Help Selecting Laser Printer

Ok, so I have a large collection of DVD’s which I’ve obtained which do not have covers. I would like to print out covers for these. The problem is that printing with an inkjet printer can be expensive, and it does not take long to go through ink cartridges. My question is can anybody provide suggestions as to which printer would be best for this purpose?? I am considering a color laser printer. Even though they are more expensive initially, I would hope that it would work out cheaper in the end since I will not be constantly replacing cartridges. However, I do not know if this is a reasonable route to take. If a laser would not be the best option, does anyone have any suggestions for the most cost effective inkjet printer to use??

Thank you very much for you input in advance, and I apologize if I have broken any rules. I am new to this whole forum thing =)

In order to see a significant cost benefit from a laser unit you would need to print 1000’s of pages in most cases.

If you’re printing movie covers to go into the plastic sleeve on a DVD case, it won’t matter what you use cause it’ll all look much the same under plastic. Any decent inkjet printer and low-cost premium inkjet paper will do the trick. You’re talking about maybe $150 max to buy the printer and print the first 200 covers. Maybe less depending on ink coverage and the life of the initial ink tanks. There are printers on sale that come with a full set of full tanks that sell for less than the tanks alone, and compatible inks will cut the costs of ink by 50-75%. The Epson R280 and similar models are an excellent example, but the Canon printers are cheaper to run with OEM tanks.

Movie covers tend to be dark, and use a lot of blacks and colors alike. So ink usage will be fairly uniform across the colors. Use a printer that has dye based black for best results. The Epsons do, and the Canon IP4xxx and above models do.

HERE’S a Canon IP4600 for less than a full set of tanks. These have the disadvantage of not having compatible tanks available.

If you plan to be printing high volume, consider paying a few hundred for an older model Canon that can use compatible tanks.

I can find Epson R220 and R280 models new for $80-120, which can use compatible tanks although they do consume more than average amounts of ink.

Okay problem solved :bigsmile: here you go this will do the trick for you and you
don’t have to worry about running out of ink very soon and it also prints
DVD/CD labels on ink jet printable DVD’s/CD’s. :wink: Another thing is I can
vouch for this seller that you won’t get ripped off or anything and the ink
printout looks as good as original carts do. I use a CISS system from him
on my Epson RX595 and am very pleased with it. :iagree:

EPSON ARTISAN 50 PRINTER WITH CISS SYSTEM [B]$139.99 [/B]with [U][B]FREE [/B][/U]shipping also prints on ink jet printable DVD’s/CD’s
http://cgi.ebay.com/EPSON-ARTISAN-50-PRINTER-WITH-CISS-SYSTEM-NON-OEM-DVD_W0QQitemZ180391302113QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCOMP_Printers?hash=item2a0028d3e1&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262

Or how about something like an AIO= All In One scaner printer but no ink jet DVD printing

EPSON WORKFORCE 500 PRINTER W (NON OEM) CIS SYSTEM FAX [B]$99.99 [/B]with [U][B]FREE [/B][/U]shipping
http://cgi.ebay.com/EPSON-WORKFORCE-500-PRINTER-W-NON-OEM-CIS-SYSTEM-FAX_W0QQitemZ350233033401QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCOMP_Printers?hash=item518b83fab9&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262

EPSON CX9400 Fax printer W CISS CIS ink system [B]$98.99 [/B]with [U][B]FREE[/B][/U] shipping
http://cgi.ebay.com/EPSON-CX9400-Fax-printer-W-CISS-CIS-ink-system-NON-OEM_W0QQitemZ350222880618QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCOMP_Printers?hash=item518ae90f6a&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262

I’m not sure that a CISS system is a good choice for a noobie in the printing world, but it [I]is[/I] cheap to operate.

Thank you for you replies. Currently, I have this crappy All-in-one Lexmark X2500, y know, the cheap one that also doubles as a scanner. Now, for printing DVD covers it does fine, as long as I set the printer settings to the highest quality. The problem is that I only get about 5-7 covers out of it before the color ink runs out. And what is interesting to me is that the blank ink is hardly used at all! I can probably print out 30-50 covers without having to change the blank ink cartridge.

So, basically my assumption is that it would be the same story with another inkjet. [I]CDan[/I], you said that with the one printer you mentioned, I should be able to do roughly 200 covers on the first pass, without having change the cartridges?! If so, that’s great, since that would suit my needs perfectly. But is that really feasible?? I mean, my experience with cheap inkjet printers seems to show that they would not be able to crank out such high volume prints without frequent cartridge changes…but then again, maybe I’ve been using the wrong ones all along =)

Anyway, I really appreciate the help and any more advice is welcome and will be appreciated. You guys really seem to know what you are talking about and I am grateful.

I am determined to print this project without spending a fortune!!! LOL

I’ll assume that when you typed “blank” you meant “black”. Many cheaper printers use black only for documents, and use the colors to create a quasi-black in photo-quality mode. It appears the printer also uses one combi-color cart for normal use and a second combi-color cart for photos.

High-res movie covers are essentially color photos, but usually not more than 150dpi is needed to make them look good. How many covers you get from a set of tanks is totally dependent on the images, but with most Epson or Canon models it should be 30 minimum and 200 max if the coverage is less. You may find that one of those printers will give you better ink life with a “normal” quality setting on high-res paper.

Your printer uses single carts with multiple colors, so if one color runs out you throw away the left over inks. Any of the better printers use individual tanks so you only replace what you use. This alone is a big cost saver and should be the first thing you look for in a printer.

The way things are right now, it’s cheaper to buy a printer like the Epson Artisan 50 or Canon IP4600 and throw the printer away when the ink runs out, than to buy more ink. The Epson may have compatible ink tanks available, I haven’t checked into that. The Canon does not.

Why don’t you give us a ball-park estimate of the number of covers you need to print and we can go from there. One thing is certain and that is that your Lexmark is one of the most expensive printers to operate.

Ok, so I figure I know I need to do about 40 right off the bat. Also, I have about 150-200 CDs which are in need of covers too. I do not need them to be perfect quality or anything, but definitely good enough to be called “attractive”. All in all, its roughly 200 CDs and 100 DVDs.

What say you? lol

CDs you can do 2 to a page. (2 covers or 2 back panels or one of each)

I use HP premium inkjet paper (2-sided) for everything. It’s inexpensive and gives photo-quality with any printer and a “premium paper” or “high-res paper” driver setting.

It’s not helpful to try to predict your ink usage, because it depends on the material. To get the most out of a set of tanks, the Canon IP4600 is the way to go. The Epson Artisan 50 will come close to that if you print daily and don’t turn it off. Note that the Epson uses 5 colors plus black, the Canon uses 3 colors and 2 blacks, (one for docs, one for photos). The Epson has regular and “larger” tanks available, but the cost per page is no different

I wouldn’t expect you to go through more than 2 sets of tanks, but you could get into a 3rd. Depends on your driver settings and material. The new Canon IP4600 uses smaller tanks than I’m used to, so I can’t predict much.

I will say that compared to your Lexmark, you will be very happy with both quality and link life.

Alright, thanks for the advice [I]CDan[/I]. It seems like the Canon is probably the way to go then. A couple of questions though: When you say that things are dependent on the “material”, are you referring to the type of paper I intend to use? Or, are you making a reference to the quality of the digital image that I am going to print?

Also, it seems crazy that ink costs more than the actual printer for certain models? Like you said, it may be better to buy a few printers (assuming they come with ink), then to buy refills. I guess that’s where they get you! I’ve been paying too much for ink for too long! haha

Thanks again, man.

I think you’d be pleased with either the Canon or the Epson. Canon happens to be my own preference, but the new models do use smaller tanks. By “material”, I mean the images. Darkness, colors, etc. Photo quality images vs text and graphics. And careful selection of paper type can greatly influence the amount of ink used. With better paper, sometimes using the “plain paper” setting will lower ink consumption while still producing a nice look. Don’t be afraid to experiment, it’s only money. :wink:

Hey Dan, another quick question that I thought u might know: could using an image which is larger in size (aka bigger than 2 Megabytes) cause more ink consumption? Or is it solely dependent on the range of colors contained in the image and how saturated they are and whatnot??

Thanks

[QUOTE=Voldemort882;2417391]Hey Dan, another quick question that I thought u might know: could using an image which is larger in size (aka bigger than 2 Megabytes) cause more ink consumption? Or is it solely dependent on the range of colors contained in the image and how saturated they are and whatnot??

Thanks[/QUOTE]

Factors are the paper setting, quality setting and the saturation of the colors.

ok, so what exactly do you mean by “saturation of colors”? I understand the other two factors, haha, but that last one is the one that still baffles me. So, are you saying that ink usage has nothing to do with actual file size. I’m still a bit confused :confused:

Sorry to be a pain in the u know where…

[QUOTE=Voldemort882;2417555] So, are you saying that ink usage has nothing to do with actual file size. I’m still a bit confused :confused:

Sorry to be a pain in the u know where…[/QUOTE]

Saturation is inherent in the image, but also user-controlled in the driver settings. Literally translated it means the amount of ink applied to paper. In terms of results it means how much color is in the printed image, how dark it is or how vivid the color. On your PC screen, it’s pretty much the same thing, how “intense” the image is. In your image software, (Photoshop), you probably have settings for saturation. In terms of printer settings, you’re talking about the quality setting and paper setting, but there are also manual settings for saturation of all colors and each individual color.

For example, with a plain paper setting, the printer will generally not over-lay layers of ink to get detail and color, but with a photo paper setting it will layer the inks. The 2 paper types usually also change the droplet size on a photo-quality printer.

Image file size is a different thing, cause it relates to both dimensions and DPI. Your printer will convert image resolution to it’s native resolution much the same way a monitor does. Printing at higher resolution might or might not translate to ink usage, depends on the image and the printer. In the case of DVD covers, nothing more that 150 DPI will give you improved results, since the originals are around that resolution. Though there’s a credible argument that scanning and printing at 300 DPI will prevent loss of detail inherent in scanning and printing. I usually scan at 300 then re-sample to 150 to eliminate moire, and they turn out identical to the originals. Hope this helps.

Wow, man. thanks a lot. Going back and forth with you only makes me realize how much I don’t know lol I guess I better get to it, this seems like it could be some useful knowledge.

Just ran into a another snag, paper. You recommended HP Premium Inkjet Paper - Double Sided. Now, is that a matte type of paper or a gloss type of paper? I’m having a hard time finding that exact kind. Isn’t matte paper kind of rough and dull, and no good for photo printing? Or maybe I’ve just used it wrong in the past? Anyway, matte or glossy? If u could put a link for the paper u recommend for my needs with the Canon printer, I would be much obliged. Thanks again :iagree:

I have 2 Epson.
R260 and the R280 and both work great with CISS Systems.

I hope to never buy another overpriced ink cartridge again.

They were getting approx. 100 to 150 Disc and Cover Set per cart. now I get closer to 1,000 before I have to refill my CISS bottles.

Cost was under $100.00 per system and a refill kit of ink.
Refill kit are about $30.00 for all 6 colors.
The Cart. were $14.00 each on sale.

[QUOTE=Voldemort882;2417685]Just ran into a another snag, paper. You recommended HP Premium Inkjet Paper - Double Sided. Now, is that a matte type of paper or a gloss type of paper? I’m having a hard time finding that exact kind. Isn’t matte paper kind of rough and dull, and no good for photo printing? Or maybe I’ve just used it wrong in the past? Anyway, matte or glossy? If u could put a link for the paper u recommend for my needs with the Canon printer, I would be much obliged. Thanks again :iagree:[/QUOTE]

With DVD covers, it all looks the same once under the plastic sleeve, matte and gloss look the same. I’m using HP Premium Presentation Paper. It’s much cheaper than photo paper, 2-sided, matte finish 32# weight. Any good [I]coated/premium[/I] inkjet paper will produce much the same results. When you use “matte photo paper” or “premium inkjet” driver settings you will get photo quality and it looks great. Aside from the matte finish, it delivers identical results to expensive photo paper.