Don't-Miss Printer Stories
The first ink-jet printer to feature a 1-picoliter-droplet size features clean, legible text prints and excellent photo quality.
Two new printers from Canon offer great quality at a decent price. The Pixma iP8500 delivers fine-quality prints no larger than letter size. The i9900 also prints well, and it can produce prints as large as 13 by 19 inches. Spending time with these two printers revealed more similarities than differences in color quality, so the little things will determine which model better suits your needs.
In our look at four network-enabled monochrome laser printers priced at or below $500, two products stand out—the Brother HL-5170DNLT, which has the most features and the lowest price tag, and the Lexmark E332n, for its outstanding print quality.
Although you could buy a better printer and scanner as separate components, HP’s Photosmart 2710 is a good bet for anyone who wants a quality print from a well-integrated, all-in-one device.
This fast and quiet printer produces beautiful, dot-free prints—it could be the only photo printer you’ll ever need.
The Stylus Color CX4600 is an affordable all-in-one that combines a four-color inkjet printer and a 600ppi scanner in one unit. That price is hard to beat for a general-purpose all-in-one--if you're willing to settle for slow print speeds and lower resolution scans.
The prices of color laser printers just keep falling. A few months ago, each vendor started offering color lasers at the “unheard of” price of about $1,000. The HP LaserJet 2550Ln is one of the few new color laser printers to fall below that price.
This color printer uses LED technology instead of lasers, but lays down the same cyan, magenta, yellow, and black toner (CMYK) as a laser printer. Being a GDI (Graphics Device Interface) printer, as opposed to a PostScript or PCL, your Mac does most of the image processing work (rasterizing) and sends the page to the printer, much like an inkjet printer.
The Epson PictureMate is a $199 photo printer that uses six pigment-based inks to print on 4-by-6-inch glossy photo paper—with or without the assistance of your Mac.
In its never-ending quest to stay ahead of Hewlett-Packard and Canon in the photo- printer market, Epson has released the Stylus Pro 4000, a large-format ink-jet printer that improves upon a tradition of excellence most recently found in the Stylus Photo 2200 and the Stylus Pro 7600.
Over the past year, prices have dropped to the point where it's now feasible to consider color laser printing for homes and small offices. We looked at six color laser printers priced at around $1,000: Brother's HL-2700CN, Hewlett-Packard's Color LaserJet 3500n, Konica Minolta's magicolor 2350en, Lexmark's C510n, Oki Data's C5300N, and Xerox's Phaser 8400/B.
The $249 Epson Stylus Photo RX500, the $324 Hewlett-Packard PSC 2410 Photosmart All-in-One, and the $100 Lexmark PrinTrio Photo P3150 let you scan, store, print, and copy the photos you have fading away in a shoebox, as well as the shots you'll take this weekend.