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My Little Workhorse Printer

Reviewing: Canon Pixma I P1600  |  Rating:
laurel1 By laurel1 on
Badge: Publisher | Level: 9 | Computers & Laptops Expertise:
Image for My Little Workhorse Printer

My old laser-jet died, and I didn't want to spend a fortune replacing it. My sister had recently upgraded to what her husband considered a better printer (it's been two years since she's been able to get it to work...) so she gave me her old one, a Lexmark that allegedly does everything: prints, scans, copies, and faxes. I couldn't get it to do anything at all.

In frustration, I went to Best Buy. I told them that I wanted a basic printer for printing mostly text; I can always have my digital photos printed and sent to me by any one of the many on-line sites like Shutterfly, and if I absolutely must fax, I have an older fax machine that still works; it doesn't receive well because it's the kind that prints thermally (I think) on a roll of paper that doesn't seem to be available anymore. And there are lots of places in town if I need multiple copies, which I rarely do.

They showed me the Canon Pixma. I liked the fact that it was small and lightweight, I loved the price, and I liked the look of the page they printed for me. So I bought it. Here's where hindsight is 20-20: I should have looked at the price of the ink. I loved the way it worked at home, but after a month, I was out of ink.

I went to Staples, and found that the black ink cartridge was $20.59 (on sale) and the color one was about $35. I've since gotten double-packs of ink when they have them, for $36.99, which saves about $4. I rarely buy colored ink, because I mostly print black on white, and so I set the cartridge use to black only, instead of black and colored. I guess the quality may be lower, but I can't tell. The printer works well, it does just what I want it too, but the thing must eat ink. And there is no "Staples brand" generic for Canon ink, although they keep promising that there will be. Someday. And they don't give you the $3 per cartridge rebate for Canon ink.

I'm not sorry I bought it; I just wish I'd looked at printers that cost a little more but had either less expensive ink or didn't use quite so much. The clerk told me I just print too much. My sister tells me I should make notes instead of printing documents, but I never seem to put the right things into my notes, so I guess it's my own fault. If you don't mind buying a lot of ink, and you're just printing words, and don't need anything else, this is probably a great printer. For me, it's a reasonably good printer; there's nothing wrong with the quality of the printer, it just needs too much ink.