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.Lots to like about this printer. Well designed, loads of features. Keeping it fed is the problem.
If it starts to feel like an expensive drug habit, see “8 ways to lower your ink costs” below.
Or consider the Brother MFCJ425W which cooperates with value-priced 3rd party inks.
– – – Ink Cost: It Adds Up – – -
This little $90 printer may cost you $1000 to $2000 over a 5 year period. With easy $45 installments, Canon hopes you won’t do the supply-gouge math.
To get the party started ASAP, Canon ships the printer with cartridges that are 30% and 45% full. (Or 70% and 55% empty if you prefer. See Note 1 for Canon ink details.)
The ink refills (240 and 241 series) include a chip and the actual print heads. This discourages knock-offs. (It also means any print head problem is easily solved with a new cartridge.) You can refill the cartridges with 3rd party refill kits, but apparently you also need a chip reset if you want the refilled cartridge to report ink levels correctly.
– – – PROs and CONs – – -
– Lots of handy features – Print quality seems good – WiFi connect (requires wireless router) – Print directly from mobile devices – Clean, attractive design – Ease to use: buttons are easy to read, and make sense
– 1 year warranty – Setup: Reasonably easy, with some confusing moments – Owner manual: On CD. No printed manual. Good navigation, reasonably clear and complete – Footprint is 16″ x 17.6″ (12″ x 17.6″ when paper tray not in use.) – Black exterior – shows dust – Standby power: 1.65 watts with (WiFi on). Zero or unmeasurable wattage when switched off.
* Expensive ink (like most inkjet printers. See Note 3) * High-tech cartridges make 3rd party ink much more difficult – Combined 3-color cartridge – 10% to 30% of color ink may be wasted – No hard-wired networking option – Auto shut-off: Nice energy-saving idea, but doesn’t work in most situations (see Note 2).
- – – Alternatives – – -
– Brother MFCJ425W (cooperates with 3rd party inks that have low cost & good reviews) – Epson Artisan 730 (cartridge chips thwart 3rd party ink suppliers)
- – – Pricing – – -
Price bounces between 90 and 130. There’s an “Online Price Alert” that will email you whenever this or any amazon product dips below your target price. Google it. It’s nicely done. Or try camelcamelcamel.
– – – Eight ways to lower your ink costs – – -
1. Buy a printer that uses more affordable inks. Step 1: Discover a planet where printer companies charge their ink customers less than 800% of manufacturing cost. If that’s too much trouble, get the Brother MFCJ425W and use 3rd party cartridges.
2. Own a laser printer and use it most of the time. The Brother MFC7860DW, Brother HL-2270DW, and their siblings have the lowest supply cost around. About 1-2 cents per page vs 12-25 cents per (non-photo) page for most inkjets.
3. Inconvenience is your friend. On the off chance that your kids, spouse, or office staff don’t know or care about what things cost, put your color printer off the beaten path. Upstairs…powered off…barbed wire…you get the idea. It’s a silent reminder that the color printer is not for random everyday use.
4. Buy the XL and XXL cartridges. The cheaper PG-240 and CL-241 are twice as expensive per milliliter of ink.
5. Preview each print job and reduce the page range when possible. Especially when printing Web pages.
6. Shrink your printing…2 pages-to 1, 4-to-1 etc. when it make sense. Make sure everybody knows how easy this is to do.
7. Holiday letters: 20% to 50% of your loved ones would be happier with an emailed holiday letter. Print your letter to a pdf file with the free and easy-to-use CutePDF software.
8. Ink Refill Kits: ND Brand Refill ink kit for Canon…
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This is a very nice compact printer, it folds up for easy storage and and does not take up much room on a counter. It is pretty simple and works like a normal printer, it offers a nice scan bed (with the top door being able to raise a little bit to support books and larger items and still have a white background). It has a little LCD screen, and simple menus, it has a slot for SD and Memory Stick Duo cards (mostly Sony products). It can scan and copy from the printer (I normally use the scan function from my computer and not the one on the scanner). It only uses two ink cartridges (which is shocking for a photo printer).
Installation was very simple and I was able to just use the Nearby Printers on my Mac and it was added instantly and ready to go (I guess the Mac already had the drivers for it or they were super small, since it did not take anytime! I was also able to detect the Printer from my iPhone (AirPrint). On my Mac and iPhone have Double Sided printing, and it automatically can do both sides.
This printer prints great pages and they look sharp and clean, it provides the same great printing that my large HP OfficeJet offers. However, this printer excels with Photo Printing! I put in some HP 4×6 Photo Paper and sent a print job (Borderless 4×6) and it looked great there was no smearing or anything, right out of the printer you could run your finger across it and not smear it. It does take it some time to print (about 2 minutes for my borderless 4×6 print), but for these results I can wait! They were very sharp and looked great!
The only changes I would make to this printer (if I could), is a better user interaction (the wording on the LCD screen could be tweaked a little and the button layout should be adjusted, since it is sometimes confusing). I would also have liked to have two trays, one for photo paper, and one for regular paper, so you could print to photo or letter without having to change the paper, since it excels at Photo Printing I am using my OfficeJet for Letter size and put 4×6 Photo Paper in this guy!
In the end this is a great printer, it communicated with my Mac and iPhone excellently (did not even use the CD), it offers all the features you probably need for basic printing and offers a great photo! There are a few tweaks I would of have liked to see, however, it is super small and can be folded up to take up no room! I am happy with this printer and am enjoying it. My usual problem with printers is ink consumption and I will see how long these cartridges last! But for now, it is perfect, small and provides an excellent Photo Printer!
I set this up in our home office. I’m grabbing the install disc and looking for a cable. My girlfriend: “The website said no installation was needed!” Me: It’s not that easy. We need the CD. Her:”No, we don’t.” Darn. She was right. Install the ink, turn it on (after removing about 3 feet of tape used to secure various parts and hatches), let it do it’s thing. On my Win 7 desktop, I added a new network printer – boom – there it was (we use a wireless router and hub). Picked it, hit install. A minute later I was printing. From unboxing to print – five minutes. Seriously. Wow.
Plus the print quality is fantastic. I’ll put it through it’s paces over the next few months – scanning, printing flyers, photos and the like. But so far I am really IMPRESSED!