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Cheap Printer
Aug 01, 2004 12:47 PM 5772 Views
(Updated Aug 01, 2004 12:54 PM)

Paper Handling:

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Printing Speed:

Other Features:

My old Lexmark Z12 had faithfully served me for 3 long years. Due to high cartridge costs, I had refilled the same cartridge multiple times. Unfortunately, due to this, it gave up on me. So now I had to get a new printer.

I had 2 choices before me. The Canon S200SP and the HP 3550. My friendly neighbourhood computer hardware seller told me that the cost of consumables for Canon was much lesser than HP. He also told me that local cartridges and refill kits were available also at very low prices compared to cost of original consumables. He also mentioned that the cartridges wouldnt last as long as the HP printer's.

Since cost of ownership was a major factor, I opted to buy this inkjet printer and got it at a price of Rs. 2650 including taxes.

At first sight, the build quality is not that good. When I pushed in the USB cable at the printer, the port went inside a little. Also the input/output trays are flimsy and take up too much space. There are no LED's to indicate whether the printer is ON or whether paper has to be inserted. The absence of LED's is a cost cutting measure by the manufacturer which causes a lot of confusion to the customer. There is no way of knowing whether the printer is ON or OFF.

I got a USB cable with this printer which wasnt part of the printer package. The first thing I noticed about this printer was that there is ONLY a USB interface. There is no parallel interface at all!! This shows that printer manufacturers are now doing away with old technologies like parallel interfaces.

There are 2 cartridges (1 color and 1 black) which we have to install by ourselves. I setup the printer as the manuals indicated, connected all the cables and switched on the PC to install the drivers. It took a long time for the system to detect the printer even after the software utility in the CD which came with the printer installed the files.

Usually USB devices are detected very quickly by Windows and drivers are installed automatically. But this didnt happen. After around 10 minutes, the printer was detected and I proceeded to take a test printout. Instead of printing, an error came ''Cannot print page'', even though the printer monitoring software showed that the printer was online. After about 30 seconds, the test page was printed. The printer was slow, but the print quality was good. This printer takes a long time to automatically grab the paper in the sheet feeder. It makes a lot of noise too.

I tried to print a 2 page document by taking out the first page and trying to print on the other side. The printer didnt proceed to print the next page. Also when I cancelled that print job and printed a single page, the print job in the printer monitoring software didnt go away even after the page was printed. This, I assume is due to buggy drivers. So I immediately proceeded to download the latest drivers and was disappointed to find out that there were no updated drivers than the one which came with the CD.

Thoroughly disappointed, I called up the seller and asked him to replace this printer with an HP 3550 which he promptly did. I wouldn't recommend anyone to buy this printer even for the low printing costs. It just gives too much of a headache to the average user.

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