Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Epsonian Institute: a Background

When Anna and I first got married, we bought an HP printer. I don’t remember what model it was; I just remember that at the time, I wanted a nice printer that could handle 11″×17″. It cost us over $500, but we were happy—right up until we tried to print something. It was horrible. In the three months we owned it, we had no less than thirty different errors. It probably worked, about 2% of the time—no exaggeration. I remember one day, I needed to print a two-page, black-and-white text document, before I left for work. I was late, because I only gave myself 20 minutes and the printer took 32 minutes to complete it. We finally got HP to take it back, but they docked us $50 for the ink we used.  I decided it was time to find another manufacturer.

Shortly after the HP debacle, we got an Epson Stylus Photo EX. It was awesome, but when we got a new computer, a few years later, its standard 8-pin serial connection was no longer standard. We upgraded to another Epson, a Stylus CX5200 all-in-one. Again, it was awesome, but we eventually realized it didn’t meet all our needs.

Given our experience with Epson, I decided to get a Stylus R300 to handle CD printing. We didn’t need another standard printer, but it was the least expensive way to get the CD printer. It worked exactly once, and was very difficult at that. I was suddenly very jaded towards Epson.

A few months later, I needed a sheet-feed scanner, but quickly realized it was a lot less expensive to buy an HP printer with those capabilities. I held my breath and bought an OfficeJet 4315 and was surprised to discover it not half bad.

I then decided to get a photo printer, too, and bought a Samsung SPP-2020. Anyone who knows me particularly well knows how that turned out; suffice to say: if given a choice between a free Samsung product and a free kick in the groin, take the kick. Seriously.

By the time we moved to our current home, the CX5200—still our main printer—was showing its age. We decided that this time, we weren’t going to mess around. We were going to check reviews and get a nice, wireless-compatible, full-duplexing, double-tray, color laser printer. We wound up purchasing the Brother HL-4070CDW, which I would absolutely recommend to anyone. We bought the optional second tray, which holds an entire ream of standard paper; and use the built-in tray for card stock. It is niiiice. (To be fair , a couple of years ago, we did have a little trouble with the magenta ink cartridge leaking. A quick call to Brother, though, cleared that right up: they walked us through cleaning the drums, sent us a free replacement cartridge, and didn’t even ask for the old one back. Definitely customer service at its best.)

Finally, in December 2010, I needed a new CD printer. Rather than get another all-in-one, I decided to get a dedicated disc printer and purchased a used Dymo DiscPainter. Suffice to say: buying used was not a good choice, and my time constraints forced me to buy another new printer before I was able to get the broken one replaced (which, to Dymo’s credit, they did under warranty. Thank you!). (As an aside, if anyone needs a like-new, straight-from-the-factory CD printer, I now have one for sale—and for a lot less than the price at right. Contact me and let me know!) :-)

So after all that, in the time-honored tradition of the Empty Soda Can, I told you all that so I can tell you something completely different. ;-)

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