Any printer expert around?

cyruspy

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Mar 26, 2016
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I'm between purchasing an used Ricoh Aficio C306 (discontinued) & a new HP M479FDW, any hints?
 

BoredSysadmin

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Mar 2, 2019
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Don't know much about Ricoh, but no from HP stuff for me. Way too many bad experiences.
Consider instead Brother MFCL3770CDW - I got it and it's great.
Bought replacement toner from these guys - work very well:
They provide a lifetime 100% satisfaction guarantee.
The printer does recognize it as non-genuine toner but works great.
 

Tom5051

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Jan 18, 2017
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Get the newest one you can, they stop making cartridges to force you to buy a new printer these days.
 
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BlueFox

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Oct 26, 2015
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Get the newest one you can, they stop making cartridges to force you to buy a new printer these days.
I wouldn't necessarily agree. You can get toner cartridges for many laser printers for a very long time (15+ years). There's really no reason to get an inkjet printer anymore. If you need to print photos, they can be done so cheaply through Costco.
 
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Blinky 42

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Aug 6, 2015
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I don't have an issue with HP laser printers as long as you use them now and then they do fine for decades. I have a HP 4050 that has been my primary b&w printer since 1999. You can still get real or 3rd party cartridges easy, even at a local box store. You can also still get the preventative maintenance kits to swap the rollers out if you print a lot and the rubber rollers starts to get shiny and not pick up pages reliably.
I also got a color cp2025 when the wife was doing her master's and needed to print out lots of things in color all the time over a decade ago. It is still trucking along fine. Both work fine in Linux, Mac and Windows and have proper wired networking.

Whatever you do avoid inkjet printers, too expensive in the long run.
 

BoredSysadmin

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Mar 2, 2019
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There's really no reason to get an inkjet printer anymore. If you need to print photos, they can be done so cheaply through Costco.
I've been saying exactly the same for years for anyone would listen. Costco charges 25c for 4x6 print and though they closed many of the in-store mini labs - they still offer free shipping. Between the cost of photo paper and ink needed there's no way to print at home much cheaper than 25c per 4x6 page. Plus unused ink dries off quickly requires to dump more of it during a rare printer usage.
 

BoredSysadmin

Active Member
Mar 2, 2019
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I don't have an issue with HP laser printers as long as you use them now and then they do fine for decades. I have a HP 4050 that has been my primary b&w printer since 1999. You can still get real or 3rd party cartridges easy, even at a local box store. You can also still get the preventative maintenance kits to swap the rollers out if you print a lot and the rubber rollers starts to get shiny and not pick up pages reliably.
I also got a color cp2025 when the wife was doing her master's and needed to print out lots of things in color all the time over a decade ago. It is still trucking along fine. Both work fine in Linux, Mac and Windows and have proper wired networking.

Whatever you do avoid inkjet printers, too expensive in the long run.
4050 and 4250 were tanks. HP realized their mistake stopped making reliable machines since then.
 
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BlueFox

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Oct 26, 2015
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I've been saying exactly the same for years for anyone would listen. Costco charges 25c for 4x6 print and though they closed many of the in-store mini labs - they still offer free shipping. Between the cost of photo paper and ink needed there's no way to print at home much cheaper than 25c per 4x6 page. Plus unused ink dries off quickly requires to dump more of it during a rare printer usage.
Indeed, though you are a bit off on pricing. They only charge $0.11 per 4x6 (and a year ago it was $0.09 per my last order). The Fuji archival paper they use costs more than that per sheet retail and they have a colour calibrated $20k printer (you can download the ICC profiles if you didn't know). You would need a very expensive printer at home to match the quality, nevermind the cost of expendables.
 

Stephan

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Apr 21, 2017
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To me, ink is a rip-off pretty much everywhere. More expensive than blood plasma. Riiight.

The only use-case I can see is for photo printing, where you have like 8 color tanks and specialty glossy paper. But you better be a photo buff to get your money's worth out of that, because otherwise you will constantly fight print quality issues from dried out tanks.

Couple years back I wanted a printer for my side businesses and went with a HP LaserJet 500 color M551dn (CF082A). Reasons:
  • Full Windows and Linux support, with every single feature fully working in both operating systems. I even tweaked the CUPS PPD file a little to fully use all printer features and correct some copy-paste mistakes... expert enough? ;-)
  • CMYK color laser that can do 1200x1200dpi, without tricks, although "RET 3600" is available
  • That particular model was sold for many years (2011-2015 I think) and in large numbers, increasing chances of spare parts and refurb toner; a premium rainbow kit for 11000 black 6000 color pages was 37 EUR per color last time I checked
  • If you google, pretty much no complaints about this printer
  • Duplexer to print on both sides
  • 10/100/1000 ethernet; Wifi would have been great but the available options are access points for clients, not to hook up to your own wifi as a client
  • Below 1 watts in aggressive standby setting
  • Bought CF084A 3rd paper tray for business paper. Printer can in theory now hold 100+500+500=1100 pages of paper
  • In this model OS is on a 8 GB SSD instead of HDD; I picked the CF082A for this purpose
  • There is/was a 646-page repair manual available on some shady web site so I could go full Louis Rossmann if I wanted to
  • Paid (pre-covid prices) only 180 euro for only 20k page printed printer and another 120 euro for the new-in-box 3rd tray on ebay
  • There is a more blueish 1st model and a more greyish 2nd model, got the greyish facelift (rather accidentally though)
Only drawback is that thing weighs like 40 kg and is rather large, so you need two people to carry it if you don't want to ding it.

One model later than this M551dn, I think it was the M553, HP began having printing dimension problems, where full A4 length printouts were a couple millimeters longer than indicated by software. Someone from a German (of course) engineering consultancy complained about this on HP forums, because their technical printouts were off. Case was closed by HP without a word as "spam". Phew. They also ramped up their refurb toner fight in later models with sneakier chips and more patents.

So for me the M551dn really is the "beef king".
 

cyruspy

Member
Mar 26, 2016
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Still not sure, more info:

Ricoh:
- refurbished, discontinued
- costs us$532
- offered by a high volume reseller/importer
- toner allegedly costs $30 (unsure if it's Ricoh branded or generic)
- the vendors offers also toner & spare parts
- ethernet
- wifi seems missing and reseller suggests to look for us$ 7 TP-Link USB module

HP:
- new, current manufacturer offer
- costs us$640
- offered by regular resellers (what you would find at Costco)
- toner has regular prices (us$ 100 black, us$ 180 de rest)
- wifi available out of the box


Edit: I live in Paraguay, so don't panic about the prices, not many cost effective options as on Ebay at USA. For timing constraints I'm limited to both offers
 
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