Printers/New Printer


QUESTION: I have a rather old printer/scanner which I'm told is pretty inefficient with ink, and I've noticed after the 20th print only, these days the ink start to run. What commercial printer/scanner would you suggest for good document and color printing and accurate scanning? In the long run I'd like to save a lot more money on ink. The old one is Pictbridge Vivera HP if that is useful info. I am looking for a good recommendation.


Thank you for your question, I hope that I am able to help.

For cost effective inkjet printers you really can't do much better than Brother printers. They are all very hardy machines, have high capacity cartridges and (with the exception of a few very new machines) take completely unchipped cartridges (making compatibles user friendly and  cheap to buy). If you are based in Europe I would recommend a DCP-195C/DCP-197C or if you need a wireless printer a DCP-J315W. Whatever you decide just make sure that cheaper alternative cartridges are available to lower your running costs.

If for some reason Brother printers don't appeal to you Canon have an excellent range of inkjet printers and reasonably priced cartridges. The important thing with Canon printers is to make sure that they take 4 of more cartridges. I say this as the purchase price of their two cartridge printers are very low, but replacement cartridges very expensive. A recommendable model that springs to mind is the MG3350.

I hope this helps but if there is any other information you require I would be happy to help if at all possible.

Kind regards,


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: So you would recommend any of these?

I am looking for a personal printer/scanner. Not for business use, but I'd like the scanner to have very good color definition (open top scanner for more than just paper), and color printing that saves money on ink. I am located in the U.S. so I am not sure if I can use those Europe suggestions you made. The printer doesn't need to be wireless but I wouldn't be opposed to it with all the wires already plugged in to my computer. You're saying canon printer cartidges are rather expensive? Like how expensive? Are they efficient at using ink and saving money in the long run?


From the list there I would personally go for the DCP-J140W or MFC-J430w. The scanning quality of these printers is excellent too. One thing I would like to warn you about with Brother inkjets is that the print quality for photos isn't close to lab quality (like what you would expect from a six colour Epson or Canon photo printer) but is more than acceptable for paperwork etc.

Replacement compatible Cannon ink cartridges for printers that take four or more cartridges are generally very reasonable priced due to a lack of mechanical parts and basic design. They still however carry a decent amount of ink making them a great way to keep running costs down. However if the printer only takes two cartridges this usually means the ink cartridges have a printhead as part of the cartridges and have to be refilled rather than made from scratch. This results in them being more expensive to source empties and produce giving them a price tag of $20+ (or there about).

I hope this helps in your decision.

Kind regards,


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: $20 isn't too bad. My current HP printer has cartridges that can cost like $16 for a single tri-color cartridge. I don't know what you mean by "lab quality", but would it suit the purpose of most photography hobbiest? I don't mean like something a chemist would use to make color distinctions from a slide sample. lol. Something which saves money on ink, doesn't require I manually fill ink, and whos cartridges are easily found. I often shop for ink and office depot, office max, or sometimes Walmart.


What passes for acceptable quality is pretty subjective so I would not like to answer you either way on that front. If you have any doubt I would try to either get someone to print you a sample in store if at all possible.

However the general impression I am getting is that you would be best off going for a 4+ cartridge Canon printer. They have the ink economy you are looking for and Canon inkjets in general give exceptional quality prints.

Hope this helps.



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Matt Stevenson


Questions regarding inkjet/laser printers, whether they relate to specific problems or printers in general. I can also offer in-depth troubleshooting for a variety of issues relating to printer consumables and hardware.


I have been involved in the printer industry since I was 18 and have worked for a major UK retailer of printer consumables (Refresh Cartridges) since 2009. I also maintain the company blog and have written on a variety of technical issues. I have also spent time answerring printer related questions on FixYa and Yahoo answers recently. Examples of my answers can be found here or here

Other than my work with Refresh I do not belong to any other printer related organisations.

Our company blog here at Refresh Cartridges:

A Levels in English Literature and Media Studies

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