Author Topic: The TBG Printer Buyer's Guide  (Read 3127 times)

Ari Altman

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The TBG Printer Buyer's Guide
« on: March 03, 2014, 06:38:30 PM »
Here's the thread to discuss the "The Printer Buyer's Guide", updated semi-annually on The Tech Buyer's Guru.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2017, 07:22:13 PM by Ari Altman »

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Printer Buyer's Guide
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2014, 04:00:06 PM »
We received the following inquiry from a reader who found our Printer Buyer's Guide but had a very specific need in mind:

"We are small office but do customized envelopes daily that varies from our contact management program.  Easy merge software and all works fine but we cannot find a good simple printer under $500 or so that could handle either dedicated envelope printing by itself or as part of other workhorse duties.

Again, we are just trying to find one printer that could a dedicated custom envelope printer for daily correspondence.  We do not have need for the large commercial printer machines due to volumes."


---------------------------------------------------------

Here's our response:

"Thank you for your e-mail. Envelope printing is a common need in
businesses, but very few printers are truly designed to handle the task.
Most simply offer a flip-down multi-purpose tray only adequate for single
envelope printing. It sounds like you need a more robust solution.

The best option for you is likely to buy a standard dedicated black &
white laser printer, along with an add-on envelope feeder. HP makes some
of the only products in this category.

We'd recommend the LaserJet M601n, the least expensive HP printer that can
accept the envelope feeder. Here's the link to the printer at HP:

http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=WAzU8cLhuCU&subid=&offerid=289612.1&type=10&tmpid=11951&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.shopping.hp.com%252Fen_US%252Fhome-office%252F-%252Fproducts%252FPrinters%252FHP-LaserJet%252FCE989A%253FHP-LaserJet-Enterprise-600-Printer-M601n

And here is the link to the add-on envelope feeder for $250 at HP:

http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=WAzU8cLhuCU&subid=&offerid=289612.1&type=10&tmpid=11951&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.shopping.hp.com%252Fen_US%252Fhome-office%252F-%252Fproducts%252FAccessories%252FPaper-Trays%252FCE399A%253FHP-LaserJet-75-sheet-Envelope-Feeder

The total comes out well above the $500 budget you mentioned, so another
option we would offer is to switch over to using labels, which any printer
can handle. It's a more economical solution, if not quite as elegant."

Secret

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Re: The TBG Printer Buyer's Guide
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2017, 10:46:49 AM »
I'm gonna throw out that my Epson 4530 has been an amazing office printer.  Really good ink yield, excellent crisp edges even on small fonts, great for graphics, and a great user interface.  Love the air print feature and it's super stable on the network.  That p600 is also great for personal use; I use a stylus pro 4900 and I think the p600 prints just as good if not better for smaller sizes.

Edit: I meant the p600, I don't have experience with the p400 or it's HD2 ink but I suspect for the price it will return good results.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2017, 10:50:16 AM by Secret »

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Printer Buyer's Guide
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2017, 10:58:01 AM »
I'm gonna throw out that my Epson 4530 has been an amazing office printer.  Really good ink yield, excellent crisp edges even on small fonts, great for graphics, and a great user interface.  Love the air print feature and it's super stable on the network.  That p400 is also great for personal use; I use a stylus pro 4900 and I think the p400 prints just as good if not better for smaller sizes.

Thanks for the feedback, Secret!

I've been a bit hesitant to recommend any lower-end Epson printers lately, after having a terrible experience with the Epson XP-800. I considered publishing a review on it, as it was quite capable as a photo printer, but the ink management was simply unacceptable, and I don't publish reviews of products I can't recommend. It required constant head cleaning, delaying print jobs by a few minutes each time, and after just a few months, the ink would entirely dry up, even without being used at all. It was equipped with the Epson 273 series ink cartridges. It's now sitting in the closet waiting until I can recycle it at Best Buy, replaced by an HP inkjet I recently received as a sample, which performs much better in terms of ink management (although the photo quality isn't as good, since it's an officejet SOHO model).

It sounds like you didn't have this issue with your Epson WP-4530? It uses the 676 series of cartridges. Perhaps these are manufactured to a higher quality specification.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2017, 07:09:27 PM by Ari Altman »

Secret

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Re: The TBG Printer Buyer's Guide
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2017, 03:33:23 PM »
 I haven't had luck with any of the cheaper printers.  They're cost/ink yield is always so low that after a few sets of cartridges you'd have been better off buying a bit higher end printer.  Correct on the 676 cartridges, they're XL and I'll get well over 2000 prints of the black and I've gotten between 700-900 on the color, but when I print with color it's a lot of heavy graphics.  For the price of around $25 per color cartridge and $40 for black I can't complain at all.  I also like how the color cartridges are actually sold separately; lower end printers tend to force you to buy the three pack when replacing, which is annoying when 1 or more of the three still has plenty of ink left.  As for the head cleaning I've had zero issues even if I go on a trip and don't print for a month.  The 4900 I can't say the same, but it also has 7 more cartridges and it's prints are being held to a bit higher standard, still it's an amazing photo printer.

So since I bought the 4530 over 3 years ago and paid around $250, prob got a rebate as well, I think overall it's been awesome and is still going strong.

Edit: Whew scratch that $250, I got that thing for $105 somehow :)
« Last Edit: January 22, 2017, 03:36:50 PM by Secret »

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Printer Buyer's Guide
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2017, 07:21:13 PM »
Wow, nice deal on that Epson 4530! $105 was a serious bargain. And thanks for the insights on its ink performance as well as the performance of your Epson 4900. That model is clearly aimed at professional applications, so it's a bit outside the scope of The Tech Buyer's Guru. But I'm sure some of its quality has trickled down to the current SureColor P400 and P600.