Tuesday, April 04, 2006

"My New Color Printer"



One of my nieces took several family photos with her digital last Sunday and , my wife wanting copies, asked her to email them to us. Knowing that my old printer was shot, she went out and picked up a new disposable printer: a Lexmark Z730.

Now, Lexmarks are "okay" as far as cheap printers go. I mean, their quality for what I need them for is just fine. But they do have a number of problems.

The first one of these I ever got was a Z11, which I used for a good two years until I couldn't find cartridges for them anymore because Lexmark decided to discontinue that model. Plus, the cartridges are fairly expensive; at least $30-$35 a pop. But, if you just use them to print out an occasional invoice, they can last one quite a while.

So after that model, I got a Z25, which worked just fine as well for a couple years until the company decided as well to discontinue THAT model! You see, here's how that company makes its loot.

They get you hooked on some model of their product, then discontinue it and make a NEW product. However, the cartrides made for these printers only work on one particular model. So, say you still got a good cartridge from a previous printer, best just to toss it and give it to someone that still has a workable model of that printer 'cause it won't do you any good on the new one.

Then, as well, not all of their USB Cables work on the same printer. I was fortunate this time that the same one worked on the new model.. Haven't priced an ink cartride yet, but I'm sure it'll be costly. They always seem to supply you with a "starter" cartridge, but it won't last long, and a cartridge cost you about as much as the printer itself. One good aspect to this Z730 is that it only needs ONE cartridge rather than two (which the previous one did--both a black and white AND a seperate color one).

I did have problems getting this one to install properly. First time I tried it it kept giving me "bad port" messages, but I just knew this cable was fine, so I uninstalled the whole thing, shut down all extra windows, eliminated any programs from previous printers, temporarily disabled my "Ad-Aware" program, then REinstalled the whole thing and now it's fine. But as for just a very useful type of printer, if you can find a good workable one at some flea market and have the download programs, and all you want to do if work-type invoices, the old "dot matrix" printers are probably the cheapest (and you can still find the ribbon-cartridges for them cheap as well!)

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