hmmm... that would indeed be the best bet, but we need a fair amount of color printing for everything between color in our documents to printing photos. i guess what i'm looking for is the best all around printer... i don't have the money or the desk space for one printer for text documents and another for color printing projects and photos.
Don't consider inkjet unless you use it frequently (at least 1-2 times a week). All inkjet printers I have seen/heard about gets into problems when staying unused for awhile. The ink dries out in the tiny jet-nozzles and blocks them. If that happens you'll need new ink cartridges.
It really boiles down to how high quality you want you photo printouts. There are dedicated photo printers and laser color printers that gives nice results. But most are too expensive pr. page to allow black/white printing as well. For serious photo printing and a reasonable amount of black/white printing, I bet the best solution is two printers. You can get <i>very</i> good black/white laser printers below 400USD. Combine that with a color printer with the printout quality you desire.
<i><b>Engineering is the fine art of making what you want from things you can get</b></i>
The ink drying out part is true of cannon and epsom but not true of all. HP at any rate doesn't have this problem. The ink cartridges are capped by a capping station while the machine is idle. Those two brands also have seperate print heads and ink tanks. That problem is more prevalant with that arrangement. I've left my HP printer at home set for months at a time and it always produces great print without any purging or anything.
Don't purchase units that have seperate print heads and cartridges. Nothing but trouble.
on Epson and Canon printers, you will end up paying about 4-5cents/page at 5% page coverage
on Lexmark and HP, the prices range between 7-20cents/page at 5% coverage
now... keep in mind that the extra cost of the ink on HP/Lexmark is because the printhead is built onto the ink so you are paying for it everytime you buy ink... however since the printhead is on the ink, there is less chance of repairs needed on the printer itself
so ill sum it up like this... cost will end being just about the same... buy an epson/canon but dont forget the extra warranty (only if it covers printhead + cleaning ex) Bestbuy / Future Shop warranties....) or get Lexmark or HP but be prepared to pay extra on every ink refill you buy... either way you go, you ll end up paying about the same in the end
Canon i860 is the printer pro you, or one of the new Pixma printers. True, the printheads are not a part of the ink cartridge like the HP, but I have had several Canon printers over the years and never had a clogging problem. The same can't be said for my Epson printers, all of which will clog if left unused for any amount of time. You'll like the speed and the photo quality of the Canon (if you use Canon or Epson papers for your photos). Canon is also typically the the cheapest in cost of ownership. You can replace the printheads if you ever do have a problem, withouth replacing the entire printer. Don't bother with an extended warranty. They are generally a bad investment.
Have had the HP Deskjet 6840 for about a month now. Love it. WiFi, wired or USB direct access built in. 20ppm color(30 B&W), 4800dpi,auto paper type sense, boarderless printing, 11 & 21 ML print cartridges available caters to your actual use. Photo cartridges available (13 & 15 ml).
<A HREF="http://www.shopping.hp.com/cgi-bin/hpdirect/shopping/sc..." target="_new">Link to retail cost of cartirdges of all types</A>
I know it doesn't cover TCO but I'm still assessing that myself.
Thanks for all the input. I originally posted a while back and then went ahead and purchased the canon i860. I couldn't be more pleased. I have printed numerous photos - flawless every single time. I think I'm only now finishing off my second round of ink cartridges. Amazing! General printing is adequate too. And fast!!! I know that one day, I'll need to replace this baby, but I don't look forward to it (like I did with most of the printers I've owned before).
Glad to here it. If there's a better all around printer for the home, I don't know what it is. Stay with the Canon Photo Paper Pro or the Epson Papers and your photos should come out real nice.