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Can I get some help with buying a printer/scanner?

edited September 2007 in Everything Else
I'm such a non-techie~! Anywho.

So, I'm getting my brand-new-old-family computer sometime next week, but I'm stuck looking at printers and scanners, going, "What do I want..?" I would like something that's a little cheaper than $300 - preferably in the $100 to $200 range - and I dunno whether to get a laser or ink jet printer, and what too look for in a scanner. I'd really like it as a combo. My main thing is having it for scanning drawings and eventually printing prints... So, what's your suggestions?


  • Don't get a combo. If one part breaks you're fucked, because when you need to send it out you will loose the ability to print,scan,fax,whatever altogether. I also read that it's more expensive to fix.

    You can get a decent scanner from new egg at $100. I have a epson 3490 photo and it does a great job. I think that any current scanner on the market will do a good job.

    As for a printer, how much do intend on printing? If it's a lot of printing, definitely go for the laser. It'll be expensive upfront but it's worth it in the long term since you can print around 1000 pages on one cartridge. If 300 full color pages per set of cartridges are enough to you, then go for the inkjet. On average you're going to be paying $50 per set of inkjet cartridge and $70 for laser.

    Another thing to keep note is what kind of paper your printer takes. I use a Cannon Pixma ip4300, it's pretty decent but I'm not supposed to print on cardstock. I print on cardstock anyhow cause it hasn't failed me yet.
  • edited September 2007
    I should be able to give you a hand kage_rod, I sell printers and multifunctions for a living so I'm very familiar with all of the different models.

    Well, first of all contrary to what Ametto has just said, I would definitely think about getting a multifunction. You are going to save heaps of space and these days the print mechanism they include in a combo is exactly the same as you get in a separate printer. It will be more expensive to repair if something happens, but printers are so cheap its easier just to buy another one if it breaks outside of warranty.

    Laser printers are fantastic, but to get one that is going to give you decent quality for printing off drawings and pictures its going to cost you a hell of a lot of money. Most cheaper laser printers are only really for office type use, they are probably not going to have the resolution you need. So if you are only looking to spend a few hundred dollars I would say that you are probably restricted to inkjet.

    As for brands, the only ones I wouldn't go with are Brother because I personally think the print quality is a average, and Lexmark because they are expensive to run and the build quality is terrible. So the three brands that you should be looking at are Epson, Canon and HP. If I was buying one I would probably go for a Canon. It will cost you a bit more than the other two brands, but the quality is fantastic and cartridge prices are pretty decent.

    The MP610 is a pretty good option if you don't mind going to the top end of your price range. They retail for about AU$300, but it should be a bit cheaper in the US especially if you look online. The print and scan resolution is fairly high, its reasonably quick and fairly compact. Otherwise its cheaper brother, the MP520 which is about AU$200 is a decent unit.

    Canon just released both of those printers fairly recently, so you might be able to find the old models (MP600 and MP510) still kicking about. That would be an awesome option as they barely changed anything on the new models, they just look a bit different.
    Post edited by Sean on
  • I'll say the same thing I say when anyone asks how to buy anything.

    1. Determine what you need.
    2. Do research to figure out which product meets your needs.
    3. Purchase that product at the lowest price you can find.

    Personally, we here at GeekNights realized that most of the printing we do is mapquests and character sheets for RPGs and such. We had no real need for color. The cartridges for our old inkjets from college were getting more and more expensive. The deskjets also printed very slowly, Rym's broke I think, and while they worked in Linux, they weren't perfect. We decided to go the cheap route and get a black and white laser printer that worked in Linux and was cheap as hell. We got a Samsung ML-2010 for $50 on Newegg, and another toner cartridge for super cheap. We've had it for a long time, and I finally had to replace the toner for the first time yesterday.

    You need to know what you need.
  • If you go for a color printer make sure it takes single color cartridges. Don't go for a cheap one that has all the colors in one cartridge.
  • edited September 2007
    You could try an Continuous ink system if you plan to be printing a lot, though if you want the combo printing scanning things it may not fit. I'm looking at getting one to do leaflets and print large sets of photographs.
    Post edited by Omnutia on
  • edited September 2007
    Post edited by Sail on
  • You left off the alt text!!!!
  • edited September 2007
    But the alt text for this one isn't even that funny! Fine. Alt text restored.
    Post edited by Sail on
  • Those things have funny alt texts? . . . You learn something every day.
  • That comic made me laugh. Thanks Sail.

    Um, alright: Ametto: Unfortunately, space is a huge issue currently, and probably will continue to be. So if I drop a bit of quality for that, I'll have to make do.
    Sean_R: Thanks for all that information; brands are really strange to me ("What's the difference??" "This one is done by So-and-So, and this one's done by John Doe! That's the difference!" "..."). And with the specific model names, that'll be very useful!
    Scott: Main problem is that I don't know what I need, or where to start. I usually rely on other people's knowledge because I get turned around so easily.
    HMTKSteve: You mean, one for each colour? Yellow, Red, Green, and Blue? o.O; I never even knew they would come that way..
    Omnutia: That looks really cool; is that what HMTK was talking about?
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