Opinions on Epson Miocropiezo printers

We are looking around at 4-in-1 laser printers, and the sales guy pointed us towards an Epson WP-4530 which is an inkjet printer, but he explained it isn’t like other inkjets. Apparently, it uses something called micropiezo to control the printing. The print quality looks very good. And the sales guy claims that this type won’t have the same problems as regular inkjets such as the heads gumming up.

Does anybody here have any experience with these types of printers? My wife will be the primary user with it being a home office printer that would max out at probably 1,000 pages in a month when she is working on projects for multiple clients.

Heads gumming up is an issue that affects certain brands of inkjet and not all of them. HP inkjets put the heads on the actual cartridges so that if you replace the cartridge you also replace the head. It means the cartridge is a little more expensive but you never have to throw away an otherwise serviceable printer.

Epson and Canon AFAIK have the heads as part of the printer itself.

Edit to add: I don’t have any experience with the micropiezo printers but I’d be astonished if they approached the cost/page of a laser printer.

They’re still inkjets. If you want a laser printer, get a laser printer.

I can imagine that if the quality of the printer unit was good and the quality of the printouts you get is good AND the cost per page is lower than with a traditional laser then I can imagine giving a new technology a try, but otherwise it’s probably not worth it.

It’s not new; it’s how Epson inkjets have worked since the '90s.

Well that seals it then. :P

My main beef with my laser printer is that the cartridges are like 80 bucks. Of course they print a huge number of pages but when you run out of toner it feels expensive.

The quality and TCO of an inkjet would have to be pretty amazing to get me to go back.

Well, the claim for this one is that the cost is 50% of that on a laser printer.

As usual, the store lackey demonstrates a complete lack of any useful knowledge. Micropiezo dates back to some of Epson’s first inkjets. It actually is a distinctly different ink placement tech than Canon and HP’s thermal inkjet, but that’s not what makes this printer unique.

Nor are the pigmented inks; Epson has been doing the all-pigment thing since for a decade with the 2000p and subsequent Durabrite branded models.

No, what sets this one apart is that Epson is retreating from the premium ink pricing model they went to in 2007 with the 78 series inks. Epson had previous offered hard to beat value in the inkjet arena, and sadly through that all out the window when they let their print quality ratings go to their heads.

They’re claiming a 2400 page yield on a $42 black cartridge and a 1200 page yield on each of the $25 color carts. A good laser printer in the sub-$1000 price range is going to give about 6000 black pages for around $120 and the color toners are good for 3500 apiece at $130. Those are ballpark, but it gives you an idea.

The biggest downside to Durabrite models is they are very prone to clogs. If you print often (at least a few pages a week), you’ll probably never notice it. But unless their tech has improved since the last batch of printers, they will develop clogs with infrequent use, and sometimes those clogs are essentially fatal.

At least with laser printers, there’s a level of serviceability. You can replace the drums, the belt, the fuser, etc. Until Epson allows the print heads to be replaced when (not if) they clog, they’re going to have a disadvantage against a laser, even if they’ve managed to get their consumables cost in line.

Thanks for all the replies, especially RyanMichale. Printing volumes are in big spikes which means that the printer can sit idle for a week or two with nothing being printed. So it appears that head clogging is potentially a big issue.

mkozlows has it right I think. This is replacing a combination of a dedicated fax machine, dedicated flatbed scanner, and a now-dead HP Laserjet IIIP. Some sort of laserprinter is going to be the way it goes. Perhaps there will be boxing day bargains.

I just bought a laser printer - a Samsung 620dn. It’s a two year old printer, but is built like a tank. I had a few friends who bought this 2 years ago on Black Friday & it’s still going strong. They are still making / selling them.

Amazon had some for $350, but on half.com - I picked up a refurb unit for $186 - Free shipping! Be careful, the same printers are also listed at $275 - make sure you get this one for $186 . It had a blemish on one side. Otherwise, unused. It set up amazingly quick on both Windows & Mac’s. You can read the amazon reviews here and newegg reviews here

I’m a big fan of Brother laser printers. Yes, you have to buy new drums - But you can reset the drum counter and use the drum as long as it gives you a good print, sometimes for 50% more prints. Even if you take the drum life at its rated number, the print cost for something like this Brother is better than most HPs under $800.

And hey, this one is on sale today! That’s about $150-200 cheaper than you’ll normally find it, legitimately, thanks to the discount and free shipping.

If you don’t need a multifunction, I highly recommend the Ricoh C430DN. Yes, it costs over a grand. Guess what? The $80 black toner cartridge is rated at TWENTY FOUR THOUSAND PRINTS.

It’s ridiculously cheap to print with, so much so that over a 3 year period, it costs half as much to own (counting the initial purchase cost) than the next most efficient machine under $1500.

I thought this thread was called Opinions on Epson Micropenis. WHEW

I just bought a Brother HL-4570CDW for my office for some moderate-yield color laser printing and it’s worked pretty well so far.

I have a Brother HL-5370DW actually and while I really like the printer and its output, ever since I switched to a new Cisco router it just doesn’t seem to stay connected to the wireless network or the wired network.

I currently have to connect it to my wife’s laptop via USB and then share it.


:( I have kept the work one wired, but it’s good to know that wireless might be a problem.

We have a Samsung 350DN colour laser printer already, and the thing eats through toner like there’s no tomorrow. We aren’t buying another Samsung printer. The Brother multifunctions look good, and because we can print colour on the Samsung, we’re looking at the B&W multifunctions.

That’s because those routers are shit. They’re lower than shit. Get a real router and your problems will go away. Or hook it up over Ethernet to avoid the Cisco’s flaky wireless implementation.

You have nothing to worry about.


So what are the good brands of routers these days?

The only stuff that’s been stable for me is Buffalo and Asus, once both flashed to DD-WRT. Every client that I’ve run across running anything else will inevitably call me with stability problems at some point, or report all sorts of weird behavior that can only be chalked up to a flaky router.

Some Buffalo stuff comes pre-flashed with their own rebranded DD-WRT software, which is the most stable out of the box experience I’ve run into in the last few years.

Unfortunately, its seems like even Buffalo has run into stability issues with some of their models, so you have to be careful. I’ve been using the WHR-HP-G300N a lot with success and it comes with DD-WRT. The only thing that seems to be an issue is that the hardware doesn’t work as a wireless bridge like previous models could easily do.

Tomato is where it’s at for open source implementations