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  1. #1
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    thoughts on printers

    I am strongly considering getting a new printer. Would appreciate any thoughts/comments on the following.

    Have an HP 7250 (5 or 6 years old?). I had a thread on here some months ago regarding a problem where the printer would print 1/4 page and then coming to an abrupt halt (copying and faxing worked fine). These are not big documents - maybe 2 to 4 pages max. No resolution. Problem seemed to go away (it would happen only rarely) so I didn't pursue it; however, now its back and doesn't seem to ever print a document to the end before coming to an abrupt halt. Also the wireless connection stopped working long ago. Scanning from the PC also has become a problem. Now when I turn it on (for faxing), I sometimes get an error message about an unrecognized device connected to it; solution of turning the printer off and on seems to solve this but there is nothing connected. When I first got the printer, it seemed to use yellow ink up even tho I rarely printed in color; a call to HP confirmed that yellow was used to enhance the black (I think that did not apply if you printed in draft mode, which was fine for me).

    Had another thread about it not printing down to the footer area of a Word document - at least on one side of a 2-sided document. No resolution to that one either.

    And most annoying of all, as if the above is not enough, is that the printer seems to be aligning it gears when turned on. Even when you think it's done, it starts up again. Not at all clear what's going on. If you try to turn it off, a msg pops up saying you can't turn the printer off while it's undergoing its setup. But it seems to take way too long.

    So maybe it's about time for a new printer.

    I once spoke to an HP rep about a replacement (don't recall the model) only to find that the replacement was rated, at best, fair.

    So I'm a little gun-shy about HP printers.

    I've narrowed my choices to an Epson WF 3640 and an HP 6835. I don't need all the paper handling of the 3640 (and my existing printer's one tray was always enough but you never know about the future). I've read that the 3640's color printing can be a little off but the 3640 has memory card slots (which the 6835 seems to lack). Prices are comparable. The 3640 has duplex scanning, which is nice but I didn't notice this in the 6835.

    But is the constant "whirring of gears" inherent in any color printer, HP printers, or just the age of my printer (it was always there but not as bad as now)?

    Which printer is more economical on ink (mostly black; color printing, almost always just text - very few pictures - is rare)?

    Any thoughts or answers on the above?

    Any other suggestions on other models?

    TIA

    Fred

  2. #2
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    You could Google the models then look for an Amazon link and check out the users reviews - there's also bound to be someone who has provided a tech review.

    Googling for printers with the specs that you would like is another option for a different choice selection.

    Another thing to check out is that they are future proof in that they'll have drivers for upcoming or current Windows versions.

    In 2010 I bought an Epson Stylus SX425W but during the CD set up, had to download a patch so that it was compatible with Win 7 - it must have been near end of life but it's a good printer and is one reason why I'll be seeing Win 7 out to its death.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2014-12-17 at 21:07.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Sudo.

    I did google the models and they both come up about the same. I had some specific issues. Not sure I would get much by googling "whirring noises" or "lost wireless connection on printer" (actually, I did google that 2nd one and got nothing) so I thought the Lounge would be a better approach.

    How does one check out future proofing? I'm assuming a printer that is relatively new will have drivers for the current version of Windows plus the next one. But beyond that ...?

    Fred

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    Quote Originally Posted by fburg View Post
    Thanks Sudo.

    I did google the models and they both come up about the same. I had some specific issues. Not sure I would get much by googling "whirring noises" or "lost wireless connection on printer" (actually, I did google that 2nd one and got nothing) so I thought the Lounge would be a better approach.

    How does one check out future proofing? I'm assuming a printer that is relatively new will have drivers for the current version of Windows plus the next one. But beyond that ...?

    Fred
    If they are new then they should be okay but see if you can find their date of manufacture and a visit to their support sites to see what drivers they have for them.

    Their support sites usually have a Contact Us where you could e-mail them for more info - but bear in mind, they are still trying to sell you their product.

    They probably have their own forums where there could be comments and if anyone has had any problems with whatever model they are using, could be posted on there.

    If you have a decent computer shop near you, you could have a browse and the sales people usually have some knowledge of the products they sell, although they are also out to make a sale.

    My printing needs are basic and few and far between, but if I had to buy another printer, I'd probably opt for another Epson as this one has been trouble free and it uses generic cartridges without any problems.

    I'm surprised no one else has popped in with their suggestions, but if they advise a particular model and it doesn't work out for you....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fburg View Post
    So I'm a little gun-shy about HP printers.

    I've narrowed my choices to an Epson WF 3640 and an HP 6835. I don't need all the paper handling of the 3640 (and my existing printer's one tray was always enough but you never know about the future). I've read that the 3640's color printing can be a little off but the 3640 has memory card slots (which the 6835 seems to lack). Prices are comparable. The 3640 has duplex scanning, which is nice but I didn't notice this in the 6835.
    I don't see you listing anything positive about the HP, so why the hesitation?

    FWIW, the Epson Workforce series has been my favorite for about 5 yrs now and what I recommend to all my clients in the market for an inkjet. I gave up on HP about 10-15 yrs ago exactly because of the kind of nagging reliability issues you've experienced. That, plus HP's predilection for massive, 300+ MB drivers and their insistence on splattering all sorts of unwanted junkware all over the desktop. (Seriously, why do they insist on putting a shortcut to "Buy HP Supplies" on everyone's desktop??!)

    HP makes good lasers, but has never been as good as Epson or Canon in the inkjet market. As for color, I've always found Epson or Canon to produce much better color pages than any HP I've seen, which often look dull to me. I don't know the 3640 specifically, but the other Workforce printers I've seen over the years would give me no reason to think the 3640 would be any different. Do bear in mind, though, that if you want the best color you're better off with a good photo printer and quality photo paper.

    As for paper trays, I prefer dual trays on the Epsons because the Workforce series does not have a manual feed slot. That means that if you only have one tray and want to print an envelope or a 4x6 photo, you'd have to remove the letter-size paper, readjust the tray guides, print your special item, then reset the paper tray back to the way it was.

    As for double-sided printing, on an inkjet it's not as useful as one would like. On general purpose paper the ink bleeds through from both sides and makes the page hard to read. You could buy heavier paper, but that's probably no better than just printing single-sided on two sheets of regular paper.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by fburg View Post
    ...So maybe it's about time for a new printer...
    Like you, most of my printing is monochrome (black and white). Several years ago I acquired an old HP mono laser network printer for about $40 but had to replace the toner cartridge (<>$100) a couple of months later. Used that old HP for about 4 years before the toner cartridge again needed replacing (<> 8,000 A4 pages, but not much text each page).

    Prior to the HP I was using an Epson C87 colour inkjet printer (USB & print only, no scanner or fax), which was increasingly annoying and expensive since it would only print about 200 pages before needing a new black cartridge (<>$20), and about every four times the black cartridge was replaced I would also have to replace the colour cartridges. This is because most, if not all, inkjet printers run a cleaning cycle on their print heads before each print job which uses a small amount of ink from each cartridge; but after a significant number of pages are printed the ink-use is significant, hence costly.

    After it became apparent the HP laser printer was past its "use-by" date, and during upgrading from Vista to Win7, I replaced the HP laser network printer with a Brother HL2270DW mono laser network printer, and at no time since have regretted that choice. Since then (about 2011) I have installed about ten of these HL2270DW for customers and have had no warranty claims.

    Maybe you could simply add a mono laser network printer (such as the Brother HL2270DW) for your monochrome printing, and keep your old HP inkjet for when you need to print colour or use fax?
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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  7. #7
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    way back when we used epsons

    but that was then and this is now

    brother is the workhorse for bnw laser printing
    pick one with the speed and features you want
    copy
    scan
    fax
    print
    dual sided automatically
    pages per minute speed
    wireless
    wash dishes (soon probably)

    if you want color then get a canon
    epsons clog too much and use too much ink to fix that problem

    check reviews for lastest models with good ratings
    and wait for a sale
    we have bought brothers for 1/3 the list price

    we are on our 7th brother
    wore two out
    4 still in service ( on: two 98se , 3 xp boxes , 1 win8 laptops and 1 w/o printer )
    one spare

    we also are on our second canon color printer
    but we dont do that much color printing

  8. #8
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    The review I read for the Epson was in PC Mag in July 2014; for the Epson in PC Mag in Sept 2014. So I assume they're both pretty new and have drivers at least for Win 7 and 8. I'll check the the various sites to see about drivers and other comments.

    Thanks for the ideas.

    Fred

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the input, dg.

    I am leaning towards the Epson - one reason being that I'm tired of the HP printers I've had and had thought about Epson's in the past. Obviously not a great reason.

    Since color printing is not a big deal for me, the review about the Epson's color picture is not a big deal to me. I've used the duplex printing on my HP only for printing colored text, so bleed-throught has never really been a problem.

    Fred

  10. #10
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    Thanks Coochin.

    Don't really have the space for 2 printers. I've never really checked out Brother but will take a look at something that meets my needs. However, it would have to be a replacement for my HP, not an addition. Even just the HP's error about some "unrecognized device" has become a nuisance, so keeping it just for fax is becoming less desirable.

    Fred

  11. #11
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    Thanks speedball.

    Coochin also remarked about the Epson's ink usage. Certainly something to consider.

    Maybe that whirring when I turn on the HP includes cleaning the print heads but I'm not sure that would explain the continued whirring even after I've printed something. I've not noticed very much color-ink usage; since I hardly print in color, that would be expected but it's not clear much is even being used for cleaning the heads.

    My main concern with the HP was the use of yellow to enhance the black for text. There is a setting to drop down to a lower quality but the HP rep said that some yellow is still used. I've not noticed much decrease in the yellow cartridge since I switched to the lower quality.

    Fred

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