Way OT: Printers, photocopiers and geek stuff - what should I buy?

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 18:59
ThreadID: 54757 Views:3758 Replies:16 FollowUps:23
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The ink cartridge on my printer will shortly expire so, obviously it's time to buy a new printer! (I have refilled the cartridge about 8 times so I can't complain).

I thought I'd like to get a laser printer which can also photocopy, don't need it to be able to fax. Wondered about a colour laser but, in reality, don't print many (read 3 over the past few years) photographs and was a bit concerned when the Officeworks flyer encourage me to purchase a HP CM1015 at $299 (after cashback) because it had "over $500 of toners"!!!

Most of my printing is simple text but a copying facility would be useful.

I've read the geek websites but am feeling rather confused :) Help!

Mike Harding
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Reply By: Mainey (wa) - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 19:09

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 19:09
Mike,
if you use a notebook consider a 'wireless' printer with the ability to print from memory cards and various similar devices
Mainey . . .
AnswerID: 288482

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 19:48

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 19:48
A Canon Photo quality printer is probably the cheapest to run as its the ink that costs the money. I have been running Canons for about 6 years and after having HP wouldnt go back.
The Canon's have individual ink tanks so you just replace each empty one at about $12-$20 Whereas an HP with one colour gone can be $90.
I have been using Calidad carts available from Kmart at a very reasonable cost.
Especially on their 20% off days and had no trouble on any of my several models.
When I need a print head (only needed one) I got it at Dick Smiths as a pack with all the carts for $135, the same price as the carts individually.
Dont know about colour lasers but the toner is not cheap.
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 19:51

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 19:51
A Canon Scanner is also a good idea and can be bought to do slides and negatives as well.
These are cheap as chips these days and give you the ablity to copy and alter documents rather than just copy.
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Follow Up By: Member - MR 1927 (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 22:09

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 22:09
Hi,
I use a Canon IP4300 which uses 5 tanks.
I found a guy on ebay that sells a complete set of tanks for $15 or less depending on your printer.

Cartridges are made in China, aint everything, but they work as well as Canon brand.

His name is "AUMARKET", just do a search on ebay for that name.

Try them anyway, nothing to loose.
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 05:32

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 05:32
I would be seriously careful about cheap inks. Some printers use dye based inks and some use pigment based. If you put the wrong ones in it will work for a while but then the print head will be stuffed and you will be up for a new one. The Calidad range are the correct type for each model and wont give you any trouble.
You say you have nothing to lose. I would say that you have and if you do it will be too late.
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Reply By: Geepeem - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 19:44

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 19:44
HI Mike,

Check out what model may suit in the Brother range.
We have a Brother MFC (multi function centre) Model 8820D
Its a Laser that does, printing, scanning, faxes, photocopying (reduce and enlarge).
Our is about 3 years old now - the original toner cartridge lasted over 2 years (or over 8000 pages). Tray will hold 500 sheets.
I'm not sure what the current models that replaced our would be.
We have never had any problems with it - no service calls at all.
About 3 years ago I researched what was available and spoke to a service man that was repairing the printer at work - he advised I get a Brother as in the price range I was looking at they were the best.
I don't know if thats still the case but when I replace mine I would look at a Brother again.
Hope this helps,
Cheers
Glen
AnswerID: 288494

Follow Up By: Gerhardp1 - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 10:40

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 10:40
I second the Brother nomination.

Pretty much all the Brother stuff is above average.

Colour laser toners for ANY brand are EXPENSIVE. Kyocera is the cheapest colour laser to run, but it's a business printer range, not a very good photo printer range.
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Reply By: stefan P (Penrith NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 19:45

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 19:45
Hi Mike
I bought a basic HP F2179 printer, scanner and copier for $39 after $20 cash back about a month ago.
New cartridges are around the $40 for both (colour and black)
Having mucked around with it for a few weeks now all I can say is "how do they do it for that price" Its a good bit of gear.

Cheers Stefan
AnswerID: 288496

Reply By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 20:49

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 20:49
Hi Mike,

I purchased a Canon MP600 mid last year. Can't remember how much but it was < $400. We have used it heaps here, printing everything from work stuff (quotes etc.......) to photo's. Still on the original ink tanks! The quality is great, it's also a copier and scanner, doesn't fax but another really neat thing it does do.... it can print a label directly on a CD or DVD.... so when we make copies of pics/video from a trip, we can put print the details of the trip onto a selected pic and print that as a label! Very handy and much easier on the eye than DVD's that have permanent ink scrawled across them! (Not that there's anything wrong with that!)

Hope this helps... let us know what you end up with.

Cheers

Brian

AnswerID: 288509

Reply By: howie - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 21:14

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 21:14
been looking as well.
the canon's look favourite at the moment with most of their printers claiming 9600 x 2400 dpi.
the canon mp970 at $449 (shop price) also scans,copies and does cd covers etc etc.(even scans 35mm negatives)
there are some cheaper canon's and the good thing is they lose some features obv, but still keep the 9600 x 2400 dpi.

BTW i got told the other day the most important thing for printing is ........ the paper! (probably true)

AnswerID: 288513

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 21:37

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 21:37
I went for HP because our previous HP 4L laser printer lasted over 8 years without a fault.

We bought a HP 6310 Multifunction from Orificeworks a few months back. 4in 1 Inkjet. Works well - photocopy feature is great. But its meant to be network compatible, but we couldn't get it to get past our firewall. But HP gave us one of those wireless printer things, so we hooked that in instead. In their current brochure at $179 including a bonus 80gig HDD.

Amazing value if you don't do a heap of printing.

If you do a heap of printing, go B&W Laser.
AnswerID: 288522

Reply By: mfewster - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 21:44

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 21:44
There is a much cheaper way of doing this. If you use a Canon or Epson printer, replace the ink cartridges with a rihac system. This will cut your ink costs by over 90%.
Google for Rihac for more info and a list of supported printers. Rihac are in Victoria and they give good after sales service.
The system replaces the usual cartridges with a number of big bulk ink bottles. It takes about an hour to install on your printer. I do a lot of printing, both documents and photos. The rihac system saves me multi hundreds of dollars a year. Once you have the system set up, it is dead easy and you just pour bulk purchased ink into the bottles whenever a colour starts to run low. I used to go through a set of cartridges every few weeks, now I only fill the rihac bottles about once in three months. Each bottle can be filled individually as needed, so there is no wastage, no messing around with syringes etc to refill cartridges. Nope, I don't work for them.
You can get similar systems on ebay, however I have found rihac to be local and reliable.
AnswerID: 288525

Reply By: warfer69 - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 21:48

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 21:48
Hi Mike

Stick with Canon Pixma, (never had issue with friends or business ive advised,plus myself) you can get non genuine cartridges for it at Frankston Officeworks for about $14.50 instead of $24 for original..

Have been told they do not stuff your warranty...

I suggest you go to Centre.com in Hartnett drive,If you decide to go this way email me as i have my business registered and can get a couple of bucks off if ya like !

http://www.canon.com.au/home_office/default.aspx

I dont think you'll be happy with quality from laser ...

Cheers

AnswerID: 288526

Follow Up By: warfer69 - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 21:49

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 21:49
OH and steer clear of Hewlett Packard ! Their warranty is pathetic.
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Reply By: mfewster - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 21:53

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 21:53
Whoops, I forgot to mention the printer I use, A Canon MP530. It copies, faxes, prints documents and photos and has an auto document feeder and twin paper trays . This lets me keep one tray for A4 paper and the second tray loaded with photo paper. Cost about $280 after a Canon cashback deal, at Officeworks. There is a newer version of this printer now available for a slightly higher price. Fast, good quality document and photo printing - and best of all, it takes the RIHAC system which means ink costs are peanuts. This multifunction printer won a number of awards about two years ago for value/quality and speed- which is what first made me look at it.
AnswerID: 288527

Follow Up By: Member - Shane L - QLD - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 08:46

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 08:46
Hi mfewster, I too have a MP530 and it is a great printer/scanner/fax, question about the continuous ink system (RIHAC) how much butchering of the rear of the machine to get the ribbons etc fitted? do you have an instruction sheet that you could email?

Thanks Shane
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Follow Up By: mfewster - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 10:06

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 10:06
Shane L.
Almost no modification is needed to the mechanism of the 530. Just install a spacer (provided in the kit) under the edge of the lid. This gives the necessary space to run the silicon tubes through to the cartridges. Another small metal holder is attached inside the printer to all the tubes neat and organized.
The only other modification is removing the chips from the original cartridges and attaching them to the new bulk feed cartridges. These cartridges sit in the usual place inside the printer. A little bit fiddly, but not too bad.The tubes run to the bulk bottles which then sit on the bench next to the printer. The printer then thinks it is working with a set of original cartridges. You only have to do this once. After that, you just pour in ink into the bulk bottle of whichever colour or black you want to top up. For most users, it will be a long long time between top ups as each bulk bottle takes 100ml. The ink costs about $15.00 per 100ml.
A Rihac Ciss unit with one lot of ink costs about $130.
I reckon it has cut my ink costs by over 90% and I am very happy with the quality of both documents and glossy photos. My only concern is that I suspect that photos wont last as long as regular inks. So far, no sign of fading, but for my needs, this isn't an issue anyway.
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Reply By: Shaker - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 23:31

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 23:31
If you only print 3 photos a year it would be crazy to buy an ink jet printer, you would lose 90% of your coloured ink in head cleaning each time you use the printer, even if you are only printing black.

Beware of advice that Canon will honour printer head warranty with non-genuine cartridges .... as if!

For the cost of one relatively cheap colour cartridge you could get approximately 100 photos printed almost anywhere.
AnswerID: 288555

Follow Up By: warfer69 - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 01:37

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 01:37
*Beware of advice that Canon will honour printer head warranty with non-genuine cartridges .... as if!*

Shaker do you think they'll send it orrf to the Canon Scientific lab for analysis ~(*--)

I know of one thats been honoured i'll see if i can find the info on it !
I used to you genuine ones for the warranty period but do not anymore and never had any issues..If you want to be conned into buying genuine thats ok,And Canon realise that some of the Genuine looking ink aint so Genuine at all thats being sold ! The wrappers look exactly the same.

Cheers
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Reply By: mfewster - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 08:07

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 08:07
Canon certainly don't honour warranties if the printer has used non genuine inks. Further, those little chips in the cartridges can tell them a lot about what has actually happened. On the other hand, there are work arounds, should you have an issue. All you need is a set of genuine cartridges in the printer when you return it. There are even some non original ink companies who will lend these to you.

I just re-read Mike's original post. If you are only printing 3 colour shots over a few years, then I would also agree that ink jet isn't the best option. Just get the colour stuff done at the local newsagent. Could depend on how much B and W you are doing. If Mike is doing this reasonably regularly, and inkjet is still worth a look if it is combined with a Rihac CISS system because of the huge reduction in ink costs this gives. Check the RIHAC site or ring them. If I recall, mike H is also in Melbourne?
AnswerID: 288574

Follow Up By: warfer69 - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 13:59

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 13:59
*Canon certainly don't honour warranties if the printer has used non genuine inks* Nice little scare tactic from them

As you stated YOU would'nt be silly enough to leave the cartridges in would you !

I'm just stating a fact the non genuine ink does not stuff a canon printer from what ive seen over many years over many models...


Some company bought out a system for the ip 5000 and other models for canon where the ink wells were beside the printer,you hooked it up to the cartriges that were already in it so it was easy to fill with non genuine ink. I could not get my hands on one they had sold out completely...

This scenario reminds me of when you buy a new car you have to get it serviced through their dealership !

Cheers
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FollowupID: 553969

Follow Up By: mfewster - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 17:21

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 17:21
Wrfer 69 The system you saw was a CISS system of the kind I have been posting about. If you go to the website I gave you will be able to buy one. A cISS system is quite a bit cheaper to run than a laser and avoids the quite heavy power drain when you turn laser printers on. Laser technology really works best when the equipment doesn't have to fire up each time you use it, ie,in a heavy use environment. There have also been a number of health warnings re the powder used in laser cartridges, especially if they are used in small rooms.
The RIHAC mob say that there are quality differences between inks. Their web page is an interesting read on the subject. I dunno, can only say that I find their system excellent and ultra cheap.
I was in Asia recently and looked in at a number of computer shops. Pretty well everyone of them had converted their printers so they were running on a CISS type system. I
Anyone who lives in SA, call in to Ink Jet City on South Road and have a look at one running.
I think you woulf find Warfer that if you looked very closely at the cartridges that were in the ip5000 you looked at, that they had the chips slightly modified so the printer's brain didn't know it wasn't using standard cartridges and ink. It is not a hard modification to do, just needs a Stanley knife or scalpel.
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Follow Up By: warfer69 - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 17:55

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 17:55
HiYa mfewster

Thanks for all the info will have a bit of a read !

Catch Ya
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Reply By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 09:03

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 09:03
Mike, there's numerous laser multifunction devices on the market for around $200 - $300. Any of these will do the job for you. Most of these cost about 5c per copy in toner costs. A 2000 copy toner cartridge is around $100 so they're much cheaper to run than an inkjet device. If you do the sums the ink for an inkjet works out at around $6500 / litre...... Most expensive fluid on the planet ;-(

Colour devices can be pretty expensive to run as they have 4 toner cartridges to replace each time, each of which is typically over a $100, although the cost per page is still cheaper than most inkjets....

I'd recommend something like This
AnswerID: 288582

Follow Up By: mfewster - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 09:47

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 09:47
Mr B. You are correct about the cost of ink cartridges, but not about the cost if you use a CISS system. In this case they are cheaper than laser per sheet. The problem with cheap laser printers is that (in my experience, based on 3 different brands we tried in a shared office) they didn't last very long. Each lasted less than a year before it started giving problems. This was around 5 years ago, so they may have improved..
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Follow Up By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 10:02

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 10:02
You may be right about cheap lasers in an office environment, I refuse to have anything less than a HP4250 at work, but I understood Mike to be asking about a personal use printer for home, in which case a cheap laser is the go. I have run a couple of different models over the years (FUJI-Xerox and Lexmark come to mind) with no problems whatsoever.

Does anybody make a CISS system in a small office printer? For less than $150??
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Follow Up By: mfewster - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 10:11

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 10:11
Mr B
Yes they do. A Ciss with 5 different inks (including about 500ml of ink, which is an awful lot of ink, costs about $130 from RIHAC
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Follow Up By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 10:17

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 10:17
That's $130 PLUS the printer.....

For someone who's printed "3 or 4" colour pages in the last couple of years a Laser is still the best bet.
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Follow Up By: mfewster - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 10:37

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 10:37
Yes, but if you buy a Pixomat multi fiction, you get a fax, copier, autofeed, double paper tray, printer and CD labeller for about $300. If you added a CISS and never used the colour inks (remember, you only fill the colour (or black) that you need, I reckon you would still be in front when compared to the cost of a laser equivalent plus the cost of laser cartridges. And given the ultra cheap price at which high quality photos can then be done, if he wished, Mike might decide to do some of these as well.

Check the following site
http://www.rihac.com.au/
In my experience, what they claim is accurate.
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Reply By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 13:12

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 13:12
Take an sd card to Harvey Norman and they will print your pics for about 25 cents each. Brother laser printer less then $100 (black printing only) - many hundreds of pages (2 cartons of paper so far) - cheap as.
AnswerID: 288613

Follow Up By: warfer69 - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 13:45

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 13:45
I use this option too and is great,Kmart use Kodak Paper and for about 15 cents...

Just make sure you virus scan your sd when putting back into you computer as trojan viruses can jump to them !
PC USER mag did an artickle awhile back regarding this...

the Brontok virus is deadly at the moment !


Cheers
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Reply By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 17:45

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 17:45
Thanks _very_ much everyone for your knowledgeable input - I have learned a lot.

After reading all the replies; this morning I decided to go for a super duper ink jet which could scan slides and pics too. After doing a little more research by this afternoon I decided to go for a Xerox 3119 cheapo laser (who say only females can be fickle?! :) The main motivator was its cost at $135 which leaves me free to buy some better gear for the slide and negative conversion (any suggestions?).

AnswerID: 288643

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 17:50

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 17:50
Hit the wrong button (again!) when wanting to insert a link - consider changing the button layout please David?

Bought the printer from these people:
Cheapest box shifter in Melbourne

and bought one of these:
Printer/copier

Mechanically it's a bit flimsy but the scan, photocopy and printing quality is excellent - especially for $135!

Thanks again people - the breadth of knowledge on the internet never ceases to amaze me :)

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 19:19

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 19:19
You're welcome ;-))
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Reply By: mfewster - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 20:52

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 20:52
Stop Press Everyone. FYI. As luck would have it, tonight's edition of Catalyst included a section on the health risks of laser printers.
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 20:55

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 20:55
At my age I probably don't care... but did I make a good deal? :)
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Follow Up By: mfewster - Friday, Feb 22, 2008 at 07:46

Friday, Feb 22, 2008 at 07:46
Mike. I think you got a very good deal.

Richard K. Given that the post was clearly labeled OT, the question is, what little corner of your brain compelled you to waste all that precious energy by clicking on the button so you could wallow in the crap?
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Follow Up By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Friday, Feb 22, 2008 at 09:04

Friday, Feb 22, 2008 at 09:04
That old hairy goat does the rounds every year or so.
If there was any truth to it I'd be a goner years ago ;-)
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Reply By: Richard Kovac - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 22:02

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 22:02
Mike

Why do you have to post such crap post all the time, where do you get off posting about printer on a 4WD forum, FFS.

next you will be posting about VOIP or some crap... :-)
AnswerID: 288729

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