Monday, July 09, 2007

New Printer Required.

I’ve got an Epson R200 printer that’s just died on me, or rather I snuffed it. I’d been using refillable cartridges and the printing had started getting a bit crappy i.e. the head just wouldn’t clean properly. I took the head out and cleaned it up then replaced it, with the result that the printer won’t even power up. Now, don’t make the mistake here of pointing a finger and going, “It’s all your own fault not using Epson cartridges etc.” Frankly, I’ve saved the cost of about ten sets of five cartridges by refilling this way and that’s a large lump of money, in fact, if I’d been buying Epson replacements at full price, somewhere in the £600 region.

Now, which is the best and cheapest printer that’s easily refillable without paying a fortune for the brand-name ink cartridges? Is there a printer out there that you can just fill with ink rather than buying cartridges (or am I just dreaming of a perfect world). Is there, really, a way of printing without being thoroughly ripped-off? Is there a printer out there without the usual built-in obsolescence and built-in facility to screw you over?

Anyone got any advice?

Over to you…

13 comments:

Dr Dan H. said...

Anything by HP is the usual answer I give. Their drivers are reasonable, Linux and Apple kit will usually work with them with a minimum of fiddling, and their cartridges have the ink heads built in.

So, with HP cartridges you can refill them reasonably easily, and if you do get it wrong and bung them up, just buy a new cartridge and you get a whole new print head too.

CJ said...

Unfortunately, Neal, it's quite impossible to find a printer capable of this. As the proud owner of an Epson R210, I know your pain. My only recommendation is buying a lower line model - one of the Epson models with less colour capability but cheaper inks.

Other than that, you'll just have to fork out for those expensive inks.

Unless you get a Canon, but I'm not getting into the technical issues I have with Canon printers. They're certainly cheaper here in Australia.

Ian Sales said...

I've found this cheap and reliable:
http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/112909

Anonymous said...

Why not look for a continuous ink system on Ebay (CISS) and buy a printer to match it. A bit dearer up front but the tanks sit away from the print heads so you never need to go into fart about with them you just put the inks in the external tanks 100ml at a time.

If you don't need colour get a mono laser printer. Much cheaper to run than an inkjet and the toners can be refilled if you're up for the mess.

Neal Asher said...

I've gone and bought a HP Photosmart D5160. There is a continuous ink system for it, but presently sold out. I'll see how I can get on with the drill and syringe until the systems are available again.

Ian, that's a mono printer. I tend to do a lot of colour printing (bookmarks and so forth).

Kirby Uber said...

rats, dr dan h. took my answer. ;p

beth said...

I've got an HP PSC 1500... I tried using the local cartridge refill service - about £8 instead of £20 for the replacement cartridge. But it totally stuffed my printer and stopped working not long after I refilled. Right up until I bought a replacement cartridge... sigh.

Jim Shannon said...

I've been hearing that if you leave an inkjet unused for awhile the printer heads cake up and wont work.

Why would a writer work with anything less then an laser printer is beyond me. Unless you have money to burn. I've owned 4 printers in my life and the HP L series is about the best. The toner costs about $90CND and is easy to replace and prints about 2000 pages. In theory.

The other thing I'm checking out is
a printing service. Staples for example is 8 cents a page. For how often I print out a draft of a 400+ page document(twice/year?) makes more sense to outsource the print job. Besides all I do is email the document to my nearest Staples print center over night and by the time I'm ready to go into work it's done for me. No worries, no hassles. Sure it may cost me $40 for the job plus tax but its easier to go that way then to watch the pages come off the printer and having to baby sit the printer for an hour and a half or so. Also, a store won't always have your toner in stock if its a popular brand name. If I want to make extra copies of page 37 I can use the photo copy machine at work.

Besides, outsourcing the print job gets me out of the house as well ;-)

Joe said...

Mate, might be simpler all round to get a Vodoun priest to raise a zombie William Caxton to do all your printing for you :-)

Matthew said...

You can get cheap generic cartridges for the R200 range of printers from places like ukdvdr.com for 6-7 quid. I've been using them for years with no problems (I have the R220 which prints directly on to a CD)

The site mentioned above also does generic cartridges for HP and Canon printers but not Lexmark

walt moffett said...

Might want to look at Canon. Most of their color inkjets have seperate tanks for each color.

Here in the States, color laser printers are in the $200-250 range and might be worth a look.

Good luck

Drake Bodan said...

Go Laser neal they cost a little more at setup but much cheaper in the long run. I have a lexmark colour that is superb.

Drake

Jon said...

Bite the bullet and buy a colour laser printer. I saw a reasonable HP color laserjet advertised for £125 last week... The toner cartridges cost about 60 quid each but last much longer and the speed difference is phenomenal (despite what they claim about inkjet speeds).

Jon

PS - enjoyed Hilldiggers, just impatient for Line War now...