Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New Printer!

Yesterday, I sat down Chris and all but gave him a PowerPoint presentation on "Why We Are Buying A New Printer This Week." I showed him exactly the one we should get (and that it's on sale this week), showed him that we actually can afford to buy one right now (thanks in part to our recent frugality with food, and in part to some extra paycheques he just got), and told him that if I have to print off multiple drafts of my dissertation using his old printer (which he got for pretty nearly free six or seven years ago), I'm going to throw it through a window.

I don't know if I've stated this here before, but I hate our current printer. (Actually, I usually refer to it as "Chris's printer" when it starts acting up.) It can hold roughly 15 pages at a time, and every five pages it accidentally grabs two pages and then prints part on both of them. And goes out of alignment frequently. And its default is set to "A4" instead of "8 1/2x11", and I keep trying to change the default, and it keeps going back. And replacing both cartridges costs more than the entire printer originally did. I used this printer to print off my complete MA thesis, and it took me a full day and ruined several pages. And then my department secretary deemed the whole thing to be unusable, had it printed off professionally and made my mom (who was dealing with things on the Regina end) pay for it.

So far, I've been emailing my work to my supervisor, but then he prints it off and makes comments by hand, and then I feel guilty about wasting his ink and paper. I'd rather submit hard copies to him, if he's going to be commenting by hand. I know it's using a lot of paper, but I sometimes also like to edit using a hard copy; I catch more mistakes when I'm not staring at a computer screen.

When I went looking at printers, I discovered that most companies have been phasing out their single-purpose inkjet printers, and replacing them with multi-function units. I used to have a multi-function Canon; when the printer broke, the scanner became all buggy because the whole unit was freaked out about the printer. I already have a new scanner that I like, and I'd rather have my components separate. (It drives me crazy that everything's moving towards multifunction units. If I want to spend a hundred dollars, I'd rather have one good printer than a sub-par printer, scanner and fax machine.) (Sorry about that rant.)

And so I did some phoning around today, and now have a Canon Pixma iP4700 set aside for me. It's funny to me that I ended up picking out a photo printer, but it's competent with document printing and has a duplexer, and so I'm going to be able to do double-sided printing for my drafts. And it holds significantly more than 15 pages at a time! Huzzah! (As a bonus, I'll be able to hook my camera up to the printer and print directly from the camera, if I was so inclined.)

As another bonus, Chris completely agreed with me that it's time to replace the printer. I didn't even have to bust out the PowerPoint slides.


Christiejolu said...

Cool! Congrats on the new printer! I love buying new gadgets!

Marc Vandersluys said...

If you haven't bought that printer yet, I HIGHLY recommend the Samsung ML-2240 laser printer. It prints fast and crisply. And it only cost $75. (The ink cartridges are about $100, but that's still cheaper than most laser cartridges and they last forever).

I've been using it since September and haven't had a problem (other than last week, when I little ripped piece of paper jammed in the mechanism was making it act screwy).

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Marc: That was actually the other printer I seriously considered. Man, the print speed and the ink savings were so tempting. But then we decided that we still need the option to print in colour, especially since all the printing that Chris does is more of the "hand outs for high school kids" variety (I swear most of his print-outs are of diagrams of hearts and things). Eventually, I'd love to switch to laser, but I still like having a colour photo printer.

C said...

also, laser needs toner, and toner cartridges are super expensive. i have a canon printer/scanner combo, and so do my parents and i have been very pleased with both of them, and the cartridges aren't as expensive as some other brands. my old hp printer used to do the two page grab too, or grab a corner only and then completely screw up the whole system, including the nozzel on the cartridge, so I know your pain. I am very jealous that yours will print double sided! i am printing out so many journal articles that that capability would be awesome.

Marc Vandersluys said...

C: The laser cartridges are more expensive when you look at them as individual units. But even then, it's not much.

The laser cartridge costs $100.

For our Canon inkjet, we pay $20.00 for the black ink (I think) and then $15.00 each for the three coloured cartridges, for a total of about $65.00 (or maybe $50, if I'm lucky and I find a good package deal somewhere). So, when you look at the price, the InkJet cartridge system is cheaper.

But when you consider that laser cartridges last significantly longer than inkjet cartridges, the cost of inkjet printing is, in the long run, much higher than laser printing.

Gillian said...

Congratulations on a new printer, may it live long, prosper and treat you kindly.
But don't feel bad about emailing your thesis to your supervisor, or in fact anyone who will be reading it. I emailed every single copy of writing that I ever submitted. My take on it is, the department pays for all the printing costs of its staff (at least it does in the UK). So get the most out of your student fees and email! Besides, trust me, you will be going through many, many copies of your thesis and the various incarnations of its chapters. That is a lot of your money to spend on paper and ink. And all of it will end up in the shredder eventually. So... email it all! xo

The Blog Fodder said...

I have a Canon iP4300 and it works very well. I don't double side print but I do reuse the back side of on the next set of documents.

I took the cartridges to a local store for refilling as new ones are horrendously expensive and they do NOT last. Rip off, Canon!!

I found a kit from ColorWay that makes it simple to refill my own. Cost me $70, has its own easily refillable cartridges and five bottles of ink that should last a year.
Someday I will buy a colour laser. But not just yet.