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Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?
Old 12-14-2006, 06:28 PM   #1
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Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?

I currently have a great black & white laser jet printer.

I now need to make a considerable amount of color copies for the next year or so.

Does anyone have any recommendations on a decent (does not have to be fabulous) color printer that has a very low cost per copy?

TIA,

omni


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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?
Old 12-14-2006, 09:13 PM   #2
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?

I have and would highly recommend the Lexmark Z735 series. Very cheap to buy, and operate. Not particularly speedy !.....tom
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?
Old 12-15-2006, 05:22 PM   #3
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?

tjon72,

Hey, thanks. I'll check into this printer.

omni
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?
Old 12-15-2006, 05:29 PM   #4
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?

Hmmmmm Sorry to disagree, but Lexmark would be my last choice. I would check with PC Magazine website for reviews. Are you looking for ink jet or laser printer? Laser is cheaper for copies but initial outlay is high.

If you are considering ink jets and you are not doing photo's that you need real high quality prints from then I would pick a printer you can buy second party ink refils for, and you will save a bundle. The canon Mx or Mp 600 would fit that bill.
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?
Old 12-15-2006, 06:35 PM   #5
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?

Don't know if this is still relevant:

Printers that have separate ink cartridges for each color will save you money in the long run. By separating the ink into separate cartridges or tanks, they keep you from having to replace a cartridge just because one of the three inks ran out. Instead you get to use all of each ink cartridge before having to replace it.
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?
Old 12-15-2006, 07:05 PM   #6
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by modhatter
Hmmmmm Sorry to disagree, but Lexmark would be my last choice.
I'll never own another Lexmark....haven't had very good luck with them...and they sure aren't cheap to print with!!! I dumpsterized the one at w*rk, and I have 2 here at home that will get the same treatment in the spring when I rent a dumpster for a major house/garage cleaning. I also still have an Lexmark "all-in-one" that the printer portion crapped out about a year and a half ago, but the scanner part still hobbles along.

For quick, cheap printing I use our old faithful Canon BJC-250, and for really decent color printing I use our Epson stylus Photo R300. And I just bought a Canon PIXMA iP6700D Photo Printer, for Christmas....(Amazon has it on sale for $99.79)

Now....the cheapest per copy.....my Kyocera 850D color laser printer/copier/scanner at w*rk!!! The employer bought it and maintains it, and I supply my own paper (sometimes). The colors are superb, and the pix come out semi-gloss just using plain old copy paper...most any weight.
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?
Old 12-15-2006, 07:55 PM   #7
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by omni550
I currently have a great black & white laser jet printer.

I now need to make a considerable amount of color copies for the next year or so.

Does anyone have any recommendations on a decent (does not have to be fabulous) color printer that has a very low cost per copy?
How much is a 'considerable amount' of color copies?

You'll need to do the math - as mentioned, color lasers will cost more initially, but at some point, the per page cost will make them cheaper. Until you need a new toner cart.

If you decide on an inkjet - definitely choose based on finding cheap 3rd party cartridges. We have three of the Canon series (pixma 2000, i350, i475) in the family that take the cheap BC_24B/C cartridges. I get them online for around $1.50 each. The color cart is 3 colors in one. I end up replacing the ink carts about every 3 months at roughly 100 pages printed per month. I know roughly how much I print because I bought a 2500 sheet box of paper and dated it, and I jot down the date in the printer when I change carts.

At $1.50 times 2 for 3 months, I personally would not want to mess with separate colors - I change one and I get them all changed at once. I can't believe the prices I see in the stores for ink carts $20??!! (fine if you need high quality prints, but that is what Costco photo print is for @ $0.20 per pic, IMO).

Another reason that I have three of the canon in this series, is that I now know how to maintain them. You can pop out the print head and soak it and clean it in alcohol. I've had to do that once or twice. In fact, I bought the 2000 after I thought the i350 was broken, but then learned how to fix it, so that is now working and is my 'spare' printer.

This series is discontinued now I think, and the new ones might take more expensive cartridges, but check it out. I plan to salvage parts as they croak to try to keep the remaining ones running - no real problems yet, other than cleaning the print head.

I get my ink carts from: www.inkjetmadness.com and www.inkandbeyond.com

-ERD50
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?
Old 12-15-2006, 09:21 PM   #8
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?

I have a Lexmark...you can get the printer almost if not free after rebate with a computer bundle, which probably says something....I refill the black cartridge and dont use the color anymore...it is a pain to refill....
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?
Old 12-15-2006, 09:36 PM   #9
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?

Epson took the feedback from their CX4600 guinea pigs valued customers and produced the CX4800, which so far has worked fine.

It's the kind of printer TH used to speak of-- the printer (in the box with its fully charged ink cartridges) can be bought for less than the cost of buying the four cartridges at retail prices.

So buy a CX4800. When one of the cartridges runs out, buy another new CX4800 and install the three older cartridges in it (plus one of the new ones). Sell the old (empty) CX4800 on Craigslist for $25. When another one of the cartridges runs out, start using the sealed cartridges that came with the second CX4800. When you're all out of whatever cartridge you need, then buy a third CX4800...
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?
Old 12-15-2006, 11:22 PM   #10
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?

I thought many of the new printers came with 'starter' cartidges that don't print as many pages as a full cartridge.

So you can't really compare a new printer with the cost of full replacement cartridges.

-ERD50
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?
Old 12-16-2006, 08:24 AM   #11
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
How much is a 'considerable amount' of color copies?
I'm "guesstimating" 100-400 pages/month. Maybe more as time goes on.

These do not have to be "photo quality".

This will be used to print out flyers for a side business. The flyers will have some small pictures and text, mostly to generate interest. The interested party would be directed to a website for more pictures and detailed descriptions.

The print speed is not critical, as long as I could "set it and forget it" to run the amount of copies I need.

I appreciate all the input, as it's great food for thought.

omni
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?
Old 12-16-2006, 08:50 AM   #12
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?

Check out Canon. I love my Pixma IP6700 D............also the Selphy model works well.

The best site on the net for reviewing electronics is www.cnet.com. Those guys know their stuff, and I have never been led wrong taking their advice........
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?
Old 12-16-2006, 10:09 AM   #13
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?

Also, don't rule out taking them to a kinko's or something. I'm not sure of the prices, but overall it might be cheaper.

These medium quality home printers can and do jam and break and the printheads do get clogged occasionally - leaving streaks or 'banding' in your document. So maybe you don't need great 'photo quality' but streaking in the flyer looks really tacky - you don't want to represent a business that way.

That streaking problem might keep you from doing a 'set it and forget it' approach on 100 documents - if the head clogs just a bit on the 25th of 100 prints, you have 75 pieces of scrap.


200 prints/month for one year = 1200 prints; a $120 printer is 12000 cents. That is 10 cents per page in fixed costs the first year (the priinter may or may not last longer - it's kind of a crap shoot in this price range). Now add paper and ink cart costs - it might be more than you think - plus any waste.

Those are the reasons I don't do my own photo prints - Costco does a 4*6 for $.19 - I bet a similar economy of scale applies to printing flyers.

-ERD50
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?
Old 12-16-2006, 10:30 AM   #14
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
Also, don't rule out taking them to a kinko's or something. I'm not sure of the prices, but overall it might be cheaper.
Unfortunately, the local Kinko's charges 89 cents a page for color copies; 79 cents for 250 copies or more.

This is why I'm investigating getting a color printer.

I've been reading some of the reviews on the cnet site. For example, there's a Samsung CLP500 laser printer ($210.) that runs about 2.4 cents per page PLUS the cost of the printer.

Using (the same figures used above)1200 prints/year to amortize the cost of the printer adds 17.5 cents per page, for a total of 20 cents per page (plus cost of paper --> cheap), considerably less than Kinko's.

Now you folks have me thinking that maybe a laser jet is actually better for my needs of printing 50 to 100 copies at a time.



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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?
Old 12-16-2006, 10:55 AM   #15
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?

I don't have much experience with inexpensive color lasers, but if they have decent reliability, they probably are a better bet than ink jet. I will be looking into them again when my canons die. A few years back they were still big bucks.

The user reviews seem mixed, but $210 is not a big investment over an inkjet.

If you get it, let us know what you think. - ERD50
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?
Old 12-16-2006, 03:06 PM   #16
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
I thought many of the new printers came with 'starter' cartidges that don't print as many pages as a full cartridge.
So you can't really compare a new printer with the cost of full replacement cartridges.
You would be right, but the two CX4800s that we have both came with four fully-loaded cartridges. That might not be typical, but that's why I specifically mentioned that model and that feature.

Ironically the Cartridge World refills have worked better (fewer clogged nozzles) than the Epson factory ink.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
I don't have much experience with inexpensive color lasers, but if they have decent reliability, they probably are a better bet than ink jet. I will be looking into them again when my canons die. A few years back they were still big bucks.
I'd go with a color laser in a heartbeat if its toner lasts for a while and if it eliminates those weekend trips to Wal-Mart for a 9th grader's "just one more cartridge".

I bet a color laser has a higher upfront expense but is more cost-effective, especially in volume. And if it elminates the hassle of dealing with clogged nozzles then I'm all for it!

If anyone has anything nice to say about a full color laser printer under $500, I'm ready to read about it...
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?
Old 12-16-2006, 04:19 PM   #17
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?

My HP G85 all-in-one informs me that I have now printed 14,605 pages. I've never had any problems with it.
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?
Old 12-16-2006, 06:12 PM   #18
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by omni550
I'm "guesstimating" 100-400 pages/month. Maybe more as time goes on.

These do not have to be "photo quality".

This will be used to print out flyers for a side business. The flyers will have some small pictures and text, mostly to generate interest. The interested party would be directed to a website for more pictures and detailed descriptions.

The print speed is not critical, as long as I could "set it and forget it" to run the amount of copies I need.
Get a color laser. Inkjets are crap for volume printing, durability and cost per page. Unless you get an expensive office-class inkjet in which case cost per page is still higher than color laser.

The cartridge costs for color toner is scary, but on a per-page basis it's much cheaper than ink.

I have a Konica-Minolta Magicolor 2400w. I like it but don't use it that much. If I were printing for any sort of business I'd probably spend more for the next tier of printers. I haven't priced them lately, but I'm guessing they'd be around $800-$1200 where the home/small office color lasers were $350-$600 last I looked.

EDIT: As far as brands, I didn't like Lexmark's home inkjets much, but the work B&W Optiplexes never gave me much trouble. Without looking at the review sites (which I would do before buying), I would feel comfortable with a mid-range or higher HP, Lexmark or Ricoh. For cheap home printers I'd generally stick with HP or Epson, although I'm very happy so far with my Minolta. I have little or no experience with Canon, but I know they have fans. Don't know about Xeox or Samsung. I have a bad feeling about Brother and Okidata but don't know why.
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?
Old 12-17-2006, 12:41 AM   #19
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
If anyone has anything nice to say about a full color laser printer under $500, I'm ready to read about it...
I bought a Dell 3100CN from their outlet for about $200. It has worked flawlessly for the year or so we've had it. The refurbs from the outlet come with new carts, and more ink than a new printer (which lists for around $500).

Color print quality is great. My only complaint is that it is a HUGE printer.

I haven't had to put a new cart in it yet, but at the time I bought it, new ink was slightly more expensive than a new printer. So, I'll probably just upgrade to a new printer if we ever run out of ink.
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?
Old 12-17-2006, 02:49 PM   #20
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Re: Recommend a low cost per copy color printer?

I have a crazy idea......

Omni could outsource the printing of the flyers to a forum owner who has already invested in a decent printer. They could negotiate a fair transfer price. The deal could include the direct mailing of the flyers from the printer. This would eliminate the need for omni to make a capital investment, and the owner of the printer would have some return on the investment he or she has already made.

Disclaimer: my printer is a piece of crap and doesn't qualify.

meadbh
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