Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-25-2020, 10:44 AM
Shoeless's Avatar
Shoeless is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: The Sunflower State
Posts: 7,188

Time for a new printer. How are those refillable tank inkjets?


It's time for new home printer. I've been looking at the Epson Eco-Tank printers. For years I've been wishing someone would make a printer with refillable ink tanks instead of having to buy the ink cartridges. And now they're here. It looks like Brother and Canon also have similar printers.

The Eco-Tank printers get pretty decent reviews, but about three quarters of the reviews I look at online end with a disclaimer that they were provided with a free printer in exchange for beta testing and review. It's hard for me to believe these reviews are completely unbiased, so I turn to my fellow Dopers who I trust more than some online randos who got free goodies. Does anyone here have any experience with these printers? Would you recommend one? (The one I'm looking at specifically is the model 3710, if that makes any difference.)

Side question: how do I get Epson to send me a free printer in exchange for a review?
__________________
"We can all sink or we all float
'Cuz we're all in the same big boat"

- The Police, "One World"
  #2  
Old 03-25-2020, 12:02 PM
FinsToTheLeft is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 681
I picked up an Epson ET-3710 earlier this year, replacing a 10+ year old HP Colour LaserJet that was not printing well anymore. Iím still on my first fill, all is good so far.

Printing directly from iOS is a nice feature and the photos look pretty good. Amazon seems to have 3rd party refills at a substantial discount to OEM ink. I may give it a try when the time comes.
  #3  
Old 03-25-2020, 12:52 PM
PastTense is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 8,297
If you only need black and white get a laser printer.
  #4  
Old 03-25-2020, 01:54 PM
control-z is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Virginia
Posts: 13,155
Quote:
Originally Posted by PastTense View Post
If you only need black and white get a laser printer.
Seconding this, if you don't need color get a laser. Ink is always a hassle sooner or later, especially if you don't use the printer every day.

BTW I have found that if you turn inkjet printers off when you aren't using them they tend to have less trouble.
  #5  
Old 03-25-2020, 02:01 PM
Tim R. Mortiss's Avatar
Tim R. Mortiss is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Lincoln Park, Chicago
Posts: 7,344
Quote:
Originally Posted by PastTense View Post
If you only need black and white get a laser printer.
Thirding this. I gave up on inkjet printers as far too unreliable, especially for infrequent use. Now I'm even thinking of getting a color laser.
  #6  
Old 03-25-2020, 02:25 PM
Shoeless's Avatar
Shoeless is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: The Sunflower State
Posts: 7,188
I wasn't considering a color laser printer. I had briefly looked at B&W laser printers but we'd really like to be able to print in color. I'd have to do some research on color laser printers but between the cost of the printer and consumables, I'm afraid it might be beyond my budget. Also, can color lasers print on glossy paper like photo paper?
__________________
"We can all sink or we all float
'Cuz we're all in the same big boat"

- The Police, "One World"
  #7  
Old 03-25-2020, 03:09 PM
minor7flat5's Avatar
minor7flat5 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Trenton, NJ
Posts: 5,088
The biggest problem I have always had with inkjet printers is not the cost of the ink (shamefully high) but the fact that you need to be printing all the time in order to avoid clogged nozzles.

I think that wouldn't be a problem for a printer that is in use daily for office printing, but it is the Achilles heel of fancy photo printers.
I had a sweet Epson photo printer that made amazing prints, but if you didn't print photos every week the nozzles would dry up and clog, requiring much effort and a mild application of profanity in order to get back to normal.

I finally tossed the Epson and went with a nice HP network LaserJet printer that we can all print to from our i-devices. Anytime I need to print something in color I go to Staples for docs and Walgreens for photos.
  #8  
Old 03-25-2020, 04:04 PM
FinsToTheLeft is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 681
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoeless View Post
I wasn't considering a color laser printer. I had briefly looked at B&W laser printers but we'd really like to be able to print in color. I'd have to do some research on color laser printers but between the cost of the printer and consumables, I'm afraid it might be beyond my budget. Also, can color lasers print on glossy paper like photo paper?
You can print glossy, but the colour on a laser printer will not be as good.
  #9  
Old 03-26-2020, 10:28 AM
control-z is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Virginia
Posts: 13,155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoeless View Post
I wasn't considering a color laser printer. I had briefly looked at B&W laser printers but we'd really like to be able to print in color. I'd have to do some research on color laser printers but between the cost of the printer and consumables, I'm afraid it might be beyond my budget. Also, can color lasers print on glossy paper like photo paper?
A color laser will be a higher initial investment, but unless you print a lot the color toner cartridges should last you a very long time. I've had an Oki and HP color laser. The color quality on lasers doesn't seem as good, the colors aren't as vibrant and certain colors just don't seem to print the right tone. But if your color needs are minor, like logos or some colored text rather than full photos, I'd still recommend a color laser over an inkjet.

If you print a lot on a color laser you will eventually find yourself in a situation where the cost of replacing several toner/drums at once exceeds the cost of a new printer. We went through several Oki printers because of that, but the HP at least as the drums integrated into the toner cartridges.

One thing you might consider if you only occasionally need to print color photos is printing them somewhere like Walgreens or CVS. They have do-it-yourself machines that print photos very cheaply, IIRC about 20 cents each. Of course with COVID-19 that complicates things a little.

Last edited by control-z; 03-26-2020 at 10:31 AM.
  #10  
Old 03-26-2020, 08:27 PM
txjim is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 505
I have an Epson 3750, a rep at Costco talked us into it and he was right, decent print quality and I'm also still on my first fill of ink.

Not suitable for good quality photos but that's what Walgreens is for
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:49 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017