Ink? Laser? I'm the one with the drum
July 10, 2005 12:56 PM   Subscribe

It's printer time! Yaaay! *fanfare* *cows explode* I have an "All in One" or "Multifunction" printer. This means it can fax, scan, copy, and print in color. I can't say I use it a lot, but when I have needed it the most, the fax, scan, and copy pieces have been wonderful to have. So I want to buy another one. Problem is, HP, Canon, Epson, Brother, Lexmark, Dell, and the rest all use different benchmarks. Any AiO fans out there?

Here's what cav needs, in order of necessity:

Flatbed scanner

That's it. Color me retarded, but I've got 68(!) tabs open in Firefox and I can't find anything that meets that except the HP 7x10 line. My brain hurts. Anybody have one they love? Should I just go buy a fax, a scanner, and a printer?
posted by cavalier to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
After having horrible color matching issues with my Epson CX2300 all-in-one, I had to go and get a Canon.

I highly recommend a Canon, both for ColorSync reasons, and because the Canon AiO machines have five separate ink carts that can be replaced indivdually, so you only replace the colors you need. Plus, Canon doesn't mark their ink up nearly as much as Lexmark, HP, or Espon do. Check ink prices for various brands before you buy; you will be amazed.

An Amazon search shows the Canon PIXMA MP750 at $130. It has a 35-page ADF, but doesn't have ethernet, as you require. However, for network printing you can easily attach it a ethernet or wireless USB print server (Airport Express is good).
posted by rajbot at 3:11 PM on July 10, 2005

Ooh, rajbot brings up the notion of a print server. I hadn't thought about doing this in a commodity PC network. Anyone run a scenario like he describes? Oh magic google, take me away!! *flushing sounds?*
posted by cavalier at 4:50 PM on July 10, 2005

The Dell units are available with a built-in print server. They (as well as the HP OfficeJet line w/ a JetDirect card) come with software that will let you use all the functions of your AIO unit on several machines (including scanning and such). The OfficeJet line is pretty good, though I don't much care for their software.. Dell's printer (the Photo All-in-One 962) is probably a rebranded Lexmark. (Their laser printers - which are spiffy, IMHO - are basically just black Lexmarks with dell logos on them.) One neat thing about the 962 is the availability of a wireless adapter for the printer (it otherwise has no network connectivity). The Dell MFP 1600n is $279 right now and includes Ethernet, though you may have to go through the small business store to get it.

HP makes a darned fine printer, and Lexmark/Dell is a pretty good second choice. Be advised that if you buy a multifunction w/out a built-in print server or the option for one you may not be able to fully utilize the printer without manually hooking the computer to it. If that bugs you then it may be better to get seperate units (the Canon Pixma iP4000/5000 is pretty good and fairly inexpensive, etc. etc. etc.).
posted by mrg at 5:30 PM on July 10, 2005

Yeah it's going back and forth between trying to keep the unit all together as one or spltting it out. I'd hate to lose the office space I currently have downgrading to multiple units, but I guess if it makes fiscal sense.

I did a whole mess of google-fu and found essentially that the USB Print Servers "may or may not" allow functionality, I called Canon and they sweetly (no, really) told me that it was possible but they wouldn't support it.


Thanks you two for the suggestions :)
posted by cavalier at 6:32 PM on July 10, 2005

Stay away from the HP officeJet series if you run a mac with tiger.

The two don't play nice together....

Otherwise, they are the bees knees.
posted by Freen at 6:52 PM on July 10, 2005

can't help you with the printer, but the wording of your post rocks :) Evil Dead, baby!
posted by joshgray at 10:12 PM on July 10, 2005

LMDAO @ "*cows explode*"
posted by Radio7 at 10:21 PM on July 10, 2005

In case anyone reads this in the archives later , I ended up going with the HP 7310 (referenced by 7x10 in my original post). Bottom line was I needed a device that had good print quality as well as good network control. While they are pricey and their computer software is wretched, filthy, and down right horrible (it's really that bad, takes a lot of effort to make it behave properly), HP had the best fit for my needs. Dell had a close second (Thanks for the referral), however the 1600 unit is a laser and not color and I wanted color. They are both the same price at roughly $399.
posted by cavalier at 8:43 AM on July 12, 2005

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