Thursday, May 24, 2012

$5 Amazon gift card if you recommend a printer that doesn’t suck

I’m trying to buy a replacement all-in-one printer for my mom and dad (they have G4 & G5 Macs, an iPad, and two iPhone 4s), and all the ones I’ve investigated (including those sold by Apple in their retail stores, which I take as an endorsement) have had one or more of the following problems:

  • Wifi advertised as a connectivity option, but doesn’t work, works flakily, or works for printing but not scanning (and you can’t activate both wifi and USB at once without redoing factory setup)

  • Gobbles ink, perhaps deliberately, and/or refuses to print or do ANYTHING when ANY of the ink cartridges is low; and increasingly, they can’t be refilled because they are chipped

  • Printing quality sucks

I’m looking for an all-in-one that has the following properties.  If I end up buying the one you recommend, I’ll send you a $5 Amazon gift card.

MUST HAVE features:

  • Works seamlessly with a Mac, without having to install obtrusive vendor software, which is usually among the worst quality software out there (we have 3rd-party scanning software such as VueScan already)

  • Can function with OS 10.5.x (doesn’t require ?10.6)

  • Ink consumption isn’t deliberately rapacious and eco-hostile (can’t refill cartridges, can’t print at all when printer decides cartridges are low)

  • Decent print quality for photos—consumer grade is fine

HIGHLY DESIRABLE but not dealbreaker if absent:

  • Wifi connectivity that actually works and can be setup by mere mortals

  • AirPrint (print photos directly from iOS devices)

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