1 2 Previous Next 74 Replies Latest reply: Dec 21, 2011 9:46 PM by Tai Lao RSS

    Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.

    Community Member
      Hello:

      I am in hope that I could please have some opinions regarding purchasing a new printer as well as a scanner. I have done research, however I have read these forums and marvel at the great deal of hardware expertise that emanates from so many posters. I have only owned one printer, an ancient Canon bubble jet that no longer works.

      My system: Mac Pro 2 x 3.0 GHz Dual-Core with an Apple Cinema Display; software: Adobe CS3 Design Premium and MS Office 2004; OS: Tiger 10.4.11.

      This purchase is not for use in some busy design studio. Everything would be for my sole use in my small Manhattan apartment.

      I would like something that prints my Photoshop and Illustrator files very well along with good photo reproduction. I will be doing brochures in InDesign with insertion of Photoshop and Illustrator artwork as well as some PowerPoint slides. I need something that prints text well also. It would be great to have a printer with which I could print my business cards (as well as brochures) utilizing a somewhat heavy weight paper.

      I was initially tempted to get one of those all-in-one machines, however, I rarely have to fax or copy anything. It seems to me that if I want to copy something, I could just scan it into my computer and then print it. Regarding faxing, I am assuming that I could also scan and then fax utilizing the fax software that comes with the Mac OS (hopefully the software worksnever tried it). I could get an HP all-in-one on sale for as little as $150.

      Another printer that I was considering is the Epson Stylus Photo RX680 (again an all-in-one). Macworld gave it 4.5 mice. I find myself sort of dismayed with its having an LCD display and photo retouching software that I obviously dont need. The cheapest price I have seen for that is around $130 (maybe). I tend to be a little skeptical about these online prices until I actually make the purchase. The scanner has an optical resolution of 1200 with 9600 x 9600 interpolated (not sure as to what interpolated means in this case).

      I find myself more drawn to the Epson Stylus 1400. This was recommended to me by Epson pre-sales support, however I dont feel cynical about the suggestion.

      As far as Epson goes, what would be more of a fantasy printer for me is the Epson Stylus R1900 (cheapest price I found is around $500). What particularly strikes me about this one is that it can print on paper with a heavy weight. That would be great for my business cards and brochures. While for me it is a little high in price, I am still considering it.

      Another possibility that I have looked at is the Canon Pixme Pro 9000. This was an Editors Choice with PC Magazine website. I found a decent price with a rebate. The review says that it would be a good choice for graphic artists.

      I find it confusing as far as the difference between a so-called photo printer and an inkjet printer. According to the Epson guy, it does not seem to matter.

      For a scanner, the Epson person recommended the Epson Perfection V500 ($169 w/customer loyalty). It has a 6400 x 9600 dpi resolution. While I dont know much, this seems to be good enough for me, both for capability and price. I have read some good reviews of it.

      Thank you to all who would care to comment on any printer or scanner options. I find myself almost dizzy by all of the possibilities and I am open to any suggestions and any manufacturer. I am without a printer and I hope to make a purchase with the next few days.

      Also, thank you to all who simply bothered to read this very long posting.

      James
        • 1. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
          Welles Goodrich Community Member
          Hi James,

          You can't go wrong with an Epson scanner. I think they are an exceptional value. For a dozen years I used Epson printers and was content. Recently I tried a Canon for my small day to day printing and couldn't be happier. I've had no clogged jets, something encountered with Epson printers regularly. I'm also very happy with the color quality and durability of the inks. If fact I'm tempted to try a Canon when my Epson 4800 starts getting seriously outdated.
          • 2. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
            Allen Wicks Community Member
            Buy the Epson R1900 printer if you want good photo quality capability. Clogged jets have not been an issue for quite a few years now, since back at the SP12xx time frame. Canon quality is also good but Mac color managing is easier with Epson.

            V500 sounds fine as a scanner. Personally I much dislike all-in-one configurations for real work.
            • 3. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
              Lundberg02 Community Member
              If you buy a Canon 9000 series you may have to uninstall the drivers and reinstall the latest.

              Epson AIOs are very convenient, software is a little slow. Try using VueScan, although Ed updates his software every two weeks. Don't get the 6400 x 9600, native resolution is only 800 spi.
              • 5. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                Welles Goodrich Community Member
                >Clogged jets have not been an issue for quite a few years now, since back at the SP12xx time frame. Canon quality is also good but Mac color managing is easier with Epson.

                My experience with a dozen or more Epson printers with clogged jets in the last year seems to fly in the face of your assertion, Allen. You see I do tech support for about 30 Mac families in my area and have always suggested Epson printers in the past. Also I have excellent color prints from my one Canon printer without any tweaking other than using properly calibrated monitor profiles.

                Don't get me wrong you can't go wrong with an Epson printer but there are other equally valid choices (HP is not one of them!).
                • 6. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                  Neil_Keller Community Member
                  All-in-ones are compromises for convenience and a pricepoint. Leave those to the Staples store salesmen to hawk to others.

                  I've got an Epson R2400 -- and the ONLY times I've had to clean the jets is if I haven't used it for a month or longer. Fair enough. I use genuine Epson inks and the color on Epson and other high-end papers is stunning. Type is crisp, too. Speed for high-quality output is commendable. The 1400 also seems to be a great choice if you want to spend less -- and you have the benefit of printing to 13"x19" and wider media.

                  My scanner is a Canoscan 9950F -- a versatile performer with both press-the-button idiot-proof output, and good software for the neatly finessing your scans.

                  Neil
                  • 7. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                    Community Member
                    I want to thank everyone for taking the time to respond to my posting. (Of course, as I write this, I am hoping that you will be back to read this.)

                    I agree about avoiding the all-in-ones. As I wrote before, that is something that I was initially consideringmainly because of my problem with space. All I have is this old non-functioning bubble jet that came with my first computer (an almost 9 year old but still working, rarely used anymore PC). So, anything that I get will be absolutely glorious.

                    Regarding printers and with your help, I have now narrowed the possibilities to the Epson Stylus R1900 Photo Printer and the Canon Pixma Pro 9000. Both have eight color tanks and are able to print on paper with a heavier weight. I am still considering the Epson Stylus Photo 1400, but not as much. The more that I think about this, the more I feel that maybe I should do something nice for myself and buy something that I would really enjoy using. I did some looking into low priced lasers such as a Lexmark and a Brother, but I really dont know what to make of them. I do know that the price of toner for color lasers is very high.

                    My background has been mostly from doing freelance work in various advertising agencies and design studios. Consequently, the printing was really never up to me, so my knowledge of color management, paper types, and printing is limited. I feel that finally getting a good printer would be helpful in my upgrading those skills. Of course, I am without a printer anyway, so I have to buy something. I also want to look into marketing myself. The employment market here in NYC is so saturated that it is ridiculous. I truly wish that I could find somewhere else in the country to go, both for space and peace of mind. But, I digress.

                    Both Welles and Allen have a strong difference of opinion about the possibility of clogged jets. Im sure that both gentlemen are being honest regarding their experiences so Im a little confused about the possible problem with jets.

                    One of the things that I like about the Epsons is that they have the capability of printing on CDs. I dont believe the Canon is able to do that. As far as price goes, they seem to be somewhat close (Canon might be about $50 cheaper).

                    There are a lot of reviews of the Canon 9000 on Amazon and most of the ones that I read (there are 106 reviews!) are glowing, however some complained that even if the product were defective right out of the box, Canon would only send a refurbished replacement. Im not sure as to what to make of that, but it might be something to consider. Also, at least one reviewer did write that Epson is more friendly to Macs regarding color management.

                    I am even less sure about scanners. Thank you, Lundberg02 for mentioning VueScan. I never heard of it before, but I did find it on the Apple site. However, I really dont understand about avoiding the V500 because of the 6400 x 9600 resolutionI was under the impression that that was fairly good. Also, I dont understand what you wrote about native resolution being 800 spi. Was that supposed to be 8000 dpi (6400 + 9600/2)? My main experiences with scanning are last minute calls to this huge advertising agency where they had me do tons of scanning. I was so busy that I didnt even pay attention to the machine that I was using, but a safe bet is that it was far more expensive than I could afford.

                    Neil, I have started looking at the Canonscan 9905Fit is comparable in price to the Epson V500at least on Amazon. Yours has a resolution of 4800 x 9600 dpi while the Epson has 6400 x 9600. Does it make much of a difference? Also it was helpful that you mentioned about only having to clean the Epson jets if you havent used the printer after a month. That may be the case with menot constantly using the printer and I wondering about the inks simply drying up. That was definitely the case with the Canon bubble jet that I had.

                    Again, I guess that I have been too verbose in this posting. But, for me, these purchases are a big decision. Typing is easy for me and words sort of fly.

                    I respect each and every one of your opinions and I really do thank all of you. Not just for your help regarding the above, but regarding all of your other postings on these Adobe forums. I envy you in that clearly you love what you are doing with your respective careers. Of course more comments are welcome.

                    Thanks.
                    James
                    • 8. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                      Neil_Keller Community Member
                      James,
                      >I did some looking into low priced lasers such as a Lexmark and a Brother, but I really dont know what to make of them. I do know that the price of toner for color lasers is very high.

                      Laser cartridges actually last a long time compared with inkjet cartridges. But -- if you are looking for photographic-like output, stay away from lasers. Inkjets run circles around them.

                      Be careful to check that the model you want to use can print on CDs, if that's important. My R2400 can't, but that's not an issue for me. For printing on thick paper, you need an inkjet that has a straight paper path. But always check with the manufacturer about the thickest stock it accepts.
                      >Also, I dont understand what you wrote about native resolution being 800 spi. Was that supposed to be 8000 dpi (6400 + 9600/2)?

                      Be careful in reading resolution. A lot of scanners will scan at, say 1200 but can interpolate that to 4800 or 9600. But that is basically a smoothing routine to avoid "stairstepping" along contrast edges, and not a true increase in resolution.
                      >Yours has a resolution of 4800 x 9600 dpi while the Epson has 6400 x 9600.

                      I wouldn't be terribly concerned. Of course, you can always ask the manufacturers (or a dealer, if they're set up for this) for a small printed sample from each machine and compare them side by side.

                      And speed is another issue to throw into the equation.

                      From the talk over the past couple of years in this forum, it seems that there have been the most Macintosh compatibility issues with HP, and much less with Canon and Epson, with Epson edging out Canon.

                      Neil
                      • 9. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                        Lundberg02 Community Member
                        When a scanner says n x n resolution, they mean n(interpolated from native optical) x n( stepper motor steps) . So 9600 means 1200 optical times 8 horizontal x 9600 steps vertical.
                        In the case of a 6400 x, it's probably 800 optical. In the case of a 4800 x it's probably 600 optical. Somewhere in the specs it will tell the actual optical. There's no point in getting lower than 1200 optical.
                        600 optical is right at the edge of indistinguishability. 1200 removes any doubt about getting everything that's there and allows more magnification when repurposing the scan.

                        The higher numbers are the interpolated smoothing resolution.

                        VueScan has many many features. If Silverfast supports your scanner it is also feature rich.
                        • 10. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                          Community Member
                          Neil, here is a listing from the Epson site regarding some of the features of the Stylus Photo R1900:

                          Photos with a superior gloss finish
                          Epson UltraChrome Hi-Gloss® 2 pigment ink
                          Red and Orange inks improved vibrancy
                          Smudge, fade and water resistant prints
                          New Radiance technology optimum color gamut
                          Gallery-quality prints at faster speeds
                          Thick paper support for fine art media
                          Roll paper support for printing panoramas
                          Professional quality CD/DVD printing
                          Auto-switching Photo and Matte Black inks


                          As you can see, it does have thick paper support and CD/DVD printing. I probably should try to find out what is the max weight that I can have. Again, this is something that I dont know too much about, but I was looking at a 110 lbs. sample and to me, that seemed somewhat light. Im not looking to print thick cardboard, but I just feel that a heavier weight is more impressive. Also, I would like to be able to print my logo on my CDs. The Epson Stylus 1400 also prints CDs.

                          Im glad that you gave some clarification as to resolution with scanners. According to the dictionary, interpolate means to insert between fixed points and I was wondering how that pertains to a scanner. I did see a scanner with an optical scan of 1200 x 2400 with 9600 x 9600 interpolated scan. I now know that that is not as impressive as it might sound.

                          Do you feel strongly that your Canoscan 9950F is better than the Epson V500? I dont know which of the two has the better software.

                          Lundberg02, I just now saw your posting. Is there something about VueScan that can help scanner resolution? I dont see how, but Im asking anyway. I will try and get more info regarding the Epson V500. Is there a specific scanner that you can recommend? Perhaps the type of scanner you are describing would be out of my price range.
                          Here are some of the specs regarding the V500 copied from the Epson site:

                          Optical Resolution
                          * 6400 dpi (max)
                          Note: Optical resolution is the maximum scan resolution of the CCD elements, using the definition of ISO 14473
                          Hardware Resolution
                          * 6400 x 9600 dpi
                          Maximum Resolution
                          * 12,800 x 12,800 dpi
                          Effective Pixels
                          * 54,400 x 74,880 (6400 dpi)
                          Color Hardware Bit Depth
                          * 48-bit internal/external
                          Grayscale Hardware Bit Depth
                          * 16-bit internal/external
                          Optical Density
                          * 3.4 Dmax
                          Transparency Unit
                          * 35mm Transparency Adapter
                          * 12 negatives/4 slides
                          * medium-format film (6 x 12 cm)


                          Im sorry to write that I dont fully understand all of the above, but that is why Im here trying to learn. Anyway, is this a decent scanner? It does show that optical resolution is 6400 dpi max. I have zero idea as to what is meant by Note: Optical resolution is the maximum scan resolution of the CCD elements, using the definition of ISO 14473.

                          I am leaning towards the Epson R1900 printer even though it is more than I really wanted to spend. I asked the Epson pre-sales guy to rate the R1900 versus the Stylus 1400 on a scale of 1 to 10. He said that the R1900 is a 10 and the 1400 is an 8. I suppose such an attempt at comparison is sort of silly, but it is another opinion.

                          Thanks again.
                          James
                          • 11. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                            Neil_Keller Community Member
                            Lundberg,

                            There are relatively inexpensive scanners with native resolution 4800x9600. Interpolation might be 19,200.

                            Neil
                            • 12. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                              Paul Cutler Community Member
                              I have an R1800 (which the R1900 is the update to) and I recommend it for color. It is amazing on glossy, a little harder to get good repro on Lustre, haven't gotten it to print well on Fine Art paper yet and have yet to try and print on a CD. I am not sorry I bought it at all.<br /><br />I have a relatively cheap Epson scanner at work (I forget the model # but it cost about $200) and it does everything I want it to. I haven't scanned transparencies yet so that part I cannot vouch for.<br /><br />I have heard and read from many sources that the R1800 (or R1900) is the way to go for color and the R2400 is the way to go for black and white. I don't think you will be disappointed with this printer, until the first time you order ink and paper <k><br /><br />pbc
                              • 13. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                Neil_Keller Community Member
                                >R1800 (or R1900) is the way to go for color and the R2400 is the way to go for black and white

                                Paul, although I've read the same thing about the R1800 and R2400, and I was a bit concerned which one to buy, I am absolutely pleased with the color output -- and black-and-white output -- of my R2400. And I'm fussy about color. Now, I have not compared that color output with R1800, R1900 or 1400 machines, but I cannot imagine them to be significantly better.

                                Neil
                                • 14. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                  Community Member
                                  As Paul conveyed, another concern is the cost of ink and papersomething about which I havent given too much thought. I really dont know how to evaluate the most cost-effective machine as far as supplies are concerned. Again, I do worry about inks drying up if I dont happen to print for a while.

                                  James
                                  • 15. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                    Paul Cutler Community Member
                                    You should definitely buy the correct ink for your machine, there are plenty of cheaper alternatives and plenty of horror stories about what happens when you use them.

                                    With paper you have a little more flexibility, although good paper from any manufacturer is expensive.

                                    I don't know how much printing you are talking about but it can definitely mount up.

                                    pbc
                                    • 16. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                      Neil_Keller Community Member
                                      As for the cost of consumables (paper and ink), don't skimp, if you care about your images, both for appearance and longevity.

                                      It has been shown that, in general, OEM inks perform better than most cheaper inks or refills for good color, number of prints per cartridge, non-clogging, and longevity. And ink substitutes can void the printer's warranty.

                                      As for paper, 20#-32# inkjet bond from the office supply store is not going to delivery memorable quality or long-lasting images. High-end photographic papers, OEM or quality third-parties, such as Hahnemühle and Moab, simply perform better and generally provide greater longevity, along with enough choices to properly complement your images.

                                      And if you are making a lot of prints, hopefully at least a portion of those are billable back to a corporate client or two. If the prints are being sold as fine artwork, the cost of materials should easily be covered at least several times over in the selling price of the art.

                                      Neil
                                      • 17. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                        Community Member
                                        I envy your knowledge of paper and supplies. It seems like there could be a great deal of confusion as to what might be the proper paper for any particular instance. For someone like myself, it would probably be a lot of expensive trial and error. Do you usually buy your paper online? I would not know what to choose unless I could see and touch.

                                        Also, looking online I found a couple of books that may be helpfulboth from the Real World series from Peachpit press. One is called Real World Print Production (Aug 4, 2006) and the other is Real World Color Management (Sep 18, 2004). I do wonder, though, about the dates of those books and whether a lot has changed since, for instance, 2004.

                                        Does anyone have any comments regarding the specs of the scanner that I listed above? I may just go with that one. A Staples near where I live had a non-functioning one on display. It seemed sort of flimsy, but clearly it had been handled and abused (actually I think that the insides had been taken out). Thankfully, the footprint was not as large as I had expected. It was priced at the full retail of $249.99 but I will be able to get it from Epson for $169 (no tax).

                                        Thanks.
                                        James
                                        • 18. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                          Lundberg02 Community Member
                                          6400 optical is amazing. I haven't bought a scanner in four years, so technology has passed me by. i should know better than to pose as an expert.
                                          I can't imagine what 6400 is needed for unless you routinely blow things up by a factor of ten, maybe some people do.
                                          You're going to spend 500 a year on ink with Epsons in the eight tank line, even for routine use. I spend 250 with four tanks and I don't print much.
                                          Epsons WILL NOT print if one ink is out. My old Canon would print with whatever colors were left which was ok if you were right in the middle of something black and white and an ink ran out.

                                          I even used that feature to determine that the software used " Heavy Black Generation" by printing color with no black and seeing the skeletal colors.
                                          • 19. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                            Neil_Keller Community Member
                                            James,<br />>I envy your knowledge of paper and supplies.<br /><br />That's it. That's all I know.  <g><br />>Do you usually buy your paper online?<br /><br />For the most part, yes. (I buy almost all my computer hardware, software, and supplies online from reputable dealers. Amazon, Buy.com, Newegg, OtherWorldComputing and Macmall are good starting points.) <br /><br />If you are not near a dealer or do not get to trade shows, contact the paper manufacturers and ask for sample paper swatches (and descriptions of what the different grades are best for). Just tell them what printer you're using so they don't send you stuff that won't work well or fit. You may have to pay a few bucks for the samples, but that's still cheaper than buying a box or roll of the "wrong" paper.<br /><br />As for the cost of consumables, if I'm using my printer for client work, it gets billed to the client and I get back (guessing) 12-20x my actual print cost. Clients should understand things like overhead, time and materials, so this isn't an issue. For art prints, though, it's what the market will bear for your art.<br /><br />Neil
                                            • 20. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                              Community Member
                                              Thanks, Neil. I will look into contacting manufacturers regarding samples. Also, about the possible weight of paper that the R1900 can use, I did find info showing that the max media weight is 255 G/m2 (whatever!!). While honesty makes me admit that I havent sufficient knowledge at this point to make a valid comparison, a dealer basically told me that that would be more than enough for my needs.

                                              Also Lundberg02, thank you for the clarification re: scanner. With in a situation where I am buying something that is so technical in its capabilities, I have a tendency to react to everything that is written.

                                              I appreciate everyones kind help and I am going to compile a list of all of the useful information. Due to my lack of space, my next problem has to do with where would I put this equipment.

                                              Thanks again.
                                              James
                                              • 21. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                                Neil_Keller Community Member
                                                James,
                                                >I did find info showing that the max media weight is 255 G/m2 (whatever!!). While honesty makes me admit that I havent sufficient knowledge at this point to make a valid comparison, a dealer basically told me that that would be more than enough for my needs.

                                                Essentially your dealer is right. 255 g/m2 (grams per square meter) is nothing more than an expression of the papers weight (density, although not necessarily thickness). The samples you'll get will be marked for weight, and by easy examination, you will see the difference between 120 g/m2 and 255 g/m2 and be able to make a decision based upon how you will be using the printed output.

                                                For fine art and framing, heavier is generally better. For family pictures, it's simply how much higher-quality pictures will be appreciated and how much you wish to spend on creating the prints.

                                                Neil
                                                • 22. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                                  Community Member
                                                  Thanks very much for the info, Neil. Actually, you do have a lot of knowledge of paper--I appreciate the clarification of what is meant by 255 g/m2. It is clear that I have some catching up to do.

                                                  I just ordered the printer and scanner--sort of reeling about spending the money, however I got good deals so I'm grateful. Also, asked Epson about samples--they have a Media Pack with 4 types, 5 sheets each for $12.99.

                                                  Thanks again.
                                                  James
                                                  • 23. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                                    Allen Wicks Community Member
                                                    Epson's cheaper "Photo Paper Glossy" #S041271 curls very badly but all the other papers work well. Avoid non-Epson papers unless recommended here.
                                                    • 24. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                                      genenphotos Community Member
                                                      >Avoid non-Epson papers unless recommended here

                                                      An open question in this area -- who makes Epson papers? I have trouble imagining that Epson, Canon, HP et al all own their own paper mills. For that matter who makes papers that are branded Staples or Office Depot? Companies may well have their own specs, surely, but how different can they be for, say, premium glossy surface?
                                                      • 25. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                                        Neil_Keller Community Member
                                                        Eugene,

                                                        A good question. Epson et al would most likely not have tree farms and paper mills of their own. They contract out their papers through established manufacturers to make papers to their specs.

                                                        For example, International Paper might have contracts from Epson, Staples and Kodak in this country. Each brand has its own proprietary formula for each grade of "their" paper. But there could be different mill brands contracted to manufacture to the same proprietary formulae overseas. Or even to manufacture different grades under the same brand name in the same market. And contracted manufacturers can change.

                                                        This outsourcing and private labeling is nothing new.
                                                        >but how different can they be for, say, premium glossy surface?

                                                        You might be surprised. Different printer manufacturers could want different additives in their papers to interface best with their inks and for overall print appearance, ink holdout or absorption, paper whiteness, brightness, UV brighteners, smearing, drying times, surface smoothness, gloss, jam-free performance, longevity, etc. Then figure in the stock's stiffness, thickness, substrate composition, pH, coating composition, overcoat, etc. which can be specified differently for each brand. Gloss papers may "look" the same or similar, but they can be constructed quite differently underneath the surface.

                                                        That is some of the reasoning why the only papers that, say, Epson is going to guarantee for print longevity are their own. Same for inks.

                                                        Hey, you can build a home with wood studs or metal studs or block walls, plastic or wood siding, but the end result could look quite similar.

                                                        Neil
                                                        • 26. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                                          Community Member
                                                          As far as avoiding non-Epson papers goes, is that strictly in regards to producing the best print quality? Im asking because I have a bunch of old paper around (there are some Epson Photo Quality Glossy paper) that I would like to use up. This includes some HP 26 lbs. Premium Inkjet Paper and lots of Great White 24 lbs. inkjet stuff.

                                                          This will be the only printer that I will have and while 98% of its use will be for my CS3 files, I will occasionally have to use it (with cheap paper) for plain correspondence letters, resumes (using 32lbs. 100% cotton) etc. Maybe to some that might seem sacrilegious, but my extremely old Canon bubble jet printer died. It did serve me fine for correspondence and resumes, but I wanted to get a serious printer for once. (However, I did read a review that considers the Epson R1900 to be an amateur quality printermaybe it is for someone who has thousands to spend on a printer.)

                                                          Using other kinds of paper cant hurt the machine, can it? I dont see how. Naturally, I would also want to use the cheaper paper for drafts.

                                                          Do you guys use your photo printers for once-in-a-while correspondence? I now wonder if Im going to have trouble in printing an address (and my return address) on a standard business size envelope. I just assumed that such options would be standard with any printer. Im also assuming that I will be able to customize the size to make it work (maybe)not totally sure as to what to expect here. (Word has capability of custom settings for envelopes.)

                                                          I really dont want to buy some extra printer just for occasional business correspondence. I made the mistake of spending $59 for a new cartridge for the bubble jet last summer and it only worked a few times. (There were long intervals between uses, but I dont think that that was the problem.)

                                                          Anyway, thanks for postingI find your comments helpful and interesting.

                                                          James
                                                          • 27. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                                            genenphotos Community Member
                                                            I use an ancient HP deskjet for text printing, just because the cost of the ink. My R1800 has 8 cartridges which run in the neighborhood of $14 apiece. Unlike some Epson models, photo black and matte black inks are always installed. I forget the cost of a black ink cartridge for an HP 931 or 812 printer, because I only need a new one every several years. But using a $69 printer (say) to produce a 6.9 ¢ text sheet seems like a bargain to me. My printer never dries up, maybe because I live in humid Florida, but they didn't dry out in Maryland or Virginia either.

                                                            As to harming an Epson printer, I don't think it's an issue. They do accept plain paper and will print well.

                                                            As to your first question, I use a lot of Staples extra-super-good glossy paper with great results. I also use PremierArt stuff. You can write me in 50 years and I'll tell you what the prints look like then. I suppose if anybody wanted to pay me for a fine art print at fine art rates, I'd use "better" papers. But a lot of people in this forum say they use 3rd-party papers from Red River, Ilford, Hahnemuhle and elsewhere.

                                                            --Gene
                                                            • 28. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                                              Community Member
                                                              James - So which printer and scanner did you order? Good luck!
                                                              • 29. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                                                Neil_Keller Community Member
                                                                James,
                                                                >As far as avoiding non-Epson papers goes, is that strictly in regards to producing the best print quality?

                                                                Not necessarily. The two brands I gave earlier are quite good, and I believe they both provide profiles.
                                                                >This includes some HP 26 lbs. Premium Inkjet Paper and lots of Great White 24 lbs. inkjet stuff.

                                                                That is lightweight, everyday, run-of-the-mill stuff. Save it for correspondence, not for high-quality prints.
                                                                >Using other kinds of paper cant hurt the machine, can it?

                                                                Not unless it continually jams it. Be aware that print quality might not be up to par.
                                                                >Do you guys use your photo printers for once-in-a-while correspondence?

                                                                Nope. That's why I still have my nine-year-old workhorse HP LaserJet 4050N black-and-white laser printer. Cheap to keep. Cheap to run. And very reliable. And type in letters looks better in laser than inkjet. My Epson R2400 only gets exercised for high-end proofing, art photography, and other high-end imagery, and friends 'n' family photos. I don't need printouts of Web pages and correspondence in color.
                                                                >I really dont want to buy some extra printer just for occasional business correspondence.

                                                                For around $100, you can have a fast laser printer for your correspondence. The cartridge will seem to last forever. And cartridges, even a couple of years old just keep working. (I had the same one in my HP for about eight years before the toner ran out.)

                                                                Neil
                                                                • 30. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                                                  Community Member
                                                                  Larry, I ordered an Epson Stylus R1900 printer and an Epson Perfection V500 scanner. Thanks for the kind wishes. Im somewhat apprehensive (more than I should be) about such things. The reviews that I have read about the R1900 were good. It was released somewhat recently, so I hope that I made a good decision. Scheduled delivery is for tomorrow, 4/25. This will be the first time that Ill be able to print from my Mac.

                                                                  I just noticed that the USB 2.0 cable is not included. I see online that some are silver and other are gold. Do such things make a difference? (As you can tell, Im not a hardware person.)

                                                                  I have always had a problem with the ink drying up, Gene. Maybe it has to do with the brand of printer. Where I live (Manhattan), there is a great deal of humidity as well, especially in the summer. The Epson guy with whom I placed my order said that humidity is not good for the printer. I told him there is not much that I can do about it. He also said that the inks should be used within six months and if they are not going to be used for a while, I should put them in a zip-lock bag. The R1900 also has eight ink cartridges.

                                                                  My major concern regarding maintenance is the problem with dust. There is a constant raining of dust where I live and I worry about how it affects my equipment. Because of my limited space, with the new equipment (the printer has a large footprint), I may have to put both my Mac and my PC towers on the floor. Due to the enormous amount of dust, I never wanted to do that. (As an aside, I am always breathing that stuff and it makes me wonder how I survive. Where is a good place for me to move???)

                                                                  Neil, thanks for mentioning the possibility of a black and white laser printerit never entered my mind, nor did I realize how cheap they are. I just now saw one on the Staples site, a Brother HL-2140 for $69.98 (after coupons and rebates). However, the offer expires this Saturdaywould like to look around more. The biggest plus is that the toner would last a long time. The situation is that my correspondence needs can be as little as 3 to 5 pages per month, but what you and Gene wrote about having a different printer is something to consider after all. Maybe having a better machine will make me want to correspond more. My old printer was such a pain that I never much wanted to use it. I do hope that the Epson will print the text in my InDesign files well enoughI didnt think that it would be a concern.

                                                                  Again, thanks for all of your help and for putting up with my long postshopefully they are not too boring. I seem to have a problem with being concise.

                                                                  James
                                                                  • 31. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                                                    Neil_Keller Community Member
                                                                    James,<br /><br />Good luck and have fun with your new toys!<br />>I see online that some are silver and other are gold.<br /><br />Doesn't have to be gold, but it shouldn't be a thin, barely insulated piece of garbage either. But, the cables are relatively cheap. Buy decent quality, and keep the length short.<br />>The Epson guy with whom I placed my order said that humidity is not good for the printer.<br /><br />Basically, if you're comfortable, your printer is comfortable. Keep it out of direct sun, away from radiators, liquids, and dust, and use it at least every couple of weeks.<br />>There is a constant raining of dust where I live and I worry about how it affects my equipment.<br /><br />First, keep all panels closed when not in use. And, although not an elegant solution, you can keep a large, lightweight plastic trash bag over the top and sides when it is turned off. Or crochet a "cozy" for it.  <g><br />>I may have to put both my Mac and my PC towers on the floor.<br /><br />Of course, vacuuming and dusting regularly help!  <g> There are also feet you can buy that will elevate your towers a few inches off the floor and help keep the dust down. My workspace is a compact "L", with my keyboard and monitor set in the inside corner. So I can keep my Mac tower behind it and out of the way.<br />>thanks for mentioning the possibility of a black and white laser printer<br /><br />If all you are doing is correspondence, or Web page printouts, then cheap, clean, fast, with Mac compatibility and readily available and reasonably priced toner carts would be the selling points. I can't comment on the Brother printers, but we've had very good luck with a variety of small HP B&W laser printers. And the toner carts are readily available.<br />>I do hope that the Epson will print the text in my InDesign files well enough<br /><br />It shouldn't be an issue unless you print on cheap inkjet bond.<br /><br />Hope that helps.<br /><br />Neil
                                                                    • 32. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                                                      Lundberg02 Community Member
                                                                      Get a plastic shoerack to put your towers on.
                                                                      Find a geek at Staples and he will tell you they get more returns on Brother and Lexmark than any other brand. I had good luck with a combo Brother the first time , but the second one was unrepairable after it became misaligned. That was almost 20 years ago, however.
                                                                      • 33. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                                                        Community Member
                                                                        Im sitting here waiting for delivery, so I wanted to quickly thank you for the suggestions regarding my lack-of-space, possible laser printer and the dust situation.

                                                                        Lundberg02, I really cant put the towers on top of anything in that they will have to be under my desk, consequently there is little space for me to raise them off the floor. The proximity of the phone outlet is one of the problems (I have Verizon DSL). I have to be where the phone connection is located. I do have a couple of boards that I could put the towers on, but that would only raise them about 1.5 inches. If nothing else, I may have to dismantle my PC. While I do not use it much anymore, I do have some need for it. It is so old, nobody would want to buy it anywayI doubt that I could give it away.

                                                                        Also, thank you for the good luck wish Neil. I hope that you and everyone else who has been so nice to me on this forum have continued success with your careers. And as you might have been thinking regarding dust, I am not a good housekeeperone of my problems.

                                                                        According to the tracking info, the packages are in the truck for delivery. Im not fond of waiting around, but since my building does not have a doorman, I have no choice. Usually, FedEx is here by now, so I wonder if Ill end up getting things today after all.

                                                                        Thanks again for all of your kind help.
                                                                        James
                                                                        • 34. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                                                          Neil_Keller Community Member
                                                                          James,
                                                                          > I have to be where the phone connection is located.

                                                                          Well, for my DSL service, I ran a "home run" from my phone service's point of entry with a new cable, along the baseboards to where my computer is for a clean, reliable signal. No telephone jacks or splices along the way. I left a bit of "extra" cable and then crimped on a standard plastic 4-wire connector.

                                                                          Or could just use a longer cable from the jack to your computer's router/switch/modem thingy.
                                                                          >thank you for the good luck wish Neil.

                                                                          :-)
                                                                          >I am not a good housekeeper

                                                                          No need to schlep out the regular house Hoover. Get yourself a small portable vac, like a Dust Buster that you can easily grab and use during coffee breaks. Remember that, aside from allergies, dust mites, etc. that dust brings, dust is an insulator. If it gets inside your computer, it'll clog the air vents and fans, and coat the cooling fins -- not so good for the life of your hardware.
                                                                          >I wonder if Ill end up getting things today after all

                                                                          At least with FedEx you can track the package.

                                                                          Neil
                                                                          • 35. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                                                            Community Member
                                                                            James - I use an R1800 and love it. Very few clogging problems... almost none. Consistent quality! Enjoy.
                                                                            • 36. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                                                              Lundberg02 Community Member
                                                                              Tell Verizon to give you a wireless modem/router and then get a USB wireless adapter for your computer and do away with wires forever!
                                                                              Put your setup wherever you want.
                                                                              • 37. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                                                                Neil_Keller Community Member
                                                                                Lundberg,

                                                                                My concerns with wireless are both speed and security; the latter mostly if you are in a built-up area, and the system is not properly set up.

                                                                                In many cases, a longer cable connected to an existing phone jack entails no more work than a quick trip to Radio Shack. A lot cheaper than buying a wireless setup.

                                                                                BTW, the router/modem/switch (whatever they call it) distributed by Verizon DOES have wireless capability -- and it's turned ON by default. The problem for me was figuring out how to disable it.

                                                                                Neil
                                                                                • 38. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                                                                  Community Member
                                                                                  Hi and thanks for the postings. The printer and scanner did arrive around 4:00 pm yesterday. I know that you will think that Im crazy (and would probably be right), but I have not installed anything yet. I was very sleep-deprived and after having been stuck inside all day waiting for delivery and after carrying everything up the stairs (I live at the top of a five-floor walkup), I had to get outside and go for a walk in the park. Later on I just did not feel like it. I was also upset that the scanner box was opened. The delivery guy said that it just happened and nothing fell outwhich I subsequently confirmed. (Epson should be a little more careful about packing its products for shipment.)

                                                                                  A lot of my procrastination has to do, again, with my lack of space. Installation of equipment can be very involved in my situationhowever I do not excuse myself. Also, I dont enjoy dealing with hardware including its setup.

                                                                                  But, today there is no excuse, however I did go for my daily walk and at Circuit City found a possible black and white HP LaserJet for $100 (also available on the HP site). But, I think that there is a problem with drivers. I think you all are correct in having an extra printer for basic correspondenceit now makes more sense to me. Of course, I have yet to print anything with the new printer.

                                                                                  Larry, thank you for the comments regarding your Epson R1800it is always helpful to get positive confirmation regarding what for me was an involved purchasing decision. I always do a great deal of research (probably too much) and this project took a lot of energy. Again, I am not what I consider to be a hardware person. I just want to sit at a computer and have it (hopefully) do what it is supposed to do.

                                                                                  Lundberg, thanks for the suggestion about a wireless modem. I think that Neil is rightwireless does come with Verizon DSL. I installed all of the stuff in January of 2005 and havent paid attention to it since. The modem has what looks like a short antenna sticking out of it. However, I have so little space that it does not matter too much where I put my equipment. But, I will continue to give it some thought.

                                                                                  Thanks Neil for the suggestion of a Dust Buster. I do have this very old vacuum that the previous occupant of this apartment left behind, but when I try to use it, the circuit breaker does something funny and I have to reset it. In other words, it does not workI guess that I should throw it out. Also, you are absolutely correct about the harm that dust can do. You also have a good point about wireless speed and securityI did not think of that. All of you are so conscious of everything and have it so together.

                                                                                  I am now going to get to work. First I am going to clean the floor under and around my APC circuit breaker and then disconnect both my computers. Then, I am going to open them and using compressed air (just bought two big cans), clean both of them. After which, I will put the towers on the floor (dont know what else to dothe new equipment has to be where the towers were) and begin the process of setting up the scanner and the printer.

                                                                                  Thanks for all the help; you guys are the best!
                                                                                  James
                                                                                  • 39. Re: Please help me buy a printer and a scanner.
                                                                                    Neil_Keller Community Member
                                                                                    James,

                                                                                    You did the right thing by waiting to set up equipment. Do it when you are not tired and have time to concentrate on it without distractions or having to worry about the time. This should not be difficult, but there is generally a "quick start" sheet which should get you started.
                                                                                    >possible black and white HP LaserJet for $100 (also available on the HP site). But, I think that there is a problem with drivers.

                                                                                    Be careful here. Although HP has a bunch of similar looking small laser printers, some of them do not come with drivers for Mac. Make sure that Macintosh and your OS are listed on the box in the specs. And remember that some of the sales clerks in the mass market electronics stores don't know squat about what they're trying to sell you -- they just want the commission checks to keep coming (as far as I'm concerned, "sales associate" and other fluff job titles don't make these guys more knowledgeable). Apologies to the few who really know their stuff.

                                                                                    Neil
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