25 March 2006

Canon beats HP hands down

I blogged a while back about why everyone should own a color laser printer.  Of course it’s easy when you’re the only one who uses it, but in my case, my wife probably does more printing than I do by a long shot.  She’s a very visual person whereas I try and keep things electronic as far as possible.
Needless to say, it wouldn’t make sense for our laser to be on my desk in the basement when I don’t do most of the printing.  As a result, the laser is on her desk in her office upstairs.
When I really need good quality printing, I will print to the laser, but sometimes you just have something small you need to print.  You don’t want to waste the laser’s toner printing it and you definately don’t want to wander all the way upstairs to get the printout either.  For these times, you need just a small (and cheap) inkjet.
Now I mentioned my bias towards HP printers, so when it became time to replace my HP Deksjet 810C, I natuarlly looked at HP again.  I found the HP Deskjet 3930 at buy.com for $42.99.  It was cheaper than any other model and it seemed to be what I needed… besides, it’s an HP!
I got my new printer and started using it right away.
Over time (given I don’t print that much) I noticed the angle at which the paper is bent when printing from the feeder to the output.  It was a little dissappointing, but hey, it’s a cheapy printer right.  What do you expect for $42.99!
Then I reached the fateful day where the printer software started warning me that the color ink was low.  So what?  So it’s low.  The printing still seems fine, besides, who cares?  If I want quality I’ll print on the laser.  So I simply kept on printing.  Eventually the software warned me that the print cartridge was empty… really???
If it’s empty, why are these color printouts still coming out of the printer? 
OK, so finally the ink did run out and I had to replace the cartridge.  I replaced the cartridge and reset the printer… nothing… the printer still seemed to think that it’s cartridge was empty. 
I tried everything I could think of.  I uninstalled the printer, the driver and the software.  I disconnected the printer and let it sit for 2 days and then tried reinstalling again.  No matter what I did, it simply refused to accept the fact that it had a new cartridge! 
After a week of messing around with it and countless hours wasted, I got mad and vowed never to buy HP printers again!
I had replaced my HP scanner (which didn’t last as long as I had hoped either) about two years ago with a Canon scanner and the Canon has been humming away like a dream ever since.  No problems at all… NOT EVEN ONE!!!
So I thought I’d look at the Canon line of printers.  I found the Canon Pixma iP1600 at buy.com for $46.99.  So I tried the printer that was only $4 more.
The first thing I noticed was that the paper being printed on was not being bent as far because of the top feeder the printer had.
The second thing I noticed right away was that the printing quality of the Canon, on thesecond highest quality setting was better than the HP on it’s highest setting.
Lastly of course was the fire test when the ink ran out… no problems changing cartridges whatsoever!
I’m sold… I’ll stick with Canon printers in the future!

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