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Computer stuff question: Multifunction printers(5 posts)

Computer stuff question: Multifunction printersPaulCL
Jan 28, 2003 11:48 AM
Sorry, not a political debate. No comments on reality shows. Just a boring computer question.

I'm not very computer literate, so excuse any dumb questions.
I am in the market for a low end (read: inexpensive) multifunction printer/scanner/copier machine. There seems to be dozens available under $250. A few questions:

USB vs Parallel connection. Most require a USB port but some USB or parallel IIEE. MY computer does not have a usuable USB port. Any problem with parallel connections with these machines?? My computer will be upgraded in the next 6-12 months to the next Windows operating system which will then have a usuable USB port. I am going to use this machine in my office.

Print quality. With a multifunction machine, am I giving up quality printing just to have the other functions?? I need the printer, but want the scanner and copier. The fax I wouldn't use. My current printer is a several year old HP Deskjet 855c.

What is "PC-free copying" ? I don't know what it is, but I want to be able to copy independent of whatever is on my PC.

Suggestions on machines under $250?? Of course, with a parallel connection. Thanks. Paul

....if the USB port is a lot better than the parallel IIEE connection, I guess I can wait and buy the unit at the end of the year. Of course, I have the money in my expense account to buy it now......
Dad just got at HP2110 (multi), me an Epson C82 (printer only)js5280
Jan 28, 2003 1:45 PM
USB is supposed to be faster, but I've heard it's not all that much improvement. I'd just use what you have handy.

You definately will get less printer in a multi unless you pay more. have to pay for those extra features somehow. For example the HP2110 doesn't have nearly the speed or resolution as my C82, even though the 2110 is about $30-40 more.

Pretty sure PC-free copying means you can make copies w/out the PC on, maybe even attached. Not sure though.

My recommendation. Check out , , , user reviews, and punch in the Mfg/Model number and the word "review" ("HP2110 review") into Yahoo and you'll get tons of good info are all different products. HP is usually a good bet and the 2110 is under $200.
Jan 29, 2003 6:23 AM
I really would prefer an HP but HP multifunction machines will not run via parallel IIEE cable, only USB. Since posting, I talked to a techie at Gateway. They highly recommend one of the Brother machines or an Epson.

Thanks. Paul
I was heavily leaning HP. . .js5280
Jan 29, 2003 8:38 AM
but I really liked what the Epson had to offer. It's funny, the PCMag review really pushed the HP5550, but looking at their spec's, I thought the Epson was a better printer hands down. Faster, better resolution, great type and picture quality, excellent cost per page (i.e. ink cost), and the fact you could literally put the page in water and the ink wouldn't run (it's actually a pigment not ink). So did many others on thier personal review site. Anyways, people seemed to really like the Epson and people seems pleased with it's reliability. It's superfast, fast as laser printer were a year or two ago. Have to say I'm happy with my new Epson C82.

Might want to check out CostCo if you're a member. They had some good deals although I think they only had HP and maybe Brother, I can't remember. No Epson though.
Parallel vs. USBFez
Jan 29, 2003 7:25 AM
If I wanted an inexpensive printer, I would prefer one that has parallel.

Pretty much all parallel ports are the enhanced kind (faster than the parallel ports from 10+ years ago) and they are more reliable. It doesn't matter how fast USB ports are in theory, because in practice USB printers do not print any faster than parallel ones.

USB ports are a little more finicky as far as recognizing everything that is plugged in, and if you are currently using some other USB items like external drives or mice, you may need to get a powered USB hub if the printer is going to be connected to it.