#1  
03-02-2011, 10:15 AM
manthing manthing is offline
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i have a friend who is thinking of getting a printer.
she is unsure whether to get a laserjet or a inkjet.

she only wants to use the printer sparingly - a few letter printouts here, a few email printouts there.

probably 90% of the stuff she'll printout is text based.

she's happy to go with black ink only printers.
if the colour option is there, fine. if not, also fine.

and finally, she has no need for anything "flashy" - like high dpis or 50 ppm etc. just needs the letter/email to be legible when printed.

basically, she wants a "simple", easy to maintain, cheapish to run, printer to churn out a few letters and emails every once in a while.

so, which printer type should she get?
any particular make/model?

also, is a laserjet ink cartridge better value for money than a deskjet ink cartridge? i.e. pound for pound, which would last longer if printing a "typical" letter/email?

finally, my friend does not have the patience to learn about removing & replacing ink cartridges. so from that point of view, which is easier?

cheers.
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  #2  
03-04-2011, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
she only wants to use the printer sparingly - a few letter printouts here, a few email printouts there.
Because of this, use a laser.

Ink dries out after just a few days of non-use. The heads clog up, and it will either take a wasteful "test" process to unclog (thereby blowing most of the ink on the tests), or an outright replacement when the nozzle is fully caked with dry ink.

Laser has no such issues. I can go 6 months without using a certain printer, and then when I turn it on, the first page out is perfect. No loss of toner (laser "ink"), no problems.

Color laser often looks better than ink anyway.
Same for B&W.

Quote:
any particular make/model?
I highly suggest Konica Minolta laser printers.

Quote:
also, is a laserjet ink cartridge better value for money than a deskjet ink cartridge? i.e. pound for pound, which would last longer if printing a "typical" letter/email?
Laser lasts longer.
Laser only costs more up front. Long-term is far cheaper.
A lot of folks get bent out of shape when they see a laser cartridge costs about $100 apiece, not realizing it will last about 1-3 years on average, with average amount of printing. You would never get that sort of lifetime from an inkjet cart. They're too used to buying ink for $25-30 a pop, every month or two, hence the false idea that "laser is expensive".

Quote:
finally, my friend does not have the patience to learn about removing & replacing ink cartridges. so from that point of view, which is easier?
They're the same. Open it, slide in new ink or toner.
Just read the book, as every manufacturer, and every model therein, is slightly different in what needs to be opened, how to open it, etc. It's really no more difficult than operating a toaster or a DVD player.

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  #3  
03-04-2011, 09:27 AM
manthing manthing is offline
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i thank thee for thy reply.
i will pass on your advice.
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  #4  
03-04-2011, 01:51 PM
manthing manthing is offline
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sorry to trouble you with what could be noddy questions but i'd like things cleared up for my friend's sake.

some buyers of the minolta 1600w have complained that they received a USA power plug. read for yourself here.

so, is that really the case?

and if it is, what do i have to do to make it work with a UK power point?

i really do not want to add to the "complexity" as my friend is really technophobic.

it seems that minolta don't sell many units in UK, at least not via amazon. so, how effective will their warranty be? do they really have a presence in UK? my friend has a thing/fix about needing/wanting warranties.

finally, which specific toner cartridge does the 1600w use? is it A0V301H for blacks?

cheers.
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  #5  
03-04-2011, 02:26 PM
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The description claims
Quote:
Power: AC 230V
And if it's anything like my printer, it uses a generic ATX computer power plug. If it comes with the wrong one, buy a new one, or steal one from an old computer. I don't know that I've ever seen a laser that wasn't using a generic AT/ATX computer power plug.

If it doesn't come with a USB plug, buy one of those.

USB cables and power cables are so ubiquitous that those reviewers seem like petty nags, as far as I'm concerned. I have probably 10-20 USB cables sitting in a box in the closet, along with 3-4 spare power plugs. eSATA and Firewire drives still often have USB2 ports, and that's where most of my extra USB cables came from. Online, you can pick up these wires for a couple of quid, at most. Amazon has several USB cables for 3 pounds with free delivery.

Here's a USB cable: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...SIN=B001IRC9Y4

And then here's a power plug*: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...SIN=B003IISZWQ
* Or to brush up on my Britspeak, a "power lead". I know that an SCART cable is an "SCART lead", so I'm guessing that lead=wire.
I'd note there is a complaint about that lead not being fused, which I don't understand what the means, not being in UK.
(If you have a moment to explain it, that'd be great.)

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  #6  
03-04-2011, 03:23 PM
manthing manthing is offline
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petty nags - i agree with you.
i would cope with these things.

unfortunately, my friend is hopeless at these things.
or put it another way, she simply refuses to find the motivation to spend a few minutes to learn.

and after 20+ years, i've given up helping her!

anyway, i'll advise my friend and then leave it up to her to decide.

"lead", as you guessed, is a wire.
but a thick wire, like an extension lead - those things that allow you to use your electrical tools far away from the power socket point.

phonetically, it is "leed".
and not "led".

though confusingly lead, symbol Pb, atomic number 82, is pronounced as "led"!

that's the great thing about the english language - complete free for all - and completely bonkers.

the one i like is "route" - as in the path you took on your journey.
we pronounce it as "root".
you guys pronounce it as "r-out".

anyway, coming back to the main topic - do konica minolta have a reliable presence in UK?

so my friend can ring them up when in trouble rather than me!

cheers.
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  #7  
03-04-2011, 03:29 PM
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In the south, a route (map of journey) is pronounced "root"
Think of the Nat King Cole song "Route 66" (root 66): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B000T1FNCU
It's been cover a zillion times: http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.ht...reative=390957
Or more recently (1980s), in the Van Halen song "Romeo Delight"

Anyway...

Konica-Minolta is a Japanese company, with presence in North America and Europe. I know at least 2-3 people in UK and Germany that bought Minolta laser color printers in years past, and they all liked them. It wasn't this specific model, but older models no longer available -- not that it makes a difference for quality.

Lots of good reviews for it on Amazon.de (Germany): http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B001...SIN=B001O4ZSDU
Konica Minolta Magicolor 1600W Farblaserdrucker

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  #8  
03-04-2011, 03:53 PM
manthing manthing is offline
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sorry, forgot to answer your question about a "fused plug".

basically a power plug that has a fuse in it.
those 3A, 5A, 13A fuse capsule things, like this.

so, if the sealed power plug you linked to, is really not fused, then that is against UK electrical safety rules.
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  #9  
03-04-2011, 04:02 PM
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I just took a look at my JVC HR-S7965EK S-VHS VCR. It has a fused plug.
I never knew that was there -- never thought to look. We don't have fused plugs in USA, but rather fused devices.

Learn something new every day.

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  #10  
03-21-2011, 04:31 AM
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continued from email...

Quote:
somtime back, you suggested i get a konica minolta 1600 model for my printing needs - occasional dvd covers.
what about the Konica Minolta Magicolor 5440 DL model? is it as good as, or better than, the 1600 model for my needs?

i may get the chance to pick this up 2nd hand. perhaps as low as 50.

let me know what you think.
That's good model, and should be fine. Great price.

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  #11  
03-21-2011, 06:17 AM
manthing manthing is offline
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ta for the reply.
yet to make the deal for a low/lowish price.
and then i have to get a friend to help me transport the printer.
it weighs something like 35kgs - ouch - that is a back breaker.
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  #12  
03-21-2011, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manthing View Post
it weighs something like 35kgs - ouch - that is a back breaker.
This one is similar to mine.
It weighs a lot. I hurt myself lifting it several years ago. Never move it alone.

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  #13  
03-22-2011, 02:44 AM
manthing manthing is offline
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quick question on printer resolution...

magicolor 5440dl resolution: 2,400 x 600 dpi, 1,200 x 600 dpi, 600 x 600 dpi.

magicolor 7450 resolution: 600 x 600 x 4-bit PhotoART(TM) contone.

i'm understand the "dpi" resolution specification.

but what is "600 x 600 x 4-bit PhotoART(TM) contone"?

also, which is the better model to get, if the cost is the same?

cheers.
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  #14  
03-29-2011, 03:30 AM
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It's a special way to print.
Konica-Minolta discusses it here: http://www.konicaminolta.eu/business...t/contone.html

Basically, it allows multiple toner colors to occupy a dot. Traditional printers achieve a color like orange by placing yellow and red next to one another. With this system, yellow and red share the same dot area, essentially making the color more smooth. (Not that it was "un-smooth" to be honest.) To some extent, it's nitpicking.

All things considered, the PhotoART version is better.

I'm not sure this was ever available in North America, either, given the language (i.e, "colour" spelling) and location of the Konica-Minolta sourced info (.eu site).

Quote:
Konica Minolta's range of printers and MFPs utilise the power of contone technology to produce amazing print-outs in life-like colours. The 600 x 600 x 4-bit Photo ART contone resolution ensures colours are consistently vivid and alive, with razor-sharp graphics and text. With Photo ART contone, colour transitions are much finer and photos are more detailed.

Instead of using a halftone the printer has the capability of varying the intensity of the colour printed on an individual pixel. The ability to produce more colours on a single pixel allows the printer to reduce the size of the halftone cell required to print the desired range of colours. This means that the user does not have to sacrifice as much printing detail to maintain the same printable colour range.

Traditional halftone produces only 1 level (1 bit) per pixel. Contone has the ability to produce more levels (bits) per pixel and this will subsequently result in multi-level halftones.
minolta-contone-example.jpg

Inkjet printers have been exploiting this for years, along with having in-between premixed colors beyond CMYK. However, that doesn't make ink better. If anything, it helped ink look as good as laser.

On a related side note, I had an interesting conversation with a somewhat cute 20s female at an office store this week. She was telling me how people come into the store with armloads of cartridges on a near-weekly basis. We both had a laugh, because she and I both knew how toner seems to go on forever and ever. I can run for months without a change -- years even, with light printing.

On the other hand, a buddy of mine has this professional photo ink printer that output simply stunning images. Of course, it doesn't hurt that he's an incredible photographer. In his case, ink showcases his work, and doesn't take a way from it. The same applies to my use of laser.

Nothing sucks more than having a cheap inkjet printer botch your on-screen masterpiece. It's not a good feeling.

Glad to see you inquiring about ink vs laser printers.



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