Canon Pixma iP4950
This is a photo printer, often referred to as single-function in reviews, but in fact it’s capable of print from a PictBridge camera and directly onto a CD/DVD/Blu-ray, as well as through more conventional routes. It has duplex print and twin trays, so you can load plain at the front and photo at the back. It prints reasonably quickly, getting a 15 x 10cm photo out in around 50s and has five inks, so photo prints are helped with a photo black. Photo print quality is excellent for a budget machine, with natural colours and good detail, even in the dark shades. You should be able to pick one up for under £60.
More Info Canon
Epson Stylus Photo PX720WD
This is one of Epson’s big black, glossy photo all-in-ones at the high end of its range. It has a touch screen with surrounding touch panel and includes a powered photo tray, memory card slots and automatic direct disc print. Wireless connection is standard. Most Epsons boast fast photo print and this one produces a 15 x 10cm print in less than 30s. Photos, from its six inks, which include light cyan and light magenta, are good, with above average rendition of colours in light and dark shades. PC World is currently selling this machine for a bargain £80.
More Info Epson
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How long does a set of ink cartridges last in a turned off printer?
How much does a replacement set of print cartridges cost?
The major failing with the last 3 ink-jet printers I have owned (Cannon, HP and Kodak) has been that if you leave them untouched for 3 months then come back to print something the ink has dried all over the heads and you need to buy new.
Often a new printer is cheaper than a set of ink-cartridges.
Now I send them off to snapfish or take them to the local print-shop, it's cheaper and gets better results.
cost per print?
Your analysis is all well and good, but you give no indication of the total cost of ownership. (Ie cost of replacment ink), and consequent cost per page of printing.
Given that for example HP seem to follow a 'loss leader' approach with their printer pricing, to lock you into buying their expensive ink refills, the price of the printer is a small proportion of the cost over the life of the device.
Why not get someone who knows what they are talking about?
"Inkjet printers produce better quality photos than traditional silver halide" There was really no point in reading any more of the article if the writer has such a poor understanding of image quality that they seriously believe that statement.
Inkjet printing has many advantages over optical printing but quality isn't among them.
I bought an inkjet a while back and while it's pretty good quality, I mostly use it for printing out boarding passes and not much else. Consequently the ink runs out and costs a fortune to replace (it's a Canon).
If you want to print out photos, the best thing to do is to take your photos to a photo developers (remember those?) and they'll do a high quality print-out for not much cost.
Of course, if you print out all of your photos then this probably isn't so cost-effective, but if you print out one or two every now and again like I do then this is the way to go.
Get a cheap printer with cheap ink for those boarding passes.
Which one DOESN'T come with 100mb plus of bloated "drivers" that asks to download updates from the Internet every 5 mins?