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Old 01-10-2022, 03:35 PM   #1
GoinAllTheWay
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Afternoon all,

My parents have decided to task me with finding them a colour printer

I'm fairly techy but know nothing about printers. I have a good ol' reliable b&w brother laser printer that has a scanner with a document feeder. More than enough for my needs.

They want a colour model that also includes a scanner? I know the knock against colour printers is lack of use that clogs print heads or ink expires and then nothing works.

Anyone have a suggestion for a reliable colour printer w/ scanner with ink that doesn't break the bank and has the ability to keep the heads clean? I think they are hoping to keep it under $500ish....

I could just go buy something but have zero experience with colour printers and would likely buy the wrong thing.
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Old 01-10-2022, 03:39 PM   #2
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My recommendation is to stay away from inkjet entirely. You can find color laser printers with scanning for under $500, and if they print a lot the toner cartridges will be far cheaper than inkjet in the long run. On the flip side if they don't print a lot, they don't have to worry about laser toner drying out and becoming useless like inkjet cartridges can
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Old 01-10-2022, 03:58 PM   #3
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Question 1: What are they using it for? (Determine features necessary)

Question 2: How often will they use it? (Do they truly need a $500 convenience machine vs occasionally getting it done at Staples, London drugs, etc.?)

If I'm doing color printers, I'd lean towards Canon and Lexmark. I have a Canon machine at home that I inherited from a company that was getting rid of it because they got a color copier. I use it to print color maybe 3-4 times a year and it has never clogged. I believe it is around 5-6 years old. Pictures wise, it's good enough for a scrapbook etc. but in all honesty, $500 towards to print photos at a photo centre is a ton of photos at a higher quality.
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Old 01-10-2022, 04:10 PM   #4
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Another note - sometimes people think "color printer" and just assume they can print pictures/photos. But for photos, a color inkjet will pretty much always beat a color laser, especially at the < $500 price range.

That said I choose color laser every time for all other printing needs because of cheaper per/page cost and faster printing. Also, didn't like the practice of Canon (and probably others) that started chipping their ink cartridges to prevent use of 3rd party ink. I switched to laser over 15 years ago and have never looked back. The rare time we want hardcopy photos, we do them at Walmart.
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Old 01-10-2022, 04:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psyang View Post
Another note - sometimes people think "color printer" and just assume they can print pictures/photos. But for photos, a color inkjet will pretty much always beat a color laser, especially at the < $500 price range.

That said I choose color laser every time for all other printing needs because of cheaper per/page cost and faster printing. Also, didn't like the practice of Canon (and probably others) that started chipping their ink cartridges to prevent use of 3rd party ink. I switched to laser over 15 years ago and have never looked back. The rare time we want hardcopy photos, we do them at Walmart.
Ya photos are one of the only areas that inkjets are superior in, but if you're going to the trouble of printing off photos with the assumed intention to keep them around long term, then getting them professionally developed should be the way you go anyways
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Old 01-10-2022, 04:24 PM   #6
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I bought the Canon G6000 with high capacity ink. I absolutely love it, good quality printing, and after about 5 months including printing a bunch of football play books, I've barely dented the ink.
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Old 01-10-2022, 04:25 PM   #7
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Colour laser(if they really think they need colour) and show them how to use a print service like London Drugs for photos. Home printing photos is a fools errand, and not at all worth the cost.
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Old 01-10-2022, 04:37 PM   #8
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I should have mentioned, the London Drugs/Staples thing isn't really an option. My mum has a degenerative lung disease, trips like that almost kill her and I really don't want my day having to run out to do prints.

They just need something that's simple to use. She wants it to start painting again and likes to scan/print off the photos for whatever reason.

Honestly, whatever gets her engaged in something again is all that matters to me.
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Old 01-10-2022, 05:27 PM   #9
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Supply really blows right now for printers due to the continued supply chain challenges. Every printer I looked at was out of stock or had 1 in stock (which for retail inventory seems to always mean 'out of stock').
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Old 01-10-2022, 05:55 PM   #10
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Cents per page costs for inkjet have really come down in the last while it seems. I have an HP OfficeJet 9015 and I like it well enough (I wanted something with duplexing which limits the choices). Though I kind of wish I would have got a colour laser printer since 90% of the colour printing I do is for documents, don't really print photos anymore. Inkjet does look better for printing photos IMO.
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Old 01-10-2022, 05:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoinAllTheWay View Post
I should have mentioned, the London Drugs/Staples thing isn't really an option. My mum has a degenerative lung disease, trips like that almost kill her and I really don't want my day having to run out to do prints.

They just need something that's simple to use. She wants it to start painting again and likes to scan/print off the photos for whatever reason.

Honestly, whatever gets her engaged in something again is all that matters to me.
Ah, fair point.

What about Costco? After they closed down most of their photo centres, I believe you can upload photos and have the printed thing (not just photos) mailed to you directly now. No need for a trip.

https://www.costcophotocentre.ca/Home

Even if there is a shipping cost, I think you kinda break even with the quality upgrade. I believe there are other places that do this, but I don't know them off the top of my head without looking it up.
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Old 01-10-2022, 05:59 PM   #12
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Related question (hope the OP doesn't mind): in lieu of buying a color printer, does anyone have any recommendations for local print shops that offer REALLY good color digital printing? Looking to print some high res color photos on white cardstock, but not enough to justify buying a whole new printer.

I've tried Staples but honestly wasn't impressed by the final product.
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Old 01-10-2022, 06:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvp2003 View Post
Related question (hope the OP doesn't mind): in lieu of buying a color printer, does anyone have any recommendations for local print shops that offer REALLY good color digital printing? Looking to print some high res color photos on white cardstock, but not enough to justify buying a whole new printer.

I've tried Staples but honestly wasn't impressed by the final product.
2 things to consider:

1. The quality of the paper and the type of paper can really change the look of the final product. Printing matte like cardstock vs gloss like photo paper can really change the final look. My wife made a few photobooks for a special milestone and with the exact same pics, it was crazy how different matte vs gloss and flat vs textured paper would do for the quality of the look as well as "bleeding" of the colors final image onto the tissue paper.

2. You may want to ensure that the photo lab that does the printing does not alter the color of the original photos. I believe London Drugs has a checkbox for not altering the colors. I want to say Vistek was the other, but I honestly do not recall. I also am not sure if there are places where you can request different paper to print on.
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Old 01-10-2022, 09:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvp2003 View Post
Related question (hope the OP doesn't mind): in lieu of buying a color printer, does anyone have any recommendations for local print shops that offer REALLY good color digital printing? Looking to print some high res color photos on white cardstock, but not enough to justify buying a whole new printer.

I've tried Staples but honestly wasn't impressed by the final product.
Back when I used to shoot slides and get prints made I used this place, they were very good. But that was years ago.


https://ablimaging.ca/
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Old 01-12-2022, 10:16 AM   #15
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I can't speak to specific models, but I've had a Canon with the refillable tanks (vs the cartridges) since the pandemic started. The ability to easily see the tank levels plus being able to refill them easily made me angry at HP for all those years with the damn cartridges that cost a ton - especially when a poor college student studying at home.



Sometimes I like to print off a document from work and go sit at the table or somewhere else when reviewing it.
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Old 01-12-2022, 01:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoinAllTheWay View Post
I should have mentioned, the London Drugs/Staples thing isn't really an option. My mum has a degenerative lung disease, trips like that almost kill her and I really don't want my day having to run out to do prints.

They just need something that's simple to use. She wants it to start painting again and likes to scan/print off the photos for whatever reason.

Honestly, whatever gets her engaged in something again is all that matters to me.
Whatever printer you decide on, check Amazon for replacement cartridges. They'll likely be cheaper than Staples and if she's not able to go to the store it'll be her best option for getting them delivered.
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Old 01-12-2022, 01:10 PM   #17
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Thanks a ton all. Helped us narrow it down a bit. Suggested to my dad that Cannon or Lexmark seems to be the common suggestion.

Any difference in the quality of the software either uses? Easy/intuitive = good for older parents.
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Old 01-12-2022, 10:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoinAllTheWay View Post
Thanks a ton all. Helped us narrow it down a bit. Suggested to my dad that Cannon or Lexmark seems to be the common suggestion.

Any difference in the quality of the software either uses? Easy/intuitive = good for older parents.
Canít speak for Lexmark but I have a wireless Canon printer and it was as easy as download their drivers and then just press print whenever you need to print and youíre good to go. Canon also comes with its own application but Ive never used it
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Old 01-13-2022, 11:19 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoinAllTheWay View Post
Thanks a ton all. Helped us narrow it down a bit. Suggested to my dad that Cannon or Lexmark seems to be the common suggestion.

Any difference in the quality of the software either uses? Easy/intuitive = good for older parents.
I've always found the software that comes with printers to be basically unnecessary. Either print from jpeg or copy and resize the pics in word so that you can print multiple on a single sheet of quality paper.
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Old 01-13-2022, 01:12 PM   #20
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For basic printing, yes, but I think scanning functions typically need drivers from the manufacturer, no? I know most printers have a scan now button but configuring settings is usually much easier in a software package.
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