Looking for a printer - help!

Feb 16, 2013
This is proving difficult!

I'm at university, and mainly looking for a god quality, not too pricey, all in one printer for general usage.

However, I would also like to be able to have the option to use the printer for good quality photo printing, card making etc when needed.

Another thing I'm looking for, is inexpensive ink, as I'm on a budget.

Being able to be wireless + airprint would also be loved.

The printer I first found was the Brother MFC-J4510DW - however I think this is a bit too good for me, and it is on the expensive side.

The second one I came to, and my current first choice was the Cannon Pixma MG5350, as it's affordable, and it seems to produce good photo's - however I've read about it being very greedy on ink - if anyone recommends this, are there any cheap places to buy ink from for it?

All help appreciated!
Jan 22, 2013
well, i just purchased the Canon Pixma MG5420---been using it for a couple of weeks now. i use it at home, and do light printing (letters, some info from websites, etc.), copying, and some photos. call me impressed! i found it on sale, so, i decided to give Canon a whirl. i am very impressed with practically everything about this printer---ink is so easy to install! i wouldn't hesitate to recommend this multifunction printer to anyone.

the one thing i can't help you with is the amount and cost of ink. i am just an "average" user, if not just below, so, i really don't go through a lot of ink.
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Mar 4, 2013
I'd recommend the brother as you can get compatible ink cartridges for the, you can also get compatibles for some canon's but the brother ones tend to be cheaper
Mar 18, 2013
What ever you buy, need to check that either compatible carts or refillable carts & ink are available for it - now, or you'll spend a fortune on ink, if do much printing.
Jun 27, 2013
Another thing I'm looking for, is inexpensive ink, as I'm on a budget.

Depends on your definition of "cheap ink" ... and very much also on your definition of "good quality photo printing". And a huge factor is print volume, especially how much photo quality printing.

OEM ink works out to be $10,000 to $15,000+ per gallon. Ouch. My observation is that the trend is smaller ink cartridges that not that much less in MSRP.

Refilled carts from reputable vendors like Staples, Office Max, Rapid-Refill, Cartridge-World, etc. aren't really that much less expensive ... and ink capacities may be lower. The latest / greatest printers are getting harder and harder to refill, even by the above vendors.

To me, saving 20% to 30% over OEM might not be worth it, as it can be very difficult to get good quality prints, consistently. It definitely won't be OEM ink from the above vendors... those are the "Crown Jewels" of the printer companies that their business model is based on. Subsidized printers + more or less expensive paper + exorbitant ink prices.

BTW ... I'd be inclined to pay less attention to the MSRP of the original printer ... entry-to-mid level printers are heavily subsidized to "set the hook" for subsequent ink sales. Also, there are often sales / rebates / good-as-new refurbs / etc. In the Canon world, there are often super deals with DSLR's + printers.

But I also would shy away from no-name eBay and Amazon vendors of ink cartridges, whose prices may be a Lot Less.

But it may be very much a case of "you get what you pay for" with ink. Each lot of ink may be from a different bulk ink producer, so photo print quality will be elusive unless you don't care. Green skin tones ok this time, and yellow'ish for another group of prints later?

Eventually, you may get a bad batch ok ink that is prone to clogging ... then the nightmares begin (why do I know this?)

IMO, about the only way you'll get inexpensive ink ... and reliable so you aren't plagued with clogged heads from no-name ink vendors whose ink changes every batch ... is refill your own ink cartridges.

The learning curve can be extensive, especially if you drift into "color management' for high quality photo prints. If your photo printing volume isn't relatively high, you may be Much, Much better off getting 4x6" prints made as "loss leaders" at Sams / Costco / Walmart / Walgreens / student union / etc.

If you know what you are doing, you can get excellent photo prints at a reasonable cost at Costco, using DryCreek profiles.

You can get excellent German ink that works out to be about $12 per pint (16 oz ... a lot of ink ... equiv to about $100 / gallon ... about 20ยข per 13 ml CLI-8 cartridge)

HTH ...
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