Cheap Printers in Canada
February 17, 2007 11:06 AM   Subscribe

Looking for cheap printers in Canada. I need something that is around $100, can print in colour, double-sided, can be used for school purposes or making business cards and HipsterPDA cards. One thing I'm weary of is gettng a printer that forces me to spend tons of money on ink replacements. From my understanding there are some that are better than others when it comes to refilling ink. Thanks in advance for your help.
posted by Knigel to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
I don't believe that any $100 colour printer will do duplexing. The duplexing attachments, where available, for home printers usually cost more than $100.
posted by solid-one-love at 11:15 AM on February 17, 2007

You can generally find printers pretty cheap, it is on the ink that they get you. I have a 6 ink colour Canon Pixma that I'm pretty happy with (ip6000D, although I don't think they sell them any more). I think I paid around $250 for the printer two years ago, so they're probably a bit cheaper now.

Ink is expensive, $15 - 20 per tank. However, you can find off brand ink for much cheaper. sells refills for these printers for $4 a piece, and I honestly haven't noticed a difference in quality since I switched.
posted by yellowbinder at 11:45 AM on February 17, 2007

As someone who used to sell printers, I can say with a high degree of confidence that your $100 printer is very likely to fail within eighteen months.
posted by sindark at 1:25 PM on February 17, 2007

If you're paying under $100 for the printer, you're going to be screwed on the ink. This is a fact of life.

The Canon Pixma iP3000 does duplex, CMYK and it's probably a smidge more economical than the six-tankers. It also seems to cope well with no-name third-party ink. I've used it for D*I*Y Planner 4x6in cards, though for biz cards, unless you're going for small volume and very plain, you're probably better off with an online service.

It cost me about $70US, but has apparently been discontinued, which is a pain. So you're left in that range with the iP4300, which is a six-tanker, does duplex, and costs around $CAN150. I think that's probably the price point you ought to be looking at.
posted by holgate at 1:48 PM on February 17, 2007

If you do find a decent printer, you can often get a good deal with an online coupon from who ships free and usually next day. Red Flag Deals posts coupon codes and its deals page lets you know what's on sale at different online (and occasionally bricks and mortar) shops.
posted by ChuckLeChuck at 4:20 PM on February 17, 2007

I currently work part time at a major retailer of such things and I've never heard of a $100 printer having duplexing, excepting boxing day insane sales.

IMO The cost of ink has a lot to do with how much you're printing. High volume can justify getting a laser for black and white & an ink jet for colour, if you're printing a lot of b/w.

On the other hand, printing mainly colour photos you probably want to go with a canon or hp system with individual ink tanks. They provide a lower cost over all because you don't have to thow out ink if you use a lot of one colour. That said, most people use about the same of each colour, so if you don't print a high volume of colour you might save money by buying a printer with 1 colour tank - they dry up much less quickly than the individual tanks do, since they tend to have the integrated print head.

That said, I myself sport a HP laser for document printing and a canon 3in1 for scanning and printing photos. I tend to recommend HP (not the sub $100 ones though) for people wanting 1 printer, or people who mainly want to print documents, and canon for people who want to print mainly photos or high volume.

Canon makes some printers that have two different black tanks, one dye based and one pigment based - one for text and one for photos. More ink to buy, but at least in theory it's more efficient.

Good luck!
posted by tiamat at 8:34 PM on February 17, 2007

There is no printer that meets your stated needs (AFAIK):
  • around $100
  • colour
  • can print on card
  • has duplexing
  • low running costs
You're going to have to prioritise your requirements, with a view to dropping one or more of them.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 10:00 PM on February 17, 2007

Ok, duplexing isn't really that important at all. But the others are pretty important. I'd be willing to throw down a bit more cash if it was really worth it, but not by much. Starving students can't eat printers. A thank you to everyone who's commented so far, great info.
posted by Knigel at 11:39 PM on February 17, 2007

Even without duplexing, those requirements are still fairly exacting, even unrealistic. Almost any web page on cheap printers will confirm that.

As per tiamat's comment, you need to consider your printing requirements (numbers, quality) and what you consider to be low running costs. All $100 colour printers are inkjets and have huge running costs compared to a $300 colour laser. At around $100, you are going to be heavily charged for ink, there's no way around it.

If you can spend $150 and wait a couple of months, the Kodak Easyshare 5100 (1,2) is supposed to have lower costs per page.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 10:58 PM on February 18, 2007

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