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Printers - too much choice - help!


sarahjacintha

Likes # 0

Hello,

I'm going to have to post a lot of questions on this forum soon, so please be patient with me. I'm about to buy a printer and I've no idea which to choose; I'm constantly being told to back up my files by my computer, but it doesn't tell me how; etc. It's not that I'm unwilling to put in the legwork (as it were) in order to learn about computers, but every time I take the time to read about teccy stuff, I forget it 5 minutes later. I would love to be a geek but I'm afraid it's just not gonna happen.

Anyway, I've done a lot of reading of 'Amazon' reviews of wireless all in one printers (which is what I'm after) and each time I come across one that looks genuinely well rated, some comment about 'ease of set up' etc puts me off.

I'd like one whose wireless capability really does work (I've heard some of them just don't), I need a printer that isn't prone to paper jam issues (had a few of those) and, lastly, I would like to scan some old black and white photos onto my computer, mess with them a bit, then print them out as a surprise for my sister. As I don't have 'Photoshop' (or whatever it's called), can anyone recommend a printer that will be helpful in this respect? Bearing in mind I'm not a millionaire!

Hope to hear from someone soon, thanks, Sarah.

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Nontek

Likes # 1

I recently bought a Epson SX445W, my first Wireless printer, and IMHO it is excellent. Not difficult to setup if you follow the instructions carefully, read therm completely before you start.

It is very neat and fits into quite a small space, I hardly notice it is there, but it comes alive when I want it to. Also it is not expensive, I bought mine via Amazon, UK.

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The Old Mod

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I recently bought an Epson SX535WD and it's excellent, easy to setup if you follow the instructions properly. The compatible inks are cheap to buy, I can print from any PC in the house, the prints are good and also the scans, can't fault it.

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chub_tor

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When you have settled on your printer (personally I am a Canon fan and would recommend the MX420) I would also recommend this free Serif Software for picture manipulation before you print.

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frybluff

Likes # 1

I'm with chub_tor. Canon take some beating. Good general printing and outstanding photos. Set-up instructions are comprehensive, and they are easy to use.

I have the MP640, which is about 18 months old, so possibly superceded. I searched long and hard when I got it, and was the best in the price range. Think I paid around £140 then (I won't swear to that).

It may still be available, or its successor is probably as good, if not better. Canon's web site is pretty good.

The one downside with Canon is that their proprietory inks aren't cheap. They are OK with "compatables", provided you avoid the real cheapies.

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Nontek

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One way to do it, would be to make a spare print of the picture - then go mad with a pair of scissors, then re-scan what is left of the pic minus Bruv!

Then make a final good print.

Though of course, the Purists would say use the Snipping Tool in Win7, or Paint in XP Accessories.

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chub_tor

Likes # 1

Cropping and resizing pictures can be done using many different programmes but the one I have most experience with is Serif PhotoPlus which enables you to "lasso" around a picture and cut it out and then place it on a different background if you so wish. You can also crop to a circle or an oval etc. There is a free version of it Click Here but you will be prompted to upgrade to a paid version. Personally I wouldn't do that straight away, Serif change their software every two years or so and there are lots of bargains to be found if you don't go for the latest version (currently X5 I think). Look on eBay etc. just make sure that it is compatible with your Operating System.

If you are scanning something as small as a passport size photo then go up in resolution as high as you can so that when you enlarge the picture to 6x4 you don't get it blocky. A file size greater than 1.5Mb should be OK for a 6x4 enlargement.

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frybluff

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Always use the maximum resolution available, for editing and printing. You can't increase the resolution, and the only advantage to REDUCING resolution is to reduce the file size, for easier transmission over the internet, or to reduce the storage space required for the photos, in memory. Resolution is only the DENSITY of "dots", it has nothing to do with physical size.

You can use Photo Gallery, to crop photos, by eye, to aproximately square. However, unless your printer supports square photo paper (I'm not even sure you can buy it like that any more), you are stuck with trimming, using a guillotine. I don't know what software you got with your printer. Sometimes that can be the easiest way to do basic editing, like cropping.

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sarahjacintha

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Me again. Bad news. The front 'control panel' bit of the printer has dropped off. It seemed to have been merely glued on anyway. I stuck it back on and it stayed put for another few days until it fell off again. I had read of this type of occurrence in one online review - but the others were mostly very positive and for the price, I thought 'sod it - maybe that punter was unlucky.'

It appears not. Will take it back to ASDA next week. Shame, I was fond of it.

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Nontek

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sarahjacintha

Hmm, very sorry to note your printer problem with the control panel, I have exactly the same model and am very pleased with it indeed.

You should be able to get a replacement from ASDA - but do not accept a repair or refurnished item!

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Nontek

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Ooops - refurbished item .............

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