Printer recommendations?

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014

I'm looking for a compact but reliable colour printer to use with my powerbook + airport express station. I don't need to do graphics on it.

Can anyone recommend something to me?

I used to have a Hewlett Packard 600 series (or was it Epson) which drained inks, and the page loading tray often swallowed 5 pages at once, jamming inside the printer.

Hoping for recommendations for a printer which can avoid this - something aesthetically minimal would be great.

Thanks for any responses.


  • Reply 1 of 8
    jms698jms698 Posts: 102member
    I also used to have an Epson and it was horrible. Jamming all the time.

    I'm now only buying Canon ink jet printers. They are really good these days. Check out the Canon Pixma IP4000 or IP5000. Nice minimal square case, too.

    However, beware, the new Canon IP4200/5200 use a different ink type (it's supposed to be more resistant to fading and last 100 years) to last year's IP4000/5000 models. The disadvantage is that cheap recycled ink is not (yet) available for the new printers.

    You can get really, really cheap ink for the IP4000, making printing on it even cheaper than on a laser printer, the IP4200 will be kind of pricy, though still pretty good value.

    Annother thing: not sure if it will work via the Airport. You'll have to check that out.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    justinjustin Posts: 403member
    Thanks JMS -

    I've just checked and mine is an Epson. It has one of those old multi-pin connections. Do I get a USB type connection with the printer, or are all new printers now updated to standard connections?

    The 4000 sounds fine - I'd be happy to use recycled inkss (or just pour some fountain pen ink in the cartrige?)
  • Reply 3 of 8
    jms698jms698 Posts: 102member

    Originally posted by Justin

    Do I get a USB type connection with the printer, or are all new printers now updated to standard connections?

    The 4000 sounds fine - I'd be happy to use recycled inkss (or just pour some fountain pen ink in the cartrige?)

    All new printers use USB connectors, yes. However, you'll need to buy the USB printer cable separately (~ $5).

    The ink isn't exactly recycled. Just the ink cartridge. You can find loads of suppliers that collect old empty ink cartridges, refill them and resell them. If you buy these recycled cartridges, printing costs about one cent per page (b/w 5% coverage).
  • Reply 4 of 8
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    I know from experience that the Apple AirPort Extreme and AirPort Express base stations aren't compatible will a lot of the printers that are out there ? in much the same way that you can't actually send a fax from the AirPorts fax/modem. Cheers for that Apple!

    It might be worth digging around to find out if the printers that you are considering will actually work when connected to the wireless base station. Sometimes you will only lose the functionality of the more advanced features of the drivers like cleaning/purging the heads. I connected my Epson 1290S to an Extreme base station and I wasn't able to carry out any maintenance or diagnosis ? so cleaning the heads or checking the ink levels was a no go.

    Canon drivers were notorious for causing Kernel Panics for a while (Panther) ? I'm not sure if this has been resolved by now. Again diggin around on the web might reveal something.

    I generally stay well clear of HP printers because I've had too many paper feeding problems. Canon printers are good solid printers (especially the ones that offer separate ink tanks for all the colors). The Epson printers I have used have all offered superior text reproduction on plain paper, but there is no doubt the ink carts are more expensive.

    I'm currently running an Epson SP R200, Epson SP 1290S and an Epson AC1100. They've all been trouble free so far...

    I don't know if this has been much help to you, but I hope it has given you the heads-up on some of the problems you might run in to...
  • Reply 5 of 8
    justinjustin Posts: 403member
    Messiah and Jms,

    On the contrary - your advice is very helpful.

    Question - does Apple recommend any specific printers to interface with Airport Express then?

    It seems terrible to lose connectivity like between Apple wireless Airport and the powerbook. That was the reason for my purchase of an Airport express. I'll bear in mind that I need a printer-to-USB cable.

    Looks like a Canon or an Epson. I may do some digging during the Christmas break to get one for January when hopefully prices come down a little.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    All I can tell you is I've had a lot of Epsons and they suck. Probably any major brand is better. HP always did the job well for me, and I haven't had as much experience with Canons but they sound good too.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    justinjustin Posts: 403member
    Hi Aquatic,

    Thanks for that. That's my personal (bad) experience with Epson too.

    Looks like I'll hunt for a Canon first then.

    Anyone else using anything other than HP, Epson, Canon?
  • Reply 8 of 8
    In my experience, low end Epsons have typically been trouble. In Epson's defense, though, their large format offerings (we use a 24 inch 7600 Stylus Pro Ultrachrome printer at work) are outstanding. Stick with Canon or HP for the portable, small stuff.
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