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Inkjet Printer Reviews
Printer Speed.Inkjet printers are known for being slow. There are two rated printer speeds, measured in pages per minute (ppm), assigned to each printer: one for color prints and the other for black and white. Black text prints fastest, followed by color; photos always take the longest. It's important to note that what the manufacturer claims on the box is rarely the speed you'll get. An inkjet printer review by CNET reports that three cheap inkjet printers rated faster than 17ppm (black/white text), including the Canon PIXMA iP2600, did not print more than seven pages a minute in tests conducted by the staff. More specifically, the PIXMA iP2600 is rated at 22ppm but CNET reports it spit out fewer than six pages a minute; a similar test by PC World yielded 8.5 pages a minute.
It's true that testing methodologies differ, but the evidence suggests that printer speed claims should always be taken with a fair amount of skepticism. That said, users rarely complain about the speed of printing. Most frugal home users don't do high-volume printouts on these budget printers, so slow performance isn't as much of an issue as it would be, say, in an office printing fliers by the hundreds. Several inkjet printer reviewers on Canon's website mention slow printer speed as cons for the PIXMA MP495 but don't specify exactly what that means beyond implying a preference for faster output. The other Canon on our list, the PIXMA iP4820, gets more support for its speed in other inkjet printer reviews, also on the company's website. CNET, meanwhile, says this Canon model churns out black and white documents at a rapid clip but takes its time with color graphics. Users don't have much to say about the HP Deskjet 3050's printer speeds, so we can only assume it doesn't fall into either the speed demon or slowpoke category. And for the cheap all-in-one HP DeskJet F2480 (starting at $57, Amazon), PC World suggests using draft mode if you want to print quickly.
Inkjet Printers Ease of Use.Once the printer is ready to go, getting it to do what you want is usually no sweat. Both the Canon PIXMA MP495 and PIXMA iP4820 garner at least four stars from users posting inkjet printers reviews on Amazon for ease of installation and operation. Another inkjet review on The Money Times praises the Canon PIXMA iP4820 for its simple installation and compact and sleek design. The HP Deskjet 3050 earns mild applause for its user-friendly installation, although a few inkjet printer reviews on Amazon report that setting up the wireless can be tricky. It's unclear from the reviews, however, if this is a weakness of the printer or the lack of technological savvy on the part of complainants.
We didn't find printer reviews of the Lexmark Z2300 or Epson WorkForce 30 that say much about installation, but there was plenty of complaining about ongoing operations. Most of the negative comments pertain to ink: the printer guzzles ink like crazy and sends misleading ink-refill alerts, the cost of replacement cartridges is almost equal to that of the printer, cartridges can't be refilled and the printers don't recognize less expensive aftermarket products, and so on. Users also find fault with the paper feed on the Lexmark Z2300 and Epson WorkForce 30, and some users say the latter is noisy. One inkjet printer review on Office Depot found a "quiet" print setting that doesn't keep others in the home awake at night.
But these two models are hardly the sole targets of consumers' ire about operational matters. We read plenty of reports in inkjet printer reviews about rapidly disappearing ink in all the models we researched, especially when using anything other than draft mode. A review of the Canon PIXMA MP495 in PC World gripes that the symbols and codes on the display are hard to interpret and some users consider it a bit loud. The HP Deskjet 3050 is also dinged for noisy operation and the Canon PIXMA iP2600 loses points with users for paper feed problems.
Good Cheap Inkjet Printers
Don't Bother Cheap Inkjet Printers
Epson WorkForce 30 Color Ink Jet Review
Canon PIXMA MP495 Wireless Inkjet Photo All-In-One Review
HP Deskjet 3050 All-in-One Printer Review
Canon Pixma iP2600 Review
Canon PIXMA iP4820 Review
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