What are the best printer brands?

Dr.sunil V September 12, 2014
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Which are top brands of printers?

  1. Hovsep A
    September 16, 2014 at 10:10 am

    inkjet all-in-ones are bit slow, but are flexible for home usage in terms of cost effectiveness. Laser all-in-ones offer you very high quality prints but are costly. HP, Brother and Canon gives some of the best printer for home use.

    Best printer: 16 top inkjet and laser printers
    http://www.techradar.com/news/computing-components/peripherals/best-printer-16-top-inkjet-and-laser-printers-934172

    The 10 Best Printers
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2373165,00.asp

    Printer Reliability and Satisfaction: Brother, Canon, and Epson Lead the Field
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/244555/printer_reliability_and_satisfaction_brother_canon_and_epson_lead_the_field.html

    • Dr.sunil V
      September 17, 2014 at 6:10 am

      Thanks. please tell whether the quality of output is same for both laser and inkjet printer?

    • Hovsep A
      September 18, 2014 at 10:20 am

      if you want to print photos then go with Inkjet printer because they use ink that's better suited to photos.
      For text on plain paper, go with inklet model whose black ink is pigment-based, rather than dye-based.

      lasers printers are faster for printing photos, if you want to print text on paper then consider laser or LED printer.

      Generally speaking, printers with higher dpi numbers can produce higher-quality prints. A dpi of 300 is good quality for letter, business card, for presentations look for 600 dpi. Photo-quality image resolution starts at 1200 dpi, and 2400 dpi is professional photo quality. for printing black-and-white documents Laser prints with higher resolution produce sharper images.

    • Dr.sunil V
      September 18, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      thanks

  2. Oron J
    September 14, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of models available! Here are my general observations on printer makes I've worked with. They're in no particular order, but I'll start with the "laser only" companies.

    Konica Minolta - specialise in departmental and high volume colour laser printing. Superb.

    Kyocera Mita - Their specialty is the ceramic drums and other components in the laser printers (the company name is made of Kyoto Ceramics, which is a bit of a giveaway...). These lead to low running costs and low environmental impact. On the downside, they can be more expensive to but and they use their own version of PostScript, which can ocassionally cause problems. If you're committed to reducing costs over the long term, and/or care for the environment, they're definitely worth a look-in. They probably not the first choice for a graphics oriented business or even for a "throw anything at it" operation (printshop, student printing), but in predicatable office settings where document compatibility has been tested, they're brilliant.

    Samsung - their entry-level laser printers are great! Simple to install, reliable. Larger b/w printers also good. I've had mixed experience with their colour lasers (CLP series). Toner cost, quality of results, compatibility, reliability and usability were all an issue at one time or another, so I think you would need to read the reviews of the specific model you have in mind to decice.

    Xerox - They have been making printers for a very long time, and in addition to their own printers, they rebrand others' printers (e.g. Samsung) as well. Their solid-ink (i.e. wax) colour printers are great. The other ones vary from c**p (some rebranded models) to superb (the larger colour lasers I've used).

    Canon - I don't think I've ever seen _bad_ Canon printer. All their products are well engineered, inkjets (cheap personal to wide poster printers) and lasers (again, from personal printers to high-volumen printshop machines. Their software setup, particularly for inkjets, can be lengthy and sometimes unnecessarily complex, but usually works very well. They tend to go for the "all consumables in one package", whether it's toner or ink or whatever, so consumable prices can be high. Many models require their own drivers but I've never had compatibility problems... In summary, I'd say, watch for price of consumables, and if you need to install the drivers on lots of machines then look at the procedure before proceeding, but other than that, great printers.

    Ricoh. They mostly make printers/digital photocopiers for the corporate and SME markets, and they're good. Compatibility, reliability and usability are all there. They have made forays into smaller printers (they made a gel printer for a little while!) but these were not succesful in the market, as far as I know.

    OKI. You don't hear an awful lot about them, but they're a really good company! They make small to medium laser printers, and I've been very impressed by several colour lasers I've worked on. The print quality was great, no mechanical problems, and running costs, while not exactly low (they never are on small colour lasers) were kept in check by replacing consumables (drum/belt, oil, toner) separately. I wouldn't mind getting having one of those at home!

    Moving on to laser & inkjet manufacturers:

    Brother - Specialise in the personal & SOHO markets. Their laser printers offer great compatibility (depending on the model, either with PCL5/6 or PostScript). Running costs are not always so good, but for a personal printer that doesn't always matter. Their inkjets vary greatly in quality. Generally, they are more for business graphics and less suitable for photo printing. The inkjets (esp. the all in ones) tend to be much smaller than the competition's, which is nice, and I've found them to be quite reliable, but some models (esp. the A3 ones) have had poor write-ups.

    Lexmark. Now that's another funny company. I don't think I've ever seen a mechanical problem on a Lexmark, but running costs on some models are exorbitant (and for other models very low), and the software, likewise, varies from model to model. Some are incredibly easy to set up and work forever, others simply won't work, or not until you've upgraded this, changed that... Nowadays I avoid them, just to keep life simple, but they do make some good (medium size) lasers and some excellent inkjet printers, so you may want to check them out - just read lots of reviews of the model you want first!

    Epson. Difficult to summarise. They invented the dot matrix printer and later on developed the piezo-electric inkjet (which is different from the bubblejet technology everyone else uses).
    - Their laser printers (small to medium ones) are fine, and I have no experience with their colour lasers, so will leave it at that.
    - Their inkjets, well...They make a huge range, tiny, cheap personal printers, "photo" printers in A4 and A3 sizes, wide format printers, business printers and even label printers. The printers are not all the same, but they have a few things in common:
    - If it's a multi-function-printer ("all in one"), then the scanner will be good, probably the best you can get at that price point.
    - Paper feed is not the best. Every printer model will be different, but I've seen more paper jams on Epson inkjets than, say, on Canons.
    - Epson's printheads tend to clog up if left unused. This is because of the way they work, not that they're badly made. So, you need to "keep the roads" open and print a little in colour every so often (depending on the climate, it can be as little as once a month or as often as twice a week). If you don't, you'll need to clean the print heads which will be costly in ink, and in serious cases, you may need to replace the print head which will not be cost-effective on cheaper printers and will still be very expensive on the dearer printers. I wouldn't recommend them to the "ocassional printer", especially in warm, dry climes.
    - At the same time, the fact that the ink does not have to be brought to the boil and cooled down very quickly allows them to develop great inks, which they could sell cheaply if they wanted. They don't want, but for many of their printers you can get compatible cartridges that are excellent, and very cheap. They also make the only A4 printers in the world (e.g. the L-550) that have a built-in continous ink supply system (CISS). These lower running costs dramatically and mean that you should never run out of ink in the middle of a page. With other makes, you'd need to get a 3rd party kit to convert the printer to a CISS and from personal experience I can tell you they're no fun to use!

    Hewlett Packard - Most people associate printers with HP and in the 90's nobody was even a close second to them. Unfortunately, since around 2000, they have lowered the engineering standards of their printers, and have made the software more complex and difficult to install and to use. I'm sure their high -end printers are just fine in that regard, but the personal to mid-range printers (up to, say, the LaserJet P3000 series) often suffer from paper feed problems, and I've seen too many inkjets with problems in the electronics than I can bother to mention. As far as I'm concerned, this is the one brand I would avoid.

    There are other makes, such as Panasonic and Tally, that I have no recent experience with, so cannot comment on.

    Finally, the type of stock you print on is VERY IMPORTANT. If you want to print on card or labels, for example, most laser printers are out (some will do but you'll need to check the specifications first, if your type of stock is not listed, it is unlikely to work well). Inkjets tend to be better that way, but again, check! I used to have a Canon Pixma which printed envelopes brilliantly, and replace it with an Espon F3530 which is great in most respects, but has great difficulty pulling an envelope through, and you simply can't put a stack of envelopes and print them. In short, don't take anything as a given. Check the specs, check the prices, check running costs and read reviews. THEN, take a gamble!

    • Sunil
      September 15, 2014 at 7:50 am

      Thanks for your big endeavour! Please tell , from what I understand , that inkjet printers are not as smooth , quick as laserjet printers? I also guess that inkjet printers rough ( noise making ) and not as clear as lasterjet printers.If yes, is that why inkjet printers are comparatively less expensive than laserjet printers? as Recently , I saw a inkjet printer of HP very less expensive

    • Oron J
      September 15, 2014 at 9:45 pm

      As we've discussed in a separate thread, lasers are usually better for text, and often faster. As for noise, I don't know, many laser printers are quite noisy! The main reasons inkjets are cheaper are:
      They are simpler. Although the print head needs to move back and forth and the print heads need to spit out tiny dots of ink, and all this needs to be controlled very precisely, the mechanism & electronics are inherently simpler technologically than the miracle that is laser-beam, mirror, drum and fuser all working in perfect coordination.
      They consume far less power, so need smaller power supplies.
      They can be built less robustly out of "fast plastic" (although personal laser printers are not all that robust either). This reduces the cost of production significantly, and
      The reduced size and weight of the final product reduces shipping costs.
      Finally, printer manufacturers make most of their profits off the consumables, not the printers. To that end, they tend to subsidise the printers themselves - particularly the cheap models - so that the customers get "hooked" on them. There's more scope to do this with inkjets, where the cartridges are relatively small, than on lasers.

      All that said, this is really only the case with cheap(ish) printers. Once you get to the "professional" or "departmental" printers, the economics are totally different. A high-quality poster printer for example can easily cost $10,000 or more, and they're all inkjet!

    • Bhakta S
      September 16, 2014 at 4:37 am

      Thanks. Please tell , a) do you mean that inkjet printers are smooth and have clear print output?
      b) inkjet printer for nonprofessional home "less quantity" use is as good and "cheapish" , compared to similar level laser printer,
      c) please tell what means "subsidise the printers"

    • Oron J
      September 16, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      Bhakta S,

      a) Laser printers are better for text than inkjet. In general, inkjets are better than lasers at photo printing.
      b) No. It's a question of how "cheapish" you want to go and which features you need. You can get excellent laser printers for £50-70, and they're a lot cheaper to run than inkjets of a similar price, but they print in black & white only, and they're just printers (for that price, you'll be able to get a decent colour printer/scanner/copier inkjet).
      c) Printers are loss leaders. They are sold (at least they cheapest models) at a loss in the hope that the user will buy lots of ink/toner where the manufacturer will make a tidy profit.

    • Dr.sunil V
      September 17, 2014 at 6:16 am

      thanks

      Please tell me whether both laser printers and inkjet printers are globally subsidized?

      Please also tell why inkjet printers are not as high in quality for text compared to laser printers?

    • Oron J
      September 17, 2014 at 8:33 am

      Regarding subsidies, it's primarily at the low end (<£200/$300). The cheaper the printer, the more it is being subsidised, and conversely, the more expensive the consumables are. Inkjets tend to be affected by this more than lasers, but a laser printer costing £50 is also being sold below cost. As for quality, there's a lot to it and I can't hope to cover all the reasons for the difference, but in brief: The important things in printed text are that the letters should have sharp edges, that thin lines should be clear and that there will be no "jaggies" (where straight lines appear stepped). Lasers with a resolution of 600 DPI or above do this perfectly. Inkjets on the other hand, have a print head that moves from side to side and a platen (cylinder) that moves the paper one line at a time, both of which can cause minor registration problems that can translated into jaggies or unevenness in the shape of the text. Furthermore, although they can deposit tiny drops of ink, those drops spread on the paper and form a fuzzy edge. This is great for photos since it blends the colours together in a natural way, but it's not so good for text, where the overriding requirement is sharpness, as mentioned above. These issues can be improved by improving ink formulation, head design, better mechanisms and improved printing algorithms, as well as using higher quality paper, but we've been getting perfect text quality from laser printers for the last 15 years if not longer, and in the inkjet market, only a few printers can achieve similar results.

    • Dr.sunil V
      September 17, 2014 at 10:43 am

      Thanks. The answer about inkjet text output is very nice.

  3. Oron J
    September 14, 2014 at 9:26 am

    In what sense? All printer brands (there aren't that many) are "good", but what is it you're particularly interested in? Colour printing or b/w? Laser or inkjet? High volume, medium o r personal? What are your priorities - running costs, image quality, reliability, compatibility, environmental impact etc etc.

    • Dr.sunil V
      September 14, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      Thanks. Please tell in sense of reputation and build quality first , then include models for black white , laser , volume personal , preferably enlisted from low to high cost on amazon.in / ebay.in / flipkart ,

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