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Looking for printer recommendation

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by ritagoldberg, Oct 2, 2008.

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  1. ritagoldberg

    ritagoldberg Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
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    I wonder if any of you can recommend a printer with the following characteristics. I'm probably asking for the moon, but maybe there is a printer out there that does everything I'm looking for.
    -laser
    -color
    -multifunction
    -high quality printing, i.e. excellent text and photos
    -wi fi
    -reliable
    -weight under 50 lbs.

    Any ideas????

    Thanks,
    Rita
     
  2. arknorth

    arknorth

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,099
    Hummm... whoa...

    Photo quality on a laser depends of three factors - Obviously, resolution (which does not have to be as high as an inkjet's), type of toner in it, and type of paper being fed it. There is laser photo stock, but it's extremely rare and expencive (Xerox makes it [the type that actually FEELS like photo paper, not just THICK paper], Staples uses it, and ordering it is like pulling teeth on yourself by yourself).

    As for toner types, the best for photos (without going wax-types like the Xerox Phasers) will depend on how much polymer (plastic) is in the toner being used. There are a series of HPs that have semi-polymer type toners (the 1600 series use this type), where the toner is part standard ferris-oxide mixed with poly. You get a relatively good picture, but not glossy. Meanwhile, there's the Oki's, where they have almost 100% poly-based toners, to which they will make ANY paper look like a magazine spread as it always prints glossy.

    As for multifunction, oddly, in many black and white laser AIOs, the scanner IS in color, BUT, they tend not to be of the highest quality (scanners need to be at least 48-bit to be concidered 'full power' - most multifunction laser scanners hobble around at about 28-bit to 32-bit - the lower the bit ratio, the fewer colors the scanner 'sees'). As for what they do in the few color AIOs, most manufacturers are following their B&W siblings in lacking good quaily scanners. That being said, we look at Canon.

    Canon is one of the best scanner makers in the world. Their first color-laser AIO, the Color imageCLASS 8180c, has an excellent scanner at 48-bit and the capability of getting up to 9600x9600 dpi. The drawback is two things - it is deadly slow on the color printing (4 ppm) and weighs a meer 79 lbs. http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=125&modelid=13099

    Looking at Brother, they tend to give you more bang for your buck (networking availability on more machines than any other maufacturer for example), BUT... they tend to be very expencive to operate, and also lack on things like their scanners (the model checked has a full 48-bit brain, but lacks on the scan capabilty at 1200x2400 dpi). http://www.brother-usa.com/mfc/ModelDetail.aspx?ProductID=MFC9440CN

    HP though, has one of the smallest, lightest, and most cost efficient machines out there - it's a shame that it has the WORST scanner attached to it. http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/s...g&v2=Color&product_code=CC431A#ABA&catLevel=3

    Now, as for some of you requests, welllll... wifi ain't gonna be one of them directly out of the printer - a networked one (like the Brother) going through a wireless router, or a wireless print server, possibly... but unless they're made to do it, AIOs hate doing wireless on all functions - printing, no prob. Scanning, they get touchy.

    As for Oki... Well, there's nother pretty about an Oki - lumpy, and large describe them best, though even with it's mass, it's still lighter than the Canon. It has the highest printing resolution, but scanner specs are missing. Remember though, Oki has the near 100% poly toner, so they print incredible pictures on the worst papers. My only problem is that they have separate toners from their drums, so down the road, they can be expencive to repair. http://www.okidata.com/mkt/html/nf/c3530nmfpspec.html

    That's my two cents - hope it was worth it! ;-)

    A-N
     
  3. DCM1519

    DCM1519

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Messages:
    1,141
    I would look on the Newegg.com site and read the reviews and descriptions of their printers.

    The reviews are written by buyers and are honest. The information about each of the printers is from the factories so you have to combine that with the reviews to get an idea of the best one for you.
     
  4. ritagoldberg

    ritagoldberg Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
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    Many thanks to both of you for your responses. I will check the reviews on Newegg and other sites, and I will treasure all the comments and suggestions from DMullen. It's all great advice and information. Mostly what I take away is that there is no printer at present that meets all my requirements and that I will have to rank the characteristics before deciding what to buy.

    I'd welcome any additional thoughts from either one of you or from anyone else who's reading this thread.
     
  5. ritagoldberg

    ritagoldberg Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
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    Using your recommendations, I've started to narrow down the options. I see that some heavy, heavy, expensive, expensive laser printers come close to what I'm looking for, but buying one of them is not realistic. Here's what I'm looking at right now:

    HP Color Laserjet CM1312nfi MFP
    Canon Pixma MX7600

    Any thoughts on either one?
     
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