Recommendations for a multifunctional printer
Thread poster: svenfrade

svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:58
French to German
+ ...
Nov 5, 2013

I bought a multifunctional printer (HP Officejet 4500) not even two years ago and need to replace it already, so I was wondering whether anyone could recommend a good, reliable and durable 3-in-1 inkjet printer for printing, scanning and photocopying documents.

Although this is not a major investment, I am looking for something that lasts since I would like to run my office as sustainably as possible and don't want to waste money on something that is only fit for the rubbish bin after a few months.

Suggestions are highly appreciated.


[Edited at 2013-11-05 11:40 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-11-05 13:39 GMT]


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Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:58
German to English
+ ...
I like the Brother MFC-5490CN, Nov 5, 2013

which I bought a couple of years ago after (yet another) bad experience with HP. Now my philosophy is: Anything but HP!

The main argument for the Brother in my case is that the ink doesn't dry out nearly as fast as HP's does, since I use it quite rarely, and the refills are not nearly as costly. The HP ink refills are outrageously expensive, and I'm convinced they add something to dry it out extra-fast so that you have to buy their pricey refill cartridges more often.

You don't mention the quality you need, so I'm not sure that the Brother I recommend would be right for you - I don't use it to print out photos, for example, but it suits my very basic needs just fine, and it was quite cheap. In case you don't have a preference, I would recommend buying computer-related hardware at Cyberport (http://www.cyberport.de/), because they deliver very fast, often have terrific special offers, and also sell used and refurbished computer gear (with guarantee) at decent prices if you are not fixated on buying everything new. I got a great deal on a slightly used 24-inch Eizo monitor two and a half years ago.

Hope this helps!

Edited to add:
Er...the post I was answering is no longer there! Bummer. I'll leave my answer up though, in case anyone else is interested.

[Edited at 2013-11-05 11:43 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:58
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Wood Nov 5, 2013

Woodstock wrote:
I like the Brother MFC-5490CN, ... which I bought a couple of years ago...


When I bought the Epson Stylus sx525wd a few years ago, it was because research showed that although it was the loudest printer out there, it was also the one whose ink usage was the least expensive (you have to compare more than just cartridge price, and take actual ink usage into account as well).

I'm not sure if it is still the cheapest option -- I'm beginning to have trouble finding cartridges for it.

For 2013, here is a video (not sure how accurate the information is):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ES8S8xKRQGw


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svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:58
French to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Woodstock Nov 5, 2013

Woodstock wrote:

which I bought a couple of years ago after (yet another) bad experience with HP. Now my philosophy is: Anything but HP!

The main argument for the Brother in my case is that the ink doesn't dry out nearly as fast as HP's does, since I use it quite rarely, and the refills are not nearly as costly. The HP ink refills are outrageously expensive, and I'm convinced they add something to dry it out extra-fast so that you have to buy their pricey refill cartridges more often.

You don't mention the quality you need, so I'm not sure that the Brother I recommend would be right for you - I don't use it to print out photos, for example, but it suits my very basic needs just fine, and it was quite cheap. In case you don't have a preference, I would recommend buying computer-related hardware at Cyberport (http://www.cyberport.de/), because they deliver very fast, often have terrific special offers, and also sell used and refurbished computer gear (with guarantee) at decent prices if you are not fixated on buying everything new. I got a great deal on a slightly used 24-inch Eizo monitor two and a half years ago.

Hope this helps!

Edited to add:
Er...the post I was answering is no longer there! Bummer. I'll leave my answer up though, in case anyone else is interested.

[Edited at 2013-11-05 11:43 GMT]


Thanks a lot for your opinion. I edited my initial post, sorry about the confusion.

I am really just looking for basic quality in order to print work-related stuff (sometimes I prefer to proofread my translations on paper), scan NDAs and make the occasional photocopy, so the Brother printer might actually suit my needs. I will definitely look into that.


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:58
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Why inkjet? Nov 5, 2013

If you need to print often, and mostly in black and white, a laser printer may be much more cost effective (and a lot faster). I have a fancy color inkjet printer, but the cartridges are so expensive, it is insane. Over the past 1.5 years I have paid more in cartridges than the printer's original price.
Now I am looking into getting a B&W laser printer, and only use the color inkjet when absolutely necessary.


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svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:58
French to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Why inkjet? Nov 5, 2013

Inkjet because I'm simply not entirely convinced that laser printers don't pose a potential health risk. I also hardly ever need colour cartridges anyway and I'm not concerned about speed at all, so I really prefer to stick with an inkjet printer.

As I said, I just need it to print some of my translations so I can proofread them on paper, print NDAs to sign and scan, print invoices for the tax office (yes, they still want hard copies) but that's about it really.


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DLyons  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 08:58
Spanish to English
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Brother multifunction unit Nov 5, 2013

I have had a Brother multifunction unit (B/W duplex printer) for several years and it works fine.
I also had a lot of trouble with H/P but I suspect that's just random - they all probably do "Monday" printers.


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Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:58
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus e-All-in-One Nov 5, 2013

I bought this printer just over a year ago and I couldn't be happier, it is a bit on the pricey side for a home inkjet printer and it has quite a large foot print but it is an really good printer.

It has a wifi connection so doesn't have to be connected to your computer to print, it has double sided printing and copying, and it is a fax and scanner. It has 4 ink cartridges which last for a long time and the quoted costs are 1.6 US cents per black page and 7.2 per colour which are quite good.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:58
Member (2008)
Italian to English
My recommendation Nov 5, 2013

Recently bought an Epson XP-205 printer/scanner/copier. Either wireless or USB.

Very cheap (search the Internet for the best price), looks good, small footprint, prints quickly, doesn't make much noise, dead easy to set up.

Who could ask for more?

http://www.epson.co.uk/gb/en/viewcon/corporatesite/products/mainunits/overview/11534

Replacement cartridges can be had for peanuts, on eBay etc.

Ignore the bad reviews on the Epson website. I find this an excellent machine. I just plugged in my old USB cable and was printing right away. I didn't bother with wireless because it seems like a lot of hassle to get it set up.

My one bad note is that it doesn't come with a USB cable but if you're like me you probably have a large box somewhere full of all kinds of old cables.....

[Edited at 2013-11-05 17:36 GMT]


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xxxnrichy
France
Local time: 09:58
French to Dutch
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Automatic paper feed is absolutely essential Nov 5, 2013

for he input, at least 50 sheets, so that you don't have to charge the originals individually.
I don't use the fax function anymore as I don't have a "normal" landline. ("only" very high speed glass fiber for tv and internet). My printers don't have a network function, but this seems essential too, nowadays.

Happy possessor of two HP 5610 all-in-one, six years old.

[Edited at 2013-11-05 17:27 GMT]


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LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:58
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
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On printer networking Nov 5, 2013

nrichy wrote:

for he input, at least 50 sheets, so that you don't have to charge the originals individually.


Almost all printers have this nowadays - for printing. If you want a multifunction with a flatbed scanner you'll want to make sure it can sheet-feed the scanner as well.


My printers don't have a network function, but this seems essential too, nowadays.


There are alternatives to built-in wifi capability. You can buy a print server, though the simplest way is to connect the printer to a dedicated, network-enabled computer (if you have an old machine lying around you're not using for anything else, that will work perfectly), and share the printer with other computers on your network. This is simple to do, though the printing computer must be powered on (not asleep or off) for it to work.

My Samsung laser printer died recently, but I have a cache of about 150 USD worth of spare toner for it. Now I'm trying to decide if I should just consider the toner a sunk cost and get the different (better) replacement printer I want, or try to find a replacement model that uses the same toner cartridge.

[Edited at 2013-11-05 18:09 GMT]


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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:58
German to English
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Canon MX870 Nov 6, 2013

I love it! And definitely no more HP!!

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:58
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
More @ink Nov 6, 2013

inkweaver wrote:
Although this is not a major investment, I am looking for something that lasts since I would like to run my office as sustainably as possible and don't want to waste money on something that is only fit for the rubbish bin after a few months.


I'm afraid you can't really know how long a printer will last. Even a printer from a well-known brand with a good reputation may last only as long as the guarantee period -- or sometimes not even that long. And the problem is that by the time you hear from people that such and such printer lasts very long, that particular model is no longer for sale. And what applies to one model in a series may not apply to another model in the same series.

You're just going to have to accept that you should plan to replace your printer once a year or once every two years. A printer that costs twice as much to buy will not last twice as long. So if you want to save money, you should look at cost per page in addition to the price of the printer.

We've had some recommendations and comments in this thread up to now, and I'd like to show what the cost per page for each of those printers are:

Tom's printer:
http://www.cartridgesave.co.uk/ink-cartridges/Epson/XP-205.html
black 4.3 pence per page
colour 2.9 pence per page

Woodstock's printer:
http://www.cartridgesave.co.uk/ink-cartridges/Brother/MFC-5490CN.html
black 2.9 pence per page
colour 2.2 pence per page

My printer:
http://www.cartridgesave.co.uk/ink-cartridges/Epson/Stylus-SX525WD.html
black 2.8 pence per page
colour 2.2 pence per page

Trudy's printer:
http://www.cartridgesave.co.uk/ink-cartridges/Canon/Pixma-MX870.html
black 3.6 pence per page
colour 1.7 pence per page

nRichy's printer:
http://www.cartridgesave.co.uk/ink-cartridges/HP/Officejet-5610.html
black 7.5 pence per page
colour 8.9 pence per page (single cartridge)

Alex's printer:
http://www.cartridgesave.co.uk/ink-cartridges/HP/Officejet-Pro-8600-e-All-in-One.html
black 1.6 pence per page
colour 0.9 pence per page (single cartridge)

nRichy says that he is perfectly happy with his 6-year old printer, but look at what it costs him per page (compared to the other printers in this post). Overall, Alex's printer is the cheapest (but: it is a single-cartridge printer). Trudy's printer is cheaper than mine for colour prints but not for black prints.

nRichy and Alex both have single-cartridge printers, which means that if you run out of one colour, you have to replace the entire cartridge. With multi-cartridge printers, if you run out of one colour you only have to replace that one colour.

The cost per page given by manufacturers is always quite optimistic, but if you use the same site to compare printers, you're closer to the truth.

Also, some printers take larger cartridges, so when you buy a new cartridge, it may cost as much as the printer did, but it will last much longer. Other printers take smaller cartridges, which may mean you have a feeling that you run out of ink too often, but the cost per cartridge may be less as well (or not). Also, some printers work just fine with generic or refilled cartridges, and some just don't. My experience with my previous HP printers (can't remember the model numbers) were that generic cartridges worked fine, and although you got fewer pages out of them, it worked out a lot cheaper in the end. My experience with Epson has been the exact opposite, so I always use genuine Epson cartridges (but then, they are a lot cheaper too).

If I needed a new all-in-one, I would have gone for Tom's printer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxUXPgflQ8E

Katalin Horváth McClure wrote:
If you need to print often, and mostly in black and white, a laser printer may be much more cost effective (and a lot faster).


I agree.

nrichy wrote:
Automatic paper feed is absolutely essential for the input, at least 50 sheets, so that you don't have to charge the originals individually.


I once had an all-in-one with paper feeder, and it was pretty bad. I then got meself a double-sided flatbed scanner with paper feeder, and it was better, but still quite bad, because the scanner had to turn each page over (and it had to turn each page twice, because you have to get the page back to its original orientation). And sometimes the pages got stuck in the paper feeder's page turning mechanism.

These days I have portable non-flat scanner with paper feeder that scans both sides of the paper. I can really recommend it -- it's called the Canon P-150. The nice thing about this scanner is that it aint on my desk except when I use it -- I keep it in a small drawer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIbBuCAy1HA

I realise that having a dedicated scanner in addition to the all-in-one printer is an extra expense, but it is worth the hassle, in my opinion.


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svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:58
French to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks a lot for your replies... Nov 22, 2013

... and especially to Samuel for the cost analysis.

I actually ended up buying a Canon MG3500 for a number of reasons. Its performance in the long run remains to be seen.

Actually, I'm not surprised that people with old HP printers are happy with them. I only bought my last HP printer because I was very impressed with how long my first one lasted - about 7 years. Looks like quality has fallen by the wayside, though.

Anyway, if I'm not happy with this one I'd certainly go for an Epson next time.


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