New Printer for Vista - advice & recomendations?

  IanS1 18:28 11 Jul 2007

I need an inexpensive printer that will definitely work with Vista running on my new Toshiba Satellite A100-02M laptop (which only has USB ports for printer connection).

I’ve been using an elderly HP LaserJet 4L, which works fine with windows-2000, but which I simply cannot get to work with Vista (I asked on a previous thread about that... but finally had to admit defeat ... it just won’t work).

Really all I need is decent Black & White print quality, and I don’t care about fast printing (it’s just for home use, although I do print quite a lot of music stuff, eg “scores“ and instruction sheets for my students)

However, after a brief look on the internet, I think I see models quite cheaply with a built-in photocopier, and that would be VERY handy to copy A4 sheets of music & hand-outs for my guitar students. If it was a colour printer then of course that would be great, but colour is not essential.

I was very impressed with the old HP LaserJet (which never went wrong & never jammed, after 5 years), so I’d favour HP...but I’m happy with any other decent brand/model.

As I say, I really don’t know what’s available, and looking for reviews on the net was just confusing (& not very informative), but I see Comet advertise the Epson RX520 for £120... From the Comet advert I think that’s a colour inkjet with a built-in scanner, and they list it as compatible with Vista.

So, Question - does anyone know if that Epson RX520 is OK? And particularly it MUST work with Vista? And, any other models at similar price eg from HP?

Big thanks for anyone willing to reply with suggestions &/or recommendations.

Cheers, Ian.

  thms 19:54 11 Jul 2007

Well I have the Epson RX500 all in one (printer/scanner) and it works perfectly well with Vista. I have had it for a while now and it works with both Vista and XP.

I have always used Epson printers so my comments may be biased. I'm sure someone will comment on other printers though.

  IanS1 10:34 12 Jul 2007

After a further brief look on the net, it seems there are several different multi-function printers under £100. And in particular the HP-photosmart C3180 seems popular, cheap, and easy to buy.

But can I just be sure it will work with Vista? And also be sure it has a USB cable to connect directly to my new laptop?

So here’s a summary of my questions -

Q1. Will the C3180 work properly with Vista?

Q2. Does the C3180 have a USB cable?

Q3. Does the C3180 also work as a photocopier?

Many thanks for any help, advice, suggestions.


  wjrt 13:31 12 Jul 2007

1. yes
2. no , shop around should get one under £3 do not
pay PC world type prices
3. yes and as a scanner
4. beware printers nowadays come with a smaller
ink cartridge so look for HP338 (black) and
HP343 (tricolour) replacements
5. Currys seem to be about best price c£39.98

  IanS1 14:06 12 Jul 2007

Hi WJRT, thanks for the reply.

Unfortunately the more I check about this on the web, the more it looks like a complete mess. By which I mean, there are loads of reports of people finding the C3180 will NOT work with Vista ... although it's unclear whether the failures depend on the particular version of Vista, and unclear if very new/current 3180 copiers are more compatible than slightly older versions???

In fact I now find lots of reports saying Vista is incompatible with most printers & other hardware! I’m amazed to find that, because an Op-Sys like that is clearly useless.

Also if the C3180 does not have a USB cable as it’s standard connection, then I’m very suspicious about it, (a) because of my previous/recent experience of trying and failing to get my existing Laserjet printer to work with a USB adaptor cable (it IS supposed to work, but it definitely does NOT), and (b) because again there are numerous reports of people having all sorts of failures when trying to use a USB connector/adaptor cable...even very experienced computer-professionals are reporting total failure when trying to connect printers using a USB to 25pin adaptor-cable (apparently some work, and some just don‘t).

Hmm, this is beginning to look like a real headache ... and I definitely need a working printer within the next 7 days.

Oh, dear!


  wjrt 17:57 12 Jul 2007

about 3rd/4th review down there is mention of a separate cd with Vista drivers included in package so maybe recent production models are much more vista capable
click here

  IanS1 19:01 12 Jul 2007

Hi, thanks Wjrt ... I really appreciate your help, thanks.

OK, it’s encouraging to see that user review mentions a CD with Vista drivers. However, I’m still a bit wary because that review doesn’t actually say he used it with Vista, and none of the other 21 reviews mention Vista at all.

I don’t want to seem negative (truly), because this printer has great reviews at a great price, but I’m just very wary about whether it will actually work!

From the reviews I’ve seen, it seems the C3180 works for some people, but not for others, and it may entirely depend on (a)which version of Vista you have, (b)whether the C3180 is a very recent one, or an older one, and (c)whether your lucky with the exact brand of USB-cable-adaptor, since 9 out of 10 USB adaptor-cables appear incompatible with Vista (regardless of what the supplier says!). All of which makes me think I'd have no better than 50% chance of the printer working!

It would be great if someone here actually has the C3180 running with Vista Home Premium?

Actually this Forum/website has a lengthy review of the 3180, so someone at PC Advisor should know if it really does work with Vista??

Of course I could just ask HP, but if I do that then I’m sure they will say “ yep we have the right driver, we’ll post it to you or download it ”, but then when I get the driver I seriously suspect it may not work & then I’ll be into that spiral of trying to chase the HP helpdesk for a solution.

Summary - I’d love to buy this printer, & I’m tempted to risk it. But QUESTION -

Q. has anyone here actually got the C3180 running with Vista Home Premium using a USB adaptor cable so it’s plugged into the USB port of the PC (because my laptop only has USB ports)??


  Paddy 23:49 12 Jul 2007

Why not tuck your lappy under your arm, pop down to your local computer store and tell the salesman that if he can demonstrate the HP C3180 printer works with your 'lappy' he will make a sale.
You could always be really cheeky and demand a discount on the c3180 he has used, after all it is now secondhand!!!.
Good luck

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