All-in-One Inkjet Printers: Best Buys
The pick of the printers
Group Test Before I announce which printers have won Reg Hardware awards, let's first see how they measure up against each other.
Output in pages per minute (PPM)
Longer bars are better
Time to print 15 x 10cm photo in Seconds (s)
Shorter bars are better
Running Cost Results
Price-per-page in Pence
Shorter bars are better
These results are based on official pricing for both printers and their consumables, and you should bear in mind that these machines are very likely to be discounted by retailers. In particular, the relative running costs may not reflect actual costs at typical discount prices.
Still, I can say there are two machines that stand out in this group. Epson’s Stylus SX610FW is a solid, well-designed printer which is very fast - though noisy with it.
HP’s Officejet 6500 Wireless is fast too, but also has very low running costs and useful extras like high paper capacity and duplex print. For general use in a home or home office, it’s a very strong choice, and accordingly wins the Reg Hardware Editor's Choice award. It just sneaks in ahead of the Epson, which gets the Recommended award. ®
HP Printer Software
I was feeling pretty smug having bought the HP Officejet 6500 but I have to agree with the software comment.
The HP software takes at least 20 minutes to install (what can it possibly be doing?), insists on reverting to 'Letter' paper whenever your back is turned (you can't overwrite the default presets) and has a habit of reporting things as printed when they've been poured down a black hole somewhere. I've also had to remove and re-install on occasions to get it printing at all.
Printer drivers used to arrive on one floppy disk - how hard can they be?
OK, I'll be the one to mention Linux!
I'm looking for a new machine, as my trusty Pixma ip5000 is beginning to fall apart, and my HP scanner will just not work with ubuntu.
Had been looking at the Canon Pixma stuff. Nice that they do make Linux drivers available.
The other big factor is cartridge refilling. Never been a problem with my old pixma: no chip on the cartridge, and the print head is not bult in to the cartridge either which reduces the cost anyway. There is no way I am going to go on buying the Champagne so long as Cartridge World can refill.
Have been thinking about the MP568 --- home machine use.
How well does supplied software work?
I, for one, will bever buy another HP product:
The 3210 I have blue-screens if I plug in the network cable that was a major reason to go with it.
The included scanning software randomly reverts settings, e.g. changing the resolution when you just try to adjust the crop-box, and generating a random crop-box with only a tenuous connection to the contents of the scanned image, _every_ scan.
Support requires a serial number and date of purchase to even _ask_ if there is an upgrade to fix this. (of course we always keep every receipt, right?)
Now, why would my experience with a different product than the one reviewed be relevant? Well, there is a lot of software commonality among HP devices, so I would expect any of their products to be similarly infested. And of course their "legendary" support is across the board.
Not my first HP product (Still have a four-pen plotter :-), but definitely my last.
And which one should I buy for use on my Fedora Linux computers?
My current Canon has no support whatever for the scanner and fax :-( and only partially works for printing by selecting a driver for an apparently unrelated printer model. :-(
All running cost tests use manufacturers' original cartridges at RRP. All printers tested have drivers for OS X, as well as Windows. None of these £150 devices has an internal drive.