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Printers - too much choice - help!


sarahjacintha

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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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rickf

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I have the Epson PX720WD and I think it's a fantastic printer. Very good prints and reliable to date. Very easy to set up. Just follow instructions from the installation CD.

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sarahjacintha

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No need for 'sorries' Nontek. If the same model works well for you, that's not you're fault.

Back to the drawing board! Will try another.

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sarahjacintha

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Hiya again.

Just read over chub_tor's post again and though I was pleased with the 'blown up' version of the passport pic of my sister, I now know what I did wrong. It did end up (a little) blocky because I didn't 'up' the resolution. I didn't really want to start messing around in case I got myself into trouble. I've investigated 'Windows Live Photo Gallery' but didn't find it too user friendly. Also, when I tried the option to re-size a pic, I was offered a selection of 'resolutions' (I think, or do I mean ppi?). To wit: 1024,640 or 800 (Small, medium, custom etc). I didn't think my choice would be so limited. I wanted options in common units of length (eg inches/centimetres).

I also thought the process would be much simpler! Something like this: Windows Live Gallery> 5x5 (my sister wants a couple of perfectly square pictures, rather than the usual rectangular types)> Black and White> Print!

Another thing that perplexed me is the fact that working soley with my printer's interface (the Epson Stylus SX445W) I had to use the 'Copying Documents' function in order to make a black and white print from a colour original, because the 'Copy/Restore Photos' function doesn't give me an option (which seems strange - it lets you crop, and the word 'restore' does imply that you can fiddle about with your photo quite a bit). When you use 'Copying Documents' it takes twice as long as the 'Copy/Restore Photos' function does. So I'm wondering whether using 'Copying Documents' to print a photograph is a no-no.

I sense that I'd have more control over manipulating images (via the printer's interface itself - as opposed to scanning first to the PC) if I used a Memory Card. The guide does seem to give prominence to the things, and I know that memory cards are where it's at these days. But I happen to be wanting to manipulate and copy old original family photos, so it's not so useful to me.

I'm guessing the way to go is to scan pictures to a PC first. I get the feeling I'm not getting the most out of the Windows 7 features automatically installed on my PC - and I'd really like to do this, as (and I don't know if this is an irrational fear) I'm wary of using up 'space' on my PC. Given my requirements, can anyone suggest a Windows program I should get to grips with first? Someone mentioned 'Win Snipping Tool' but I'm not even sure what that is!

Thanks again, Sarah.

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sarahjacintha

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p.s. - I have re-sized pictures on websites before - avatars and that. In that I have gone to 'Properties', right clicked on a photo to make it bigger, just by choosing one of those numbers available - eg 1064, 800 etc - in a kind of 'suck it and see' way. However, I thought that was just something you did for re-sizing pictures found on the web. I know 'Lock aspect ratio' keeps things from skewing.

However, if you have scanned a rectangular picture to your PC - but you want a square version of it printed - will 'Lock aspect ratio' still work?

The paper sizes acceptable to my printer are: A4, A5, A6, and B5. None of these dimensions is square. I'm OK with taking scissors to the finished print to create a square from a rectangular piece of paper - but won't the result be somewhat skewed?

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sarahjacintha

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Thanks very much for all your replies. I've made my choice and will let you know which one I plumped for and how I get on with it - whether you want to know or not! - in a week or so's time.

Thanks again!

Sarah.

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morddwyd

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"whether you want to know or not!"

Of course we want to know.

I think I speak for most of us when I say we always like to see follow up, particularly a successful final outcome.

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northumbria61

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morddwyd - I think I speak for most of us when I say we always like to see follow up, particularly a successful final outcome.

I agree with your comments - all too often the only feedback we get is a green tick and left in doubt as to the outcome - also a thank you from some (not all) wouldn't come amiss.

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sarahjacintha

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My first thoughts, upon investigating (via Amazon) the printers that have been recommended here were:

The 'Canon' ones look really cool, shiny and expensive. Even I'd heard good things about their print quality, but upon reading customer reviews I did become a bit wary about the cost of replacement ink cartridges. Although 80 people might really love their Canon printer, the 3 who say: "Set up was a nightmare and I still can't get the Wi-fi capability to work" tend to haunt me. For reasons which I'll explain in a moment.

The Epson ones tend to offer more affordable ink replacements - but don't look as good. (I'm honestly not that fussed about appearances, but if the choice is between two types of machine that I don't know much about, I might as well go for the better looking one). Customer reviews are generally positive, but I went to the earliest review page and found 3 really damning indictments.

I'd started to become suspicious of certain reviews though: Do crafty marketing types snipe at their competitors under the guise of customer reviews? What's to stop them? A person can have 50 million e mail addresses these days. And what about the suspiciously glowing 'I want to marry this printer' reviews too, are they for real?

The one course of action I'm stuck on is my determination not to buy an HP. Because the last one I had nearly gave me a nervous breakdown (I was trying to print out my dissertation at the time and its 'quirks' made a anxious period of my life almost intolerable).

I had decided on one of the 'Canon' ones, but life has got in the way and they're too expensive for me right now. So it's a toss up between the Epson SX535WD, or the Brother DCP-J315W (which I hadn't considered and came upon by chance, it seems to review quite well though). Ultimately I suppose I'm just gonna have to bite the bullet and order, but, like I say in a week or two I'll let you know how I get along.

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morddwyd

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Epson have a better build quality than Brother (I have one of each at the moment, and a Canon, and two HPs. Don't ask!)

Brother have a somewhat flimsy feel to them.

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chub_tor

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If you want a Canon that is Wireless, can print DVDs and have cheap compatible individual cartridges then how about this MG5250 at PC World

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