8 Replies Latest reply on May 31, 2017 4:25 AM by BobLevine

    Any quick advice on printer?

    shandmedia

      Looking for an A3 colour printer, inkjet or laser, mainly to print mag proofs for myself and the odd rough to clients.

      Colour doesn't need to be exact but type needs to be sharp.

      I'm a one man operation so I want to keep ink costs down ideally.

      Finally I don't need a scanner or a fax, a fact the guy in PC World found hard to believe...

       

      Any advice appreciated.

        • 1. Re: Any quick advice on printer?
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          How much do you want to spend?

           

          Lasers cost a lot more up front, but have much lower ink costs overall (but when you need toner, it will be expensive). I currently have a Xerox Phaser 7800 that I bought when they came out a couple of years ago. I don't use it much, so I haven't needed to buy toner yet, but I've got about $1000.00 put aside for when it needs it. (I expect to get at least 10,000 full coverage color pages out it, probably a lot more, so cost per page is really quite reasonable). Print quality is good enough for short run output for my clients when I don't want to send a job out to a commercial printer.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Any quick advice on printer?
            Migintosh Level 4

            Also keep in mind that if you go with an inkjet printer, you will get much better quality if you print to coated or photographic paper. The ink will not soak into the paper as much as plain paper, so you will have less dot gain and a more crisp image. You will pay more for that paper than plain paper, so keep that in mind as well. I don't know how much difference in quality you get when printing to different paper with a laser, but I expect laser is much more forgiving with cheaper paper than inkjet. As far as comparing inkjet to laser for print quality, you will have to make that determination for yourself, but laser is much faster and less trouble.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Any quick advice on printer?
              Derek Cross Level 6

              Might be worth having a look at this Epson inkjet printer. Not as fast as a laser but more accurate color rendition (if set up properly):

               

              Epson Professional 17 inch Compact Desktop Printer | Epson Stylus Pro 3880

              • 4. Re: Any quick advice on printer?
                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                If I were buying an inkjet today, that Epson would certainly be on my list. The major reason I don't buy inkjets is my usage pattern -- idle for weeks, then a lot of printing for a day, then idle again, with the occasional proof in between. Plain paper printing on the laser is lightyears better than most inkjets, but it's not as good as printing on coated stocks.

                 

                It's important that Inkjets are used regularly. I can let my laser printer sit idle for a year if I want to and it will still print, most inkjets will have clogged heads after a few weeks of sitting idle, maybe less. Costs for inkjet supplies can be higher than you expect, too, if you are forced to buy more than one color ink at a time.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Any quick advice on printer?
                  Derek Cross Level 6

                  Peter makes a fair point about the inkjet printer clogging if not used regularly, though the printer’s cleaning utility makes this an easy task.

                   

                  To summarise I would say that the inkjet printer will make superb prints (and in the example I mentioned, A3 +) which means they can print two facing A4 pages and include bleed on one side of one sheet.

                  But they are much slower to print than a laser and coated papers are expensive.

                   

                  Laser and solid ink printers are fast (especially for printing multiple copies), but the color may not be that accurate, though you can print reasonably well on poor quality stock, max size A3 and they don’t print to the edge of the sheet. Some models come with a duplex facility.

                   

                  Ink for all types of printers is expensive.

                   

                  I would get some samples printed from your files from a supplier so you see what suits you best.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Any quick advice on printer?
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    For the record, I'm not advocating against inkjets as long as your workflow keeps them busy and you can afford the cost of ink. My Phaser, at around three times the purchase cost of that Epson, is hardly justified by my workload, but it gives near press-quality output and I can afford it as a toy, and since I bought it the only expense so far has been paper (but as I said, a set of toner cartridges is costly).

                     

                    I will say, though that running a cleaning routine on an inkjet is using a lot of ink just to clean heads, and if the printer sits too long you may not be successful. I've had to replace at least one printer for a client who let it sit for about six months (it used a printhead not built into the cartridges and even solvent soaking didn't bring it back to life), and other clients have thrown out half-full cartridges with built-in heads because they wouldn't unclog.

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Any quick advice on printer?
                      Evil J Guano

                      Sorry to resurrect this old post but anyone got any thoughts on a Xerox A3 Phaser 7100N? Already have A4 and A3+ Epson inkjet but like original question I'm looking to do some magazine production and the Epson is way too slow and expensive toner wise to run off proof copies for editors etc…

                      • 8. Re: Any quick advice on printer?
                        BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                        I can't speak to that specific printer but I've had a Xerox Phaser 3250 for I don't know how long it's given me zero problems.

                        1 person found this helpful