Thursday, June 24, 2010

Printers = Trash

Maybe four years ago I excitedly bought a *3-in-1* printer from Dell for $150: copy, scan, fax, and print. Was that really four functions?

Anyways it worked fine at first. Then the scanner died. The copy function went. And I was just able to print.

The color ink runs out and I figure that I don't need it. But apparently the printer won't work with just black ink. What a scam, right?

Then I hear a similar story from a relative who spent an inordinate amount of time on the phone with Dell's technical support. She was also told that it wouldn't work without BOTH full color and black ink cartridges.

I'd never in my life (outside of a Sony PC that lasted a month) had such a bad experience with a piece of technology as I had with that printer. It got to the point where I couldn't print at all and was transcribing internet driving directions down on paper - even sketching out street maps which drew mockery from my wife! And I was often emailing stuff to Mrs. C-Nut (e.g. tax returns) for her to print out or scan at her office. There was no way I was going to try to fix that printer; I was just going to wait a bit and order a new one when I upgraded my PC - which I just did.

But I didn't find anything on Dell's site that looked appropriate. I wanted a higher quality printer that just printed in black. But everything I found screamed *cheap*. I think their 4-in-1 printers were down to $60 or something.

For those of you unaware, printers are essentially given away. The manufacturers make all their money by charging people who print more, well, more. It's all in their lucrative ink business; they force you to buy, one way or another.

I just looked at HP's printers. See below:

Look at those user review ratings and tell me I should be eager to buy one or them!

Rightfully, they should bundle a baseball bat in with each printer purchase...


Taylor Conant said...

If you were smart you would've just gotten a Dell laserjet printer or whatever they're called. I got one, it prints only in black and white and does like 12-15pgs a minute. The cartridges last a long time (maybe like 1,000 pgs each) and it was $99 when I bought it. Ink is a scam, but who buys a color copier? What a doofus!

Course, I don't have mine hooked up right now and I haven't for years (was in a "temporary" living situation for a year and now I have nowhere to put it inconspicuously) so I am always asking people to print stuff for me anyway!

CaptiousNut said...

I think in their rush to do 3-in-1 at a low price point *quality* became collateral damage.

That may have been the first printer I ever bought. I can't remember. I've learned, hopefully.

Taylor Conant said...

Some people claim this is "planned obsolescence" on the part of the printer manufacturers-- nevermind they face competition from other mfgers who AREN'T planning obsolescence into their products.

Justin Time said...

There is nothing in the world that irritates me more than inkjet printers. I think I used to average about 15 printed pages per 30 dollar ink cartridge.

I too would forgo replacing the color cartridges because most of the time they would dry up between printings.

I don't know how this has never become a major issue with the general computer-using public. I can't be the only cheapskate who balks at paying 2 bucks per page for a low quality black and white print.

I've since moved on to a true laser printer (not laserjet, or any of the other clever names they use for their despicable inkjet technology) The toner costs about twice as much as a black inkjet cartridge, but it lasts about a million times longer.

CaptiousNut said...

My need for printing seems to keep going down.

The maps I used to print out have been replaced by car GPS and the web-browsing capability of my Droid phone.

Even my shopping lists, those little scribble notes, are being replaced by emails from my wife or from myself to myself.

I'm probably going to have figure out some ways to offset this fortuitous *green-ness*!