Ten budget inkjet printers
Bargain basement all-in-ones
Product Round-up As money continues to be tight, buying a new all-in-one often takes a back seat. However, if an old machine has died, or a son or daughter needs something to print coursework, you may be forced to flex a card. On the up side, you could be surprised at some of the bargains which are available in the inkjet market.
You can pick up a serviceable machine for under £40 and one with a touchscreen, wireless and economical separate ink cartridges for £50. Even at these squeezed asking prices, you don’t have to pay the balance in increased cartridge costs. There really are some bargains out there.
With Brother’s signature gentle curve to its lid, this machine is the company's entry-level all-in-one. Its festures a small, but effective colour LCD and a simple control panel which handles scan, copy and photo print. In the front panel is a dual SD/MemoryStick card slot and a 100-sheet paper cassette, with USB the only data connection.
Under test I only saw a maximum black print speed of 3.2ppm, against a claim of 33ppm. Print quality is fair for black, but a bit insipid for colour, particularly in copies. Ink costs, at 1.6p per page black and 7.6p colour are good for a budget printer. The price might look high, but discounted it drops to around £65.
Reg Rating 70%
More info Brother
A few steps up the range, Brother offers the MFC-J430W, with built-in 20-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) and fax, as well as print, copy and scan – no photo print, though. A 51mm LCD screen works with a well laid-out control panel and there’s a 100sheet paper cassette. WiFi and USB are supported, with WPS setup for the wireless.
I measured a maximum black print speed of 7.7ppm, healthy for this class of machine, with 4.8ppm for colour. Text print looks a little fuzzy and colour is light, more so in copies. At 2.6p and 7.6p for black and colour print, it’s reasonable to run and is discounted to around £90.
Reg Rating 65%
More info Brother
Next page: Canon PIXMA MG2150
Oh the choices
1 printer $50
1 set of ink cartridges $50
print 20 pages
Sorry, your ink is empty / dried out / got stolen by the goblins at night.
1 set of ink cartridges $50 ...
B/W laser printer:
1 printer $100
1 cartridge $50
prints 2,000 pages, no questions asked
So for the one time a year you absolutely have to print in color, here is a USB stick and a map to the copy shop for you.
You arent mentioning...
The software for ANY HP product and especially inkjet printers is complete total and utter crap. Common cause of horrific boot times, takes forever to install, puts a ton of un-needed services etc
Kodak isnt much better
Oh and Hp, Kodak and especially Lexmark, get used to being shafted for inak as there are no good alternatives.
Be wary of Epson printers
Be aware that Epson printers genuinely have a built-in service life. They will decide by themselves that they have printed X amount of pages and simply stop working saying that the waste ink pads are saturated. They aren't. The official fix is expensive. The unofficial fix still involves spending money to reset the printer
quote from Epson SX235W manual:
"If an error message appears indicating the printer’s ink pads are nearing the end of their service life, contact Epson support to replace them. The message will be displayed at regular intervals until the ink pads are replaced. When the printer’s ink pads are saturated, the printer stops and Epson support is required to continue printing."
For the Epson Stylus Office BX305FW Plus the same info is on page 80 of the manual:
Since the printer itself decides to do this there is no way to predict when it will happen.
Any chance future reviews could include a rundown of the supported OS? Windows and Mac are most likely but indicating which items have decent Linux support would be very useful.
They are all shit
And filled with hidden booby traps
Epson and canons nozzles block.
Kodak ink is cheap but rest of print mechanism dies.
HP expensive ink and insanely bloated and nagging drivers.
In short expect to be screwed one way or another.