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kristof65

Multi-Function Printer recommendations?

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Well, my poor Epson CX5800 Multifunction printer that I use daily at work is giving up the ghost. I'm afraid it doesn't have more than a couple weeks left in it before it bites the big one.

 

I'm wondering if anyone out there has any suggestions of models/brands to consider or avoid?

 

I need to replace it with a printer that has similar capabilities - printing, scanning and faxing. This time around, I'd like to get a mono-chrome laser instead of an ink-jet one - I have other printers that I can print color stuff on, and the increased speed will really help my end of day productivity when I'm doing the bulk of my shipping. I'm a huge Epson fan - this is my first Epson that's actually failing, rather than just becoming obsolete and hard to find cartridges for, but given the two years of abuse I've heaped on this printer, it hasn't dampened my enthusiasm for Epson at all.

 

However, as far as I know, Epson doesn't make any laser based printers, so I've got to look towards other manufacturers - and that's where I'm stuck. My experiences with HP and Canon ink-jets haven't been all that great - I have no experience with their lasers and multi-functions. We had a Brother network laser printer at one office I was at, and it was a great workhorse, but again, no experience with thier multifunctions.

 

Here's some of my requirements:

 

- Laser based.

- Print, Scan and Fax capabilities a must

- less than $400 street price, preferably less than $250.

- monochrome ok

- USB or Network connection

- must be able to easily feed full sheet Shipping labels through it.

- as low of a per page cost as possible - I'll take a more expensive printer with a better priced toner cartridge over a cheap one.

 

I'd love to hear my fellow Reaper forumite's opinions on this. I can only read so many C-Net and Amazon reviews before my head spins.

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I'm surprised that you've had problems with a Canon. I've had my Canon ink jet printer for almost 7 years, and it still prints great (I use it mostly for photos).

 

Not sure if it has changed, but years ago, many of the other printer manufacturers (HP included) used Canon made laser printing engines in their printers (the feed system and the printer housing were designed by the individual companies).

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I'm surprised that you've had problems with a Canon.

I should probably qualify this and my HP experiences. I've only had experience with two Canon printers. One was a portable photo printer that worked great, but had a really high per photo printing cost. The other was an inkjet that we worked to death - it was supposedly bought brand new when the company opened in April, I came on board in June, and by October it was dead. The printer was decent in the beginning, it just couldn't survive an office environment, and it was much slower than the Epson's I had. It was replaced with a Brother Laser Printer that last nearly four years before it bit the dust (and I think that was literal - the printer coincidentally died only a few days after being coated with drywall dust from a contractor removing a nearby wall). So I've really got nothing against the Canon's, I just haven't had that great of experiences with them, but I'm not necessarily blaming Canon.

 

HP inkjet's leave a bad taste in my mouth because of their drivers. The printers themselves are fine, but I've had a number of software clashes and Window's problems because of HP printer drivers. I know that part of this is because many of the HP printers use the PC to process the print job, rather than having an onboard processor do it.

 

 

Those are my experiences with inkjets though. I've known several people with HP laser printers (but not multi-functions) who have been happy with them, but agree with me about their inkjets. Because Lasers and Ink-Jets are two different classes of printer, I'm not going to arbitrarily dismiss a company's line of multifunction laser printers based on my experiences with their inkjets, but I did want you to be aware that I'm probably prejudiced against those two companies for one reason or another. HP more so than Canon, because I've had pretty decent luck with my Canon Digital camera.

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I have always had good luck with HP laser printers - only brand I would ever consider, actually, for a laser product. We have one of their high end multi-function machines, and it is a beast of a champion - never used a better printer in my life (then again, it cost $15K). I have no clue on the low end lasers, though.

 

As long as you have the newest drivers from HP, they work fine IMO. Do not use the standard Windows drivers, though - and don't use the install disk, either. Go to their site and download the newest ones right from the start - that is my only complaint with HP.

 

Mike

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Yea... the suggestion for a specific printer really depends on your budget too...

 

If features like automatic duplexing or network capability are important to you, those can add upwards of 2 or 300 bucks to a printer model, but i'd second (third?) suggestions for HP laser units... they're extremely solid, albeit not always the cheapest to buy.

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Yea... the suggestion for a specific printer really depends on your budget too...

Which is why I listed my budget - $400, preferably less than $250. ::P: Consider that I'm currently working with an inkjet that cost $150 two years ago that met my needs just fine. The only two things that bug me about it are speed - it would be nice if it was faster - and the nozzles occassionally clogging and needing cleaning - because that always seems to happen right before I have to print a lot of shipping labels in a hurry. Switching to a laser printer should solve those two problems.

 

If features like automatic duplexing or network capability are important to you, those can add upwards of 2 or 300 bucks to a printer model, but i'd second (third?) suggestions for HP laser units... they're extremely solid, albeit not always the cheapest to buy.

duplexing and network capability would be nice, but are not overly important. If a decent printer within my budget has one or more of those features, great, if not, I can live without them. The bulk of my printing is packing lists and shipping labels, followed by proofreading copies of the manuals I write. So my most important requirements are probably lowest cost per page possible within my budget and the ability to feed FedEx/UPS shipping labels through it (which are basically full sheet labels).

 

I could go with a straight printer, however, I do have the occasional fax I recieve, copy I have to make or document to scan, so if I went with a straight printer, I'd have to find a low cost fax machine as well, and fit that price within the same budget.

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I use an HP 3050 at work, which seems to meet your criteria, although I confess I was not involved in the purchase and do not know the pricing issue. We use a couple of models of printers here, and try to stay consistent.

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