Are there any worthwhile printers with built-in wi-fi yet?
April 28, 2006 12:57 PM   Subscribe

Are there any worthwhile printers with built-in wi-fi yet?

I'd been eyeing HP's Deskjet 6840 a few months ago, but I read about too many people having problems with paper jams, among other things. Apparently, the Deskjet 6980 was just released, and there seem to be fewer complaints, though people are having installation issues. I've also heard that some of Canon's are especially good, but that they have shorter longevity (I certainly had bad luck with the last Canon inkjet I owned). So, question is, is there anything available yet that is especially good?
posted by stleric to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
We have an earlier model (I think it's the 5850), and I have no complaints. Of course, I print about 5 pieces of paper a year, so take that for what it's worth.
posted by yerfatma at 1:24 PM on April 28, 2006

I looked recently, and my answer was "no". Go for a regular printer, and a wireless print server.
posted by Orange Goblin at 1:27 PM on April 28, 2006

I second the wireless print server. I use the Airport Express at home and the office has one as well (might be the netgear??). You often don't have access to some of the printers special features but overall it works pretty well, and it doesn't suffer from the TV/VCR combo problem.
posted by rschroed at 2:21 PM on April 28, 2006

I've actually been pretty darn pleased with my HP Photosmart 2710xi. Course, its an all-in-one dealio, but its been working great for me, letting me print or scan from anywhere my laptop pleases.
posted by Atreides at 2:49 PM on April 28, 2006

Second the HP 5850. I don't print a whole lot either, but it's worked perfectly on my WLAN for about a year, and it has a lot of the high-end JetDirect features (SNMP, web interface, etc.) Not a jammed page yet.
posted by pocams at 2:54 PM on April 28, 2006

I use an Epson R1800 over Airport Express. Yes, adds $100 to the price of the printer, but it's worth it.

I also use an HP 1020 Laserjet with another Airport Express.

All functions of the printer driver are available over wireless. The R1800 is noticeably slower printing big color shots over wireless vs. firewire, but that's to be expected.

I agree with others to try to avoid the "combo" problem. With this solution you can swap out each part for upgrades. There are no companies that make both good wireless parts and good printer parts :)
posted by neustile at 3:08 PM on April 28, 2006

I have the 6840 and have had zero problems with it. In using it to create all the "paper" for our upcoming wedding, I've printed all kinds of weird-sized shit in it (including circle-shaped cards) and have never had a paper jam problem or any other problem, for that matter.
posted by ersatzkat at 3:31 PM on April 28, 2006

I too, have a 6840 and have been satisfied with it for the most part. Initial installation took about 5 hours worth of calls to HP support. I had to type in the 35 unit Hex key 5 times in the process, and it was a pain. Every once in a while the wirelss goes bonkers for no apparent reason and won't print unless I turn it off and back on. All in all for the price it's a good value.
posted by Xurando at 5:48 PM on April 28, 2006

Find a good printer and slap a wireless print server on it. Otherwise, HP's Laserjet & Color Laserjet models can all come with (or be upgraded at any time to include) built-in wireless. See here and here. For an external print server, your best bet is TrendNet's latest model. Probably they're all the same inside, I just have (consistently good) experience with TrendNet (the stuff that the nearest computer shop sells).
posted by Yeomans at 8:42 PM on April 28, 2006

I own an HP Photosmart 3300 and it sits quietly downstairs and works rather flawlessly, though there are sometimes issues scanning *to* a computer (so I scan to email instead, which is really more convenient—less bloatware).

I love that the machine is plugged into nothing but power and is able to print for us just so. The print quality is nothing short of amazing, the ink prices are almost reasonable, and the photo-papered-prints look straight from a minilab.

The Wifi was a breeze to set up. I've even disconnected the power to deal with a paper jam, and when I plugged it back on, it still knew what it was up to, SSID-wise (though I don't broadcast mine). It's about $300-ish, but it works pretty damn flawlessly. And the photo quality continues to blow me away. Place a 3"x5" on the scanning bed, select "photo tray" and hit copy and you're done in about 17 seconds.

It also has a memory card reader in it that can read MemoryStick, SD/CF, MicroDrives, MiniSD, etc, etc, etc. And it makes those cards available as a removable storage device on any machine with the software installed.

One caveat is that you are required to install the software on any machine you wish to print from. It cannot use standard Windows drivers for networked (or plugged in, I think) printing. It's not a big deal, since you can shut down most of the launch programs, and the memory usage is insignificant, but it was a bit obnoxious.

We've only had one paper jame issue, and that was a simple "pull off back panel, pull out paper" deal, in the few months and 835 pages we've printed.

I think it's pretty damn worth it, and the WiFi is *very* nice.
posted by disillusioned at 8:43 PM on April 28, 2006

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