looking for a cheap laser or ink printer with a scanner

Discussion in 'hardware' started by mantra, Sep 10, 2021.

  1. mantra

    mantra Registered Member

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    Hi
    i'm looking for a cheap laser or ink printer for a friend , the point she does not use her printer very often , she left her old printer for 2 months without any use

    I told her to print some page every 2 weeks at least but nothing

    I should buy a wireless printer for home use for her

    I thought to a monocromatic brother laser printer with a scanner A4

    Is it a good choice? Could a laser printer stay off for 3 or more months without any issues?

    could you give me some advise ?
    she own 2 laptops , an apple and an windows laptop
    thanks
     
  2. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Well, cheap to some could mean $50. Cheap to others may mean $150. You need to be more specific about the budget.

    You also neglected to state what the device will be used for. You say it needs a scanner so that suggests an AiO (all-in-one).

    Does she need color? Or is B/W only fine? Will she be printing out photos, or mostly text documents?
    Is that a question?

    Will this be a networked printer, or connected directly to a host computer? I much prefer networked because then any computer on the network can print with the need for a host computer to share, or be running. Since she has two laptops, a network-ready device would be better. Clearly, it needs to support both Windows and Apple.

    I prefer wired, but of course, that means the printer must be located in close proximity to the router or a connected switch. Some use USB, but then so must the router.

    If color, I would look for one that has separate ink cartridges for each color. Many have a single cartridge for the colors. This is convenient but it means if you run out of yellow, for example, you have to toss out the cartridge when it still may be only 1/2 empty of cyan and magenta.

    Lasers are more tolerant about being unused for longer periods of time - but they also tend to cost a bit more.

    Inkjet is probably the better choice if color is needed. But you are right that she needs to print something regularly to keep the print heads from drying out. I recommend weekly - at least a self test page.
     
  3. mantra

    mantra Registered Member

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    Hi @Bill_Bright
    well for cheap I mean 200/300€ , i 'm looking for a monocromatic (only black and white ) all in one printer with wireless
    seening she could leave the printer for several months OFF , i'm thinking about laser printer
    may I know what do you mean for more tolerant ? Can stay OFF for 1 year and after 1 year start to print without problems?
    thanks Bill
     
  4. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I don't know about a year once opened. The toner itself is probably okay because it is powder. If it (the toner cartridge) sits for long periods of time, it may have to be gently rocked back and forth to unpack or loosen up the powder. That said, I have seen some reports that claim toner cartridges have an 18 to 24 month shelf life. Then other claim that is a myth.

    You might download a couple user guides for printers you are considering and see what they say - if they say.

    I still think the better solution would be for her to get into the habit of printing something every so often. Perhaps schedule it as a weekly or biweekly appointment in her calendar program - with a reminder.

    https://www.consumerreports.org/products/printers-28966/all-in-one-printer-28714/view2/
     
  5. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    I have had bad experciences with most brands when it comes to "all in one" printers. HP, Brother and Epson all sucked. So now I'm going to buy one from Canon. And perhaps I should this time buy a laserprinter, never really understood the difference, but I will do some research.

    But I will probably buy this one:

    https://www.coolblue.nl/en/product/794852/canon-pixma-ts5151.html
     
  6. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I personally have had great experiences with AiO devices. However, I learned right away, before I bought my first one, through the experiences of others that if you go for the budget models, odds are bad experiences will be the norm - more often with mechanical issues rather than actual print quality issues.

    If you want a budget printer, get a basic, budget printer. But if you also want a copier, scanner and perhaps a fax machine integrated with your printer (an AiO), don't waste your money on a budget device. Save your pennies and be prepared to "invest" in a quality device.

    In any case, I think one of the reasons for many problems - at least with ink jets - is lack of use. Most people - even businesses - don't print near as often as they used to. Ink jet ink dries out. That's how it "sets" on the printed page (lasers use heat to "fuse" the toner to the paper). But it can also dry in the print heads and nozzles. For this reason, it is recommended people print something - anything that includes all the colors at least once a week. But sadly, people forget and the print heads dry out.
     
  7. mantra

    mantra Registered Member

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    Hi
    nice printer , I will check for all in one canon laser printer
    thanks

    hi @Bill_Bright
    can't open the link , don't know why , it doesn't mean they can stay off for 18-24 months without problems?
    thanks
     
  8. stapp

    stapp Global Moderator

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    Might be because the link is HTTP and not HTTPS
     
  9. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Yeah, that's why. Your browser is blocking it because, being HTTP, it is not a secure-link. That does not mean that particular site is a security risk. It really just means they (site owners/admins) need to get off their duffs and upgrade to HTTPS.

    You can probably tell your browser to ignore it, but IMO, you should leave it as is. It is that site that needs to change, not you. And for sure, there is no information on that site you need. The main message is that laser toner cartridges, especially if the packaging has been opened, should be stored in a cool, dry place and out of the way of direct sunlight. Pretty much, common sense stuff.

    Frankly, IMO any expiration date on a laser toner cartridge is probably there at the insistence of the maker's in-house shysters... err... legal department wanting to limit a company's exposure to any liability - and not for any real technical reasons.
     
  10. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    Actually I have just read a couple of bad reviews about it being slow to startup. Perhaps I should give HP another try. But Coolblue has got a pretty good site, I always use it for product research even though I most of the time end up buying stuff somewhere else, since they are not the cheapest.

    Yes this is a problem, that's why before printing I always make it clean the printheads. But my current problem with my Brother printer is that the power button doesn't work anymore, so I will always have to perform a reset by unplugging it and holding the power button. Plus I have a feeling that Brother is playing tricks, even if you don't print that much, it will somehow run out of ink. This all feels quite shady, it's almost as if it's programmed to run out of ink in a certain amount of time.
     
  11. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    Cleaning the print heads uses ink. It is why my Epson printers are always out of ink after they sit there and clean for longer than the print job would have taken several times over.
     
  12. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    Absolutely agreed, People bring me pages with streaks on them from the laser printer and think I am kidding when I tell them it is from not using it enough. It took 200 pages of printing one time for it the clear up.
     
  13. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I agree with xxJackxx. In fact, cleaning uses a LOT of ink. I only clean the printheads when I start seeing printout problems and I know there is still plenty of ink in all the cartridges. It typically is a faulty cartridge.
     
  14. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    To clarify, even when I don't clean the print heads, somehow ink will still run low, after let's say a month of not printing anything. This is quite shady to say the least. But I see that HP and Epson have now come up with HP Instant Ink and Epson EcoTank, I wonder how this will work in practice.

    I have been reading bad stuff about Canon, I think I will now go for this one:

    https://www.coolblue.nl/en/product/880432/hp-envy-6020e-all-in-one.html
     
  15. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Run low? Ummm, no. Something else is happening - like the print heads have dried out, blocking the flow of ink. This is why you should never go a month without printing at least a test page every week.

    I like the idea of those tanks, but only if you do a lot of printing.

    HP Instant Ink? Ummm, did you not do any research to see that that is? It is simply a subscription plan where they monitor your ink/toner levels, then automatically send you new ink or toner so you never run out.
     
  16. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    Depends on your printer. I know with the Epsons I have had just turning them on starts a cleaning cycle so even if you're not cleaning the print heads, you're cleaning the print heads. Ink jet printers are a cool technology ruined by greed. I saw an article that stated ink jet ink costs $10,000 per gallon based on what they charge for cartridges. HP justified it as R&D costs. How about charge as a fair price for the printer and the ink and I would buy more ink. Instead of $40 for a printer and $80 for the ink, sell me a solid printer for $200 and the ink for $15. I would buy way more of it. And wouldn't even look at generic ink. Which actually does cause some failures.
     
  17. mantra

    mantra Registered Member

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    hi
    is there an easy way to print wireless printer -> Router ->lan desktop
    in short print wireless with a desktop connected to the router via lan and a wireless printer?
    i have always taken hours and hours to configure it
    thanks
     
  18. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    That's how I do it. I have computers connected via Ethernet (wired) and wireless. And my printer is connected via wireless. Everyone can print just fine.

    The only thing I recommend is setting a static or reserved IP address for the printer. This is typically done in the router. It ensures the printer is always given the same IP address, even after extended power outages. The prevents IP address assignments getting shifted about to different wireless devices on your network. This is not normally a problem for the computers and their network settings. But it can cause problems for printer configurations in connected computers.
     
  19. MisterB

    MisterB Registered Member

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    These days, I mostly use laser printers. Toner costs less than ink and print quality is better. I live in a community with a lot of IT surplus and I have several that would have gone into a landfill if I hadn't picked them up. My go to printer for black and white is an old HP 1020. Small foot print and cheap toner are its strong points. No wifi though, it's that old. I've never had to look for a driver, Windows and most linux distros will automatically download the driver once it's connected. Every now and then I have to print out a phone book's worth of print outs for a meeting and my HP 1020 has never let me down. It's also very fast and I print in an hour what took several with my old inkjet. I also have a low end Samsung all in one color laser which is one of the few I actually paid for. It's slower and has a much larger footprint but it does have wifi and I have set it up with a direct print connection via wifi. The print quality is gorgeous but not exactly photo, more like photos printed in an old magazine. I have a couple of Canon photo all in ones and they do photos as well as the commercial photo printer in our local department store. 3rd party ink cartridges are cheap and the printhead can be removed for cleaning which is not the case with the similar Epson models. That being said, Canon has made a huge number of similar printers with the same form factor but all use different ink cartridges and I've had some that were much more reliable and less prone to clog from underuse than others. In general, I would avoid cheap consumer printers and get higher end business ones. Even with inkjets, they are far cheaper to run.
     
  20. mantra

    mantra Registered Member

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    hi @Bill_Bright
    not every router let you setting a static ip for the printer , I have noticed that several netgear router has no option to do it
    thanks
     
  21. digmor crusher

    digmor crusher Registered Member

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    I'll buy a printer for around $200 and consider it as disposable, it may last a year, , maybe 3 or 4. Doesn't matter, when its done just chuck it, under no circumstances would I buy something like a printer or microwave and expect it to last any length of time.
     
  22. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Yeah, I should have done a better job of explaining what I meant. Sorry about that.

    I currently have a Netgear router, and have used several in the past. And it is true that many do not let you set a "static" IP address for connected devices (though most let you set a static IP for the router itself, but that's for a different scenario).

    IIRC, every Netgear router I have seen, as well as Linksys, ASUS, TP-Link, and others lets the user set a "reserved" IP address. "DHCP Reservations", as the feature is formally called, is different than "static" in that with a reserved address, the admin tells the DHCP router to assign a specific IP address to a device, whenever that device connects to the network and asks for an IP address.

    So if you have 10 devices that normally connect to your network (computers, smart TVs, tablets, cell phone, etc.), you might tell your router to always assign 192.168.1.20 to the printer when it connects. That way, while other devices may get different IP addresses each time they connect, the router will always "reserve" the .20 address and assign it to that printer when it connects.

    In this way, the configurations for network printing in all your computers will always remain the same and point to that .20 address.

    An alternative way is to go into the printer's admin menu and setup its network configuration to always ask for a specific IP address - IF the printer supports this option.
     
  23. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    I didn't know you could do that. I just configured it for my printer to see if it fixes an issue with my wife's laptop, where is sometimes shows the printer being offline when it isn't.
     
  24. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Hey Roger - I don't see how this will fix that, but I sure would be curious to know if it does.

    You seem to be suggesting that your wife's laptop shows the printer is off-line but at the same time, you are able to print fine, indicating the printer is indeed, still on-line. Is that what is happening? If so, that is really odd. I don't see how that could be related to the connection/handshaking between the router and the connected printer.

    How do you correct it?
     
  25. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    Yes, it sometimes shows that the printer is offline, when it is actually online. If I leave the Printers & Scanners page in Settings open, sometimes after a while it will correctly show the printer as being online. There are times when I've removed and then added the printer again.
     
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