3 in 1 Printers Recommendations

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Steve CDN

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Printers that have built in scanner and fax machine have become all the rage now.

Is there a model that would be just the right size to fit into an RV?

Are the printer manufacturers using a low price on a 3 in 1 printer as a loss leader in order to sell proprietary overpriced printing cartridges?
 

Tom

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Steve

The printer market is very much a razor & razor blade business. We used to sell chips to printer manufacturers, fax manufacturers, scanner manufacturers, and copy manufacturers. There are really only two engines - the print engine and the scanning engine. Add a modem to a scanner/printer and you have a fax. The copy function is free if you put them all in the same box. Not a new product per se. They used to be called MFPs, or Multi Function Peripherals, but that's a bit like calling a phone a telephonic communications instrument. They called them all in one for a while. Now they sell them without the fax and call them 3 in 1.

They undoubtedly occupy a much smaller footprint than all the individual machines would, and are therefore ideal for the mobile office of RVers as well as SOHO.
 

Ron

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Personally I think manufacturers have been over pricing the ink cartriges for a long time.  50+ bucks for a few ounces of ink must be about 200 percent profit.
 

Bob Buchanan

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Hello Steve:

Steve said:
Printers that have built in scanner and fax machine have become all the rage now.

Other than the foot-print size Tom mentions, I see them as a bad choice. If I purchase a scanner, I want to find the one that fits my needs - not the one that happens to be on the 3 in 1 that has a printer that I probably don't like either. Same with a printer, same with a fax machine, same with a copier. Also, I don't want a machine that if the printer goes south, I am without a scanner and so forth. If the machine breaks down, I have lost all functions.

My preference is to have the printer I want, and a back-up printer. I also have a scanner that works for me. That's all I need for 4 in 1 functions. The scanner to printer gives me a great copier. There are many options now available for fax in an RV. My preference is eFax for incoming (free), and Net2Fax for outgoing (10 cents a page). While in quartzsite (no hookups)  with the forum group and 2-way dish internet, I conducted business as usual, sent/received faxes, scanned documents and prints, and printed test user manuals and documents on either a laser or inkjet printer.
 

Ron

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I agree with you Bob.  Those 4 in 1 printer, scanner, copier, fax is not a good choice.  Like you said one part quits you do without or go by  new . Besides that they are not reall that compact.  I just don't have a need for a fax very often so the only part I would use regularly is the printer and the scanner. The scanner and printer serve very well as a copier.  If I do need a fax efax is always an option.  No I just can't see any real benefit of the 4 in 1 printers except maybe for the manufacturers to make more profit.  I'll stick with a printer and a scanner.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I bought an HP "All-in-One" last year, an HP 1210, for $88 at Walmart. The "All" is 3 functions, print, scan and copy (no fax).  We love it and I recently sold off our standalone flatbed scanner.  The 1210 is boxier than a printer-only but not any larger in footprint or total volume.  Probably the only drawback in an RV is that you need to alow for space above it to open the scanner cover (a slideout tray satisifies that need, though).

It prints beautifully and quickly, does B&W or color copies at the touch of a button and scans as well as any consumer-grade scanner I've owned. It uses HP standard black and color cartridges, which run about $30 each.
 

Bob Buchanan

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Hello Mr. Roamer:

RV Roamer said:
I bought an HP "All-in-One" last year, an HP 1210, for $88 at Walmart.

At that price, if it breaks down, you can just throw it away and buy a new one <g>. Of course, that is probably exactly what one would have to do (buy a new one). Last year I had my laser reconditioned (an HP4 Plus that is about 10 years old now). I asked about maintenance and repair on ink jets and 3/4 in 1's. The repair person just laughed and said that they don't repair injets. He said, "They are made to throw away".They make them cheap in order to sell ink. OTOH, he mentioned that at my volumne of usage, my laser would be an item that I could pass on after I'm gone - as it would be running for many years to come.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Hello Mr. Buchanon!

I'll bet the reconditioning of your laser cost as much as ink jets sell for these days. And that old laser doesn't do color either.

Ink jet quality has improved so much I can no longer see any reason to buy a laser for any thing less than continuous heavy use.
 

Ned

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If you do have enough printing needs to justify a laser printer, and also want color but don't need photo quality, color laser printers are now in the $500 range.
 

Ron

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Like probably most here I don't have room or need to justify a laser printer.  Our HP1215 photosmart and flat bed Cannon scanner works just fine for us. 
 

Bob Buchanan

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Hey Gary . . .

It's Buchan "a" n. <g> To remember, think of our only bachelor President.

RV Roamer said:
Hello Mr. Buchanon!

I'll bet the reconditioning of your laser cost as much as ink jets sell for these days. And that old laser doesn't do color either.

Ink jet quality has improved so much I can no longer see any reason to buy a laser for any thing less than continuous heavy use.

If I recall, it was around $65.00 for the reconditioning. Not a bad rate especially if only needed every 10 years or so. So yes, you could buy an ink jet for that amount -- but why do that if I already own the Laser? As mentioned above, I also have an inkjet. It's an HP Photosmart 7150. I chat with a lot of Pro photographers and it was one that was recommended a year or so ago when I purchased it. I want 8x10 prints to be as close to film quality as possible - and it does a great job for me now. However, the cost of ink is outrageous - which again, is the marketing strategy of the ink jet makers.

Yes, I do have need at times for volumne printing. So I have and need both. One thing that I have that those w/o the need for a laser don't have is the ability to send B/W stuff to the laser at 14ppm (and a tray that holds almost a ream of paper). I never route to the ink jet unless I need color - or if boondocking and am in a power down mode. I am forced to pay an arm and leg for ink when needing color, but it makes little sense for me to do B/W on an ink jet at almost the same ourtrageous prices.

An Ink toner cartridge for my laser is $44.00 at Fry's -- and a cartridge last for "years". So in my case, the cost of reconditioning the laser was well worth it.

But this strays from the theme of the thread a bit. Forget about my laser when discussing the pro's and con's of 3 or 4 in one's. As I do need color, I would still shop around for the right printer for me vs. being stuck with the one in a multi purpose machine. And I would shop around for the best scanner for me at the time (scanning film and high quality map scans for my SW product). But even more important than that, to me, is the break down scenario. If a 3/4 in one goes down -- almost the entire output media of the machine is on hold.
 

Karl

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I'm also against multi-function machines with a few exceptions. Some now have memory card readers and can operate independently of the computer. Decent to very good quality and good price, and a good choice for those without space for mulitple machines. For my run of the mill b/w printing, an HP 1100 (laser) works great and has never given a problem over many years. Toner costs around $60 and lasts a long time. For high quality work, a Xerox/Tektronix Phaser 860 does the trick. uses solid ink, has a duty factor of 65,000 pages/month, and produces great quality b/w or color at 16ppm regardless, automatic 2-sided printing, 2 paper drawers (1-250, 1-500). List price - around $4500. My price - $0!. Xerox has a deal where they will send you a new, full-featured printer at no cost; not even shipping, but there are conditions. If you meet them, the printers is yours to keep after 15 months. Check here for details: http://www.freecolorprinters.com/.

Also have an HP PhotoSmart S20 scanner for sale. Scans slides, 35mm film strips (b/w,color - neg. or pos.) and 4x5 photos. NO masks req'd as it adjusts at the touch of a button. Very hi-res. USB. Contact me if interested.     
 

Jeff

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Steve:

We always had separate printer/scanner/faxes until Sue insisted on having an HP Photo Smart3/1 that she could use to print pics off her camera card without using the computer. For 150.00 printing is great, flatbed scanner/copier beats our old one and the tray folds up to fit in a cabinet.
 

Tom

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Jeff

Does it also have sheet feed capability i.e. are you able to load a bunch of pages into a shute to be scanned/copied in addition to loading one at a time on the flatbed?
 

Jeff

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Does it also have sheet feed capability i.e. are you able to load a bunch of pages into a shute to be scanned/copied in addition to loading one at a time on the flatbed?

Sorry Tom, I have been out of town for a week. No it does not come with a sheet feeder, just a flatbed scanner.
 

Pat

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Well, I'll tell what I've done.? I had a tiny inkjet printer about the size of a regular Kleenex box.? I also had a USB2 scanner.? Whenever I wanted to print or scan, I'd have to take the appropriate piece of equipment out of the cupboard and hook it up.? The toner cartridges lasted for very few pages, even though I kept them sealed in the little container.? Because of the setup hassle, I avoided using them.? I got an HPLJ2030.? I don't like inkjet, because the toner dries out too quickly.? I have always been a laser printer fan.? I love the copy feature on this machine and use it more than I print.? Where I winter a couple people receive emails from family through my ISP, so that's most of the printing.? I did fax a couple times.? I agree it's easier to send and receive faxes right out of the computer, assuming I use software that doesn't conflict with everything else and works with my cellphone.?

As for size, the 2030 is big.? I removed the sheet feeder, because the cat kept standing on it, and I don't scan or copy multiple pages much anyway.? It is a flatbed, so I can copy book pages.? The whole thing kept threatening to fall off the table on the way here, so I had to make room for it on the floor.? It's an albatross, but for now it's fine until I decide whether there's a desirable alternative.? It fits on the table in unused space and doesn't show much behind my computer screen.

I like the one-button copy feature on this machine that doesn't require a pc interface.

--pat
 

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