back to article Ten... all-in-one inkjet printers

There are two types of inkjet all-in-one printer: one intended for photo enthusiasts and the other for people running offices. It's the latter lot I'm attending to here, with a selection of printers designed for those who value plain paper output as much as - if not more than - snaps. The price ranges large, with the cheapest …

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Canon

Don't know about the specific Canon model tested, but mine (pixma MP610) has replaceable printing heads as well, not that I have ever needed to replace them, After years I still have to encounter the first case of dried-out ink clogging the head. It autocleans at start and first page is always excellent.

My previous one was Epson, and I can confirm the above horrorstories: dried out ink and broken printing heads all over - never again. In the end, I just disassembled it myself to clean them properly.

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Anonymous Coward

Yes but...

have you looked at the price for a replacement printhead? I have the Canon MP810 which died after about 5 years, a new printhead is 80 euros!!

Word of warning: Canon have designed their printers so that a failed printhead can fry the motherboard - never insert a suspect printhead into a good machine to 'check'.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't touch HP 8500A

Out of 5 HP Officejet Pro 8500A printers we bought in the past year for use in low use offices 3 were dead within 6 months with paper jam errors and nasty clicking/banging noises. Unreliable to the extent that we are writing them off as we don't want replacements. A shame because they are on the surface good multifunctions and one of the cheapest network scanning options around (you can still use them as scanners after the printing mechanism is knackered though).

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Canon rock

I'm a happy Pixma MP600 user, always buy cheap ink and hardly ever have any problems. Unlike HP good quality, no bullshit software (I *hate* all those hpqmz123.dll type thingies). Set a friend up with the networked version (MP620) and it just plain works, day in, day out. No ADF, so a nice flat surface for the cat to sit on as well (though you do have to blow the hair out of the works occasionaly).

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Meh

Drying ink

I have a 10 year old Epson, and the cartridges do dry out if you don't print much.

I gave up using 3rd party cartridges, genuine cartridges, dry out slower, are less prone to smudging, do tend to last longer and give better results. They key thing to do is buy them at a better price you can easily save more than £10 per genuine cartridge depending on where you buy them.

When the printer does eventually die I'll get a cheap laser printer with wired network and good PCL/ps support.

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Ink jets are crap

If you genuinely do print loads of photos then maybe an inkjet is for you but for most home or small office use a laserprinter is far, far superior.

I switched to a Samsung all-in-one about 18 months and never looked back. I've only just replaced the original low capactity toners it came with with a rainbow toner pack that cost me £100, so on that basis it will keep me going another 5 years before i have to buy any more toner!! In the same time I'd probably have gone through the cycle of stripey prints, clean jets, stripey prints, buy complete new set of cartridges, ok for a month, then stripey prints, clean jets, stripey prints, buy complete new set of cartridges, still stripey, throw away printer and buy a new one, ok for a few more months, etc. After doing that a couple of times and realising that the overall real running costs are actually about 10x that of a laserprinter you're left with the conclusion that as a technology, ink jet is fundamentally crap and the sooner it's banished to oblivion the better.

The thing that really persuaded me though was how hard the manager at Staples tried to persuade me that an ink jet would be much better for my purposes. What does that tell you about where they make their money??

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Moz
FAIL

HP Autocrop Fail

Please test scanning multi-pages - HP software is REALLY ANNOYING as you cannot turn it's damnable autocrop off, rendering it's scanner functionality pretty much useless.

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Wrong price for SX525WD

I don't know where they found the Epson Stylus SX525WD for £60, as the cheapest I've found it for is £83. Not that I'd buy one after reading the comments about Epson!

Much as I'd love an all-in-one laser, I simply can't afford one. I don't do a lot of printing anyway, more like the occasional letter and from time-to-time, a large print of various reference documents, etc. I've got a Canon MP460, which is OK for scanning and if I need to scan (or print) a load of documents, I can use my Dad's ADF laser. Seeing as my usage means that the cartridges are likely to have dried up on me when I go to use them, it probably makes more sense to just use the library and pay them 10-15p per page for the occasional letters and short runs.

I'm not sure what I'd do if I didn't have access to my Dad's laser for long runs though, as that would be rather expensive at the library. Probably try and find a cheap-ish B&W print-only laser and keep my MP460 for scanning, although it would be a pain having two machines in my small flat.

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