Solved: Need some help picking a new printer

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cwwozniak

Chuck
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I think our Canon i550 printer has printed its last page. It has served us well for a number of years. The multi-color flashing of the LED says I have a failure in the logic board.

I am looking for a replacement and trying to figure out if any company still makes them like they used to ...

1) Uses ink tanks instead of ink cartridges that include the printhead

2) Separate Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black tanks. Don't want a tri-color tank and don't need more than 4 different ink colors.

3) Uses non-chipped ink tanks that can be purchased from other ink manufacturers besides the company that made the printer (Yes, I know this will void the printer warranty.) Don't want to deal with refilling tanks that can have the chip reset.​

I don't mind paying a bit more upfront for the actual printer as long as cost per printed page is low.

The printer will be primarily used to print out text documents that may include embedded small color pictures and graphics (Google driving directions and maps, cooking recipies. school reports, etc.). Typical usage may be 20 to 30 single sided pages a week. We have found it cheaper to upload files to a web site and have photos printed at local store.

We have a separate scanner and don't send or receive faxes. A printer that only prints is good enough.

Need a USB 2.0 interface but a wired Ethernet network connection might be nice.

Taking a look at the products on the Canon USA site, it would appear that they have moved into multifunction scanner/printers designed to print photos and support for 8-1/2 x 11 document printing is a design afterthought.

Should I be looking at a color laser printer?
 
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Possibly, but Canon still makes the only single-tank-per-color machines with a removeable/replaceable print head assembly. Epson still makes theirs without head removal capability, and Kodaks and HPs that use the #2 carts are in the same boat - I won't even bother with Brother.

Color lasers are coming down in price, but still have the shock value of their toners (especially if they are separate from their drums).

I would try and stick with the Canon if you're looking at the single cart-per-color scheme. Besides, if you can find a Canon that uses the 4 primary #8s and the large #5, you'll have the highest resolution machine on the market. And as an added bonus, since I've seen plenty of them around for cheap, the iP4200 are almost a steal ( http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-list...1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1222753219&sr=8-1 ). Yes, the #8s and the #5 carts have chips - all carts today do - but they are still the most user friendly.

A-N
 

cwwozniak

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the iP4200 are almost a steal
Unfortunately I see it as letting me get the printer for a steal and then slowly picking my pockets empty later on for the chipped tanks. :mad:

Looks like I'll have to break down and buy one that uses chipped tanks.

Thank you for the details on who at least still makes the separate tank ones.
 

cwwozniak

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Thank-you very much for the e-Bay link.

Shipping is about $22 to my home ZipCode. I need to see what the bidding is like closer to the Oct. 7 closing date.

I was reading the C|Net and PC Magazine reviews for some the more recent chipped Canon products with four and five tank systems. One of them showed a cost per printed page (non photo) of about 3 cents for color and 5 cents for color using OEM tanks. I may have to do some serious comparison shopping the next few days.
 

cwwozniak

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My own and family member impatience trumped my cheapness. Didn't want to wait for the Oct. 7 closing date on the one you found or take a chance on a big increase in the bid amount.

Found another "Like New" i550 on eBay that offered Buy-it-Now and I did.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200258832456

EDIT: For $77.50 delivered, I figure it will have paid for itself after I go through about 8 generic tanks instead of buying the OEM ones.
 

cwwozniak

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A short followup.

Got the "Like New" i550 last week. I could not get it to print any black right out of the shipping box. Lost track of the number "Deep cleaning" cycles I tried and even tried a new black ink tank and still no black. It is on the way back to the seller for a refund.

Ended up getting a Canon Pixma ip3500 at a local Staples. It was $79.99 out the door with a final price of $59.99 after rebate.

Not sure how they did it but there seem to be third party companies selling chipped tanks for this model. Then again I would not be surprised to find out that Canon has updated the firmware to lock them out.
 
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