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Thread: Where are the printers...?

  1. #1
    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Default Where are the printers...?

    We just started looking for a printer, preferably colour laser, and almost nothing is available... Nowhere in EU shops...

    Inkjet of some brands are there, monochrome laser also... but colour laser of e.g. Canon is completely not available, without even a term when it may become. Some shops claim to have them and sell them at 5x the official retail price. Others state a delivery time of August... Official reply from Canon Poland is that they don't know when devices become available.

    HP is easier available, but we don't like the HP+ aspect, which requires a permanent internet connection to print (!). Presumably they check if you have an original toner, but if their servers don't work or are not reachable (or they decide to no longer support the model), you cannot print. It is bad enough companies do it with software, but we don't want to support a company that does it with hardware - a shame as I had only good experiences with HP printers.

    We may resort to getting a simple inkjet for the time being...
    Last edited by VJ; 5th June 2022 at 09:37.
    pixar
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    Super MURCer UtwigMU's Avatar
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    There is huge supply crunch helped by Shanghai lockdown and war in Ukraine. So ship dates 6 months out are common.

    Look into Kyocera for color lasers, Brother for color / B&W lasers. With both printing works well in Linux. With the two identical Brother B&W laser MFC I have scanning also works on Linux.

    Brothers have good support - they reply, firmware updates and sensible security - no default password same for all printers. Each printer has own admin web interface password.

    For Inkjet look in Epson.

    Also better a used laser than new crappy inkjet. You might get into sending pdfs territory with used in 100-300 EUR price range. You can then set sendgrid, mailgun or free gmail account to mail out scans. With new drum and toners it will print like new.

    Calculate TCO:
    - new printer with starting toners = x pages
    - set of CMY = y pages
    - black = z pages
    - drum = w pages

    Calculate how much it costs in printer purchase to print 20k and 50k pages and then divide that by pages printed.
    Last edited by UtwigMU; 5th June 2022 at 10:11.

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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    It is a printer for private use (upgrade of our b&w laser), nothing urgent, but we have a bit of colour printing to do in the next month which accelerated our idea of getting one. But we have alternatives. Our own printer would just be the easiest - and something we were thinking of earlier.
    Even with Kyocera and Brother, the smaller devices are not easy to come by.

    My "where" question was rather rhetoric. We are suffering a lot at work from the supply chain issues. We managed to buy an EV charger for our project, with the condition that the Raspberry PI that deals with the communication will be delivered by the end of the year. But as we have a suitable RaspberryPI lying around, they agree that we install that one. Similarly, we are waiting already 6 months for flow meters. And many other devices. Now we need to buy hardware for different projects, and it is an issue: timing of the budgets is rather rigid and if we do not spend in that time we may not be able to spend it. Which means we cannot buy the hardware, which means the project fails. But this is not the type of hardware for which there are many options. And if delivery is faster but price is higher than our planned budget does not reach.

    It is a weird feeling, considering that e.g. 10 years ago, whatever you wanted to buy was there... Now it is really limited.
    pixar
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    Super MURCer MultimediaMan's Avatar
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    Don't overlook Lexmark; Very good overall driver support (Regardless of platform) generally solid hardware platforms. Stay away from Canon/HP (unless you like to experience financial rape). Avoid Xerox at all costs; they have a lot of cool features if you are in the printing business (or need "true" color performance), but they are a pitiless bitch to keep running in terms of firmware, drivers and hardware maintenance.
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    Crabby Smurf Umfriend's Avatar
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    We had a Brother MFC (al-in-one) Inkjet at the time which printed and scanned doublesided on A4 and printed A3 as well. It was a great printer although the colors were not as saturated as I like. I think the MFC-J6947DW does it all (even scan A3 doublesided!). We now have an Epson WF-C5710 which is quite a bit better but does not do A3.

    We did look at lasers all-in and A3 but those were just way to expensive.

    The only HP printer I'd ever consider buying is the LaserJet III.

    I just wish they'd rip out the Fax part.
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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    My wife's old Brother MFC inkjet developed a fault where it keeps claiming the printer head needs cleaning, and as a result of that it also refuses to scan. My father's Samsung MFC laser started having huge alignment problems; it was cheaper to replace it than to have it serviced.

    I read about many issues with current low-end colour-laser Xerox printers... Thanks on the Lexmark suggestion!
    Problem is the same though: not available, and the few place that claim to have it list it at 4-5x the price.
    pixar
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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    How about Kyocera?

    They seem available... at quite a good price... Featureset seems very good, e.g. model PA2100cx... According to the manual, you can use non-original toners (the warning can be dismissed) and you can print in black if a colour toner is empty (even continue a colour-print in B&W). Both quite interesting features...
    Last edited by VJ; 16th June 2022 at 06:30.
    pixar
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    Super MURCer UtwigMU's Avatar
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    Good experience. One friend who is hardcore accountant with employees got two task alphas. One needed a service after 5 years but he prints a lot. One company had an issue but it was fixed under warranty at no cost.

    For me Brother and Kyoto Ceramics are top two choices. Also have Kyocera knife for 15 years.

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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    We've ordered a Kyocera... Great discount on amazon and in stock. But for some reason they are not dispatching it, I've contacted them and they say that in the internal system they can see it should be delivered before July 7... Let's wait and see...
    pixar
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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    It came too late for our purpose, but at least yesterday the printer was delivered... More than one month after ordering it... and it was listed as "in stock".

    One thing I learned from support: the amazon delivery time is counted from the moment of dispatching. So they told me that there is nothing a customer can do to speed it up. Even with Amazon prime, they can delay the dispatching and then still do a next-day delivery. One argument was that it was classified as a bulky item (shipping weight listed as 27 kg, but this is the volume-corrected weight as the device itself weighs about 21 kg) which creates problems for shipping and dispatching. So, when ordering bulky items, be aware that there may be extensions to the delivery which you cannot fight (you can cancel in the mean time). In retrospect, this may be why there was no delivery time estimate with the item even though it was in stock.
    pixar
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  11. #11
    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Just installed the Kyocera. The packaging is amazing: a big sturdy box, the printer is surrounded by a U-shaped strong cardboard which allows two people to lift the device out of the box with ease (instructions for this printed on the box). Those sides then fold, and you have direct access to the printer's bottom handles. Very clever packaging.

    The printer itself feels very solid, the plastic feels strong and all the doors and closing mechanisms are sturdy. Configuration went smooth. I read on reviews that people complain that you have to enter a password for the settings-menu, but that can be disabled with a setting (mode: admin or home). It prints very silently, nice quality. No issues on thicker paper (which was our purpose). And it has a menu option to set it to print black and white if it runs out of a single colour. Granted that the screen looks a bit primitive compared to others (dot matrix lcd, no colour, no touch), but everything can be done via the web-interface, and how often do you need the controls on a printer-only device anyway.

    Looks like it was a good buy. (same printer on Amazon is now around 15% more expensive)
    pixar
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    Super MURCer UtwigMU's Avatar
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    https://cutlery.kyocera.com/ceramic-knives

    Next get one of theese, I've had one for 10+ years.

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    One interesting aspect of the Kyocera printer is its driver. You have so many finishing options, and in addition to that a print-preview that sits at driver level. So you can really be sure what the print will look like, very useful if you use the options of the driver for finishing (e.g. pages per sheet, ...). It means that when you click the print-button in the app, rather than directly starting a print you can still preview it and choose not to print.

    I was a bit surprised how small the toners are, but my reference is b&w printers where the toner also contains a lot of mechanics (rolls, ...). Here it really just look like a small box with toner-powder, nothing more.
    pixar
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    Super MURCer UtwigMU's Avatar
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    In the old days of 1990s lasrejets toners and drums were all in one. Now drums are separate.

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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    In my old HP, the drum is NOT part of the toner-replacement, but still the toner-replacement is the full with and has many rollers and things. Similar with our much newer HPs at work. So, that is why I specifically did not write the word drum. In the Kyocera, it is just a small box on the right side of the printer (one downside: you need space on the right of the printer to access this, and as the door hinges, you need ample space for that door - with a 20+ kg printer, you're not just quickly going to pull it out of its spot)
    pixar
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