Any printers that don't lock up when ink is half-empty

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Amoeba

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First of all apologies if this should have gone in software, I'm not sure if it is a hardware (actual printer itself) or software issue.

I am very wary about buying a new printer because of all the horror stories I have heard about printers locking up until you replace the ink, even when the ink isn't even empty. I can totally believe it, my current printer doesn't lock up but it claims the ink is low when it's pretty much still new and I still get hundreds of printouts long after that. Just so happens it's a very old rubbish printer where black is actually this horrible jobby green, with outdated unsupported software that decides for itself when it wants to work and now that I'm out of ink I can't find any more of the correct type on sale anywhere, and there doesn't seem to be an official website. Thus I need a new one.

Secondly I don't know anything about printers. I don't know what a soft jet or hard jet is, or laser printers vs non-laser, or anything like that. I mean I've read up on it (been looking for a printer for a while now) but it's like trying to understand quantum physics. You don't understand one thing so have to look it up, but then you don't understand that explanation so you have to look up the words in that, then you don't understand the explanation to THAT and before long you're in one big muddle...

Basically all I'm after is a simple affordable printer that lets me drain my ink dry, prints in actual true black and doesn't give printouts that look all blocky and jagged and has an in-built scanner. Can anyone please help me? Or even advise how I can tell for myself if it's one of THOSE printers...?

EDIT: I'd just like to say that I am aware I can't let it run completely empty, but I'd just like to decide for myself if it's low or not and use it until it's pretty much done, without trying to squeeze out every drop if you get what I mean..
 

cwwozniak

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I have been using a Canon Pixma MX882 All-In-One Printer for about a year and a half. I have been using third party chipped ink tanks without any problems after using up the Canon brand ones that came with it. The ink gauges seem to be fairly accurate and start warning you early when ink starts to get low. I don't get actual out-of-ink errors that stop printing until the tanks are just about bone dry. I do replace them right away at that point. The printer uses a four tank system with a separate larger black tank that is used when printing in black only. A different black tank is used when printing in color.

This particular model may be a bit of overkill for you. It can print in duplex mode without manual flipping of the pages. It has a scanner that works in both flatbed mode and with a document feeder that supports single and duplex scanning. It also has wireless networking and fax capabilities.
 

Amoeba

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Third party chipped? Ink gauges? Tank systems? Duplexes? Fax capabilities?

... I think I'm just going to go back to bed.
 
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I have a Canon PIXMA MP560 that I really like, it's probably a little older now, think I bought it two years ago now. It allows you to run it until it's dry. It has the same tank system as cwwozniak's (Has four seperate color ink cartridges, and one larger black ink one) Only downfall is, that if you're out of one ink color it won't print anything that includes if you're out of say yellow it won't even let you print black only.

I'll see if I can give you a run down of the terms mentioned above

Third party chipped: Off brand/generic ink
Ink Gauges: Tells you how much ink you have left
Tank System: Type of ink cartridge setup
Duplex scanning: Scans paper on both sides instead of just one at a time
Fax Capabilities: It can also be used as a fax machine.
 
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If you want to stay cheap and stay printing in color, then ink is the way to go. But if you can go to black and white printing only, I would go with a laser printer, far cheaper when having to replace the supplies because it uses a toner cartridge, no mess, and you get a lot more prints. Brother makes a good laser printer that has everything but fax, it standard copy/print/scan, can print wireless, network, or USB and is easy to setup, not a bad price tag either. I just bought one as a christmas present and ran about $120 I think.
 

Amoeba

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Guys, you're going to have to simplify your technical language a bit please. HillbillyTech99's reply was nice and simple, for example.

Does that type of printer lock up when the link is "low", HillbillyTech99?
 
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you're out of one ink color it won't print anything that includes if you're out of say yellow it won't even let you print black only.
 
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If your talking about the toner printer then no, it will warn you when the toner is getting low, but will continue to print and when you change out the container it will recognize it. Worst case is when you change it out, that you have to go into the menu on the display of the machine and tell it new toner was insalled, but thats kind of old technology I haven't seen any new ones that still do that in a few years. You can get a color toner machine as well, but the up front price will be a little high. My opinion is a laser machine is always the way to go so that you don't have to mess with ink cartridges that dry up after not being used for a while, or now the extremely high price of the ink. 1 toner cartridge on a black and white can give thousands of prints without the headache.
 

Amoeba

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So how can I tell which ones don't lock up when the ink/toner is low? That's all I'm really interested in.
 
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