New Printer Advice

So it’s time for a new printer and I’m looking for any suggestions. $250 is my ceiling price, though I would prefer to keep it lower. I want a good everyday printer for text documents and something that will also print a nice 8x10 photo.

I was thinking about this one,

HP Photosmart 8250

Any opinions?

Thanks.

I like the color much better on Canon than HP.

Consider Epson only if you live in a humid area. Clog city.

Thanks for the advice Denny, it’s always appreciated.

An Epson is what I have now and it’s been nothing but problems from day 1. I’ve had driver issues with it, and quality issues right from the get go. I can’t see myself ever going with an Epson again.

Depends on the Epson, I guess. Their high-end printers are awesome. I have the R1800, and it’s never clogged or had any other problems in the year or so that I’ve used it. I’ve never seen any other inkjet that can match the print quality, either. The output looks as good as a professional giclee print.

Find a canon i960. Avoid the newer Pixma models - the print quality is similar, but they’re incredibly fragile, commoditized, cheapened replicas of the older canons (metal cogs replaced with plastic ones, etc.)

Also, the i960 goes for around $150. But they’re the best. Ink is about $9 a color, 6 colors, each individually replaceable.

EDIT:

Steve’s Digicams review: http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_reviews/canon_i960.html

Froogle has lots of places with it at the $150 price point, including CompUSA, etc.

Note, there is a big-sheet model called the i9900 which you may be tempted to get, as it’s only $300 now. The print quality is not as good on our one, for some reason, as it is on the i960. Same inks.

I’m told, but have not seen myself, that the original i9100 has the best print quality.

We print an awful lot - dozens of photos and page proofs a day - and we tend to go with canon photo printers, and HP plotters for the big proofs. Epson is OK, but never as good as reviews seem to suggest. But it’s Arrakis out here, so maybe that Epson Hates Dry Air is true.

Hewlett’s Law
If you’re spending less than $500, don’t even think of buying anything by HP.

Packard’s Corrolary:
If you’re spending more than $500, don’t buy anything except an HP.

When it comes to high-end photoprinters I’d rate the different makes:
Photoquality:
Epson - Canon - HP

When it comes to everyday printing I rate them:
Photoquality:
Canon - Epson - HP - Lexmark

Speed:
Canon - HP - Epson - Lexmark
(I see that the HP you link to is supposedly faster than Canons printers - I believe them, but haven’t tried it. Generally the Canon PIXMA range are the fastest there is)

Features:
Canon - Epson - Lexmark - HP

User friendlyness:
Lexmark - Canon - HP - Epson

In your pricerange I’d pick the Canon PIXMA IP5200R.

Wireless so you can use it without a wired connection (nifty if you own more than one computer). Two paper trays (one photo one plain paper - switch using a single button). Cd/dvd label printing. Higher photo resolution than the HP (but slightly slower… 1 second!). Smaller and better looking (purely subjective).
You’ll lose the 2,5" screen and the memorycard support, but with a printer in that pricerange you should print photos from your pc and not directly from your camera anyway (it does have PictBridge, so you can still do it if you insist)

Unless you seriously need to have your photos right away, there is really very little reason not to simply dispense with expensive photo printers and just use Shutterfly.com.

An 8x10 is 4 dollars. 4x10 is 19 cents. Multiply the number of times you will print an 8x10 by four, then compare that to the amount of money you wil spend to buy a good photo printer and keep it in ink and photo paper and my guess is that you will be paying quite a hefty premium for the convenience of getting your 8x10 in the 10 minutes it takes to print.

I use Walgreen’s internet upload. 22 cents for a 4x6 and I can pick it up within an hour. I’ll never print a picture at home again.

Or you can use ofoto.com which is the kodak site and pay 15 cents a print and have them sent to you in a few days.

Also take in to account that photos printed with these home printers for the most part do not last as long as something you would have done at a professional place. The ink starts to fade pretty fast.

For slightly more than that you can get a computer with a free printer and 19" LCD. I mean, printers are cheap now. If you aren’t a prosumer, any recent photo printer will look really spiffy if you use the expensive paper. And if you are a prosumer, you wouldn’t be asking here.

My advice is to get a cheap piece of shit. If you search around, you should be able to get one free after rebate. They want you to buy the ink and paper anyway, the printer is just the hook.

Actually my advice is to listen to the other guys and just pay for each print, if you need a printer for photos. If you need a printer primarily for checks, term papers, mapquest directions, etc, go with the cheap piece of shit.

Err, wrong.

According to Wilhelm Imaging Research who sets the de facto standard for permanence testing most of the good ink printers now make better lasting prints than the labs digital silver halide prints.

And there’s no question that if you treat and print each picture individually from your pc, you’ll get better results from printing yourself.
Ordering batch prints online like mentioned above is quicker, easier and cheaper - but it’s a myth that it is better lasting or looking.

And buying a cheap printer is never a good idea. If you’re serious about photos, you need a high end inkjet. If you print a lot for work and school you need a low midrange printer. While the cheap Dell and Lexmark (really the same thing) printers you get thrown at you for free make perfectly fine prints for everyday (non photo) use, you’ll find that they’re slow and expensive to keep in inks. Whereas the Canon I mentioned (five seperate inks) or the HP you considered (six seperate inks) are really really fast, offer more prints per cartridge and the prints are cheaper overall.

You know looking over that site I dont see a single thing that says that. Perhaps you can find it because after looking I havent found it. I did find this however which is pretty interesting. Really if you are gonna say they said that it would be helpful to at least link the article because that site is not set up very well.

http://www.wilhelm-research.com/pcworld/PC_World_Lack_of_Standards.pdf