View Full Version : Recommendations for Heavy Duty Printing

02.12.2008, 05:14 PM
Ok friends, I need to buy a color inkjet printer for printing out a lot of study materials. I think "heavy duty" and "cost-efficient" are the key words.
They're also a contradiction in terms. Ink jets are (generally) a design for maximising the profit made from the customer by the manufacturer. Hence the fairly strenuous efforts that manufacturers make to shut down the commodity market for cartridges.

I want to keep it under $100 for the machine and the cartridges definitely as cheap as you can get on the market.
My wife finally persuaded me to get an inkjet for printing photos on a couple of years ago. (Previously I'd taken photos on a stick to one of several local photography shops that did printing services.) After spending well in excess of your budget, we had a multi-function network printer and flat-bed scanner all-in-one. The wife was terribly disappointed with it as a printer ; I'm delighted with it as a scanner (the associated image to searchable PDF software is a huge improvement on anything I've used previously). After getting maybe 20 prints out of it, the wife stopped using it, very upset (and of course, blaming me!). And after a couple of months when I persuaded her to use it again, the ink cartridges had dried out.
Cue another bill, itself at the limits of your budget, just for a pair of new cartridges.
OK, we would perhaps have used it more if I hadn't already got a perfectly functional laser printer for text documents. That gets several thousand pages per year, and the ink doesn't run when the printout gets wet. Maybe that would have made the inkjet more efficient - but it still runs at several pennies per page, while the laser is on the order of 1/4 penny per page (translate to local currency , the ratio is important).

I'll do some research myself too. I really need advice for a heavy duty color inkjet printer? Thank you for helping.
Now, don't get me wrong ; inkjets do have their place. But "heavy duty" is a strange way to phrase it. We have 3 heavy duty inkjets at work ; they retail at around GBP 5000 each; they take 4 or 6 different-colour cartridges each (depending on operating mode), each one of which costs over your cited budget ; they can print up to 1.0m wide by 50.0m long, which is capability that we need ; we pay one of the secretaries who lives near to the office to go in on Saturday and Sunday lunch times to feed them cartridges, replace paper rolls, and press buttons on the print server to bring the next job on line. Our staff programmers have written simplistic code to make sure that we don't start a print on a roll that doesn't have enough paper, and to schedule the print queue appropriately.
THAT inkjet farm is "heavy duty" and "cost efficient". But the ink still runs if you carry the print between buildings in the rain (this is Scotland!).

The inkjet printers in the photo shops in town are running every day including Sundays ; for the price (including paper), they're an efficient way of getting prints done. and because they're in regular (if not constant) use, they're generally going to be in far better condition than a consumer unit.

To seriously answer what the Admins suspect to be a spam question, an inkjet probably isn't the answer to the man's (?) question. For bulk printing, lasers are far more cost-efficient than inkjets. Certainly for "study materials". The only caveat would be if the study materials used a lot of finely-detailed colour pictures (in which case, they can't be intended for publication ; publishers know the cost of such printing, and it isn't cheap), but even then, printing out the bulk of the pages on the laser, with the necessaries on the inkjet, then manually collating them would be far more efficient. Student's time is relatively cheap, and while you're collating, you can also be reading.

Me - I'm back to taking the wife's pictures down to the photo shop on a stick when we want anything bigger than 10x15s. It's just not worth any more effort.

Hardware : the big inkjets at work are HP DesignJets of various models and vintages, up to 4 years old. Partly by coincidence the home printer is also a HP, a PhotoSmart AIO of some sort.
The DesignJets had no serious competitors when we started using them in the late 1990s.
The PhotoSmart was a price & features (must be networked, must photo-quality, must scan A4) decision with some influence from HP's reputation at work ; as a printer, it's a let down ; as a photocopier, it's adequate ; as a scanner, it's really good.

19.06.2009, 04:06 AM
Inkjet will always cost more in the long run. I can't speak for all makes and models, but that holds true as a general rule. A laser cartridge that costs twice as much as an inkjet cartridge will print at least five times more.