First, never use refilled or remanufactured cartridges. They can damage your printer and void your warranty. Every day you will find several posts right here from someone crying that their printer was ruined by a refilled cartridge. To save money, use only brand new compatible cartridges.
Next, unless you absolutely need photo quality, go with a laser. Lasers have sharper text and are generally faster than inkjets. While toner cartridges are more expensive than ink, they print more pages, so the cost per page is lower. But you pay more up front. Inkjets are better for photos. Personally, I use both. I have an inkjet for photos and a color laser for jobs which don't need absolute photo quality.
You can get a good color laser today for $80! Samsung CLP-300 at http://www.staples.com/office/supplies/p16__200401_Business_Supplies_10051_true_SEARCH
I have this printer and it's really nice. Toner cartridges are more expensive then inkjet cartridges ($70 for a set of 4 at http://ccs-digital.com/ink.asp ) but they last for about 2,000 pages.It does a nice job on photos, but an inkjet is still better for this.
Inkjet: As someone who was in the computer hardware business for years (though I rarely sold printers since I couldn't compete with the crazy rebates) I have always recommended Epson. The print quality is excellent, even on plain paper. I have photos I printed on a 640 about ten years ago hanging in my office which still look good, though not as good as the ones from the CX8400 on glossy paper. The warranty is excellent. For a year, Epson will express-ship a replacement and pick up the old one. I had one customer who needed this. He called one afternoon and had the replacement two days later. Another client bought a Canon. It needed two repairs within a few months. Each time it was taken to the repair center, then picked up a few days later. This client runs a specialty printing business and this really hurt. They have since bought an Epson CX5000 and have had no down time since.
The C120 (printer only - no scanner) is on sale at Ritz Camera free after rebate but you must also buy a digital camera. The cheapest is $15. With $7 shipping you pay $22 for printer and camera. It uses 3 colors and 2 of the SAME black cartridge.
A set of 5 cartridges are $23 at http://ccs-digital.com/ink.asp
The RX595 scanner/copier/printer also prints on DVDs. It uses 5 colors plus black and has even higher photo quality. You can get it at Ritz Camera for $45 after rebate with digital camera. The printer is $130. The cheapest camera is $15 bringing the total to $145. Then there is $100 rebate and free shipping, bringing the final cost to $45. http://www.ritzcamera.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/SearchView?storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&keyword=rx595&x=40&y=10 A set of 7 cartridges (1 extra black) is $30 at http://ccs-digital.com/ink.asp
· 1 decade ago