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The right printer for UPSC aspirants - Laserjet or Inkjet - Cannon or HP?

edited July 2014 in Tools & Technology
A major question that most UPSC aspirants face at some point of time, is the need for a printer. With increasing amount of resources from the internet, the printing needs keep increasing. Until it makes sense to buy a printer.

Then there is the beginner's dilemma/mistake of buying a cheap inkjet printer - which has all of it Print, Copy Scan for around Rs. 2000-3000. The problem?
The inkjet cartridge costs too high and prints too little. But you mostly realise this once you have bought a printer.

What is the ideal printer? There is not one specific printer, which could be judged as best and all other as second best, but given the requirements of a Civil Services aspirant, we can zero in on two of them.
*No good deed goes unpunished*
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Comments

  • I had done my research few months back due to my own printing needs. My father had given me a inkjet printer because apparently it was a 'color' printer. The printing costs? 600/- worth of refille gave me 150 pages! I had to throw it for less than Rs. 1000.

    I wanted a printer which would be economical in terms of one time investment, as well as the running cost should be very low. Wanted refills to be cheap, and prints at least 1500-2000+ pages at least so that I don;t have to go refilling again and again.

    Apparently all this depends on the toner. And the best toner right now is 12A or compatible which has a tank of 120ml (rest others are less, like 80ml or so)

    You have two options here:-

    1. HP 1020 plus: If you're an HP fan, go for this. It is the largest selling JP laser printer, with an ink tank of 120 ml, printing 1500-2000+ pages at one.
    - Manual Duplex (Its not as hard as you think)
    - No chip, hence can be refilled in open market for Rs. 100-300
    - One refill gives 1500 pages

    You can see this at flipkart clicking here

    Issues:- HP only gives introductory catridge. This will only have half the tank capacity or less, which means the first cartridge cannot be refilled, at least not economically. But from the second cartridge you will get good performance.

    2. Canon 2900B:-
    -Two year warranty (on site) as opposed to HP's one year
    - Same features as above.
    - Best part:- It uses the same cartridge as 1020plus, branded as canon. No issues of introductory cartridge - the very first cartridge can be refilled again and again :-)

    You can see this at flipkart by clicking here

    If you still choose to buy another printer, try getting any with 12A toner or with a equally big tank. The reason being the shopkeeper may tell you, that sir take this printer with small tank, its price is less; this will print 1500 while 12A will print 2000, and you may feel 1500 pages is good enough for me. Later you would simply want a printer that is cheap to refill and you don't have to visit the refill store everytime.

    Note:- Both the printers are not supported on Mac, but there is a work around.

    Source: Experience
    -from someone who does lot of printing and has bought three printers.
    *No good deed goes unpunished*
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  • edited March 2013
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    *No good deed goes unpunished*
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  • Hi @kshtjsnghl , I just saw this today. I have a macbook and most economically non-fancy printers don't have drivers for Mac, and I use Windows XP on VM. Its not difficult there. Tell me your OS, and let me see if I can get back to you on this.

    Also, I have a query from a user. Please someone see, if they can answer this, if and when they have time:-

    hi Neyawn
    i have a query regarding HP 1020 plus printer. in that thread you said that it has some issue that is
    "Issues:- HP only gives introductory catridge. This will only have half the tank capacity or less, which means the first cartridge cannot be refilled, at least not economically. But from the second cartridge you will get good performance.
    "

    i was wondering do i have to buy a new cartridge when the introductory catridge ends if yes how much new catridge cost? also if you have to chose which one you choose hp 1020plus or canon b2900? i thinking of buying thats why asking.
    *No good deed goes unpunished*
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  • edited March 2013
    The introductory cartridge has a small tank, and it will be more or less pointless to get it refilled again and again, and the refiller will tell you this.

    So you would have to buy a new catridge. You can see the price for yourself:-
    http://www.flipkart.com/hp-12a-black-toner-cartridge/p/itmdyvcth8ctdchd?pid=INKDYVCRKWS5WZ8S&icmpid=reco_pp_cross_inktoner_1.

    I bought a Canon 2900B - Why?
    Two Reasons
    1. No issue of introductory cartridge. The very first one has full capacity
    2. Canon gave 2 year warranty as opposed to HP
    3. It cost a bit less than HP (minor criteria, as I wanted something that had a overall less running cost rather than initial less price.)
    4. It uses the same awesome 12A toner used by HP. In fact HP's printer hardware is made by Canon, hence the cost is less.

    You can check it out at Flipkart below:-

    http://www.flipkart.com/canon-laser-shot-lbp-2900b-single-function-printer/p/itmdyvb9hb2xftsa?pid=PRNDYVB7VNVCCTQV&ref=83f994ff-fc71-4e6d-a31f-fa6faa3f4a86&srno=m_1_1&otracker=from-search&query=canon%20laser%20shot%20-%20lbp%202900b%20single%20function%20laser%20printer

    Its price in Nehru place is around 300-400 less, (if you quote me lesser, add 5% tax, because I had gone there) but then again, the time and money costs are more. Better to go from Flipkart.

    Note : I saw the Ad for Epson Printer today as well as a few days back:-

    image

    I have no idea about it nor have I done any research in this. It wasn't there 3-4 months back and it is a new product. You may want to try it out if you're trying to maxmise

    As far as I am concerned, I am a satisfycing man, :-) and given a choice to buy again, I would still get a Canon 2900B - because its a tried and tested product.
    *No good deed goes unpunished*
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  • @Neyawn

    I am using it with Windows 7. Although the even and odd pages work fine, I was hoping for a more direct manual printing option so it will be helpful if you can let me know the way I can accomplish that.
    CSE 2013 - AIR 83
    "Mere jajbaaton se iss kadar vakif hai kalam meri, Main ishq bhi likhna chahoon to inqlaab likha jata hai" - Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh
    ·
  • @kshtjsnghl That's how it is done.. I use reverse page + even pages and then odd pages only.. Since in my printer it gets printed face first..
    But don't do the print two pages per face and try this, because then.. actually you should make the mistake yourself to see how lovely things can get :-P
    Law

    "We've got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen."
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  • edited March 2013
    As far as scanning is concerned.. Better to take a separate scanner.. The HP all in ones were the worst thing I picked up.. I have three of them all different models, which I use to gather dust..

    Using a Canon LiDE 110 scanner bed.. It is not THAT expensive.. is reliable, light, compact and so thin that it fits in the laptop backpack's laptop compartment.. This scanner has travelled a lot! It is my best friend..
    Law

    "We've got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen."
    ·
  • .. This scanner has travelled a lot! It is my best friend..
    And I thought we were your best friends :P

    *No good deed goes unpunished*
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  • ..And now we have HP ads everywhere. At least on my page :P
    *No good deed goes unpunished*
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  • I have an Epson TXW 550 all in one inkjet(including photocopier, wi fi, memory-card reader etc). it is a terrific printer except for when buying new cartridges...those were damn costly.
    Luckily I stumbled upon this Firangi-Jugad called CISS(continuous ink supply system). It is nothing but an external ink tank,fitted for mere 1.5 to 2.5K. Can be bought from Ebay or Nehru place!
    has been working great for me since printing cost is negligible(running in paisas)!!
    here is a you tube link of ciss in action..


    and installation
    Valar Morghulis
    ·
  • can turn your old costly to run desk-jets into efficient mean machines! :-bd
    do share your experience and opinions on ciss.
    Valar Morghulis
    ·
  • i have a canon inkjet printer (all in one)...for more than 5 months now.....so the
    pros :
    1)cheap (price + operating+maintainance)= cost in laserjet as i refill myself and one refilling cost < Rs30 and 400 pages (black)...
    2)multifunction - scan , copy(colour) ..
    3)manual duplex- saves pages saves environment
    cos:
    1)low printing speed but still sufficient
    2)takes a break for 1.5min every 20 copies
    3)colour ink empties fast
    each-time you're defeated you come closer to the victory
    | political science |didn't qualified in first attempt- 2014, but this isn't the end.
    ·
  • I've been using HP Deskjet 3050 All In One J610a which uses printer cartridge HP 802. Have to say, I am more than satisfied with the performance.

    1.Prints a decent number of pages in black before you bring in a new cartridge.
    2. Surprisingly, scans well too - although I do agree that most HP scans are below average. This one, not so much.

    Will I recommend it? - Definitely, although after a price comparision with other brands, HP does lose out a bit.

    I'd give this printer 7.5/10.
    A republic without a pub is a relic | Criticize the post, not the poster |
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  • @alexiaaicha I did end up trying the two pages on 1 face with this super stud even and odd pages technique and the results were super awesome :). Thankfully, I printed only a 8 page document so the loss was not that much.
    Anyways, thanks for the confirmation - even + reverse and then odd pages only is working fine.
    CSE 2013 - AIR 83
    "Mere jajbaaton se iss kadar vakif hai kalam meri, Main ishq bhi likhna chahoon to inqlaab likha jata hai" - Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh
    ·
  • .. This scanner has travelled a lot! It is my best friend..

    And I thought we were your best friends :P

    @Neyawn: My best friend in terms of a non-living thing :-P

    @kshtjsnghl You are most welcome. Suddenly I feel like I have broken a stereotype of girls with technology. Tihihihi!

    @bluemeteore Thank you for sharing this! I should try this on those HP all in ones! If it is possible to do so. But this experiment will be post the prelims!
    Law

    "We've got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen."
    ·
  • edited March 2013
    Zeroed in on Canon Image Class - MF3010 Multifunction Laser and HP LaserJet Pro - M1136 Multifunction Laser since they combine three functions in one....Finding it hard to decide between the two though...Anyone here with a wise word or two to help me decide? :)
    ·
  • @sina If you need a 3 in one, go ahead. But I would like you to keep in mind that the major criteria to decide between printers (even if they are 3 - in - one) should be the cartridge. Not because cartridges are cheap or expensive, but because you don;t want to marry (yes) into trouble with you running around refill shops. (Because I did)

    The sum is what cartridges are both of them using.
    P.S. My own research told me that 12A toner is *the* best and all commercial ventures use it. Even the guy at Cost 2 Cost in Nehru place uses the same.

    I also remember seeing a 3-in-1 model in HP using 12A toner. I am not sure if it was M1136. Do check it. And don't don't don't (not a typo) settle for 88 or 88A toner, no matter how much the shopkeeper convinces you.
    *No good deed goes unpunished*
    ·
  • can turn your old costly to run desk-jets into efficient mean machines! :-bd
    do share your experience and opinions on ciss.
    It works great, a friend of mine has it who owns a printing shop does the same thing. Now i realise what was that tank beside his deskjet, i came to know what it is only after you mentioned it here! I took it granted that it was a part of the printer he bought. Silly me.
    This forum is getting better and better by the second!
    ·
  • i have a canon inkjet printer (all in one)...for more than 5 months now.....so the
    pros :
    1)cheap (price + operating+maintainance)= cost in laserjet as i refill myself and one refilling cost < Rs30 and 400 pages (black)...
    2)multifunction - scan , copy(colour) ..
    3)manual duplex- saves pages saves environment
    cos:
    1)low printing speed but still sufficient
    2)takes a break for 1.5min every 20 copies
    3)colour ink empties fast

    model no. ??

    The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.
    ·
  • edited March 2013
    @sina If you need a 3 in one, go ahead. But I would like you to keep in mind that the major criteria to decide between printers (even if they are 3 - in - one) should be the cartridge. Not because cartridges are cheap or expensive, but because you don;t want to marry (yes) into trouble with you running around refill shops. (Because I did)

    The sum is what cartridges are both of them using.
    P.S. My own research told me that 12A toner is *the* best and all commercial ventures use it. Even the guy at Cost 2 Cost in Nehru place uses the same.

    I also remember seeing a 3-in-1 model in HP using 12A toner. I am not sure if it was M1136. Do check it. And don't don't don't (not a typo) settle for 88 or 88A toner, no matter how much the shopkeeper convinces you.
    Thanks for the heads-up @Neyawn! :)

    12A toner is compatible in 3-in-1 HP laserjet M1319f but that costs around 17.5 K which I can't afford at the moment. So can you tell me any equivalent toner of 12A in canon? Canon Image Class - MF3010 Multifunction Laser printer has a 925 cartridge apparently...Is that similar to 12A...I mean, will refilling be troublesome with that too?

    Also, can you tell me the difference between an 88/88A toner and a 12A toner? Sorry, if you feel my Q is very basic...I'm technologically-challenged so please bear with me! :D

    ·
  • guys. i need Printer (cheap)... only thing i want is black n white print out.. no more function....

    + the one in which refilling can be done without changing cartridge frequently..

    Please suggest ..
    The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.
    ·
  • @sina The difference between the 12A toner and 88, 88A is the size of the ink tank. 12A toner has 120ml of tank space while 88A has 80 ml. While some shopkeeper's will tell you that 88A will print 1500 pages while 12A will print 2000.

    Don't go by that. Just think for yourself that 12A will give you 50% more prints. Look, the refilling cost for both is almost same (It doens't matter) What matters is the no. of trips you will have to make.

    I discarded two printers before this, and went for 12A toner one, after consulting the refill shop guys.
    As far as I remember the 3-in-one printer of HP with 12A toner shouldn't cost 17.5k

    I had seen it for less.
    Give me some time and ping me again. Will do some mining and find that for you.
    *No good deed goes unpunished*
    ·
  • edited March 2013
    guys. i need Printer (cheap)... only thing i want is black n white print out.. no more function....

    + the one in which refilling can be done without changing cartridge frequently..

    Please suggest ..
    @Sahilth

    I bought a Canon 2900B - Why?
    Two Reasons Four Reasons
    1. No issue of introductory cartridge. The very first one has full capacity
    2. Canon gave 2 year warranty as opposed to HP
    3. It cost a bit less than HP (minor criteria, as I wanted something that had a overall less running cost rather than initial less price.)
    4. It uses the same awesome 12A toner used by HP. In fact HP's printer hardware is made by Canon, hence the cost is less.

    You can check it out at Flipkart below:-

    http://www.flipkart.com/canon-laser-shot-lbp-2900b-single-function-printer/p/itmdyvb9hb2xftsa?pid=PRNDYVB7VNVCCTQV&ref=83f994ff-fc71-4e6d-a31f-fa6faa3f4a86&srno=m_1_1&otracker=from-search&query=canon%20laser%20shot%20-%20lbp%202900b%20single%20function%20laser%20printer

    The price at Flipkart is resonable. Just get it from there unless you have access to Nehru Place. The printer wont trouble you at all. Period.
    *No good deed goes unpunished*
    ·
  • @Sahilth Plus this printer's cartridge uses the biggest ink tank available in the market. Refilling charges: 200-300. Pages: 2000+
    *No good deed goes unpunished*
    ·
  • @Neyawn .. what you say abt "HP Deskjet Ink Advantage 2010 Printer - K010a (CQ751A)" which is quite cheap..??

    actually i need the printer to print around say 200 pages/ month....

    Cartridge:- HP 704 Black Ink Cartridge - around 450 pages.. Is refilling possible for this cartridge ??

    If the Colour Cartridge gets empty, then do i have to replace the color cartridge for printing black n white prints or it will print without black n white irrespective of the Color cartridge...???

    ·
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