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Old 06-18-2010, 04:01 PM   #1
Kayza
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Default Color Printer

We need to get a color printer, and I'm beginning to suspect that I may need two of them, because one is not going to do everything I need.

The big issue is that I need to print cards with a textured finish, and from all I can see, I'm going to need an inkjet for that. HP told me that the recommended usage for the one they would most highly recommend is about half of what I had asked for. We don't do 1500 pages each month, but it does happen often enough, and 600-900 also, that I don't want something intended to handle 750 a month.

We do cards bi-monthly - I thing it's generally a run of 40-50 cards. The rest of the time it's flyers and handouts and things like that.

The two models that HP recommended were the HP Business Inkjet 2800 and, as first choice - the Officejet 7000.

Any feedback on these printers? Get one of the (maybe the 2800) and a laser for everything else? Any other models I should look at?

I'm open to any other suggestions as well. I've had good experience with HP, and very bad experience with Xerox. So, Xerox is out, but I will look at other models.

Thanks!
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Old 06-18-2010, 08:01 PM   #2
terrie
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First...welcome to the forum...'-}}

I'm an HP person when it comes to laser printers but an Epson person when it comes to inkjets so I don't have any experience with the HP 2800 or 7000...

I think you are correct in thinking that an inkjet would be what you want for cards but let me ask you some questions about them:

1. What size cards--unfolded?

2. Which cardstock? Fairly heavy or lightweight?

3. Print both sides?

4. Selling the cards?


I really like Strathmore Creative Cards cardstock. It's got some heft to it and the texture is nice. The leading edge (when folded) is deckled, it comes with envelopes which are expensive and the edge of the envelope is also deckled. It's just lovely stuff.

As I noted above I'm partial to Epson for inkjets and if I were going to be printing stuff no wider than 13", then I'd probably look at the Epson Photo printers such as the following:

1. The Epson Stylus Photo 1400 - lists for $299

2. The Epson Stylus Photo 1900 - lists for $399

3. The Epson Stylus Photo 2880 - lists for $599


I'd probably lean toward the Epson 2880 with the Ultrachrome K3 inks because my guess is that you'd more easily find paper profiles for the cardstock you might use.

I have an Epson 4000 (wide format, prints up to 17" wide) which is what I use to print the Strathmore Creative Cards cardstock and I had a custom paper profile created so I get excellent screen to print match. I also use it to print larger images on 3rd party papers--I really like Hawk Mountain Art Papers paper.

I also have an HP 2200D laser printer. I really don't know much about color lasers but given my good experience with the HP b/w laserjets, I'd probably lean towards HP if I were looking to get a color laser printer...

Hope that helps...

Terrie
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Old 06-19-2010, 01:44 AM   #3
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Hi, Kayza.

With the print quantities you're talking about running costs are likely to be a major factor and they can vary enormously (and can be difficult to ascertain).

I have 2 laser printers. Printing 500 full colour pages on one of them cost me £250 in toner whereas the same job on the other cost £20. The purchase cost of the first printer was about £300 whereas the other was about £7000 when new (though I bought in on eBay for £300).

When it comes to inkjet printing the cost differences can also be large. My Epson 4800 using 200ml ink cartridges (at £0.3/ml) costs far less to run than my Epson R1800 which uses 17ml cartridges (at £1/ml).

   
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Old 06-20-2010, 07:19 AM   #4
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Mike, I am very well aware of the issue of print costs. What I am doing, in terms of print costs is using the manufacturer's estimates of page capacity based on 5% coverage. It's inaccurate in that 5% is a totally arbitrary figure. But it does provide a basis for comparison, which is the best I can hope for.

I have found that your experience is probably typical - every time I check, the more expensive printers tend to have lower costs than the cheaper ones. And, I did see that the larger tanks tends to be less expensive per page than the smaller one.
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Old 06-21-2010, 12:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayza View Post
I have found that your experience is probably typical - every time I check, the more expensive printers tend to have lower costs than the cheaper ones.
They always get your money one way or another - be it pay now or pay later.

   
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike View Post
They always get your money one way or another - be it pay now or pay later.
Indeed they do. The key is to figure out which way comes out best for you. It's not always easy, but running some comparison numbers is generally a good starting place. Another good step is to figure out how much you are really going to use a machine - if it's not much then it may be worth getting the less expensive machine with higher running costs. On the other hand, I've seen use cases where 6 months is all it takes to save back the cost differential.
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Old 06-20-2010, 07:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrie View Post
First...welcome to the forum...'-}}
1. What size cards--unfolded?
I don't have them handy, but I think that they are about 5x8, but may not be exact. Also, they don't use the same cards each time, so I could not guarantee exact size.

Quote:
2. Which cardstock? Fairly heavy or lightweight?
I finally got them to stop buy the really heavy stock. The current printer simply won't handle it. I'd say moderate weight. (The company they were buying doesn't list the weights.)

Quote:
3. Print both sides?
Yes
Quote:
4. Selling the cards?
No.

I'll definitely look into those inkjets. Since they are photo printers, I'm assuming that they are not really the appropriate choice for the other types of usage I'm thinking, which brings me back to buying two printers.

Thanks!
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Old 06-20-2010, 02:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
kayza: I don't have them handy, but I think that they are about 5x8, but may not be exact. Also, they don't use the same cards each time, so I could not guarantee exact size.
Who is "they"? Is there a reason not to standardize the card size which seems to me would make life easier...'-}}


>>I finally got them to stop buy the really heavy stock. The current printer simply won't handle it. I'd say moderate weight. (The company they were buying doesn't list the weights.)

My HP 2200D laser printer really sucks at feeding the Strathmore Creative Cards cardstock which is relatively heavyweight cardstock which is annoying since my old HP6MP did it with ease--while I print the cards on my Epson 4000, I used to use the HP6MP to print text on the inside my cards. Because of that I use my Epson 4000 now exclusively when doing anything with the cardstock and it feeds the cardstock just fine. I think you will find that any photo inkjet printer will feed and print cardstock with no problems.

The reason I asked about the size is that if you were to go with one of the wide-format inkjet printers (like my Epson 4000 which prints 17" wide), you need to be aware that there may be limitations on how narrow your paper can be. After ordering my Epson 4000, I about had a heart attack when I was told that it wouldn't feed anything narrower than 10" but fortunately that turned out to be untrue after changing one of the settings on the printer as I have no problems feeding/printing on 7x10" cardstock (5x7" when folded) feeding the narrow end (7") leading--I didn't want to feed the cardstock via the 10" edge as the Epson 4000 (like many of the wide-format printers) has a requirement of .56" trailing margin (so the paper will feed properly at the end of the sheet). This is unlikely to be an issue with the 13" wide printers.

In terms of printing on both sides, you will probably find that it's a bit tedious because, as far as I know, most photo inkjet printers are not duplex so you will probably find that it's best to do one print run where you print all of one side and then do a second print run printing the second side.


>>I'll definitely look into those inkjets. Since they are photo printers, I'm assuming that they are not really the appropriate choice for the other types of usage I'm thinking, which brings me back to buying two printers.

It's not so much that an inkjet is inappropriate in terms of print quality but more the cost of inkjet ink/cartridges because, in general, laser toner is probably more cost effective but I'm not sure that's the case for color lasers. Additionally, depending on the inkjet, it might be worth looking into both good quality 3rd party inkjet inks and/or a continuous ink system. Inksupply.com has a good rep for 3rd party inks for a number of different inkjet makers--Epson, Canon, HP, etc. and they also sell continuous ink systems for a number of different inkjet makers along with refill kits also...


>>Thanks!

You're welcome...


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Old 06-20-2010, 06:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrie View Post
Who is "they"? Is there a reason not to standardize the card size which seems to me would make life easier...'-}}
Right now this is being done by 3 people in one department. The main person who does this has very definite ideas of how she wants things done, and I'm not in a position to force the issue, unless I can either convince my boss that there is an over-riding reason (highly unlikely) or convince her that it is to her benefit to do it my way (even less likely).

Quote:
In terms of printing on both sides, you will probably find that it's a bit tedious because, as far as I know, most photo inkjet printers are not duplex so you will probably find that it's best to do one print run where you print all of one side and then do a second print run printing the second side.
That's going to be a pain. I see that some learning is going to be in order before any printer gets put into operation.

Bigger question - with lasers, if they are not intended to do duplexing (at least manually) it is sometimes not a good idea to do it. Could this be a problem with ink jets.

Quote:
It's not so much that an inkjet is inappropriate in terms of print quality but more the cost of inkjet ink/cartridges because, in general, laser toner is probably more cost effective but I'm not sure that's the case for color lasers.
So far, from what I have seen, inkjets are still more expensive to run than lasers, but the lower end lasers are not all the inexpensive to run.
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
kayza: Right now this is being done by 3 people in one department. The main person who does this has very definite ideas of how she wants things done, and I'm not in a position to force the issue, unless I can either convince my boss that there is an over-riding reason (highly unlikely) or convince her that it is to her benefit to do it my way (even less likely).
Ahhh...this is for work! I hadn't realized that...yeah...makes things trickier because more people are involved...


>>That's going to be a pain. I see that some learning is going to be in order before any printer gets put into operation.

Oh definitely!!! We haven't even begun to talk about what software you are using to create the cards, whether you are running in a color managed environment, paper profiles so that your printed output matches the color on your screen, etc.


>>Bigger question - with lasers, if they are not intended to do duplexing (at least manually) it is sometimes not a good idea to do it. Could this be a problem with ink jets.

No...not in my experience...one reason I usually do a print run printing all of one side is that by the time I've finished printing the last of the first side, the earlier prints have had a chance to dry and then I run the second side through--it's not like the prints are really wet but I find that, if I'm printing on about 50% of the sheet size with a large-ish image, that giving the sheet(s) 10-15 minutes to dry/set themselves makes the second print side feed and print more smoothly...


>>So far, from what I have seen, inkjets are still more expensive to run than lasers, but the lower end lasers are not all the inexpensive to run.

I don't have any experience running a color laser printer so I don't know how long the color toner carts last but in general, for any inkjet that is not a wide-format (under 17" wide), the cartridges are generally small so you would be replacing them with some frequency. A black/white laser printer toner cart can last quite a long time when compared to a typical inkjet cart for a printer under 17" wide.

By the way...what is on the cards? Is there an image? Is the image in color or b/w/grayscale? Is it just text? A combo?

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