Cheap printer reccomendation?

  Inigo 09:12 20 Jan 2004

I'm after a new printer to replace my worn-out Epson C62. The two main things I'm looking for are lowish purchase cost, and low running costs. The printer should be able to cope with the average office use - lots of black and white stuff - but also the occasional high-resolution photo images.

The printer I am considering is the Canon i350. Cost of about 70GBP, on which I can get a discount to make it about 50GBP. Cartridges are the BCI-24, compatibles of which are about 4GBP for both the black and colour. The alternative is something like the Epson C64 or so, for which I'd hope to find cartridges at about the same price as I currently pay for the ones for the C62 - 5GBP for either the colour or black.

The worry with the i350 is that apparently, as the ink is heated during the printing process, the print head will wear out faster. Is the print head user replacable, and if so how much would it cost to replace? What's the life span on it, too? And also, I'm guessing that the cartridges will be smaller from what I've seen - will I get through them a lot faster than I do with Epson cartridges?

Finally, are there any other printers out there that I should be looking at?

Thanks in advance for your help.

  Aspman 11:00 20 Jan 2004

My old man just bought an i450 Canon and I bought a MP360. For the most part this was due to the cheap ink prices. I can get generic black ink for both for under £2 a cart and under £3 for colour.

The print heads are seperate with those printers (i350 probably the same) which keeps the cart costs down and in theory they should be replaceable though I've not seen anywhere to buy them.

I'm finding the printers very fast and easy to use. I can't comment on the duration of an ink cart yet as I'm still on the first one.

I would have to say that for now I'm a convert away from HP and Epson.

  Wilham 12:33 20 Jan 2004

I too will sing the praises of Canon ink economy and plug-in ink-heads.

The downside may be that the rapid appearance of new Canon printer models will render our replacement heads unobtainable.

Updated info on the supply of Canon heads will be welcome. Is there a chance world-wide of third party compatible heads?

  Aspman 14:11 20 Jan 2004

Sorry to hijack but

Wilham, have you ever needed to replace the print heads?

  Wilham 14:30 20 Jan 2004

Not yet with the fairly new Canon i850. I shall buy a spare head as reserve, if not too pricey. I also use my HP2210, but ink's expensive for that one.

  Aspman 14:44 20 Jan 2004

Do you have a supplier for Canon print heads? I couldn't find online. I work in a school and we go through ink like it was water. Cheap Canon (or compatable) ink looks very attractive but we would need to be able to change the print heads due to our hight use.

  Wilham 15:32 20 Jan 2004

After I'd bought my Canoni850 I emailed Canon to ask the price/supplier of a new head. The evasive reply said I needn't worry about a new head because for 12 months it would be replaced free of charge.
Help on this forum suggested it would be £48.

  961 15:48 20 Jan 2004

Why not buy the cheapest HP you can find

They bring out new models every 6 months and the old ones can often be picked up at half price

The print head is in the ink cartridge, and although I know the ink is not the cheapest the actual printers will go on for yonks without trouble and you can refill the black ink cartridges yourself for pennies and in the long run this does save hassle

And the output is good

  Wilham 15:53 20 Jan 2004

About £48 for an i850 printhead. I remember a later note said this included a set of original carts. For peace of mind now I'd take it up if it includes postage.

Aspman: If a school purchase and not too far from the Midlands, you can't do better than go to ESPO. Powerful educational buyer and no VAT deducted. All has to be official, of course.

  Aspman 16:05 20 Jan 2004

Perth is a bit too I think.

Where did you see the printhead for sale? if it wasn't ESPO.


I've never had any success refilling carts, I tried it with my last HP and ended up looking like I'd painted myself with the stuff.

Even original Canon carts are availabe for £6 in the high street. I looked at the more recent offerings from HP and the amount of ink you get per cart is looking smaller and smaller.

You can buy some HP/Epson printers now for cheaper than the cost of replacing the colour ink.

  Inigo 16:22 20 Jan 2004

So, as a quick summery: Canon print heads are replacable, cost is about half of the cost of the printer. Canon will cover the original for a year (?). Cartridges are dirt cheap.

A few questions remain from me:
- Do Canon heat their ink?
- Do the print heads wear out quicker than Epson's do?
- How much ink is in the Canon cartridges, compared to Epson?

I used to have a Compaq (read: Lexmark) printer ages ago; used to refill that. It worked out to take too long refilling the cartridges, making sure they were giving out quality output, etc. than is reasonable. Bought an Epson, never looked back.

It looks like I'll be getting the Canon printer, then basically using it until the print head wears out, then reviewing my situation and buying a new printer. It's what I've done with the Epson one...

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