I need a new printer. Any suggestions?

DrezDrez Registered User regular
Hey - I noticed a 2017 thread on printers and wasn't sure if it was more appropriate to make a new thread or post in there. Wasn't sure if that consituted necroposting or what. If it's more appropriate to use that thread, please let me know and I'll post there instead. I know the traffic here is lower than other subforums, but I dunno if it's more common to reuse 3-year old threads or not. Just let me know.

--

I need a new printer. I'm having a lot of difficulty figuring out what to get. I think I want to get a color inkjet that can fit on top of a desk or a table in a common area.

Brands I'm looking at:

Canon
Brother
HP (maybe)

Brands I'd rather avoid:

Epson (I have a really bad taste in my mouth from my last Epson printer

What I need/want, minimum, other than the obvious:

- Color printing
- Scanner (auto-feed, though something with a feed scanner AND a flatbed type would be ideal)
- Wireless or even bluetooth
- Digital/screen interface built into the printer

Other features I'd like, but not a deal breaker:

- Memory card reader, particularly SD
- Photo printing
- Paper tray (rather than some flimsy plastic in the back)

Now, I said I have a bad taste in my mouth from EPSON but I do like the form factor of the WORKFORCE printer line, if I'm being honest. I really just hate EPSON's software/drivers and their ink capacity based on the EPSON 410-XP I previously had. It just...wasn't good at all.

I'm fine with spending anywhere from $250-500 as I want a good printer and I do photography (well, I will be after society's lockdown ends) so being able to print out the occasional photo would be a nice benefit. I'm not looking for a professional photo/art printer at this time, though.

Basically, I want a well-constructed non-cheapo printer where the ink isn't going to dry out too quickly from periods of non-use or get consumed fully after printing 10 pages. I want it to print in reasonably good quality at a reasonably fast pace with a reasonably quick feeding scanner feature.

Any recommendations?

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Posts

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    My HP 6970 comes close to meeting all your requirements (color printing, auto-feed scanning--a big deal for me--wireless, simple digital screen controls). But it's still very much an economy printer, so maybe the higher end HP models would be a better fit (it was well below your stated budget).

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
    Drez
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    I know you hate Epson but have you checked out their ECO Tank line? I think that line addresses a lot of your ink concerns.

    FWIW the ink drying out from lack of use is an inherent problem for all inkjets.

    DrezBigity
  • Pixelated PixiePixelated Pixie Cupcake Sorceress Registered User regular
    I can't help with your specific needs, but I can vouch for Brother for their build quality. The cheap-ass Brother laser printer I bought when I was an undergrad lasted me through my B.A. and then through 5 years of grad school history paper writing... and lasted another almost 10 years after that. (When it finally died last year, I bought another cheapie that's basically that model's direct replacement.)

    10/10, good brand! :)

    Drez
  • mRahmanimRahmani DetroitRegistered User regular
    I'm a big fan of picking up used corporate laser printers for pennies on the dollar. Toner is cheaper than ink over the long term and they're better built than the consumer spec stuff. They also all have ethernet ports built in for networking, newer ones may have wifi as well. Craigslist/Facebook marketplace are great places to look for offices getting rid of equipment.

    I paid $40 for my HP CP2025, and it's been working flawlessly for 6 years now. It has an ethernet port, double sided printing, and good color accuracy. Toner cartridges are good for 1000 pages and cost me about $30 on eBay.

    AridholDrez
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Mugsley wrote: »
    I know you hate Epson but have you checked out their ECO Tank line? I think that line addresses a lot of your ink concerns.

    FWIW the ink drying out from lack of use is an inherent problem for all inkjets.

    I assume if I print something like once a week or every couple of weeks, and I just make sure I get into that habit and continue with it, I should be able to prevent my ink from drying out?

    Switch: SW-7690-2320-9238
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  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Drez wrote: »
    Mugsley wrote: »
    I know you hate Epson but have you checked out their ECO Tank line? I think that line addresses a lot of your ink concerns.

    FWIW the ink drying out from lack of use is an inherent problem for all inkjets.

    I assume if I print something like once a week or every couple of weeks, and I just make sure I get into that habit and continue with it, I should be able to prevent my ink from drying out?

    I print less than once a week (typically in bursts, so I'll print a bunch of stuff on week, the not print again for a month), and my HP cartridges haven't dried out.

    That being said, they're overpriced and small, and I'm no doubt losing some ink to the automatic maintenance procedure, and I do buy (discounted) first-party cartridges. If I had the option, I'd get one with ink tanks, but this printer's too cheap for that.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
    Drez
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    OK so I'm thinking about this one now:

    https://www.newegg.com/hp-laserjet-pro-m283fdw/p/N82E16828413613?Item=N82E16828413613

    HP LaserJet.

    What I like:

    - Color
    - Auto-feed scanner AND flatbed scanner
    - Trusted name
    - WiFi enabled
    - Color screen
    - Does mobile printing
    - USB 2.0 port

    What I don't like:

    - No memory card slots, it seems. I wonder if it'll take a USB hub or memory card reader rather than just a flash drive

    Any thoughts on this one? It's laser so I assume photos won't be as good/vibrant as inkjet but whatever I guess.

    Switch: SW-7690-2320-9238
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  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Mugsley wrote: »
    I know you hate Epson but have you checked out their ECO Tank line? I think that line addresses a lot of your ink concerns.

    FWIW the ink drying out from lack of use is an inherent problem for all inkjets.

    I would only recommend Epson if you were doing some real high quality printing, and then you're into their Artisan/Stylus line at $1k+. Canon is pretty similar, but as a bonus their software is somehow even worse.

    The drying out issues are mostly related to the heads drying and cracking. A lot of that has been solved, as long as the printer stays on it will do some maintenance to try to keep the heads from drying out.

    Every manufacturer has garbage software, but HP has gotten better. The newer HP Smart app is actually pretty good and makes printing and scanning way easier than it used to be.

    Brother makes tanks. If you want a document printer that lasts a long time, a Brother Laser is perfect, but they're not as good as HP for photos.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
    Drez
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    I'm continuing to look around but I'm inclined to go with the above HP model unless anyone has any other specific model suggestions. Gonna go to bed but I'll check back in the morning before I pull the trigger on any of these.

    I really appreciate the advice and help.

    Switch: SW-7690-2320-9238
    Steam/PSN/Xbox: Drezdar
    Playing: Persona 5 Royal (PS4), Animal Crossing (SW), FF7remake (PS4)
  • mRahmanimRahmani DetroitRegistered User regular
    That laser looks solid to me. Have any reviews mentioned photo print quality?

    Drez
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Honestly, brother is the way to go:

    https://www.brother-usa.com/products/mfcl3770cdw

    As for photo printing, get a dye sublimation printer for like $400-500 if you're doing this semi-professionally.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    AridholMugsleyDrez
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    mRahmani wrote: »
    That laser looks solid to me. Have any reviews mentioned photo print quality?

    These sites tend to bundle reviews across multiple models/versions into a single review thread. There were some comments but they seem to be years-old.

    bowen wrote: »
    Honestly, brother is the way to go:

    https://www.brother-usa.com/products/mfcl3770cdw

    As for photo printing, get a dye sublimation printer for like $400-500 if you're doing this semi-professionally.

    Interesting! I was looking at this EXACT ONE last night. In fact, it seems to be the last one I looked at before going to bed as it was still up on my browser when I just tabbed over to that window.

    Is there anything specific about that one compared to the HP one I mentioned above that you think makes it better, or is this more that you stand by Brother?

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Our company used HP exclusively for years and they are a pain to maintain compared to brother. If you're ever needing to replace a roller or drum, you might as well just smash your hand with a hammer instead.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    Drez
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    I’m gonna be honest.

    I like Brother but I only really like the black Brothers.

    I don’t know why so many printers are this ugly shade of white.

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    Mugsley
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    resurgence in the tech world now that they figured out why it yellowed, the off-white they use now is favorable by corps because it's less edgy

    I'm not even joking about that, every time I get equipment that's black someone makes a comment about it, unless it usually comes in white, then they love how sleek the blacks look.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    Drez
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    ugh

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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    @bowen

    I went back and forth all day on this because:

    a) My gut leans toward Brother in a general sense over HP
    b) The Brother model you mention is actually cheaper and seems to have a similar/the same feature set
    c) I actually do prefer the (admittedly only marginally different) aesthetic of the HP printer I mention in the OP
    d) While HP's maintenance concerns worry me, I am not that worried as I'm not a heavy duty printer. I mean, my volume is low

    Honestly, I'm kind of wasting money as I don't print much throughout the year. But it's a good thing to have those few times I need one, plus it'll be good for when I need to print out a shopping list: I try not to take my phone with me when I go to the grocery due to COVID. Also I just hate futzing around with a shitty printer those few times I need it. I'd honestly rather waste some money just to not have to deal with ink problems or cheap printer problems.

    Is there any feature in the Brother printer you recommended that that HP one doesn't seem to have? Anything glaring? Or any glaring quality differences? If not I think I'm gonna pull the trigger on the HP one.

    As always, I appreciate the suggestions and advice.

    Switch: SW-7690-2320-9238
    Steam/PSN/Xbox: Drezdar
    Playing: Persona 5 Royal (PS4), Animal Crossing (SW), FF7remake (PS4)
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Toner tends to be cheaper on the color laserjets on brother, and they usually don't make you buy all 4 at once too (dunno if that's the case anymore), 3rd party toner doesn't fucking wreck the lifespan in brothers like it seems to in HPs (we use recycled toner at work).

    The wifi/NFC printing is amazing in lieu of the card reader.

    Their scanner had a lot more options than the HP MFC I used 5ish years ago.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    DrezAridhol
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Thanks, bowen.

    It looks like the HP has WiFi including WiFi direct but no NFC.

    I'm still thinking. The Brother one is larger which is kind of a bummer. I think they are both good.

    Gonna just pull the trigger on one. It's not the end of the world either way. Thanks so much for your input!

    Thanks to everyone!

    Switch: SW-7690-2320-9238
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  • LaOsLaOs SaskatoonRegistered User regular
    To help you decide (although this is probably much too late), does one have automatic full duplex scanning? Double-sided scanning is great, but make sure to watch out for manual duplex VS automatic... I got burned on that a couple years back because I didn't read closely enough (was just excited to find duplex scanning I totally glossed over the "manual" bit). I was able to return it and get one that had what I wanted without much trouble, but it was still annoying. :P

    Drez
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Thanks, yeah, I believe both the Brother 3770 CDW and the HP M283FDW have automatic duplex.

    So I ended up getting the HP one. There are definitely some features that Brother beats HP on here, and @bowen touched on all of them: Brother has a better toner price than HP, the Brother one has NFC and the HP one doesn't, and the scanner is significantly better on the Brother one from what I can see. It also has a slightly higher ppm rating.

    Ultimately, though, they seemed relatively close in quality and I just liked the size and form factor of the HP one much better. The HP is a full 10 lbs lighter (~40 lbs vs ~50 lbs). Plus just dimensionally the Brother printer is larger. Like 16x16x20 vs something like 13x16x18). That was actually really important for me.

    Neither of them were black so they both failed on that front but whatevs.

    Thanks to everyone for the advice. I'm sure it it looks like I went in with a specific model in mind and ended up with that exact model but you all were not ignored - you taught me a lot about all this and ultimately, even though I went in the HP direction, I did so much more informed than I would have yesterday if I had just bought the HP at the offset without doing any research.

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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    One more question: Should I film myself beating the crap out of my old EPSON GARBOCRAP -9000, ala Office Space, and put it on TikTok or something? Will I become famous? Maybe even hella famous?

    Switch: SW-7690-2320-9238
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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Now you just gotta get a sublimation printer for photos.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    DrezMugsley
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    Now you just gotta get a sublimation printer for photos.

    :)

    Also a 3D printer.

    (Which I am actually thinking about.)

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Drez wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    Now you just gotta get a sublimation printer for photos.

    :)

    Also a 3D printer.

    (Which I am actually thinking about.)

    I keep saying I'll get one but I never pull the plug because I'm a chickenshit

    @Radiation tries to get me to do it constantly and I'm always disappointing him

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    Drez
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    That's OK, I'm constantly disappointing everyone.

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  • RadiationRadiation Registered User regular
    I'm not disappointed, just trying to help you make the jump.
    Check out the 3d printer thread, but I highly recommend prusa printers. Setup was cake on the mini, and printing on both machines has been fairly straightforward and painless.

    PSN: jfrofl
    Drez
  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    The HP ink subscription might be a good deal if you print a lot in color. There's plenty of info when you setup and you can get a few free months when you 1st sign up if you want to give it a try.

    DrezShadowfire
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Cauld wrote: »
    The HP ink subscription might be a good deal if you print a lot in color. There's plenty of info when you setup and you can get a few free months when you 1st sign up if you want to give it a try.

    Thanks!

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  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    Drez wrote: »
    One more question: Should I film myself beating the crap out of my old EPSON GARBOCRAP -9000, ala Office Space, and put it on TikTok or something? Will I become famous? Maybe even hella famous?

    F U C K Y E S

    DrezShadowfire
  • TelMarineTelMarine Registered User regular
    edited June 18
    I've heard HP printers have nasty DRM on the ink cartridges arbitrarily restricting the purchase date and type. I wouldn't be surprised if other printer companies are doing that too, so be on the look out for that

    TelMarine on
    3ds: 4983-4935-4575
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    TelMarine wrote: »
    I've heard HP printers have nasty DRM on the ink cartridges arbitrarily restricting the purchase date and type. I wouldn't be surprised if other printer companies are doing that too, so be on the look out for that

    As someone who actually uses an HP Printer, I'm going to say "Not on mine, apparently."

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Synthesis wrote: »
    TelMarine wrote: »
    I've heard HP printers have nasty DRM on the ink cartridges arbitrarily restricting the purchase date and type. I wouldn't be surprised if other printer companies are doing that too, so be on the look out for that

    As someone who actually uses an HP Printer, I'm going to say "Not on mine, apparently."

    A lot of newer printers do, but it's buggy in the way that official cartridges are sometimes flagged as counterfeit. :rotate:

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
    Mugsley
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Honestly at the rate I print I’d be surprised if I ever even get through the introductory cartridges that it ships with.

    That’s said it arrives tomorrow and I’m psyched.

    Switch: SW-7690-2320-9238
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  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote: »
    TelMarine wrote: »
    I've heard HP printers have nasty DRM on the ink cartridges arbitrarily restricting the purchase date and type. I wouldn't be surprised if other printer companies are doing that too, so be on the look out for that

    As someone who actually uses an HP Printer, I'm going to say "Not on mine, apparently."

    A lot of newer printers do, but it's buggy in the way that official cartridges are sometimes flagged as counterfeit. :rotate:

    Lucky me, I've been using official and third-party cartridges.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • mRahmanimRahmani DetroitRegistered User regular
    edited June 19
    bowen wrote: »
    Toner tends to be cheaper on the color laserjets on brother, and they usually don't make you buy all 4 at once too (dunno if that's the case anymore), 3rd party toner doesn't fucking wreck the lifespan in brothers like it seems to in HPs (we use recycled toner at work).

    The wifi/NFC printing is amazing in lieu of the card reader.

    Their scanner had a lot more options than the HP MFC I used 5ish years ago.

    I'm curious if the "buy all 4 toners at once" thing is a consumer vs. enterprise thing with HP. I haven't used a consumer printer in years, but my LaserJet has an override setting that will let you print with toner cartridges until nothing comes out anymore, print quality be damned. It definitely doesn't care if you change them all at once. Looking up old reviews, this printer dates back to sometime around 2009, so maybe things have changed.

    mRahmani on
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Why even sell them individually if you have to replace all four at the same time?

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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    I gotta say, I'm loving the printer.

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    ShadowfireSynthesisLaOsMugsleyCauld
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