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All-in-One Printers: HP v. Competitors

In the past choosing a printer wasn't much of a problem as the choice was almost always HP.  I'm discovering their printer products have become less reliable and am looking for some experiential guidance as I try and locate a reliable All-in-One that is prudent on the ink cartridge side and robust in resolution.  The functions I am mainly interested are printing, scanning and copying.  Faxing and loading photos at the printer does not interest me.  I checked CNET's web site and discovered a conflict where CNET rates HP high but reviewers seem to tear them up indicating dissatisfaction with HP overall.  I have to admit I am apprehensive about purchasing a non-HP printer but when it comes down to quality and reliability, I may have to kick HP to the curb.  I've witnessed two HP All-in-One's with scanner failures which would be costly to repair; they are currently good for printing only.  Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
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eegpt
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eegpt
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michkoCommented:
All right, I'll start this off.  For a long time I didn't like the all-in-ones.  Too many things to go wrong.  As the years have gone by they've gotten more reliable and the cost has become reasonable.  That being said, the only places I use them is for users who need the scan capability.  Rather than buy a separate scanner, we'll go with an all-in-one.  Other users (and for our network printers) get basic printers.  If they don't need the additional functionality, they aren't going to get it.

I've stuck by HP peripherals (printers and scanners) for a long time.  In my experience they are a good economical value.  I've put other printers on networks over the years.  Invariably they are gone while most of the HP products are still hanging in there.  Heck, we still have a functioning HPLJ III.

The all-in-ones we have on our systems right now have not given me any trouble.  I've heard of issues like you've described, and yes, that's going to be a side-effect of combining the functionality of three units into one.  I usually take readers responses with a grain of salt.  The people who respond to review questionaires are typically those who are either extremely satisfied, or those who are extremely dissatisfied.  Well, most people who are satisfied, are more of the opinion that "it does what I expect it to do" and therefore don't have any emotional investment in singing the praises of the hardware.  Those who are dissatisfied are upset.  Responding on their bad experience is an emotional release.  Basically, I'm trying to say these responses tend to be skewed to the negative.

Unless I get a long string of problem machines, I plan on sticking with HP, printers, scanners, or all-in-ones for our future needs.

Hope that helps you.
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eegptAuthor Commented:
Thanks Michko, my feeling about those reviewers is that you may have a negative responder that has limited technical skills and decides it's HP's fault.  I have to admit the reviews for HP are predominantly positive (CNET) but the negatives tend to drag the overall score down.  Individual ink cartridges and making Faxing an option are improvements I see within HP.  Is there any particular model I should review?

Thanks
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michkoCommented:
What model to review depends on a lot of factors.  Black & White, or Color?  Networked or stand-alone?  What size paper to print?  What printing speed?  etc.  

HP has a pretty good multi-function buying guide at this link:
http://www.hp.com/sbso/buyguides/pg_printers.html

You can also use their "Help me choose" tool.  If you haven't used it, it just walks you through some basic questions, then recommends some solutions that fit your needs.

As far as personal experience, we've got a Laserjet M4345, a Laserjet 3052, and couple Photosmart C4200s that we're pretty happy with.
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