Weekend Open Forum: Do you still use a printer at home?

By on September 7, 2012, 6:30 PM

I’ll go out on a limb by saying that most probably weren’t surprised when printing icon Lexmark announced plans to exit the inkjet printer business a few weeks ago. It’s a sign of the times really as the convenience of printing documents and photos has largely been replaced by digital transfers, online storage lockers and connected mobile devices.

When my inkjet printer kicked the bucket a few years ago, I purchased a cheap laser printer to replace it. Aside from printing shipping labels or the occasional document for a friend, it largely goes unused.

Printers and ancient fax machines are still somewhat common in the office but with this week’s open forum, we want to know if you still have or use a printer at home.




User Comments: 51

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Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I picked up a cheap Canon Pixma series "All in one" printer when I needed ink for my old HP inkjet, and dumped the HP in the garbage. The Canon is WiFi enabled, so I can print from pretty much any device I want to in my house, and it does decent photo printing when I need it. Scans and copies too, and ink seems to last longer than the HPs I've had in the past.

All that said, I only use it occasionally. The wife uses it more, printing out recipes and photos. But hey, considering it was only $20 more than buying just the ink for my old HP, it was definitely money well spent.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

I have a home office, so most of the time I'm using my laser all-in-one to scan, copy and print documents. Rarely for traditional "home" purposes like printing photos and those kind of things. I've found that tablets actually fit that use quite well, when you want to carry around and show something, the touch screen does it quite better.

I should also add, the upgrade from inkjet to laser was the best ever. I don't print often and I still had to renew the inkjet cartridges a couple of times a year. But with the laser printer (which are relatively cheap these days), I bought it a 2-3 years ago and I have yet to buy anything for it.

Scott Johnson Scott Johnson said:

I haven't had a printer at home since grad school ended in 2001...can't think of a single use for one.

On the flip side, my printer at work went out a few days ago and I can't get my work done without it. I've ordered a replacement, but in the meantime I find that at least once an hour I have to switch computers to print things out.

I work in a hospital and it's just not possible to be paperless. Not only is not possible, it's not even encouraged. Survey teams and auditors require paper reports...they're not going to look at anything online. If you don't have a file or report in a paper file, then it doesn't exist. So much for being green.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

My Epson Stylus T13 just sit here up at my table. It's been two months since the ink ran out, but I still use it nevertheless.

inventix1136 said:

I actually have two printers, a 4 yr old Okidata 5200 color laser that prints at 16 ppm color and 24 ppm black with ethernet port and VERY cheap consumables -- $105 for ALL 4 toner cartridges with 5K page yield, and a brother AIO inkjet MFC-J430W when I need to scan something

veLa veLa said:

I live in an expensive college-style apartment so I just use the one they have in the computer lab. In my real 2 story house in Austin I have my own printer but I don't go to that home as often.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Well until all tickets I purchase can be scanned using my smart phone I'll still use a printer.

EEatGDL said:

Unfortunately yes, a Photosmart C7280, and is a headache now. We're thinking seriously that next time instead of buying cartridges, we're buying a new one.

Arston said:

If you're a student, often you do need to print stuff. Unfortunately if you're a student often you haven't got the money for one...

soldier1969 soldier1969 said:

Still need to print pictures, a resume or 2, use a Epson all in on the last few years hasnt let me down. But agree the days are numbered for a stand alone printer.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I may not be printing from home for much longer. If they keep programing printers to stop printing when the printer thinks it's out of ink or toner, I may not have a choice.

I'm currently using Brother MFC-9460CDN and purchased a replacement cartridge that posted an error "low toner" from day one. At first I thought it was simply because I had not reset the printer . After a few weeks posted another error "replace toner". Once the printer post a error to replace toner, it stops printing. I can see toner through a clear eye in both sides of the cartridge, I know the toner cartridge is still good for printing. I would modify the sensors to bypass a toner check if I knew how.

Let the consumer decide when they need new ink or toner cartridges. Programing a printer to stop printing before it has used up all available ink or toner is not an efficient use of the printer at all. Some people can hardly afford new cartridges and need them to last as long as possible.

I'm honestly not surprised people have stopped printing at home. Printing at home has gotten to be a fairly big hassle keeping their machine printing. If the printer is not sitting in the corner collecting dust and drying up ink, it's zipping through cartridges that cost a fortune to replace. Lets not forget about the assortment of cartridges, making sure you are getting the correct cartridge can be just as aggravating as swiping the bank card for them.

HaMsTeYr HaMsTeYr said:

Yep, still use it. Even though I have most things digitally done now, and I'm a big adopter on keeping things digital, I still do print out a lot of shipping labels, and important documents that... sometimes can only be done via hand.

Also, I draw a lot, and with that, a scanner is handy. I have an AIO, but I'm thinking of selling my Canon printer and get a Brother one that does wireless

Staff
Erik Erik said:

I think printers are like health insurance, you have to have one just in case. I work at home and bought an all-in-one HP DeskJet 3050. I bought it approximately a year ago and in that time period I've had to scan my ID once, print an essay for my wife that's finishing school and photocopied a receipt for a delivery boy. In those three occasions if I hadn't had a printer at home my only option would've been to get dressed, hop in to the car, drive around looking for a cybercafe and run back home. Enough to ruin anyone's day.

mailpup mailpup said:

I still use the first printer that I ever bought back in 1999, an HP inkjet. I only use it occasionally which may explain why it still works fine. Cartridges aren't particularly cheap but as I said it isn't used heavily.

Sarcasm Sarcasm said:

Yes, I still print some photos and documents as well as do some scanning.

Route44 Route44, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

Absolutely. I have had my HP 8250 for 6+ years and it is still working great. I have a lot of papers and documents via MS Office, pictures, scanning, etc.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I constantly use my Pixma Pro 9000 Mk II for printing out photos. On really large prints, I use Mpix Pro. I have an office printer, but I rarely ever use it anymore.

nismo91 said:

Yeah I do. after a series of inkjets, now I switch to a cheap mono laser printer, fuji xerox p205b.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I agree with Erik's sentiments. I keep my printer around "just in case," because having that "ugh" feeling when you need to bring in something to work, to an internet cafe, or the library just to print something, it just sucks.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Funny you should ask. I actually had to recently replace the ink cartridges in my printer last week as it wouldn't print because the old ink cartridges had dried up.

So I guess in answer to your question, I'd say "no."

wcbert said:

I have two printers. HP Printers for printing documents, emails and other things that I need a large letter size paper to read and/or for filing away. For example airlines tickets. I also have a photo printer Epson large format for printing 13x19 photos. I live in New York City and have access to many photo labs, for printing. But I still need a photo printer to insure the quality of prints if I am going to send to the lab and there is also the wow factor.

When you see a 13x19 print of your photograph coming out of the printer you say to yourself "WOW!"

gobbybobby said:

Most people just print stuff at work. Its free that way right :P

Most the time u don't need print stuff, I get very annoyed when organizations ask me to print, sign and send stuff back, why can't I just E-Sign it...

1 person liked this | gcarter gcarter said:

Having a printer at home, although not an every day use kind of item, is still in my mind a useful tool to have. When we book flights online, easyjet require you to print out your boarding pass / check in info.

My daughter uses it once in a while as well, when she wants templates to colour in.

We've just moved house, and needed extra prints of bank statements etc.

rvnwlfdroid said:

We did the same thing as a few others here. We bought a new all in one Kodak printer with built in WiFi rather then replacing the print cartridges on our old printer. We only spent 25 more for the entire printer rather then new cartridges. We do still use it for printing a couple of times a week. Although we have been making more use out of the scanning function vs. the printing.

jobeard jobeard, TS Ambassador, said:

Wife & I have one each now that I got an all-in-one Canon Pixma 470 with the scanning feature.

It's kind of an oxymoron that the paperless information age still eats trees and light speed.

I would opt for a tablet if show-n-tell were sufficient, but I need to print documents for signatures in

duplicate so I can't get the office to be GREEN under any circumstance :sigh:

Julio's solution of a laser printer is a great choice - - cost of ownership for a laser print is about $0.02/page

while an inkjet is closer to $0.10/page over the life of the device + inks/toner. I just can't see yet another

device on the work surface :double sigh:

avoidz avoidz said:

Having a printer at home, although not an every day use kind of item, is still in my mind a useful tool to have. When we book flights online, easyjet require you to print out your boarding pass / check in info.

My daughter uses it once in a while as well, when she wants templates to colour in.

We've just moved house, and needed extra prints of bank statements etc.

Yes, definitely. I still use an HP DeskJet that's about 10 years old. It's a solid thing that feels well made, unlike recent cheap printers. It's really handy to have around to print out résumés, recipes, booking tickets, etc. Sometimes you do need hard copies of documents. I never use it for photos now; it's not economical. The black inks last for ages. Printers are here to stay.

supertech supertech said:

I have a Brother laser B&W all-in-one which is fantastic for my home office. I have to print things from time to time whether it's for personal or business use. I definitely still need a printer and I don't see it going anywhere anytime soon. When it comes to color copies, photos, etc, I just get them done at Staples or Costco because I think the cheapo ink-jet printers are absolutely use-less and a big rip-off when it comes to replacing ink.

hitech0101 said:

Yup have a 3 in 1 from hp comes in pretty handy.

JC713 JC713 said:

Yeah I have a nice auto duplexing HP photosmart

mls067 mls067 said:

Sure do. I picked up a cannon pixma ip1800 at comp usa when it closed for $7. It has been the BEST printer I have ever used ( mostly for school work, it does do photo's pretty good, but shutterfly is awesome)

Tanstar said:

I had a color inkjet that printed great looking pictures. Unfortunately, I printed pictures so seldom that the color cartridges dried up before they were halfway used and the printer wouldn't even let me print B&W without replacing the color cartridges. I found a cheap B&W only laser at OfficeMax two or three years ago (cheaper or around the cost of replacing the cartridges I never used) and am just now in need of a new cartridge. It'll cost me about $100 but is a larger one than what came with the printer, so it should last far longer than anything in an inkjet! I print at least once a week, sometimes more.

3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

I plug my printer in once or twice a year....

tonylukac said:

Have a refurbished Brother and a newer Canon. The Brother worked nice for a while but vista drivers are a little corrupt, no drivers for 7. I was using inexpensive generic cartridges but two of them leaked permanent black ink. It used to be on the new wall to wall carpet but luckily I moved it to a table when 2 of them leaked. Thus I use name brand cartridges and the set of Canon's cost $80, ouch. I print as little as necessary.

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

I got one for school, its an all-in-one that has great reviews but only works over wifi (I assume thats part of the reason it was under $100). Normally that's not a problem, but my wifi is sketchy since the apartment controls it so it's basically useless.

Timonius Timonius said:

Not coincidentally, my Lexmark P3150 has no drivers for Windows 7 (at least last time I checked) so I stopped using it Other than that, I won't use inkjet printers anymore as they cost too much to use especially when the cartridge dries up after not using for a couple of weeks > If I do decide on any home printing in the future I'll invest in a laser printer for the better overall convenience, and hopefully they get cheaper.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I no longer have any printer at home, in the olden days I had an LaserJet 6P, but I got rid of it once I completed my univ. education few years ago.

Zoltan Head said:

Yes, I have a (flaky!) Lexmark inkjet for color & scanning, and a Brother laser for mono.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

We have an HP Officejet J6413 at home. My wife uses it to print patterns for her scroll saw or reference pictures for her airbrush drawings, and we also print pictures for the kids to colour. Uses other thank this are rarer.

Reyan Reyan said:

All printers hate mankind....I bashed my last one with a sledge hammer....

Zoltan Head said:

Not coincidentally, my Lexmark P3150 has no drivers for Windows 7 (at least last time I checked) so I stopped using it Other than that, I won't use inkjet printers anymore as they cost too much to use especially when the cartridge dries up after not using for a couple of weeks If I do decide on any home printing in the future I'll invest in a laser printer for the better overall convenience, and hopefully they get cheaper.

Apologies in advance if this is obvious & you tried it 3 years ago but... some Lexmarks will talk to Windows 7 if you use the corresponding Vista driver (and some won't!) - might be worth a try, assuming you haven't trashed it yet.

TJGeezer said:

My wife rescues street dogs here, south of Tijuana, makes them healthy and brings them to adoption events. She uses our color HP LaserJet fairly heavily to document veterinary treatments and make print small weekly runs of puppy and dog description flyers. We've replaced the black cartridge once in five years and the other three cartridges never so far, so that's not exactly heavy usage. I can't remember the last time I used it myself. Hmm.

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

Does anyone know a good, small printer for basic document printing (color printing, so not mono)? It seems like they all come with bloatware (looking at you, HP) or a bunch of features that I don't really want to pay extra for.

schinbone said:

Personally, I would use a printer way more than I do if the cartridges didn't cost 25 bucks a piece. If they would lower the price of the cartridges to say, 5 bucks I would let my daughter print to her little hearts content.

MarkHughes said:

I printed my CV out 4 years ago, got the job and have not used one since either at home or work, And I try to discourage the use of them in the office too. Unless there is some pressing need to print something (Car insurance certificate or a legal form that needs a signature) I think we should all make efforts to avoid using paper.

hood6558 hood6558 said:

Don't print much anymore but when I do I use the cheapest Canon or HP ($30 at WallyWorld) until the ink runs out, then I buy another one (the ink cartridges cost more than the new printer). And they always print for months after the low ink warning. After the black is gone I set it to print from the color cartridge only, for another couple of months use.

Jeff_ChatSports Jeff_ChatSports said:

I have a personal printer at home and use it constantly. I think it is still a bit too early for companies to jump ship and stop making printers. People are always going to need to print things, even if smart phones and emails and reducing the amount of paper we use.

Zoltan Head said:

I have a personal printer at home and use it constantly. I think it is still a bit too early for companies to jump ship and stop making printers. People are always going to need to print things, even if smart phones and emails and reducing the amount of paper we use.

Agree totally. (y)

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Several 7 yrs back I picked up a cheap Lexmark printer on sale for about $25. But when it ran out of ink I never bother to get more ink for it, as the cartridges where almost double what I paid for the print. So for the last 6 1/2 years it say in my closet :P.

And for the last 6 yrs I have worked at a copy shop and am the manager now so a home printer is kinda a moot point :P. I never used it much any ways.

But I do know many people who keep an inkjet printer at home. Some live far enough from town that driving in for copies is quite a chore.

Leeky Leeky said:

I have two at home, an Epson Stylus Office BX320FW (inkjet, scanner, fax machine etc) and another Epson (Acculaser I think?) network laser printer. I actually use both quite regularly, and having the fax function has been handy on a couple of occasions recently.

I'm almost at the end of my first set of cartridges in the inkjet now, and new ones don't appear very cheap, especially since mine uses two black cartridges in addition to the three colours. I do like the fact it offers to print a composite black to save on black ink though! I'm yet to replace the toners in the laser, but I suspect they'll be rather expensive as well.

I tend to use them for normal "office" type printing. I don't think I've ever used either of them to print photos before. Still, I'll be keeping both printers at home for quite a while yet.

Timonius Timonius said:

Apologies in advance if this is obvious & you tried it 3 years ago but... some Lexmarks will talk to Windows 7 if you use the corresponding Vista driver (and some won't!) - might be worth a try, assuming you haven't trashed it yet.

Apologies for the really late reply - I figured I'd renew my search and check again. They didn't even make Vista drivers for my printer. sol-lol ;p

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