Have been re-thinking my printers of late. What I've got right now are: • HP CP2025dn — duplexing color laser printer • HP Officejet 7000 wide format inkjet • Brother DCP7040 monochrome laser MFC (print/copy/scan)
The CP2025 has great output quality and speed, and the duplexing saves a lot of paper. But Jeez-Loueez, the toner is over $120 per color!
The 7000 is good printer, but it's not a photo printer, and even though I use it for layouts way more than photos, the color quality is so-so at best. The ink carts are very inexpensive, but even the high capacity versions don't last long — especially since much of what I print out is most often full coverage.
The brother MFC is used just for copies and B&W output (I've got an HP Scanjet for scanning).
I've already decided to dump the Brother and the HP color laser in favor of one of Brother's new duplexing color MFCs because it does everything the other two do (even though I won't use the fax or scan functions), and depending on which model I settle on, toner cartridges will cost 1/3 to nearly 1/2 what the HP toner costs.
But my dilemma is what to do about the wide format printer. I'm considering the Epson Stylus 1400, but my experience and satisfaction with Epson — going back about 5 years ago — has not been great. I had a 1280 for about six years, and found that if I didn't use the printer for a week or so, the print heads would get clogged. I spent more time cleaning than printing! And Epson's customer service was totally uninterested in offering any support or solutions.
My experience with HP has been 180 degrees different. But to get better color fidelity from their wide format products, I'd have to move to the DesignJet series, which is way out of my budget. As it is, my ink costs will increase by 60% (especially because the 1400 uses six inks.
Sooooooo... I'm looking for opinions from current Epson users before I make a decision.
My experience with HP large format photo printer (B9180)? Horrendous Product. Zero support.
Epson? Similar to yours; products offer great quality output but clogged nozzles/print heads an unendearing feature for which Epson offers zero support – blame the user being the preferred corporate ploy.
A bit to one side of your request but recently checked out Canon Pro 9500 Mark II. Excellent output. Canon tardy but ultimately v. helpful with pre-sales info. and arranging hands-on demo! Might be worth a look.
Deal breaker for me: Canon does not offer an extended warranty option in UK. (May differ in other jurisdictions.)
Loc: Pinellas Park, Florida
Wasn't Epson tardy with driver updates (like way tardy) for OS updates once upon a time? I like my HP color inkjet better than any Epson I've ever had, but I'm a light user, so I can't say how the HPs hold up in a production environment. Canon might be worth a look see. They've been in the inkjet market a long time (Apple's 2400/2500 series were Canons).
I am not a power user by any means but I have had excellent service from Canon. I called tech support about an issue with a printer that was out of warranty by two years and fully expected to pay for the phone call but they fixed the problem for free because I had several Canon products registered with them.
I have had zero luck with Epson. That includes the product and tech support.
I am right 97% of the time. The other 4% doesn't matter.
I'm trying find one solution to two problems. One is just too many damned machines!
The other is better wide-format color fidelity than what the HP 7000 gives me. My old Epson 1280 was way better — clogged heads notwithstanding. Even the previous problematic HP wide-format had excellent color (HP replaced it with the 7000 at no charge because the previous model had constant paper jams and issues with ink cart over-pressurization).
If I had moolah up the hooha, Konica-Minolta has a super color laser MFC that prints up to 18" x 24" with bleeding eye vibrancy. But that damn thing costs more than a new car!
Most HPs have removable/replaceable print heads that aren't too expensive, the Epsons do not have user replaceable heads, they are fixed. If you don't use them every few days the Epsons will clog from what I've been reading.
Will the Brother MFC give you the color you want?
From what I've seen inkjet photo only printers don't do layouts well, and printers that do only layouts don't do photos very well. You need a photo ink if you want good photos. Unless you get one with both photo and regular ink carts, or one that you can pop in the photo carts, it will look good with only one or the other.
Well, at least you shed some light on my concern a/b Epson: The head clogging and associated hassle and cost are still alive and not-so-well. That's what I like a/b the HP 7000... doesn't matter if I haven't printed for several weeks — no clogging. And replacement print heads are relatively inexpensive and as easy to replace as the ink carts. I guess I can try futzing with the files to see if I can get richer color. Again, 90% of the output is for layouts and comps. Only rarely for photos.
As for the color laser, I'll probably go to Staples or Office Depot and ask for a demo to see what the output looks like. And if it's as good as the HP, I'll buy the dang thing from Amazon! The Brother MFC-9460DN is $600 at Staples. The MFC-9970, which has a higher capacity doc feeder, a 5" LCD screen and is wireless is only $530 at Amazon). The toner carts for the latter are a/b $20 more each than for the former, but still nearly $40 less each than the toner carts for the CP2025.
Meh, I should just go back to "squeekies" — good ol' marker sketches. Cheaper, and way easy to get stoned on the fumes!
Well, here's where a little old-school thinking makes a diffy: True black has been one of the absent results with the 7000. Now, in offset printing, if you've got large areas of solid black to lay down, the common practice has always been to run a 70% tint of cyan under it so you get a real rich black.
So, just for sh!ts & giggles, I grabbed a l/o that had large solid black elements, and in ID, changed the black to 100K/70C. Presto-chango — rich, elegant true black! Who'd a thunk?
Now I know that tinkering with the CMYK will give me a reliable work-around when I need to goose color saturation for comps. So regardless of what I do for the color laser printer, I can at least keep the HP 7000 in service.
If you rarely do photos I wouldn't worry about that part of the equation unless you want to get an inexpensive photo printer too, which brings you back to the picture you posted above.
For the photos upload them to the local Walgreens and have some prints made. You wouldn't have the gratification of an instant print, you'd have to wait an hour, but in the long run at 19¢ a print that's a much cheaper way to go.
If you want good photo quality though, the Kodak printers are really nice, have replaceable print heads, and supposedly the least expensive supply cost.
Photo printing is a non-issue. Like I said, comps and l/o are 90% of what I print on the 7000. I actually have a little HP Deskjet 1600 that I picked up for $19 last year when I needed a small, portable printer for a Dayton RTA event. Surprisingly it does a terrific job for photos. I keep in on a closet shelf most of the time, and plug it in only when I need to run a batch of small/medium format photos.
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