Seeking recommendations for new inkjet printer.

Okay, I need to purchase a new printer soon. I’ve used Epson printers for the last 10 years. Currently I can get after market cartridges for my Epson printer for about $5 from but it appears that very soon I will be unable to buy those. My supplier is urging me to ‘stock up’ on the inexpensive cartridges but, since I really need a new printer, stocking up on cartridges for this one doesn’t make a whole hell of a lot of sense. So …

Anybody out there know which manufactures are not hung up on selling $25 to $35 OEM cartridges and trying to block the sale of after market cartridges for their product? I usually buy 8 - 10 B/W cartridges at a time every 6 weeks (or so) and OEM can break the ol’ piggy bank pretty quick.

Perhaps you can recommend a decent color inkjet printer in the $80 - $130 range that prints fast B/W and has decent quality photo capability? (I’m not interested in ‘all in one’ types.)

I note Canon has one (Pixma iP3300) at about $80 and another (Pixma iP4500) at about $130 but I can’t seem to find any information about whether or not Canon is going to head down the same road as Epson. I also have no experience with Canon products and therefore I am unsure about reliability.

I’m running on a Mac. Any recommendations are welcome. Links to sources would be sincerely appreciated.


P.S. - Just in case it’s not real obvious - don’t bother recommending an Epson product. They have permanently lost me as a customer. Oh, yeah: put Lexmark under that heading also - but I’m not going to go there - that’s a discussion best held in the Pit.

Don’t worry, I won’t recommend Epson. My Epson inkjet had chronically clogged heads. It accepted aftermarket cartridges but the ones I tried sucked. And I found there is no way to swap out a cartridge until it is spent.

I have a Canon Pixma i4000 and think it is just great. Performance is great, and it has been reliable for a year. However, that is not data. I used Canon cartridges and so can’t comment on your concerns about that.

I’m getting a little worried that no one out there likes their printer …

Perhaps IMHO might be a better forum.

Could a passing Mod oblige?



Injet, no. I gave up on inkjets. I have a B&W laser printer. One toner cartridge costs over 60 bucks, but it will print 3000 pages, something like 10 times the amount of an ink cartridge with only twice the price.

My B&W laserjet cost just under 100 bucks and came with a starter cartridge with something like 1500 pages of printing. You can get a color one for about twice that.

This is what I got , but I got it at Circuit City on sale.

Also you can get em pretty cheap on ebay, here is a search for color laser printers.

If you’re doing that much monochrome printing, I’d go for a laser printer and I can thoroughly recommend the HP 2015 series. Don’t go for the really dinky ones: look at the cost per page, including the ability to duplex print. Obviously, you’ll still need to have a colour printer for photos and I’m not sure what to recommend, save that if you go for a colour laser printer, make sure you get one that doesn’t use the colour toner to enhance the black like the HP 4500 does - it’s expensive.

You don’t say how much colour printing you do, but around here, if you’ve got a decent number to print, it’s vastly cheaper to go to a print shop and have them printed off.

Hmmmm. I’ve always shyed away from the lasers due to cost and the fact that while I do a lot of monochrome, I do not need high quality - I need speed. 99% of my printing is done in draft on my inkjet. 'Course the last time I did any pricing on the lasers was back in the stone age. Perhaps it’s time to do a new cost/page analysis … Don’t have much to work with at this point except the mfg. propaganda on their web sites.

Epimetheus, you seem to be coming in around $0.02/page … my Epson in draft mode is pulling it down at just under a penny a page (average about 520 pages/cartridge @ $4.95 ea. See why the after market cartridges are so important to me? However, most of my printing (about 70%) is low density black print forms with lots of white space. If you are getting 3000 pages of high density print that would make a big difference.) Right now, with the info at hand, that lazer ain’t lookin’ too grand.

Any body else got better numbers?

Some highlights on the weekly calendar. Headings and highlights on a couple of reports. Couple of draft photos now and again. Damn little else in the way of color anything. But I do need color capability so a strickly monochrome printer won’t cut it.

Yep, it’s time to do more research.

Of course, that’s what this threads all about, anyway. :wink:


OK, the problems you have here if you go for multiple printers are a lack of uniformity and complexity. Sounds like a colour laser printer would fit the bill, but do get one with seperate toner cartridges. And, as I mentioned above, make sure it doesn’t use colour to enhance black.

I do recommend HP as a printer supplier.

It’s always been my experience that laser is faster than inkjet. I know that at least one office supply company (Staples) is having a sale on a color laser printer next week (got the email circular today.) The Brother 4040CN is being sold for $300, does 20 ppm b/w or color, decent DPI, Mac compatible with PCL (no PostScript), separate toner drums for each color, and decent reviews on CNET. The toner isn’t all that cheap but you’d have to work out the per-page cost and hassles of an inkjet and see if it works out for you.

Questions which involve mainly opinions, are best started in IMHO. Moved.

samclem gQ moderator

You could consider 2 printers. A fast, cheap laser for your monochrome. And then a inkjet for whenever you need color. The actual cost of printers is so low these days, that having 2 printers will probably be your cheapest bet in the long run.

This is what I do.

I have an Epson, which I have outfitted with a continuous ink system. I’ve very happy with this setup, but I’m aware of the need to run nozzle check and clean often. It’s just an “Epson Tax” that must be paid for their superior print quality.

Recommendations for a ‘fast, cheap laser’? Actually, moderately priced, not ‘cheap’. I dooooo ssssooooo nnneeeeddd reliability. (No service stations for 300 miles in any direction.)

Yeah, I been ten years payin’ the “Epson Tax”. It’s been worth it. So far. Once the after market cartridges become unavailable, it’s tea party time. Unless I no longer need cartriges … Continuous ink system? I’d very much be interested in learning more about this … If proprietary info, feel free to e-mail me.

Oh, and samclem, Thanks for the move. Shoulda woulda coulda and all that. :smack:


The CIS I’m using was from a company called EZinkjets. They are not selling them any more. You can find similar systems on ebay for around $50, which is less than the cost of a replacement ink set from Epson. They require some fiddling, but mine has not clogged any more than the real Epson ink. The colors are very close, but not a perfect match to Epson’s. I’ve done things like set the printer up to print 100 full-color pages overnight, and had it work perfectly.

Search for “continuous epson” on ebay - lot’s of hits.

Intriguing. Just happens that the Stylus Photo R380 is the printer I had on my shoping list for next payday. Seems that I can get a CIS system on ebay for for that printer for about 50 bucks. Seems there might be a simple salvation to this mess after all.

Seems you might be my new hero.

Any issues with continued supply of the ink for this system in light of Epson’s current actions on after market suppliers?

BTW, did you get an allowance at the Epson store from the class action suit? If yes, have you used it yet? Just curious, ya understand … ‘cause I’m fixin’ to use mine. :smiley:


Ah, well even as a poor student, I don’t pinch pennies that much. The extra 1 cent per page as you put it is worth it to me in convenience. I don’t know where you get your ink for 5.95, but they always cost me closer to 25-30. I don’t have time to go to flea markets and find them super cheap though. So cartridges that run 30 dollars are much higher than the 2 cents per page.

I also had the problem of not using my printer for long periods, and the ink would dry up. I don’t have that problem with toner.

The nice thing about these CISs is that you use bulk ink to refill them, so as long as they have figured out a way to defeat the Epson counter chip (most provide a self-resetting chip in their ink carts), all you need is a source of ink.

I never bother with all of those class-action “windfalls.” My experience (with Ford, Apple, Xerox, etc.) has been that they’re not worth the paperwork.

Actually, they’re even less than that: $4.95 ea for black or color. If you get the six pack specials it’s even a little less than that. I would recommend Ink Grabber any day of the week. They have the lowest prices, fastest and most complete service of all the on-line suppliers I’ve done business with. They have never disappointed me. Even nicer, their web site is very easy to navigate.

Beowulff, you are, in fact, officially, my new hero. And for once, the CA suit weren’t no hassel at all: One response card that was already filled out, one postage stamp and waited a few months. (Fact is, I completely forgot about it till I got a post card a couple of months ago. And while the $45 credit ain’t much, when applied to the cost of a new printer, it means the CIS will only cost me about $10 with S&H. :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Thanks one and all. Got my head back on straight (more or less) and got a plan. I may yet invest in a laser down the road but for now I think I’ll stick it out with the jet.