What makes a great inkjet printer?
The answer will depend on whom you ask and what their main use is.
Everyone pretty much agrees that reliability, cost of consumables (inkjet cartridges), print quality and cost of the printer are the major considerations. So keeping that in mind, which inkjet printer is the best suited for all around use?
The newest printers are not always the best for everyone because of the cost of operation. The best general purpose, cost effective printers from just last year are now becoming hard to find at retail locations or on the web. If you need a printer, you may want to get it now.
Selecting a printer that consistently performs well and produces nice images, photos, text and costs less than average to operate can be daunting. Walking down the inkjet printer isle at Wal-Mart or Staples, it is difficult to figure out what you are really buying and how much it will eventually cost you to keep using it.
Printer models come and go quickly for a variety of reasons. Most any new printer off the shelf will give you great photos, images, text, nifty digital features and fast printing speed. Unfortunately, new printers typically use inkjet cartridges with smaller ink volumes. This, along with the cost for replacement cartridges make them expensive to use. If you need a printer exclusively for photos, new Epson and Canon printers seem to be the best, and most economical.
For printing text, graphs and web pages, some older printers (over 3- 4 years old) do very well and use inexpensive inkjet cartridges, making them very economical. The drawbacks are a slower printing speed, and sometimes lower photo quality resolution. If printing photos is not extremely important, you’ll probably be happy with an older HP Deskjet that uses the 51645 Black and C6578 Color cartridges. You will still be able to print photos but may lose a little quality in the detail. Older Epson Stylus printers are another great value for low cost printing. Ebay can be a great source for finding older printer models.
If you are a business owner or someone who prints night and day, consider a laser printer. They are available in monochrome (black only) and color. Laser printers are fast for multiple page printing and the least expensive of all printers on a per page basis for Images and text. Some negatives include the high initial cost of the printer, the size and the need for service (at times). If you find yourself in need of a laser printer, HP seems to be one of the best brands overall.
If you want an inkjet printer that will perform faithfully for text, images and the occasional photo and doesn’t cost too much to buy or operate, we recommend the Canon PIXMA iP4000 or PIXMA iP6000.
So why are they the best all around printers?
We have seen first hand the reliability of these printers and the compatible inkjet cartridges they use. We have sold thousands of these cartridges with less than 25 returned! One customer alone has used over 400 cartridges in their Canon and it’s still going strong. No other cartridge has that track record.
The Canon PIXMA iP4000 retails for $99 – $150 if you can find it. The cost of consumables is inexpensive (Less than $5.00 each for compatible cartridges). The cartridge design is simple and reliable. It uses a high capacity black cartridge for additional text printing savings. Print quality at 4800 dpi x 1200 dpi is great for text, images, and photos. The printer has proven to be reliable and a customer favorite as shown by the reviews on CNET.com, Dealtime.com and Amazon.com.
The Canon PIXMA iP6000 retails for $100 – $165, but is also becoming scarce. It utilizes 6- individual color tanks for better photo color replication (iP4000 uses 4). This model does not use a high capacity black cartridge but all other features are identical.
If interested, do not wait to get one. Canon printers using BCI- 6 and BCI-3e series cartridges (iP4000, iP6000 and others) are becoming scarce. If you can’t find the models listed above, just try to find a Canon printer that uses the BCI-6 or BCI-3e cartridges. Web searching or Ebay might be one of the last places you will be able to find one of these gems.
Remember, newer doesn’t always mean better.