435.99 inc VAT
    HP Color Laserjet 2550l at 289.99 inc VAT
    Epson Aculaser C900 at 269.07 inc VAT

    (All prices quoted are from Dabs - www.dabs.com)

    --

    Hecate - The Real One
    Hecate@newsguy.com
    veni, vidi, reliqui
  6. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    On Sun, 28 Nov 2004 16:35:42 -0500, RE: Re: Recommend printer for
    very low-volume user? Bill <bill@c.a> wrote:

    >Operating costs are decent, with similar costs per page as the Canon
    >using original cartridges (check page yields for comparisons, not ink
    >volumes). And of course, if the head ever clogs or fails on the HP, I
    >just toss in a new cartridge.

    Does anyone know of a systematic study/report or page yields from the
    cartridges of various manufacturers?


    --
    To reply to me directly, remove the XXX characters from my email address.
  7. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    Hi Scott,

    You have certainly spelled out your needs very well.

    I would suggest against the Epson C86. This printer uses pigmented inks
    that have a shorter shelf live once opened than dye inks tend to, and it
    uses a resin that is waterproof when dry, but that also means it will be
    more likely to clog if left unattended for long periods.

    HP, with their head and cartridge together may result in an occasional
    tossed cartridge if it gets too old, but in replacing the cartridge you
    start out with a fresh inkjet head.

    I don't know the HP line well enough to comment on a specific model, but
    for very low usage it may make sense to get a cheaper model, although it
    may have more costly cartridges as well, but larger cartridges may not
    prove a savings for you as they will just get that much older if they
    sit unused.

    Laser may be a much better choice if you can live without color. They
    tend to be more reliable, the consumables have good shelf-life, even
    when installed, and even new machines have come way down in cost. They
    are usually faster printers as well. The output is pigmented and fade
    resistant, and waterproof. Just try to buy one that the toner cartridge
    either can easily be refilled locally, or comes with a fully charged one
    out of the box. Many now come with so-called "starter cartridges that
    have as little as 25% of the full charge of toner within them.

    Art


    Scott Mitchell wrote:

    > Hi all,
    >
    > I'm looking for a replacement for our old DeskJet 610, which has served us
    > well for many years, but obviously can't match newer models for speed or
    > quality...
    >
    > As the subject says, we don't print a lot - mostly CD labels, bits of
    > documentation I want to keep on paper, drafts of documents to be marked up,
    > the (very) occasional letter or envelope. Really no more than a couple of
    > hundred pages a year. The printer probably gets turned on once a week at
    > most - I've had ink cartridges clog up and die a couple of times after not
    > being used for months on end.
    >
    > We have no particular need for high-quality photo output - we can get as
    > good or better results, probably cheaper, from Ofoto or any number of local
    > labs. In fact, probably the only thing we really need colour for at all is
    > CD labels. And the occasional T-shirt transfer :-) Of course if we had a
    > better printer we'd no doubt use it a lot more, but never to the thousands
    > of pages a month level.
    >
    > So I'm looking for something that's reasonably economical to run, produces
    > good quality text and 'line art' output, can handle labels and envelopes,
    > and won't die an expensive death if left idle for weeks at a time. It
    > needs to work well with my FreeBSD UNIX machines, which for inkjets at
    > least seems to mean Epson or HP (see
    > http://www.linuxprinting.org/suggested.html). Upfront purchase cost is
    > less important than running costs - I don't really want to upgrade again
    > for another 5 years if I can avoid it.
    >
    > As far as inkjets go, I've narrowed our possible choices down to the Epson
    > C86 or one of the mid-range HPs - 5150, 5740, maybe the 6540. We have a HP
    > 5850 at work that seems to do a good job. The 5150 appears to be the baby
    > brother of this, without the Ethernet/WiFi. On the face of it the Epson
    > looks as if it would be cheaper to run, but they do seem prone to clogging
    > up. I appreciate that I can probably unclog it myself without much effort,
    > but I wouldn't want to do that every time I turned the thing on...
    >
    > An alternative plan would be to pick up a mono laser - with cheap
    > consumables - on ebay and either keep the 610 or replace it with something
    > really cheap for those things that do need colour. Or just print those at
    > work :-)
    >
    > Any advice or (anti-) recommendations will be gratefully received!
    >
    > I'm in the UK if that makes any difference to anyone's replies...
    >
    > Cheers,
    >
    > Scott
    >
  8. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    "Scott Mitchell" <this@address.is.invalid> wrote in message
    news:nNmqd.107$xs3.105@newsfe4-gui.ntli.net...
    | Hi all,
    |
    | I'm looking for a replacement for our old DeskJet 610, which has served us
    | well for many years, but obviously can't match newer models for speed or
    | quality...
    |
    |

    Follow this link http://www.computeractive.co.uk/products/hardware/1138072
    for a favourable review of the Canon i320
  9. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    Vic Dura wrote:

    >>Operating costs are decent, with similar costs per page as the Canon
    >>using original cartridges (check page yields for comparisons, not ink
    >>volumes). And of course, if the head ever clogs or fails on the HP, I
    >>just toss in a new cartridge.
    >
    >Does anyone know of a systematic study/report or page yields from the
    >cartridges of various manufacturers?

    Page yields are available from HP on their website. Canon doesn't seem
    to post the info at their website, but the page yields are posted at
    many companies reselling their ink tanks.

    From what I can gather, page yields are fairly accurate estimates. But
    watch out for differences such as 5% compared to 15% coverage rates.

    If you hit Google, you can find all of the above info and more.
  10. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    Scott Mitchell wrote:

    > Hi all,
    >
    > I'm looking for a replacement for our old DeskJet 610, which has served us
    > well for many years, but obviously can't match newer models for speed or
    > quality...

    Thanks all for the useful replies. I'm now on the lookout for a cheap (to
    buy and run) colour laser or failing that, cheap mono laser + HP inkjet.

    Scott
  11. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    "Scott Mitchell" <this@address.is.invalid> wrote in message
    news:KLLtd.1481$rL3.785@newsfe1-gui.ntli.net...
    > Scott Mitchell wrote:
    >> I'm looking for a replacement for our old DeskJet 610, which has served us
    >> well for many years, but obviously can't match newer models for speed or
    >> quality...
    >
    > Thanks all for the useful replies. I'm now on the lookout for a cheap (to
    > buy and run) colour laser or failing that, cheap mono laser + HP inkjet.

    If you are a low volume user you probably do not need to have two printers to
    maintain. A midrange printer such as the DeskJet 5150 would probably meet your
    printing needs. I do not know of a cheap color laser for low volume printing -
    you could buy a DeskJet 5150 and a half-dozen sets of black and color
    cartridges (enough for a few thousand pages of black and a few thousand pages
    of color) for what you would pay for the lowest cost color laser printers. If
    you are not doing a lot of printing you should look at the total cost of
    ownership.

    Regards,
    Bob Headrick, not speaking for my employer HP
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