HP7520 print/copy/scan/fax(?), A4,
50 sheet storage
Duplex printing (both sides)
Separate cartridges for cyan, magenta, yellow, photo black and black. High capacity cartridges available
Supports Apple Airprint via WiFi
Fast, and very reliable
I have been a Canon fan forever and finally upgraded an old (pre AirPrint) model last year to a Canon Maxify MB5160 for $189. It ticked all of snarls boxes on that HP on paper, but the print quality was awful and very quickly it started needing constant print head cleans to print even passably so it had to go. Officeworks were reluctant to take it back as it was 14 months old, but after a relatively short discussion around ACL they conceded and provided a full refund which I used to buy a Brother MFC-L8690CDW, my first laser printer. After price matching as well it cost me under $400 (out of pocket that is). https://www.officeworks.com.au/shop/officeworks/p/brother-colour-laser-printer-mfc-l8690cdw-brmfcl8690#features
This was also ticks all the requirements boxes and has all the features including AirPrint, WiFi (although I use ethernet) and what I find particularly brilliant is that it can scan to a network location on device, so I just have a folder on my NAS that it scans to without even having to touch the computer. Nice. Print quality has been excellent on paper, card and envelopes. You can add extra paper trays if you need too.
Now I get this is quite an expensive printer, but the cheaper models have more expensive consumables, this one you can get a full set of non OEM toners for ~$100 where the cheaper models are that cost per colour. There is also some other replaceable parts (like belt and waste toner) but they are rated for 50,000+ pages and at that point it’s probably worth buying a new printer for new features anyway (it’s about the same cost as a new printer anyway).
Our usage has dramatically increased since getting this new printer too, partly because my wife works in a school (starting this year) and I have three school kids around the house, but mostly (I’m told) because this one actually works quickly and easily and with great results compared to the old one.
Bottom line, what you should buy will depend on how much you actually print, beyond that there is plenty of inkjet printers under $100 that support AirPrint as well as most other features. Duplex is pretty standard in printing and even in single pass scanning once you get past the base models.
How much do you actually print? And even then, what do you need to print?
Interesting thought RE laser. I loved my LaserWriter II NTX!! til it stopped printing nicely and I had no funds/lack of accessible parts to repair it. The idea of returning to laser certainly does appeal.
I just read a few articles, culminating with this one on the economics of ink vs laser:
Their advice is that if you print less than 1,000 pages per year, then ink is best. If you print over 2,000 then laser is a given. (On your own if you’re in between I guess.)
Thinking about how often we buy reams of paper (ie 500 sheets) - I’d say we are somewhere in that middle patch - we would buy 2 - 4 reams per year. However as you’ve experienced @The_Hawk - I could imagine our usage going up if we had a good simple reliable printer. Running out of one of the ink colours - and thus not getting a print job done - would be a not uncommon experience. (Even when we stock up in spares and bulk buy when there’s specials - that bloody Yellow cartridge always seems to run out faster than others.)
I coughed up and bought a Brother multifunction colour laser printer from office works.
Similar to this one. So far I can’t fault it, it’s been rock solid on and performs really well when under heavy load of printing. Having native AirPrint is really nice as it cuts out the third party apps.
I’m in the same user base as @cosmichobo with about 2-4 reams per year on average, although that will be interesting to see how that has changed this year after I started uni and my wife started her post-grad.
We printed ~950 pages in the 14 months we had the Canon and scanned very little. We are at 416 (251B/W and 165 Colour) since 28 March 2019 on the laser, I’ve also scanned 96 pages so far too which is far more than I used to, mostly because I don’t even have to think about it, just scan it to the network and pick it up later vs leave it in a pile to eventually get to… maybe.
That article is six years old so I thought I would do my own maths and was very surprised at the results.
Buying genuine colour cartridges from Officeworks, I’ve ignored black for the sake of this and only calculated based on a single colour cartridge and multiplied by four. Black cartridges are cheaper and usually have a higher yield (and usually make up a higher proportion of total prints) but this is rough enough for a comparison. This is rather surprising for my old (and replaced Canon).
Each Canons colour 2600XL ink cartridges is $40 for an estimated yield of 1,500 pages = $0.0267 x4 = $ 0.107 / page
Each Brother colour TN441 toners is $148 for an estimated page yield of 3,000 pages = $ 0.0493 x4 = $ 0.197/ page
Each Brother colour TN443 (the high yield one) toners is $250 for an estimated page yield of 4,000 pages = $0.0625 x4 = $0.25 / page
I also looked up the HP carts for the HP 7520. They use a HP564XL which comes in a full pack of colours/black from Officeworks for $114.08 and has an estimated yield of 550 pages = $0.2074 / Page.
I’d also like to say I’ve never seen any of my Canon printers yield that many pages, but I also think ink jets typically use a little bit of ink every time you warm them up to print a page with auto head cleaning or whatever they do. So when you’re printing one page at a time your ink usage is significantly higher than printing 1,500 pages in a row. My estimate is probably double the quoted figures from my experience.
From my usually supplier of on OEM cartridges, Yyuda on eBay significantly lowers the running cost of all these options, but the differences are about the same!
1 full set 2600XL carts is $24.90 = $0.0166 (1,500 pages)
1 full set TN443 carts is $128.80 = $0.0322 (4,000 pages)
1 full set 564XL carts is $9.99 = $0.0181 (550 pages)
You would also need to factor in the cost of the printer and it’s expected life which would likely increase the value for the laser which is likely to print more over time before needing replacing. How many pages can an inkjet printer typically print (in total) before it needs replacing? 5 sets of cartridges? 10? 20?
Still, my shiny new Brother isn’t shaping up too well in terms of price per print now is it? On paper the Inkjets are the better option (and aftermarket ink/toner by a huge margin).
Is my maths wrong for some reason? Or are inkjet printers more efficient than they used to be? Are all the old calculations out of date?
All that aside, I’m very happy with the laser, it’s performance and quality of the prints is far more consistent than anything I’ve had before. It’s required zero maintenance so far (not that I’ve had it long) but I don’t expect it to either. As long as it keeps performing for the next 50,000 pages I’ll be happy and at which point I will have spent an estimated $1,545.60 on toner (at current rates) + $577.90 on the printer itself for a total of $ 2,123.50 or $ 0.04247 / page (plus 50,000 sheets of paper ).
When I was looking the cheaper models I found that they had more expensive cartridges so it really was trading off lower upfront costs vs higher ongoing. That modem you’ve linked uses TN-253 cartridges, again from Yyuda they are $256 / set for 2,500 page yield = $0.1024 / Page. At three times the price per page you only have to print 4,000 pages or so before the larger model would have been the better choice over time. At ~2,000 pages per year that’s only two years or so.
I should have added, I was very tempted just to buy one of the $50 inkjet printers and just know I was going to replace it with the new $50 model every year or so (while getting a free set of ink each time!).
We have a Brother Laser printer for the majority of the printing and an Epson Ecotank for colour printing. The ecotank is still on the original ink that came with the printer in April 2017, which is amazing!!