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Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: January 04, 2020 08:30PM
My son and his wife are home-schooling their kids, and need a new color printer-and-copier/scanner. Currently they have two Brothers:

(1) Brother model MFC-J680DW (AiO), which I bought for them a couple of years ago. It started jamming recently, and yesterday when I looked at it, could not function at all because of a "Ink door open" error. The door does have one hinge pin broken off, but does appear to latch closed. Pressing and holding it does not resolve error, nor does restarting unit. Maybe the door sensor is bad, but it is inaccessible without taking machine apart.

(2) Older Brother HL-5250 DN b&w laser printer. Won't print because of perpetually-on out-of-'Paper' light. No jams, nothing wrong with Paper or Duplex tray, or with Toner or Drum carts, that I can see. Followed instructions on Brother Support site for resetting printer, but did not solve problem. Another bad sensor?

Probably not worth taking these two printers in to an authorized repair shop, assuming there are any; probably would cost more than a new one.

So I'd like to give them suggestions for the most reliable, robust all-in-one color printer available. Photo capability not necessary, nor is fax; just printing, copying, and scanning. HP? Canon? Epson? Others? I've never had good luck with Brothers, so I'd prefer to stay away from them. I expect they don't want to spend over $200.

Reviews on Amazon are rarely based on long-term use. Recommendations for something that can survive a household with six kids for several years?

/Mr Lynn



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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: RgrF
Date: January 04, 2020 08:49PM
We've used the Epson Workforce series for the past 6-7 years. If you don't need publishing grade color, it's tough dependable jam free (depending on paper quality) and thrives on Amazon generic ink refills.
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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: Carm
Date: January 04, 2020 09:00PM
My wife has run thousands of prints off our second Brother AIO, if/when it dies, I’m replacing it with another brother AIO. I never had luck with the brother laser printers though. (Generics after originals, no issues)

The HP is the only other printer I would recommend. But their ink prices are crazy because the inkhead is replaced with every ink change.

I had an a couple of Epsons years back, but gave up on them after clogged print heads.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/04/2020 09:03PM by Carm.
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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: January 04, 2020 09:10PM
.....sing it.....sista'........



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: RgrF
Date: January 04, 2020 09:15PM
Current Workforce has over 25 boxes (not reams) of paper and 50 or so boxes of envelopes under it's belt. We had ink clog problems with older Epsom models, not so with the WF.

Maybe the lawsuit they had to settle for scamming customers on ink had something to do with getting their attention.
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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: sekker
Date: January 04, 2020 09:28PM
Mr Lynn, I spent the 'Black Friday' and Christmas season looking at printers to replace our aged and venerable Brother AIO. I have no complaints - it's given us great service, but it's at 200k miles. Would make sense to get a new one.

Only the newer printers (made in the last 3 years) seemingly get FAR WORSE reviews.

And Brother printers are, interestingly, no longer a value machine. Indeed, there were few real sales this year.

I'm starting to think the newer printer hardware has not really done anything except devolve - while adding some software features. I might try replacing the drum and some other hardware to keep our Brother running a little longer.

Please post your finds here!
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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: Carm
Date: January 04, 2020 09:35PM
Quote
RgrF
Current Workforce has over 25 boxes (not reams) of paper and 50 or so boxes of envelopes under it's belt. We had ink clog problems with older Epsom models, not so with the WF.

Maybe the lawsuit they had to settle for scamming customers on ink had something to do with getting their attention.
Nice return on investment. What model is that. I know it’s no longer made, but wow.

A quick search turned up two “big tank” models one made by Epson and the other by Canon.
I’d only purchase the model available at Costco because of their “warranty”. Epson ET 2720 It’s currently under $190 and doesn’t use cartridges, just holding tanks that you refill for under $13 for each color.
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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: RgrF
Date: January 04, 2020 09:48PM
It's a 4630 and was preceded by another WF, I don't recall the number but it was tough and long lasting enough for us to stick with that model.
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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: jdc
Date: January 04, 2020 09:52PM
Another happy Brother J935 user here... generic inks are awesome... but I get it.

After years of owning big 12 x 19 Xerox color lasers (7300, 7400 and 7550) and finding my printing needs dwindling, I recently bought an Epson WF7220. [www.amazon.com]

Generic ink too: [www.amazon.com]

Im sure they make a smaller version... since this does Oversize 13 x 19, has multiple paper trays, kinda big. But generic inks make it cheap to run. Best part was the price... onsale for $170 -- $148 delivered from staples after coupons



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/04/2020 10:09PM by jdc.
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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: Markintosh
Date: January 04, 2020 09:53PM
We have the HP ENVY Photo 7100 and use the HP Instant Ink subscription plan. It's the best move we ever made.

We've done other inkjets with associated clogs and refill issues. We went color laser with expensive refills and poor color photo output. My wife kept reading about HP instant ink on numerous teacher blogs and had been begging to try it so she could print color as much as she wanted.

The ENVY 7100 ticks all of the boxes...regular and photo modes, scanner/copier, and AirPrint. The output is consistently very good for B&W, color docs and photos. It handles regular paper, photo paper and card stock without any hiccups. It does it all wirelessly, with nothing but the power cable.

Our subscription is for 300 pages per month for $10. Unused pages can rollover. Some months we use less, some we use more. There are lesser plans but being a teacher, my wife prints a lot. So our ink cost is $120 a year. There is no doubt that I spent that much, or more, on toner, cartridges or refills with every other printer I have owned. The ink always arrives well in advance of when we need it and there is never a moment of thinking "wow, that will take a lot of ink". You know those moments where preview prints a 3x5 picture on 8x10 paper and decides to print the whole background black...

I hate subscription stuff but for us, HP Instant Ink is a winner.



“Live your life, love your life, don’t regret…live, learn and move forward positively.” – CR Johnson
Loving life in Lake Tahoe, CA
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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: Buzz
Date: January 04, 2020 10:18PM
The old school Canon 66xx/67xx series color printers worked great before downsizing. Brother AIO mono laser for low cost scanning/copying/B&W printing. Brother's print economy is excellent, the print quality is so-so, but how often does it need to be excellent? Canon's print quality is excellent, but cost per copy is considerably higher. Brother MFC-L2750DW (reg $250-ish) is still available for holiday price $189, or $169 w/ $20 google shopping checkout discount. Excellent mono AIO w/ duplex scanning/copying (as well as printing), then supplement w/ decent color inkjet. HP/Epson/Canon all seem to have decent color printers these days, it's just a matter of coordinating desired features vs. cost, but for home schooling w/ ma & pa needing printing, too, a little bit of splurge seems reasonable. Maybe find local HS w/ some techie kids to donate old Bro's to, at least maybe keep 'em out of the landfill.
==
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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: sekker
Date: January 04, 2020 10:34PM
(I've put far too many clogged inkjet printers into the landfill - including one just two weeks ago).

This Brother AIO is on sale at Best Buy:

[www.bestbuy.com]
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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: jonny
Date: January 04, 2020 11:07PM
Epson ecotank. Going on three years just on the ink that came with it. No clogs. Couldn’t be happier.
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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: Forrest
Date: January 05, 2020 03:24AM
I've owned the HP ENVY Photo 7155 for about 2 years and it's been wonderful. I see Markintosh beat me to it. I also signed up the the HP Instant Ink service - $3 for 50 pages per month. I just bumped this service to 100 pages per month for $5.

The HP Envy Photo 7155 is currently on sale for $89.99 at Best Buy. I paid the same price at Staples when I bought mine.
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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: January 05, 2020 06:10AM
When my AIO inkjet dies, I'm going to a laser. Even using generic inks, the laser should pay for itself. With six kids, even faster. A bit more up front, but cheaper overall.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: Fritz
Date: January 05, 2020 06:18AM
I've had god long term use from Canon. Haven't tried any others in a decade. Mine is 7-10 yo black laser. MP4350, I think.



!#$@@$#!

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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: CJsNvrUrly
Date: January 05, 2020 09:50AM
We went with an HP Color Laser Jet Pro over a year ago (m281fdw) and I absolutely love it.
The photos I've printed on it looks great and you wouldn't even know they were done on a laser printer unless you're a high-end photographer or something. It's a bit pricier than what you've quoted, but you might be able to find a similar model for less. The point is...my vote is for HP. They are workhorses. (We're still running a decades-old HP Laser Jet 4100 on our network!)




bunny smileyCentral VA
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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: January 05, 2020 10:00AM
I'm disqualified from making a recommendation.
I am the MRF Brother fanboy.

Brother HL-5170DN laser: just retired but it's still going strong.
Brother MFC-J825DW AIO Inkjet: No complaints & does great scans. Cheap ink!
Brother QL-700 Label Printer: Fast & Reliable. Uses cheap, generic labels.
In addition, Brother's macOS support has been solid.

Good Luck with your search.



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...word salad is not a disorder, it is a symptom...

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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: space-time
Date: January 05, 2020 10:58AM
So the dude asks for recommendations but says clearly "No Brothers, Please." but it seems like about 1/2 are for Brother, LOL

My experience with printers over the past 20 years: brands in alphabetical orders

Brother Inkjet: I have an 835 which takes generics. Even with OEM bother ink, quality was inferior to Canon MP560. I use cheap refills, it is rarely used, a small clog was easily fixed by running a head cleaning cycle. Just one cycle in about 4-5 years I had it.

Brother Laser: rock solid. The first one, 7820N, was a workhorse but one day I got a generic toner cartridge and I think I didn't push it in hard enough and I broke a plastic gear. I was never able to print again, it still scanned fine. I am not running a HL2280DW also a workhouse, and I have a MFC-L2740DW which I use when I need duples scanning and will become the main laser printer when the 2280 dies

Canon inkjet: I had an i950 or something, switched to generic ink from meritline, eventually it clogged... I was always able to unclog it after 24 hours soaking in IPA and Windex, but eventually I had to let it go. I didn't do wireless. I also got a Pixma MP560 which was great for about 5 years until I got the B200 error.

Epson: I had a 740i (or i740) about 20-22 years ago, eventually it clogged and I was never able to rescue it.

HP: I do not own an HP but my teacher friends had some and ink was freaking expensive back then. They use a Brother now. HP lasers were rock solid at my old job.

If my current Color brother dies, I will consider an Epson ecotank. I love the idea of using large ink tanks/bags/bottles instead of these small 1oz cartridges.
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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: August West
Date: January 05, 2020 11:51AM
Maybe he has quarrelsome family members?



Picasso in his studio after the liberation of Paris, taken by my friend and mentor.

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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: ADent
Date: January 05, 2020 06:02PM
How about a color printer and a separate scanner (or B&W AIO)?

Color printers are 4x as complicated as B&W models and probably will need replacing some time.
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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: January 05, 2020 08:55PM
Many thanks for the suggestions and personal experience (including for, or with, Brothers).

Daughter-in-Law Raina decided she really had to have a printer this week. I was inclined to an Epson, and after reading reviews, to the Eco-Tank. The cheapest of those was the ET-2720, at $199. But son Nathan said he really needed duplex, which that one doesn't have, so it was out. He had seen an HP on sale on the Staples website for $60. But that wasn't available in-store. There was an Epson for $100 that had not only duplex, but a document feeder, and two paper trays, the Workforce Pro WF-3730. But that got a lot of negative reviews on Amazon, so I said, "Let's see what else HP offers."

I found the HP Office Jet Pro AIO in stock at Staples for $90, with duplex and a document feeder, marked down quite a bit. We went over to get it. Then of course we found out it came with only 'starter' ink cartridges, so the salesman suggested we get at least a big black cartridge, for $45. Then Raina said she wanted their extended (2-year) warranty (HP is only one year; Epson's is two), for $20. So we were up to $145 plus tax. But, lo and behold! Raina went looking in her purse for her Staples membership card, and found a Staples cash rebate card for $69! So with that I was out (yes, I was buying the printer, belated Christmas present) only $85. Not bad at all.

I went back to their house and set the printer up. I got confused because the HP setup application wanted it to set up its own WiFi network, but Nathan came to the rescue (the Brother had tried the same stunt), and we got the HP to recognize their home network. And right away, it worked, even from Nathan's iPhone (yes, they are an Apple household, except for some kids' Kindles).

Raina says she doesn't do much color printing, so doesn't expect the minimal cartridges to be a problem. I told her they could get generic carts from Amazon—but will they work? Maybe someone here knows.

If it were me, I'd have held out for a higher-end Eco-Tank, or better a laser printer, preferably robust enough for office work. But, they said, let's just get something halfway decent, and hope it works for a couple of years.

FYI, if anyone cares, I've long been an HP printer user. The LaserJet 4M+ I bought used for office work in 1997 was still running fine when I gave it away two decades later (it couldn't handle PDFs). I'm still using an office HP LaserJet 4000. I bought my wife an HP LaserJet 401 (small, but runs fine on generic TonerGreen cartridges, as does the 4000. I also have an HP Color LaserJet 200 AIO, because I thought a little color now and then was good, and I needed a replacement fax machine. It works all right, though loses connection with the networked computers sometimes and needs restarting, and the colors need adjusting.

So, all in all, getting a low-end HP inkjet is fine with them, and I expect it'll do better than their Brothers. Don't get me started on Brothers. . .

/Mr Lynn
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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: Forrest
Date: January 06, 2020 06:24AM
Markintosh and I both recommend HP Instant Ink

In the 2 years that I've owned the HP ENVY Photo 7155, I have NEVER purchased ink for the printer, but use it regularly. After signing up for Instant Ink, HP sent color and black cartridges almost immediately. HP monitors ink usage and will send new ink cartridges before you run out.
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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: January 06, 2020 06:51AM
Quote
Forrest
Markintosh and I both recommend HP Instant Ink

In the 2 years that I've owned the HP ENVY Photo 7155, I have NEVER purchased ink for the printer, but use it regularly. After signing up for Instant Ink, HP sent color and black cartridges almost immediately. HP monitors ink usage and will send new ink cartridges before you run out.

I will pass that on. But of course you have purchased ink; you're just paying for it monthly, sort of like the old 'lay away' plans in department stores.

/Mr Lynn
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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: space-time
Date: January 06, 2020 07:44AM
Quote
Forrest
Markintosh and I both recommend HP Instant Ink

In the 2 years that I've owned the HP ENVY Photo 7155, I have NEVER purchased ink for the printer, but use it regularly. After signing up for Instant Ink, HP sent color and black cartridges almost immediately. HP monitors ink usage and will send new ink cartridges before you run out.

I am curious if you can have multiple printers and each printer on the free plan ($15/month).

Also it depends on what you print. sometimes we print a quick note or envelopes. for Christmas we sent out almost 100 envelopes, and the amount if ink used to print the address is minimal. If each envelope counts as one page, then it is not cost effective for cases like these.

If you print photos and pages with heavy color graphics, it may make sense.
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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: Silencio
Date: January 06, 2020 09:18AM
I like Canon for color inkjet AIOs, but stick with Brother for monochrome laser AIO.
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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: Forrest
Date: January 06, 2020 06:30PM
Quote
space-time
I am curious if you can have multiple printers and each printer on the free plan ($15/month).

Also it depends on what you print. sometimes we print a quick note or envelopes. for Christmas we sent out almost 100 envelopes, and the amount if ink used to print the address is minimal. If each envelope counts as one page, then it is not cost effective for cases like these.

If you print photos and pages with heavy color graphics, it may make sense.

I guess you could have multiple printers on the free plan. You should contact HP to confirm. I know not all HP inkjets are eligible for the free plan.

I print address labels for envelopes. Avery 8160: 1 x 2 5/8", 30 labels per sheet, 25 sheets per package.
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Re: Recommendations for Good All-in-One Color Printer? No Brothers, Please.
Posted by: testcase
Date: February 05, 2020 01:56PM
Avoid TRI-COLOR ink cartridges if at all possible. I had an HP Envy that was otherwise a good printer BUT, when ONE of the three color inks ran low, it bricked the printer (couldn't do straight black ink jobs). TINY HP cartridges that were crazy expensive.

Epson used to have problems with print heads clogging but, I think Epson might have conquered that demon. I've recently heard good things re Epson Workforce AIO units that used the EcoTank system. Pricey up front but, two + years on the OEM "starter" tanks was not unusual. Refilling the tanks were easy and much friendlier to one's wallet.

Please let us know how this plays out.
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