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Hardware Thread, Does it exist? in Technical; I'm looking for a cost effective colour printing solution for our art dept (my biggeet headache). They always moan about ...
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    antoeknee's Avatar
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    Does it exist?

    I'm looking for a cost effective colour printing solution for our art dept (my biggeet headache). They always moan about the cost of colour printing but when you're producing full page colour prints I think you have to accept the cost.

    Anyway can anyone recommend a suitable printer (inkjet/laser) network ready, reasonable quality, reliable and with low running costs (if such a thing exists). Initial purchase price isn't really a problem but something reasonable would be good, sub £700 would be great as we'll have to buy 3 of what ever printer we decide on.

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    maniac's Avatar
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    Re: Does it exist?

    In my experience 'cheap' and 'colour printing' are two words that really don't go together! Every colour laser printer I've come across has a simelar running cost in reality (don't go by manufacturers figures, they never stack up)

    Our art department have got an HP3600n, like a lot of other areas of the school. On average they get through one set of toners per half term, which sounds like a lot, but they do print a LOT of colour. A complete set of toners is just under the £200 mark.

    The printers cost about £350 a piece when I last checked, and they print good quality colour, are networkable (make sure you get the 'n' version!) and print fairly fast. (I've always been a fan of HPs in-line colour printing!)


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    Re: Does it exist?

    OK, heres my 2p worth...

    We have a Dell 5110cn Laser, and I bought it based on excellent reviews from Computer Shopper and elsewhere. It is essentially a rebadged lexmark, but dont let that put you off - its superb. It offers duplex printing, the driver gives you the option of password protecting the colour option, so if you only want staff print in colour, just set a password.


    The outlay for a set of original toners is high - high capacity rainbow pack retails at around 550 quid from Dell, but they last well. If you shop around you can get them much cheaper. I have a contact at a company called Wordflow, Philip Warr. He can do the pack for closer to 400 quid.


    Also, if your felling adventurous and in the mood for saving even more money, you can refill the carts as they are literally just plastic cylinders full of toner - no other gubbings inside like drum etc. I have bought a kit from TonerTopUp, which is excellent. It cost 10 quid has everything you need to melt a hole in the cart. The toners themselves are 79 quid per color and 16 quid each for replqcement chips. Strangely enough, they couldnt do the black at a lower price then the dell original, but its only 56 quid. Saves a fortune.


    I have no link with either of the companies! Just wanted to spreaad the word. You wont be dissapointed if you use either of them.

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    contink's Avatar
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    Re: Does it exist?

    Depends a lot on whether your art department is going to want art quality prints or not...

    Good places to get an idea of what individual printers are any good at:
    - http://www.nifty-stuff.com/forum/index.php (Canon printers primarily)
    - http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...gory.php?id=39 (more based around photo quality & art)

    Plenty of others too but there a good start point with an active community in each.

    For myself I went with the Canon iX4000 (I test them with cont' ink kits) which turned out to be a good buy... However consumables can be costly especially as they are chipped carts.. Heard some good things about the HP K850 and the real Canon arty types like the Canon 9950 Pro..

    For pigmented inkjets then you're best off looking at the Epson series.. probably the 2400... there are CIS systems for these printers and unlike the Canons' are a lot easier to install and will save you a small ton in cartridges as you just buy the inks...

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